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Nov 12, 18

Mexico: A Modest Agitation, Full of Rage, Against the 50-Year Prison Sentence of Our Compañero Miguel Peralta

Yesterday, a group of anarchists carried out an act of disruption in the “Anarchists” exhibit in the National Museum of Revolution in Mexico City. The action was an act of solidarity with anarchist political prisoner Miguel Peralta after his recent 50-year sentence, along with solidarity for the other six political prisoners of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, Oaxaca who still await sentencing. It was an act of remembrance for the recently deceased compañeros Kevin Garrido and Mikhail Zhlobitsky. Furthermore, it was an act of disruption of the institutionalization and commodification of anarchist history in Mexico, into political party discourses and state-run museums and anniversary celebrations.


On October 26th, 2018, the judge Juan Leon Montiel of the Mixed District Court of Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, dictated a 50-year sentence against our anarchist compañero, Miguel Peralta, Mazateco prisoner and member of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón. This sentence was dictated after four years of incompetence, irregularities and other obstacles led by the Zepeda cacique family in collusion with this judge and other state authorities. It is evident that Elisa Zepeda, now local representative for MORENA, who also holds the position of municipal president in Eloxochitlán, is behind this resolution, imposed according to her logic of power and terror against the organized community. While six other prisoners of the assembly continue imprisoned without sentence and dozens of families are displaced and threatened, Elisa Zepeda and her cacique group, in collusion with state power and protected by her political party, make use of the conventional clientelist tools to obtain legal immunity: protection through money, political favors, intimidation, fabrication of crimes, incarceration and dispossession. These clientelist tools accompany the escalation of power led by the current MORENA representative.

On the other hand, the alliance between MORENA and the liberal “citizenship” wing of anarchism are seen as the respectable, appropriate subjects. They seek to make anarchy an ideology inoffensive to power. They seek to extract the “critical” current from anarchism making it fit perfectly in this so-called “Fourth Transformation”. This new governmental regime seeks to break down radical and revolutionary social struggle, homogenizing social movements as part of the democratic government. It seeks to distance social struggle from an anarchist rupture, of confrontation and conflict, of direct action and solidarity beyond the written word. We know that it is blood which makes anarchism not simply a static and easily absorbed ideology to be revendicated in museums, commemorations and official celebrations, but an active revolutionary practice attuned to struggles and resistances, in solidarity with the communities that resist the attacks brought by capital, the state and its caciques.

What would the anarchists from the beginning of the century think now that they are locked in the National Museum of Revolution? What would Práxedis, Librado and Ricardo think of the failed anti-Indigenous, anti-province and anti-worker project of modernity that now waters down their legacy making peace with the new governmental power?

What is happening now in Eloxochitlán backed by the MORENA political party, feeds the ego and power of the cacique Zepeda family. Like their predecessor slave owners, they usurp the legacy of struggle to impose repression on the community that saw the birth of Ricardo Flores Magón, accumulating power and seeking to displace the community of their autonomy. That is to say, their unquestionable capacity for self-determination.

In front of the museum exhibit—a cadaveric image of the institutional revolution—we have decided to rupture this state spectacle of institutional hypocrisy. We have decided to rupture the absorption of indomitable forces into the historicist, paralyzing and collaborationist gaze, to show our solidarity with the struggle for the freedom of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón, for anarchist prisoners generally and against the carceral system in its totality.

We do not want to improve the cages nor the prisons. We do not want to reform the laws nor strengthen the institutions. We are not even here to demand justice. With this action, we are here to shout our rejection of this lie that seeks to legitimize “radicals” in power. We are here to shout against the usurpation of histories of below; of those that struggle, attack and resist; of the communities that organize against the repressive state; of the individuals who break with the common sense of oppression and decide to take action. We are here in support of the many compañerxs past and present, who flee from the spotlight of power, who would completely despise being converted into dead relics beneath monumental ruin, the panoptic museum of decorated cadavers called the National Museum of Revolution.

Anarchism has nothing to do with something dissected in a museum. Such an exhibition doesn’t give life to anarchism nor confront oppression. Our agitation today is an explicit act of solidarity with compañero Kevin Garrido, assassinated in Chile a few days ago, inside prison. Also, in memory of the anarchist compañero Mikhail Zhlobitsky who attacked the central offices of the secret Russian police, unfortunately dying in the action. We know that his impulse was in rejecting the global carceral system that represses, manipulates and tortures those that decide not to submit to the miserable reality imposed by capitalism. Furthermore, a rejection of the state form designed to sustain and protect it. Let this action be a modest reminder that anarchism cannot be reconciled with power or parties, not with judges nor institutions. Thus, we express our disgust and total repudiation of the state’s attempt at citizen pacification.

We wholeheartedly despise the 50-year sentence dictated against our compañero Miguel Peralta and we will not contain the fury it has generated in us. That is why we have come here and took the time to give back a little of what will never appear in the universities, museums nor anarcho-anniversaries. We struggle for the freedom of our compañerxs, against all power that is sustained by massive and systemic imprisonment. The populist desire does not confuse us. We know that the state is the enemy, its parties and defenders. Although they disguise themselves as human rights defenders, nongovernmental organizations and those inspired by anarchism, their position of power makes transparent our irreducible posture from below against their authority and for total freedom.

Nobody is free until everyone is free!

While more want to petrify our history, we will be active and more opaque.

Freedom to all anarchist prisoners!

In memory of our compañeros Kevin Garrido and Mikhail Zhlobitsky!

Anarchists in solidarity with the prisoners of the Community Assembly of Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón

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Voices in Movement publishes translations and analysis – both contemporary and historical – to share strategy, solidarity and histories of resistance across imaginary divisions of nations and borders. They also author Revuelta Comunitaria, a semi-regular column on It's Going Down addressing social struggles and political repression in the territory of so-called Mexico.

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