Filed under: Communique, Critique, Mexico
From Contra Info
Translated by It’s Going Down
A few words, clarifications and positions from some compas who made up the CARI-PGG:
There was no end, there was not, nor has there been, a funeral. The conflict continued as the critique advanced. A fierce critique against the system of domination, but above all, a critique of ourselves. We reflected and new perspectives were born inside of us, but the attacks against power continued and remain in force…
We don’t direct these words to any journalist, be they state or alternative. Yes, those journalists who do nothing more than vilify the words of a revolutionary to pigeonhole them as “good causes or bad causes,” “just or unjust causes.” Nor do we direct these to the typical leftists, those who since the start of this war, that which we have waged along with many others, never stopped classifying us with absurd labels such as “terrorists, ultra-leftists, adventurers, police, over-dramatic, etc.”
These words and reflections are and will always be for the honest compas, for those not duped or hypnotized by striking visual propaganda; they are also for those who live in day-to-day conflict with authority, a conflict for the annihilation of all power and dogma, including this pantomime of people power. A pantomime that in our miserable and murky days has tempted into its web innumerable libertarian individuals and projects, making them believe that people power and anarchy are synonymous, when in reality they are antagonistic concepts and struggles.
These reflections and these words are directed to those who live the conflict in the first person, towards those who make anarchy much more than a written word and for other compas who, being aligned with the praxis of the destruction of the present, want to read them.
This is just a small part of the story, told by those who lived it…so that others don’t tell it to you their own way.
Who were the CARI-PGG?
Autonomous Cells of Immediate Revolution – Praxedis G. Guerrero, we were a group of anarchist individualities that together decided to move into action during the last months of 2008 with some unclaimed incendiary actions, such as Molotov attacks against banks and incendiary devices on police vehicles. It was not until September 8, 2009 that we attacked a Renault dealership a few blocks from the Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City with a homemade explosive device under the initials CARI-PGG. This action, through a short statement, was claimed as a response to the construction of a huge new police station and prison by the capital’s government, at the time with PRD member Marcelo Ebrard as mayor. But this action was also a continuation of that which came before, but as part of a new period of local anarchist action. When we say “new” we are not referring to a “new anarchy,” we simply refer to the emergence of a new phase in the continuing struggle that compañerxs before us put into practice.
During the weeks of September 1-21, 2009, various anarchist, eco-anarchist and animal liberation groups stormed onto the local scene using homemade explosive devices made with dynamite and butane gas cans to attack structures of domination. Although it should be noted that some of these groups had been carrying out attacks before, but without claiming them, either anonymously or with a small unsigned statement – with the exception of the ALF and ELF who always claimed their actions. From September 1 until now, the bombings, arsons, machine-gunning police and expropriations under the symbol of anarchy have inundated virtually every state in the country, from that time on the attacks against power have not stopped and will not stop, in spite of many wanting them to.
In December 2009, following several convergences with other compas, some compañerxs from the Subversive Front for Global Liberation (who for over six months claimed various actions, among them Molotov attacks on banks, attacks on Telmex payphones, and the butane and dynamite bombing on September 1 of that year which would have a clear impact on the actions of various groups) decided “to become part of” CARI-PGG, acting as a coordinated cell. So it was that the actions of CARI-PGG spread, and on December 31, 2009, the nucleus of CARI-PGG detonated two explosive devices at banks in Metepec, Mexico State, which were totally destroyed, and another in a slaughterhouse in Nicolás Romero, Mexico State; this was part of a nationally coordinated action by anarchist cells and the ALF-ELF in Mexico City, Mexico State and San Luis Potosí. In total, on the night of December 31, nine attacks were carried out, the majority of them using explosive devices; this coordinated attack was claimed using another name and without a doubt was a stroke of anarchist propaganda that the Mexican state took as a total threat.
CARI-PGG attack on Federal Electricity Commission in Mexico City on September 23, 2011.
CARI-PGG was born in the midst of a climate of extreme tension due to various social conflicts that had arisen in the years before, such as Oaxaca, Atenco, and the constant unrest during the May 1 and October 2 marches. But it also helped ensure that conflict did not stay at the margins of these revolts and social conflicts, but spread and expanded to become a nuisance to the very system.
We weren’t the first and we weren’t the only ones. And we knew well, just as we know now, that our “little bombs” at the banks would not turn the state upside down from one day to the next, as was mockingly said by our detractors, that is to say, the reformed ones, the ones who opposed an insurrection that they in their crazy youth had “fought for.” Above all, we were individuals doing what we believed was necessary to do, using the means we considered appropriate in the moment (usually bombs and explosive devices). Today, as individuals, we continue believing in the necessity to attack and destroy power, this idea lives in our hearts, without negotiation or agreement with power, although under other organizational and ethical nuances that we consider necessary to advance the insurrection for anarchy.
The name we chose for ourselves always defined our conception of anarchist action: anarchy is here and now. That is why we appealed for immediate revolution, today, not tomorrow nor in the past nor when the conditions are right; and if we’re speaking of conditions, they must be pushed for and not waited on. But immediate for us also means individual, informal and autonomous attack, as for us insurrection is a collective movement of individual realization. That’s what the initials meant, though now and for some time we’ve been reconsidering the meaning we’ve given to our informality. Regarding the name Praxedis G. Guerrero, we only want to say that the intention was to claim a local anarchist, one like any other, who understood anarchy in its completeness, not as fractions divided between theorizing now and acting later. Our intention was also to unearth the history of an anarchist – whose story, like many others, has been buried along the path of insurrection – who understood the importance of collective as well as individual action, and who noted that collectives are not made up of amorphous masses but are (or at least should be) made of active individuals aware of their own individuality.
Praxedis G. Guerrero, like us, did not blindly believe in the masses, as he also understood the complicity they maintain with their masters and jailers, and without fear of contradiction we could say that in his time he advanced his own critique of voluntary servitude, which is the complicity of the people with their masters in all their actions. Praxedis refused to join the intellectual part of the revolution, even as other anarchists recommended he do so, alluding to his intellectual capacity in the recognizing the absurd divisions of labor. Instead, he preferred to go into combat against the enemy, which he died for on the battlefield on December 31, 1911, in Janos, Chihuahua. Today, we have left behind turning compañerxs into icons, as well as initials and acronyms, now we only identify ourselves as individuals in constant conflict with authority and power.
We could list all the times we attacked power and make a booklet about the group we were, there is enough material, stories, critiques and experiences from each of us. However, we are not interested in turning ourselves into a myth, as that would mean stepping into the pages of history as one more group of adventurers and would annihilate the essence of our attacks. At the same time, that would leave on the sidelines the other compas who acted at the same time we did. This propaganda doesn’t interest us. What interested and interests us is the subversion of imposed social roles and the spread of attacks against power, focused on nothing less than its destruction.
As CARI-PGG, our final attacks (taking sabotage and direct action as the definition of attack on this occasion, as we understand attack as a range of interventions that are not centralized around one or two methods) were in the November 2013 in Toluca, Mexico City and Nezahualcóyotl. Actions claimed in a short statement in solidarity with Mario González’s hunger strike. There’s nothing more to say except that at that time we were already entering into a critique of ourselves, as individuals and as an “organization.” Critiques that we put to the side for years, precisely because we spent most of that time highly immersed in the necessities of maintaining a stable – and to a certain degree formal – group of anarchist action, something that without a doubt we do NOT regret, even as we reflect upon it now.
Some necessary clarifications
Much has been said about CARI-PGG, as there were plenty of people who had a strong sympathies for the group (sympathies we never wanted…we wanted the attack to spread!), there were also many fierce detractors who, without knowing anything about us, accused us (and continue to) of the most wretched things, for example, of “being those who are doing the work for the EPR, the ERPI, the TDR-EP and other Marxist-Leninist guerrillas”…What a bullshit accusation!
CARI-PGG was born as an anarchist concept and it maintained that. An anarchist concept linked to insurrection and critical of every kind of power and authority, but it was also born as an organizational concept antagonistic to all hierarchical armed structures; we rejected those at the time and we continue to reject them and criticize them with even greater strength, arguments and determination.
We believe the wretched accusation that we were (or are) part of the EPR, TDR-EP or ERPI was born above all out of the envy and competitiveness of some poor fools, or of those “who have nothing better to do with their lives than talk shit.” But as this accusation was not just directed at CARI-PGG, but also, to a lesser extent, at compañerxs from the Mariano Sánchez Añon Insurrectional Cell, the compañerxs of Anonymous Anarchist Action in Tijuana and even against local CCF’s…in short, against all those who put their efforts into putting anarchy into practice, that is, against those who unswervingly attack power; we believe that these accusations have a more ambitious tint than just envy or competitiveness. For us, this kind of popular gossip has its roots in a clear theorem, that which is opposed to propaganda; that is based in the logic that “as anarchists WHO KNOW WHO THEY ARE they reject us, so we also reject them,” “that they all think that others are subordinate to them or others,” so that “you don’t follow their path,” “so as not to spread attacks against power,” “so that their individualist idea of insurrection doesn’t spread”…shit that is only born of a mind that believes in competitiveness, in the quantitative and in struggle through imitation, manipulation or fanaticism.
With things being as they are, and although we clearly know that many know exactly what we’re talking about, this is something we will NEVER talk about publicly precisely to avoid falling into BETRAYAL. What we do have to say regarding this is that CARI-PGG was never under the orders of any group or red guerrillas, be they called the EPR, TDR-EP, FARP, EZLN, or ERPI. It’s not without reason that we put AUTONOMOUS in our initials at the time. We never received money or weapons from any of these guerrillas, what we had we acquired through the modest support of each individual belonging to the CARI-PGG, the fruit of our exploited labor, and also from some monetary expropriations as well as the recovery of weapons from cops. As such, we never gave time or space to criticize or verbally attack these groups, nor did we have any interest in those organizations.
So stop already, if nothing else for your own dignity!
An informal platform? What nonsense!
Among the concepts that animated CARI-PGG was that of insurrection, of informality, of attack and daily conflict. Theses that at the time we conceived of under very specific ideas, born above all from the needs of our group. Although there were failures, errors or perspectives that took things in another direction – such as, for example, the initials and statements that ended up taking on their own identity, when at the beginning we decided to use them only out of necessity, so that our acts for freedom were not confused with the actions of drug traffickers or communist guerillas focused on their quest for power – we never fell into the extreme stupidity or deviation of wanting to form an “informal platform.” An informal platform? The greatest contradiction of all among the daily contradictions that we anarchists experience – above all those who spend time on “political correctness.” Platformism and informality are antagonistic concepts, just as is “commando and informal.”
CARI-PGG attack on Santander Bank in Mexico City on October 3, 2011.
The idea and practice of anarchist informality as we conceived of it today precisely cuts through the organizational idea of platformism, due to the simple fact that informality doesn’t recognize any structure around which to act, to organize the struggle, or to even live our lives. Platformism is a way of acting in a subordinate way to parameters established by a group or groups, and only by acting according to those parameters can one advance the struggle, to do otherwise would be chaos and disorganization: this is something that we don’t agree with. Informality is a way of acting and organizing based on free agreement of the responsibility and autonomy of the individual, not on delegation; informality destroys the hierarchical or delegational frameworks that give life to a platform. Informality destroys all dogma, all organizational identity that denies the individual; and it also settles the accounts with commandos, as with informality there doesn’t exist “commanders or commanded” or rather, those who comprise “commandos.”
Using these arguments at the time, without making it public, we rejected the invitation to spread the conflict that the “Black Guerrillas” sent to us and to the compañerxs of Sánchez Añon. Along with not being a group anymore, it was above all because we criticize the idea that guerilla-style organizations have anything in common with anarchist thought, ethics and practice, above all those who believe in informal organization. But also because, although we’ve always been for widespread insurrection, we’ll pass on the populist insurrectionary mob language contained in some of the published statements; it’s one thing to be for widespread and popular insurrection, but hard and pure populism is another thing, though it may be well camouflaged, comfortable, digestible and nice looking.
We must be authentic and creative, to seek our own path, envision our own horizons, create our own projects and ways of struggle and to stop imitating the red guerrillas, to stop trying to put ourselves on “their level” and to stop arousing fanaticism with their image or fetishizing weapons, critique and leave aside the vainglorious spectacular armed attacks put forward as the best or easiest way to attack. We say now as we said before: for us, there is no difference between ambushing a Federal Police unit, burning cars with a rudimentary explosive device or a Molotov at an ATM; what really matters is the perspective beneath the focus of the attack, the qualitative impact caused, what really matters are the why’s, the what’s, and to what end.
Informality is and always will be our proposal. Meanwhile an “informal platform” is nothing less than an aberrant deviation of the term and practice of informality.
The conflict continues and should continue in spite of the consequences
Contrary to what some angry snitches say about being the ones who “started or formed” CARI-PGG and gave rise to…oops, so sorry!, “recruited” those who “comprised this project” (compas that nobody knows who they are, or who we are, or rather, that this gossip is nothing more than assumptions [snitching] and inventions of inveterate exaggerators…but unfortunately their myths can impact compas who had nothing to do with this project), and who say that CARI-PGG withdrew from conflict or we became inactive, we state that it is neither the one or the other.
The struggle that burst forth from many, so many compas, in one way or another has paid off. The fierce daily defense of attack can be seen reflected as much in theory as in actions. Without a doubt an important part of pushing that forward has been the actions of compas in recent years, thought street revolts in the light of day – something that has also always been part of CARI-PGG’s proposal, as we never conceived of attack as something that happens only in the darkness of night, but something that is put into practice at all times and in all places. This, along with the “conditions” of a society that has been fed up since 2006 until today. That is to say that our actions, like that of many compas – as we weren’t nor are the only ones – was just a part (though a big contribution) for the intensification of the social war, so that it could reach this point, and this was only achieved through determination and conviction. It was a contribution for anarchist compas to understand that to take this step into the unknown is not as difficult and complicated as some (though not all) of the guerrilla organizations portray it to be, precisely because of their professionalism; nor is it as impossible as the state’s propaganda makes it out to be. And so it was, not just by our hands, but by all of those who, when we proposed the attack, spread it in that moment, beginning among compañerxs conscious of their anarchist beliefs…although our particular goal was always that the attack would be put into practice on the social level, outside of anarchist circles.
We wish to encourage all those individuals desiring freedom to go on the attack. The conflict and struggle of almost all (unfortunately not all) of those of us who at one moment made up CARI-PGG has continued all this time, and will continue at least until we are dead. But even when dead, just as we are the continuation of the struggle of compañerxs who for two centuries put into practice an energetic anarchist struggle, without dialogue or negotiation, tomorrow other compañerxs will continue this struggle, because the struggle is not against a president, a general or a law. The struggle is not even just against the state and capital, but, leaving out all of Marxism’s economist analysis, the struggle above all is against the system of domination as a whole and against all forms of power and authority, the same relations that appear in every aspect of this life and in every place in this world, including where supposedly “there is no capitalism” or “the peasant and indigenous communities that are almost puritan” and other idealized places. Power and authority are present in our lives, in our persons, in our ways of relating, in our daily lives, and that is the real battlefield where social war is waged. To subvert and destroy the existing for an authentic and absolute freedom.
Finally we want to send greetings and warm hugs to the dear compañero Gabriel Pombo da Silva who recently left prison, and as we were able to understand from his public letter, is determined not to negotiate with power and to go underground, that being where things are headed. We want to show all our solidarity for this path, all our support and care. As well as for all the compas on the run or who are in prison, in Mexico and the entire world.
As that music group that all the compas in Mexico like so much says: This is a struggle without end…
Having said that, there is nothing more to say.
For anarchy! Social war and insurrection!
Those who were the CARI-PGG
Federal District, Mexico, June 2016