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The California connection to Mexico's anti-cartel movement




Protesters and members of a civilian militia rallied in the town of Apatzingan, Mexico demanding the resignation of the mayor.
Protesters and members of a civilian militia rallied in the town of Apatzingan, Mexico demanding the resignation of the mayor.
Alan Ortega/KQED

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In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have put a powerful drug cartel on the run.

These motley vigilante groups have retaken control of vast tracts of the state, and spurred the deployment of thousands of federal police and army units. Among the militia members are migrants who lived for years in California before returning to Mexico.

As part of a collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting, The California Report profiles one man who grew up in Los Angeles, but found a new life fighting the cartel back in his homeland.