Specter of a police state:
By Kevin Martinez and Rafael Azul, 11 July 2008
On July 1, videos surfaced on the Internet and Mexican television depicting police officers practicing torture techniques in the city of León, Guanajuato. The videos reveal ongoing ties between Mexican authorities and US military contractors, and an escalation of repressive measures against the Mexican working class, youth and peasantry. The tapes show an English-speaking private contractor training the officers, a chilling image that brought back memories of the “Dirty War” of the 1970’s and 80’s, when the Mexican government systematically hunted down and tortured left-wing students and peasants with the complicity and assistance of the United States.
By Kevin Kearney, 7 May 2008
The results of the March 16 election for president and general secretary of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) are still unknown, and it is increasingly unlikely that the final results will ever be determined.
By Kevin Kearney, 11 March 2008
The Mexican opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), one of the three major Mexican bourgeois parties, will hold intra-party elections March 16. An ascendant “new left” faction (NL) led by Jesús Ortega—candidate for party president—is poised to assume control from forces loyal to former PRD presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
By Kevin Kearney, 21 November 2007
Tabasco and neighboring Chiapas state are still reeling from last month’s floods in Mexico, which caused 19 confirmed deaths, caused hundreds to go missing and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Tabasco Governor Andres Granier declared that about four-fifths of Tabasco state was under water, estimating damage at $5 billion, and warned that many evacuees will not be able to return for months.
By Kevin Kearney and Don Knowland, 19 September 2007
In the wake of a coordinated series of oil pipeline bombings on September 10, Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the deployment of tens of thousands of army troops throughout the country. This action follows a first year in office in which Calderon, of the National Action Party (PAN), had already militarized Mexico to an extent not seen for over 70 years under the guise of waging a war on violent drug traffickers.
By Kevin Kearney, 1 June 2007
Much like George Bush in his fraudulent “war on terror,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his media supporters are deeply engaged in a fear campaign to bully Mexican public opinion into accepting a move toward authoritarian rule and increased US intervention.
By Rafael Azul, 16 November 2006
The Mexican city of Oaxaca is under police occupation. Government security forces are engaging in a “dirty war” of arbitrary detentions and disappearances reminiscent of the operations carried out in the 1970s.
By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2006
Thousands of federal riot police invaded Oaxaca on Sunday to crush an oppositional movement that has held control of the southern Mexican state for several months. The significance of this police operation goes beyond the Oaxaca protests, which have been driven by growing poverty and inequality. It is a warning to the nation’s working class that Mexico’s ruling elite is willing resort to naked violence and repression. The defense of the Oaxacan protesters requires the mobilization of working people throughout Mexico.
By Rafael Azul and Julio Ponce, 17 October 2006
The Mexican government has threatened striking teachers in the city of Oaxaca with police and military repression this week unless they accept a negotiated agreement between the Vicente Fox government, the teachers union and the Oaxacan Peoples Popular Assembly (APPO). On October 12, striking teachers voted to reject the deal.
By Rafael Azul, 11 September 2006
On Tuesday, September 5, Mexico’s Federal Judicial Elections Tribunal (TEPJF) declared Felipe Calderón Hinojosa the winner of the July 2 presidential election. The decision has only inflamed the ongoing political crisis, under conditions in which Mexican society is deeply polarized and class relations are at a breaking point. Calderón is a member of the National Action Party (PAN).
By Rafael Azul, 4 September 2006
Mexican President Vicente Fox had to cancel his final state of the union speech before the country’s Congress September 1, after legislators protested a massive police/military mobilization against anti-government demonstrators by seizing the podium. This is the first time in modern Mexican history that a sitting president has been prevented from addressing the opening session of the legislature on September 1.
By Rafael Azul, 29 August 2006
Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) went into public session on Monday and threw out most of challenges to the results of the July second presidential elections. The challenges, questioning the votes cast at some 40,000 ballot boxes, came from Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
By Rafael Azul, 8 August 2006
On August 5, Mexico’s seven-member Federal Election Tribunal (TEPJF) in a unanimous ruling denied the demand of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the presidential candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), for a full recount of the votes cast in the July 2 election.
By Rafael Azul, 2 August 2006
In the largest demonstration in Mexican history, between 1 and 2 million people rallied Sunday in Mexico City’s central square, the Zocalo, to demand a recount in the presidential election that was held on July 2. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), called on his supporters to engage in acts of civil resistance to demand that the Federal Judicial Electoral Tribunal authorize the recount. His speech indicated a turn to more aggressive tactics in the month-long dispute over the official results of the election.
By Rafael Azul, 18 July 2006
The disputed vote in this month’s presidential elections has become the focal point of deep social antagonisms in Mexico. The growing social discontent was on display July 16, when over one million supporters of presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador gathered in Mexico City to demand a full recount and an investigation into charges of election fraud.
By Rafael Azul and Patrick Martin, 11 July 2006
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the presidential candidate of the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), filed a formal challenge Sunday to the officially announced outcome of the July 2 election, charging fraud and other misconduct by the Mexican election authorities as well as the administration of outgoing President Vicente Fox.
By Rafael Azul, 6 July 2006
No clear winner has emerged from the July 2 presidential election in Mexico. Officials of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) refused to declare a victor until all ballots are counted this week. A virtual tie between the leading candidates, Felipe Calderón and Andrés Lopez Obrador, mirrors the country’s social and geographic polarization, which have reached crisis proportions. This week’s election results can only serve to push Mexico closer to a social explosion.
Major candidates offer no solution to the social crisis
By Rafael Azul, 1 July 2006
On Sunday, July 2, Mexican voters will elect a new president and a new Congress. The election takes place under conditions of mounting class tensions, as hundreds of thousands of teachers, miners and other workers have taken to the streets. None of the major candidates in the presidential election genuinely addresses the needs of the masses for decent-paying jobs, improved living standards and social programs.
Police kill strikers
By Rafael Azul, 25 April 2006
The killing of two young metalworkers in a military siege against strikers at a steel mill in Mexico signals a sharp escalation in the class struggle in Mexico.
By Rafael Azul, 7 March 2006
Last week, more than a quarter-million miners and steelworkers walked off their jobs in one of the largest industrial strikes in Mexico in three decades. Between March 1 and March 3, hundreds of mines and mills across the country were affected by the national strike called by the 270,000-member National Mine and Metal Workers Union (STNMM).
By Rafael Azul, 2 March 2006
In the wake of the death of 65 coal miners at Grupo México’s Pasta de Conchos mine, located in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, more than 5,000 miners struck several operations owned by the giant mining company February 28 to protest unsafe working conditions and demand decent wages.
By Rafael Azul, 27 February 2006
On Saturday, February 25, Mexican authorities announced the suspension of rescue efforts for the 65 miners trapped underground after the February 19 explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine in Cahuila, about 85 miles southwest of the US border. With the lack of breathable air and no sign of the miners after more than a week, it is presumed the 65 men have perished.
By Tom Carter and Rafael Azul, 22 February 2006
The fate of 65 miners in a Mexico mine is still unknown, three days after an explosion trapped them underground during the early morning of February 19.
By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2005
On October 19, the Committee of 68 led a rally in front of Mexico’s Supreme Court in Mexico City to demand an independent investigation into the student massacres of 1968 and 1971 and the “dirty war” of which these two events were a part.
“Students were the main targets of the dirty war”
31 October 2005
Alejandro Alvarez is a Mexican economist and a member of the Committee of 68. As a student he participated in the peaceful student protest of June 10, 1971 which was attacked by paramilitary thugs, leaving scores dead. He spoke to Rafael Azul of the World Socialist Web Site about the committee’s work and the campaign to unmask the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
12 perish in Arizona desert
By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2005
The so-called season of death began on the border that separates the US and Mexico last weekend, with American Border Patrol agents recovering the bodies of 12 undocumented migrants in the Arizona desert and detaining scores more, many of them suffering from extreme dehydration.
By Rafael Azul, 3 May 2005
Mexico’s President Vicente Fox announced last Thursday that the “storm clouds” had cleared in the political crisis that has gripped the country since the government stripped Mexico City’s Mayor Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of his immunity from prosecution. The government has backed away from the political maneuver, which had seemed almost certain to preclude Lopez Obrador’s candidacy in the 2006 presidential election.
By Rafael Azul, 18 April 2005
On April 7, the Mexican House of Deputies stripped Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City, of his immunity from prosecution in connection with an obscure case involving a contempt of court charge over a land-use dispute. The action sets the stage for Lopez Obrador’s prosecution by the National Attorney General, which would bar him from running in the 2006 presidential election. He currently places first in presidential polls.
By Rafael Azul, 21 August 2004
On July 22, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Past Social and Political Movements (FEMOSPP), headed by Ignacio Carrillo, ordered the arrest of former Mexican president Luis Echeverría and 11 others, charging them with genocide. Specifically, the indictment accused them of ordering an illegal paramilitary squad to shoot down dozens of students on June 10, 1971, in Mexico City, in what became known as the Corpus Christi Massacre.
Faced with mass opposition to war
By Rafael Azul, 14 March 2003
Mexican President Vicente Fox appears to be leaning toward a “yes” vote on the new US-British resolution giving final United Nations sanction for a war of aggression against Iraq. Despite massive popular opposition in Mexico to a US attack, and contrary to his stated position just weeks ago, Fox has moved from opposing war to a position of official neutrality, while loudly attacking Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for allegedly failing to disarm.
By Bill Vann, 13 July 2002
Mexico’s former president Luis Echeverría continued to deny any responsibility for the repression carried out by security forces during the 1960s and 1970s after appearing July 9 for a second time before a prosecutor investigating the bloody events of that period.
By Peter Daniels, 12 November 2001
The assassination of Mexican human rights attorney Digna Ochoa last month has focused attention on the continuing threats and outright terror facing workers and political dissidents in the country.
By Gerardo Nebbia, 11 September 2001
The 18-day strike by autoworkers in Mexico that stopped production at the giant Volkswagen-Mexico plant in Puebla state ended September 5 after the union agreed to management’s wage and benefits offer. The 12,400 workers will receive a 10.2 percent increase in wages, 3.5 percent increase in food vouchers and 1 percent more for school supplies for workers’ children.
By Gerardo Nebbia, 1 September 2001
Mexico’s VW workers overwhelmingly rejected a proposed contract settlement and decided to continue their strike for improved wages and working conditions against the German-owned auto giant. Nearly 97 percent of the 11,460 strikers voted against the 10.2 percent wage offer accepted by their union, with only 281 workers approving the deal. Earlier in the week, the union dropped its wage increase demand to 10 percent, down from 19 percent at the beginning of the strike.
By Bill Vann, 11 April 2001
Seven years after launching a brief armed confrontation with the Mexican army that left 200 dead in the southern state of Chiapas, the Zapatista guerrilla movement has taken the well-trodden path of transforming itself into a political instrument of Mexico's ruling establishment.
By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2000
The Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI—Institutional Revolution Party) was swept from power August 20 in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, in the first statewide election after the PRI's historic defeat in the July 2 presidential election. Chiapas is one of eight impoverished southern states which have been strongholds of the PRI throughout its 71 years in power nationally, but Pablo Salazar, candidate of an eight-party opposition coalition, easily defeated Sami David of the PRI, 57 percent to 43 percent.
By Gerardo Nebbia and Patrick Martin, 22 July 2000
The July 2 Mexican elections, the first in the country's history to transfer power from one party to another, have been hailed by both the Mexican and US media as a triumph of democracy.
By Patrick Martin, 4 July 2000
The long-ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) suffered a massive defeat in the July 2 national elections in Mexico, losing the presidency for the first time in its history and suffering other losses in elections for Congress, for mayor of Mexico City and for two state governorships.
By Gerardo Nebbia and Patrick Martin, 1 July 2000
The candidates for president of Mexico suspended campaigning June 29, observing the 72-hour moratorium required under the country's electoral laws. Nearly 70 million are eligible to cast ballots July 2 for president, congressional seats and positions in a dozen state governments, but most attention has been focused on whether the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institutional (Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI) will be defeated for the first time in a presidential campaign.
By Gerardo Nebbia 20 March 2000
20 March 2000
Five weeks after the Mexican federal police broke up the 10-month-long strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) hundreds are still in jail. The UNAM authorities pretend that things are getting back to normal. At the same time, the student General Strike Committee (CGH) continues to agitate in defense of education rights and for the release of the UNAM prisoners.
By Gerardo Nebbia and Bill Vann, 10 February 2000
Mass arrests and a police-military occupation have brought an end to a 10-month student strike at UNAM, Latin America's largest university, while sparking protests by students in other parts of Mexico City which threaten to spread nationwide.