Tag Archives: mexico

“We Obey the People, Not the Government” Nahua Communities of Michoacán Warn

Facing the demobilization of the autodefensas in the state, the coastal community of Santa María Ostula, located in the municipality of Aquila, found that members of its community police won’t be registering as rural police.

“Who we obey are the people, not the federal government”, they warned.

The commander of the community guard, Semeí Verdía, will present to the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) the agreement from the meeting held on April 27 on Thursday in which they paid protest to the commanders and police of each of the 23 “managements”.

In total, 150 villagers total those who occupy this position voluntarily during the year.

The list includes the names of the people who make up the community security and the weapons that each will carry.

“The commissioner Alfredo Castillo agreed to respect our traditional forms of organization. He said that with indigenous peoples the process will be different”, Semeí Verdía said during an interview.

Only he and a few others are going to register as rural police in order to be able to move around armed and to ensure that when they enter into a “unified command”, they themselves will be the ones who will be entering the community as a security authority.

What we don’t want is for them to send people from outside.

- there’s much more to read, from borderland beat, “We Obey the People, Not the Government” Nahua Communities of Michoacán Warn

michoacan PARADOJAS. Autodefensas encapuchados registran a policías de Nueva Italia, municipio de Múgica, Michoacán. AP Paradoxes. AUC hooded policemen recorded at New Italy, Miigica municipality, Michoacan.

photo from:

Crece tensión social en Michoacán; autodefensas toman Nueva Italia

Growing social tension in Michoacán; AUC take Nueva Italia





HSBC in Mexico (cyph3r/Flickr)

drug cartel money laundering accounted for 85 percent of global economy for 2012

In a 2010 interview with the Bloomberg News, Martin Woods, the former director of Wachovia’s anti-money-laundering unit in London remarked that “It’s the banks laundering money for the cartels that finances the tragedy… If you don’t see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 22,000 people killed in Mexico (2014 estimates exceed 100,000 – rlr), you’re missing the point.” This connection becomes incredibly clear when we look to the connection of HSBC helping the Mexican cartels funnel hundreds of billions of dollars.

According to legal documents for the case filed in 2012, HSBC admitted that it failed to apply legally required money laundering controls to $60 trillion in wire transfers alone, in only a three year period, $670 billion of which came from Mexico. $60 trillion—that is approximately 85 percent the entire world’s GDP in 2012. In a settlement to put an end to the probe into their money laundering activities in late 2012, HSBC agreed to pay a fine of $1.9 billion. While HSBC may have been associated with the largest money laundering operation in U.S. banking history, it is by no means alone.

In 2010, Wachovia was sanctioned for failing to apply adequate money laundering controls on $378.4 billion in transfers originating from Mexico. Until HSBC was caught, it was the largest violation of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act—which according to the U.S. Treasury Department requires that “U.S. financial institutions to assist U.S. government agencies to detect and prevent money laundering.” However, under a deferred prosecution agreement, Wachovia only had to pay a $160 million fine for its role in laundering hundreds of billions of dollars. Jeffery Sloman, the federal prosecutor who handled the case remarked that “Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations.”

Bank of America has also been connected to Mexican drug money, as accounts in Oklahoma City were used to buy planes to transport cocaine, according to a Bloomberg investigation. Additionally, in 2006, the Bank of America acknowledged that it had overseen the laundering of $3 billion originating from South America in a single Manhattan branch. While the monetary figure is comparatively small in relation to the scandals that HSBC and Wachovia would later involved in, when pressed as to why no indictments were sought against the bankers involved, Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau simply remarked “because we don’t want to put banks out of business.” This remark was later echoed by Justice Department prosecutor Lanny Breuer, who stated that “Had the U.S. authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would certainly have lost its banking license in the United States, the future of the institution would have been under threat, and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.”

It has become very clear that banks such as HSBC, Wachovia, and the Bank of America are integral components of the drug trade, which operate with impunity. While El Chapo may deservedly so spend the rest of his life behind bars, there are many more in the financial sector who have similarly profited off of crime and should be there with him. Whistleblower Martin Wood highlights this connection stating that “These are the proceeds of murder and misery in Mexico, and of drugs sold around the world. But no one goes to jail. What does the settlement do to fight the cartels? Nothing. It encourages the cartels and anyone who wants to make money by laundering their blood dollars.” While pushing further on the topic of direct, multifaceted U.S. involvement in the international drug trade is a taboo subject, to ignore its role as a key source of profit for banks, prisons and the military is even more dangerous and costly.

- from NACLA - El Chapo’s Arrest: Money Laundering and Mexico’s Drug War




autodefensias in mexico: betrayed by government

Mexico is ours, not the Government’s!

This is our place, this is our land, these are our hills, these are our rivers, this is our people, this is our heaven, our parents are buried here and our children were born here.
Mexico is ours!
Yes, we want to legalize, because our movement is constitutional, that’s why we will demand to be legalized as National Guard, a force which is civil, democratic, federal and Constitutional; as it exists in all democratic countries, as it exists in countries in which you cannot be  killed with impunity, not by the Government, nor by criminals.
We’ll make ourselves heard internationally, we ask for the minimum, fundamental rights: right to live, to work, to have a family!
Is this too much to ask? Can we be guaranteed that?
Then do not deny us the right to form Autodefensas.
We are the worthy people rising and defending Michoacán, not all want to be policemen, but we all consider ourselves according to our constitutional law, soldiers of the National Guard!
Brothers and sisters remember: we do not have a return path!
We still have two paths: self-defense or sacrifice!
Mexico is ours!
Viva Mexico!
there’s so much more to this excellent post from BorderlandBeat, especially for those of you unfamiliar with the history of mexico and the people’s heroic efforts to cast away the shackles of the conquistadors, and their offspring and bootlickers.
the end of the mexican revolution of 100 years ago resulted in the most far-ranging reform of a society ever attempted, but interference from extremely wealthy foreign interests have meddled in mexico’s affairs constantly, always attacking the gains promised by the constitution so many ordinary mexican people gave their lives to create.
throughout mexico’s insurgent history, there has been one constant theme: betrayal of the people by the government.
see more:


We have lived the oppression under two parts: one by action on the part of the Caballeros Templarios and the other by omission on the part of the Government.
Despite this, oppression develops. We have the right to oppose, we coordinate with the authority and then we sat at their tables, they called us allies, were advancing together, photos were removed with us that were seen around the world in an effort to distort, while  trying to convince public opinion that Michoacán was already controlled.
Both publicly and privately they called us valid partners, called us members of the Council of self-defense, investigated us and told us we were honest and reliable people.
They gave some protection, but they wanted one change, silence. When I was injured and convalescent, the Secretary of the Interior publicly exonerated me from any suspicion, (Chong) but when I spoke my opinion they left me lying in bed and at the mercy of murderers.
Is this how friends act? Is this how allies act?
Hipólito Mora, now a prisoner, recognized by all as the founding leader and a friend and ally of the Government, but when pressure was applied there was a breach of all agreements by the Government.
So now they are efficient and have charged Mora with 35 complaints including looting, robbery, extortion and murder. And now they come for us; they want to intimidate us, they want us annihilated.
 I wish I could retire, hopefully I could live in peace, and hopefully the Government had control of the territory, hopefully, hopefully.
But not so, Caballeros Templarios rule Michoacán. Everyday life has changed, but worse now the Caballeros Templarios, the Government, the army, Navy and all the police persecute us.
Hipolito Mora, a leading citizen self-defense groups La Ruana. / P. COMPANYS
A week ago the Commissioner was sitting at Hipólito side and knew nothing of the allegations; three days later Hipólito is a criminal. How very sad; they are very misguided, what a grand error on their part.
If the imprisonment of the leaders of the Autodefensas or our colleagues addressed the reality of the Michoacán, warmly we would willingly go to jail. Either way, we are condemned to death.
But it is not so. Although the leaders disappear, reality does not change. The Michoacán population, territory, has no Government much less any justice.
That is why brothers and sisters, we’ve been brave, if we know our destination.  I summon you to unite and to not give up, or you will pay with your life.



Call for an international week of Solidarity with anarchists facing repression in Mexico (March 17-24, 2014)

This is a call for a week of solidarity with anarchists in Mexico, who face repression, whether they are behind bars in prison or in hiding fighting for their freedom.

There Have Been several recent instances of targeted repression of anarchists in Mexico: the arrest of Mario Tripa in 2012 and his recent re-arrest in January 2014, the Ongoing detention of Mario Gonzalez, the kidnapping and incarceration of several anarchist comrades, the barring of Alfredo Bonanno from entering the country, and the torture, interrogation, and deportation of Gustavo Rodriguez. There has-been a strong response to this repression by anarchists in Mexico, Who Have Celebrated the courage of Their comrades through sustained attacks in active solidarity. Between March 17-24th, we are calling for international strength and solidarity to be shown with anarchists in Mexico facing repression. Now, at a time When the eyes of the state and Their dogs have turned towards our comrades, we are Urging the act to be returned in kind.

“However,  given the state of control there are still  those who aren’t frightened, Those who by day or by night, alone or collectively, with fire, fire-works, Blockades, explosives or firearms, show That this is not the life we want, that – At least from our perspective – this system must be totally destroyed. Their damned social peace is a myth That They attempt to impose on us. Only conflict exists … It’s clear That info we have to take Control of our lives and our spaces, to be able to Achieve it there is no way out other than Social War “.

Mario “Gut” Lopez

mexico – reposted from instinto salvaje


The Oaxaca Commune – new forms of revolution

The world as we know it has come to an end. Everywhere the foundations for an unprecedented authoritarian regime are being put in place, to replace the current political and economic system, and to take advantage of the fear, chaos, and uncertainty that marks a transition to a new era. The Zapatistas in Chiapas and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in Oaxaca, along with many other political initiatives in various parts of the world, prefigure new forms of transformative struggle, as well as their outcome. These struggles are a determining factor in the current crisis.

The Demons of the Oaxaca Commune

From June to October 2006, there were no police in the city of Oaxaca (population 600,000), not even to direct traffic. The governor Ulises Ruiz and his functionaries met secretly in hotels or private homes; none of them dared to show up at their offices. The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) had round-the-clock watch on all the public buildings and radio and TV stations that it controlled. When the governor began sending out his goons to launch nocturnal guerilla attacks against these guards, the people responded by putting up barricades. More than a thousand barricades were put up every night at 11 p.m., around the encampments or at critical intersections. They would be taken down every morning at 6 a.m. to restore normal traffic. Despite the attacks, there was less violence in those months (fewer assaults, deaths and injuries, or traffic accidents) than in any similar period in the previous 10 years. Unionized workers belonging to APPO performed basic services like garbage collection.

Some observers began speaking of the Oaxaca Commune, evoking the Paris Commune of 1871. Oaxacans responded, smiling: “Yes, but the Paris Commune lasted only 50 days and we’ve already lasted more than 100.” The analogy is pertinent but exaggerated, except in terms of the reaction that these two popular insurrections elicited in the centers of power. Like the European armies that crushed the communards who had taken over all the functions of government, the Federal Preventive Police of Mexico, backed by the army and the navy, were sent to Oaxaca on October 28, 2006, to try to control the situation. On November 25, 2006, those forces conducted a terrible repression, the worst in many years, with massive violation of human rights and an approach which can be legitimately described as state terrorism. The operation—which included imprisonment of the supposed leaders of the movement and hundreds of others—was described by the International Commission for the Observation of Human Rights as,“a juridical and military strategy…whose ultimate purpose is to achieve control and intimidation of civil population.” For the authorities, this strategy would dissolve APPO and send a warning to all social movements around the whole country.

APPO remains a mystery, even for those who are part of it. The distortions introduced by the media and by some participants in APPO, who were using it to promote their own political and ideological agendas, exasperated the confusion. Furthermore, its innovative character is a challenge to understanding the nature, meaning, and implications of this strange political animal. (For further reading on this enormously complex situation, see: Arellano and others 2009, Davies 2007, de Castro 2009, Denham 2008, Esteva 2008 and 2009 a and c, Giarraca 2008, Lapierre 2008, Martínez 2006, and Osorno 2007).

From the day of its birth, all the demons that habitually beset what we usually call the left also beset the APPO. Like bees to honey, it attracted all sorts of groups and organizations that, like parasites, tried to direct and control the movement with their own agendas and obsessions. It was difficult to distinguish those activists from the countless infiltrators sent by the authorities to aggravate the role generally performed by the sectarian left: to disperse, divide, confront, isolate, and to create violence within the social movement.

The APPO disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. It left a quarrelsome atmosphere in Oaxaca, mixing anger and frustration with a sense of defeat. But APPO also left a sediment of experience expressed in everyday attitudes throughout the social and political fabric of the state.

The Obsession of Power

“We think,” said Subcomandante Marcos in 1996, “that you have to rethink the problem of power, to not repeat that formula which says that in order to change the world it is necessary to take power, and once in power we will organize everything in a way that is best for the world, that is, the way that is the best for me since I am in power. We thought that if we conceived of a change in the way power is seen, the problem of power, proclaiming that we do not want it—this would produce another way of doing politics and other kind of politics, other human beings that do politics differently from politicians of the entire political spectrum. (EZLN 1996, 69).

For the Zapatistas, the question is not who is in power, or how any person, group, or party achieved a position of power (through elections or any other means), but the very nature of the system of power within the nation-state, as a structure of domination and control. In drawing a line to separate themselves from the guerilla tradition, the Zapatistas show that such traditions always postpone the question of the role of the people.

“There is an oppressive power, that which decides for society from above; a group of enlightened people who decide to run the country properly and displaces another group from power, takes power and also makes the decisions for society. For us this is a struggle of hegemonies… One cannot reconstruct the world, nor society, nor the nation-states now destroyed, upon a dispute that consists of who is going to impose hegemony upon society.” (Subcomandante Marcos, March 2001)

From the most ferocious dictatorships to the purest of democracies, the nation-state has been, and is, a structure to dominate and control the population…in the end to bring it to the service of capital, using its legal monopoly of violence. The state is the ideal collective capitalist, guardian of those interests, and operates as a dictatorship even in the most modern democratic states.

- from upside down world news, New Forms of Revolution (Part 2): The Oaxaca Commune

oaxacaUDWN’s Note: In excerpts from the essay New Forms of Revolution (Mexico, 2013), Oaxaca-based writer Gustavo Esteva explores the different notions of power within the popular movement in Oaxaca, and speculates on the future on the current cycle of struggles.

Read Part 1

“Such revolution is an art. That is: it requires the courage not only of resistance but also of imagination.” – Howard Zinn.

“Survival of the human race depends on the rediscovery of hope as a social force.” – Ivan Illic