For the past six years, photographer Scott Brennan has been spending time with indigenous groups in Mexico that hope to preserve their ancestral homelands and culture by forming their own semiautonomous governments. Brennan says that so far, the two communities he has spent time with “are enjoying success, a situation not common in Mexico’s drug war.” Brennan told In Sight more about the project and its background:
"The project ‘Indigenous Autonomy and Resistance in Mexico’ is the result of six years of work in two allied communities in the state of Michoacan. These culturally indigenous towns have begun movements toward autonomy from the political party system that dominates Mexican politics. When rampant violence engulfed the country with the escalation of ex-president Felipe Calderón’s War on Drugs in 2006, many indigenous groups suffered increased vulnerability. Some, citing Article 2 of the Mexican constitution, which allows for indigenous groups to govern themselves under local ancestral means of governance, decided to oust the political party system, establish their own security forces and institute policy that deals directly with local needs.
"These movements, while in many ways inspired by the Zapatista movement of Chiapas, are distinct, as they are a direct response to the security situation since the escalation of violence and insecurity in 2006.