Archive for 2006

3 years since Atenco and innocent people are still imprisoned – Let’s take action!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by floweroftheword

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of the Mexican State’s brutal violence towards the people of Atenco. Please read below for more information and contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

In solidarity,

Wellington Zapatista Support Group

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559



Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400


By Heriberto Salas and Salvador Díaz

On May 3, 2006, the sun rose with a dark stain around the Belisario Dominguez market in Texcoco: the state and local police had posted a guard around the spot where flower growers had sold their flowers for as long as we can remember. The Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT), which had participated in a dialogue with Enrique Peña Nieto’s government had counseled and defended the flower growers. The day before, the state government had promised them and the FPDT that they would withdraw their police forces.

At 6 o’clock in the morning, when we met up with men, women, and children carrying baby’s breath, chrysanthemums, and spikenards, joined in their chants, and helped them set up their stands on the curb, we never imagined that we would go through some of the cruelest, most ferocious and heartless repression unleashed in the contemporary history of Mexico.

Yet the flower growers, the FPDT, and the people fell into a shameless trap of the so-called “golden boy,” who in fact is a true Caligula or “golden tyrant,” Enrique Peña Nieto, supported by then prosti-president Vicente Fox Quezada, and the complicity of the PRD lapdogs of Texcoco, all defenders of a barbarous State whose enemies are the most defenseless people.

As everyone knows, the outcome of the repression of May 3 and 4 was two comrades murdered, Javier Cortés and Alexis Benhumea; 207 arrested, including 47 women; and dozens of people wounded, pursued, and disappeared. But that wasn’t all. Our small community, San Salvador Atenco, like the Gaza Strip, Tikrit, or Kabul, was militarily occupied by thousands of vicious police who crudely profaned the peaceful streets of our beloved land just as they raped our comrades, sisters, daughters, and relatives on the road to the Santiaguito prison in those dreadful days.

They were like hordes of beasts who stopped at nothing to bring their brutality down on everyone. Consider the images: A Mazahua indigenous woman covering her legs as she was viciously beaten by the killers; an elderly paraplegic dragged by two buzzards in uniform; a dog beaten by a policeman; 10, 15, 20, 30 police monstrously beating a committed Zapatista militant; warrantless house searches; an elderly woman crying because her three sons were carried away; a barefoot Atenco man forced to his knees in the middle of a new Tlatelolco Plaza de las Tres Culturas; hooligans climbing up on top of the church and searching water tanks for Zapatista militants and Atenco community people. These are the indisputable testimonies that will never be erased from the memory of Mexican people.

From there on…a journey through hell. From the persecution of militants to the torturous process of winning the freedom of our prisoners. From our initial denunciation of the outrageous violation of the supposed State of Law and the smashing of our individual guarantees to the interminable trials with all its delays. The government and its front men have twisted the laws with the same impunity that existed during the Inquisition, charging us with crimes that we never committed, issuing arrest warrants for our most visible comrades, and subjecting our peoples to close-up, unyielding police vigilance. The names of those responsible for the military occupation by the federal and state police are well known: Vicente Fox, Enrique Peña Nieto, ex Director of the State Security Agency (ASE) Wilfrido Robledo Madrid, current Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, then State Attorney Abel Villicaña, ex Under Secretary of National Security Miguel Angel Yunes, among others.

Along this thorny path, we’ve relied on the support and solidarity of the Zapatista comrades of the Other Campaign, who have shown their goodwill and courage from the very beginning in the camp outside the prisons where our comrades have been held. Other workers, farmers, indigenous, popular, and even international organizations have also walked along beside us in this heroic effort. But of special importance is the honorable role played by the group of lawyers who have advised us all through the trials as we’ve fought against an invisible enemy embedded in the institutions of the State itself, one that plays by the same rules and exhibits all the official aberrations and inconsistencies. This united effort has made it possible to get most of our prisoners out of jail.

Needless to say, this State violence responds to the same logic of the finance capital that rules the world. It’s the same violence used on all five continents to snatch peoples’ natural resources from them, from oil to water, corn to rice, mines to forests, rivers to seas, in other words, to seize the wealth of the whole planet.

This war declared on the peoples of the world struggling to conserve their natural resources has reached our town Atenco, because we’ve defended our territory, and the communities in Chiapas who struggle against oblivion; the peoples of Oaxaca, for autonomy; the people of Guerrero, for their rivers and mountains; the peoples of San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, against the predatory mining companies –all of these places where levels of organization and social consciousness have gained such force that they’ve become a real danger to the government and the transnational companies.

This, and no other, was the main reason for the State offensive against the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land: a high level of organization. A triumphant social movement that was not absorbed by the political parties, a radical, horizontal, anti-establisment, solidarity organization that grew along with its social demands, going beyond the initial struggle in defense of the land.

So an intricate network of relationships was woven along with other movements in the country and other parts of the world. But it reached its peak with the bond formed with the Zapatista movement and the Front’s adherence to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Selfa and The Other Campaign. The April 25, 2006 visit to Atenco by the Sixth Commission headed by SubComandante Marcos was tremendous. The tie between macheteros and zapatistas put the government on alert. And the answer came a week later with the attempt to pulverize the FPDT.

Today the federal and state governments of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto are still holding twelve of our kidnapped comrades, nine of them in the Molino de Flores prison in Texcoco, with sentences of 31 years, 10 months, and 15 days, and three others in the maximum security Altiplano prison at Almoloya, State of Mexico, two of them sentenced to 67 years in prison (Felipe Alvarez and Héctor Galindo), and one, Ignacio del Valle sentenced to 112 years, accused of being the intellectual author of the events of May 3 and 4. The federal and state governments have relied on the complicity of all the political parties and all the institutions of justice in the country, and even though the Supreme Court found in their investigation that the authorities did indeed commit Crimes against Humanity, it didn’t identify the responsible parties and instead, absolved them.

Faced with this ignominious exoneration on February 12, 2009, by the devious Ministers of Calderon’s Supreme Court, which allows presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and his accomplices to maintain their impunity, the FPDT along with human rights and independent organizations, have drawn many outstanding personalities like Eduardo Galeano, Bishop Samuel Ruíz, Manu Chao, and Adolfo Gilly into a current aimed at building the Committee for Freedom and Justice for Atenco, whose aims are the same as those upheld in 2002, when we defeated the expropriation decree––the incorporation of the civil society into the struggle, now oriented towards winning the freedom of our brothers held prisoner and the strict application of the law against those who massacred our people.

In support of these demands on the third anniversary of this attempt against the people of Atenco, we call on all national and international social and political organizations to join in the demand for the freedom of the political prisoners of Mexico and the world on May 3 and 4.


Once again, please contact the Mexican Embassy to demand freedom for the political prisoners and justice for all those terrorised by state forces.

If enough of us make a short phone call or send an email, the Mexican Government will get the message that the world knows about their atrocious actions.

Contact details for the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, NZ

Level 8, Perpetual Trust House

111-115 Customhouse Quay

PO Box 11-510, Manners Street

Wellington, New Zealand

Telephone (+64) 4 472 0555

Fax (+64) 4 496 3559



Office Hours Mon – Thurs 0900 -1600, Fri 0900 – 1500

Consular: 0900 – 1400

Solidarity with Atenco: Sign and spread the open letter

Posted in Announcement with tags , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by floweroftheword

From angrywhitekid “Solidarity with Atenco”

Scott Campbell’s translation of an open letter sent out by the Colectivo Contraimpunidad. Sign on and spread the word. Free all political prisoners! [Spanish original]

We ask for you to sign on and spread this letter which will be sent to Mexico as a result of the unjust sentences given to the political prisoners from Atenco.

Send your name, occupation (optional), city or country to:

August 2008

International Open Letter

As a result of the scandalous sentences announced on August 21 against the activists, victims of the violent days of May 3 – 4, 2006, in San Salvador Atenco, Mexico.

Just women and men from Mexico and the world repudiate the jailing of innocents and demand the government:

* Immediately drop the 67-year sentences against activists Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Alvarez and Hector Galindo, unjustly sentenced in 2007.

* Immediately drop the 45-year sentence against Ignacio del Valle, unjustly sentenced on August 21, 2008.

* Immediately drop the 31-year, 10-month and 15-day sentences of activists Juan Carlos Estrada Romero, Oscar Hernandez Pacheco, Narciso Arellano Hernandez, Alejandro Pilon Zacate, Jorge Alberto y Roman Adan Ordonez Romero, Pedro Reyes Flores, Ines Rodolfo Cuellar Rivera, Edgar Eduardo Morales Reyes and Julio Cesar Espinoza Ramos, unjustly sentenced on August 21, 2008.

* Immediately free all the political prisoners from Atenco.

* Bring to justice the murderers of Alexis Benhumea and Francisco Javier Cortes.

Because we will not give up!
We will not be silenced!
We will not forget!

Down with impunity in Mexico!

Colectivo contraimpunidad, DDHH, Natalia Castelgrande, Andrea Caraballo, Ana de Leon, Humberto Robles

Background information on Atenco.

Blog of the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra.


Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by floweroftheword

by David Venegas Reyes “alebrije”
Participant in the APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca)
member of VOCAL (Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Freedom)
11 July 2008

translated by: bojobita

POWER, this monster of one thousand faces of politicians, businesspeople, bishops, and military men, that in 2006 was at the point of being squashed beneath millions of feet in the people’s victorious march for freedom; that was burned by the magnificent heat of the millions of good hearts set alight with the fire of rebellion and hope; that hid itself, terrified when cornered by the thousands of barricades; that was deafened by millions of throats that shouted like never before the slogans of justice, freedom, dignity and peace, words that are naturally opposed to power. That same power that was humiliated and mortally wounded by the insurrectionary action of the peoples of Oaxaca, today is rapidly regrouping its forces and rises furiously from the ground, with a thirst for vengeance.

Where in 2006 power had as its ultimate refuge the space bought on TV screens and the covers of a few daily papers, the only spaces where it could feel safe, and from there it performed a false show of strength. Today power goes out in the streets to demonstrate its renewed cynicism. The faces of businesspeople and politicians of all the parties that in 2006 looked with skepticism or open disdain at the more violent and authoritarian face of power, of the repressive and murderous governor (Ulises Ruiz Ortiz). In their hypocrisy these faces of power that in 2006 publicly criticised the fascist face of power, negating their common origin, today have reconciled and renewed their agreement to keep their power alive at whatever cost.

Power licks the deep scars left in its skin by thousands of anonymous hands of the people that hastened its deafening collapse, painting slogans of freedom and justice on its reptile body to the bewilderment of those who thought that power would never succumb, and the happiness of those who thought it was already dead. For this affront power feels a renewed appetite for the blood of the working people, an appetite stimulated by its desire for revenge.

Revenge disguised as reconciliation, power knows that it should show its friendliest faces in order to get its claws within reach of the distrustful and rebellious public, and once captive, it will return to feeding on their obedience, fear, admiration and their blood. For this, power counts on its most hypocritical faces, faces of leftist politicians, of legitimate deputies, senators and presidents, of leaders of falsely revolutionary social organisations, of bishops, of painters, “philanthropists”, of union leaders, of parrot-journalists and even the faces of some that are called “Leaders of the APPO” that with their long serpent tongues speak magnificent discourses of surrender and spit the venom of the demagogy at those that are within reach of their treacherous tongues, fulfilling the vile task of attracting the people that rose up in 2006 to the jaws of power so that they may be devoured by this monster of a thousand faces.

The leftist faces of power in 2006 sought eagerly to put themselves at the front of the valiant actions of the people in the struggle, and when they spoke at rallies or on occupied radio stations they gave speeches so inflammatory in their revolutionary vehemence that they squeezed with emotion the hearts of thousands of brave and honest men and women.

Leftist faces of power including those who encouraged people to engage in direct confrontation with the police and military face of power. Today they don’t lose the opportunity to label as “radical, violent and police” the people from the struggle in the streets who dare to denounce their treason and opportunism for becoming once again efficient servants of power. There is a powerful rationale behind these accusations of the leftist faces of power: To discredit, defame and eliminate those members of the social movement that refuse to serve power, those that continue fighting for freedom.

The power which in 2006 showed its most fascist and repressive face, which provoked the forceful action of the people to deeply and mortally wound its ghastly body, has learned the lesson and is ready to include however many faces may be necessary, even many faces of the left, so that this monster – devourer of peoples, nature, culture and future – may continue living. There are many faces of the left, many of those self-described leaders of the APPO who don’t hesitate to become part of the body of power and sate their appetites, to this day they rehearse the gestures, the solemnity and the demagoguery necessary to form part of this monster.

They forget and ignore that the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca is naturally opposed to power. Since horizontalism, respect for consensus and respectful dialogue are the fundamental principles of the assembly, inheritances from the assemblies our indigenous peoples have practised for millenia, the assemblies are precisely the reason for the indigenous peoples’ survival through the successive invasions, plunder, attacks, colonialism, capitalism and neoliberalism with which the owners of power have attacked them for centuries. Today the assembly remains in force as the communities own form of self-government, but above all as a political proposal of national and international reach. The APPO is that historic paradigm where the experience of struggle of the peoples of Oaxaca and the different peoples of the world that have struggled for freedom, justice, dignity and peace is combined, in a moment in history where savage capitalism is found in terminal crisis, and power, its bastard son, has shown its most criminal faces.

Power has suffered more than the superficial wounds left on its body by the people’s insurrectional action of 2006, and even though it may be adorning its hideous body with words of social peace, reconciliation and development, it will not be capable of curing itself of the most profound wound caused by the people in 2006, the wound created at the source of its strength by the consciousness gained by our peoples of their unsustainable situation and the need to fight tirelessly for true justice, freedom, dignity and peace. It is this mortal wound that remains in the heart of power and from this it will never heal.

See also: