It’s been four year since the town of Cherán K’eri in the state of Michoacán raised against the destruction and pollution of their woods and river carried away by the government and his organized crime along with those who wanted to destroy their woods. The struggle has not only allowed to stop the devastation but it has also allowed to dismiss the government, that for years profited with their common goods.
The uprising, carried mostly by women and kids was somehow, the result of years of imposed horror conditions. In multiple opportunities, the comuneros (community people), had tried in the past to call for meetings to deal with the situation. Nevertheless, the organized crime took care of terrifying the people and even disappeared or killing those who dared to organized against them. The rage could no longer be contained when the criminals attempted with women and young girls of the community.
Cherán is not a remote case. In accordance to the dispossesion dinamics that mainly affects the indigenous communities in the world, the purhépecha plateau, where Cherán is located, has been defending for decades their territory as well as their customs. This situation of constant violence and deprivation aggravated when the president Felipe Calderón imposed his warlike politics between 2006 and 2012. But the politics as well as the power abuse, and exploitation have somehow became the rule no matter what political party is in the power, they all open the gates to transnational companies and drug cartels to end with the natural resources destroying the social tissue as they enrich with what belongs to the people.
When one sees how Cherán has managed to reestablish their dignity and recover what belongs to them, it is no surprise why they decided to risk their own lives defending what is sacred to them, the woods and water, far from representing money, they are part of themselves. Today, the municipality of Cherán is self-governed according to their uses and custums, and the struggle allowed to develop a form of government made from the people and for the people. No political party has manage to get back in the power ever since and even though they still tried to gain back the power, they have imposed their own decisions. The structure of the government works in a circular, horizontal and articulated way as the scheme shows and it has made possible to include everyone in the decision making. It’s a collective form of government, where everyone participates in the communal assembly and somehow is involve in every area.
The community has manage to stop the insatiable capitalism that destroys everything in their way. They have also realized that through collective effort, is possible to overcome the unwanted conditions and install new ways of life. The construction of their autonomy takes place each day, and it implies also working in all those bonds they tried to destroy. Also, the raising has allowed to reincorporate the purhépecha cosmovision into their daily life.
To support the struggle of their community, the young people from Cherán have been working in the development of a new way to fight: a commentary television. Tv Cherán started in november 29 of 2014, with the support of the people, the local government and the general assembly. during the first transmission, a declaration of agreements was broadcasted where they explained that “This communitary television is to strengthen our autonomy and support our organization. In this commentary television there’s no discrimination, no institutional religious organizations; works with no commercials and with no support of any political party or power”.
Throughout the dissemination of contents produced with and from the community, Tv Cherán has the aim to reflect the feeling and living of their town, as well as strengthen their organization. In the materials produced, one can find themes related to their traditions and customs, their culture, their parties, their kitchen, their music, but also a news room with information related to their autonomous government. In the television, they defend the town assembly as their authority, and they defend their uses and customs as an alternative to the institutional political via so they are clearly anti-electoral and anti-political parties.
In Cráter Invertido, we recently presented along with the autonomous news agency Subversiones the project in order to gather money to buy equipment they need and also to establish the basis to keep on participating in autonomous projects of this nature. We are still receiving donations so if you know anyone interested please contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more information regarding the struggle please follow this links:
You can watch Tv Cherán programs here: