Inspired by the Zapatistas, who established their own autonomous communities throughout the neighbouring state of Chiapas in the years following the Zapatista uprising (January 1, 1994) and supported by APPO, the residents of San Juan Copala, members of the Triqui indigenous group, declared their community to be an autonomous municipality in 2007. As with the autonomous communities of the Zapatistas, rejecting the governance of the Federal and State governments of Mexico and Oaxaca, respectively, they have chosen to govern themselves by their own traditional indigenous usos y costumbres.
When the San Juan Copala declared itself an autonomous municipality, it came under threat by paramilitariy groups in the service of the government of the State of Oaxaca (and, indirectly, of the Federal government of Mexico). Many people have been assassinated for simply trying to remain in Copala, or for trying to return. All of this has culminated most recently in the eviction of the Triquis of San Juan Copala from their protest encampment at the palacio de gobierno de Oaxaca on December 23.
This story is ongoing. I hope it will have a happy conclusion, but much more support is needed. Governments these days are willing to tolerate a lot ... but not autonomous communities that demonstrate that the State is unnecessary.