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Mon, 31 Mar 1997 03:57:04 GMT

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 01:22:43 -0500 To: aaron@burn.ucsd.edu (Multiple recipients 2) From: aaron@burn.ucsd.edu (Aaron) Subject: Mexican town siezes trainful of food. Sender: a-infos-request@tao.ca Precedence: list Reply-To: a-infos-d@tao.ca

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Friends, Comrades, Compas, The following report on direct action against hunger in Mexico is taken from MEXICAN LABOR NEWS AND ANALYSIS (MLNA), Vol. II, No. 7, April 2, 1997. It was actually e-mailed on Sat, 29 Mar 1997 01:49:13 -0500. MLNA is available at <http://www.igc.apc.org/unitedelect/>. If you don't have web access, contact editor Dan La Botz by e-mail at <103144.2651@compuserve.com>. I have added my own comments at the very end.

-- For revolutionary solidarity, -- Aaron

> On March 26 the residents of the town of Vaqueria in the
>municipality of Acultzingo near Orizaba, Veracruz blocked
>railroad tracks with stones, ties, and rails, stopped a freight
>rain, and took tons of sugar and corn. Approximately 20
>townspeople threatened the railroad workers with harm if they
>attempted to stop the robbery, and then they unloaded the goods.
>When railroad employees attempted to stop the robbery shots were
>fired but no one was hurt.
> Authorities arrested one suspect, a 19-year old peasant
>named Luis Hernandez Suarez, who said that hunger had driven the
>townspeople to rob the train. "We robbed for hunger," he said,
>"we don't have work and we have to eat, as do our families,
>that's why we put the rocks on the train track in order to remove
>the sugar and corn."
> "Everyone here has nothing to eat and we have many children
>and our wives who are dying of hunger and since there is no work,
>we steal to live."
> The president of the town of Acultzingo, Luis Gamez Andrade,
>said that there were no factories or other sources of employment
>in the area, and consequently there was much hunger. He
>attributed the robbery to hunger.
> Francisco Garcia, head of the railroad workers in that part
>of Veracruz said that the area between Aguastitla and Vaqueria
>had become a very dangerous pass, especially when the trains
>carried food. He said that peasants in the area have blocked the
>tracks with rocks and then quickly board the trains and steal
> Analysis
> Mexico's poor southern states and their rural population
>constitute a volatile region capable of a massive social
>upheaval. According to the Mexican National Institute of
>Statistics (INEGI), most of the residents of the town of Vaqueria
>where this latest train robbery took place, live on small plots
>of land and grow their own food; that is they do not work for
>wages and have no monetary income. Similar conditions exist in
>many other areas.
> This year Veracruz displaced Chiapas as the poorest part of
>Mexico, followed by Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to the
>Secretary of Social Development. The other poorest states are:
>the State of Mexico, Puebla, Guerrero, Michoacan. Extreme poverty
>in these areas often means living in adobe shacks or huts made of
>sticks with dirt floors, eating only corn and beans, lacking
>electricity, running water, and sewers. Now in some areas the
>usual hunger has given way to life on the edge of starvation.
> These southern states are the same regions where the
>Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Peoples
>Revolutionary Army (EPR) have found support from impoverished
>indigenous peoples and peasants. In these same poor, southern
>states the Party of the Democratic Revolution, Mexico's left-of-
>center nationalist and social democratic party, has had hundreds
>of its activists assassinated.
> But such desperate poverty is not limited to the south. A
>similar incident took place at San Nicolas de los Garza, a town
>north of Monterrey on May 30, 1996 when hundreds of townspeople
>stopped and robbed a train taking corn.
> Only about 25 percent of Mexico's population is rural. But
>the rural poor of southern Mexico represent a potentially
>explosive social group prepared to break the law, to take up
>arms, and even to join revolutionary guerrilla group.

[Let's hope the next train they expropriate contains a good supply of weapons and ammo. Ultimately, and not very far in the future, the survival of the poor majority in Mexico -- and elsewhere -- is going to depend on their being able to smash the armed thugs of the rich. To what extent this will involve guerrilla warfare and to what extent urban insurrection remains to be worked out, and will depend on the conditions in each area. -- Aaron]

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