A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Joaquin Cienfuegos* Report from Mexico City 06/18 and Atenco 06/19/06

Date Sat, 24 Jun 2006 16:56:38 +0300

The following are the second and third correspondences from Joaquin Cienfuegos,
traveling throughout Mexico reporting from the struggle on the streets. Today’s
messages are coming from DF and Atenco, and cover much of the repression being
witnessed across the country. More updates to come. All messages are free for
broad distribution and will be sent across the net. Please forward, and let this
be an inspiration to a growing movement in North America towards internationalism
I visited two historical sites today, El Templo Mayor de Tenochtitlan and
Tlatelolco. These two sites I visited by coincidence but to me it struck
something and connected to a couple of current events.
Mexico City or Tenochtitlan was founded by the Mexica in 1325. The city was so
large that in 1521 when the Spanish invaders came, they were quoted saying, In
all the places we´ve been to, even Rome, we have never seen so many people in
one place and such creations (as in the pyramids). The Spanish exterminated
most Mexica and other indigenous people through mass slaughter, rape, and
disease forcing to assimilate to their way of life and culture (as well as
forced slavery, stratification based on how much European blood one had, and
dehumanization of indigenous people which for the most part still exists today
in Mexico, Latin America, the United States, and elsewhere). Templo Mayor, or
Great Temple, stood at the Zocalo or the town center of Tenochtitlan. It was a
double pyramid dedicated to Tlaloc (god of water and rain) and Huitzilopochtli
(god of war), there were other special temples, and schools. This was all
destroyed when the Spanish came in 1521, building a Catholic cathedral

Later today I visited Tlatelolco, which was the site of a student massacre in
1968 by the military and the police. This happened on October 2, of 1968 en la
Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Tenochtitlan. There were uprisings
all over the world around this time, there was worldwide discontent and
rebellion which was being echoed in Mexico City by the students at Universidad
Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (National Autonomous University of Mexico). The
world´s eyes were also on Mexico this year on the eve of the Olympics, and the
students used this to their advantage to protest politicians for not fulfilling
promises of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 of eliminating poverty and
inequality, and the limited levels of democracy in the political system.
Students and workers protested in Tlatelolco in their thousands, chanting,
Mexico Liberty! The army and police surrounded the square, along with armored
vehicles and tanks, started shooting live ammunition into the crowd including
bystanders, and removing the bodies in garbage trucks. It seemed that the U.S.
government had something to do with this (as always when there is some massacre
or genocide in the world since they´re experts at it). The U.S. government gave
the Mexican government, radios, weapons, ammunition and riot control training
in preparation for Olympics security, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
station in Mexico City produced almost daily reports tracking developments
within the university community, they even bought off a student and had him try
to discredit the student movement as to being tied to the Partido
Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

All this rang home for me. Not just with my own experiences and particular ways
that I´m still affected by colonialism and capitalism, but with the current
situation in Mexico. These massacres and genocides are happening today in
Mexico, Latin America, United States, Palestine, Africa, the Middle East and
different parts of the world the U.S. government and military have their greedy
and bloody tentacles on. Today in Mexico it is happening in Atenco, and it is
happening in Oaxaca.


Report from Atenco, Mexico 06-19-06

San Salvador Atenco, Mexico is a small town 20 miles just outside of Mexico,
City and bordering Texcoco. Atenco is a town that it is a transitional phase of
a rural town to an urban town and it is made up of different people,
campesinos, families, indigenous people, teachers, workers, and small business
owners. Atenco is more known for the rebellion that took place there in 2002
and the repression and attacks on their community in May of 2006. Today I
traveled to San Salvador Atenco to visit with people and see if I could connect
with someone there. When I arrived from Texcoco, it wasn´t long before I
noticed graffiti on walls from the Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra
(Communities Front in Defense of the Land), El Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion
Nacional (EZLN), and La Otra Campaña. I visited the community center of the
Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (FPDT) and met with the lead
coordinator and director of the Frente and the compass of the Frente. They met
with me, and talked with me, and took me in as one of their own companeñeros.
They were some of the most humble revolutionary people I´ve met.

El FPDT was formed in 2002, when people in Atenco rose up when the Vicente Fox
government was trying to expropriate their land to build an airport that would
destroy local agriculture and remove people from their homes. People rose up
with machetes, shovels, and various tools, to say, Tierra Si! Aviones No! (Yes
to Land, No to the Airport!) This struggle set an example and inspired many
people throughout Mexico and the world, and they themselves received
inspiration by the Zapatistas.

The people in Atenco defeated the government in building an airport, and in 2006
the coward government retaliated and held Atenco under siege. In Texcoco, which
is neighbor to Atenco, on the morning of May 3, 2006, the state police blocked
flower vendors from setting up their stands at the local market. The police
then attempted to clear the vendors, beating and arresting anyone who resisted.
The community of Texcoco called on their neighboring community in Atenco to
support, and they did by blocking a highway to Texcoco in protest. The police
attacked the demonstration, and the community members defended themselves with
machetes, clubs, Molotov cocktails, and bottle rockets. The police were held
back for the entire day. The next day, May 4th, saw some of the most horrific
police brutality witnessed by a community.

The compañeros y compañereas del FPDT explained to me what had happened when
over three thousand Federal Police, State Police and the local police came into
their community. The police surrounded the small city of Atenco, shot tear gas,
and beat anyone and anything (including animals) that came across them. They
had six police helicopters circling the communities, with PRIstas (neo
conservatives of the PRI) from the community, who were bought off, pointing out
the houses where members of the FPDT lived in. Hortensia Ramos, the director of
the FPDT, said, This act of repression is an act of revenge by the government
for having stopped their project of building an airport, a project that would
have made them millions.

After the raid two people were dead, a 14 year old shot by a 38 caliber of the
Special Forces and a 20 year old, Alexis Benhumea, who died from a tear gas
canister that hit and fractured his head. Many women were raped, 47 have come
forward but no one knows the exact number. There are still prisoners being held
under trumped up charges. Three prisoners are under maximum security, being
accused of kidnapping, and attacks on the media, who happen to be part of the
leadership of the FDPT, Nacho del Valle, Felipe Alvarez, and Hector Galindo.
There are 28 others being detained for attacks on the media and two under aged
youth are also detained. There were 5 people illegally deported, four of them
women, also raped (who were there because of the Otra Campaña). There were
people detained and beaten from all sectors: students, farmers, indigenous
people, house wives, elderly, youth, sick and disabled people (in one case
beating a paraplegic man and then detaining him). On the way to prison was when
the police raped and continued to beat prisoners. They illegally entered
people’s homes, stealing from them, and arresting entire families, not thinking
of the psychological effects this would have on children. One 14 year old was
beaten into a coma. It seemed to me all these psychological and physical
torture tactics used on the people of Atenco were taught by US police
departments and the US government (who is best at carrying out occupation and
raids on communities as we see in South Central because of the gang injunction,
and we saw at the South Central Farm).

The police were´t able to destroy the movement of the FDPT, where other members
who hid from the police and were able to escape capture were able to take their
place and continue the work of in their communities and with La Otra Campaña.
People would tell me what they did to escape and how they fooled the police.
They saw this siege not only as an attack on human rights, but an attack on
their autonomy.

Throughout the day compas from Atenco hung out with me and I with them. We
talked about our political views and I told them about what type of organizing
I´m doing in Los Angeles with Cop Watch LA and how this organization are
Aderentes to the Otra Campaña. They received the idea of organizing for
autonomy from police and observing the police better than anybody else I´ve
talked to in the city (even though a lot of people thought the project was
good, with the people in Atenco this struck more home because of recent events
and their history of organized self-defense). Hortensia defended the position
of the FDPT at a television interview she invited me to for a Venezuelan T.V.
show (where the hostess also heard about the struggle at the South Central Farm
when she asked me if I heard about it after, I told her where I was from). ‘The
police are coming into our communities not to talk to us, but to massacre us,
and to impose themselves on us and our autonomy. They´re coming in to kill us,
and beat us. We are not going to allow ourselves to be beaten down. We use the
machete, along with shovels and picks because those are our tools. Just because
I´m a teacher doesn´t mean I don´t work the land and I don´t live off of it, I
use the machete too. Naturally we know how to use these tools and we use them
to defend ourselves.’ When I talked to her later we talked about this idea of
self-defense on how many people in the US (depending on their social position)
reject the idea, but how the people I work with closely uphold it and we also
think we need to prepare and organize ourselves in this way in our communities,
because this system is killing us and we understand this. Hortensia said, ‘We
have to integrate the idea of self-defense into the social consciousness of
people.’ This made me think of the South Central Farm, and how self-defense is
something that needs to be discussed and maybe even brought into that struggle,
and not just relying on the tactics of pacifism.

Siempre en lucha,

Joaquin Cienfuegos

(I will report more on Atenco tomorrow).
* Anarcho-communist activist from Los Angeles area
A-infos-en mailing list

A-Infos Information Center