Heavily armed vigilante groups are refusing to lay down their weapons in their territorial dispute with a drug cartel in Mexico. The vigilantes have been trying to drive out the Knights Templar gang from a region of Michoacan State.

After a weekend of firefights, the government announced that it would take on security duties in the area.

Fighting between vigilantes and alleged cartel members has racked Michoacan for almost a year. President Enrique Pena Nieto's government already has sent thousands of federal police officers and soldiers to the state, but the situation has only worsened.

Rumours circulate that some vigilante groups have been infiltrated by the rival New Generation cartel, which they vehemently deny. In turn, some vigilantes claim local and state police are in the employ of the Knights Templar.