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As two armored military vehicles patrol the streets of Tlaxcala, workers unload a pick-up truck full of enormous traditional masks for this lawless Mexican region's explosively colorful carnival.Tlaxcala, which sits a two-hour's drive east of Mexico City, is in the middle of a region that has become one of the Mexican authorities' biggest security headaches, controlled by criminal gangs that thrive on sex trafficking and stealing gasoline.With its feather-topped masks that reach several meters tall, sumptuous hand-embroidered cloths decorated with small skulls, European-style costumes and elegant parasols, the carnival is a celebration of the cultural collisions that have shaped the region.There are 15 different types of costume in all.That is one culture that has not been incorporated into the Tlaxcala carnival.
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