Mexican vigilantes dismiss spokesman after controversial 'chat' with president

Vigilantes who have spent the last year beating back a drug cartel in Mexico say they have dismissed their chief spokesman, after he used unusually frank language to challenge President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Vigilante leader Jose Manuel Mireles had become the public face of the "self-defense" movement in the western state of Michoacan, where the coalition of farmers, ranchers and laborers are fighting the Knights Templar cartel.

But Mireles had also become known as a loose cannon. Earlier this week he posted a video on social media sites challenging Pena Nieto to a dialogue, using colloquial language not usually directed at the president.

Current vigilante spokesman Estanislao Beltran said Thursday that Mireles was dismissed for not clearing his statements with the vigilantes' leadership bodies.