Tag Archives: mexico

more riots against the narcostate in guerrero, mexico – another example of the US drug wars

Protesters and riot police clashed in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, in another protest over 43 missing normalistas in Ayotzinapa.

Families of missing students, along with Masters of the State Coordinator of Education Workers of Guerrero (CETEG), and their normalista studenst torched a police patrol vehicle outside the state and federal courts Seventh First Judiciary of Chilpancingo.

see previous posts:

mexico: more police violence against normalistas, return of autodefensias, and the EZLN’s Sharing!

Mexico: the Wound of the World and international solidarity

U.S./SINALOA PACT RESULTS IN ESCALATION OF INSANELY VIOLENT DRUG WARS

The protesters sought to talk to the judges to express themselves about the denial of an arrest warrant against Mary de la Angels Pineda, wife of former mayor of Iguala – José Luis Abarca – for the crimes of homicide, and forced disappearance.

However, after being refused, teachers’ and normalistas attacked the building, broke windows, and burned a state police patrol vehicle which had been previously been accompanied by more than 200 riot police.

reposted from terra.com,

Chilpancingo
photo from twitter

How U.S. Intervention in Colombia Paved the Way for Mexico’s Human Rights Crisis

Colombia’s military is a top recipient of U.S. funding and training, even as it has committed human rights abuses and collaborated with paramilitary groups–themselves descendants of U.S.-designed Plan Laso. With U.S. encouragement, Colombia is now a major security exporter to Mexico, where similar patterns of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances have developed.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has provided over $8 billion in aid to Colombia, making it one of the top recipients of U.S. military aid in the world. Yet Colombia is still a top supplier of heroin and cocaine to the U.S. The number of victims in Colombia’s conflict now tops 7 million , including 6 million internally displaced persons, more than 150,000 forced disappearances and more than 930,000 homicides. But a staggering 5.9 million of these human rights violations have occurred just since 2000, when U.S. funding began to bolster public security forces already known for human rights atrocities. Then in 2006 the “false positives” scandal broke, in which it was revealed that Colombian security forces— some trained on U.S. soil at the polemic Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation/School of the Americas (WHINSEC/SOA)—systematically murdered at least 5,000 innocent civilians and then dressed them up in guerrilla fatigues, presenting them as enemy kills in order to gain rewards like bonuses and extra vacation time. This practice was developed as part of the “body count” mentality promoted in U.S. training and occurred on the watch of then-Defense Minister and current President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.  Later that year, the “parapolitics” scandal broke, implicating politicians at all levels in narco-paramilitary structures. These groups, now referred to by the Colombian government as criminal bands (BACRIM), continue to enjoy close relationships with both licit and illicit business interests and politicians in Colombia, and pose the greatest threat to citizen expression and social movements: Plan Laso’s legacy continuing to pay dividends.

This analysis extends up to the current administration of Juan Manuel Santos. Less hardline than his predecessor, Santos has staked his presidency on a negotiated peace accord with the FARC and made the Victims and Land Restitution Law one of the first priorities of his presidency. Like his counterpart Barack Obama in the U.S., he is a technocrat friendly to big business; like Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico, he favors extractive industries as the engine of the economy. Indeed, the peace process serves those interests by making Colombia more attractive to direct foreign investment, about which the Santos administration has been very forthright.  But the continued collusion between private business interests and the new and shifting forms of paramilitarism suggests that even if the Colombian government negotiates an end to the conflict with the FARC, little will change for rural Colombians whose daily reality are threats, insecurity and violence.

Indeed, Colombians need only look to Mexico, where there is no armed insurgency, to see what the future might hold. Over this past year Pena Nieto’s administration successfully passed a series of reforms (labor, telecommunications, education, fiscal and energy) whose common thread is privatization. “Mexico is open for business” was the message, and the U.S. government and multinationals ate it up. The passing of these reforms may not have been possible had it not been for the exhausting distraction of six years of violence leading up to it, as Mexicans were displaced, terrorized  and killed by cartels, Mexican security forces, or, all too often, by the collusion of both.

there’s more to this article, from Upside Down World,

Beyond Ayotzinapa: How U.S. Intervention in Colombia Paved the Way for Mexico’s Human Rights Crisis

Over a hundred policemen were deployed outside the building of the Judiciary of the Federation in Chilpancingo during a protest by parents of normal school. Photo Rubicela Morelos, la Journada
Over a hundred policemen were deployed outside the building of the Judiciary of the Federation in Chilpancingo during a protest by parents of normal school. Photo Rubicela Morelos, la Journada

Declassified memo reveals Mexican police worked for Zetas in town infamous for migrant murders and mass graves

EZLN: in this war the enemy is all of us and everything.

The era in which capital needed peace and social stability is over.

And in the new hierarchy within capital, speculation reigns and commands, and its world is made of corruption, impunity, and crime.

As it turns out, the nightmare in Ayotzinapa is not a local, state, or national problem. It’s a global one.

And it turns out that it is not only against young people, nor only against men. It is a war of many wars: a war on the other, a war against indigenous peoples, a war on youth, a war against those who with their labor make the world go round, a war on women.

Because it seems that femicide is such old news, so everyday and ubiquitous in all ideologies, that it now goes down as “natural death” in the records.

Because it is a war that every few minutes takes on a name in whatever calendar and geography: Erika Kassandra Bravo Caro: young woman, worker, Mexican, 19 years old, tortured, killed, and flayed in the “pacified” (according to civil, military, and media authorities) Mexican state of Michoacán. “A crime of passion,” they will say, just like those who say “collateral victims,” or “a local problem in the municipality of the provincial Mexican state of… (enter the name of any state in the federation),” or “it’s an isolated event, we must move on.”

It turns out that Aytozinapa and Erika are not the exception, but rather the reaffirmation of the rule of capitalist war: destroy the enemy.

Because in this war the enemy is all of us and everything.

And this is a war against everything, every thing everywhere.

Because as it turns out, this is what it’s about, what it has always been about: a war, which is now a war against humanity.

Translated by El Kilombo Intergaláctico

and with much, much Much more to read, from dorsett chiapas solidarity,

On Ayotzinapa, the Festival, and Hysteria as Analysis

guerreroRiot
Protesters blocked the three accesses to the area with shopping carts taken from the nearby Soriana store, insisting that no one would enter or leave until the missing students were found. However, by about 6:00pm the protest was over. Protesting teachers went on to damage the municipal headquarters with explosive devices, burning some of the archives in the Civil Registry and an office. http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/protesters-attack-state-buildings/

The family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa, like the tens of thousands of murdered and disappeared, do not ask for charity or pity; they demand truth and justice.

We, Zapatistas of the EZLN, believe that it is so important that the voices of the family members and compañeros of the murdered and disappeared of Ayotzinapa retake their place that we have decided the following:

1. To cede our place at the First World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism to the family members and compañeros of the Ayotzinapa students who were murdered and disappeared. We think that in their voices and ears there will be generous echoes for all of those who, present or not, participate in the festival.

2. That is why we are asking the compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress in the distinct locales, the Joint Commission of the CNI-Sixth for the Cultural Festival, and those who would have been offering transportation, lodging, food, security, and health support to our delegation, to dedicate and orient their efforts toward the families and compañeros of the Ayotzinapa students who we all miss today. We ask that you attend to them, listen to them, and talk to them as if they were whichever of the 20 Zapatistas, 10 women and 10 men, who would have formed our delegation.

3. This is why we respectfully ask the family members and compañeros of those absent from Ayotzinapa to accept our invitation and name, from among yourselves, a delegation of 20 people, 10 women and 10 men, and participate as honored invitees in the World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism to be celebrated from December 21, 2014, through January 3, 2015. It was very important for us, as Zapatistas, to listen to you directly. We think it will be very good for all of those who attend the festival to have this same honor. And we also believe that all of you will gain much from meeting other sister resistances and rebellions from Mexico and around the world. You will see then how great and extensive this “you are not alone” really is.

4. The EZLN will participate in the Festival. Our attentive and respectful ear will be there as one more among all of our compas of the Sixth. Not on stage or in special places. We will be like shadows, alongside everyone else, among everyone else, behind everyone else.

5. Our word for the exchange is already on video. We have indicated to “The Odd Ones Out Compas” [Los Tercios Compas] that they should get it to the various Festival locales and to the free, alternative, and independent, autonomous, or whatever you call them media who belong to the Sixth so that they can air it, if they see fit, according to their own times and methods.

6. On December 31, 2014 and the first day of the year 2015, it will be an honor for us to receive as honored guests, in the Oventic caracol, the women and men who, with their pain and rage, have raised across the planet the flag of dignity that we below and to the left are.

7. And not only that, we also want to use this space to invite everyone from the National and International Sixth, masked or not, to participate in this great exchange, to share their stories and listen to Others.

as a personal aside, before i read the article from dorsett chiapas solidarity, i tweeted this:

the american oligarchs have a dilemna – how to end protests without having to tear-gas 2nd graders…http://t.co/lszMsskjsO

american oligarchy in a quandry as to how to appease voters while “dealing with” troublemakers…

…but also has an entire generation of sadistic, raping, murdering young men who think doing so is their GOD-given right.

…and if there’s one lesson to learn from the nationwide protests: bad times aren’t coming – it’s now!

and from even earlier today;

death to the political system. it’s that or the human race. your choice where you stand.

solidarity43

the people of guerrero surround an army barracks, refuse to allow soldiers to leave

AYUTLA, Gro. December 17, 2014.-

Masters of the Costa Chica region attached to the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) and members of the Coordinating Estatala of Education Workers of Guerrero (CETEG) retract the Mexican Army, who remain blockaded in their barracks at Cruise Ayutla de Las Cruces, in Tecoanapa.

Given the failure of the governor of Guerrero, Rogelio Ortega, who had pledged to withdraw military checkpoints in the area of Costa Chica, after last December 5, they surrounded the base and dissident teachers in the municipality of Ayutla did not allow soldiers to leave.

The people of Costa Chica not want the Army because they say it is in collusion with organized crime.

or more photos and info, see

ayu2-webfor more, en espanol

Habitantes de Ayutla, Guerrero, exigen al ejército que se retire del municipio

autodefensas tells mexican narcostate they are not needed, keep out!

after appearing in 2013, the autodefensas negotiated a treaty with the federal government, and for the most part were disbanded. it was a treaty negotiated under duress, with a mobilization and occupation by the military.

Mexico tries to disarm vigilantes in drug war

nice article from CNN, with slideshow

mexicanOccupation
A city employee watches from a doorway as Mexican soldiers guard Apatzingan City Hall on January. 14. Mexican soldiers and federal police have faced tense standoffs with vigilantes after the government campaign to stop violence turned deadly.

Read this article in Spanish on CNNMexico.com

(CNN) — The vigilantes came to violence-torn towns with a simple pitch: Join us and fight back before the cartel kills you.

For some in the western state of Michoacan, long a flashpoint in Mexico’s drug war, it was an offer they couldn’t refuse.

They toted guns and called themselves self-defense groups as they patrolled the streets, claiming they were forced to fight the Knights Templar cartel themselves because the state had failed to protect them.

more, from CNN

see LA Times, Mexico to bring Michoacan’s ‘self-defense’ groups into existing forces

as the photo’s caption asserts, the autodefensas had been combating the local cartels, and the mexican military intervened. AFTER the area had been fairly well secured. not that the cartels were unable to operate in the area, but they could no longer do so with impunity. there were large battles, with maybe a couple of hundred participants on each side.

yet months later, the local government and drug cartels colluded in a massacre and cover-up of student activists at a teacher’s college. the government continues to spew lies at every level and call out the state police and military because people do not believe them, and have had enough of the narcostate.

the autodefencsas have returned now with a message for the narcostate; stay away, or there’s going to be trouble.

“Alfredo Castillo is Responsible for Many Deaths” : Hippolito Mora

Spike for Borderland Beat republished from Revoluciontrespuntocero.com

(December 17, 2014)-Failure to do something in time, the Government and Alfredo Castillo Cervantes will be solely responsible because they have done nothing to stop a confrontation, denounced Hipólito Mora, Commander of the Fuerza Rurales after reporting that in Michoacan, everything was a mess and it was worse than before the uprising of the AUC in 2013.

the public face and Commander of the Fuerza Rurales, Hipólito Mora
the public face and Commander of the Fuerza Rurales, Hipólito Mora

“If you don’t respond in good time, prepare all the press, because there will be many deaths throughout Michoacan and solely responsible for that, are going to be people who are in the Government, and the fact they have done nothing to avoid a confrontation,”he said in an interview with enon December 9.

With Alfredo Castillo Cervantes trumpeting that in Michoacan everything is quiet and peaceful thanks to the security strategy that he leads, and that has been reflected in the concerts that have been made in the city of Morelia, where thousands of Michoacan have attended.

For his part, Jorge Vázquez, spokesman for the legitimate so-called (autodefensa) self-defence forces, also said that there would come a “most violent and bloodiest” armed confrontation which began on February 24, 2013.

And it is that, in recent months, inhabitants, self-defence groups and political and social characters as the Mayor of Tepalcatepec, Guillermo Valencia and father Gregorio López have reported that in Michoacan extortions, kidnappings and enforced disappearances continue, because  Alfredo Castillo Cervantes has given weapons to criminals.

After a confrontation between the people of Hipólito Mora and Luis Antonio Torres ‘El Americano “tonight, Alfredo Castillo just reported that it was a gunfight between armed civilians and federal forces undertaking actions in the area, however Hipólito Mora already told the truth.

Michoacán 3.0 that the gendarmerie had already abandoned them in the shootout.

this translation made available by borderland beat

this is from the comments:

Thanks to you spike and Valor for keeping us up to date on the conflict in Michoacan. As I posted on another thread…. what a cluster fuck EPN (leader of mexican narcostate – rlr) has created and thrown the Michoacan people to the curb. The story of his Michoacan takeover and clear collusion with cartel groups should be getting international attention. I don’t understand why it is not. Unlike the Ayotzinapa tragedy…. he is directly responsible for the crisis in Michoacan. Maybe they are plotting for the FRs to destroy the ADs… maybe that’s what this is all about, especially since 383 ADs are imprisoned on false charges.

in mexico city, the locals show support for autodefencias in michoacan.
in mexico city, the locals show support for autodefensas in michoacan.

Fotos: Autodefensas, narcos y fuerzas federales en Michoacán

Autodefensas take action as Michoacán descends into massive chaos

 Translated by Spike151 written by Záyin Dáleth Villavicencio for Michoacan 3.0

A little more than six months after the creation of the Fuerza Rurales, this Sunday, members of this Corporation originating in Apatzingan, Uruapan and Los Reyes, announced the revival of the movement of self-defense forces (Autodefensas/AD) in Michoacán.

With road blockades in Uruapan, Apatzingán, Huetamo and other locations, the inhabitants of at least five municipalities of Michoacán, announced that: “Will be taking up arms by genuine autodefensas (self-defence) groups”.

In Apatzingan, members of Fuerza Rurales Michoacán, retook their white t-shirts, burned their credentials from the Fuerza Rurales and withdrew official decals from their cars, to re-badge as “self-defence groups”.

“The Fuerza Rural (FR) from Apatzingán who burned their uniforms, saying they wanted to reactivate the AD’s, are well known to be members of Los Viagras. At this time they are fleeing because genuine AD’s are going for them…. Everything indicates that the cartel of Los Viagras has broken ties with the government (with the Commissioner Castillo), and now the state government is trying to disarm them. The response of Los Viagras was the highway blockages, but unfortunately there are also good people mixed together, as Hipolito Mora said:

“Michoacán is fucked – is worse off than before …” 

Last night Castillo met with the protesting FR/Viagras. They lifted the roadblocks. This morning Castillo said in an interview that all those who burned their uniforms (Viagras) are immediately fired from the FR.

above from borderland beat; Autodefensas…

if you didn’t know, the twitter hashtag #YaMeCanse keeps being deleted by twitter, but re-appears with a number tagged to the end. last i saw they were up to #yaMeCanse7 and were lolling that they can count very high. pretty creepy, twitter.

see also;

U.S./SINALOA PACT RESULTS IN ESCALATION OF INSANELY VIOLENT DRUG WARS

mexico: more police violence against normalistas, return of autodefensias, and the EZLN’s Sharing!

Autodefensasfoto: ¿Ahora quién manda? Autodefensas en el Estado de México

mexico: more police violence against normalistas, return of autodefensias, and the EZLN’s Sharing!

says the only thing newsworthy in all “latin america” for 2014 was carnaval. fucking asswipes!

here is some of what twitter is ignoring:

Drug Cartel Violence versus ISIS

While ISIL’s beheadings are no doubt outrageous, the cartels tortured, dismembered and then cooked one of the Americans they captured — possibly eating him or feeding him to dogs.

Western obsession with the Islamic State is fueled more by bigotry than any genuine assessment of risk or atrocities

A recent United Nations report estimated nearly 9,000 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded in Iraq in 2014, more than half since ISIL fighters seized large parts on northern Iraq in June. It is likely that the group is responsible another several thousand deaths in Syria. To be sure, these numbers are staggering. But in 2013 drug cartels murdered more than 16,000 people in Mexico alone, and another 60,000 from 2006 to 2012 — a rate of more than one killing every half hour for the last seven years. What is worse, these are estimates from the Mexican government, which is known to deflate the actual death toll by about 50 percent.

Statistics alone do not convey the depravity and threat of the cartels. They carry out hundreds of beheadings every year. In addition to decapitations, the cartels are known to dismember and otherwise mutilate the corpses of their victims — displaying piles of bodies prominently in towns to terrorize the public into compliance. They routinely target women and children to further intimidate communities. Like ISIL, the cartels use social media to post graphic images of their atrocious crimes.

The narcos also recruit child soldiers, molding boys as young as 11 into assassins or sending them on suicide missions during armed confrontations with Mexico’s army. They kidnap tens of thousands of children every year to use as drug mules or prostitutes or to simply kill and harvest their organs for sale on the black market. Those who dare to call for reforms often end up dead. In September, with the apparent assistance of local police, cartels kidnapped and massacred 43 students at a teaching college near the Mexican town of Iguala in response to student protests. A search in the area for the students has uncovered a number of mass graves containing mutilated bodies burned almost beyond recognition, but none of the remains have been confirmed to be of the students.

there’s more to this, from al jazeera,

Mexican drug cartels are worse than ISIL

mexiShots
ⒶTony tren al SUR☭ @MexicAnarchist · Really glad the students and teachers fought back and stood their ground against those cops in Chilpancingo

Federal Police Attack Ayotzinapa Students and Parents; Dissident Teachers Retaliate

Chilpancingo, Guerrero – Twenty-two people were injured—including 14 teachers, parents and students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School and the National Autonomous University of Mexico [UNAM] and eight members of the Federal Police—in three confrontations in which police attacked with blows, rock-throwing and tear gas a group of students who were preparing for the rock concert Festival: A Light in the Darkness in the area known as El Caballito.

The clashes occurred between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The first two were between Federal Police and students and parents [of the disappeared students]. The third clash involved about 250 members of the State Coordinating Committee of Education Workers of Guerrero (CETEG), who came to support the latter [students and parents].

there’s more, from dorset chiapas solidarity

EZLNxochicuautla

 

THE “SHARING” DRAWS NEAR, BETWEEN THE EZLN, THE CNI, AND MOVEMENTS AND GROUPS IN MEXICO AND THE WORLD

December 21st will mark the beginning of the exchange of wisdom, experiences, and knowledge during what will be the first World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions Against Capitalism, in the Ñätho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla in upper Lerma, Mexico State.

Peoples of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (the political initiative launched by the Zapatistas in 2005), as well as movements representing the whole world, will meet in a Mexico convulsed by the disappearance of the 43 normal school students of Ayotzinapa.

“It is important to Xochicuautla because national struggles are no longer alone,” said a villager from Xochicuautla in an interview with Másde131, whose name is omitted for security reasons.

“There are many people who are waking up and are interested in this, and as we have always said, we fight and resist for the heritage of society, not just of the communities,” he added.

“The importance is for all indigenous communities, we come together as communities, we come to share, we keep linking, but now not only the indigenous communities.”

Together with its neighbouring town, San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan, Xochicuautla has now spent seven years opposing the megaproject of the highway from Toluca-Naucalpan, promoted when Enrique Peña Nieto was Mexican state governor. The highway concession was granted to a friend of Peña Nieto, Armando Hinojosa Cantu, now owner of the construction firm who built the famous White House of the presidential couple.

The villager said that during the inauguration there will be an ancestral Otomi ceremony, “so that everything goes well in the event.” Also welcome messages and some political positions will be given.

Subsequently cultural activities will take place; there will be the traditional dance of the drovers of Xochicuautla, the dance of the deer which the Yaqui tribe will bring from Sonora, a wind band from Tlachinollan, Guerrero, and musical groups from Argentina and France.

A documentary will also be presented about the defence of the Otomi Mexica Forest to which the site belongs, and on Monday a documentary on the indigenous Cucapá of Baja California.

see the full statement from the EZLN, from dorset chiapas solidarity

xochicuautla

Police Arrest Eight Indigenous People for Defending Communal Forest

Approximately 600 state riot police invaded the territory of the indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, arresting eight people committed to the defense of the ancestral Otomí-Mexica forest.

The Front charges that the Toluca-Naucalpan super highway will destroy more than  600,000 square meters of forest land, affecting the production of  250 million liters of water a year.

The highway project also affects the pilgrimage route to the sacred sites of Nacelagua and the Cerro de la Campana. It also threatens hundreds of species of plants and birds, many of which are endemic to the region and in danger of extinction, such as the coyote, the eagle and dozens of species living in the wetlands.

The indigenous community is among the signatories of the document approved at the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations last September 22 and 23.

This is not the first time community people have been arrested while trying to prevent the entry of heavy machinery into their land. Last May 14 a group of 15 men and women from the same community were also violently arrested and accused of blocking a public thoroughfare.

Since October 10 the attempts to proceed with the construction of the highway have been more constant, with threats made against anyone who stands in the way of the Autovan company and their police escorts. Hundreds of trees have already been cut down.

the above was from teleSur, see Police Arrest Eight Indigenous People for Defending Communal Forest

masAutodefensias
autodefensias in michoacan announce their re-emergence and demand to take over security from the narcostate.

 

Mexico’s Self-Defense Groups Resurface to Fight Drug Violence

Groups of armed civilians blocked roads in at least seven municipalities of the violence-plagued Mexican western state of Michoacan Sunday to demand the government agree to allow the groups to provide security in their territory.

The Self-Defense groups also protested the disappearance of the Rural Police Force, sources in three municipalities reported.

In the populous municipallity of Apatzingan, groups blocked four access to the city and closed the local bus station.

According to local media, the armed civilians are lead by Estanislao Beltran Torres also known as “Papa Smurf,” the spokesman and leader for the so-called Self-Defense groups in the state. These groups are said to be comprised of well-off agricultural producers and former members of the Knights Templar cartel who have been forgiven by the self-defence groups.

The Self-Defense groups, who emerged in in violence-inflicted areas of Mexico as protection against drug cartels, claim that the federal government’s plan to restore peace to the region has so far failed.

The movement aims to negotiate with the government in order to re-establish a rural police force under their control, along with salaries, weapons and patrols, and have threatened that they will continue acting independently if the government does not agree to their term.

the above was also from teleSur

copCarsAflame
The aftermath of what went down in Chilpancingo after drunk cops attacked normalistas. tweeted by; ⒶTony tren al SUR☭ @MexicAnarchist , who adds;· Good luck getting a ride home you fucking pigs.

 

Mexico: the Wound of the World and international solidarity

 México, la herida del mundo. Video informativo sobre la situación en México.

#AyotzinapaGlobalForum

Here’s a look at other expressions of solidarity from around the region:

From Colombia:

https://twitter.com/search?q=Ayotzinapa%20Colombia&src=typd

From Bolivia:

From Venezuela:

From Argentina:

From Ecuador:

From Nicaragua and Brazil:


Latin American solidarity with Mexico grows over case of 43 missing students

mexico-protest-Urgy
Hundreds of Uruguayans marched on their capital city on Monday. Photo/ Stephen Kurczy