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Trading violins for guns, Mexican vigilantes take on cartel

Published on Jan 18, 2014 6:14 AM

APATZINGAN, Mexico (AFP) - Mariachi musician Efrain has traded his violin for a rifle. He wants to fight a drug cartel that killed two of his nephews.

His plight is like that of many in the Mexican state of Michoacan, where vigilante groups were formed last year to take on the cartel called the Knights Templar.

Mr Efrain, 58, said his nephews were 19 and 20 years old. The family paid the ransom demanded by the drug lords, but the hostages were killed anyway.

In the past Mr Efrain had already been forced to undertake the unpleasant task of playing with his mariachi band at parties thrown at the ranches of the drug traffickers.

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