This AWTWNS news packet for the week of 14 October 2013 contains one article. It may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as it is credited.
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Mexico: Act now to stop the war on the people!
14 October 2013. A World to Win News Service. Following is a leaflet being circulated by the Revolutionary Communist Organization of Mexico (OCR) that also appeared in Aurora Roja (aurora-roja.blogspot.mx).
This past 2 October saw spirited and combative commemorations of the massacre of hundreds of students, youth and other people demonstrating against the government at Plaza Tlatelolco on the eve of the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968. That event intensified a long period of upheaval and revolt that reverberates throughout Mexico today. This year striking teachers furious at government attempts to weaken the educational system and dismantle their union took to the streets in large numbers that morning, and the afternoon saw major clashes between students and youth and police.
This is the context for a call for a National Week of Resistance entitled “Stop the War on the People” whose initial signatories include numerous professors, schoolteachers, union representatives, lawyers and journalists, a street vendors’ group and people from indigenous (Indian) communities, among others. The call denounces more than 100,000 murders, 25,000 disappearances and 4,000 femicides (murders of women).
Let’s unleash a torrent of struggle to stop the war against the people! If you hate the state’s brutality and injustice, you have to act now!
The same state that 45 years ago murdered hundreds of activists on 2 October 1968 is now executing, torturing, jailing and disappearing people with impunity. This is truly a war against the people.
The death squads run by the Navy and the Army are murdering innocent people. In September 2011, the bodies of 35 brutally murdered people were thrown alongside a motorway in Boca del Rio in the state of Veracruz. They were allegedly killed by the “MataZetas” [supposed vigilantes targeting the Zeta drug organization], but, as we exposed at that time, the victims were not Zetas but innocent people, and these so-called MataZetas acted just like a death squad. Now a member of an elite Navy unit has confirmed that the killers were Navy troops. The existence of this and other death squads whose members were trained in Colombia and the United States was documented in the book published by Parliament, Escuadrones de la muerte en Mexico (Ricardo Monreal, Camara de Diputados, 2013). These secret counter-insurgency units murder people arbitrarily, especially poor people, even before any insurgency takes place. The murders are part of a war against the people. What we are witnessing is a “preventive” war whose purpose is to terrorize and demoralize the people on the bottom of society, especially youth who have no future under this system, before they have a chance to rise up and struggle for the road to liberation.
The police and armed forces in general are killing and disappearing many innocent people under the pretext of combating “organized crime,” when actually they are in collusion with it at the federal, state and local levels of government. Further, the government uses narcos to commit political assassinations, as has been documented by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) in its Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas. Despite government propaganda, there have been more than 13,000 such killings so far this year, which is almost the same level as 2012.
The state represses and disarms community police and guards [informal, armed village defence groups organized to keep out marauders of all types] while at the same time militarizing many areas, especially indigenous communities and regions. Instead of pursuing the criminals, they are attacking people who are defending themselves against the mining and energy corporations that are destroying the environment, and against the soldiers and police who are raping women and arresting or murdering political activists. Last August some 6,000 uniformed members of the Navy, Army and Federal Police raided a mountain area in the state of Guerrero to arrest 29 members of a coordinating committee of community authorities and self-defence organizations, the CRAC-PC (Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias-Policía Comunitaria). The coordinator in Olinala, Nestora Salgado Garcia, was held in a maximum security prison en Tepic, Nayarit, under trumped-up kidnapping charges. When community police members protested this injustice, more of them were arrested. The state government of Guerrero and the federal Attorney General try to either dismantle these organizations or bring them under control by (making them part of an official “rural police”. Moreover, in September, a Chiapas court approved the 60-year jail term meted out to the Tzotzil [Indian] schoolteacher Alberto Patishtan, who has already served 13 years for a crime he did not commit.
The state continues to cover up the murders of women that are becoming even more numerous in some states, and it threatens the victim’s family members when they demand justice. It covers up the disappearances of these young women and protects the networks of sex-slave traffickers. At the same time, it imprisons women for having an abortion or even a spontaneous miscarriage. These criminal laws deny women their basic right to decide what to do with their bodies and their lives.
The Navy, Army, police, National Migration Institute agents and hired killers work together to kidnap and disappear immigrants from Central America – somewhere between 10,000 and 80,000 in the last six years. They serve U.S. interests (reducing immigration) and take their share, forcing immigrants to work as slaves for the drug cartels and killing those who refuse, like the 72 executed a few years ago in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. The Meso-American Migrant Movement (MMM) says it has documented between 70,000 and 80,000 cases of Central American migrants who disappeared during President Felipe Calderon’s six years in office. About 30 percent were women and girls, many of them sold to the trafficking networks in Tlaxcala, Puebla and Chiapas.
The U.S. National Security Agency in the U.S., and in Mexico, the Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry and the Attorney General systematically spy on all electronic communications (Internet, cell phones) in Mexico, and, in fact, the NSA spies on the whole world, not only to “monitor” what people think and do, but also to use this information to repress and kill them when they consider that appropriate to achieve their objectives.
They disappear and murder people struggling against these injustices in order to tame and demoralize other activists and many other people who hate all this, even if they haven’t yet dared fight against it. For example, they murdered Nepomuceno Moreno Nunez (2011), because he protested the disappearance of his son in Sonora; Marisela Escobedo (2010), because she protested the disappearance of her daughter and the unjust freeing of the man who murdered her in Chihuahua; Josefina Reyes Salazar and five other members of her family (2009-2011) who had denounced the repression by the Army and other crimes in Juarez; Digna Ochoa (2001), [a human rights lawyer] who brought charges against the Army and defended the environmentalist peasants of Petatlán, Guerrero (a murder covered up as a so-called suicide by the Federal District government led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [the standard-bearer of the allegedly reformist Party of the Democratic Revolution, PRD] and his prosecutor Bernardo Batiz). They murdered the National University (UNAM) student activists Pavel Gonzalez (2004, a murder the Federal District judicial police also called a “suicide”) and Carlos Sinuhe Cuevas Mejia (2011), who had been previously harassed and threatened by anonymous flyers and the Net. From 2007 through 2011, at least 63 political activists were assassinated in Mexico according to the UN Human Rights Commission.
Why do they do it? And what can we do?
Javier Sicilia of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) recently declared that “this is a failed, criminal state,” and that “the problem is that the state is totally corrupt, it’s criminal because it is working hand in hand with organized crime in some way or another.” Clearly it is “corrupt” and in collusion with organized crime, but to conclude that this is the basic problem would mean confusing some of the effects with the cause that produces them. All this reactionary violence by the state is not simply due to corrupt officials, negligent authorities or the lack of ‘human rights sensitivity training” among the police and armed forces members (a favourite remedy suggested by human rights organizations). It is not because the state is “non-existent” or “not doing its job”, although certainly in many areas of the country the drug traffickers are more in control than the state institutions. The truth is that basically, the state is doing its job, because its job is not to “serve and protect the people”, as they always say. On the contrary, its job is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people, to defend and enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression that characterize this system and produce all the poverty, brutality, humiliation and degradation the people suffer from. For example, in 1968 in Tlatelolco or in 2006 in Oaxaca, the state did not murder and imprison people to “protect and serve the people” but rather to smash just protest and rebellion against an oppressive social order. And this “order” is still in force, generating more horrors than ever, in 2013.
This is not the only possible social order. On the contrary, this is an outmoded system in which capitalist exploitation is combined with the remains of semi-feudal serfdom and dominated by imperialism. It is an obstacle that can and must be eliminated by a revolution carried out by millions of the oppressed under communist leadership, a revolution that will give birth to a much better society, one that will serve not only the Mexican people but also the struggle to emancipate all humanity. This revolution is possible and necessary. It is the only real solution, the only way to put an end to the totally unnecessary suffering caused by this system. There is an urgent need for many more struggling people to take part in and strengthen the movement for this revolution. We have to fight these attacks on the people and at the same time change the way people act and think, so that we can make this revolution.
Companeras and companeros, we call on you to act now to put an end to an intolerable situation, the brutal violence being unleashed against the people by a criminal state – in essence, a war against the people. This state represents and serves the interests of the big corporations, landowners and imperialists; it is murdering, torturing, disappearing and imprisoning tens of thousands of people in order to tame, paralyse and demoralize the people they oppress, hate and fear. As many people have said, this is an emergency. We can’t let those who hold power have a free hand to continue committing these atrocities without facing a stronger and more determined resistance. We can’t let them continue covering up these heartless attacks so that most people don’t even know about them. Nor can we allow those who are resisting to remain alone and beaten down. We have to mobilize the people who suffer from these attacks and win over other sections of the people to take part in this struggle. We have to wage a serious resistance with the goal of putting an end to these horrors and not just lessening them a little, or being satisfied with false promises and meaningless gestures by a government seeking to disorient and break up the resistance. By uniting to expose, denounce and struggle against these crimes, we can put this government and the system it defends on trial, nourish a new, hopeful-creating and combative atmosphere in the country, and forge greater clarity and unity about how to fight this soulless repression and better understand its origin and how to get rid of it.
The challenge is this: to forge an independent and combative network that exposes this state’s crimes and creates more resistance, consciousness and capacity to change this world. To as broadly as possible denounce the reactionary and totally illegitimate violence being carried out by the Army, Navy and police forces at every level. To begin to organize a National Week of Resistance-Stop the War Against the People, 21-27 October 2013. Let’s organize cultural events, forums, film showings, photo exhibitions, plays and so on during this week, culminating in marches and rallies on Sunday, 27 October in cities and towns throughout the country.
The army and police are not workers, they are the armed forces of the exploiters!
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