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Espiral (Guadalajara)

Print version ISSN 1665-0565


VENTURA PATINO, María del Carmen. Autonomy process in Cherán: Mobilizing the rule of law. Espiral (Guadalaj.) [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.55, pp.157-176. ISSN 1665-0565.

We analyze the recent organizational process undertaken by the Purhépecha community of Cherán to stop the woodcutters related with violent groups, who did not only cut wood illegally, but they have also been committing certain crimes against the local population, such as theft, kidnapping and extortion. In order to defend their territory and safety, the people of Cheran innovated collective forms of participation and decision-making, which are clear-cut examples of a de facto exercise of communal citizenship. Before the state electoral climate in November 2011, within the community the proposal of not participating under the electoral rules and electing their municipal authorities in accordance with their "uses and customs" started to take on meaning, which can be explained partly by the disenchantment shared by the majority of the Cheranens in relation to political parties. One of their strategies was to mobilize the law so that the different electoral institutions and the state Legislative Power recognize their political rights, as culturally different in accordance with their own procedures and to decide the organization of municipal power. This way they have built de facto their own counter hegemonic way defying thus electoral democracy and the organization of political power.

Keywords : indigenous rights; autonomy; counter hegemony.

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