By Isaac Stanley-Becker | Washington post
Bathed in the Mexican dry season sun, his dreadlocks falling down his back, a man named “John Galton,” an apparent nod to Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” hero, observed. almost two years ago: “There are pockets of freedom all over the world if you are willing to live in freedom.
Galton paid a high price for this freedom. He was shot and killed on Friday by a group of men who stormed his home in Acapulco, Mexico, where he and his girlfriend had taken refuge from drug charges in the United States, as they explained. in a March 2017 video interview with the plot site. Press For the Truth.
Joining a community of like-minded expats, Galton had sought to build a life of self-made man. He advocated the liberalization of drugs and taught courses on cryptocurrencies. He was to appear in a documentary called “Stateless”.
He saw himself as a prophet of American entrepreneurship, but freed from the constraints of the American nation-state.
“Go for what you want to do,” he suggested to Americans who are considering a similar move. “If you think it’s not possible, maybe you’re doing it in the wrong place.”
As for the locals, “they don’t seem to care that we live here. We lived here for a year without any problems.
His girlfriend, Lily Forester, nodded. Defending the once glamorous city on the Pacific coast, now considered Mexico’s ‘murder capital’, she said: “It’s not perfect, but it’s way better than anything I can imagine. have known in the United States. “
She was left to beg for help on Friday after the rampage left her boyfriend dead and another man, Jason Henza, injured.
“If anyone is listening, please, I just – someone showed up right after we had finished eating, and they shot John and Henza, and I was in the house, and John died at the door, ”Forester cried in a video she posted to social media. She begged, “Someone please come.”
Henza, 43, also recorded her anguished reactions to the attack. Appearing in a bloodied T-shirt, he looked at the camera and in a state of disturbing resignation. “We were attacked,” he said. “I received three bullets. I’m not doing so well.
“Hopes and prayers, and all that,” he added, speculating, “I think it’s a backlash.”
Guerrero state police said in a statement on Saturday that survivors reported gunmen showing up in a “cannabis greenhouse” and targeting Galton. The prosecutor’s office, which confirmed Galton was killed, said in a statement on Sunday that it had found a marijuana lab at the scene, including white lamps and gasoline tanks. No suspect had been announced and the motive for the murder remained unknown.
An email to the State Department’s Office of Consular Affairs was not immediately returned. The Associated Press reported that Galton and Forester were in their twenties.
In a statement to CoinSpice, a cryptocurrency news site, Forester said, “I will issue a statement when it is safe to do so. The news is fake, but I have to wait to tell my story.
Speaking to Press For Truth’s Dan Dicks in the spring of 2017, the couple said they had been in Mexico for about a year and had fled a potential 25-year jail term related to marijuana. They said they spent the equivalent of $ 300 a month, in addition to utilities, for their hiding place in Vista Hermosa, what they described as a “developing neighborhood” on the outskirts of town.
“We haven’t hurt anyone, so we just go where we are valued,” Galton said.
Interviewed last year for a crypto-anarchist show called Vonu Podcast, whose host called the couple “self-liberators,” each described their path to anarchism.
Raised by “hippie parents” who were anti-government but simultaneously addicted to food stamps, Forester said she became interested in politics in college. However, she realized that the policy “didn’t change a thing”, so she gave up and, in her own words, “one thing led to another”.
Galton said he had always had libertarian leanings, but that his anti-state philosophy had been accentuated during the few months he was in prison, although he claimed he never had committed crime. His lawyer gave him several books that put him on a “fast track to anarchy,” he said, including Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and Dale’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” Carnegie.
The couple started using cryptocurrencies towards the end of 2011 and made the decision to “step out of banking” in 2012, they said. Trying to live off the grid – with just a “cheap smartphone” and the occasional “Google search” – they bounced back into the Midwest.
In Detroit, where they experimented with gardening and tried to fight government land grabs, they broke drug laws almost three years ago, they said. “We were just trying to live in peace with our use of the cannabis plant,” Forester said. “We had the wrong things on us at the wrong time. “
They were charged with five felonies, Galton said, and faced more than 25 years in prison.
That’s when they fled, heading first to California and then to Mexico. “None of us could afford to pay all the money to bribe the judges,” Forester said. “Our only defense was to leave.
They crossed the border with $ 50 in cash. Once in Acapulco, they found odd jobs in the tourism industry, while also building up subscribers on Steemit, a blogging and social networking site. Forester founded a pipe glassblowing company. Among their projects were the organization of “Meat Ups”, which advocated a carnivorous diet, and the creation of “an uncensored Wikipedia”.
They were the founders of Anarchaforko, an anarchist conference and spinoff from the better known Anarchapulco, which annually brings together 3,000 people in Acapulco for discussions on ways to “live without chains.” Both were due to take place this month.
A participant in last year’s events mourned Galton’s death – suggesting he had been targeted by cartels because he was in competition with them – but said he was not afraid of return to the resort town of Guerrero state, which had a 2017 murder rate of 64.2 per 100,000, more than double that of Chicago.
“You must have some common sense about it, but that sounds like it’s safer than any big city I’ve lived in in the US, like way safer than Chicago or something like that.” , Galton said in the March 2017 interview, titled “John and Lily on the Run.
Asked about Press For Truth if there had been any contact with US authorities, Galton said: “We are sure they know, as at this point we are trying to expose the corruption of the system.”
“We don’t like America or someone like that,” he said, explaining that his objection was more to “statism”. He said: “Taxation is theft”.
“And that’s how they affect the lives of real people,” his girlfriend said.