Cherán, Michoacán, Mexico
Work in Progress
In 2011, after years of extortion by the local cartels, complacency of local government, and the passivity of the police, the people of Cherán organized to reclaim their town and their land. The Pueblo (translated as people or community) confronted the cartel, removed the government from office, and created their own police force to guard the city. They now maintain roadblocks at all town entries and patrol the surrounding forest to protect the woods from illegal loggers.
"We didn't know how to stop them, because the people were bad, beside we knew behind them there was leader worse than them. We had had no support because the president didn't want hear anything about that," said “Doña Chepa,” one of the original organizers of the initial confrontation.
During the Movement, the people of Cherán risked their lives, forced to stand up and fight to protect their human rights and to ensure their survival. Their courage has made a sustainable future the priority, rather than profit margins. Defying the current trend of Globalization, the Pueblo looked to the future.
The town is currently at an uneasy peace; during this transition period, they are keenly aware that the bubble may burst at any time. They are optimistic as they see surrounding towns organize in the same fashion, but they know the strength of those they oppose.
Cherán is winning Mexico's ambiguous war.