FILE - In this May 19, 2013 file photo, Hipolito Mora, leader of a local self-defense movement, stands with a side-arm as residents protest extortion fees and kidnappings by the Knights of Templar drug cartel in La Ruana, Mexico. On Dec. 16, 2014, Mora’s group had a deadly shootout with a rival rural police force led by Luis Antonio Torres, better known as "Simon the American," that left 11 people dead, including Mora's son, in the remote mountain town of La Ruana, Michoacan. On Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, a judge said there was sufficient evidence against Mora and his followers of involvement in 10 homicides during the shootout to merit the launch of homicide proceedings. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File) (The Associated Press)
MORELIA, Mexico – A judge in the western state of Michoacan has begun homicide proceedings against the founder of a vigilante group and 26 of his followers who were involved in a deadly clash with a rival force in December.