Cheran — an anarchist town of 20,000 in Michoacan, Mexico

Yesterday I discovered the existence of a town in Mexico which is a model of anarchism — meaning that it is a politically semi-autonomous town governed by direct democracy since 2011. It is not completely independent because it is subject, for one, to external taxation.

Here is an article about the town from BBC News: Linda Pressly, “Cheran: The town that threw out police, politicians and gangsters,” Oct. 13, 2016.

And here is one from Aljazeera: “How a Mexican town toppled a cartel and established its independence,”, 2014.

Below is one video out of many available on Youtube:

“In this video, Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange gives you the latest on Cheran, Michoacan an anarchist town that’s followed by anarchy principles and over 30,000 anarchists. We talk to Jeff Berwick the dollar vigilante who organizes one of the largest anarchy conferences anarapulco.”

How is this possible within a State?
1. From the Mexican legal perspective, indigenous people have a right to a certain level of autonomy.
2. And this town is a homogenous one, consisting of Purepecha natives.
3. This town also has arms and a militia.

The situation of Cheran should be distinguished from that of the uprising of Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico in 1994. Here is a Democracy Now report in 2014 on its 20 year anniversary:

“On the same day North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army and people of Chiapas declared war on the Mexican government, saying that NAFTA meant death to indigenous peoples. They took over five major towns in Chiapas with fully armed women and men. The uprising was a shock, even for those who for years worked in the very communities where the rebel army had been secretly organizing. To learn about the impact of the uprising 20 years later and the challenges they continue to face, we speak with Peter Rosset, professor on rural social movements San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico.”

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