Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.More >>
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located...More >>
China's state media say Vietnamese authorities have detected signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.More >>
Vietnamese media reported that authorities have detected signals from a missing Malaysia Airlines flight off the southwestern coast of Vietnam on Saturday, hours after the flight went missing during a flight from Kuala...More >>
Crimea would be welcome as an equal part of Russia if the region votes to leave Ukraine in an upcoming referendum, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said Friday.More >>
Russia was swept up in patriotic fervor Friday in anticipation of bringing Crimea back into its territory, with tens of thousands of people thronging Red Square chanting "Crimea is Russia!" as a parliamentary leader...More >>
Lebanon's national airline says Iraqi authorities denied permission for its plane to land in Baghdad after a son of an Iraqi minister missed the flight.More >>
Iraqi authorities on Thursday denied permission to a plane belonging to Lebanon's national carrier to land in Baghdad after a son of an Iraqi minister missed the flight, Middle East Airline said in a statement.More >>
MICHOACAN, MEXICO (CNN) - In Mexico, citizens are fed up with violence, extortion and kidnappings from the drug cartels.
One group of average citizens in Michoacan state decided to take matters into their own hands.
Samuel Gomez, 71, visits his broken and deserted house, which is symbolic of his life after he and his family were forced three years ago to flee their 50-acre ranch near the small town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
Gomez was a victim of the Knights Templar, a ruthless drug cartel in Mexico's Michoacan state.
He was forced to pay ever-increasing protection money for the cattle he raised and the limes that he grew.
But when the cartel tried to take his land, he knew it was time to leave.
"They would tell us 'you either sell it to me or I will buy it from your widow'," he says.
He wasn't the only one living in fear.
"They killed our people, they raped our young women, and they did as they pleased," he says.
Hipolito Mora was among the first to fight back.
The 58-year-old farmer led a self-proclaimed group of vigilantes that forced the drug cartel out of their town last April.
"I know I'm operating outside of the law," Mora says. "But I'm doing it for my family just like every other man in this movement."
His rebellion became an inspiration for others in the area.
Since early January several other towns have taken up arms and confronted drug traffickers in violent clashes.
The cartel struck back, torching vehicles and businesses, and killing several people.
In the end, more than a dozen towns managed to drive away the criminal organization that had terrorized the region for years.
A checkpoint at the edge of the town of La Huerta is like many others in towns throughout the region where vigilante groups control access, letting townspeople in and out while hoping to keep the cartels from getting back in.
They're young and old, farmers and laborers, and even some migrants who have returned from the United States to reclaim what once belonged to their families.
A man, who wants to be called "Juan," used to live in North Carolina.
"In the last couple of months there's been a lot of violence. And we haven't been able to make any money to support our families. We all got to eat. And if we ain't working, we can't eat so something had to be done," Juan said.
The Mexican government has sent in thousands of soldiers and federal police to help patrol and control the area. So what's going to happen if the army decides to leave?
"We hope they don't leave. We hope they stay here to back us up," Juan said.
Their fight has given hope to Gomez that life can go back to normal.
He knows that there are no guarantees the cartel won't try to come back. But this time, he says, he and the vigilantes won't give up.
"They would have to kills us all because we're all going to fight," he says. "Not only for our lands, but more importantly, for our families."