Feature Story

Mexico Cartels

autodefensas storm Paracuaro, Michoacan cc

Autodefensas (Self-Defenders) vigilante group march on a town to drive out a drug cartel in Mexico.

The word “freedom” is one that has often been used to ignite passion in people and in entire communities. It can bring people to tears when combined with the right imagery and music, and it can also move people enough to start wars. It is a word that is often used to remind us of how fortunate we are for living in this era, in countries considered to be free. But do we truly understand what freedom is?

Most people living in a “first world country” believe that they are given freedom by the ruling government, but upon deeper examination, it becomes unclear whether or not those freedoms actually exist. Take for example the people of Michoacan Mexico and the situations they have endured at the hands of drug cartels and corrupt governmental officials. The Mexican people have been dealing with violence including massacres, beatings, kidnappings, ransoms and rape by the drug cartels since the 1980’s. Throughout the years, these atrocities have been rapidly escalating and spreading throughout the entire country. Drug lords have taken the country hostage in their pursuit for wealth and power. Although people are living in these conditions, Mexico can still be perceived as a free nation.

The political leaders and the security forces have been unsuccessful in their pathetic attempt to stop it’s growth. It has long been speculated that the political leaders have been in cahoots with these drug lords all along and would therefore have no interest in stopping it.

Growing tired of the relentless violence against their sons, the kidnapping of their neighbors and the rape of their daughters and wives, the townspeople of Michoacan Mexico took it upon themselves to protect their families by fighting back. These men and women chose to exercise the freedom they perceived that they had. Men and women of all ages, occupations and social statuses came together to develop a self defense group known as the Autodefensas (Self-Defenders). Their goal was to drive out cartels from their communities and to live in peace by protecting themselves by creating a self governing militia. These Autodefensas groups began sprouting up across Mexico and were successful in capturing many corrupt officials and dangerous criminals.

However, they quickly learned that the reality of modern societies is that you are only “free” as long as you follow the laws set by this government. One would think that a country with “freedom” would allow a community to protect itself. But as stated before, you are only free as long as you live within the parameters of the law. The Mexican government began to fight back against the Autodefensas and began to disarm the communities in order to regain control of the people. Many townspeople were murdered by police officials for refusing to give up their stance on self-defense.

Mexico anti-violence protest Tlachinollan cc

People in Mexico protesting against violence and corruption.

The moral of this story is not about fighting back against corruption using the same tactics as your enemy. The purpose is to highlight that when it really comes down to it, we are not really as free as we think. The dictionary defines freedom as, “not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.”  If people around the world were asked whether they are free or not, much like the people of Mexico, most people that live in “modern” cities would likely answer yes. This is because the notion of being free is spread by propaganda.

Perhaps the ability to shop wherever you’d like makes you think you are free. Or maybe it’s because you can choose any school, career path, or community to live in. All of these sound like excellent choices. But what if you begin making choices that are not in line with the agendas of the government. What if you choose to build your house out in the woods, live off the land and exist as close to nature as possible?  Or what if you had no home and had no choice but to build a shack in the city? Would zoning laws allow you that freedom? Or what if you wanted to travel freely across a continent as your Ancestors did? Would immigration laws allow it?

In reality you have no choice but to follow the rules or face the repercussions.  You don’t have the freedom to say “no thanks, I don’t want to be governed”. There is no opting out. Can you live in this country without being subject to fines, penalties, laws, rules, zoning, or educational requirements?  You really aren’t free when you don’t have the choice to be apart from the governing state.  

A fundamental right that any human being has is to live as they choose to live. The people of Michoacan have discovered that they don’t have the right to protect their families and their livelihood as they see fit. As stated before, the point of this article is not to persuade you to pick up arms and fight the same way as your enemy. It’s more about understanding the state that we are in as a “modern” society.

I urge the reader to research what life was like before these governmental institutions imposed their laws and to discover the richness of living a life that is more focused on following the rules set by nature and the Divine World instead of power hungry politicians.  

People all over the world are yearning for this because they are starting to wake up to the reality that this lifestyle is not truly free. In order for us to successfully take back our lives, we must return to the natural social structure through which our Ancestors lived by, where the traditional Kings and chiefs ruled and their role was to be a servant to their community and to ensure harmony and survival for all people. Until the power is no longer given to corrupt, narcissistic leaders and returned to the rightful owners, our freedom and dignity will continue to be usurped for the benefit of those few.

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