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Nodos Comunes

.. Caosmosis ..

Rage One (blog)

domingo, junio 25, 2006

Report on Atenco, Mexico 06-20-06 and Oaxaca, Mexico 06-23-06, 06-24-06 (by Joaquin Cienfuegos)

1 comentario

Report on Atenco Mexico 6-20-06

How the Movement in Atenco was born:

In more tha ten thousand acres of land, in Chimalbacan, Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, in the municipality of Texcoco (in the towns of Santa Cruz, San Felipe, Tocuila, Magdalena Panoaya, San Andres), in the municipality of Atenco (in the towns of Colonia Francisco I. Madero, San Salvador, Acuexcomac, Nexquipayac, Istapa, Santa Rosa), Ecatepec on October 21, 2001 the government expropriated their land. From this day on, the people started organizing in the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, with the founders Ignacio del Valle (who is detained in a maximum security prison) and his daughter America del Valle (who is clandestine). All of the people organizing were farmers and their families.

Before they had formed the Frente they had a small organization, but through the struggle against the expropriation of their lands they were win the solidarity of more people from their community, from indigenous people, and from other communities. At this point they mobilized, and from that moment there was police repression as well. They started investigating the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de La Tierra, and who they were.

The PRIstas who live within these communities have different interests than the farmers and the majority of people. They were the ones principally who started contacting the authorities. They would give information on who were the leaders, what they did, how they did it, and who participated to the enforcers of the government and their intelligence. At that time the PRI was in power in the state of Mexico and have remained in charge of the state of Mexico.

The Frente is made up of it´s members, it´s supporters, and it´s sympathizers. Then you have thos in the community who are neutral, and then you havet he PRIstas who are the minority. The majority of the community are farmers. All the Frente had to do to call on the community was to release three bottle rockets in the air, which is the call on the people. The people`s own consciousness as Atenquenses made them join in on the fight, according to a compa from the FPDT (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra), and their hatred for the police. Their symbol of the Machete was born, because that was the tool of work as farmers and peasants, and that´s going to be their symbol forever.

A compañero from the Frente tells the story of their struggle, First the community organized in their community, and they closed and retook their highway. Then we mobilized in the city of Mexico. People got involved and youth joined in because of their parents and their families. In November, we had a huge march on horseback, with bicycles, in cars. This is when we first got repressed by the police on the way to the march. They hit horses so people can fall from them, they hit us with batons, and shot tear gas. They continued to march and to defend themselves, and sent the first message to the government that they weren´t going to let themselves get beaten down and stopped. There was a split in the media, some supported, and even said, They needed to manifest and defent themselves, were they expecting to give the police roses. From then on, there was always a police presence at their marches, riot police, traffic police and so on. They also had a successful march in Toluca, the capital.

They always upheld self-defense of the people, but they also didn´t romanticize violence, they reconize that there´s a difference. They were tired of letting themselves get beaten up.

There was a year of protests and demonstrations. The governor of the state of Mexico was Arturo Montier. He was preparing to go visit Alcoma, and on a Thursday, July 11, 2002 (a date everyone from the FPDT remembers), there was a demonstration against the governor. On a bridge there was a very bloody confrontation between the police and the demonstrators. The police hid under the bridge and came out to attack the march. People were beaten, tear gased, and shot at with live ammunition. Ignacio was hit with a tear gas canister on the head, and two people were shot on the ankles. Women and men were detained. This was all preplanned by the police, because they knew of the activities of the FPDT beforehand (who have infiltrators in their organization as well, who give information to the police). There were state police and plain clothes police who attacked the march.

People who resisted were able to get away and back to Atenco. They called on Atenco by sending out the three bottle rockets in the air. On this day the people of Atenco shut down the road and highway in Atenco. The media started calling them, Los Macheteros, and they´re proud to be that. From that day there were political prisoners. People got away from the police at the march by hiding in people´s houses and ejidos, some were turned in but many of them got away. Ignacio del Valle was taken to a hospital, the police dragged him our of the hospital, beat, tortured him, and detained him. A compañera was able to get away by changing herself into a nurse uniform.

It came down to taking up drastic strategies to saving themselves and the prisoners detained. They held police as hostage in their center until they released the political prisoners. They had the civility of not beating, torturing, or raping the police that they held captive, the police and the state does not. There was more state repression, they surrounded all of the periphery of Atenco, and shut down all entrances of Atenco. All of the state owned media was against them, but they had to do this because they had no other choice. At this point they got the support that the media did not give them, from social movement organizations, students, progressive lawyers with economic resources, food, and moral support. This to me always seems a better strategy than relying on the state owned corporate media for support who never will stand with the people because they are tools of the government to control people by disinforming the public. We have to rely on our strengths and create solidarity with other communities and organizations to minimize our weaknesses. The movement in Atenco was able to defeat the government on this occassion. The political prisoners were freed and they didn´t build an airport.

Atenco Today:

When the attack on Atenco happened on May 4th, the media also supported the police, and that the people defending themselves as the problem. The police beat independent photographers and tried to take their cameras as the corporate media exploited the insecurities of people. They kept repeating the images of demonstrators beating a cop in self defense. They didn´t show the massacre that happened by the police in Atenco. They didn´t talk about the people who were killed, Javier Cortes and Alexis Benhemua. The only people who investigated were an independent human rights organization, Miguel Agustin PRODH.

The prisoners are being held for kidnapping, attacks on media, and organized crime. The political prisoners have been on hunger strike since they were detained. None of the cops have been punished for THEIR organized crime on the people of Atenco. They said they didn´t carry weapons, that Alexis was killed by the Frente.

The prisoners have proof of what was done to them, the police don´t have proof of what they say we did.

The government is scared, because they knew that the Other Campaign is being a success. We were connecting with everyone and all social organizations from the left and the bottom, and everyone who was anti-party, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist.

-From political prisoners being detained

In Texcoco, a day before the attack the state government said that the flower vendors could sell, and they made an accord witht he FPDT. When the day came, the police blocked the flower vendors again, so the vendors along with the FPDT who was doing security for them marched in Texcoco. The police attacked them and they defended themselves. They shot rubber bullets, tear gas, maze, and projectilies that knocked people unconscious. They detained the organizers of that march, and the people in Atenco shut down their highway and held two local police hostage. The community of Atenco tried dialogue before the police came into Atenco. In an interview the human rights organization Agustin PRODH did with 3 state policemen who had confessed that the orders from the top were beat anything that moves.

The Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, is an action based organization. They say that they´re not there to get the media attention, but there to take action and to liberate Atenco and the political prisoners.

Report from Oaxaca, Mexico 06-23-06 and 06-24-06

I entered the City of Oaxaca in the afternoon. The first thing that was visible was the graffiti and the wheat pasting that was anti-government, anarchist, and anti governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. A police station was covered in Anarchist A´s.

I met with comrades from the OIDHO, Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca (India Organizations for the Human Rights of Oaxaca) who are part of the Alianza Magonista Zapatista (Magonista Zapatista Alliance). The next day they take me to their encampment at the Zocalo where teachers have been fighting and struggling for the last couple of weeks.

The teachers union, Seccion 22, has recuperated the Zocalo for the last couple of days demanding an end to the privatization of education (that would make it only accessible to the rich where as of now it´s free and accessible to anyone). There new demand has been that the PRIsta (member of the Partido Revolucionario Institutonal / Institutional Revolutionary Party) governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

On June 14, 2006, 40,000 teachers in the Zocalo were attacked by the police at 4 AM. Five thousand police entered the Zocalo, burning back packs, tents, food, and supplies for the teachers. They attacked the people who were camping who were the 40,000 teachers and 500,000 people who supported them. To this day there is an uncertainty of how many people were killed, but a child and a teacher is certain. There are people who have been disapappeared, meaning they were taken by the police and no one knows where they are and if they are alive.

After the police attacked, the teachers and the popular movement in support defended themselves with sticks, rocks, and whatever they can pick up from the street. El OIDHO was there, and one of the comrades was telling me what happened. When the police detained 12 teachers inside the police quarters, the teachers held 8 cops in detention inside the teacher encampment (with sticks and rocks). The teachers were able to negotiate the release of the teachers, and they released the police. There were hundreds of injured on the side of the teachers and on the side of the police.

The police destroyed the pirate radio station of the teacher encampment, so youth from the university (Universidad Autonoma de Benito Juarez en Oaxaca) retook the radio station at the university to inform the public over the struggle of the teachers.

The support for the teachers and the anti-government sentiment is in the majority today in Oaxaca. The reason why the struggle has been successful has been because they have have popular support. There were 500,000 people who joined in at the encampment who weren´t teachers.

The state still tried to repress the encampment by shooting rubber bullets, tear gas and by beating people. They shot tear gas canisters from aboard helicopters (that the state own media uses as well to report on PRI organized marches in support for Ulises). They broke into the ExPalace and shot rubber bullets from windows they broke from the second floor. However, the people outnumbered the police.


Today en El Zocalo, a social organization, El Frente Amplio de Liberacion Popular (The Broad Front for Popular Liberation) distributed some food for the teachers and people who were in support of the struggle there.

The organizations involved are, Seccion 22 (the teacher´s union), PUNCN (Promotora Por La Unidad Nacional Contra el Neoliberalismo / Promoter for the National Unity Against Neoliberalism which OIDHO and the Alianza Magonista Zapatista is part of), FSODO (Frente Sindicato de Organizaciones Democraticas de Oaxaca / Syndicate Front for the Democratic Organizations of Oaxaca made up of unions throughout Oaxaca in solidarity), Padre de Familia (Father of the Family), students, the community, and people. These organizations and individuals have organized mega-marches in the City of Oaxaca, and a fourth mega-march is in planning. Today there was also a popular assembly of the different regions of Oaxaca in the city, which the Alianza Magonista Zapatista took part of.

The atmosphere in Oaxaca today is of rebellion and theres a wanting for liberation of bad governments, and a wanting for self-determination and autonomy.

(I will continue to report on Oaxaca in the next couple of days).

--Joaquin Cienfuegos


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