This text analyzes the present situation of the struggles of Mexico's indigenous peoples to achieve self-determination and transcend the limits of neoliberal multiculturalism. After reviewing the relationships between the radicalization of indigenous demands and transformations of the Mexican state, our analysis focuses on the recent history of a Nahua indigenous community on the Pacific coast of Michoacán state, which has a long and successful history of defense of its communal lands. We also look at a Purhépecha community in the central highlands of Michoacán which has been the first community's ally. The violence of external actors that afflicts these communities reveals the consequences of the penetration of all levels of government by organized crime. However, our analysis also shows how the capacity of indigenous communities to resist can be undermined by their internal disarticulation by the same forces, which operate in a climate of impunity in which paramilitary violence can serve a variety of regional and transnational economic interests.
- Indigenous autonomy
- Organized crime