This week's deployment of Mexican army soldiers in Michoacan has brought "tranquility" to the violence-wracked western state, Gov. Jesus Reyna said Thursday.
Acknowledging the state is not "100 percent" calm, the governor told MVS radio that "the results have been good."
He said his administration asked President Enrique Peña Nieto for military help "to re-establish completely the institutional order" amid the rise of armed militias that had taken it upon themselves to police their own communities.
The military deployment sparked an incident Wednesday in the Michoacan municipality of Buenavista Tomatlan, where, according to media accounts, residents briefly held 24 soldiers captive at the local police station.
Reyna rejected the press' version of events, insisting that residents had only blocked a highway to protest the arrest of four militia members.
Detained for carrying guns, the militia members were subsequently freed on bail, the governor said.
Residents of Buenavista Tomatlan and Tepalcatepec took up arms Feb. 24 and announced a campaign against a criminal organization that calls itself Los Caballeros Templarios (The Knights Templar).
Authorities will hold public meetings to convince the militias to stand down, Reyna said.
The Caballeros, La Familia Michoacana and Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartels have been fighting for control of Michoacan, which is home to extensive marijuana plantations and clandestine labs producing synthetic drugs.
French food giant Danone and Mexican pharmaceutical company Grupo Saba have decided to close their plants in Michoacan due to the high level of crime and move their operations to the less violent states of Queretaro and Jalisco, officials said.
Mexico's previous president, Felipe Calderon, gave the armed forces the leading role in the struggle against the drug cartels, an approach that was accompanied by soaring violence and a toll of 70,000 deaths over his 2006-2012 term. EFE