Thursday, August 10, 2006


La Mano Dura (lit. The Fist): Repression comes to Mexico

(No, I don't think that the Lebanon war or the recent terrorist plot are worth blogging on. The former is a continuation of a war that has been raging for 60 years. The only interesting question is where Israel will set its boundary line this time. I'm betting they'll take the Litani. The latter... well, let's say I have my doubts about whether this is for real or just more fantasy. Explosives detection technology is awfully sophisticated, and there are red flags all over the official story). Three hundred police arrive in Oaxaca. Narconews has an on-the-scene account in English. One of the fascinating points is that the people occupying Oaxaca are playing films on previous repression, back to the mass murder at Tlatelolco. More on Atenco from Mexico Solidarity Network: Forty five of the 47 women arrested in the police action on May 4 were sexually molested or raped, according to lawyers representing many of the accused. The death of 14-year-old Javier Cortes Santiago was caused by a .38 caliber bullet, the same caliber used by state police, fired from a distance of two feet. Doctor Fernando Rubi Apreza, who was present in Atenco on May 4, reported other people wounded by gunshots. Also from MSN: Meanwhile, despite his bold initial announcements, Calderon has been surprisingly on the defensive for much of the past two weeks. Calderon was always somewhat of a pariah in his own party. He tried to distance himself politically from Fox during the campaign and he has a running battle with PAN president Manuel Espino. Nevertheless, the response of his party has been surprising. Officials closed his campaign headquarters within days of the election, denying him a logistical center from which to defend his position. Most leading PAN officials virtually disappeared from public view, with the Espino taking a highly public vacation in Spain. Searching for allies, Calderon scheduled a highly publicized press event claiming union support, but only a retired electrical worker with no official union post and two largely discredited union bosses formerly aligned with the PRI bothered to show up. Televisa and TV Azteca, both strong supporters of Calderon, breathlessly reported his labor support. From the MSN newsletter: On August 3, state authorities led by officials from Agrarian Reform evicted EZLN support bases from Chol de Tumbala, located in the autonomous municipality of El Trabajo in the La[c]andon rainforest. Over 260 police burned the homes and belongings of 30 families, including all of their stored food. Police arrested Juan Jimenez Vazquez, Bartolo Arcos Mendoza and Mateo Sanchez Montejo, who were taking the license plate numbers of official vehicles. All three were beaten during the arrest. ___________________ Added: PAN and another right wing party, the New Alliance turned over the governorship of Chiapas to the PRI. Since otherwise the PRD would have the plurality, this combines payoff with frustrating the popular will. Senderodel Peje relays a claim that in Campeche, 1000 ballots vanished. In Oaxaca. five armed men shot three professors, killing one. This definitely looks to me like death squad activity.
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