dorset chiapas solidarity

May 20, 2016

Indigenous Mexicans Challenge Constitutionality of Mining Act

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Mining — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:41 pm



Indigenous Mexicans Challenge Constitutionality of Mining Act

  • The government reportedly granted nearly 2,173,141 hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000.The government reportedly granted nearly 2,173,141 hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000. | Photo: EFE
Me’phaa Indigenous communities in Guerrero urged the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent and declare the mining act unconstitutional.

Me’phaa Indigenous communities, in the state of Guerrero, urge the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent and declare unconstitutional the mining act.

During a press conference, the agrarian, municipal and traditional authorities of the Indigenous Me’phaa (Tlapaneca) community of San Miguel Del Progreso – Juba Wajiín announced that Supreme Court judge Norma Lucia will rule on a highly-anticipated case on May 25.

Accompanied by their advisers from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, they encouraged the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the mining act passed in 1992, arguing it was violating international treaties that Mexico had signed and ratified.

“Today, this normative framework is used to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their land, ignoring that from the indigenous worldview land is not a commodity; their territory is the material basis of the reproduction of their culture and is impregnated with their spiritual values,” they said.

The court has a historic opportunity to set a precedent for the protection of Indigenous peoples and communities’ rights against large-scale economic projects designed without prior consultation.

They stressed that a thorough analysis of the Mining Act not only will benefit the communities in the state of Guerrero, but many others which today are affected by mining concessions, as the government reportedly granted over 2 million hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000.

They also recalled that the federal government asked the supreme court dismiss a case of mining concessions in the state of Guerrero, allocated without prior consultation with local communities.

In February 2014, a district judge in Guerrero ruled in favor of the Mep’ haas communities, suspending mining concessions allocated to Hoschild and Zalamera. The landmark ruling referred to international treaties that Mexico had signed and ratified, such as ILO 169 Convention, and case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

The decision benefitted 240 communities living in 11 towns, until the Economy Ministry appealed the ruling.–20160519-0064.html



April 11, 2016

Guerrero: Threats Against Member of “The Other Disappeared”

Filed under: sipaz — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:29 am



Guerrero: Threats Against Member of “The Other Disappeared”


Disappeared.pngMember of “The Other Disappeared” during the searches. Photo: @Revolución Tres Punto Cero.


Mario Vergara, member of the Search Committee of the “The Other Disappeared” (Los Otros Desaparecidos), reported an increase in threats against his person and family by organized crime. The Other Disappeared is made up of over 500 families that have a missing relative, who organize to find their disappeared loved ones. On Sundays they gather in the hills of and surroundings of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, to locate hidden graves and bodies. “Recently we have found many bones of our disappeared relatives, we are experiencing something horrible”, Vergara declared. It should be pointed out that since its establishment until now, they have found more than 90 graves with some 140 bodies and hundreds of incomplete remains. Of these, 15 have been identified.

As the Committee pointed out, “we don’t seek justice, nor who killed our relatives, we only want to get the body back, the bones, to give them a burial.” Despite this, they have received threats since it was founded in November 2014. “Many people have threatened us and the threats have become harder”, Vergara claimed. The activist asked for precautionary measures to protect him and his family, which were denied as “there were not sufficient grounds” to grant them according to Pueblo Guerrero. The Committee member expresses the opinion that, “delinquency is unstoppable, they continue to kidnap, disappear people, collect protection money. What the government says about implementing security programs and that violence rates have dropped are lies […] on the contrary, it is getting worse.”

In February of this year, Norma Angelica Bruno, member of The Other Disappeared, was killed. It should be noted that the official figures from the National Register of Lost or Missing People indicate that there are currently more than 27 thousand missing people throughout the Republic. Moreover, it is suspected that this figure could be higher as only cases that are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor are registered. According to United Forces for Our Disappeared in Mexico (FUNDEM in its Spanish acronym), only one in every nine disappearances is reported.“Mexico is a huge mass grave”, Javier Sicilia, member of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD in its Spanish acronym) stated.




April 8, 2016

Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners

Filed under: Political prisoners, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:52 am



Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners


Nestora.pngCall to the campaign. Photo: @Regeneración


On March 18 last, Nestora Salgado, commander of the Olinala Community Police, Guerrero, member of the Regional Coordinator of Communitty Authorities (CRAC in its Spanish acronym), was released after two years and eight months in prison. On leaving prison, Nestora called on the Government of Guerrero to release the nine members of CRAC who are still prisoners and assured that she would begin a campaign “for the freedom”of her compañeros. For April 10, International Day of Political Prisoners, she called for actions within the framework of the national campaign “Put a Face and Name on the Political Prisoners in Mexico”, to give visibility to the situation of prisoners and demand their release. She stated that, “We are missing 500 political prisoners and I’m going to fight to get them out. I am going to get the release of my compañeros. I will go wherever I have to because I am with you in your struggle and in all the struggles of the people.

Nestora added that only together will the citizens be able to achieve change, justice and the freedom of their compañeros and of those in the rest of the country. She intends to travel to other countries to “exhume what has been buried and give voice to the silenced.” According to El Sur newspaper, social organizations also denounced “the grave crisis of human rights in Mexico and the criminalization of those who defend territory, education, land, water, the air and life. For this reason they have called [on people] to join Salgado’s movement and international tour. “We are aware that Mexico is suffering the most ruthless attack by the interests of foreign capital. Currently the territories of indigenous peoples are pillaged and (their inhabitants) are being displaced from their lands through the violence of paramilitary groups, by organized crime, or the territory is being militarized by soldiers and the state police” as is outlined on the call.

It is worth noting that the social leader returned to her home in Seattle, USA. In Washington she visited the International Clinic of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Washington University, where she started the campaign. The clinic played an important role in the struggle for the Nestora’s release. During her stay in the US, the commander from Olinala plans to visit Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington. She intends to return to Guerrero soon as she is the representative of the Community Police and due to her post in CRAC.



January 24, 2015

Amnesty: Mexico: Investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 students is far from conclusive

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:29 pm


Mexico: Investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 students is far from conclusive

Amnesty International, 22 January 2015

203347_Protests_Rock_Mexico_City_On_Anniversary_Of_Mexican_Revolution (1)_0

Demonstrators from Guerrero State demand answers concerning 43 missing students in Mexico City, Mexico. © Brett Gundlock/Getty Images


download (1)We have a catalogue of concerns over the way the investigation has been run and whether the full range of these crimes, including enforced disappearance and the killing of six people when the students were first attacked have been fully addressed.

Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director.

The Attorney General of Mexico has failed to properly investigate all lines of inquiry into allegations of complicity by armed forces and others in authority in the enforced disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher college, said Amnesty International today after meeting with family members of the victims.

At an Amnesty International press conference today in Mexico City experts will critique the faltering investigations overseen by the Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam and will outline the demands of the parents of the 43 students. The Attorney General’s office said that all lines of enquiry have now been exhausted.

“We have a catalogue of concerns over the way the investigation has been run and whether the full range of these crimes, including enforced disappearance and the killing of six people when the students were first attacked have been fully addressed,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director.

“Amidst worries about the possible complicity of local government authorities and the army, it is all the more important that every line of investigation is thoroughly explored and that no stone is left unturned.”

This latest call comes the day after Austrian forensic scientists announced that they had been unable to identify the DNA from badly burned remains found in a mass grave. Further tests on the samples could take months.

The enforced disappearance of the students has highlighted Mexico’s appalling human rights record. More than 100,000 people have been killed in Mexico since the “war on drugs” began in 2006 at least 23,000 are missing, according to official data. Thousands of communities have been displaced by the increasing violence and Amnesty International continues to receive reports of human rights violations committed by police and security forces including arbitrary detentions, torture and enforced disappearances.

“The disappearance of these students is a crime that has shocked the world. This tragedy has changed the distorted perception that the human rights situation has been improving in Mexico since President Peña Nieto took power. There are thousands more cases that have barely been investigated in Mexico, they cannot be ignored anymore,” said Erika Guevara Rosas.

“Much more needs to be done to investigate the many cases where there are signs of collusion on the part of the authorities and security forces in human rights abuses, for example the mass execution of civilians in Tlatlaya and the massacres of migrants. Tragically, impunity for these terrible crimes remains the norm. Federal and state institutions are failing to fulfil their human rights obligations, sending the message that these abuses are actually allowed,” concluded Erika Guevara Rosas.




December 30, 2014

Further update in the Ayotzinapa case

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:25 pm



  Further update in the Ayotzinapa case




According to an investigation published by the Proceso magazine, federal forces participated in the attack on the disappeared students on 26 September 2014.  The work carried out with the support of the Program for Investigative Journalism at the University of California Berkeley, based on testimonies, videos, unedited reports, and judicial declarations, shows that the federal police (PF) actively and directly participated in the attack.  The article indicates the contradictions that exist between the account provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the testimonies of those arrested, as well as those provided by students who survived the attack.  One of the key points in the investigation is that the Ayotzinapa students had been surveilled, such that the federal police knew of their arrival to Iguala.  It shows furthermore that the attack and forcible disappearance of the students was specifically directed at the ideological structure of the school they attended, given that of the 43 disappeared, one was a member of the Commitee for Student Struggle, the highest-ranking organ within the school’s administration, while 10 others were “budding political activists” associated with the Committee for Political and Ideological Orientation (COPI).

Beyond this, information has begun to appear in social networks that the majority of the disappeared students still live and are being held by the Army and federal police as part of a military intelligence operation.  The truth of these claims still has yet to be confirmed.  The communiqué was published presumably by soldiers of the Mexican Army who pertain to the 35th military zone (which includes Iguala); the sources in question no longer belong to the unit, as they were sent elsewhere or dismissed.  The objective of this operation, called “Az,” was to fracture “the transgressor groups of the school who disrupt order in Iguala by appropriating vehicles that are the property of the mayor, and bother people from various localities.”  According to the communiqué, “the transgressors were divided into 3 groups by military intelligence, with 21 sent to two military barracks for interrogation,” with the rest divided into two groups that were then sent to Cocula and Chilapa by municipal police and the “United Warriors” drug cartel.

Beyond this, on 14 December, confrontations in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, left 22 injured (14 of them teachers, parents, and students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, and 8 federal police).  The events took place when a group of students who were preparing a rock concert “A light in the darkness” were attacked with stones, beatings, and tear-gas by police.  “This is an act of police brutality that clearly seeks to silence the voices of the parents of the disappeared,” noted Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights. Omar García, director of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, related that despite the fact that the police had been told that “we were students, and that we were preparing the concert, they told us: ‘It matters not; we are going to even beat your mothers.'”  The parents of the disappeared accused the federal government of having provoked the incident deliberately.  The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) has launched an investigation into the events in question.




December 20, 2014

The story of September 26, 2014, the day 43 Mexican students went missing — and how it might be a turning point for the country

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:13 am


The story of September 26, 2014, the day 43 Mexican students went missing — and how it might be a turning point for the country

By John Gibler
Illustrations by Clay Rodery

Source: The California Sunday Magazine



By the first days of October, the outdoor basketball court at the Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, a town in the Mexican state of Guerrero, had become an open-air waiting room of despair. Pain emanated like heat. Under the court’s high, corrugated tin roof, the families of 43 missing students gathered to face the hours between search expeditions, protests, and meetings with government officials, human-rights workers, and forensic anthropologists. Assembled in clumps at the court’s edges, sitting on the concrete floor or in plastic folding chairs formed in semicircles, they spoke in hushed tones and kept to themselves. Most had traveled from small, indigenous, campesino communities in Guerrero’s mountainsides. Many had arrived without a change of clothes. They had all come to look for their sons.

On the night of September 26, 2014, in the city of Iguala, 80 miles away, uniformed police ambushed five buses of students from the college and one bus carrying a professional soccer team. Together with three unidentified gunmen, they shot and killed six people, wounded more than 20, and “disappeared” 43 students. One victim’s body was found in a field the next morning. His killers had cut off his face. Soldiers at the 27th Infantry Battalion army base, located less than two miles away and tasked with fighting organized crime, did not intercede.

News of the attack was met initially with muted outrage, mostly because the reports out of Iguala, a highlands city of 110,000, were confusing. For several days, conflicting counts of the missing students circulated. It wasn’t until October 4, when state prosecutors announced that they had uncovered the first in a series of mass graves on the outskirts of Iguala that the national and international media descended on the region. When forensic workers confirmed that the first of the 30 charred human remains were not the missing students, anger and horror became widespread. Throughout October, marches and vigils took place across the country. In Chilpancingo, the Guerrero state capital, Ayotzinapa students smashed windows and set state government buildings on fire. In Iguala, protesters sacked and burned the municipal palace.

Although it was neither an isolated event nor the largest massacre in recent years, what occurred in Iguala has struck at the core of Mexican society. Perhaps it was the scale of the violence, or the sheer brutality, or that the victims were college students, or that the perpetrators were mostly municipal police, or that the mayor of Iguala, his wife, and the police chief were probably behind the attack, or that the state and federal governments were deceptive in their investigation and callous in their treatment of the mothers and fathers of the murdered, wounded, and disappeared. Whatever the cause — and it was likely a combination of all these reasons — it is impossible to overstate the effect of the attacks on the country. Mexicans speak of Iguala as shorthand for collective trauma. Mexico is now a nation in mourning, and at the heart of that grief are those 43 families on the Ayotzinapa basketball court and their agonizing demand: Bring them back alive.

Every year, 140 first-year students arrive at the all-male Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College from some of the most economically battered places in the hemisphere, where elementary schools are often single-room, adobe structures without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. These are among the most committed youth of their communities for whom the system says there is no place: The ones apparently destined to enter the lowest ranks of the drug-warring armies or to scramble across the Arizona desert and pick bell peppers in California or wash dishes in Chicago. The teachers college, known as Ayotzinapa, offers them a different route: a profession. Ayotzinapa says to them, “You belong here.”

Tuition and board are free. The state government provides a meal budget that amounts to $3.70 per student per day, which usually means a diet of eggs, rice, and beans. The students do all the cleaning, tending, and a large part of the cooking. The first-year dorm rooms are windowless concrete boxes with no furniture. As many as eight sleep to a room, laying out cardboard and blankets for bedding. Some fasten empty milk crates to the walls to use as dressers.

Rural teachers colleges were created after the Mexican Revolution to promote literacy in the countryside. By the mid-1900s, they numbered as many as 36. In 1969, the federal government closed numerous schools, and now only 14 remain. Ayotzinapa was founded in 1926, and, like all the colleges, has a long tradition of left-wing student organizing. Murals on school buildings depict not only internationally renowned revolutionary figures like Che Guevara and Zapatista rebel Subcomandante Marcos but also ’70s-era guerrilla leaders Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez, both Ayotzinapa graduates. Several murals memorialize two students who were killed by police in 2011 during a protest demanding an increase in the school’s enrollment and meal budget.

One of the most common “activities,” as the students call their actions, is commandeering buses. Traveling to observe teachers in rural areas is an essential part of the curricula, but the school has never owned many vehicles or had a budget to rent or acquire them. (In early September, the college had only two buses, two vans, and a pickup truck at its disposal.) The students have long secured transportation by heading to nearby bus stations or setting up a highway blockade, boarding a stopped bus, and informing its driver and passengers that the vehicle would be used for “the educational purposes of the Ayotzinapa Teachers College.”

Government officials decry the students’ actions as outright robbery. The students insist they are not thieves and that they always “reach an agreement” that includes payment. The bus drivers don’t abandon the vehicles; sometimes they camp out at the college, with meals provided, for weeks and occasionally months. When the students block highways, they typically do so at tollbooths. Surrounded by the students, drivers are inclined to “donate” the toll to the college’s transportation fund. None of these tactics is unique to Ayotzinapa, but what distinguishes them is that they have become integrated into the basic functioning of the school.

In May 2013, Televisa reporter Adela Micha interviewed Guerrero Governor Ángel Aguirre. She asked him how it was possible that the Ayotzinapa students had made a habitual practice of stealing buses. Aguirre responded that Ayotzinapa “has become a kind of bunker. Neither the federal nor the state governments can access the school. It is a place that has been used by some groups to indoctrinate these youths and cultivate social resentment amongst them.” Micha asked, “Who is indoctrinating them?” Aguirre responded, “A few insomniac guerrillas.”

The plan for September 26 was never Iguala. “We were interested in Chilpo,” Iván Cisneros, one of the second-year students who coordinated the activities that evening, told me, referring to Chilpancingo. “We always go to do our activities in Chilpo, but things had heated up there, and we didn’t want to put people at risk, so we opted to head toward Iguala.”

(The following account of what occurred on the night of September 26 is based on interviews with 14 students who survived the attacks and with more than ten residents, including four journalists, who also witnessed them. The names of the surviving students are pseudonyms.)


Read the rest of this excellent article here:



December 16, 2014

Interview: Mexico Government Claims on Disappeared Students Exposed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:05 pm


Interview: Mexico Government Claims on Disappeared Students Exposed

People hold pictures of missing students during a demonstration on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, in the Mexican state of Guerrero (Photo: REUTERS)

People hold pictures of missing students during a demonstration on the outskirts of Chilpancingo, in the Mexican state of Guerrero (Photo: REUTERS)
Published 16 December 2014
TeleSUR interviews the Mexican journalists whose explosive revelations show higher levels of official involvement in the disappearance of 43 students.

Explosive allegations were published in Proceso, one of Mexico’s leading news weeklies, this past Sunday, revealing strong evidence pointing to direct participation by federal authorities in the presumed killings of dozens of education students from the drug war-torn state of Guerrero.

The investigation also revealed that Mexican federal, state and municipal authorities were tracking the exact movements of the students on the same night of the massacre in question this past September 26 and that according to the government’s own documents, and in at least five clear instances, key testimony obtained by officials to sustain their version of the events was actually induced via illegal interrogation techniques that amounted to torture, which included electric shocks to testicles and extreme beatings.

The investigation’s revelations are not only a stark contrast with what has been officially maintained by the Peña Nieto administration, but also contradict most of what most mainstream news has reported from Mexico and beyond.

The Official Version

The official version of what happened on September 26, the night of the disappearance , largely emanates from a press conference that has by now become widely known and has even served as a reference point for a nation-wide movement that has been ongoing since soon after the presumed massacre occurred. That is because the Attorney General leading the press conference, Jesus Murillo Karam, mentioned that he was “tired” at the end of the hour-long conference. The #YaMeCanse Twitter hashtag arose almost as soon as the conference itself ended, and has actually served as the battle-cry for a nation-wide movement that has attracted international support and attention, including a day of protests which featured over 200 actions across the globe and cross-border protests, as previously reported by teleSUR English.

During the press conference, and reiterated through a variety of official accounts since that time, authorities have claimed that Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife ordered local municipal police to attack several buses of the “normalistas” (students training to become teachers) on several occasions. The attacks wound up killing at least three people and disappearing 43 students. The Guerreros Unidos (Warriors United) drug gang was then given the 43 kidnapped students which went on to brutally assassinate, dismember, torture and burn the victims to death, again, according to official accounts, but disputed by the parents.

The ex-Mayor and his wife have since been detained in connection to the presumed massacre. Acting on a tip from the couple’s landlord in Itzapalapa, the “imperial couple,” as local media dubbed them, were considered by federal officials to be the main culprits behind the crime. The official allegation was that the couple acted in cahoots with a gang that had long suspected, close ties to the Mayor and his wife.

State Version Undermined

The investigation, which was penned by acclaimed Mexican investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez and the University of California at Berkeley-based journalist Steve Fisher, blows the lid off of official accounting in a number of ways, in alleging that: federal, state and local officials closely tracked, monitored and were quite aware of the whereabouts of both the killed, disappeared and presumably murdered education students; key testimonies obtained by officials were garnered through illegal torture techniques; federal police and soldiers from the military were present at the scene of the killings; the government has deliberately withheld this information in an attempt to maintain their own official accounting of the events in question.

The allegations also come during a time in which the government’s version of the events was already being questioned by other sources. A research team headed by a group of scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, argued that the government claims that the Guerreros Unidos gang incinerated to death all 43 students lacked any “scientific explanation.”

In an extended interview via a three-way telephone call with the authors of the investigation with teleSUR English, Anabel Hernandez and Steve Fisher discussed and detailed their findings.




Read the rest of this important article here:



November 12, 2014

Mexico: Ayotzinapa’s Uncomfortable Dead

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:18 am


Mexico: Ayotzinapa’s Uncomfortable Dead

Written by Charlotte María Sáenz

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 12:27


Ayotzinapa’s Uncomfortable Dead[1]

Vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos. “Alive, they were taken, and alive we want them back,” became the national and international public’s rallying cry for the 43 disappeared male student teachers attacked by municipal police and then handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. This remains the rallying cry even after the official press conference of the Attorney General (PGR)[2] announced last Friday that those missing had most likely been executed and burnt to ashes as detailed in the suspected assassins’ video testimonies shared at the press conference alongside maps and photographs of suggestive evidence. However, there is no conclusive proof yet and so the 43 missing remain undead. Their parents refuse to accept this verdict, and in doing so, reveal the state’s incompetency, not only to deliver justice. But also their inability to act with any kind of legitimacy or credibility before a populace to whom it has become ever more clear that the federal government is in fact deeply implicated in the violence it claims to oppose.

This refusal of death has led to rage in all of those protesting in the streets, on social media and even in the National Chamber of Deputies, where photographs of the missing 43 surround Deputy Luisa María Alcalde Luján who while withstanding the interruptions and dismissal of her peers, insists that Ayotzinapa is a State crime. The PGR press conference was itself a theatre of death that revealed many gruesome details, but no definitive confirmation of whether the disappeared are, in fact, dead. Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam characterized the inconclusive investigation as bastante exitosa, quite successful, but also emphasized that he could not confirm that the ashes found belonged to the students without further mitochondrial DNA studies for which they have sent the remains to a specialized lab in Austria.

Perhaps unwittingly, Attorney General Murillo Karam pointed to a difference in individualist vs. collective ways of being and knowing that produce radically different approaches to action. In response to a reporter’s question about whether the parents of the missing believed him, he explained that the parents of the 43 disappeared son gente que toman decisiones en conjunto, are people that make decisions together. It is not about whether any of the parents as individuals believes or disbelieves Murillo Karam’s evidence—although they have since visited the alleged garbage dump crime site and confirmed their disbelief based on what they observed. Rather, theirs is a shared and common refusal to accept the insufficient state evidence and its silence about its own complicity in the attacks and probable execution of their sons. Collective decision-making is characteristic of Mesoamerican communities and is still widely practiced in much of the territory of what is today called the nation-state of Mexico. This points to an important distinction between how decisions are made in the vertical elite power centres “above” in what contemporary political theorist/activist Gustavo Esteva calls el México Imaginario, Imaginary Mexico, and in the participatory assemblies of grassroots indigenous communities “below” from what anthropologist Guillermo Bonfíl Batalla famously termed México Profundo. These metaphors suggest that the actual power of the elite functioning through what has increasingly become a narco-state, is imagined, conjured up through the artifice of the mass-media duopoly Televisa and TV Azteca, a crucial part of the long-standing recipe of submission, by keeping people badly educated, misinformed and mal-nourished. But the rumblings from below, of the many dead and of these most recent 43 undead, together with those deeply held memories of ways of being, knowing and doing from México Profundo are joining up with the ranks of the living to combat the fear that can momentarily pause Mexico’s deep and persistent resistance.

Antithetical to the fear that often weaves its wave through the narco-state’s theatre of death is the defiant Mosaic of Life portrayed in multiple performances and visual arts representations (such as from all over the world giving “life” through faces and names to the missing 43. Forty-three student-teachers have now come to signify all of the disappeared and killed, by growing exponentially into a movement calling itself “43 x 43”, where thousands continue to take the streets in Mexico City and cities all over the nation and world. #Ya me cansé (“I am tired” said Attorney General Murillo Karam after an hour of presenting and responding to questions) was immediately taken up as a new hashtag for Mexican society to express that it, too, is tired, tired of being afraid, of being full of digna rabia, dignified rage. Students and teachers everywhere are rising up to greet these undead, who with the approximately 100,000 killed or disappeared since 2006, the start of this drug war under former President Calderón, call us to fight for dignity in both life and death.

The refusal by the parents of the disappeared 43 is part of a larger refusal: that of a Mexican society fed up with decades of terror and death at the mercy of an increasingly horrific narco-state. It is also a refusal of the dead to remain dead, and so in this week right after a particularly poignant Dia de Muertos, Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico and its diaspora, the dead return multiplied exponentially. This is similar to what happened last May in the Zapatista autonomous municipality known as el Caracol de la Realidad[3] in the state of Chiapas, where a teacher known as Galeano was murdered by paramilitary forces. At the pre-dawn ceremony held there in Galeano’s honor on May 25, 2014, Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos announced that he, Marcos, would cease to exist. He then disappeared into the night. The assembled heard a disembodied voice address them: “Good dawn compañeras and compañeros. My name is Galeano, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Does anybody else respond to that name?” In response, hundreds of voices affirmed “Yes, we are all Galeano!” And so Galeano came back to life collectively, in all of those assembled, and now 43 disappeared student-teachers have now multiplied into thousands demanding justice from the state. The Zapatistas do not seek revenge for Galeano’s murder, but rather justice for all; in making this important differentiation, they echo the larger country’s calls. Dignity belongs to both the dead and the living…and both refuse to be extinguished as the globalized Death Power Machine would have them be. As the now “deceased” Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos, now Subcomandante Galeano in honor of his deceased compañero, said: “Quisieron enterrarnos, pero no sabían que eramos semilla.” They wanted to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.

Mexico’s bloody history has buried many seeds of resistance, which have sprouted in all sorts of creative grassroots-led alternatives. Among these are various policías comunitarias, community police, from Michoacán to Guerrero[4] that begin to build greater autonomies that visualize a better life with alternative education, health and governing systems. Seventeen of the 43 disappeared students were from the Costa Chica region, one of the poorest and most marginalized areas where policías comunitarias operate under principles of community justice.[5] There is now a call for a nation-wide general strike, which includes taking the Mexico City Benito Juarez Airport, scheduled for this coming November 20th, the 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. Let us see if this newly sprouted 43 x 43 movement can finally edge the country closer to comprehensive structural change that can nourish the kind of collective leadership that already exists in another of Mexico’s poorest provinces: Chiapas. The Zapatista alternative political system has existed for over 20 years, and is a viable home-grown model of a systemic alternative to the capitalist narco-state. Small communities across the nation have already been building their own versions of autonomy–whether around healthcare, education, justice or government. This might be an opportunity to take this learning to the next level. It’s not only the dead who are now uncomfortable, but also those who deny the living.


Charlotte Sáenz is Education Coordinator for Other Worlds and teaches at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco, where she is a founding member of the Center for Art and Social Justice. She has 20 years’ experience working globally in schools, streets, universities, refugee camps, autonomous zones and travelling programs in her native Mexico, throughout Lebanon, and the United States. She returns yearly to work with Universidad de la Tierra Chiapas, Al-Jana in Beirut, and taught on World Learning’s global traveling program “Beyond Globalization.” She is a member of the global Learning Societies and the International Organization for a Participatory Society.


Image at top: Open Source #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa


[1] With a nod to “Muertos Incomodos,” The Uncomfortable Dead, a Mexican novel co-written by spokesman Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and Mexico City crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II, in 2004.

[2] In Mexico the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) is an institution belonging to the federal executive branch that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes.[3] With profound, beautiful and symbolic names that describe alternate realities and places, like La Realidad: Mar de la Esperanza de Nuestro Sueños (The Reality: Sea of the Hope of our Dreams), the Zapatistas give names and actions to other parallel geographies that nourish their movement, one which holds an ethical compass for so many others around the world.

[4] For an in-depth description, please read “Community Police in Guerrero’s Costa Chica Region to Celebrate 19 Years of a Better Way to Combat Crime and Corruption,” by Greg Berger and Oscar Oiivera, Narco News, November 7, 2014.

[5] Ezequiel Flores Contreras, “Padres de normalistas recorren basurero de Cocula y reiteran “No les creemos,” Proceso, 9 de noviembre de 2014.



October 27, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:01 am




1779940_282319408626642_2194137591798540780_nGiven the gravity of the events surrounding the government/cartel killings and  forced disappearances of students and civilians in Iguala, Mexico, on September 26 and 27 of this year, Frontera NorteSur is devoting special coverage to the growing repercussions of the Iguala Massacre, which some observers now compare in its possible impact on Mexican society to the 1968 student movement and Tlatelolco Massacre.  Below is a summary of some of this week’s major developments.
Special Report 
Public outrage over the police murders of six people and forced disappearances of 43 students from the Atoytzinapa rural teachers’ college in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero continued to snowball this week.
Parts of the Mexican Republic were virtually paralyzed by a 48-hour protest convened October 22-23 by student, labor, farmer, and social organizations.  Significantly, actions ranging from the shut-down of university campuses and the takeover of government offices to the blockade of highways and international border crossings extended from the traditionally “politicized” zones of Mexico City and southern Mexico to many nooks and crannies of the country.
The Mexican press reported actions in at least 18 of the nation’s 32 states, including usually less politically active entities like Colima and Nuevo Leon.  
On the evening of October 22, and for the third time this month, hundreds of people temporarily blockaded the Bridge of the Americas between Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas. 
In a march that wound from Borunda Park to the border crossing, protesters shouted out the names of the 43 disappeared students and plastered pictures of the missing young men at the local headquarters of the federal attorney general’s office.
“To seek a better education is not a crime” and “There are not enough bullets to kill us all” were among the messages spotted on signs. Young people formed the vanguard of the protest, with participating students from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Technological Institute of Ciudad Juarez and the Ricardo Flores Magon Rural Teachers College of Saucillo, Chihuahua, a sister institution of the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa.  The women students from the Saucillo school have been at the forefront of advancing the cause of the Guerrero students in Ciudad Juarez and other parts of Chihuahua state. 
10533841_10152864258997146_6244173270852004874_nAmong numerous actions, an estimated 15,000 people demonstrated in Guadalajara, Jalisco, while 40,000 students joined in shutting down institutions of higher learning in the neighboring state of Zacatecas. For the first time in its 180-year history, students shuttered the University of Guanajuato Law School in protest. Meanwhile, in the southern border state of Chiapas, indigenous Zapatista communities lit candles for the Ayotzinapa students.
In Mexico City, tens of thousands of students from public and private universities made up huge sections of a march through the capital city. “No violence, no violence,” chanted students from the University of Chapingo.
“We’re witnessing the largest march of recent years, perhaps since the university movement of 1968,” wrote political analyst and Proceso columnist Jenaro Villamil. “It’s one without party affiliation, without electoral slogans and with a great indignation that is visible on faces, on banners, on placards, in spray paintings, and with slogans that channel the anger in the direction of (President) Enrique Pena Nieto.”
Interviewed prior to the march, an activist involved in the massive student strike for institutional democracy and accountability, public education and professional integrity still underway at Mexico City’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), voiced the heart-felt burst of solidarity with the Ayotzinapa students that is sweeping Mexican university campuses.   
“The rural teachers’ colleges and the IPN are sisters. What is happening to the (Ayotzinapa students) hits us in the guts; it’s family from the other side. We are linked. We were born as institutions for small farmers and workers. We share the same father, (President) Lazaro Cardenas,” said a female student identified as Magali.  “One cannot think of these as isolated events. There are connections between the student teachers and the struggle of the PolytechnicŠ” 
In Guerrero the movement got a jump-start on the rest of the country as teachers, students and the citizenry in general began occupying nearly two dozen city halls in different regions of the state early in the week.  In Tixtla, thousands of people supported by armed members of the indigenous-led community police effectively took over the small city located near Ayotzinapa. By week’s end, protesters led by the Guerrero State Coordinator of Education Workers and Popular Guerrero Movement occupied Acapulco’s city hall for an “indefinite” time. 
On October 22, between 10,000 and 20,000 people demonstrated in Iguala, the scene of the September 26 crime, garnering enthusiastic support from the residents. A small group of young people broke away from the crowd and set Iguala’s city hall ablaze.  
10305039_10205006981755067_6419276660992916611_nAcross Guerrero protesters demanded the safe return of the Ayotzinapa 43, punishment for the authors of killings and disappearances, medical attention for victims wounded in the September 26-27 attacks, and the ouster and trial of Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre, whom protesters hold responsible for the violent circumstances prevailing in their state, now considered as the most violent place in the country.  
As the week drew to a close, the protesters got part of their wish: Governor Aguirre announced he was requesting a leave of absence from office, in a move just short of outright resignation.  
“In this tragic scenario, I reject that the public debate should center on whether I remain as the governor in charge,” Aguirre said late Thursday, October 23. “The priority should be on continuing with the search for the missing young people.”
Internationally, members of Mexico’s vast diaspora and supporters staged demonstrations for justice in London, Paris, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Madrid, Barcelona, Florence, Bogota, La Paz, Los Angeles, and other cities in at least 15 countries. On October 24, activists in Santa Cruz, California, plan a vigil for Ayotzinapa.
But nearly a month after last month’s violence, it is still not confirmed if the dozens of charred corpses subsequently discovered in multiple, so-called “narco-graves” on the outskirts of Iguala belong to the missing Ayotzinapa students.
Pushed by Federal Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam and other government officials, several versions exist (disputed in part by Atoytzinapa attorney Vidulfo Rosales Sierra) of why the students, who were in Iguala collecting monetary donations from the public in order to be able to attend the annual commemoration of October 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico City, were so viciously targeted by municipal police and Guerreros Unidos cartel gunmen in the first place.
Implicated as the authors of the violence, now-fugitive Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, who has been identified as the sister of founding members of Guerreros Unidos, were reportedly incensed at the Ayotzinapa students’ presence in Iguala while a ceremony and dance attended by the couple was in progress on September 26. 
Consequently, either Abarca or his wife- or both- ordered that a harsh lesson be given to the young people.
A related explanation for the mass abduction that climaxed the police shootings of the students and passing members of the public is that corrupt city officials and Guerreros Unidos made a monstrous misjudgment in confusing the students with “Los Rojos,” a rival organized crime group. 
So far, more than 50 people have been detained in connection with the violence, including Iguala policemen and alleged Guerreros Unidos members, according to Attorney General Murillo. In comments about this week’s political upheaval, President Pena Nieto reiterated his government’s commitment to locating the missing students and applying justice.
“The President of the Republic makes the sentiment of indignation his ownŠ,” Pena Nieto said. 
While the Iguala atrocities are far from unique in Mexico, the September 26-27 violence has perhaps no better exposed in one fell swoop the collusion of government and organized crime, the criminal infiltration and corruption of political parties, the cold hand of official repression, and the incapability or disinterest of the state in guaranteeing the security of its civilians.  
A central message of protesters this week: Iguala was a crime against humanity committed by the state. Analysts and commentators of all stripes weighed in on the turmoil.
10305039_809640072410653_8825579480362741047_n“Preceded by the scandal around the (June 30) firing squad execution of 22 people by the army in the Mexico state village of Tlatlaya, the case of the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students turned on its head the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, which was acting triumphant because of its structural reforms- especially the energy one- and that were displayed abroad as a modern and vanguard government,” wrote Proceso’s Jose Gil Olmos.
“Nonetheless, Pena Nieto’s government is completely overwhelmed by a social, political and economic crisisŠ”
Columnist Jorge Ramos, the star broadcaster of the Spanish-language television network Univision that is beamed into millions of U.S. households, was no less poignant in a column this past week. 
“The dead of Mexico can no longer be hidden. The massacres of Tlatlaya and Iguala show the worst of the country: the army massacring civilians and the police murdering students. This is Barbarous Mexico. And the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto is almost deaf, paralyzed and overwhelmed, as if the fault was not its own,” Ramos wrote. 
“Mexico smells rotten; it smells of the old PRI (President Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party). Students the country over, with marches and protests, no longer swallow the old (government) tale that we will search and punish. The lines are drawn: the government, its army and police are not with the students, with the victims of violence, or their families. Mexico was broken in IgualaŠ”
Ironically, the outcomes of the massacre in Iguala, the very place where Mexico’s independence from Spain was formalized in 1821, could well lead to a new day for the nation-or its demise. As one Ciudad Juarez activist remarked to FNS, the great challenge of the youth and popular uprising of October 2014 will be to maintain the grassroots momentum while organizing and articulating the movement in a way so genuine, lasting changes result.
Source: Frontera NorteSur: 10/24 via cisdc

October 25, 2014

Guerrero and Narco-Politics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:27 pm


Guerrero and Narco-Politics



By: Luis Hernández Navarro

A two metre long narco-banner  was found in the early hours of October 16. It appeared on the rear fence of secondary school number 3 in Iguala, Guerrero, less than one kilometre from the 27th infantry battalion. On it, in a message written with letters printed in red and black paint, El Choky asks President Peña Nieto for justice. He denounces, with (first) names, last names and pseudonyms, those responsible for the murder and disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students.

The state’s attorney general, Iñaky Blanco, recently pointed to El Choky as chief of the Guerreros Unidos (Warriors United) gunmen, and the one responsible for ordering the massacre and disappearance of the youths last September 26, after the attack on them from police and gunmen.

The list of those associated with the criminal group and denounced in the banner is long: eight mayors, directors of Public Security, the Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development’s delegate and different personages. According to the denouncer, “they are the ones who the government allows to walk around free and committing so much crime against the population.” Finally it clarifies: “I don’t have all the blame.” He signs: “Sincerely: Choky.”

The criminal climate denounced in the narco-message is not exclusive to Iguala and to seven municipal presidencies of Tierra Caliente. The kind of relationship between Mayor José Luis Abarca, his local police and organized crime, uncovered with the massacre of last September 26, is present in many Guerrero municipal governments. We’re dealing with a relationship that also involves important local politicians, state and federal legislators, party leaders, police chiefs and military commanders. Thus, we are able to characterize the existing political regime in the state as a narco-state.

Denunciations like El Choky’s run from mouth to mouth among Guerrerans. Business leaders, social leaders and journalists have documented this nexus. Part of the local and national press has published it. In some cases, like in Iguala with the assassination of the Popular Union’s three leaders, formal accusations have even been presented to the relevant authorities. Everything has been in vain.

Those who have warned of the extent and depth of the narco-politics in the state have been eliminated and threatened. When the businessman Pioquinto Damián Huato, the leader of the Canaco in Chilpancigo, accused Mario Moreno, the city’s mayor, of having ties with the criminal group (called) Los Rojos, he was the victim of an attack in which his daughter-in-law died and his son was injured.

The politicians pointed to have invariably denied the accusations and have explained them as the result of political quarrels, or that they are not responsible for the behaviour of their friends or relatives. They have said that the authorities ought to investigate them and that they are in the most willing to clarify things. But nothing has been done. The pact of impunity that protects the political class has acted together time after time.

According to Bishop Raúl Vera, who headed the Diocese of Ciudad Altamirano [1] between 1988 and 1995, impunity is the most lacerating characteristic of Guerrero and its most important challenge. Its extent and persistence –he points out– encourages crime and the violation of human rights and dignity.

But the violence is not only an issue of disputes between political-criminal groups for production centres, routes and plazas. It is also the result of the decision of the behind-the-scenes powers to get rid of opposition social leaders and to offer protection from (State) power to those who liquidate or disappear them.

The victims of forced disappearance and extrajudicial executions during the government of Ángel Aguirre are many. The correlation of murders and the detained-disappeared during his administration is enormous.

Among many others, the ecologists Eva Alarcón Ortiz and Marcial Bautista Valle; the students Jorge Alexis Herrera and Gabriel Echeverría; the leaders of the Emiliano Zapata Revolutionary Agrarian League of the South, Raymundo Velázquez and Samuel Vargas; the environmentalist Juventina Villa and his son Reynaldo Santana; the Iguala council member, Justino Carbajal; members of the Popular Union Arturo Hernández, Rafael Banderas and Ángel Román; Rocío Mesino, who was the face of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra; campesinos Juan Lucena and José Luis Sotelo, promoters of a self-defence group in Atoyac; the campesino organizers José Luis Olivares Enríquez and Ana Lilia Gatica Rómulo all make up part of it.

The narco-politics is not an issue exclusive to the old PRI. Members of various currents within the PRD have been pointed out as part of it. A member of the New Left [current] and president of the state Congress, Bernardo Ortega, has repeatedly been pointed to as the boss of the Los Ardillos group. His father was in prison for the murder of two AFI agents and was executed on being released.

Servando Gómez, La Tuta, revealed in a video that Crescencio Reyes Torres, brother of Carlos, state leader of the Aztec Sun [meaning the PRD] and part of Grupo Guerrero [2], led by David Jimenez, is one of the principal “owners” of laboratories for the manufacture of synthetic drugs, allied with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel.

At the same time, Governor Aguirre has repeatedly been linked with the Independiente de Acapulco Cartel. It is said that its leader, Víctor Aguirre, is the governor’s cousin. Of course, the governor, as well as the rest of those accused, have emphatically rejected the links with criminal groups.

Despite the multitude of denunciations against mayors and state officials, arrests have been scarce. Feliciano Álvarez Mesino, mayor of Cuetzala del Progreso, was arrested for kidnapping and organized crime. He was freed from blame as part of Grupo Guerrero. The official PRI mayor of Chilapa, Vicente Jiménez Aranda, was put in prison for kidnapping.

The murder and forced disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students has uncovered the sewer of Guerreran narco-politics. It remains to be seen whether they can put the lid back on.

[1] Ciudad Altamirano is a large city on the Guerrero side of the border with the state of Michoacán.

[2] Grupo Guerrero is a current, or faction, within the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in the state of Guerrero.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

En español:




October 24, 2014

Background information about the horrific student massacre in Guerrero, Mexico, from OWS Zapatista

Filed under: Repression, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:59 pm


Background information about the horrific student massacre in Guerrero, Mexico, from OWS Zapatista

Dear friends,

Some activists have asked us for background information about the massacre of the students from Ayotzinapa School in the city of Iguala in Guerrero, Mexico. There is not much information circulating in English, so here is more in case you want to know:




The Ayotzinapa School is an iconic school for elementary rural teachers (that’s what the word “normalista” means, because they are teachers of “escuela normal” which means “elementary school”).  So when we say “students,” that is what they are, but they are studying to be teachers. They are mostly indigenous people and peasants. The school is located in the heart of the mountains (the Sierra), in a very, very, very poor rural area. It is iconic because it is where two important teachers in the 60s and the 70s started a guerrilla movement that truly challenged the system. These important guerrilla leaders were Genaro Vázquez and Lucio Cabañas. They were both teachers,  and they first organized non-violent civil rights groups demanding social justice, but they became guerrilla leaders because they found out that there is absolutely no way for people to learn how to read and count numbers if they cannot eat, and Guerrero is a very poor state where people literally starve to death while rich tourists in Acapulco and Iztapa celebrate Film Festivals and Book Fairs. (This is not a metaphor: there was a film festival with James Stewart in Acapulco in the 60s while the guerrilleros were killed in the Sierra and now the Governor of Guerrero wanted to go on with his International Book Fair after the massacre of the students). The governors of Guerrero have been always tyrants linked to anti-guerrilla death squads, the Government counter-insurgency “dirty war” and organized crime. Sadly, this is not the first massacre either (Aguas Blancas 1995). What makes it different is that the Governor of Guerrero and the Mayor of the Iguala City were “selected” by the former Mayor of Mexico City, AMLO, the same man who hired Rudolph Giuliani in Mexico City to apply his “Zero Tolerance” plan against crime, and is considered to be a “leftist” and “the hope for the future”. So as you can see, under a capitalist system, these “leftist” leaders who decide to be part of the problem are never part of the solution.

The school has a high level of demand each year, with about 600 people applying, but it only has seats for 140 new students each year because the Government has been always willing to close it. It does not close it because it cannot, since the school has a lot of support from the communities.

Which explains part of what happened: the students were preparing a rally for October 2, the anniversary of another student massacre (1968), and they were planning to boycott the Mayor’s wife ceremony (her annual report as head of some activities first ladies are assigned to in Mexico, but in this case the wife is also involved in the organized crime). With the permission of the bus drivers, they “borrowed” two buses which they were going to bring back later, as they usually did. This is indeed illegal, but it was also customary and a non-violent action which does not justify what happened next.

The Mayor got angry when he learnrd that they were going to protest at his wife’s official ceremony and ordered the Chief of Police to “take care of them”. The police department of that city is so involved in organized crime, that they shot some of them without even arresting them (according to the testimony of two students who survived), then they arrested the rest and handed them to the drug-smuggler assassins to torture and murder them. One of them was flayed. The others were tortured. There are non-confirmed testimonies that the rest of the students were also tortured and their bodies burned.

The search for their bodies has also uncovered the existence of many mass graves. Iguala City, where the massacre occurred, is a bridge city for drug smugglers, the main cartel there being named “Guerreros Unidos” (“United Warriors”). All kinds of drugs are sent from there mainly to Acapulco Harbour, but also to other harbours. It is also an area of poppy cultivation.

The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which conducted the caravan of victims of organized crime, led by poet Javier Sicilia (who came here visiting OWS and actually had an action in HSBC Bank), proposes to end organized crime by legalizing drugs. They say it is the only way to stop that spiral of violence, but their proposal is highly criticized by corporate media, because it challenges the capitalist system.

The Zapatista communities joined the international protest this past October 22 lighting “a candle of dignity for Ayotzinapa” and here is their statement in English:

We will continue protesting here in New York this Sunday in Union Square at 3:00 pm and then we will decide what’s next regarding Ayotzinapa and also future actions in NYC against the construction of an airport in Atenco.



(Background information from Malú, a Mexican writer who has been supporting the Zapatista movement for 20 years and has been supporting the Occupy movement since September 2011.)

  1. Lucio Cabañas was eventually found, tortured and killed by the head of the anti-guerrilla police at that time, a CIA agent named Nassar Haro.



CNI-EZLN Declaration on Ayotzinapa Crime and Yaqui Prisoners

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:36 am

CNI-EZLN Declaration on Ayotzinapa Crime and Yaqui Prisoners



OCTOBER 23, 2014

Joint Declaration from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN on the crime in Ayotzinapa and for the liberation of the Yaqui leaders

(Note: this text was read by CNI members in one of the mobilizations held in Mexico on October 22, 2014, and not by EZLN representatives, as some of the paid press reported.)

Mexico, October 22, 2014

To the students of the Normal Rural[i] Isidro Burgos, in Ayotiznapa, Guerrero

To the Yaqui Tribe

To the National and International Sixth

To the peoples of the world

Because those of us below hurt with rage and rebellion, not with resignation and conformity.”
—EZLN, October 19, 2014

From our peoples in struggle, from within our resistance and rebellion, we send our words as a reflection of this part of the country that we have constituted and call the National Indigenous Congress. We are gathered by the pain and the rage that call to us because it is a pain and rage that we share.

The disappearance of the 43 student compañeros of the Normal Rural Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, kidnapped and disappeared by the Bad Governments, imposes upon us a shadow of mourning, anguish, and rage. Our hope for the reappearance of the compañeros is also the pain that unites us; our rage illuminates the candles that today light the way of mobilizations all over the country, raising the cry of dignity and rebellion in Mexico below.

We know that as long as this country is governed by criminals, led by the supreme paramilitary leader Enrique Peña Nieto, those who strengthen their political and social conscience by exercising and defending education will be murdered and disappeared, and those, like the Yaqui Tribe, who defend water for their ancient and heroic people, will be imprisoned.

The Mexican government has tried to minimize the criminal repression of the student compañeros as if they were just a few more victims of delinquent crime, as they have done time and time again across the country. They may be just a few more dead for the media, but those of us who have suffered many kinds of repression know that that the delinquents are in the political parties, all of them, in the house of representatives and the senate, in the municipal presidencies, and in the halls of government.




Ayotizinapa pains us. The 43 students are still missing and the State acts as if it doesn’t know where they are, as if it wasn’t the State itself who took them. They try to disappear our conscience as well, but today the disappeared are present in the thoughts of this whole country, in the attentive gaze and the heart of those of us who make up the National Indigenous Congress.

In this country there are dangerous mafias, and they are called the Mexican State. We disturb and bother them, we who struggle, we who have no face—who have had it torn away—we who are nobody, we who see and feel the violence, we who suffer multiple and simultaneous attacks, we who know that something terrible, very terrible, is happening in this country: a war against all. It is a war that we below see and suffer in its totality.




We reiterate today that as long as our student compañeros from Ayotzinapa do not appear alive and well, as long as our brothers Mario Luna Romero and Fernando Jiménez from the State of Sonora continue to be held prisoner for defending the sacred waters of the river Yaqui, as long as they remain kidnapped by the bad governments, we will continue responding accordingly.

As in Guerrero, the repression against the people, the extraction of natural resources, and the destruction of the territories in the entire country are operated by the Narco State, without scruples. It uses terror in order to manufacture pain and fear; this is how it governs.

Against the war of extermination, this pain and rage has been transformed into dignity and rebellion. The only other choice would be to simply await death, dispossession, and more pain and rage.

We demand the return of the 43 disappeared students and the dismantling of the entire State structure that sustains organized crime!

We demand the immediate liberation of the compañeros Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez!

Their pain is ours; their rage is ours!

October 22, 2014

Never Again a Mexico without Us

National Indigenous Congress

General Command of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

[i] The Escuelas Normales in Mexico are teaching colleges that principally train rural and indigenous young people to be teachers in their own communities.






October 22, 2014

We want them alive — the search for Mexico’s 43 missing students

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:45 pm


We want them alive — the search for Mexico’s 43 missing students

, October 21, 2014


The flames started to engulf the municipal palace of Chilpancingo in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero as the rage built within the students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College who, for over three weeks, have received no answers concerning the whereabouts of 43 of their fellow students. The last time the group of missing students were seen was in the custody of Mexican municipal police forces, who detained them after opening fire on their caravan in an attack that killed six people and injured dozens more. This massacre and subsequent disappearance of the students, known as “normalistas,” has sparked an international movement demanding that the 43 students be found alive. But it has also called into question the deep ties between drug cartels and Mexican politicians.

To understand the political significance of the Ayotzinapa case, it’s important to understand who the students are. The Ayotzinapa Normal School was founded in 1926 in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution as a teachers’ boarding school for youth from the most marginalized rural communities in Guerrero, a poor state in the south of the country. The students have been some of the nation’s most politically active; in recent years, they participated in protests against education reforms that they believed would privatize the system. Furthermore, the majority of the 43 who have disappeared grew up in rural farming towns that have been devastated by Mexico’s post-NAFTA economy. These voices of dissent are the ones that the government saw as a target for their machine gun fire — thinking no one would take notice.

But people have taken notice. On October 8, tens of thousands of them marched in solidarity actions in 80 cities across Mexico, Latin America, Europe and North America. On October 15 tens of thousands more people took to the streets, and the majority of public and private universities in Mexico City went on strike.

If you moved

The initial attack against the students came two and a half weeks ago, when local police, in conjunction with armed gunmen, opened fire on three buses full of normalistas in Iguala, Guerrero, located just 150 miles southwest of Mexico City. The students had traveled to this small city to ask for donations to help them finance their trip to Mexico City for the annual march honoring the 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre. The students had boarded commercial buses, after asking for permission from the bus drivers, according to their testimonies. Commandeering buses is a common practice for the normalistas, who say their schools limited budget drives them to take these measures. They also often engage in Robin Hood-style expropriations of large corporations’ delivery trucks to get milk and other basic food items. (The normalistas constantly engage in anti-capitalist actions that most direct-action anarchists only dream about.)

While the normalistas of Ayotzinapa are known for protesting, that is not what they were doing at the moment that they were ambushed — contrary to the majority of reports that have appeared in the international press. Instead, they were en route to their school aboard the commandeered buses, when, according to students’ testimony, municipal police and armed gunmen opened fire on them in two separate attacks.

“If you moved, they fired, if you yelled or talked, they fired,” said Ayotzinapa student Mario in an interview with VICE News.

Two students, 25-year-old Daniel Solís Gallardo and 19-year-old Aldo Gutiérrez Solano, were killed. Dozens more were injured. In a separate attack nearby, armed men opened fire on a bus of a semi-professional soccer league, most likely mistaking them for the normalista students, killing 15-year-old soccer player David Josué García Evangelista, the bus driver Víctor Manuel Lugo Ortiz, and Blanca Montiel Sánchez in a nearby taxi.

The day after the attack, Ayotzinapa student Julio Cesar Mondragón was found dead. His body exhibited signs of torture: His facial skin was torn off and his eyes gouged out. Since then, 22 police have been detained from Iguala, as well as over a dozen supposed members of the narco-trafficking gang Guerreros Unidos and policemen from the nearby town of Cocula, for their involvement in the ambush.

José Luis Abarca, the mayor of this small city, first claimed to have no knowledge of the attack. (His excuse was that he was busy dancing at a government celebration with his wife.) Shortly thereafter, Abarca fled the town along with Felipe Flores Velázquez, the municipal secretary of security, and his wife, María de los Angeles Pineda, whose family has clear drug cartel ties. There is a search warrant out for Abarca and Velázquez.

Abarca, who belongs to the Party of the Democratic Revolution, which is considered by many to be a leftist opposition party, has been in the spotlight before. Last year, eight members of a campesino organization were kidnapped, of which three were murdered, including leader Arturo Martínez Cardona. One of the kidnapped campesinos managed to escape and gave a testimony stating that Abarca himself pulled the trigger that killed Martínez. No proper investigation was conducted into these murders, and the case currently sits before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Abarca’s mother-in-law, Maria Leonor Villa Ortuño, revealed in a forced testimony in a YouTube video released last year that her family members worked for the Beltran Leyva cartel and that they had financed the gubernatorial campaign of Angel Aguirre, who is the current governor of Guerrero. Thus it should come as no surprise that municipal police were working hand-in-hand with the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, as the state has a documented history of narco-government collaboration. In fact, this cartel has hung banners in Iguala stating “The War has begun,” threatening to reveal the names of all politicians who have relations with this organized crime group if they don’t release the police detained for attacking the buses of students.

A week after the students disappeared, the state government claimed that testimonies of the detained police and cartel members led them to clandestine graves where the bodies of the normalistas have been buried. The international press immediately started pumping out their stories about the mass graves containing the students. The parents of the students are more skeptical; after all, it was state forces that fired on their children, kidnapped them and, according to the state attorney’s office, handed them off to a drug cartel.


Mexico is a mass grave




Rather than accept the government’s allegations, family members, students and human rights groups began pressing for an independent investigation. A well-known Argentine forensic team rose to the task. On October 14, Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam stated that according to their investigation the bodies in the first round of mass graves do not belong to the students.

The question remains: If it’s not the students’ bodies, who are they? Likely they belong to the close to 10,000 people who have disappeared during President Peña Nieto’s first two years in power.

“Mexico is a mass grave,” writes the Mexican Catholic priest Alejandro Solalinde, famous for his defense of Central America migrants crossing Mexico. In other words, it may seem logical to assume that the remains of the dozens of disappeared people are those in clandestine graves that were discovered a week later, but as mass graves become more common across the country, this likelihood diminishes. Last year, in the nearby state of Jalisco, for example, at least 67 bodies were found buried in 35 different clandestine graves. The same Argentine forensic team is still trying to identify some of the remains of the 72 largely Central American migrants who were killed in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, just 85 miles shy of the U.S. border in 2010.

“The government wants to instill terror in the population,” said Edith Na Savi, a young indigenous activist speaking about why the students were targeted. “Ayotzinapa, here in Guerrero, has been an emblematic example of struggle, with these students who are organized and fighting for their right to education.” Na Savi also pointed to the state’s horrific human rights records; according to local media outlets, between 2011 and 2013, more than 17 political activists have been assassinated and more 16 incarcerated.

The state of Guerrero has a long history of political repression, particularly during the dirty wars of the 1970s, when the government disappeared and assassinated leftist and indigenous guerillas. Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vázquez, the most famous of these guerillas, were themselves both graduates of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College. These movements gained strength following the government’s massacre of students in Mexico City in Tlatelolco in 1968 and in Halconazo in 1971.

Guerilla armies still operate in Guerrero today but with much less strength. Since the massacre and disappearance of the students, at least three groups have released communiqués, including the People’s Insurgent Revolutionary Army, which stated that they are forming a “Popular Execution Brigade” to confront the Guerreros Unidos cartel. A communiqué from the Popular Militants of Guerrero blamed the government for numerous massacres including the recent military execution of 22 young people in a warehouse in the nearby town of Tlatlaya in Mexico State on June 30, 2014.




We want them back alive

Numerous politicians have threatened to close down the remaining 16 Normal schools, which are run by the Federation of Socialist Campesino Students, claiming that they breed guerrillas. In an interview conducted during the large mobilization in Mexico City on October 8, 2014, one student said that he was proud of the radical political tradition but not of the repression associated with it. “Five of our students have been killed in the past four years,” said the student during the protest, referencing a previous attack when the government opened fire and killed two students blockading a Guerrero highway to demand more resources for their historically underfunded school. “Now the people will think: if I study in Ayotzinapa are they going to kill me?”

As journalist Daniela Rea explained in a recent article, these students are also often on the frontlines of broad community struggles. “They, together with other residents of Guerrero, resist the construction of dams and mines on their land, the domination of the local chiefs, the militarization of indigenous communities,” she wrote.

But this activism has subjected the students to an increasing amount of hostility — both from the country’s elites and the government. And in an atmosphere of impunity, this hatred can turn into an outright massacre. As Mexican journalist Luis Hernando Navarro said, in response to a question on why the government would kill normalistas: “Because they can.” He added, “You see this in the media and society that the police believe that they won’t be tried for their crimes.”

Yet, this attitude is increasingly being challenged by mobilizations by students, family members and broader civil society demanding the reappearance of their fellow comrades. Graffiti painted on the streets of major thoroughfares throughout the nation beg people to not forget the normalistas, declaring: “You took them alive; we want them back live.”

One particularly poignant stencil sprayed on a central avenue in Mexico City features the face on one of the disappeared students and the words: “I don’t know you, but we need you to make a better world.”



October 20, 2014

An urgent message from SIPAZ: Urgent Action – Case of Ayotzinapa, Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:48 pm



An urgent message from SIPAZ:


Urgent Action – Case of Ayotzinapa, Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico



Dear readers of SIPAZ,

We the team-members of The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) greet you. SIPAZ is an international organization that has worked for over 18 years in favour of peace and human rights in Mexico. It is comprised of a coalition of more than 50 organizations from the U.S. and Europe that share concerns for human rights in Mexico.

As part of its work, SIPAZ has maintained a semi-permanent presence in the state of Guerrero since 2006, accompanying local indigenous and campesino organizations and collectives, men and women, and human-rights defenders who struggle for the good of their communities, respect for their rights, and the protection of their lands.

As you may already know, on 26 and 27 September in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico, municipal police as well as members of an unknown armed commando group opened fire at several coordinated events against students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, in addition to athletes and other civilians, leaving six dead (3 of them students from Ayotzinapa), 25 injured, and more than 50 students forcibly disappeared (all of them from the same school in question).

Now three weeks after these events, little progress has been made in the search for the disappeared, although mass-graves containing dozens of bodies have been found. For this reason, and thus echoing the proposals made by several local, national, and international organizations, we urge you to write letters to the Mexican authorities (using list provided below) to demand the following points:

  1. To forthrightly carry out an independent and exhaustive investigation of all the events that took place on 26 and 27 September in Iguala.
  2. To process and punish the municipal police who are responsible for the extrajudicial executions as well as the municipal authorities who omitted and consented to the grave human-rights violations in question.
  3. To launch administrative and judicial processes against state and federal authorities who failed in their duties to reasonably prevent these grave rights-violations from taking place.
  4. To carry out investigations and searches to determine the whereabouts of the disappeared students, to present them with life, and to guarantee access to ministerial investigations on the part of relatives of the victims and their representatives
  5. To implement precautionary measures toward the end of guaranteeing and protecting the physical and psychological integrity of the disappeared students.
  6. To guarantee comprehensive medical and psychological attention to the harmed students.
  7. To establish the truth and comprehensively to compensate the damages to victims and their relatives by means of payment, restitution, rehabilitation, and guarantees of non-repetition.
  8. To guarantee the security and physical integrity of the students who have denounced the acts and of the human-rights defenders who have accompanied the social processes of the students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, in accordance with the stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding the rights and responsibilities of peoples, groups, and social organizations to promote and protect the human rights and basic freedoms that are recognized universally.

We thank you for your interest and support in responding to these events, which have caused us great alarm.


The SIPAZ team


Lic. Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong
Secretario de Gobernación
C. Abraham González No.48, Col. Juárez, Del. Cuauhtémoc C. P. 06600, México, D. F.
Tel. (55) 5728-7400 ó 7300.

Lic. Jesús Murillo Karam
Federal Attorney General
Paseo de la Reforma 211-213, Piso 16
Col. Cuauhtémoc, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500 México D. F.
Tel: (52.55) 53460000 ext. 0108
Fax: (52.55) 5346.0928

Lic. Ángel Aguirre Heladio
Governor of Guerrero State
Palacio de Gobierno, Edificio Centro 2do. Piso, Col. Ciudad de los Servicios,
C.P. 39074 Chilpancingo, Guerrero, México
Fax: +52 747 471 9956;

Lic. Jesús Martínez Garnelo
Secretary of Governance for Guerrero State 
Palacio de Gobierno, Edificio Norte, 2º Piso.,
Boulevard Lic. René Juárez Cisneros No. 62. Col. Cd, de los Servicios, C.P. 39074, Chilpancingo, Gro.
Tel: (747) 471 9803, 471 9804, 471 9806,

Lic. Iñaki Blanco Cabrera
State Attorney General of Guerrero
Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Guerrero
Boulevard René Juárez Cisneros S/N, esquina calle Juan Jiménez SánchezCol. El Potrerito,
C.P. 39098, Chilpancingo, Guerrero
.Tel. 01 747 494 29 99

Dr. Raúl Plascencia Villanueva
President of the National Commission on Human Rights 
Edificio “Héctor Fix Zamudio”, Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6° piso,
Col. Tlacopac San Ángel, Del. Álvaro Obregón, C.P. 01040, México, D.F.
Tels. y fax (55) 56 81 81 25 y 54 90 74 00,

Lic. Ramón Navarrete Magdaleno
President of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights in Guerrero State (CODDEHUM)
Avda. Juárez, Esq. Galo Soberón y Parra
Col. Centro, 39000, Chilpancingo, Guerrero, México.
Teléfono: (+52) (01) 747 471 21 90 Fax: (+52) (01) 747 471 2190

Javier Hernández Valencia
United Nations High Commissioners Office
Alejandro Dumas No 165,
Col. Polanco. Del. Miguel Hidalgo. C.P 11560, México D.F.
Tel: (52-55) 5061-6350; Fax: (52-55) 5061-6358  ;

Dr. Emilio Alvarez Icaza
Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F Street, N.W. Washington, D.C., 20006 U.S.A.
Tel: 202-458-6002
Fax: 202-458-3992


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