Rage and Fury Sweep Mexico, the World: Justice for Ayotzinapa

By Frontera NorteSur, Censored News, Friday, October 10, 2014

Swelling outrage over a police massacre and the forced disappearance of scores of students swept Mexico and the world this week.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators demanded justice for six people killed September 26 and 27 by municipal police officers and paramilitary gunmen in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as the safe return of 43 Mexican students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa reported kidnapped and disappeared by the same aggressors.

“Your dignified rage is our rage,” stated a communiqué from the general command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), shortly before 20,000 masked Zapatistas staged a silent march October 8 through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

On the other side of the country, hundreds of people marched in Ciudad Juarez in the biggest local demonstration of its kind in more than three years. The demonstration was led by students from Ayotzinapa’s sister school of Saucillo, Chihuahua. At the march’s conclusion protesters blockaded the Bridge of the Americas connecting Juarez with neighboring El Paso, Texas, for a half-hour on the evening of October 8.

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Mexico: Students Walk Out In Mass Protest Over Curriculum Changes

[The declining quality and conditions of education are being challenged throughout the world–from Puerto Rico, to Brazil, to Jadavpur University in India, students in Hong Kong, Colorado, many places.  What spurs people into action at each location differs, but they all turn into challenges to a bourgeois electoral system that cuts short on meeting the needs and interests of students.  Here, the latest from Mexico. — Frontlines ed.]

9/25/2014

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About 15,000 Students or more from the National Polytechnic Institute marched on the Interior Circuit northbound to the Zacatenco unit, to address the Directorate General of IPN.

On Thursday, the Unity Professional Interdisciplinary Engineering and Social and Administrative Sciences UPIICSA ) joined the strike along with the College of Engineering and Architecture (ESIA ).

From an early hour, students from different campuses CECYT concentrated outside various schools to join the mobilization.

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Latin America: thousands of indignados join the “occupy” protests

WW4, Weekly News Update on Tue, 10/18/2011

Joining others in more than 900 cities around the world, Latin American activists protested on Oct. 15 to demonstrate their discontent with the global economic system. The demonstrations got a significant boost from Occupy Wall Street, a US movement that started with an action in New York on Sept. 17, but the Latin American protests also referenced the Real Democracy Now movement that developed in Spain last spring; the Spanish protests were inspired in turn by protests in Tunisia and Egypt at the beginning of the year. In Spanish-speaking countries the movement is widely known as “15-M,” from May 15, the day when protests started in Madrid. Like the Spanish protesters, Latin American participants call themselves los indignados and las indignadas—”the angry ones,” or “the indignant ones.”

Thousands of Chileans marked the global day of action by marching with music and dancing from the University of Chile campus in central Santiago along the Alameda avenue to the O’Higgins Park. They called for reform of the political system and for a constituent assembly to write a new constitution to replace the current document, which was created under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). The protesters also backed the demands of student strikers for a free public education system and expressed opposition to the HidroAysén project, a plan to build a complex of five dams that environmentalists say would threaten fjords and valleys in the Patagonia region [see Updates #1081, 1100]. Organizers estimated that 5,000 people participated; the police didn’t give an estimate. Similar protests were scheduled for other cities, including Arica, Iquique, Coquimbo, La Serena and Valparaíso. (Radio Universidad de Chile, Oct. 15; Observador Global, Argentina, Oct. 15; Adital, Brazil, Oct. 14)

More than 1,000 Argentines, many wearing masks or costumes, marched on Oct. 15 from the Plaza del Congreso de la Nación in central Buenos Aires to the Plaza de Mayo. The marchers included Juan Marino, the leader of the Revolutionary Piquetero Tendency (TPR), part of a movement of the unemployed that developed in response to the neoliberal policies of former president Carlos Saúl Menem (1989-1999) and the financial crisis of 2001. “It can’t go on like this,” said another marcher, Bernardo Molina. “The rich created the crisis, and we, the poor, always end up paying.” Argentines also demonstrated in La Plata, Córdoba, Mar del Plata, Rosario, Mendoza, Tucumán, Jujuy and other cities. (People’s Daily, China, Oct. 16)

In Brazil, some 200 people, mostly youths, gathered under a heavy rain at Sao Paulo’s Museo de Arte on Paulista Avenue in the banking and commercial district, while others met in the Largo de Sao Bento, a colonial building in the center of the city. Some participants were from political parties, but one group of youths carried a sign saying they rejected parties. There were also protests in Rio de Janeiro and other cities. (ANSA, Oct. 15)

About 500 Peruvians marked the global day of action with a gathering at the Plaza San Martín in the center of Lima. Slogans on their signs included: “Wake up,” “Raise your voice, demand change,” and “The earth and the water belong to the people, not to the businesses.” The mobilization was “peaceful, apolitical and nonpartisan,” Luis Álvarez, from the Take the Plaza collective, which had called the protest, told Radio Programas del Perú (RPP). (EFE, Oct. 15, via Qué.es, Spain)

In Colombia about 70 indignados and indignadas met at Bogotá’s National Park to call for a regeneration of the democratic and economic system. The group originally planned to march to Plaza de Bolívar, in front of the presidential palace, but participants decided to stay in the park and develop the movement by holding an assembly in which they exchanged opinions on what should be the principles of the “15-O” (Oct. 15) movement. They also made signs expressing themes of the global movement, such as “Real democracy now,” mixed with references to local issues, such as “No to mining.” (EFE, Oct. 15, via El Espectador Bogotá)

Like their Colombian counterparts, the approximately 400 protesters who gathered at the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City on Oct. 15 focused on both local and global issues, from the Mexican government’s “war on drugs” to consumerism and fraudulent banking practices. The group that called for the mobilization, the Permanent Assembly of Mexican Indignados, read a communiqué saying that “the country is hurling itself into the disaster of daily and widespread violence; into unemployment and hunger; into the violation of the most fundamental rights; into the destruction of the social fabric and the loss of human values.” “If those below get moving, those above fall down,” “Less tele and more vision,” and “If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep” were among the signs, along with “We’ve had it up to here” (Estamos hasta la madre), a slogan which has dominated Mexican demonstrations for much of this year [see Update #1079].

There were protests in 20 other Mexican cities, including a sit-in at the Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada de Jalapa plaza in the eastern state of Veracruz and at the Explanada de los Héroes in the central plaza of Monterrey in the northern state of Nuevo León. (Observador Global Oct. 15/11; La Jornada (Mexico) Oct. 16)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Oct. 16.

Al Jazeera: “Mexicans march against drug-related violence”

[A significant movement is growing in Mexico , where tens of thousands of peasants, workers, and indigenous people have been killed in wave upon wave  of battles for control of the drug trade between massive criminal syndicates (gangs) that are part-and-parcel of the corrupt and oppressive Mexican police and military.  The international media routinely paints this picture in racist slanders against Mexican people, or as a moral campaign against drugs–and never portray it as it is — the result of bankrupt comprador political relations and of an economy so dominated and suffocated by imperialism (and its instruments such as NAFTA) that the people have been forced into either starvation, virtual enslavement by drug lords, or the migrants’ life  — the dangerous forced migrations to el Norte, where xenophobia and criminalization and repeated deportations by ICE frame much of the life.  Today, there is a growing mass movement to stand up to these criminal gangs AND the corrupt police, expressed in part by this weekend’s protest march from Cuernevaca to the Zocalo in Mexico City. — Frontlines ed.]

AlJazeeraEnglish on May 8, 2011

The protesters say they are frustrated with the growing violence between warring drug gangs and security forces.

Al Jazeera’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City

Central America’s 60,000 missing migrants

Report reveals that from 1998 to 2008, 60,000 South and Central Americans went missing in Mexico on their way to the US

Emilio Godoy, al-Jazeera, 14 Nov 2010

Some 500,000 undocumented migrants from South and Central America cross Mexico every year [EPA]

The last time Estela Domínguez of Mexico saw her daughter Estela Paz was in April 2006, when the young woman left home with the goal of reaching Las Vegas, Nevada.

Paz, who was 27 at the time, planned to cross the US border at the town of Altar in the northwestern state of Sonora. She was travelling without documents, and with her six-year-old son Emiliano. She was heading back to her job making bracelets. But she never made it.

“I talked to her on the phone just before she was to cross the border, but I never heard from her again,” Domínguez, a supermarket bagger in Córdoba, a city in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, said. Continue reading

Mexico: Oaxaca as a ‘Laboratory of Repression’– Interview with Human Rights Defender Alba Cruz


Written by Peter Watt and Alba Cruz, Upside Down World, 11 November 2010
Following the 2006 uprising in the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, the official crackdown on dissidents, social movements and human rights defenders reached unprecedented proportions. Human rights organizations note with alarm that the presence of around 50,000 military and police personnel patrolling the streets and controlling much of civilian life – often under the pretext of a war on narcotrafficking – has made Oaxaca and the rest of Mexico increasingly dangerous.

 

Alba Cruz, a human rights lawyer working with the Comité de Liberación 25 de Noviembre de Oaxaca, has experienced the climate of fear and intimidation first-hand. Since taking on over 100 cases relating to human rights violations in Oaxaca, which include the murder, torture and forced disappearance of activists, continual threats have been made to her personal safety. She represented Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, the man wrongly convicted (and subsequently released in February 2010) of the murder of US independent journalist and political activist, Brad Will. Eyewitness accounts suggest that Will was shot by police dressed in civilian clothing.

Outside the Middle East, Mexico is now the recipient of the United States’ largest foreign aid program. After numerous declarations from civic and human rights groups that the program – the Mérida Initiative – closely emulates Plan Colombia, an aid program which allowed Colombia to become the most flagrant violator of human rights in the Western Hemisphere, US Congress blocked release of the funds to Mexico unless the administration of Felipe Calderón could prove it was committed to protecting human rights and investigating alleged violations. The prosecution of Martínez, who was released this year after Cruz and the Comité de Liberación 25 de Noviembre de Oaxaca presented evidence which demonstrated that he could not have murdered fellow activist, Brad Will, was a particularly cynical attempt to secure the funds of the Mérida Initiative, while justice for the real killers remains elusive.  Continue reading