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Mexican vigilante leader to be held for trial

March 20, 2014

MEXICO CITY (AP) — One of the main leaders of Mexico’s vigilante “self-defense” movement has been ordered to stand trial on charges of participating in two killings earlier this month.

The court system of the western state of Michoacan said Thursday a judge decided there was enough evidence to try vigilante leader Hipolito Mora for aiding in a homicide.

The two victims were members of a rival faction of the self-defense movement that sprang up last year to fight the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Mora’s lawyer said the judge also ruled that Mora’s trial will be held in the city of Apatzingan, long considered the cartel’s stronghold.

Lawyer Eduardo Quintero said Mora’s life would be at risk if he were transferred to a jail in Apatzingan. Mora maintains he is innocent.

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