DELEGATION SIZE Single
- Devin Haas
Cherán is a 20,000-strong Purépecha community nestled in the pine-oak highlands of the Mexican state of Michoacán. For years, the village was plagued by organized crime, corrupt police and politicians, illegal logging, extortion, kidnappings, and killings. That changed in early 2011, when the town’s inhabitants waged an insurrection largely led by low-income, indigenous women. Police, political parties, and cartels were run out of town, and self-rule was declared.
Beginning after this revolt, delegates will assume the roles of community members as they work to protect their newborn direct democracy. Delegates will need to restore the damaged ecosystems on which their village depends, reimagine community security, fight legal battles with México’s federal government to preserve self-government, and develop a communal political economy that works for all.