Cherán is a small town in the Mexican state of Michoacán, inhabited by the Purepecha peoples of Central Mexico. Since 2006, Cartel violence has taken over the state of Michoacán, and small towns like Cherán have suffered ever since. Illegal logging, homicides, kidnappings and rape became so severe that the state was in the top five most dangerous in Mexico. It has been exactly six years since the residents of Cherán said no more to political authority. The Purepecha citizens took up arms and declared their autonomy from the Mexican Republic. There has been no crime since the declaration of autonomy, and no political activity or campaigning as well.
One remarkable detail is the militancy of the women. The reason of this particularity is that Mexico is a country full of machismo, sexism and misogyny, but apparently this community is not having it! The community has started reforestation, since the cartels and politicians practiced illegal logging for drug smuggling. Some 3,000 hectares of trees have been re-planted with the communities efforts to re-establish a just and healthy community.
This village could be a model for other rural/indigenous communities across Latin America, the U.S and Canada. Support the community of Cherán by visiting the state of Michoacán, as tourism, notably eco-tourism, is what will help small communities like these grow and strengthen.