The Mexican indigenous community that ran politicians out of town

04/03/2018 The Guardian

michoacanenglishAll across Mexico, political billboards are springing up and candidates are hitting the streets, as campaigning starts for elections to pick a new president, renew the congress and replace hundreds of state and local officials.

Everywhere, that is, except for one small corner of the violent western state of Michoacán, which has found a simple solution to the vote-buying and patronage which plague Mexican democracy.

The indigenous Purépecha town of Cherán threw out all political parties after a popular uprising in 2011 – and it doesn’t want them back.

“The only thing the parties have done is divide us,” said Salvador Ceja, Cherán’s communal lands commissioner. “Not just here – in the entire country.”

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