Archive for Mexico

Mexico: An analysis of recent anti-tech attacks, after the murder of a biotechnologist

Posted in Animal Liberation, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Revolution with tags , , on November 18, 2011 by Ⓐb Irato

Short circuits, robberies and accidents to cover up the truth…

From culmine, translated by war on society:

On November 8th of this year, biotechnologist Ernesto Méndez Salinas, who works in the Biotechnology Institute at UNAM in the city of Cuernavaca in Morelos, was assassinated by a shot to the head.

The murder sparked the outrage of the Head of Studies, who declared himself in mourning for the death of the researcher.

The Attorney General (PGJ) of Morelos state confirmed the next day (November 9th) that the man assassinated in the middle of Tuesday night was a recognized and awarded researcher at UNAM, whose death had not yet been confirmed.

According to initial investigations, Méndez Salinas was traveling in a car Tuesday night on Av. Teopanzolco (one of the busiest in Cuernavaca) when he was overtaken by persons unknown who shot him in the head, causing the vehicle to crash.

Méndez, 51 years old, who belonged to the National System of Researchers (SIN), with degrees in chemistry, pharmacy and biology, was also a doctor in biotechnology since 1993 and had carried out studies at the University of Washington, in Saint Louis (Missouri, United States) in 1995; he was one of the most important researchers in the country with respect to biotechnology.

The two lines of investigation that have been initiated, according to Morelos state authorities, is an supposed failed attempt to rob his car or an act by persons unknown who wanted to hurt the scientist.

Some important information should be noted here–the second line of investigation refers to some threat that some persons unknown could have made, but to what does “persons unknown” refer? Perhaps they are speaking of some group of anti-industrial style who had previously declared that their hands would not tremble to harm or even kill some scientist?

Remember that the first lines of investigation when Monterrey Tec was bombed were inclined toward some disgruntled student or to some concrete group that was opposed to technological development. In the end, it turned out that the second option was the correct one.

The assassination of the biotechnologist was made exactly November 8th, and also remember that on August 8th there was an attempt against academics at Tec in the State of Mexico that left two technologists wounded.

So, after exactly three months, a biotechnologist is assassinated by a single shot to the head and that moreover, in the place there couldn’t be found the casing from the 38 caliber gun that was used to pierce Dr. Méndez’s head. It seems that the persons unknown did it so as to not leave a trace.

On September 21st, Individualities Tending toward the Wild (ITW) released their final public communique (claiming responsibility for sending a explosive package to director Pedro Bajcich of INIFAP and sending a incendiary package to the nanotech professor Flora Ganem of FES-C, in addition to giving an extensive analysis on various themes), declaring that they would continue taking actions but without claiming them; after this it was announced on October 3rd that a package bomb had exploded at the Multipack courier company in Guerrero Colonia of Mexico City while being handled by employees, three of whom ended up with various wounds, the press reported that there had been two explosions from two packages, although this hypothesis has not yet been confirmed, after several days prosecutor Miguel Ángel Mancera confirmed through a radio interview that Mexico City’s specialized experts had gathered information on who the package was addressed to, but the information has not seen the light of day.

After this, on October 18th an anonymous call warned of the placement of a bomb at “Madero Tec” in Tamaulipas. Although this all turned out to be a false alarm, it added to a series of bomb threats at Tamaulpias universities, the others being in the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT), in the Monterrey Tec campus in Puebla, and in the Polytechnic University of Pachuca in the city of Zempoala, Hidalgo (where there are nanotechnology researchers) where hundreds of students had to be evacuated. Security measures in universities have increased since the threats against UPVM (in Tultitlan), Monterrey Tec (in Atizapan) and FES (in Cuautitlan), all of these in Mexico state, and against INIFAP (in Mexico City) this year, later claimed by ITS.

The possibility that some group that opposes technological development fired on a biotechnologist on November 8th is one of the investigations that Morelos state authorities, and surely federal authorities, are following.

After the kidnapping of the researcher Yadira Dávila Martínez (August 5th of this year) of the same Biotechnology Institute of UNAM, and her body was found dead on August 9th, some pointed to ITS as responsible for the assassination of the researcher since that same day the claim of responsibility in Mexico state would be made known, but everything points to common thugs or delinquents of the area who, upon not receiving money for the kidnapping, ended the scientist’s life.

The assassination of the biotechnologist Méndez Salinas is completely different than what happened to Yadira Dávila. Care was taken to not leave traces, in being sure to fire a single bullet.

They have tried to cover this up with the supposed robbery of the scientist’s car, but by now in Mexico nobody believes anything; according to the government, all the fierce arsons that the CCF-Mexico and the CI-MSA have claimed are short circuits and the recent death of the Secretary of the Interior and other persons close to the president have been an accident.

Threatened universities, the assassination of the scientist, and an anti-technology group that has previously said it continues with the war against academics, scientists, researchers, or as they call them “technonerds,” is what is happening in Mexico.

The Oaxaca Commune and Mexico’s Coming Insurrection

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Government, Housing Rights, Immigration & Borders, Indigenous, Police State, Prisoner Support, Revolution with tags , , , , on November 13, 2010 by Ⓐb Irato

From Antipode: The Journal of Radical Geography

Was the “Oaxaca Commune” an ephemeral insurrection, an explosion of popular rage, without enduring consequences? Was it a specific expression of autonomous movements, an experiment anticipating the direction some of them are taking? Or was it an isolated, singular episode of people’s struggles? As yet we do not have enough of an historical perspective to fully appreciate the nature and impact of the events of 2006 in Oaxaca that attracted the world’s attention. But it is worth exploring them and discussing a tentative hypothesis about their nature and meaning for autonomous movements in Mexico and beyond, when the gap between means and ends is closed and the shape of the struggle is also the shape of the society the struggle attempts to create. These provisional notes can thus be seen as an introduction to a research agenda.

Introduction

From June to October 2006, there were no police in the city of Oaxaca (population 600,000), not even to direct traffic. The governor and his functionaries met secretly in hotels or private homes; none of them dared to show up at their offices. The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) had posted 24-hour guards in all the public buildings and radio and TV stations that it controlled. When the governor began sending out his goons to launch nocturnal guerrilla attacks against these guards, the people responded by putting up barricades. More than a thousand barricades were put up every night at 11 pm, around the encampments or at critical intersections. They would be taken down every morning at 6 am to restore normal traffic. Despite the attacks, there was less violence in those months (fewer assaults, deaths and injuries or traffic accidents) than in any similar period in the previous 10 years. Unionized workers belonging to APPO performed basic services like garbage collection.

Some observers began speaking of the Oaxaca Commune, evoking the Paris Commune of 1871. Oaxacans responded, smiling: “Yes, but the Paris Commune lasted only 50 days and we’ve already lasted more than 100.” The analogy is pertinent but exaggerated, except in terms of the reaction that these two popular insurrections elicited in the centers of power. Like the European armies that crushed the communards who had taken over all the functions of government, the Federal Preventive Police of Mexico, backed by the army and the navy, were sent to Oaxaca on 28 October 2006 to try to control the situation. On 25 November those forces conducted a terrible repression, the worst in many years, with massive violation of human rights and an approach that can be legitimately described as state terrorism. The operation, which included imprisonment of the supposed leaders of the movement and hundreds of others, was described by the International Commission for the Observation of Human Rights (which visited Oaxaca in January 2007) as “a juridical and military strategy … whose ultimate purpose is to achieve control and intimidation of civil population”.2 For the authorities, this strategy would dissolve APPO and send a warning to the social movements in the whole country.

This same strategy has been employed since then and has had a profound impact in Oaxaca. The results increased and exacerbated polarization. Some activists are in jail and others exiled out of Oaxaca or even Mexico. It has been impossible to identify all the disappeared; their families are afraid of revealing their names. Many professionals are now joining the usual migrants, out of fear or for lack of economic opportunities. Some people are afraid of exhibiting any support to APPO or participating in autonomous initiatives. People of different sectors of the society blame APPO for whatever economic difficulties they are confronting. Some others take for granted that the movement is over and the tyrannical governor will remain in office for the rest of his term, and are thus trying to accommodate themselves to that prospect. All this is true; there exist many symptoms of intimidation. However, the opposite is increasingly predominating. Marches are growing, as are sit-ins. Everywhere there is intense effervescence. Oaxaca is boiling. There is an increasing risk of violent confrontations in this highly polarized society, which may be used as a pretext for more authoritarianism. Many factors, however, may block this option and nourish the hope that the movement will be able to peacefully evolve and consolidate. The impulse for a profound transformation is very deep and strong and perhaps inevitable.

On 23 November 2006, a week before Felipe Calderón took office as the new, rightist and contested President, subcomandante Marcos, the speaker of the Zapatistas, declared that he “is going to start to fall from his first day” and that “we’re on the eve of a great uprising or civil war”. When asked who would lead that uprising, he replied: “the people, each in their place, in a network of mutual support. If we don’t accomplish it that way, there will be spontaneous uprisings, explosions all over, civil war …”

He cited the case of Oaxaca, where “there are no leaders, nor bosses: it’s the people themselves who are organized”. That’s how it is going to be in the whole country; Oaxaca serves as an indicator of what’s going to happen all over. “If there isn’t a civil and peaceful way out, which is what we propose in the Other Campaign”, Marcos warned, “then it will become each man for himself … For us, it doesn’t matter what’s above. What matters is what’s going to arise from below. When we rise up, we’re going to sweep away the entire political class, including those who say they’re the parliamentary left” (La Jornada 24 November 2006). This is a clear definition of the challenges that lie ahead.

Click here to read the full article…

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