ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images
Mexican soldiers patrol the streets of Apatzingan, in Michoacan State, Mexico, on January 16, 2014.
The Mexican government has given armed self defense groups until May to disarm in exchange these groups known as autodefensas could be incorporated in a new state police force.
The autodefensas have been around for more than a year. Recently, they pushed out the dominant drug cartel, the Knights Templar, in the southwest state of Michoacán. They've been setting up checkpoints, patrolling towns and drawing local support.
It's exposed the federal government's failure to stem the violence, but it's also put the government in a bind: how to deal with the popular groups that are outside the rule of law?
For the latest on what this deal means, we're joined by Verónica Calderón, reporter with El Pais in Mexico City.