What happens when average people are pushed too far and what are the limits of the human condition? In Mexico, where drug cartels wreak havoc in increasingly violent showdowns over who gets the money to supply you with party supplies. Stories of these wars have caused deaths in the tens of thousands in recent years and innocent civilian lives have almost no consequence. If a serious cartel wants a hit done they’ll gun down everyone in public pool hall to kill their target. Seeing severed heads hanging from bridges as messages to rival gangs and most police forces either so corrupt of in the pocket of the cartels that many citizens of these once quiet Mexican towns live in constant fear for their safety.
Cheran, Mexico is a town located west of Mexico City in an isolated part of the country untouched by corporations and advanced infrastructure. For the most part Cheran is just a dirty little local town with not much to distinguish itself. In the last few years the town was laid under siege by illegal loggers operating under the protection of one of Mexico’s larger gangs. After destroying nearly 70% of the surrounding oak forest the loggers havoc was taking a serious roll. Where once stood giant seas of trees now stands burnt stumps and emptiness. As the loggers terrorized the townspeople in their wake rape and kidnapping became rampant. The police were useless and did nothing to prevent the will of criminal rule. When the townspeople decided they couldn’t stand the tyranny anymore it was the women who took charge. Armed with only rocks and fireworks a group of Cheran women stormed a truck filled with armed goons waving AK-47’s and hijacked the whole crew. Now armed, the women, some grandmothers, others teenagers, took things even further when they bum rushed the local police and threw them out of town, taking full control of the town utilizing a new arsenal of weaponry and community support.
The Cheran women’s campaign against the terrorism didn’t stop there. After ousting all government officials they closed off the roads and instituted their own martial law. From there, they lit over 200 bonfires with armed guards and alarm systems triggered by church bells to protect them from the vengeful cartels. Since the takeover a few locals have been murdered in the still existing remains of the woods but crime has dwindled to near nonexistence. Barricaded inside their town they have a successful stand off and succeed in standing up to the drug cartels, an achievement that few can claim as most of those who have attempted ended up dead. It’s not quite the Hollywood, everything’s fine ending but stands as an amazing testament to what people can do when pushed too far. With whole governments basically bending over in fear, its good to know grandmothers and teenage girls can pick up some AR-15s and hold the block down. They set up around the bonfires, sing songs, drink tea and pour some out for their fallen comrades and lost ones. That’s gangster.