Mexican towns effectively seceding as weak government flails under narco pressure

With the power of the drug cartels in Mexico increasing every day while government stands by helplessly, some towns and cities are effectively seceding, albeit quietly. Towns like Tancítaro in the state of Michoacán are forming their own de facto governance, militias, and police forces, free from both the narcos and the Mexican state, according to a New York Times report.

Tancítaro is reportedly under the control of wealthy local orchard owners, whose avocado exports are worth $1 million a day, and who funded an uprising four years ago that kicked out the cartels. Today, the only real police force is the armed militia that guards the orchards and the town limits, and is reported to have beaten, exiled, and/or killed people suspected of being involved in the drug business.

This dystopian reality-check on Ayn Randian fantasies of self-governance by the wealthy has sprung up in several towns, ranging from Monterrey to outlying areas of Mexico City. Researchers say that’s not likely to change anytime soon either, as the official government appears to be turning a blind eye so as to avoid drawing attention to the facts on the ground.

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