Is another Egypt brewing in Mexico?
06-14-2011, 08:33 PM
Is another Egypt brewing in Mexico?
Is another Egypt brewing in Mexico?
By Teresa Gutierrez
Published Feb 16, 2011 3:52 PM
The overwhelming majority of U.S. media coverage of Mexico is on the brutal drug violence there. That violence is real.
The struggle on both sides of the border over booty from the enormously lucrative drug industry has without a doubt resulted in horrific violence. More than 35,000 Mexicans have died in the last four years alone as a result of the drug industry.
But that is not the whole story.
The news on drug violence is a diversion orchestrated by the U.S. and Mexican ruling classes to take attention away from the real story: a deepening, vibrant and diverse mass struggle in Mexico that is so profound and so dynamic that it is slowly but steadily challenging the status quo in unprecedented and historic ways.
Massive unemployment, unbearable social conditions, a lack of basic bourgeois democratic rights and brutal repression for the masses are also creating an untenable situation for the U.S. and Mexican ruling classes.
Sooner or later, the conditions in Mexico will lead to an upsurge like that in Egypt. Momentous history will be made once again on the U.S. border. Sooner than later, the revolutionary tide for change that is sweeping the Americas will reach the border with U.S. imperialism. It may even be accurate to say that not too long from now dual power will exist in Mexico.
Mexicans are organizing like never before.
On Jan. 31, for example, a major demonstration of more than 200,000 people was held in Mexico City at the Zócalo plaza, Mexico’s Tahrir Square. It was held in response to attacks on unions and rising prices. It brought together a concentration of forces from many sectors of the working class, the unions, farmers and progressive movements. The event was called by a new umbrella coalition, the National Movement for Sovereignty, Workers and Civil Rights, and is an example of the growing unity in the workers’ movement.
This huge rally is just one of a thousand examples of the growing struggle in Mexico.
It is important for the progressive and workers’ movement in the U.S. and around the world to take note of the struggle in Mexico. It should get ready to organize massive solidarity with the Mexican people. As in Egypt, where U.S. imperialism desperately depends on a puppet government to subjugate the Middle East, Washington counts on a puppet government in Mexico to do its bidding. Global solidarity and condemnation of U.S. intervention in Mexico will be decisive if the Mexican masses are to be victorious in their quest for change.
A revolutionary development on U.S. imperialism’s doorstep would change the course of class history. The U.S. will stop at nothing to prevent that.
This is why the drug industry is so successful in Mexico and why the drug violence has led to an astonishing and entrenched climate of impunity on both sides of the border.
Behind the drug war
In 2006 U.S. intervention in Mexico stepped up after a tumultuous presidential election. For all intents and purposes, current President Felipe Calderón stole the election from the popular candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly called AMLO by his supporters.
Millions of Mexicans demonstrated not just once but several times at the Zócalo square and in cities across the nation to demand AMLO’s rightful place in Los Piños, Mexico’s White House. Felipe Calderón nonetheless took power, with the support of the U.S. The situation was so tense that the Mexican military had to escort him into Los Piños. He was not even able to hold a public address, his security was so precarious.
To deal with this tumultuous period, Felipe Calderón and the U.S. powers-that-be intensified the so-called “war on drugs,” not only as a diversion from the stolen election but to quell resistance.
Like in Colombia, the U.S. is fighting drugs with special military forces, SWAT teams and Pentagon arms. Instead of opening drug rehab centers or raising wages, U.S. imperialism further militarized Mexico. Its aim is to stop the resistance to imperialist domination and instill fear and terror.
The death and destruction in Mexico today is a direct by-product of the U.S. war on drugs and of the drug industry.
Is ‘another Egypt’ brewing in Mexico?
By Teresa Gutierrez
Published Mar 6, 2011 5:05 PM
In part one, Gutierrez explained how U.S. imperialism has seized on the “war on drugs” to intervene in Mexico, but its real target is the huge mass movement that is building against intolerable conditions there.
To justify intervention, the U.S. government went all out to characterize Mexico in terms similar to those used in its war on Iraq.
U.S. propaganda has gone from referring to Mexico as a “close ally” to it being a “failed state,” “narco-haven” and “threat to national security.” Mexican workers forced to come to the U.S. as a result of NAFTA, the “free trade” agreement with the U.S. that bankrupted local producers, are lumped together as “potential terrorists.”
These phrases are used to justify the militarization of Mexico and the southern U.S. border. This began in earnest with the implementation of Plan México — now called the Merida Initiative.
The State Department website says the Merida Initiative is a multiyear program that “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to work in partnership with governments in Mexico” as well as Central America, the Dominican Republic and Haiti “to confront criminal organizations whose illicit actions ... erode the rule of law and threaten the national security of the United States. It provide(s) equipment and training in support of law enforcement.”
The Merida Initiative goes back to NAFTA, specifically the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” set up under the Bush administration. Just like Plan Colombia, it is the armed wing of U.S. economic policies.
The New York Times wrote on Feb. 1 that the Obama administration “will face renewed scrutiny to account for the $1.4 billion, multiyear Merida Initiative.”
Clearly the $1.4 billion spent on the Merida Initiative — money squeezed out of the people of the U.S. — has been used against the Mexican people. It has gone to protect the drug industry, not stop it.
More than 45,000 Mexican troops have been deployed into the communities. Human rights groups call this repressive trend the “criminalization of protest.” More tham 35,000 people have been killed in the drug war, many of them innocent bystanders or low-level runners, desperate for an income. There have been beheadings and killings as part of the drug cartels’ infighting. People in the resistance and struggle for change have also been targeted.
As an example of Mexican government complicity, one of the main leaders of the Sinaloa drug cartel was allowed cell phone use while in a maximum security prison. He also got the best food available and visits from women and others. No other prisoners got this royal treatment.
Suspiciously, this drug runner escaped the high-security prison. Activists and journalists in Mexico say he was allowed to escape because a sector of the Mexican government is in an unholy alliance with one of the drug cartels, resulting in assassinations against government officials for taking sides.
An academic from the University of Guadalajara writes that the drug activity in Mexico generates a whopping $20 billion annually and employs half a million people. This enormous sum of money amounts to an ocean of blood to a ravenous insatiable vampire. There is absolutely no way that the U.S. banks that launder this incredible amount of money or the corrupt customs agencies that reap its benefits will stop the flow of drugs into the U.S.
The U.S. and Mexican war on drugs is really a war on the people. Leaders of the workers, peasants and Indigenous movement are framed on drug charges. People in Chihuahua who were picked up under guidelines of the Merida Initiative on three-year-old warrants were charged not with drugs but with organizing anti-NAFTA protests!
An area in Mexico where the violence has been especially brutal is Ciudad Juarez.
On Jan. 31, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano went to El Paso, Texas, just across the border from Ciudad Juarez. That same weekend the movement held an event commemorating the massacres of 18 young people in Juarez a year earlier.
Napolitano mentioned not a word of those killings nor of the more than 400 women workers, mainly employed in the “free trade zone” plants called maquiladoras, who have disappeared or been savagely beaten to death in the area.
Instead, she praised the Mexican government for its war on drugs and extended the U.S. government’s backing.
But no amount of praise or endless funding for repression will be able to stop the tide of resistance in Mexico. Even in the epicenter of violence, Ciudad Juarez, the people are organizing. A slogan in Mexico declares: “No nos rendimos, no nos callamos, no los olvidamos” (We will not give up, we will not shut up, we will not forget).
Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Unite The Many, defeat the few.
Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)