Cherán, Mexico is a town of 16,000 indigenous Purepechan Mexicans set up in the western state of Michoacán about 200 miles from Mexico City. For years, illegal loggers, protected by drug cartel gunmen, have ravaged the area’s communal forests and murdered a number of townspeople. When the residents of Cherán asked their municipal, state and federal authorities for help, they did nothing, so the community took justice into their own hands. About a year ago, the residents of Cherán rose up in an armed rebellion and kicked out the loggers, cartels, and the corrupt local government. Since then, they’ve implemented self-governance based on traditional customs. They defend the borders of the town with community patrols. In Cherán today, there are no political campaigns, no ballots, no political parties, no elections, and no alcohol.