The Rebellion in Cherán, Mexico

By Laura Woldenberg and Juan José Estrada Serafín

Deportee – a song by Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston*

Cherán, Mexico is a town of 16,000 indigenous Purepechan Mexicans set up in the western state of Michoacán about 200 miles from Mexico City. For years, illegal loggers, protected by drug cartel gunmen, have ravaged the area’s communal forests and murdered a number of townspeople. When the residents of Cherán asked their municipal, state and federal authorities for help, they did nothing, so the community took justice into their own hands. About a year ago, the residents of Cherán rose up in an armed rebellion and kicked out the loggers, cartels, and the corrupt local government. Since then, they’ve implemented self-governance based on traditional customs. They defend the borders of the town with community patrols. In Cherán today, there are no political campaigns, no ballots, no political parties, no elections, and no alcohol.

Isolated in the middle of rainy, cold Michoacán forests, Cherán warms up at night around the barricades. The burning fires are gathering points for the citizens to organize and govern themselves … Read more at

[Editor’s note: ‘Deportee’ by Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston — the US government deports more people  than any other government. 90% of those people repatriated came from Mexico (or from further south via Mexico). Thnx to Lach and the Jumping Fences for singing this song at Foco Nuevo.]

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