Inhabitants of an indigenous community in western Mexico detained 14 police officers and a local official after eight of their neighbors were killed by illegal loggers.
Thursday's detention was the latest flare-up of tension between the community in Cheran, Michoacan state, illegal loggers, armed gangs and the police.
"They took our colleagues to punish us because supposedly we were not patrolling the area well," said a state police officer, declining to give his name.
The state government was trying to reach a deal to free the detainees, he said.
Eight indigenous rangers were shot dead Wednesday by illegal loggers who they surprised cutting down trees, state officials said.
Last April members of the 17,000-strong Purepecha community blocked access to Cheran -- near famous sanctuaries for migrating Monarch butterflies -- after two of their neighbors were shot dead by loggers.
They accused organized crime groups of shielding illegal logging.
Illegal loggers have deforested about 80 percent of the region's 30,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of forests in recent years, according to the community.
Michoacan is among the regions worst hit by violence blamed on drug gangs that has left more than 50,000 dead, according to media reports, since the start of a government offensive on organized crime in December 2006.