Blog Archives

Counter-power and self-defense in Latin America

Colombia Indigenous Guard kids

Children form a line during a march of Indigenous Guards in Colombia.

Against the backdrop of state and gang violence, some of the continent’s most affected communities have taken radical measures to defend themselves and build new social counter-powers from below.

by Raúl Zibechi, ROAR Magazine, January 29, 2018

In much of Latin America, the state does not protect its citizens. This is particularly true for the popular sectors, indigenous peoples, people of color and mestizos, who are exposed to the onslaught of drugs trafficking, criminal gangs, the private security guards of multinational corporations and, paradoxically, from state security forces such as the police and the army. Read the rest of this entry

Guerrero, Mexico: Villagers Oppose Arrests of Community Police by Military” target=”_blank”>

Militares arremeten contra pobladores de Petaquillas Guerrero

Youtube video Posted by Agencia de Noticias Guerrero on Feb 6, 2015

“Habitantes de la comunidad de Petaquillas bloquean la carretera federal en el tramo carretero Petaquillas-Mazatlán en exigencia de la libertad de tres comunitarios detenidos y trasladados a la PGR en Chilpancingo.”

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Mexico: First Statement from the Self-Defense Group of Aquila, Michoacán

Self Defence Group of Aguila, in the Michoacan state of Mexico, January 2014.

Self Defence Group of Aguila, in the Michoacan state of Mexico, January 2014.

From the Self-Defense Group of Aquila, Michoacán to the general public:

Aquila, Michoacán, January 18, 2014

Today, the residents of the municipal seat of Aquila, tired of the extortions, rapes, killings, kidnappings and all sorts of criminal acts committed by the Knights Templar; given the complete abandonment of the citizenry by the municipal and state governments who for 12 years did not provide the security needed for our people to have a peaceful and dignified life; we have decided to organize our self-defense group in order to expel organized crime from our town, and we invite the rest of the people of the municipality to rise up against crime, so they never again feel fear or pay protection fees. Read the rest of this entry

Indigenous Self-Defence in Michoacan, Mexico

“Shortly after the 2011 uprising began, community members state that the local politicians and the police simply exiled themselves in fear from the community, warranting no need to run them out of town. Community members took the local government offices, took police trucks, took the polices’ weapons, and put them all to use. Historically, Cheran had traditionally been “policed” or defended by members from the community. In a voluntary rotation members from each of the four “barrios” or neighborhoods would patrol the community for self-defense in what is known as the “community ronda.”” Read the rest of this entry