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Villagers in Mexico resist illegal loggers and their armed guards

Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images

A masked man, member of the security comission of Cheran village, in Michoacan State, stands guard in a barrier at the main entrance of the town on May 4, 2011. Since last April, around 17,000 people from an indigenous group in western Mexico have been blocking access to their community and declared a "state of siege" against armed groups protecting illegal loggers, who have deforested 80 percent of some 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of the region's forests in more than three years, according to the community. The community started the blockade after armed men fired on some of its members, after they captured illegal loggers to hand them over to the authorities.

Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images

A masked man, member of the security comission of Cheran, patrols the forest, in Michoacan State, on May 4, 2011.

Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images

Masked members of Cheran village stand guard in a barrier at the main entrance of the town, in Michoacan State, on May 4, 2011.

For more about the resistance to illegal logging, see this story.