Throughout Tierra Caliente, supporters have erected chapels and white adobe shrines to honor "Saint Nazario." One, on the outskirts of a town called Buenavista Tomatlan, up the road from Coalcoman, now sits in ruins. It was trashed when the people of Buenavista rose up against the Knights Templar, a couple of months before Coalcoman.
Several armed skirmishes between local vigilantes and the Knights were reported in the weeks leading up to the army's arrival, with casualties in the dozens.
Coalcoman, about 270 miles west of Mexico City and 140 miles west of Morelia, rose up in mid-May. For the first few nights, Garcia, 42, and his allies camped out in City Hall. He now is on the move daily, along with his wife and three children.
The Templarios have retreated, Garcia said, at least for now.
Some in the federal government have suggested that a rival cartel is the force instigating the uprisings in Tierra Caliente. Garcia vehemently denied that ("If this is a cartel, it's a cartel of the people!") while acknowledging that wealthy local ranchers were responsible for arming the comunitarios.