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posted February 8 2013 by stuart

227 ¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 19 (febrero 2013)!
1. Eventos del Centro
2. Bienvenidos a Zachary
3. Qué pasa y qué viene
4. Subcomandante Marcos, el 24 de enero del 2013

Subcomandante Marcos, el 24 de enero del 2013

¿Dónde y cuándo empieza la violencia? Veamos. Frente a un espejo, en cualquier calendario y en cualquier geografía...

Imagine que usted es diferente al común de la gente. Imagine que usted es algo muy otro. Imagine que usted tiene determinado color de piel o de cabello. Imagine que lo desprecian y lo humillan, que lo persiguen, que lo encarcelan, que lo matan por eso, por ser diferente. Imagine que desde que nace, todo el sistema le dice y le repite que es usted algo raro, anormal, enfermo, que debe arrepentirse de lo que es y que, después de achacarlo a la mala suerte y/o a la justicia divina, debe hacer todo cuanto le sea posible por modificar ese “defecto de fabricación.” (...)

posted January 28 2013 by stuart

224

1 - ANTI-POVERTY PROGRAMS?
2 - ZAPATISTA COMMUNIQUES OFFER NEW LESSONS
3 - PENA NIETO RESPONDS TO EZLN COMMUNIQUES
4 - ZAPATISTA SUPPORTER RELEASED FROM PRISON

President Enrique Pena Nieto announced a program last week to fight extreme poverty, following a recent trend in populist politics utilized early in administrations whose electoral legitimacy is in doubt. Carlos Salinas de Gotari of the PRI, who stole an election in 1988, announced his Solidarity program in the first week of his administration. Solidarity was an effort to convert the PRI’s historic corporatist politics to a more direct relationship between recipients and party by offering supplies for construction of schools, roads and other infrastructure if communities provided the labor. Salinas often delivered the money in person in highly publicized events. PRIista Ernesto Zedillo followed in 1994 winning less than half the popular vote, the first time a PRI candidate publicly recognized such a slim victory. Zedillo replaced Solidarity with Progresa, a poverty-fighting program of direct subsidies to the poorest families provided their children go to school. PANist Vicente Fox took power in 2000 with 42% of the vote. He immediately replaced Progresa with Oportunidades, another direct subsidy program but more extensively linked to social engineering, including mandatory birth control classes, with some experts reporting sterilization operations performed on uninformed indigenous women. In 2006, PANista Felipe Calderon stole an election with the help of political operator extraordinaire Elba Esther Gordillo. He immediately offered infrastructure programs for poor communities, a “70 and Over Program” that provides US$50 a month in assistance for the elderly (the idea came directly from his opponent in the presidential campaign), and continuation of Oportunidades.

posted January 17 2013 by tony

¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 18 (enero 2013)!216
1. Eventos del Centro
2. La primera graduación preparatoria del Centro
3. Que Pasa y Que Viene
4. Comunicaciones de los Zapatistas

Comunicaciones de los Zapatistas

Después de meses sin noticias de actividades de los zapatistas en México, el pasado 21 de diciembre los indígenas mayas se hicieron presentes en la actualidad política mexicana con un silencio particularmente “estruendoso.” [video]

Más de 40 mil indígenas zapatistas ocuparon pacíficamente cinco cabeceras municipales, en completo orden y en silencio. Los integrantes de las marchas habían armado templetes frente a las oficinas de las autoridades en los citados municipios, y al llegar ahí,  se hicieron presentes levantando el  puño pero manteniendo el silencio. Al regresar a sus comunidades, el Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, emitió un cortísimo comunicado cuyo contenido central era una pregunta: “¿Escucharon?”

posted January 10 2013 by stuart

215

1 – ZAPATISTAS PUBLISH COMMUNIQUES
On December 30, the EZLN issued a formal communique outlining their broad strategic focus for the immediate future and two public letters, representing the movement’s first public comments in a year and a half.  The declarations follow historic silent marches by 40,000 Zapatista support bases in five major population centers in eastern and northern Chiapas on December 21.  The declarations are available in Spanish and English at http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/

The communique opens with a brief review of Zapatista successes over the years: “we have significantly strengthened and improved our living conditions. Our standard of living is higher than those of the indigenous communities that support the governments in office, who receive handouts that are squandered on alcohol and useless items.”  For a movement that passed quickly in the early 2000s from du jour to passé in the mainstream media, casual followers of Zapatismo may find this claim surprising.  But after institutional politics were largely closed off to the movement by the passage of a toothless version of the San Andres Accords in 2001, Zapatismo turned inward, focusing on self-implementation of the Accords.  The results are impressive – autonomous self-government, a primary and secondary education system that covers the entirety of Zapatista territory, and a self-financed medical system recognized for its efficacy, even by opposition party members in Chiapas.  Slowly but surely, Zapatismo has become a sustainable force focused on the basic needs and political organization of tens of thousands of indigenous families.

posted December 23 2012 by stuart

211

1 - ZAPATISTA MOBILIZATION
2 - EDUCATION REFORM SCAPEGOATS TEACHERS
3 - PENA NIETO’S POLITICAL AGENDA
4 - WALMART OUTED AGAIN
5 - HSBC AVOIDS CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

Tens of thousands of Zapatista support bases occupied the cities of San Cristobal de las Casas, Las Margaritas, Altamirano, Ocosingo and Comitan early Friday morning in a peaceful and silent replay of the January 1, 1994 uprising.  An estimated 40,000 Zapatistas demonstrated an organizational capacity not seen publicly in several years.  Marchers carried signs demanding justice for Acteal on the 15th anniversary of the infamous massacre in which paramilitaries, supported by government troops, killed 45 indigenous members of Las Abejas.  Several weeks ago the EZLN promised a communique which would break a year-and-a-half-long silence.  On Friday Subcomandante Marcos published a short piece of poetry, but a more extensive document is expected in coming days.

posted December 10 2012 by tony

206

1 - PRI CLAIMS PRESIDENCY, AND FIRST VICTIMS
2 - FEDERAL POLICE IN CUSTODY FOR ATTACK ON CIA AGENTS
3 - LABOR REFORM PASSES
4 - CARTEL LEADER ACCUSES CALDERON ADMIN OF CORRUPTION

On December 1, Enrique Peña Nieto claimed Mexico's Presidency for the PRI, after the party was out of power for twelve years. The July election was marred by vote-buying and campaign spending that may have exceeded legal limits by five-fold. The PRI, known for its long history of corruption and institutional violence, also claimed its first victims during the swearing in ceremony when police severely wounded at least two protesters with rubber-covered metal bullets. Police also severely beat one senior citizen who minutes earlier was distributing free books to a line of officers. More than 100 people were arrested, many who were simply walking near the demonstration when police attacked. It appears that much of the property damage, broadcast amply over the mainstream media, was carried out by provocateurs working with police in an effort to discredit the massive demonstration. It was an auspicious start to a six year reign. 

 

The youthful and photogenic Peña Nieto claims to lead a modern PRI, but most Mexicans are not convinced. He won the presidency with 38% of the vote, hardly a mandate in a country where more than half the population lives in poverty. Peña Nieto inherits, and is likely to continue, economic policies that reflect worldwide declines during the neoliberal era, with 3.5% annual growth under former PRI president Ernesto Zedillo, followed by 2.2% growth under Vicente Fox, and 1.9% under Felipe Calderon.

posted November 19 2012 by tony

182

¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 16 (nov 2012)!
1. Eventos del Centro
2. La política y la acción diferida
3. Que Pasa y Que Viene
4. ¡Fiestas! El trabajo del comité de eventos

La política y la acción diferida
El 26 de octubre tuvimos un taller en el Centro Autónomo para tratar de entender la "acción diferida" y ayudar a quienes piensan en considerarla como opción de regularización migratoria. Había unos abogados y representantes de la Alianza de Jóvenes Inmigrantes por la Justicia (IYJL por su nombre en ingles) para presentar una visión completa de la opción.

La opinión de IYJL es que la acción diferida es algo bueno, pero no es bastante. El país todavía necesita una reforma inmigratoria más amplia, con posibilidades de que los adultos, y todos los que no son elegibles para la acción diferida, puedan conseguir la ciudadanía. Aún si uno es elegible para la acción diferida, tiene que pensar en todo lo que la opción significa, pues no necesariamente es lo mejor para todos.

posted November 18 2012 by tony

1 - LATINOS, ELECTIONS AND IMMIGRATION REFORM
2 - MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION CALLS "DRUG WAR" INTO QUESTION

1 - LATINOS, ELECTIONS, AND IMMIGRATION REFORM

175 Some Republicans are worried.  Only 27% of Latino voters supported Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy, and that number includes all the wealthy and historically Republican Cuban-Americans in southern Florida and New Jersey. Latinos accounted for 10% of presidential ballots and are the fastest growing segment of the electorate, leaving Republicans scratching their heads over their newly recognized "demographic problem."  Suddenly, the party of "self-deportation," increased border security, and overt racism is trying to "reposition."  Even right wing acolyte Sean Hannity of Fox News has "evolved" on immigration reform - only two days after the stinging national defeat.  Republicans and Democrats alike are rushing to see who can roll out the welcome mat for 12 million undocumented workers living in the shadows, though always with their own political fortunes in mind.

Within hours of the election, the "demographic problem" captured the attention of commentators and party hacks across the spectrum, but the mainstream analysis of this phenomenon is wrong on two accounts. First, the immigrant rights movement didn't suddenly become a force with Romney's election defeat, nor as a result of Obama's political machine.  In 2006, immigrants organized the largest public demonstrations in the history of this country. About 12 million people took to the streets protesting the draconian Sensenbrenner Bill that would have made undocumented status a felony. In 2009, a small but growing group of DREAMers began to come out of the shadows. Risking deportation to countries they hadn't known since they were small children, the DREAMers put a human face on undocumented status. This courageous group of youth deserves front row seats at the negotiating table, if comprehensive immigration reform is truly on the agenda. Their moral authority made this issue a subject of dinner table conversations, and a bunch of "Johnny-come-lately" politicians interested only in their own political hides should not be allowed to hijack it.

posted November 5 2012 by tony

WHY IS MEXICO ABSENT FROM US ELECTION DEBATE?
This coming week, about half the eligible voters in the United States will participate in a quadrennial exercise in limited democracy by electing 435 Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and a President - all wealthy, mostly white and male, and inevitably beholden to one sector of the capitalist class or another. Political commentators recently noticed that, aside from a few brief mentions of migration and Latino voters, Mexico has not been part of the electoral debate.  Why ignore our neighbor to the south? 

Well, from the perspective of the US capitalist class, Mexican affairs are very much in order, thanks largely to sitting President Felipe Calderon and his National Action Party (PAN).  For the past six years, Calderon has been a loyal minion, defending free trade agreements, maintaining a neoliberal economic agenda by cutting social spending and sustaining a relatively balanced budget, waging an increasingly violent “war on drugs,” and acting as US surrogate in Latin American political circles. Occasionally the US will step over a line that even the PAN can’t overlook, generating a few carefully measured words from Calderon, almost always delivered to the Spanish-speaking media - for example, when the Border Patrol murders Mexican citizens, not an uncommon occurrence.  But for the most part, US authorities say jump, and Calderon responds with “how high.”  Mexico’s political wagon is hitched securely to the US capitalist class, and as a result, Mexico boasts some of the wealthiest capitalists in the world, while more than half the country lives in poverty. 

posted October 29 2012 by stuart

174

1 - INCREASED MIGRATION SIGNALS IMPROVING JOB MARKET
2 - LABOR REFORM STAGNATES IN CONGRESS

An increase this year in migration from Mexico to the US, reported by a bi-national study led by El Colegio del Norte and the University of Southern California, indicates an improving US employment market, at least in low wage jobs.  For the past several years, the political class boasted of migration at a standstill after decades of increases, attributing the decreases to beefed up border patrols.  Migration declined from 2008 until the end of 2011, then reversed trend in the first two quarters of 2012.  Data is collected by the Border Survey of Mexican Migration, which relies on interviews with undocumented migrants, both those heading north and those returning to Mexico.  Migration dynamics often prove to be a leading economic indicator, in that migrant workers begin to respond to economic changes before they are fully realized in the economy.  In this case, the indication is that US employers are looking for cheap labor, perhaps below minimum wage in some sectors, as an anemic recovery slowly begins to take root.