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The following study analyses the nature of the self-defence forces that arose in February 2013 in Michoacán, a Mexican state located on the Pacific coast. The novelty of this movement is underlined: its ambiguity with respect to the law, its use of modern tactics and its continuity with the ideological assumptions of the "war on drugs". Furthermore, questions are posed about the similarities and differences from forms of violence such as paramilitarism and insurgency, and from other groups suchdoaj:2910089496b84fda8696d52ad34848c9 fatcat:sd46p74qgrf6jiiezx5bibedci