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Video / September 16 2021

Cherán: The Burning Hope


Welcome to Cherán, a small Indigenous community in the state of Michoacán that kicked out the local drug cartels and refused to settle for government corruption.

In April 2011, the people of Cherán set out on a path towards self-rule. At the time, Yunuen Torres was just a girl, but she remembers how scary life was before her community took its town back. Today, the local activist and community radio host has made it her mission to record oral histories that capture Cherán’s tumultuous past and inspire the next generation to uphold all that her community fought for — freedom, safety and the right to govern themselves.

Cherán’s experiment in self-government appears to be working, and its people have become a symbol of resistance. The town has proven that things can be done differently, and better — and the example is spreading. Other Indigenous communities in Mexico are now taking up the mantle of self-government.

Find discussion questions, educational resources and more on this topic with the Deep Dive curricula.