News & Analysis

News and Analysis: April 30 - May 6, 2012

1 - MAY 19 DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH ZAPATISTAS
2 - ANTITRUST COMMISSION BUCKLES BEFORE CARLOS SLIM
3 - WALMART UPDATE
4 - MEXICO APPROVES COMPENSATION FOR CRIME VICTIMS
5 - NEW BI-NATIONAL POLICE ACADEMY OPENS IN PUEBLA
6 - POLITICS OR SOCCER?

The Mexico-based National Network against Repression and for Solidarity called for coordinated protests on May 19 in solidarity with the Zapatista movement.  While the Zapatistas continue to build autonomy and resist neoliberalism, the Chiapas state government of Juan Sabines Guerrero has implemented a strategy of low intensity warfare.  Zapatista communities are under constant attack, particularly the community of Nuevo Paraiso in the Garrucha zone of Chiapas.  The National Network demands an end to the war against zapatismo.  Zapatista communities are not alone!  An attack on Zapatista communities is an attack against all of us!  The Mexico Solidarity Network is a member of the National Network against Repression and for Solidarity, and strongly supports the call for action.

Friday, May 18 at 2PM:  The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park convenes a march in front of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.

Saturday, May 19 at Noon: The Centro Autonomo de Albany Park calls for educational fliers and a march in the Latino barrio of Albany Park.  Meet at the Centro Autonomo, 3460 W Lawrence Ave, at noon.

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News and Analysis: April 23 - 29

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
3 - U.S. WEAPONS FLOOD MEXICO
4 - UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION DECLINES

On April 24, the Junta of Good Government in the Zapatista caracol La Garrucha published an open letter criticizing attacks on the Zapatista community Nueva Paraiso by neighboring communities affiliated with local politicians.  The attacks began last October and include land invasions, armed attacks, destruction of forests and cropland, and stealing crops.  Damages are estimated at nearly US$40,000, a small fortune for a campesino community struggling for existence.  The Junta accuses local, state and federal authorities of organizing the attacks.  These kinds of attacks against autonomous communities have been increasing in recent years.

2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
WalMart and its allies in the business press and ruling class did their best this week to rescue the transnational corporation from an embarrassing, illegal, and potentially costly scandal.  Mexico’s ruling party first tried to ignore the US$24 million bribery scandal that made WalMart the country’s largest private employer.  On Monday, President Felipe Calderon claimed that if the accusations are true, it would be a local matter since bribes for construction permits would have been paid to municipal and state officials. 

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Periódico Comunitario del Centro Autónomo (mayo 2012)

82

¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 10 (mayo 2012)!
1. Eventos del Centro
2. Bienvenidos a los estudiantes del program de estudios en Mexico
3. Que Pasa y que Viene
4. La Cultura y la Cosmovisión Maya

News and Analysis: April 16 - 22

1 - WALMART HIDES FRAUD IN MEXICO
2 - RACIST SHERIFF LOSING FRIENDS, MAY FACE TRIAL
3 - CALDERON CRITICIZES ARGENTINE ENERGY POLICY
4 - GENERAL ACOSTA CHAPARRO KILLED
5 - RUIZ ORTIZ CHARGED IN FINLAND
6 - EIGHT MURDERED IN CHERAN

A former WalMart de Mexico executive, Sergio Cicero Zapata, in charge of WalMart’s real estate department for ten years until 2004, sent emails to a senior WalMart lawyer in September of 2005 documenting a US$24 million bribery campaign that helped WalMart become the largest retailer in Mexico.  Many of the bribes involved construction permits, reductions in environmental impact fees, avoidance of fines, access to confidential information, and payments to neighborhood leaders in exchange for political support.  Within days, WalMart investigators, sent from the US, discovered a paper trail documenting the bribes along with extensive participation by WalMart de Mexico executives.  The lead investigator- a former FBI agent -reported, “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”  But instead of following the investigation to its conclusion, WalMart turned it over to their Mexican general consul, the same person who authorized many of the bribes. 

News and Analysis: April 2 - 15

1 - CONTROVERSIAL NGO VIDEO GOES VIRAL
2 - CALDERON VISITS CUBA
3 - OBAMA AND CALDERON EXCHANGE BARBS
4 - PEMEX SUES US-BASED OIL COMPANIES
5 - MSN PROGRAMS:  Email us here or call (773) 583-7728   

A video featuring children in the roles of drug dealer, hit man, kidnapper, corrupt police officer, more corrupt politician, migrant smuggler, and crime victim drew the ire of Mexico's political class, while delighting civil society. The non-government organization Nuestro Mexico del Futuro posted the professionally produced video on their YouTube site, then pulled it after a day, apparently under pressure from the very politicians who were the brunt of the criticism. But not before over 3 million people viewed it. Mexico's business community financed at least part of the production. The four-minute clip ends a ten-year-old girl calling out all four of the presidential candidates, "If this is the future that is awaiting me, I don't want it. Enough working for your political parties and not for us. Enough fixing the country from the very top. Time has run out. Mexico has hit bottom. Are [the politicians] only interested in the throne or will they change the future of the country?" [see more at LA TimesInformador]

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Mexico News and Analysis: March 26 - April 1, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON
3 - OBAMA’S CONFLICTING IMMIGRATION POLICIES
4 - CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM EXPANDS ROLE OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
5 - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION CONDEMNS STUDENT MURDERS

On March 22, Francisco Santiz Lopez reached the front gate of the Chiapas prison where he had spent the past three months, charged with a murder he couldn’t have possibly committed.  Just as he was about to walk out the door a free man, prison officials pulled him back, fabricating a new set of charges.  According to the Junta of Good Government in Oventic, “The fabrication of charges against our companero comes directly from Los Pinos [Mexico’s equivalent of the White House], in an effort to destroy the resistance of the Zapatista communities.  They are trying to impede at all costs the construction of autonomy among the indigenous population.  It is part of a plan of low intensity warfare against our communities in resistance.”

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Periódico Comunitario del Centro Autónomo (abril 2012)

81

¡Lea nuestro nuevo periódico: edición 9 (abril 2012)!
1. Eventos del Centro
2. Convocatoria del Centro Autónomo acerca la vivienda
3. Las bibliotecas en peligro
4. Respetar para progresar
5. En memoria del compañero Francisco Queché

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periódico comunitario

Mexico News and Analysis: March 5-25, 2012

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
2 - BIDEN VISITS MEXICO
3 - CARLOS SLIM RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD
4 - RATZINGER VISITS MEXICO
5 - FRENCH CONVICT MAY WIN NEW TRIAL
6 - POLITICAL PARTIES IGNORE GENDER JUSTICE LAW

The Junta of Good Government in Oventic demands the immediate release of Francisco Santiz Lopez, a Zapatista support base, and Lorenzo Lopez Giron, both held in prison since last December.

2 - BIDEN VISITS MEXICO

Vice President Joe Biden, on a hurried two-day visit to Mexico and Central America, tried to tamp down growing calls for decriminalization of drugs in the US. Biden’s message? That won’t be happening, despite the growing impact of drug-trafficking in the region and the inability of southern neighbors to deal with cartels via military force. Biden tried to send a mixed message, intended for both Latin American and US audiences: “It’s worth discussing, but there is no possibility the Obama-Biden administration will change its policy.”

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Chicago’s Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction (CUAFE), Centro Autónomo defend the Delgado family in their quest for housing as a human right! (En Español Abajo)


Last year, Melecio and Beatriz Delgado applied for a loan modification for their modest single-family house on the northwest side of Chicago. At the time, CitiBank and a number of other big banks were under pressure from the Obama administration to offer quick modifications. The Delgados agreed to a loan package and made their new monthly payments religiously every month, about $100 less per month than the old payments.

CitiBank cashed the checks for seven straight months, but on the eighth month the family received a surprise. CitiBank refused to accept their payments and decided to foreclose on their home after nine years of receiving full, on-time payments from the family. After many months of getting the run-around through the mail and never actually getting to talk to a real human being at CitiBank the Delgados, shocked and frustrated from a year of neglect, came to the Centro Autónomo de Albany Park for assistance.

Mexico News and Analysis: February 20 - March 4, 2012

1 - WAR ON DRUGS “NOT A FAILURE?”
2 - TOURIST OFFICIALS REFRAME SAFETY FOR VISITORS
3 - G20 MEETING IN MEXICO CITY

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tread this week where politicians have failed for years - trying to prove a positive with a negative.  By characterizing President Felipe Calderon’s war on drugs as “not a failure,” Napolitano highlighted what everyone in Mexico already knows - the policy is a resounding failure.  The comments followed Napolitano’s meeting with Interior Minister Alejandro Poire.  In public remarks, Napolitano fed a campaign theme trumpeted recently by Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) concerning Chapo Guzman, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord and one of the world’s richest people.  While Guzman remains at large after escaping from a high security federal prison under a previous PAN administration, Napolitano implied it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught.  Some political observers are predicting a capture in April or May, leading up to the July 1 presidential elections. 

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