Via Infoshop News
By Daniel Arellano Chávez, Neri Martinez Hernandez and Ricardo Trujillo Gonzalez
November 29, 2010
Translated by Scott Campbell
Long ago the government and transnational corporations declared war on the peoples of Mexico, and yet from 1810 to 1910 to 2010 the peoples’ struggle has not been defeated and has shown itself to be a long-lasting breath of unwavering, permanent resistance.
Now this war has been officially titled the “war against organized crime,” a declaration which becomes more shameless with each passing day; advanced by a federal executive who came to power through electoral fraud, deploying the army and security forces to every corner of Mexico to prey day in and day out not just on social movements, unions, popular struggles, human rights defenders, peoples and communities, but also on a population that has committed no other crime than crossing the streets, going to a meeting hall, attending school, or driving on the highway.
Today human rights violations, intimidation, harassment, censorship, torture, secret detention centers, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, executions, and massacres are common occurrences in a Mexico where 77 people are murdered daily.
Two high school students riddled with bullets by soldiers in San Luis Potosí, two children murdered by soldiers in Tamaulipas at a checkpoint while on vacation, families gunned down by soldiers in Sinaloa and Nuevo León, the massacres of teenagers in Ciudad Juárez and Durango – which the government justifies by saying they were gunmen and drug dealers.
A shooting attack by Federal Police on a march demanding an end to military and police abuses in Ciudad Juárez resulted in a seriously wounded student. Out of control violence that has reached those who “should not be affected,” including the murder of students from the Monterrey Technological Institute (one of the most expensive private schools in the country), which has led to protests by those who previously complained about the protests of the “poor and inferior.”
Industrial murder, official cover-ups and repression in Pasta de Conchos, Coahuila in order to protect Grupo Mexico; a daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora, set on fire with 49 babies and children inside, a crime of negligence pardoned by the government; the explosion of a toxic fertilizer factory in Izucar de Matamoros, Puebla, releasing its carcinogenic contents on the population, as happened ten years ago in Córdoba, Veracruz; in both places covered-up by the Dragón corporation.
This setting repeats itself daily, from Baja California to Campeche. In such a manner, one day the government decides to suspend the catch of white sea bass in an area declared as a nature reserve on the land of the Cucapá people of Baja California, indigenous territory that for millennia was sustained by this resources; however, as the indigenous note, “the reserve’s director, José Campoy Favela, is the owner of twenty fishing boats and gives preference to Sonoran fishers, who have nearly 1,000 boats and extract up to 30,000 tons of fish, as opposed to the 500 tons on average that the Cucapá catch each season.”
With this same logic of extermination and exclusion, then-Governor of Campeche, Jorge Carlos Hurtado Valdez, with the help of paramilitary and state police, cleared out the San Antonio Ebulá land parcel, inhabited by Mayan peasants and adherents to the Other Campaign, denying entire families the right to housing, just to protect the interests of businessman Eduardo Escalante, father-in-law of the former Interior Minister, Juan Camillo Mouriño, and who has various contracts to build highways throughout the state.
Around the country the Federal Preventive Police (called the Federal Police under this administration), have no time to rest: one day they remove teachers from the National Education Workers Coordinating Committee in Mexico City, during one of dozens of protests in front of the Interior Ministry; two days later they kick out electrical workers in Cuernavaca, Morelos; the repressive work offers no rest, a few days later in Lázaro Cárdenas they attack protesting miners.
The violence of the state shows itself against “dissatisfied troublemakers,” while the daily violence of exploitation and death continue at the same time, whose victims are the thousands of men and women who try to cross into the United States for various reasons, though with one objective – to escape; while the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatán and Central America break rocks from sun up to sun down for Spanish buildings, as if it were the colonial era, but this is 2010, and the stones they break are not to build temples for the Church in honor of a triumphant Crown, now it is for the great hotels and tourist corridors of corporations coming from the other side of the ocean. The slavery remains even though much time has passed since it was declared that the chains must be broken.
While peoples join together to fight in defense of the land, territory, water, wind, forests and jungles, plants and animals, in defense of their natural environment, of their ancestral heritage as communities and peoples; the government and transnationals defy and spurn the “ignorant who reject progress and development” and threaten to use their machinery of repression to defend the benefits of capital offered up in hundreds of projects and megaprojects which treat Oaxaca like a mass of energy to be used for dams, wind farms, mines, hydroelectricity, and if necessary to dig a canal, splitting it in two, to allow for the free circulation of capital and goods, while at the same time impeding the passage of people on the painful route of northward migration.
Municipal and state preventive police; special operations units; banking, industrial and commercial auxiliary police; the State Investigation Agency; agents from the State and Federal Attorney General’s Office; the Special Operations Group of the Federal Preventive Police; the Federal Investigation Agency; Federal Support Forces; the Army’s Special Forces; the Marines; and the Air Force, have not been enough the crush the peoples’ struggle, so one more element of repression is deployed: paramilitaries, murderers-for-hire, like in previous eras.
“The label ‘paramilitary’ – in legal terms – alludes to direct connections between these armed groups and state forces, through the provisioning or sale of armaments, the training of its members or the participation in operations or control efforts.”
paramilitaries in Oaxaca besiege communities, close highways, assassinate defenders of the land, occupy towns, attack humanitarian caravans, threaten and make political statements with guns in hand, and form part of a new era of “low-intensity warfare” against autonomy. For a long time they have acted with impunity, carrying out massacres that are finished off with a coup de grâce by the Supreme Court, which gives them impunity by setting free the few who have been detained for these crimes.