NEWS UPDATES ON MEXICO AND THE ZAPATISTAS
I. Zapatistas – At the beginning of May, the Zapatistas completed homages to Luis Villoro and Compañero Galeano the teacher, as well as the Seminar on “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra.” They released a book (in Spanish) of their “Words” delivered during the Seminar. They have just released a video that constitutes the 2nd level of the Escuelita (Little Zapatista School) to those who passed the first level. Only those that passed the 1st level have have the password for the video, but they can share it with others. You can read the comunicado about the 2nd level here.
Special Cases/Casos especiales – This comunicado tells you what to do if you attended the 1st level but didn’t receive the password for the 2nd level video!
II. The 43 Disappeared Ayotzinapa Students – The families, student survivors and fellow students continue traveling around Mexico to organize in support of their cause. The experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights appointed to give technical assistance to the Mexican government in the Ayotzinapa Case have not yet had much success. Approximately one-half of the requests they made to the government have not been fulfilled; nor have many of their suggestions been implemented. The key dispute remains being granted permission to interview soldiers from the 27th Infantry Battalion in Iguala face-to-face. Meanwhile, no prosecutions of those accused of participating in the crime have been completed; in other words, no one has been found guilty and punished for the crimes involved. Importantly, the National Human Rights Commission, a government agency, issued a report very critical of the attorney general’s investigation, calling it “incomplete” and supporting the parents’ positions. See: La Jornada’s editorial regarding this report.
III. Cemeí Verdeí – The First Commander of the Santa María Ostula Community Police remains in the Mil Cumbres Prison near Morelia, Michoacán. The firearms charge was dismissed by a judge. The homicide charges were also dismissed by a judge. The only remaining charge we know about is that of stealing some barbed wire from the Ostula municipal council and there is at least one report that the council is withdrawing that complaint.
IV. Mexico’s Teachers – Teachers continue to protest the education “reform,” which takes away many union rights and many teachers’ rights. It resembles “No child left behind” in the U.S. The protests have turned violent on various occasions and the government is taking a hard line, freezing the bank account of the CNTE, the most militant and most left of the teachers’ unions. Luis Hernández Navarro, of La Jornada, contradicts some of the propaganda the government is spreading about the teachers.
V. Poverty in Mexico – Mexico’s National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval) reported that 2 million additional people fell below the poverty line in Mexico in 2014. This is the opposite of the general trend in Latin America. La Jornada reports that Raúl Vera, the Bishop of Saltillo, stated that the increase in poverty in the country is a consequence of the neoliberal model, which concentrates the wealth in only a few, privatizes national wealth and puts a brake on wages. He also mentioned the structural reforms, “corrupt politicians” and drug trafficking.
VI. Mexico City Killings – The murder of 5 people in a Mexico City residence, including photo- journalist Rubén Espinoza of Proceso, Yo Soy 132 activist Nadia Vera from Chiapas, Olivia Alejandra, Mila Virginia and Yesenia Quiróz saddened many folks in Mexico and around the world. The Daily Beast published a detailed report on the multiple homicide here.
VII. New from Raúl Zibechi – Full Time Domination – Zibechi discusses the ideas of several writers regarding the current stage of capitalism and the Greek Crisis and offers suggestions for anti-capitalist movements.
Blog and Website – When you open the Compañero Manuel website, you’ll notice that we’re changing the site little by little. It’s a work in progress. We hope the finished product will better serve our readers and better reflect who we are and what we do.
Events – Within the next week we’ll be announcing a series of events focused on building community and urban autonomy.