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Feb 3, 20

Final Straw: Anarchist and Indigenous Resistance to AMLO in Mexico

Long running anarchist radio and podcast show The Final Straw, bring us an interview on the state of the anarchist movement and indigenous resistance under the Left government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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This week on The Final Straw, an anarchist living in Mexico talks about the reign of the MORENA gimpparty of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka AMLO), the new face of capitalism it presents, it’s relation to social movements and indigenous sovereignty and the anarchist and indigenous resistance to the regime. We cover mega-projects being pushed through around the country, the repression of activists and more in this whopper of an episode.

Here’s a great English-language blog based mostly out of Oaxaca that covers struggle in Mexico and across the northern border:

Final Straw Charla Notes from the guest: AMLO & Mexican social movements

These are the notes from the guest. They’re a little all over the place but touch on names, places, objects and movements mentioned for easier searching

  • Partido Revolucionaro Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party) 71 years in power from 1929-2000
  • Lost in 2000 to Vicente Fox (PAN Partido accion nacional, National Action Party)
  • 2006 Felipe Calderon PAN
  • 2012 EPR
  • Clientalist state, exchanging favors for political support
  • Typical politician
  • 1977 Director of National Indigenous Institute of Tabasco, indigenismo
  • Late 1980’s joined the PRD

AMLO – elected mayor of Mexico City in 2000 PRD

  • 2006 ran for president PRD Partido de la Revolucion Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution)
  • 2012 ran for president, afterwards leaving the PRD to form the national regeneration movement (MORENA) in 2014
  • 2018 won the presidency with 53% of the vote
  • More than 60,000 people have disappeared since the declaration of the war on drugs by Felipe Calderon

AMLO’s politics, modernization & neoliberal efforts. Fourth transformation?

  • Anti-corruption, address poverty, security, businessmen as mafia of power
  • Capitalism with a new face “Post-neoliberalism?”
  • Populism- Appeals to national sovereignty, nationalism, domestic self-sufficiency
  • “Popular consultations” to justify megaprojects “mandar obedeciendo”
  • Abrazos no balazos (hugs not bullets)
  • “we don’t repress anyone”
  • pacifists
  • conservatives, reactionaries of the left
  • modernization, development, overcoming of marginalization, bringing Indigenous communities into the national economy

Problematic support from leftists of the global north of AMLO

  • If you want to understand the politics of Mexico, listen to the voices of Indigenous peoples and communities, women in struggle, campesinos

Indigenous populations and megaprojects

  • Airport Lake Texcoco
  • New International Airport of Mexico City Proposed in 2001 by Vicente Fox, but cancelled shortly after due to organized resistance
  • Santa Lucia Airport, Toluca airport
  • Naucalpan- Toluca highway
  • Interurban train
  • – Tren Maya (Mayan Train) (consultation december 15, 2019)
    • 950-mile train connecting principal tourist destinations in the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan and Quintana Roo
    • 17 stations- Playa del carmen, Tulum, Palenque, Merida, Cancun
    • For tourists and cargo
    • April 30, 2020 to begin construction
  • – “Corredor Transistmico” Interoceanic corridor (consulta 30-31 of March)
    • Industrial corridor connecting the ports of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, on the pacific coast, and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, in the gulf of Mexico.
    • The project is meant to compete with the Panama Canal, as a route of land transportation connecting the Pacific with the gulf of Mexico.
    • United States has been trying to get this project going since the 19th century
    • Train routes and a super highway, modernization of ports, and various older train routes
  • Los pueblos originarios Binizzá, Ikoot, Chontal, Zoque, Nahua y Popoluca, que habitamos el Istmo de Tehuantepec, en los estados de Oaxaca y Veracruz
  • Dos bocas oil refinery- tabasco
  • Proyeto integral de morelos (Integral Project of Morelos)
    • Project that began in 2012 and has faced stiff resistance
    • (Frente de pueblos en defensa de tierra y agua Morelos-puebla-tlaxcala)
    • People’s Front in Defense of Land and Water Morelos-Puebla-Tlaxcala
    • Project includes:
      • Thermoelectric plant in Huexca, Morelos (consultation 23-24 of February)
      • A natural gas pipeline to supply gas to the plant which passes through 60 Indigenous and campesino communities in Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos
      • An aqueduct that seeks to move 50 million liters of water daily to the thermoelectric plant from the Rio Cuautla
    • Italian and Spanish transnationals


  • Armed Indigenous rebellion in Chiapas in 1994. After failed talks with the government, they took the path of autonomy
  • 2003-formation of five caracoles (zones of autonomous self-government) The caracoles, then, became regional administrations where autonomous authorities come together and from which clinics, cooperatives, schools, transportation and other services are administered.
  • Thus, the Zapatista communities became administered by the Juntos de buen gobierno (Good Government Councils), formed, in turn, by representatives of the autonomous councils of the rebel municipalities.
  • Expansion of autonomous territory: In august of 2019 the Zapatistas announced 7 new New Centers of Autonomous Zapatista Rebellion and Resistance (CRAREZ) and 4 new rebel Zapatista autonomous municipalities. Added to the 5 original Caracoles for a total of 16. In addition to the 27 original autonomous municipalities, that gives us a total of 43 (CRAREZ). Made up of different assemblies, autonomous municipalities, etc.
  • New Yearas announcement of resistance to the megaprojects
  • Los pueblos tzotziles, tzeltales, mames, choles, tojolabales y zoques

Celebration of Life: A December of Resistance and Rebellion

  • Film Festival 7-14 of December 2019
  • Dance Festival 15-20
  • Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth, December 21-22
  • Second Gathering of Women who Struggle, December 26-29, 2019
  • 3,259 women, 95 little girls, 26 men from 49 countries
  • Celebration of the 26 Anniversary of the Beginning of the War Against Oblivion, December 31 and January 1

Autonomous struggles in Indigenous and campesino communities. Processes of self-organization

  • Community assemblies
  • Community and free media
  • Self-defense and community police forces

State repression of social movements and migrants

Repression and suppression through consultations, social programs

2019: 31 land defenders killed, 11 communicators/ journalists

  • Militarization (national guard) (Discipline, hierarchy)

The Secretariat of Security and Citizen protection, Alfonso Durazo Montaño, announced the beginning of the year the deployment of 21,170 new elements of national guard in 50 new regions to reach a total of 200 regions.

Streets of Mexico city

  • June 5th, detained Cristobal

Other in Sonora

  • Samir Flores- Killed February 20, 2019 of CODEDI (Comité de Defensa de los Pueblos Indígenas)
  • Took over an abandoned coffee plantation in 2013
  • Centro de capacitación, training center

CODEDI Murders:

  • On February 12, 2018, we were ambushed at Cerro Metate by people in the service of the State with high caliber weapons, causing the death of three of ours, including two minors: Ignacio Ventura, Luis Angel Martínez and Alejandro Diaz Cruz.
  • On July 17, 2018, Abraham Hernandez Gonzales was killed by members of the state police, who tortured and murdered him about 500m from his home. The public prosecutor’s office of the State of Oaxaca has in its possession the report in which appears the name and the photograph of the group of the police officers who participated in this criminal action are clearly displayed.
  • On October 25, 2018, Noel Castillo Aguilar was tortured and murdered by organized crime in Barra de la Cruz.
  • May of 2019
    • José Lucio Bartolo Faustino, Modesto Verales Sebastián, Bartolo Hilario Morales, and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote of the Nahua people organized as the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG – EZ).

Political prisoners

Other deaths

  • Samir Flores Soberanes of the Nahua people of Amilcingo, Morelos.
  • Julián Cortés Flores, of the Mephaa people of the Casa de Justicia in San Luis Acatlán, Guerrero.
  • Ignacio Pérez Girón, of the Tzotzil people of the municipality of Aldama, Chiapas.
  • Juan Monroy and José Luis Rosales, of the Nahua people Ayotitlán, Jalisco.
  • Feliciano Corona Cirino, of the Nahua people of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán.
  • Josué Bernardo Marcial Campo, also known as TíoBad, of the Populuca people of Veracruz.

State of the anarchist movement in Mexico

  • Primary organizational efforts
  • Anarcha-feminism, women’s movement
  • Relation with Indigenous and campesino struggles

Building international networks of solidarity, both anarchist and otherwise, with Mexico

* Anarchist Days, July 13-19, 2020 in DF


El rapero TíoBad luchó por la lengua mixe-popoluca, propia de su pueblo Sayula de Alemán, y denunció a través del arte el despojo en su territorio por el fracking, el narco estado en Veracruz, los asesinatos a periodistas y el desplazamiento de su lengua. Este martes, fue hallado, asesinado.

Overseer of the plantation has changed

Here we present to you the names of the Centers of Autonomous Zapatista Rebellion and Resistance (CRAREZ). There are 11 new CRAREZ and 5 original Caracoles for a total of 16. In addition to the 27 original autonomous municipalities, that gives us a total of 43 (CRAREZ).

Names and location of the new Caracoles and Autonomous Municipalities:

  1.  New Caracol: Colectivo el corazón de semillas rebeldes, memoria del Compañero Galeano (The Heart of Rebellious Seeds Collective, in Memory of Compañero Galeano). Its Good Government Council is called: Pasos de la historia, por la vida de la humanidad (The Path of History for the Life of Humanity). It will be located in La Unión on recuperated land just to the side of the ejido San Quintin where the bad government’s army currently has its barracks.
  2.  New Autonomous Municipality: Esperanza de La Humanidad (Hope for Humanity). Its center will be located in the ejido Santa María in the official municipality of Chicomuselo.
  3. New Autonomous Municipality: Ernesto Che Guevara. It will be located in El Belén in what is the official municipality of Motozintla.
  4. New Caracol: Espiral digno tejiendo los colores de la humanidad en memoria de l@s caídos (Spiral of Dignity Weaving the Colors of Humanity in Memory of the Fallen). Its Good Government Council is called: Semilla que florece con la conciencia de l@s que luchan por siempre (Seed that Blooms with the Conscience of those who are Always in Struggle). It will be located in Tulan Ka’u on recuperated land located in the official municipality of Amatenango del Valle.
  5. Another new Caracol: Floreciendo la semilla rebelde (The Flowering of the Rebellious Seed). The Good Government Council there is called: Nuevo amanecer en Resistencia y rebeldia por la vida y la humanidad (New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity). It will be located in Poblado Patria Nueva on recuperated land in the official municipality of Ocosingo.
  6. New Autonomous Municipality: Sembrando conciencia para cosechar revoluciones por la vida (Cultivating Conscience in order to Harvest Revolutions for Life). Its center will be in Tulan Ka’u on recuperated land located in the official municipality of Amatenango del Valle.
  7. New Caracol: En honor a la memoria del Compañero Manuel (In Honor of Compañero Manuel). Its Good Government Council is called: El pensamiento rebelde de los pueblos originarios (The Rebellious Thought of the Originary Peoples). It will be located in Dolores Hidalgo on recuperated land located in the official municipality of Ocosingo.
  8. New Caracol: Resistencias y Rebeldias por la humanidad (Resistances and Rebellions for Humanity). Its Good Government Council is called: La luz que resplandece al mundo (The Light which Shines on the World). It will be located in Poblado Nuevo Jerusalen on recuperated land located in the official municipality of Ocosingo.
  9. New Caracol: Raíz de Resistencias y Rebeldías por la humanidad (Root of Resistances and Rebellions for Humanity). Its Good Government Council is called: Corazón de nuestras vidas para el nuevo futuro (Heart of Our Lives for the New Future). It will be located in the ejido Jolj’a in the official Municipality of Tila.
  10. New Autonomous Municipality: 21 de Diciembre (December 21). It will be located in Ranchería K’anal Hulub in the official municipality of Chilón.
  11. New Caracol: Jacinto Canek. Its Good Government Council is called: Flor de nuestra palabra y luz de nuestros pueblos que refleja para todos (The Flower of Our Word and the Light of Our Communities Reflected for All). It will be located in the community of CIDECI-Unitierra in the official municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
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