dorset chiapas solidarity

February 1, 2016

Towards a Critique of Domination

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:39 pm



Towards a Critique of Domination




Thoughts from a member of London Mexico Solidarity

Besides the military/paramilitary/criminal organization strategy, the most common -and for that reason most violent- way in which the state responds to any attempt at autonomy (this is not just for Chiapas) is through what they call federalism, and co-optation.

‘Federalism’ was first established in the constitution of the ‘independent’ Mexico in 1824, in which the term ‘municipio’ was introduced to the constitution to delimit the basic political, economic and legal unit for the administration of the resources and means of production of a territory, under the excuse of local sovereignty.  With a ‘democratically elected’ presidente municipal at the head of each ayuntamiento, this is the foundation of the federation’s governability and the beginning of all political and economic centralization.  Federalism is the name in Mexico for centralism –as many of the most corrupt governors of the recent past recognize- but not centralism of any kind.

The regime of Mexico should be defined as centralized presidential despotism. The ‘democratic’ succession of power both in the centre of the federation and its peripheries has always been that of dedazo and tapadismo. Later the confusion between voting for democratic rule served only as an alternative for the governor to keep the preferred ‘party’ of each municipality in power, for him to win his own governmental election in each state; in turn this served the president of the federation and republic to keep his own party ruling in the entire territory. In about 1929, the state, by making claims of being the inheritor of the ideas of the revolution, managed to establish a centralized bureaucracy that has co-opted ever since all sorts of revolutionary ideas by disguising them under the labels of ‘reforms for progress’.

This is the regime first established by the modern capitalist class born in the 1920s, and later continued after the 1940s as a contract between the business class and the ruling class. The president of the federation is the representative of this capitalist class, but pretends to be the representative of the federation by claiming that municipalities are able to choose what they want as long as they don’t violate the constitution. In turn, the constitution says that the federation has to both collect the incomes of the municipalities and to give back basic services and push forward the municipalities towards ‘progress’, ‘modernity’, etc… The municipality is never seen as able to give back as much as what the federation gives to it, and hence it is in a condition of constant debt, the federation always requiring more from it.  During a first period in Mexican history, every attempt of real social change was seen as counter-revolutionary, but in the later years any revolutionary attempt was been seen as non-progressive, or as utopistic, naive and so on.

The municipality has been the unit in which two kinds of autonomy have been fought for in the recent years. The first kind can be labelled simply as clientelist municipal autonomy and is both electoral and asistencialist. For most of its history it has been sheer despotism how the municipal presidents were established. There were two options, either being for the ruling class represented by a single ruling party (PRI, and its father the PNR) or against it. Whenever it become impossible for the clients to keep up with the economic and political debt imposed by the patron or federation, hence worsening the situation of the dominated, the dominated citizens, mixed with other sometimes middle class interests, somehow managed to force their presidente to fulfil more commonly basic needs, such as food, electricity, etc… In recent times sometimes this has been done by voting for a different party, but in this situation other parties –the PAN, PRD and more recently MORENA, although sometimes also the PRI- have taken advantage of the situation of debt of the citizens in a municipality to established their own agendas in their search for federal power, rather than fighting for municipal freedom, and the requests of the communities.

The central power is somehow vaguely aware of the humanitarian crisis in poor municipalities and so, to keep its power, it creates centralized aids to bring some basic needs, but not all, to the municipalities, in so far as the municipalities keep the loyalty to the central power. This is the reason underneath all asistencialismo. Asistencialismo is what defines the latest visit of Velazco Coello to the municipalities in the vicinity of the Abejas of Acteal, this is the Cruzada contra el hambre, the Programa Solidaridad, the Conasupo, all forms of participación ciudadana, are nothing but a form of governability to co-opt autonomy and the search for self-governance in order to assure basic needs.

Whenever asistencialismo takes place, then a higher debt is imposed on the municipalities and discontent is divided among the citizens who receive the migajas or crumbs given by the patron. The governor and the presidente municipal assume that they have done a lot but that more has to be done and then tell the municipalities that they have to do what they are told to do, claiming that what they lack can be solved by implementing a social technique or a technology, hence dismissing and diminishing the political problems underlining the exertion of political power, of domination, exploitation, land grab and pillage. In the fear of losing more than what they’ve already lost, most citizens of Mexico are forced to succumb to different forms of asistencialismo.

Today, due to the new development of capitalism, the government wants to get rid even of all forms of asistencialismo -which sometimes the dominated see as a victory of the people- always inevitably saying that they don’t have the money to sustain it because they have to pay debts. Politicians conveniently fail to see the debt that they have to their citizens of fulfilling what they want, and so whenever a municipal president is too dreadful for the ruling power because either he/she/they believes that a social change is needed, or because he used the police or the organized crime or a combination of both to suppress dissent and keep his own tiny kingdom, then he is killed.

Very often the client patron relationships established between parties and citizens and parties and criminal organizations and the business class end up in killings. This is why so many municipal presidents have been killed in the past years, in particular relation to the elections of 1988, the elections of Oaxaca prior to 2006 and since then, and in Guerrero, and this is the reason why the estimation that at least 70% of the municipalities are infiltrated by drug cartels must be false. A study should be conducted in this sense, to prove this hypothesis wrong, but such a study must contemplate that never has there been a division between the state and drug cartels, rather the division has been among members of different businessmen in single municipalities. Because that’s what the drug cartels are, business corporations wanting the exact same things, through different means, as the ruling class. From drug cartels and their violent struggle a new layer of new rich and powerful men was added to the capitalist social class, fighting mostly for plazas and for putting their own candidates in municipalities

The struggle for real autonomy, from the Jaramillistas to the Zapatistas, and more recently, in Iguala, has also been fought in municipalities. The case of Rubén Jaramillo is exemplary in this sense, because he tried the political way, by organizing the agrarian party of Morelos, as well as two armed struggles and ending in land occupations in the 60s, which are in reality reparations of a history of oppression. Jaramillo was shot, in fact, under the orders of the ‘leftist’ president López Mateos.

Some communities have never succumbed to asistencialismo, or to fear, and thanks to them the real fight for real autonomy has been led. This is partly because municipalities have the poorest and most exploited and marginalized citizens in Mexico, and because whether the ruling party likes it or not, and in spite of all its attempts to eradicate all municipal freedom, article 115 of the constitution does in fact grant some legal independence giving some little tiny margin to fight for greater and real autonomy. Very often it is the ejido which is the first space of reclaimed autonomy, think for example of the Ejido de Tila or Bachajón where more than 400 ejidos were reclaimed. The Zapatistas were successful in creating the MAREZ. But there are other examples of municipal autonomy, like that of the Municipio Autónomo de San Juan Copola.

After the disappearance of the 43 students in Guerrero, at least 5 municipalities declared autonomy from the federal government, claiming to have the right to have their own police, and their own rules. When the state was unable to respond to the CRAC and UPEG, backed up by large sectors of the Mexican society which were in agreement with the normalistas, a popular coalition called for the cancellation of powers in Guerrero and for cancelling the elections. All the factions of the state responded to this with either political or actual violence, hence repressing the demonstrations against the elections in Guerrero, which ended up in the murder of compa Toño and professor Claudio of the teachers’ union, and also displaying all the power of the state by bringing acarreados to reassure of the ‘effectiveness’ of the electoral ‘democracy’.

Similar struggles happened in Cherán, not without bloodshed, which has also reclaimed political independence by not having elections to choose their leaders. Cherán seems to be an example of how things can go better when everything around you is quite wrong. The phenomena of criminal organizations and state terrorism combined have prompted many communities to establish their own police, also called autodefensas, and to try to have independence from drug cartels and the federal government at once. But in Michoacán and in other places almost inevitably the autodefensas have, by participating with the government, given way to the participation and collaboration with drug cartels. In other words, it seems that there cannot be real autonomy without it being autonomy from capitalism.

The ruling capitalist class fears real autonomy. Similar to their ancestors -the constitutionalists who advocated for Mexico to remain as part of the colonies of the Spanish empire- the new capitalist class (established mostly by Salinas) wants to create a mando único policial which implies the disappearance of the municipal armed forces (i.e. police), cancels the right of municipalities to have their own police and political independence, and puts instead a single federal armed body. What this mando único does is to ensure that the capitalists will still take most, if not all the profit of the municipalities; regardless of the situation and un-comfortableness of each locality, it seeks to dismantle the legal autonomy given to municipalities by the federation having organised crime as an excuse.  Therefore, in all cases of autonomy, whether clientelist or real, the state being the representative of the capitalist ruling class responds with violence, when it is necessary, but more commonly with asistencialismo and other practices of governability such as participación ciudadana.

Also published here:




October 31, 2015

Activists gatecrash BP-sponsored Day of the Dead event at British Museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:52 pm


Activists gatecrash BP-sponsored Day of the Dead event at British Museum




Last night, 50 Latin American and British activists joined together to mount a highly visual performance-protest during the British Museum’s ‘Day of the Dead’ festival. The evening event was co-sponsored by BP and the Mexican government, and campaigners accuse the museum of playing host to a ‘deadly partnership’ which is covering up a host of human rights and environmental abuses.

Six sinister characters, with deathly “Day of the Dead” painted faces, played the roles of BP and the Mexican government, striking dirty deals and stamping out dissent. Meanwhile, other performers created a “living shrine” to celebrate the communities fighting back against destructive oil projects and state repression in Mexico.




The performance was repeated around the museum, and at one point a group of campaigners invaded the Museum’s official stage with banners criticising BP and the Mexican government. The invasion received loud cheers and applause from the audience and visible support from the official performers, who laid one of the group’s banners out on the stage before it was removed by museum staff. Museum security were eventually forced to allow the rebel performance to happen beside the stage in its own agreed time slot, without interruption from the sound system or the scheduled entertainment.

The performers remained in the Museum until closing time, with the deathly BP characters roaming the space and interacting with Museum visitors. Campaigners distributed 1,000 flyers and found overwhelming support from the public.

The evening-long protest-performance aimed to embarrass BP as it attempts to sell itself to Mexican officials and the public. It was co-organised by the London Mexico Solidarity and BP or not BP? [1] and highlighted BP’s environmental destruction, human rights abuses and lobbying against climate action. It also accused the Mexican government of trying to distract attention from human rights abuses – including the disappearance a year ago of 43 students – and of co-opting arts and culture to attract foreign investors to its newly-privatised oil and gas sector.




A member of London Mexico Solidarity who took part in the performance said, “Tonight we exposed the reality of the dirty relationship between BP, the Mexican Government and the British Museum. We stood in solidarity with the many thousands of people in Mexico who are fighting back against destructive oil and gas projects and state repression.”




Jess Worth of BP or not BP? said, “The audience response to our stage invasion should leave the Museum in no doubt that BP is a deeply unpopular sponsor, and the Mexican government partnership is problematic, given its track record on human rights. It’s time the Museum listened to its visitors and ditched these dodgy partnerships.”

The British Museum event – part of a four-day Days of the Dead celebration – is part of the Dual Year of UK and Mexico 2015, ‘a year-long celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange’ between the two nations.




BP is currently trying to dramatically increase its access to Mexico’s oil and gas [2], in particular more deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, despite the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster which has polluted Mexico’s waters and coastline. As Mexico recovers from Hurricane Patricia – the strongest hurricane ever recorded – the country is also already feeling the effects of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels.

The British Museum is coming under increasing pressure over its 5-year sponsorship deal with BP. It is due to decide whether to renew the deal over the next few months, and protest performances regularly disrupt the museum.

London-Mexico Solidarity, BP or not BP?Movimiento Jaguar Despierto – MJDLondon Palestine Action

#MXUK2015 #UKMX2015




Celebrating the dead while silencing the living

BP and the Mexican Government sponsor the Day of the Dead




Claudio Garcia, from the London Mexico Solidarity Group, explains why the event was gatecrashed……

This week, BP and the Mexican government are co-sponsoring a four-day-long Day of the Dead festival at the British Museum. Both are trying to improve their public images by associating themselves with Mexico’s world-famous festival and London’s world-famous museum. But behind the sugar skulls and colourful shrines to the dead there is a much darker tale of greed, corruption, death and pollution. On Friday evening, the London-Mexico Solidarity group and BP or not BP? gatecrashed BP and Mexico’s deadly party to expose the truth.

The event is part of a much bigger and extremely expensive marketing strategy: the Dual Year of UK and Mexico 2015. Officially described as ‘a year-long celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange’ between the two nations, the #UKMX2015 (as it is known) gives a false image of democracy and economic progress. Made possible through two decades of collaboration between the UK government and a succession of mercilessly corrupt Mexican politicians, today it is using art and culture to further its underlying aim: to allow Mexican oligarchs and transnational companies like BP to privatise previously state-owned companies, and get hold of natural resources.

This economic consortium can only thrive in an increasingly militarized Mexico, in which drug cartels collaborate with the government and foreign corporations to ensure their profits. This is worsening a humanitarian crisis that has already taken the lives of more than 151,000 people, and seen the disappearance of more than 25,700 people, and the forced migration of millions, while 80% of Mexicans are trapped in poverty.


Read the rest of this article:

#MXUK2015 #UKMX2015


September 27, 2015

London in support of Ayotzinapa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:28 pm


London Mexico Solidarity: One Year After We Are Still Fighting.




On September 26th 2014 students from the teacher-training college of Ayotzinapa, in Guerrero, Mexico, were attacked by police forces whilst being monitored by intelligence agencies of the Mexican army and the federal police. Three students and three bystanders were killed, 40 students were injured and 43 disappeared by the police.

In early September 2015, almost one year later, an international group of independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights rejected the investigation of the Mexican government into the attack and disappearance of the students, confirming that the 43 students are still disappeared and that the official investigation has to be refocused to include the participation of State agents in the attack and their active role preventing the search for the truth, as a central element.




One year after we still demand the return of the 43 students alive, truth and justice, as well as punishment for those responsible for the attack and for the failures in the investigation. Come along to our activities and help us spread the voice of the 43, their relatives and the victims of disappearance in Mexico, which on the last count are around 30 000 people in the last ten years in the context of the so-called “war on drugs”.

This September 26 2015, one year after the attack, around 150 people gathered to claim for justice outside the Mexican embassy to the UK. Representatives from different campaigns and people in solidarity expressed their concerns regarding Mexico’s human rights crisis and the role the of international community.

Thanks to National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts Marxist Student Federation National Union of Teachers Campaign Against Arms TradeAmnesty International London Palestine Action @Spanish and Latin American Poets and Writers London, London-Chile SolidarityMovimiento Micaela Bastidas-UK Yosoy132Londres and JusticeMexicoNow for your support!

Words and Silence: One year after the forceful disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico. Demonstration in London before the Mexican Embassy. September 26, 2015.





May 26, 2015

Jaguar dance marks close of Euro-Caravana 43

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:31 pm


Jaguar dance marks close of Euro-Caravana 43

Having toured 18 cities in 13 countries, the ‘Euro-Caravana 43’ human rights caravan ended its journey in London last Tuesday 19 May, marking the occasion with live music and dance in the main quad of the University College London. The caravan, whose purpose was to build European solidarity around the case of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students, consisted of three participants: Omar García, a student who survived the police attack on 26 September 2014 that spirited away his classmates; Eleucadio Ortega, a parent of missing student Mauricio Ortega Valerio; and Román Hernandez, a human rights defender from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in Guerrero. The caravan successfully brought together activists working in areas as diverse as Palestine, Colombia, Turkey and the UK. After a day of lively meetings and debates, more than a hundred participants gathered on the steps of the Neo-Classical Wilkins’ Portico to express their solidarity for the missing students, and to enjoy a series of performances. The jaguar dance featured in this video is a contemporary re-imagining of a pre-Columbian rite: in Mexico, as a primordial symbol beloved by warriors and shamans, the jaguar has always been associated with bravery, strength, and dignity.



May 20, 2015

Ayotzinapa in London! EuroCaravan43

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:38 pm

Ayotzinapa in London! EuroCaravan43

Omar Garcia, an Ayotzinapa student who survived the Iguala police attack on September 26, 2014

Omar Garcia, an Ayotzinapa student who survived the Iguala police attack on September 26, 2014

Final stop for EuroCaravana 43 in London

Today in London marked the final stop on a month-long tour for the EuroCaravana43. The caravan was composed of Ayotzinapa student Omar García, who survived the brutal police attack in Iguala on 26 September 2014, human rights defender Roman Hernández from NGO Tlachinollan and Eleucadio Ortega, father of one of the 43 missing students.

Eleucadio Ortega (left), father of disappeared student Mauricio Ortega Valerio

Eleucadio Ortega (left), father of disappeared student Mauricio Ortega Valerio

The trio spent the day in meetings with human rights organisations, grassroots collectives and Mexican solidarity groups from across the UK. They were keen to not only share their stories, but to also make lasting connections with local groups struggling against similar forces.

Ortega spoke of the hardships the families of the 43 disappeared students have faced, as many have given up work in order to search for their children. He poignantly described how he always encouraged his son to study hard, so that he could avoid living the hard life of a peasant farmer. Hernández highlighted the intense surveillance and victimisation human rights defenders in Mexico face from the state.

Roman Hernandez from the Guerrero-based Tlachinollan Human Rights Center speaks in front of a packed room of grassroots collectives in London.

Roman Hernandez from the Guerrero-based Tlachinollan Human Rights Center speaks in front of a packed room of grassroots collectives in London.

“We did not come here to cry,” García declared to the gathered crowd. Instead, he countered, they had come to continue the fight and to make connections in this struggle. García called for an inclusive social movement, in which everyone who wants to participate is welcome. He said he has been touched by the number of first-time protesters who have taken to the streets in support of Ayotzinapa.

Many UK-based collectives turned out to meet the caravan in a show of solidarity. The day ended with a mass demonstration at UCL’s square, where supporters braved the cold and rain to chime in with the rallying cry – “You took them alive! We want them alive!”

The day culminated in a demonstration in the main square of a central London university.

The day culminated in a demonstration in the main square of a central London university.

See also:



May 7, 2015

Eurocaravan 43 Ayotzinapa: Your Struggle is Our Struggle! London May 19th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:46 pm


  Eurocaravan 43 Ayotzinapa: Your Struggle is Our Struggle!  Events in London May 19th



After almost 7 months of impunity, with more strength than ever, we repeat: they took them alive, we want them alive.

The Eurocaravan 43 of Ayotzinapa will end its journey through Europe to demand the return alive of their 43 classmates abducted by the Mexican government.

Join us to build international support on May 19th, 18:30 at the UCL main quad, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT. Your support is fundamental for millions of people. We need EVERYONE united!

Bring your words, bring your banners, bring your thirst for justice and freedom, bring your songs and creativity.

Omar García, a student who survived the attack, Eleucadio Ortega, father of missing student Mauricio Ortega Valerio, and Román Hernandez, a human rights defender from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in Guerrero, will be giving speeches to gather support and organize for greater democracy and accountability in Mexico and in the world.

They thought they could bury us, but they forgot that we are seeds.

Other events include:

09.00 to 11.00 A meeting about ‘Promoting Human Rights in Mexico.’ Human rights organisations and other relevant NGOs or academic institutions are welcome to attend.
Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House (First Floor), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

11.15 to 13.00 Media conference with the three caravan members from Mexico speaking.
Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House (First Floor), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

14.00 to 16.00 ‘Ayotzinapa in the UK’ – a meeting of Mexico solidarity groups and collectives to discuss how to better work together with human rights defenders in Mexico.
Venue: UCL Cruciform Lecture Theatre 2, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

16.15 to 18.00 ‘Your Struggle, Our Struggle’ – a chance for grassroots collectives across London to meet with the caravan. This will be a chance to build strong connections between our movements.
Venue: UCL Cruciform Lecture Theatre 2, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Other ways in which you can support:

You can also support caravan with donations at

Wherever you are, you can post on our web pages pictures expressing your solidarity and using the hashtags #WereallAyotzinapa #2015MexicoUK #FueElEstado #Eurocaravana43:

Basic information:

On 26 September 2014, a group of students from the rural school Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico, were brutally attacked by local police forces and the Mexican Army. That night, the police shot two students dead. The next day, a third student was found dead with signs of torture and his face flayed. That night, 43 students were forcefully disappeared, abducted by the Mexican government, who has tried to close the case. Yet, their families, classmates and the Mexican society are still looking for them, and will never give up their search.

The Mexican State authorities are trying to wash their hands of the crime and to close the case. They presented an investigation suggesting that the bodies of the students were burned, blaming organized crime responsible, and calling it an isolated case of corruption. However, forensic teams question the results of the investigation, international human rights organizations complain that it was biased and incomplete, and highlight that the crimes of Iguala happened in a context of generalized disappearances, many of which are enforced disappearances.

Ayotzinapa awakened  Mexican society and revealed to the world the reality lived in our country. In one of the worst economic crises in Mexico, more than 130,000 people have been violently killed, an unknown number of communities displaced, and more than 23,000 disappeared, along with torture and racism, unjustified imprisonment, extra-judicial killings, increased militarization, police brutality, exploitation, poverty, suppression of peaceful protest. State and corporate corruption and collusion with organized Crime are the norm.

2015 has been labeled as the Year of Mexico & the UK. The Mexican government is using this opportunity to create a false image of Mexico, which ignores the human rights crisis currently taking place in this country. This false image is convenient for the United Kingdom and for UK based companies eager to find new areas of transnational investment, thus worsening the situation.



March 17, 2015

Polar Bears Against Airport Expansion Visit Foster + Partners in London

Filed under: Corporations — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:40 pm


Polar Bears Against Airport Expansion Visit Foster + Partners in London


This morning polar bears from Plane Stupid, Grow Heathrow and London Mexico Solidarity visited the headquarters of Foster + Partners in London to express concern about airport expansion and destruction of the world humans and polar bears share.

From Heathrow to Atenco we say NO to airport expansion and yes to a life-sustaining society for all.

Foster + Partners are the architectural firm contracted to build the new Mexico City airport which if it goes ahead will displace the rural
communities in the area, and will cause a major ecological disaster for the valley of Mexico.


The People’s Front in Defense of the land ( Atenco FPDT )
have been mobilising since 2001 against the project of a new airport, and will continue to do so. And the movement grows.

Our lives, our land are not for sale!




March 5, 2015

Support Mexico’s People – Not Its Authoritarian And Violent Government

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:00 pm


Support Mexico’s People – Not Its Authoritarian And Violent Government


Presentation given in London, 2nd March, 2015
Morning Star, 4th March, 2015

John M Ackerman

Over the course of only two years in power, Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has succeeded in turning almost every sector of society against him.

His tax and financial reforms threaten the middle class, his labour reforms promise to further impoverish the working class, his energy reforms will ravage the countryside and drastically reduce fiscal resources and his education reforms have mobilised students and teachers throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the exposure of rampant corruption and conflicts of interest in Nieto’s closest circle, as well as his government’s failure to reverse the public security disaster of aggressive and violent policing inherited from his predecessor Felipe Calderon, have led to a crisis of confidence all the way from top business leaders down to the most humble peasant.

Nieto’s approval ratings are lower than they have been for any Mexican president over the last two decades. A maximum of 37 per cent of the population believes that he is doing a satisfactory job, according to independent polls. This number is significantly lower in major urban centers like Mexico City.

Overall confidence in government and the political system are also at record lows. Only 21 per cent of the population are “satisfied” with the functioning of democracy, according to Latinobarometer, and only 22 per cent trust political parties, according to Reforma newspaper.

Mexico today looks very much like present-day Spain, the Greece of yesterday, Bolivia and Ecuador 10 years ago, or Venezuela and Brazil during the 1990s.

But change will not come easily. Instead of recognising the weakness of his position and opening up his government to criticism and dialogue, Nieto has responded by centralising power, shutting down communication with civil society and repressing the opposition.

Not a week goes by without a scandalous new case of human rights abuse. Just last week, for instance, the federal police launched a bloody attack on a group of striking teachers in the resort city of Acapulco. Thousands of heavily armed police pursued the trade unionists through the streets, beating dozens of them, arbitrarily detaining over 100 and mercilessly killing a 65-year-old leader in the process.


The execution of three and the disappearance of 43 student activists from the Ayotzinapa teacher’s college in the city of Iguala, Guerrero state, on September 26 2014 has gained widespread international attention. But this terrible crime against humanity is unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg.

The United Nations has revealed how thousands of people mysteriously disappear each year in Mexico without the authorities taking any decisive action. And organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Article 19 and Amnesty International have documented how hundreds of activists and journalists are intimidated, beaten, killed, jailed or forced into hiding every year without most of the international community even lifting an eyebrow.

Nieto will feel right at home at Buckingham Palace today. He will be able to avoid the constant protests and uncomfortable questions he is constantly confronted with in Mexico.

He will be able to pretend for a moment the he too is a member of royalty without any need to give account for his actions to the people that he governs.

But according to Mexico’s highly advanced constitution of 1917, the country is supposedly a republic — and a democratic one as well.

Instead of facilitating authoritarian retrenchment by propping up a leader who has turned his back on his people, the politicians and the people of Britain should take advantage of the important British-Mexican Dual Year — designed to promote bilateral relations —to stand beside their Mexican brothers and sisters in demanding answers and responsibility from their leaders.

John M Ackerman is a professor at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), editor-in-chief of The Mexican Law Review and a columnist for Proceso magazine and La Jornada newspaper. @JohnMAckerman




March 3, 2015

Protests in London 3rd March against the visit of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to the UK

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:55 pm

Protests in London 3rd March against the visit of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to the UK














December 12, 2014

London-Atenco Solidarity Day: Communities against Airport Expansion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:15 am

London-Atenco Solidarity Day: Communities against Airport Expansion


Saturay 13th December, 1pm, Transition Heathrow




November 29, 2014

London Demo in Solidarity with Ayotzinapa 28-11-14

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:59 pm


London Demo in Solidarity with Ayotzinapa 28-11-14



On November 28th—more than two months after the enforced disappearance of 43 students of the Normal Rural School ‘Raúl Isidro Burgos’ of Ayotzinapa committed by municipal police in Iguala, Guerrero—over 200 people demonstrated outside the Mexican embassy in London, UK.

Since the tragedy occurred, there have been over 10 actions in London to demand the presentation of the disappeared students alive, and to remember and demand justice for the tens of thousands disappeared people in the country. These actions have denounced the ongoing human rights crisis in Mexico.

People in more than 15 cities in the UK have organized demonstrations of solidarity with the missing students and their families. In these the international community has joined the demands of the families of the disappeared students, and has done so with greater force as the ineffectiveness of local and federal governments to respond to this crisis becomes evident.

This time, the protest was organized by the University College London Union (UCLU) and the National Campaign Against Tuition and Cuts to Education (NCAFC), and was supported by YoSoy132Londres and London Mexico Solidarity Group. The National Union of Teachers, Peoples National Assembly and Londoners showed their solidarity and demanded the government of Enrique Peña Nieto acknowledge the human rights crisis that exists in Mexico and act accordingly.

The direct responsibility of Miguel Ángel Mancera and Enrique Peña Nieto in the repression of last November 20th was stressed, and we demanded the immediate release of the 11 political prisoners who were arbitrarily arrested that day. Among the messages of solidarity, the Chilean community drew attention to the arbitrary detention of the Chilean student Laurence Maxwell Ilabaca on that day. As we do in every manifestation, we read the names of the 43 disappeared students. We also read a letter which was delivered to the embassy personnel.

It is to be noted that the responsible for “protection of Mexican people in the UK”— according to the Mexican embassy’s website— took some pictures without introducing himself as member of the Mexican delegation.




Letter delivered as part of the November 28th protest at the Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom


November the 28th, 2014, London, United Kingdom

Mr. Diego Gómez Pickering

Ambassador of Mexico

Embassy of Mexico in the United Kingdom

16 St George Street,

London, UK. W1S 1FD

Mr. Gómez-Pickering,

This letter is delivered as part of today’s protest at the Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom, a protest organized and officially endorsed by University College London Student Union, Kings College London Student Union and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. These organizations, and the undersigned, are profoundly concerned with the role of the Mexican state in the events that took place on September the 26th, 2014 where the municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero, attacked the students from the rural teacher-training college Raúl Isidro Burgos, of Ayotzinapa, killing six people, torturing at least one of these victims, injuring 20, and allegedly handing over 43 students to the organized crime.

On November the 7th, the Attorney General, Mr. Jesús Murillo Karam, suggested in a press conference that the 43 disappeared students had been killed based on three testimonies. By pretending that the investigation into the matter is advancing, the government sought to appease the national and international pressure providing a false image that things in Mexico were under control. However, Mr. Murillo Karam had to admit that the investigation is still incomplete and that the results are inconclusive. According to Amnesty International, the investigation “has been biased and incomplete, failing to challenge the entrenched collusion between the state and the organised crime which underlies these grave human rights violations”. The relatives of the students and international observers have pointed out that investigations undertaken by local and federal governments have severe deficiencies. Since there is no scientific proof of what the Attorney General announced (on his own admission), the students remain disappeared and we demand they are found and sent back to their families ALIVE.

On November the 20th, mass demonstrations against the government’s response to the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero took place (more than 250 protests not only in Mexico but also at the Global level). Hundreds of thousands of people have marched peacefully throughout Mexico City in the largest demonstration yet seen. Nevertheless, episodes of police brutality in Mexico City’s Central Square have been widely documented. Eleven youngsters arbitrarily detained the night of the 20th of November were sent to the maximum security prisons far from Mexico City, charged with terrorism, riot, attempted murder, and organised crime.

These events mark the biggest political and public security crisis that the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had faced during his administration. The Mexican Government’s response is wrong, violates international human rights law, and is exacerbating the breakup between the civil society and the political system. The Mexican citizens are asking for accountability, transparency and dialogue but the response of the political class manipulates the information, maintaining the status quo of ghastly impunity. When people demanded the government to stop the violence, the response was the criminalisation of social protest, provocation and police violence to induce fear. In consequence:

  1. We demand that the 43 disappeared students are brought back to their relatives alive immediately, and that everybody who has been responsible for this be taken to court.
  1. More than two months have passed since the State committed this crime. We urge the Mexican government to stop hindering the investigation and to give a complete, accurate and reliable report about the whereabouts of the 43 students. If Mr. Murillo Karam is not able to lead a reliable investigation we demand him to immediately resign and to be judged for obstructing the course of justice.
  1. We demand the immediate release of all the political prisoners listed below:

Juan Daniel López Ávila, Laurence Maxwell Ilabaca, Hugo Bautista Hernández, Tania, Ivón Damián Rojas, Liliana Garduño Ortega, Atzín Andrade González, Ramón Domínguez Patlan, Roberto Jasso del Ángel, Luis Carlos Pichardo Moreno, Hillary Anali González Olguín and Francisco García Martínez.

In order to make sure that the embassy is collaborating with the interests of Mexicans, we urge you to put pressure on your colleagues in the Federal Government to do justice by releasing these prisoners and to give us information about the legal status of each of these political detainees.

  1. We demand the Mayor of Mexico City, Mr. Miguel Ángel Mancera, and the President Enrique Peña Nieto assume political and legal responsibility for the repression of the civil population and for using undercover police to initiate violence.
  1. We demand that the right to protest and of freedom of speech is guaranteed for all in Mexico.
  1. We urge you, Mr. Gómez Pickering, to immediately cease the marketing campaign that is giving a false image of Mexico to foreign investors. As a representative of the Mexican People in the UK you should immediately recognize the crimes committed by the State in Iguala, Guerrero and the humanitarian crisis that is going on in Mexico. If you do not give us any meaningful, substantial and practical feedback within a week, we respectfully ask you, in the name of trust and accountability, to resign from your post.

Unlike the Mexican embassy and the Mexican government, members of the society of the United Kingdom have showed their solidarity and defended the rights of Mexicans to protest and to live a life in peace. More than 40 UK Members of Parliament have signed a motion in relation to Ayotzinapa. Yet, unbelievably, this Embassy has not mentioned a single word about this humanitarian crisis, even when its official website shows off the commitment with human rights as part of its mission. We demand from you not just words, but effective actions. You can start by recognising the incompetency and the multiple crimes committed by the Mexican government.


Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, Ayotzinapa Nottingham Collective, Cambridge Mexico Solidarity, Collective for Social Justice in Mexico (Athens – Greece), Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group, Glasgow for Ayotzinapa, KIPTIK Bristol, Imperial. College Latinamerican Society, London Mexico Solidarity, Manchester for Ayotzinapa, Manchester Zapatista Collective, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts, Sheffield-Mexico Solidarity, Socialist Worker Student Society, Sussex Students for Ayotzinapa, UCLU Marxists, UK Zapatista Learning and Teaching Collective, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network, UK Zapatista Translation Service, York Mexico Solidarity, YoSoy132Londres, Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex.





Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


November 28, 2014

From Mexico to the UK: Fuelling outrage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:58 pm


From Mexico to the UK: Fuelling outrage




Text: Alister Guerrero and Katia Valenzuela Fuentes / pictures: Arielle Stern

The persistence of actions of solidarity with Mexico abroad has gradually increased and the UK has been no exception. Those who have come together from this area in various acts of dissemination and denunciation, seem to be aligned with Mexico’s current process, where the collective organization of pain and indignation seems to be the next step in the fight against “corruption, impunity, authoritarianism and decomposition of the political class” in Mexico, as César Enrique Pineda says in his November 2014 article.

On Wednesday 19 November, thousands of British students took to the streets of London to demand free education and a halt to the austerity policies promoted by the government, giving life to the massive student protest underway in Britain since 2010. A contingent of about 50 people joined the march who gave themselves the task, with shouts, banners, flyers and Mexican flags to spread information about the current crisis in Mexico, demanding justice and the appearance alive of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa who are still missing.



After the march, the English students took the microphone and enabled a spokesperson from for the movement of Mexicans in London to talk about the terrible situation facing the country. Also, Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn, who had filed a motion in the British parliament to denounce the human rights crisis that exists in Mexico, also expressed solidarity with the missing students and called on the world to look to see and to witness what is happening in Mexico, emphasizing the importance of international solidarity.

The Ayotzinapa case has become a symbol of the multiple and systematic human rights violations that have been perpetrated with impunity in Mexico under the protection of government institutions. It has also sparked the outrage and anger of many Mexicans who, even from other parts of the planet, have decided to speak out, and with an ‘enough is enough’ [«ya basta»], from the bottom of their heart, denounce before national and international public opinion the role and responsibility of the Mexican state in the reproduction of violence and injustice in the country.


londresMX_191114-17londresMX_191114-18londresMX_191114-4 londresMX_191114-8

What happened in England is an example of this, since the actions of solidarity with Ayotzinapa started cautiously with a small number of demonstrators. However, week after week, more people moved by the Mexican crisis have joined the protests and have joined spaces of coordination spaces of solidarity with Mexico in cities like London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Sheffield, among others. Today, after two months of struggle, the actions are multiplying, between letters to and to the embassy, ​​leafleting on the streets, talks and calls to different marches and rallies of support from the Mexican and foreign community in the UK  for the struggle for justice and dignity in Mexico.

In an interview with SubVersiones, a member of the London-Mexico Solidarity group highlights the fact that Mexicans abroad without prior political experience are interested in the national situation, making it even more necessary to consider coordinated forms of participation and solidarity from outside Mexico:

… In Mexico each time they are responding in a more organized way (…) and here also we are trying to work in coordination with organizations that already exist and to be open to more people integrating into any activity of solidarity with Mexico (…) now there are many people who have never participated in anything political that are approaching, wanting to do something, hence the importance that there are organizations abroad to work in collaboration.


As Monica Maristain said, “Mexico is the talk of the world”. And it is a Mexico “… infamous for the worst reasons. It is crying inside, it cries out and the straw that broke the camel’s back is, for many, the disappearance of the 43 normal school students.” But unfortunately, the 43 are just the tip of a continental iceberg of deaths and disappearances which remain hidden in our funerary country. Yesterday in London, now in Mexico and the world, we again see the faces of the normal school students, and remember that through their eyes and their struggle, they have humanized the horror, they have fuelled our indignation, and. without planning it, they have watered with courage the seeds of a society which in unison is demanding justice.



Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




November 19, 2014

In London today at the Free Education Demo: Justice for Ayotzinapa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:43 pm


In London today at the Free Education Demo: Justice for Ayotzinapa









Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


November 3, 2014

Letter to the Mexican Embassy in London from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:00 pm



Letter to the Mexican Embassy in London from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network



A government which kills its youth is a government which kills its country


London, United Kingdom, 2 November 2014

Mexican Embassy in London
42 Hertford Street Mayfair
London W1J 7JR
United Kingdom

Ambassador Diego Gómez Pickering,
Regarding the letter that we handed in on October 2nd of this year to the Consul Aníbal Gómez Toledo, concerning the 43 students that are, until the present date, disappeared, the 6 further people murdered and the 20 people wounded between the 26th and 27th of September in Iguala, Guerrero, we wish to inform you that, already, one month has passed without any response on your part.

During our visit to the Embassy, the Consul Gómez Toledo assured us that it is a constitutional right to obtain a response from you. Nonetheless, we have received only three emails containing similar information, which we understand as an automized format that simply lists supposed actions that the government of Mexico is taking for the clarification of the events that have taken place. At no point do these emails respond to the specific questions in our letter; on the contrary, they only attempt to deviate attention away from the fundamental problem that we highlight: the evident involvement of the Mexican government in these crimes.

In your emails, figures are provided of a number of detained police officers who were formally sent to prison, and more that were interrogated; nonetheless, no mention is made of the chain of orders that must have been involved for this killing and kidnapping of students to have happened with such absolute impunity. The criminal police operatives must necessarily have acted with the assurance that their superiors would protect them. Faced with this situation, what guarantees does the government offer that an act of such atrocious violence as this will not happen again?

As we expressed in our previous letter, enforced disappearances are a crime against humanity that is committed every day, until the whereabouts of the victim are revealed; that is, enforced disappearance is a continuous crime that the Mexican government has been committing since 1969, when the first enforced disappearances are noted and denounced, and which it perpetuates today with new disappearances. Furthermore, the government has acted to evade the international search protocols in the case of the 43 disappeared normalistas, in which it is stipulated that the first strategy in the search should be the search for life. Decades ago, the Mexican government should have guaranteed the right that this crime not be repeated, and it has failed to do so.
It concerns us enormously that recent news from the Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa should have to do with the fact that the Mexican State is seeking to criminalize the very students that have disappeared, absurdly trying to link them with organized crime. We know that the students are not criminals; they are young people with scarce resources who have decided to persevere with their studies to then be teachers of the most needed people in Mexico. We know this, and so too do the people that, from all corners of the planet, have demonstrated for the life of the 43 disappeared normalistas. The strategy of victimizing them and of blaming organized crime will fail, since the culpable party for their disappearance is the State itself.

In recent weeks, numerous organizations and individuals of diverse nationalities who live in the United Kingdom have approached us to ask us what is happening in Mexico. As we do, they also ask themselves how it is that in a supposedly democratic country, 43 young people may be disappeared, more than 20 wounded, and 6 murdered, by the police. We have had to explain to them that this happens in a country in which the government works not for the people, but for its own interests, and in which the lives of the most poor mean little for those in power; that this crime is possible in a country whose federal institutions have created an atmosphere of absolute impunity concerning violations of human rights.

As we told you in the letter that we handed to the Consul one month ago, this is a historic moment. The days that have passed since the disappearance of the 43 normalista students have proven us right. Thousands of people in Mexico, and in the lengths and breadths of the Earth, have demonstrated their outrage at what is happening in Mexico. Today, the eyes of the world are on the government for which you work. Today, that government can present an example to the world, returning alive those 43 disappeared students, judging and punishing the chain of command responsible for these crimes, guaranteeing the protection of all those people against enforced disappearance of people. Each day that the Mexican government spends manufacturing an image of a Mexico in peace and security, without treating the problems at their roots, is one day more that the government continues violating human rights.

In our previous letter we asked you: What will you do, as representative of the government, to ensure that Mexico stops violating human rights and effectively becomes in reality the country whose image you sell to potential investors? We hope that, this time, you do not avoid the topic, and provide us with a response.
Awaiting your reply,

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:
Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group
Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
Kiptik (Bristol)
London Mexico Solidarity Group
Manchester Zapatista Collective
UK Zapatista Learning and Teaching Collective
UK Zapatista Translation Service
Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex

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