dorset chiapas solidarity

January 12, 2017

“The government is the one that should be afraid” Message from organized civil society after the gasolinazo

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

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“The government is the one that should be afraid”

Message from organized civil society after the gasolinazo

 

gasolinazo-chiapasChiapas civil society protest against the hike in gas prices.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

“Despite the fear infused in the population, the mobilization took place. The government is the one that should be afraid,” asserted unions, social organizations, transport drivers, students and civil society angered by the rise in fuel prices in the country, after a march that started from the western part of the Chiapas capital and ended with a rally in the central park of Tuxtla.

“We protest against the starvation policies, which increase the cost of basic needs,” denounced members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), who together with workers from the health sector evidenced the loss of the buying power of one’s salary in Mexico.

“Millions of people can’t be wrong,” university and teachers college students asserted, with respect to the different demonstrations of repudiation that are happening on a national level since the first days of this year faced with the increase in fuel prices. “The cost of transportation and food are going to go up, we cannot remain quiet,” students from institutions like the UNACH and the Mactumactzá Rural Teachers College warned.

“The water is reaching our neck. We demand a political case against Peña Nieto together with (Chiapas governor) Velasco Coello and Fernando Castellanos,” urged members of civil society, upon pointing out those who have supported the federal executive in his reforms that are classified as neoliberal and privatizing.

“In what way are we going to straighten out the country? We have not fallen into their provocations. We are acting with honesty and decency,” expressed transport drivers from communities in the Centre and the Highlands of Chiapas, who participated with a numerous contingent of the federal public transport units.

“There is no evil that lasts 100 years, nor people that endure it,” assured the social organizations that participated in the peaceful citizen’s march this Saturday in Tuxtla. They agreed to hold meetings afterwards to coordinate the coming actions to continue protesting over the increase in the price of fuel in Mexico. Social organizations, parents, students and people in general also demonstrated in different regions of the Chiapas geography like San Cristobal de las Casas, Comitán, Las Margaritas, Frontera Comalapa, Tapachula, Tonalá and Arriaga, among others.

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Originally Published in Spanish by POZOL COLECTIVO

Saturday, January 7, 2017

http://www.pozol.org/?p=14415

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

https://chiapas-support.org/2017/01/11/the-government-is-the-one-that-should-be-afraid/

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September 6, 2016

Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:28 pm

 

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Chiapas teachers thank parents after huge march

“The CNTE in Chiapas is in Force, Thanks to the Support of the Parents,” Recognize the Teachers after Huge March

 

14192603_1652037895125755_5976615994723060304_n-660x330More than 100,000 Chiapas teachers and parents march on September 1. Photo: Pozol

 

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, September 1, 2016

“It’s sad that there is no start to the school year because of the government’s political stupidity,” members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) pointed out after a huge march of more than 100,000 teachers and parents today in the Chiapas capital. “Thanks to the support of the parents and their walking with us, the teachers’ movement is effective,” asserted the teachers, now on strike for 110 days, in protest of the self-named “education reform.”

“But more important than the start of the school year is defending the right to public education, faced with the interests of the entrepreneurs in power,” the CNTE teachers stated during a meeting in the central park of Tuxtla. “What use would it be to start the school year if tomorrow the children of workers won’t have the right to education because it will be privatized,” the dissident teachers warned.

“The thousands of federal police that the government has sent in recent days and ever since 2013, have not been able to stop the teachers’ movement,” the educators emphasized faced with the arrival of federal police in the Chiapas capital, who threaten them with possible evictions. “We will know how to defend any aggression, but the exit has to be through the path of dialogue,” the teachers pointed out.

“What will Peña Nieto report today in the government report: who the police killed in Michoacán, who they killed in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, or about their million-dollar houses?” The Chiapas teachers asked these questions about the federal government report this September 1 and about the massacres and corruption scandals in the current Peña Nieto administration.

 

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“The government bet that the movement would end with the end of the holiday period. Neither the sun, the water nor the repression have been able to bury the movement,” the CNTE strikers. “The education reform is privatizing and punitive, and perversely the government argues and tries to manipulate that it seeks to raise the level of education,” they added during the meeting in Tuxtla.

“The illiterate president wants to throw the teachers into the streets, but the teachers aren’t going to allow it,” members of the teachers’ movement asserted. “We don’t ask for a salary increase or a holiday bonus, only to be participants in a real education project; but the government refuses because it defends the entrepreneurs’ business,” the teachers emphasized.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Thursday, September 1, 2016

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13652

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

 

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August 25, 2016

CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:02 am

 

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CNTE Mega-march in Tuxtla

With a Mega-March in Tuxtla, the CNTE in Chiapas Confirms that the School Cycle Isn’t Starting

 

DSC_0169-1-995x498CNTE March in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

 

“The school cycle ought to start today, but all the teachers are protesting here because of the government’s obstinacy,” said members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), after a march of more than a hundred thousand teachers from the west to the Chiapas capital’s central plaza, one hundred days after the teachers initiated their strike in protest over the self-named “education reform,” which the administration of Peña Nieto has wanted to implement in the country, even using public force to achieve their objective.

During the meeting in Tuxtla’s central park, on welcoming the different contingents that participated in the mega-march, the question was if they were tired now, to which the teachers answered with a resounding NO, despite the long walk, despite the strong rain, despite the hundred days. The teachers emphasized that the reason for being part of the teachers’ movement are precisely the students, parents and public education in Mexico.

“We are challenging the state’s authoritarianism; there is not one single educational level that is not in the movement,” they stated on seeing the arrival of delegations of basic and middle higher education, as well as teachers’ college students, parents, retirees and social organizations in solidarity.

From Chiapas the CNTE spokespersons waved the checkered flag on stage three of the teachers’ movement magisterial that started last May 15, in which, despite the fact that it will be critical and complex, they will carry out more devastating actions, they assured. The CNTE movement called on the government to give an immediate response to the demand for abrogation of the “education reform,” the appearance with life of the teachers’ college students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero and the freedom of political prisoners in Mexico.

Members of Sections 7 and 40 of the CNTE affirmed that after more than three months, the movement remains alive and seeks a “democratic education, an alternative education project that goes from below to above.” They likewise warned that the media lynching against them would increase; therefore, they will keep the parents, who as of this date have been supporting them, continuously informed. “We have the support of all the aggrieved people,” they assured.

In his participation in support of the teachers’ movement, Father Marcelo Pérez representing the parish of the Simojovel community, asked those present if they were afraid, to which those present responded with a resounding NO, even after Peña Nieto’s threats to use public force against the dissident teachers. “In the face of tyranny, the people have the right to fight for the homeland and for liberty. If they touch the teachers they touch all of us,” the Chiapan parish priest assured. “They are on alert in the different communities to defend our teachers,” the religious man added.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Pozol Colectivo

Monday, August 22, 2016

http://www.pozol.org/?p=13553

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 25/08/2016

 

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August 20, 2016

CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:03 am

 

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CNTE causes more economic damage than the EZLN Uprising

 

walmart-office-depot-blockshutting down business in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas.

 

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas

The president of the Employers Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) in this state, Enoc Gutiérrez, said today that the economic damages caused by the teachers’ conflict “are worse than those of 1994,” after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Nacional Liberation Army (EZLN).

Enoc Gutiérrez reminded that on Tuesday August 2, the Employers Centre, affiliated with  Coparmex, presented a legal demand for an amparo (protective order) to the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) against the state and federal authorities due to “omissions” in attending to the teachers’ conflict that, after more than 90 days, have allegedly caused million dollar losses in Chiapas and other states in the country.

Although the case could be resolved in the coming days or weeks, Gutiérrez maintained that: “this is one of the worst situations that reflect economic damages and affectations, we evaluate and tell you that they are even worse than those in 1994. And we have an international context much more complex and a devaluation in the Mexican economy.”

He also clarified that the business owners “are not enemies” of the government authorities or of those who head the institutions of the Mexican government, but neither will they be accomplices in permitting that conflict situations cause damages to third parties that affect the economy and above all that impair the education of the state’s children.

Later he said that they would not promote the repression of movements when they are conducted with unrestricted adherence to the law, and that they will always make use of the laws that they have at hand for defending their right to free movement and the free exercise of labour and free enterprise.

He also pointed out that the demand for an amparo is so that the Mexican State will act and re-establish the peace and respect the constitutional guarantees, like the right to education.

Lastly, he demanded that the federal government and the CNTE go further in their tables of dialogue and negotiations and produce concrete results to put an end to the conflict.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com.mx

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

http://www.proceso.com.mx/451121/dano-economico-cnte-mayor-al-alzamiento-zapatista-coparmex-chiapas

Re-published in English by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 20/08/2016

 

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July 21, 2016

Believing Peoples [Pueblo Creyente] Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:19 am

 

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Believing Peoples [Pueblo Creyente] Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers

 

believing-peopleBelieving Peoples pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

 

On July 18, about 30 thousand members of Believing Peoples representing 52 parishes throughout the state as well as thousands of teachers, members of the CNTE, held a pilgrimage together on Monday in Tuxtla Gutierrez demanding that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, discuss in “public dialogue” not only education reform, but also the so-called structural reforms that the government has been promoting. “We came to demand that the government act honestly, because even when there is a negotiating table with the CNTE, we remember what happened to the San Andres Accords (signed in 1996 between the Federal Government and the EZLN). The government betrayed them, and that can also happen now”, the indigenous pastor of Simojovel parish, Marcelo Perez Perez said, during the demonstration on Monday in the central square of the state capital, where teachers installed in a camp two months ago as part of protests against education reform.

Apart from Believing Peoples, several organizations, communities and groups expressed their objection to the reforms and their support for the teachers in recent weeks.

 

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 21/07/2016

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/chiapas-believing-peoples-hold-pilgrimage-in-tuxtla-in-support-of-teachers/

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May 27, 2016

Teachers and police clash in Chiapas

Filed under: Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:10 am

 

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Teachers and police clash in Chiapas

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The confrontation between teachers and police in Tuxtla. Photo: Chiapas ParaleloThe confrontation between teachers and police in Tuxtla. Photo: Chiapas Paralelo

 

By: Isaín Mandujano

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

with thanks to 

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chis . – Federal and state police confronted this morning with members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) who tried to block east and west accesses and exits to and from this capital, with a result of one police agent and several teachers injured.

The police arrived at the point known as La Pochota, at the exit for Oaxaca and Mexico City, and they took up positions. Almost immediately the teachers blocked vehicle movement, while helicopters flew over the zone.

Minutes before, at the eastern exit from this capital, on the stretch known as Parque Chiapasiónate, which connects with the state’s Highlands and Jungle regions, the teachers threw sticks and stones at the police, and they responded with tear gas and threw back the stones.

The incident took place near “Dr. Gilberto Gómez Maza” hospital, where relatives of the patients, who were spending the night outside the hospital, suffered effects from the gas.

Various vehicles that were parked nearby also got damaged, among them one belonging to the Megacable Company.

The following teachers were injured in the brawl: Blanca Nelly Agustín Argueta, of Huehuetan; Verónica Vilches Espinosa, of Tuxtla Gutierrez, and Juana Maria Solís Gómez, of Chiapa de Corzo. It was also reported that one police agent was injured by a firecracker that exploded in his face.

Parallel to that clash, bureaucrat workers who demonstrated in front of the government palace withdrew  before the possible arrival of federal and state police to evict the teachers from Sections 7 and 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) who have been posted there for 11 days to demand the overthrow of the education reform.

 

Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

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FEDERAL POLICE REPRESS PARENTS WHO SUPPORT TEACHERS WITH TEAR GAS IN CHIAPAS 

In Chiapa de Corzo parents of school children march to demand that the Federal Police leave!In Chiapa de Corzo parents of school children march to demand that the Federal Police leave!

 

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Chis. – Federal Police repressed parents with tear gas. They were going with their children to protest in front of a hotel in Chiapa de Corzo, where the agents were lodged.

Hundreds of parents gathered this afternoon in the central plaza of Chiapa de Corzo and, upon adding up to some two thousand people, they started a walk to the La Ceiba Hotel, some 500 meters away.

Upon reaching the establishment they shouted slogans and, with signs, repudiated the repression against the teachers perpetrated this Wednesday morning in the state capital.

The response with tear gas came from inside the hotel when someone in the crowd threw a rock that broke a window. When the tear gas bomb was launched, the parents ran hugging their children to then disperse among the streets of that colonial city.

 Some parents protested to the police about the use of the tear gas bombs because there were children in the march, students of the teachers that fight against the education reform.

Another march of parents with their children took place in the state capital. From the Diana Cazadora fountain, to the city’s east, a contingent departed, dressed in white and with signs, to arrive at the central plaza.

The demonstrators passed through the teachers’ camps, where the teachers gave them ovations and thanked them for the gesture of support for their struggle.

The parents with their children repudiated the police repression against the teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE).

They also clarified that the teachers are in their fight, it doesn’t matter to them that their children miss classes if it stops the education reform.

During the confrontations that took place in the center of the city, between 11 am and 2 pm, hundreds of families took buckets with water to deliver to the teachers that confronted federal and state police.

Men and women opened their doors and took out bucket of water to leave in the street. The teachers that were opposing the police used the liquid to wash themselves and to lessen the effects of the tear gas.

Many people threw pieces of cloth or T-shirts for the teachers to wet and clean their face. Other people put out empty soft drinks cases or empty beer boxes that were used as projectiles against the police.

In some streets the neighbors and business people of the zone where the confrontations took place went out to ask the police to withdraw from the place, because there were children and elderly people in the streets.

After several hours of battle, the police and the teachers finally went away and returned to their camps.

A burned municipal Transit and Streets patrol car was left in the zone, as well as barricades that the teachers used, where they also burned tires. In fact, the proprietor of a nearby mechanics shop brought out all his old tires to deliver them to the teachers to be burned.

Personnel of a self-service store even started to give the teachers and neighbors bottled water and soft drinks so that the demonstrators could have a drink and clean their face given the heat from the gas that entered several homes.

In a missive, the CNTE condemned this Wednesday’s police repression and thanked the parents that marched and went out in the street to protest against the police and in support of the teachers’ struggle.

For his part, the secretary general of Government, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, made a new call for dialogue to the teachers to attend to the themes of the state education agenda and, at the same time, to discuss how to reconcile the right that they have to demonstrate with the rights of the citizenry.

The president of the State Human Rights Commission, Juan Oscar Trinidad Palacios, also called for order and for the peaceful alleviation of differences and, faced with the different events that have been presenting themselves in different parts of the state, principally in the Chiapas capital, the ombudsman announced that he is in favor of the way of dialogue for solution of the problems that are presented in relation to the education reform.

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Originally Published in Spanish by Proceso.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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December 11, 2015

Chiapas government and teachers exchange hostages

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:59 pm

 

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Chiapas government and teachers exchange hostages

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Teachers confront Federal Police outside the Hotel Safari, in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The photo shows 3 of the hostages (with heads covered) displayed at their central plaza occupation, as well as “material for repression.” Photo: Victor Camacho

 

By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

The state government liberated three teachers, two normalistas and a father who were detained on Tuesday, during the confrontation between police and members of Sections 7 and 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE, its initials in Spanish), when they tried to boycott the application of the teacher evaluation.

The liberation occurred at 6 PM yesterday, after a meeting between federal and state functionaries with the leadership of the Chiapas teachers, in which the teachers agreed to deliver a federal agent, two policewomen and two “informants” retained Wednesday afternoon.

The teachers retained these five persons after a confrontation that occurred at midday with federal police in front of the hotels in which the police were lodged. Yesterday, the federal police were guarding the teachers that went to the exam at the National School for Civil Protection, located in the municipality of Ocozocoautla.

The activities of the teachers who are opposed to the education evaluation began at 10 AM in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, with a march to demand the liberation of the six detained Tuesday for participating in the boycott of the teachers’ exam. At the front of the contingent they carried a casket, “as part of the honors” to Professor David Gemayel Ruiz Estudillo, who died during the confrontation in Ocozocoautla. According to the organizers, more than 50,000 participated.

Manuel de Jesús Mendoza Vázquez, alternate secretary general of Section 7 of the SNTE, pointed out that the demonstration was going “calmly towards the principal park when on one of the streets of Central Avenue the federal police came out of their hotels with shields and clubs in an act of provocation, because there was no need for that because the march was peaceful.”

He reiterated that the police agents “started to verbally attack the compañeros and when they responded, threw tear gas at them. The people defended themselves and obliged them to go inside their hotels, which permitted taking away from them an impressive quantity of material for repression: boxes full of projectiles, tear gas bombs, bulletproof vests, helmets and other things that were placed in view of the media in the park, where a massive occupation has been installed since last Monday.”

He pointed out that in the battle the teachers retained a federal police agent, who was also taken to the central plaza, in front of the government palace, at the time that they damaged several buses transporting the agents.

Afterwards, he added, the teachers retained two state policewomen and two “informants,” which obliged authorities to continue the negotiations that started Tuesday night.

As a result of the dialogue, the government liberated the three teachers, two normalistas and a father around 6 PM and the teachers delivered the 5 they retained yesterday to authorities.

Mendoza Vázquez commented that they did not bring the cadaver of Ruiz Estudillo to the march. Ruiz Estudillo was a primary school teacher, 29 years old, belonging to Section 40, who was working in Ocozocoautla, although he was a native of Villaflores. “The casket was carried as a political act.”

He explained that the Tuesday protest “was a peaceful act for boycotting the evaluation, but in the face of the fascist regime’s repression we looked for the means to defend ourselves and in the battle, in the advance of the two rhinoceros (an armoured unit of Federal Police) that they used to dissuade the education workers, Compañero” Ruiz Estudillo fell.

He maintained that the police “not only used tear gases and rubber bullets, but also real bullets, which can be demonstrated because we have a compañero injured in the leg with a projectile.” He affirmed that: “the federal government attempted to surprise us on Tuesday by advancing the evaluation programmed for the 12th and 13th, and because of that they created a bunker in the School of Civil Protection, where a disproportionate number of police and Army soldiers were concentrated.”

The conflict ended, affirms the state government

Last night, the Chiapas government reported in a comunicado that after several hours of dialogue with members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers it achieved in cooling down the teachers conflict, with which the teachers ended the occupation that they were maintaining in the centre of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

The Secretary General of Government, Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda, reiterated the state administration’s will to channel the demands of Chiapas teachers and that they can be attended to by the corresponding instances, in such a way that the quality of education in the state is strengthened.

He explained that the detainees were released under reserve, in terms of article 140 of the National Code of Criminal Procedure.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Published with English translation by Compamanuel.com

Thursday, December 10, 2015

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July 17, 2015

Passage from the text “A World War,” May-June 2015, by SupGaleano, in “Our View of the Hydra,” part II of volume I of “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra”

Filed under: Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:21 pm

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EZLN: Chiapas, Mexico, the World

(Passage from the text “A World War,” May-June 2015, by SupGaleano, in “Our View of the Hydra,” part II of volume I of “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra”)

11742652_294657510704623_2085080509945226197_n

The first thing that got our attention was the protests and disagreement on social media. Then came the articles that managed to get a place on the pages of the paid independent media. So a team of Tercios Compas [Zapatista Media] were sent to confirm or dismiss the reports.

If you pick up your camera and photograph a series of “onsite” images of one of the principal cities of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, you will see the disorder, abandonment, and chaos that reign there.

But if, over time, you zoom out to a broader view, you will begin to notice a particular logic and order to this chaos.

Now, if you combine a panoramic view over time and space, you will have a fairly accurate image of reality. Not of the image represented there, but rather the genealogy of that image. That is, you will see the before, during, and after of that image.

Take for example the capital of Chiapas, the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Originally founded by Zoques, later conquered by Mexicas, it was named by the latter “Tochtlán,” meaning “place or home of the rabbits,” or “where rabbits abound.” Later it became “Tuchtlán.” The Spanish conquest converted the word into “Tuxtla.” Then it would take on the last name of General Joaquín Miguel Gutiérrez Canales. For a time the city would fight San Cristóbal de las Casas for the dubious honor of being the state capital.

In the image you capture, you can find everything except coherence: supposed urban construction projects, carried out without official announcement, traffic signals, or alternative routes; streets that only exist in name on a street sign; large spectacles where that “famous blonde” Manuel Velasco Coello, or one of his accomplices, reiterate that they do in fact honour their word, while the principal transportation routes in the city were or are destroyed.

If you take the time to travel the city streets, you will note this irrationality and begin to think that one would indeed have to be an imbecile to carry out construction projects in this manner. You might even think that those who govern Chiapas are nothing but a bunch of immature adolescents and idiots playing—badly—Simcity on the streets of Tuxtla, San Cristóbal and Comitán. And for that you would lack neither evidence nor argument.

These “urbanization projects” have thrown dozens of small and medium-sized businesses into bankruptcy; they have thrown thousands of Chiapans out of work; they have caused fatal accidents, and they are responsible for more than one tragedy in a Chiapan home due to the delay in transport time for ambulances. The “non-quantifiable” damages with regard to vehicles and time are great.

What’s more, the only small businesses that have survived this urban war are the tyre companies, muffler distributors, and mechanic shops. The road projects that have been finished are flanked by “for sale” and “for rent” signs, as well as by abandoned old buildings and shiny new ones.

It would be comical if it weren’t tragic.

If you talk to any former owner of a small or medium-sized business and that person gives you the history of how they—egged on by the municipal and state governments—opposed the mobilizations by the democratic teachers’ movement, they will tell you:

“We carried out the ridiculous. We were complaining that the teachers’ marches and blockades were lowering our sales, and it turns out that it was the government’s construction projects that bankrupted us. Look, this whole circuit here was made up of small and medium-sized businesses and all of them went out of business. Now there are foreign businesses and tons of chain stores. The city literally shut down, as if it was under siege, but it wasn’t the teachers or the Zapatistas who did it, it was the government. Sure, the teachers maintained their blockades for a few hours, a day, a week. But the government shut off transit throughout the city for almost a year and in some places you still can’t get through. Tell me, what business or company can withstand that for such a long time? Only the big ones, those that have the capital to survive the drop in sales. Or those who went so deeply into debt that now they are working to pay the bank back for the loan it gave them so that they could work. Yes, it’s absurd. Now they work to pay the bank that loaned them the money so they could work in order to pay it back. We had to close up shop, fire our workers, and sell the business. Look, that place where there is now a franchise, that belonged to my family for decades. They always told us we should fear those who rebelled, and the teachers, then the Zapatistas, then the teachers again, always the teachers. That all those people wanted to take what was ours, break things, loot our businesses, ruin us—that’s what they told us. And it turns out that the ones who ended up robbing us, breaking us (the speaker gestures to the broken-up street, worse than a dirt road), looting us, and ruining us were the governments themselves. It doesn’t even matter which party. Around here they have said they’re from the PRI, the PAN, the PRD, the Green Ecology Party, whatever they feel like being. But it’s always the same people: the Sabines, the Velascos, the Albores, the Orantes. One day they’re one color and the next day another color. And we like fools were putting up our signs saying “We insist the “Rule of Law” be applied so that the government could exercise repression while alleging that we had demanded it. And it was that damned “Rule of Law” that ended up screwing us over! And if we were to denounce that? Where would we do so? Where, if the local media are totally bought off and the national media also get their part of the payoff? Yes, here and there there’s a local outlet that takes a risk and publishes something on this, but they can do little to nothing against the big media, which aren’t really that big and are merely the spokespeople for the government currently in office: before they were Alboristas, later Mendeguchiistas, then Sabinistas, and now they are Velasquistas, and tomorrow whatever but they are and always will be shameless. No, no problem at all, what does it matter to me if you say that I am from the CANACO, if the real problem I have now is how to pay the debts I have to the bank. I sold everything and it still isn’t enough, and there isn’t anything left to draw from. We were so afraid of the poor and it was the rich and the government that screwed us over.

Go ahead, take a look anywhere. You’ll see I’m not lying. There are signs declaring that the government paved this or that street but they didn’t even fill the potholes. It’s a fraud, a total fraud. Here we were so afraid of those below, and those from the aboves of elsewhere came to conquer us. Employment with the new companies? A lie. Those companies come with their manager, administrator, accountant, and supervisor already assigned. At most they’ll contract somebody to attend the parking garage. They don’t even hire for cleaning services; cleaning and security companies also come in from elsewhere. This city isn’t what it was anymore, and it won’t be that again. It’s worse. Less and less Chiapan all the time.

In effect, the capital city changed its face: instead of the original businesses that were here, now wherever you look there are franchise brands and large companies. In the commercial centres, the small businesses with a small storefront close almost immediately and are replaced by others. At every intersection there is an army of windshield-washers and sidewalk vendors of everything imaginable, taking turns knocking on the passing vehicles asking for something, even just a coin. This image is repeated across other Chiapan cities… and across the rest of the urban scene of the country.

Are those who govern this chaos clumsy idiots?

Yes, they are.

But the urban and neighborhood disorder isn’t due to their collective stupidity, with its changing colors and initials.

What has happened and what is currently happening is a purposeful destruction. The plan doesn’t emerge from the very limited intellectual quotient of those who say they govern (or aspire to do so), from their unlimited ambition for stealing or their ancestral corruption. It comes from further above. Those who govern are mere administrators that get to take a piece of the loot for administering the destruction, and then the reconstruction. The large real estate companies and the usurers, where the names of the local political class also appear, wait for the urban construction projects—purposefully slow and without any rational logic—to drive the fragile local economy into despair and obligate the local “decent people” to sell. Then they wait for the construction projects to conclude at their leisure. And boom: what they bought for ten is now worth a thousand. Of course, they have to give a little something to the authority, the one who holds office and the one who aspires to it. Where else will the advertising and vote-buying money come from? What has been carried out here is a true conquest, and the resulting impoverishment no longer only corresponds to indigenous people, but also to workers and people in the neighborhood. Now a slimmed down middle class has to choose between governmental or political party bureaucracy, badly paid work, or exile.

But this isn’t only in Chiapas.

In Mexico the analysts from above are pulling out their well-groomed hair seeing that the reforms they so applauded have done nothing but create more disorder in the chaotic national economy.

They complain, for example, that energy reform hasn’t brought the immediate ‘milk and honey’ that was promised. But the objective of the reforms was precisely this: to disorder and destroy.

Energy reform, for example, is but the bugle call for the launch of a mad dash toward dispossession. And we’re not talking here only about those territories under the care of the originary peoples. We are also referring to pension funds, that is, the pensions of the working class.

All in all, we see that above there are still those who believe that Mexico’s salvation lies with these reforms. Or that it is merely the selling off of the national patrimony.

But down below it should be clear that the objective of the reforms is to finish the destruction of the little that is still standing… in order to reconstruct and repopulate.

The target of the urban war that has modified the “face” of the cities is not only land plots and buildings. Services make up the main course. The provisioning of potable water is managed with calculating perversity: scarcity feeds the emergence of water pipe companies which displace the traditional companies and gradually monopolize the market. And just as with water, so it goes with transportation, communications, security, and even trash collection.

A note here: the false argument that tends to “support” the necessity for the privatization of these services is that privatization will improve service; it will be cheaper and of better quality.

There is not a single case that supports this claim. All privatized utilities are more expensive, of poorer quality, and terrible service.

Accustomed to a world where poverty and misfortune always afflict another geography or calendar, the poorly-named middle class begins to find itself more and more often among the victims and not among the spectators (and never in the position of executioner, although it longs to be so).

The process of urbanization, which would be slow if it were rational, is now madness. It is as if a war were under way, and instead of armoured vehicles, it is the construction machinery that, paradoxically, destroys. If a logical reasoning would be to create adequate services and then urbanize, the reality is the contrary: urbanize and later see about services.

Here you have an option: to attribute this chaos to lack of skill, corruption, and government blunders; or attribute it to an administered chaos with the goal of later reordering.

The first option implies that the majority of the population look for changes in [the governing] colors, with the hope that having someone in government who is less stupid, less thieving, and less clumsy will lead the cities to recover their idyllic image of the past, to a yesterday where problems happened outside of one’s immediate environment and one’s home wasn’t just an extension of the nightmare.

In this option, the same names of the political class appear, claiming experience and maturity, but under different initials. And since the decisions to be made are over colours and promises, well then if red failed, let’s try blue, or green, or brown, or orange, or whatever old pattern now appears dressed as the new.

In this schema, the problem is an administrative one. And in this case, social problems are not systemic but an issue of an administration that is poor, corrupt, or clumsy, or in Mexico, all three.

For this option as survival plan, there are calendars: each calendar period you can try to change colours; maybe this time it will work. But life continues its course and one’s basic needs don’t subordinate themselves to the electoral calendar. So you follow whoever offers to resolve things most immediately, even though this means the destruction of your future.

You understand that the majority of people will react in that fashion. Or you don’t understand that and you think those people are ignorant, or lacking dignity, conscience, and shame.

So you decide to participate, or not. With passion alight, you make one colour yours as if it were a sports team. You join the game, yelling and shouting your head off. The game ends, with its winners and losers, and life goes on. Until the next game.

This isn’t about judging, but about understanding. And here is a problem that requires critical thought, now not only an effort at scientific thought, but rather one aimed at defining a strategy of resistance, of survival, of life.

Are social problems due to a lack of administrative capacity, of political purpose, of integrity, of State vision? Or are they the unavoidable consequence of a social system?

That is, do the fundamental decisions, those that set the path of national society let’s say, still belong to the state sphere, the government, the public administration?

Even palliatives and short-term remedies, are they possible?

A good part of the world thinks this problem has been located in public administration. And the almost unanimous diagnosis is that it is an issue of corruption in the governmental apparatus.

But here the issue is that there is no politically defined flag to combat corruption. The right, the left, and the “independent” political sphere are all against administrative corruption. All are eager to offer integrity and honesty… and all end up caught up in some scandal.

And here then is a fundamental question, according to we Zapatistas: the nation-state, that is, the state as we know it, has it remained untouched in the system’s war?

Or are we faced with a hologram, an image of what it once was, a cardboard figure into which various people put their face for the photo of the season?

Or perhaps neither one thing nor the other; rather that the nation-state is no longer what it was, but it maintains some resistance against supranational powers?

When the representatives of some European state, let’s say Greece, sit down to talk to Madam Angela Merkel, are they talking to the Bundestaq or to the International Monetary Fund… or with the European Central Bank… or with the European Commission… or with all four… or with none of the above?

In order to know the answer, according to our thinking, we need to reconstruct the genealogy of the nation-state and compare our conclusion to the current reality. Then we can ask: what were the foundations of the state, and which of these have been maintained, which have been disappeared, and which have mutated?

What were its functions, its place, its sphere of influence, its areas of interest?

At first glance it appears evident that some of its principle characteristics lie as victims of the ongoing war. It is more and more difficult to talk of sovereignty, territory, authority, the monopoly on violence, of juridical domination, of independence.

Of course, one has to be careful about the evidence, but clarifying what the State is, is necessary and urgent.

Oh yes, I’m sorry, but this thing of “the State” is much more complicated than the twisted plot lines of Game of Thrones.

_*_

(…)

(prequels and sequels in volume I of “Critical Thought Versus the Capitalist Hydra”)

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