The Open Vein of Honduras

The coup d’etat that removed democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power in 2009 signified the prolongation of the containment policy the United States deployed during the Cold War. Reports on the deposed president being kidnapped by the Honduran army and then flown out of the country in his pajamas sent shockwaves throughout the portion of the western hemisphere that continues to suffer the repercussions caused by foreign financial and military interventions. Within hours, Honduras was taken hostage by the national conservative powers determined to impose a transitional government that would not tolerate its citizens gaining the greater constitutional powers the overthrown head of state was attempting to prepare and deliver. 

On June 28, 2009, Honduras had its open vein drastically and painfully widened by the neocolonial interests of the Honduran capitalist elite and Washington Consensus. This politically motivated coup assured Hondurans that their sovereignty remained subject to the neoliberalist projects the United States, multinational companies, and right-wing Latin American governments are attempting to consolidate throughout the region. This violation of Honduran constitutional governance and its denunciations from the United Nations and Organization of American States assured the region that neoliberal hegemony will not tolerate anti-imperialism nor sovereignty.

But, in order to understand this Honduran golpe de estado, Honduras’ historical place in the Cold War and anti-Communist global crusade must be understood because of the relationship it had already been developing with the United States. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Honduras’ presidential successions were interrupted by transnational companies, such as the United Fruit Company, whose accumulated economic power typically influenced the outcome. However, this was also a period where North American troops would easily be deployed to patrol the streets of Latin America, such as in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Uncle Sam’s heavily armed soldiers invaded Honduras in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, and 1924. In 2009, the interests of the United States took form of the Honduran military fatigue and the country’s economic elite that fulfilled their unconstitutional deeds.

As the Cold War’s ideological standoff continued to polarize and partition the rest of the world, Honduras was being transformed into a military base of counterrevolutionary operations throughout the late seventies and eighties. Honduras did not experience the civil war its regional neighbors Guatemala and El Salvador had suffered and this factor is what pressured this Central American country to provide the training grounds for military elements assigned to silence anti-Communism and opposition against the United States. The Colossus of the North needed Honduras as a key geopolitical ally in order to traffick military aid to the military government of El Salvador and the Contras in Nicaragua. In return, Honduras’ government received not only economic aid, but had their own internal repression disregarded by a country that sought to exemplify respect for human rights. For example, history often forgets to highlight the cruelty of General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, a graduate from the School of Americas, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Honduran Armed Forces during the eighties. The Battalion 316 was composed of 25 anti-Communist assassins that and designed by Alvarez Martinez to interrogate, torture, and murder leftist and socialist citizens like it was being executed in Argentina and Chile. The people of Honduras will always remember the estimated 184 that were disappeared or assassinated at the hands of this institutional impunity.

As the country experienced a transition back into civilian government, presidents would no longer be military generals but technocrats eager to solidify economic relations with North American capital and international globalization. Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras’ shores in 1998 and was devastating. It not only killed and displaced thousands and set the economy back decades, but also ruined goals of national development. In 2001, Ricardo Maduro Joest is elected to power and becomes notable for signing the country onto the extension of NAFTA, the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), subjugating Honduras to the volatility and unaccountability of regional free markets. As all of this was occurring, Honduras was slowly restoring its democracy while criminal violence was beginning to rise.

The presidential elections of 2006 proved to be one of the closest and most intense races in its short history of democratic elections. Manuel Zelaya’s Liberal Party, defeated Porfirio Lobo Sosa’s National Party, having campaigned among the poorer and rural classes of Honduras, emphasizing his intention to fight against growing organized crime, like his electoral counterparts. However, what infuriated his opposition and elements of his own conservative party was the international relations he sought to establish. Zelaya, a former manager of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise and Minister of Investment for a previous administration, shocked the region when he restored relations with Cuba and sought regional cooperation with Latin America’s 21st Century Fidel Castro, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias. It was these international acts, along with his minimum wage increase, reforestation projects, and attempts to expropriate land that provoked the United States to monitor in a Cold War style.

As political polarization was intensifying, the disorder in the streets was being taken advantage of not only by the maras, but also by the conservative elite of the country. What made this situation unbearable, was Zelaya’s intention to propose a referendum that was going to ask the country if the government could hold a constituent national assembly that will approve and design a new political constitution. The conservative elite of the country felt threatened by constitutional measures that would enhance the power of the common Honduran people because it was this very political inequality that protected their positions in society. There is a reason why Miguel Facusse, arguably one of the richest Hondurans, was in conversation with elements of Washington and became an outspoken supporter of the golpista president, Roberto Micheletti. Honduras’ private media was quick to compare this constitutional referendum to those proposed and pursued by President Chavez with the sole intention to defame and depict Manuel Zelaya as an aspiring totalitarian that sought to convert Honduras into a Bolivarian state.

During the Cold War, the United States and cooperative military leaders and anti-Communists from Latin America justified their repression of the left and anti-imperialist to prevent another Fidel Castro from taking governmental power. More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Micheletti, the Honduran armed forces and national elite sought to justify this coup d’etat by claiming to have prevented the rise of another Hugo Chavez in Latin America. Thousands of Honduran citizens came out onto to the streets not to simply challenge illegal state order, but in search of the democracy they were slowly reconstructing. Citizens of Honduras marched towards the presidential palace not to simply address their grievances against political instability, but in order to risk their lives finding out who to hold accountable for jeopardizing the democratic governance they wanted developed for their future generations. And yet, the United States became the first country to recognize this not as a golpe de estado, but as a functioning government ready to cooperate with Washington. The FMLN would win the presidential election for the first time this same year as Daniel Ortega’s FSLN was in power. There was no way the United States’ imperialistic agenda would thrive with another Chavista supporter in Central America.

The removal of Manuel Zelaya from power was the political earthquake that deteriorated Honduras into the position it is in today. Since 2009, gang violence has proliferated, peaking in 2013 when San Pedro Sula became renowned as the most dangerous city in the world. The National Party has not prevented Honduras from being recognized as the country, not engaged in war, with the most homicides per inhabitants, reaching above 90 in 2012. With the recent assassination of Berta Caceres, President Juan Orlando Hernandez has also assured the world of his incapability of providing citizen security to the indigenous and women threatened by transnational companies of natural resource extraction. Berta’s murder has captured the international community’s attention and represents the agony of thousands of Hondurans who want an anti-corruption commission to be created without the national government and to hold it accountable for its deadly impunity. Lobo’s and Hernandez’s National Party claimed they would be the party to lower gang violence and develop Honduras, but not without militarizing the country with unaccountable military forces receiving financial aid form the United States. The exodus of Honduran children, single mothers, and those fleeing gang violence and political persecution should be assuring the United States of the need to end military aid, strengthen and monitor human right conditionalities on their international relations with Honduras, and understand that Hondurans are refugees fleeing from a murderous government and senseless gang members.

As a citizen of the United States, but son of a Honduran migrant who has not yet visited Honduras, I can only echo what I have read through books and heard from family members about the current conditions in Honduras. I am privileged in being able to address the United States government and public about how devastating this country’s continous military aid is to my father’s country because so many of my fellow Hondurans either do not make it here or are still in pursuit of arriving to the very empire that approved of their country’s political collapse.
In his introduction to Open Veins of Latin America, Eduardo Galeano says “Latin America is the region of open veins. Everything, from the discovery until our times, has always been transmuted into European – or later the United States – capital, and as such has accumulated in distant centers of power”. The United States’ United Fruit Company allowed it to exert political influence at the beginning of the twentieth century. About 100 years later, the United States maintained this imperialistic power and deployed it by financing particular military elements and through the support gained by the national elite that remains in true control of Honduras. Its veins continue being attended and cared to by the Lenca resisting privatization projects, the university students defending public education, and the Honduran people desiring the restoration of their constitutional government and sovereignty. The way in which this country has been ruled since the coup should serve to prove that the Cold War has not ended in Central America.

*I apologize for not being able to name the photographer who took this picture.

 

 

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Mexico’s Government Represses Organized Teachers, not Organized Crime

 

Foto/AP Luis Alberto Cruz Hernández

In the midst of a deadly war on drugs, the latest victims of the Mexican government’s ruthlessness are not the perpetrators of violent institutional or social crime, but rather a teacher’s union mobilizing for greater rights and greater respect for their dedication to a deteriorating national public educational system. Aurelio Nuño Mayer, Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education, is supporting the brutal repression of the unionized teachers opposing the educational reform inconsiderate of their demands and underfunded conditions. In the absence of a constructive dialogue, elements of the federal military are having their excessive militarization photographed and displayed to the world concerned with their safety and pursuit for just teaching accessibility and conditions.

As the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de Educación (CNTE), Latin America’s largest teacher union, confront President Enrique Peña Nieto’s intention to privatize the public education system, the world must recognize the unequal treatment the teacher’s, threatened by the conditionalities of this reform, are enduring. And not just in the obvious terms of resources in comparison with the private educational system, but in possessing the identity of a teaching laborer. Mexico represses teachers that organize themselves against the government’s educational disparities, not the organized crime in collusion with the systems of governance failing to provide citizen security.

The repression unionized teachers are facing across the states of Mexico is being illuminated by courageous community members and journalists risking their lives documenting the brutality of the federal security forces renowned for their gross human right violations record. However, it was a simple, yet extremely political meme (which I can no longer find) that revealed the deplorable nature of the country’s ruling regime. On one side of the cynically humorous image, is a narcolord, visually under arrest, but physically untouched by the very elements of security his drug trafficking organizations infiltrates. The other side of this same image shows a unionized teacher bleeding and being forcibly dragged by police forces intensifying the criminalization of these educational vanguards.

These teachers are not risking themselves being arrested or killed to be proven of how different they are treated by police. Their intention is to prove to their own population and the world that standing up for your right to teach in a non-neoliberal manner is a bigger crime than trafficking heroin under government surveillance in contemporary Mexico. In states like Tabasco and Michoacán, the raging state-sponsored violence are efforts to silence the opposition to the neoliberalization of Mexico’s governmental sectors. In states like Oaxaca, this is simply the return of the form of governmental impunity that detained, displaced, and killed teachers back in 2006.

Shortly after the establishment of the country’s modern constitution, escuela normales (rural teaching colleges) were created for the rural poor and public education was developed to be free to the country’s constituents. Unfortunately, as Mexico sought more foreign capital and a larger place in the international economy, the quality of public education became less prioritized. In the following two decades, the country’s brink of default, pesos crisis, signing of NAFTA, and declaration of the war on drugs did not assist any grassroots effort to pressure the state to invest more into public education in non-urbanized areas. That’s why in late May of 2006, the resistance formed by CNTE Sección 22 in Oaxaca against Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s violent order of dispersal shook the country. Today, we are seeing the same members of this resistant and organized teacher front, communities like Nochixtlan, rise against the state’s armed forces. Their methods of federal highway blockades, burning federal police installations, and throwing rocks at riot police should not be antagonized, but rather influence Mexicans and global citizens to stand in solidarity.

Mexico’s revolutionary history recognizes the role teachers have in the development of a generation determined to defend social justice. That is why this so-called educational reform is nothing but progressive rhetoric disguising the dismissal of urban to rural educational disparities and the dismissal of underfunded and under-resourced teachers. A series of evaluation tests are being recommended by this new reform, claiming they are in need of understanding what areas need to be developed. The testimonies of these teaching laborers, however, will argue that the goal of this initiative is to replace experienced teachers and organized laborers with a new generation of teachers that doesn’t understand the contributions this union has made to the teaching profession and that will be subjected by the government ideology. The CNTE will not deny the fact that Mexico is in need of an educational reform. What the protest chants in these mobilizations are demanding is not only greater institutional and financial support for improving labor and schooling conditions, but their own national government to be subject to evaluation by the people and the teachers helping raise future generations of their citizenry.

Mexico’s war on drugs allowed the country to become a recipient of financial aid from the United States. It’s the very flow of weapons coming north of the border that is militarizing the capacities of Mexico’s security forces to repress any opposition towards its agenda of neoliberal development. The same armed forces deployed to fight against cartels and resist the bribery of organized crime are now criminalizing and ravaging communities where unionized teachers have decided to resist. It’s not the narcotraficantes launching an offensive against teachers, it’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong’s governance encouraging and tolerating this wave of state violence. It’s these armed force elements that disappeared the forty-three normalistas from Ayotzinapa and continue to enjoy their impunity from being interviewed by independent human right commissions. The forces that killed six people in Oaxaca in the last couple of days cannot go unpunished.

The country’s National Security Commission reported early this morning on the 21 federal and state police wounded, but not the six deaths and injured protesters that suffered this abuse of power. The world cannot allow this government to succeed in minimizing the significance of these teachers struggle. The militarization of these forces should not be preventing these teachers from returning to their classrooms. What should be considered organized crime is the ruling regime’s effort to silence those demanding their right to simply teach and profess the knowledge needed to understand the inequalities created by their own government.

FREE RUBEN NUÑEZ, FREE FRANCISCO VILLALOBOS, LA CNTE VIVE!

Articles that helped me understand so far:

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2016/06/19/aumenta-a-seis-los-muertos-en-oaxaca

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/06/12/opinion/019a1pol

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-idUSKCN0Z50WZ

 

 

 

Senior Capstone Proposal: Central American Regional Security Initiative: Its Institutional Ineffectiveness and the Honduran National Police

My senior capstone proposal allowed me to investigate the growing inefficiency of the Honduran National Police during a time of growing financial aid from the United States.

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Steven K. Young

Introduction:

Central America continues to receive counter-narcotic and security assistance from the United States as these six countries suffer from the institutional inefficiency of their national security forces while remaining crucial transporting routes for regional drug trafficking organizations. Honduras, my case-study region, has become dependent on the transnational security assistance provided by the United States that has financed the militarization of their security forces while simultaneously earning the reputation of possessing the highest homicide rate in the world. The violence attributed by gang activity, narcotrafficking, and social discontent within an unstable democracy continues to prevent social peace from emerging in Honduran cities and districts. Because of this region’s territorial complicity in the transnational trade of lucrative drugs and gang crises, Honduras and the rest of Central America receive foreign assistance from the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), funded by the United States. This regional commitment not only unites those countries who are participating in reducing Central America’s social violence, but also their role in holding their regional neighbors accountable for using this as a financial resource that prioritizes security development and not the institutional mismanagement of national police forces.

This multilateral initiative signaled that the United States trusted the capacity of Honduras’ security institutions in being able to combat the drug trade effectively and reduce rates of social violence with greater financial and military assistance over the coming years. However, this came into effect between 2008 and 2009 with no mention of what the consequences would be for Honduras if officials from their security forces violated human rights or engaged in misconduct. The absence of accountability measures were immediately questioned because this country has a history having their police forces infiltrated by cartel bribery and was recently created in 1998 apart from the jurisdiction of the armed forces. Police corruption in Honduras, that has resulted in police violence and complicity in criminal behavior, is alarming many members of the United States Congress since the original intentions of creating safer streets and robust security institutions are failing to provide desired results. Honduras, who recently elected a new president dedicated towards further militarizing the state, deserves an effective, sensible, and accountable form of counter-narcotics assistance and strategic design that is concerned with the impact and repercussions of CARSI’s implementation. Despite the rise in narcotic seizures and arrests of MS-13 and Barrio 18 gang members since its implementation, the social peace it was designed to help introduce is experiencing obstacles that are rooted in the corruption that has not been addressed.

My concern for this capstone proposal paper is addressing this question: How is corruption produced within Honduran security forces and how does it place limitations on CARSI being able to reduce levels of social violence? The fourth goal stated on the United States’ Department of State’s webpage on CARSI is “re-establishing effective state presence, services, and security in communities at risk” because Honduras, in particular, has a history of institutional corruption complicating its governance (U.S. Department of State, September 2nd, 2015). In addition, it allocates some of its financial package towards assisting security forces to confront narco-trafficking and disrupt criminal infrastructure. This multilateral initiative was designed to create safer streets and disrupt organized crime, not to support conditions where 230 police officers deceive lie detector tests out of the more than 400 that were screened in 2013 (El Heraldo, October 4, 2015). The implementation of CARSI and its effect over the years has only been developing alongside an unfortunate slow and steady rate of violence and police criminality that is questioning the impact these security forces are really receiving. Evidence that assisted my analysis of the correlation between Honduras’ rate of social violence, police corruption, and the years CARSI has been in effect has been gathered from both primary and secondary sources, ranging from the country’s national autonomous university’s findings, the congressional findings on behalf of the United States, and the Honduran national newspapers that have been documenting this unfolding state crisis.

Through the perspectives of Honduran citizens, non-citizens expanding this research, and opinions of scholars, the troubled history Honduras has had in purging the corrupt elements of its government and managing of certain institutions is acknowledged and prevents CARSI from effectively assisting in the combat against the regional drug trafficking. Unfortunately, the arguments on both sides debating the continuity and termination of CARSI remain biased because those who remain cautious of its operations have to acknowledge its success of slowly reducing crime rates while the other side has to accept the great delusion it has brought after seven years of overseeing this transnational security alliance. With the subject being “Status of Funding for the Central American Regional Security Initiative”, Chairman and co-chairman of the Caucus on the International Narcotics Control in the United States Senate reported that CARSI funds come from International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, Economic Support Fund, Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining and Related Programs, and Foreign Military Financing (Government Accountability Office, September 10, 2015). This web of financial distribution complicates the ability to trace them to local and certain national police stations and to see if it is mismanaged or finances any misdeeds. Another limitation seeking to understand the mismanagement of CARSI is the difficult task of measuring the impact an individual police officer’s acts of corruption can have on achieving the objectives of this multinational counter-narcotic initiative. This remains neglected and poorly investigated on behalf of the government of Honduras, one of the least transparent in the world, and is a serious impediment to the progress CARSI can be helping this country’s security sector can achieve.

In this paper, the institutional corruption police criminality creates and the ineffectiveness it produces will be discussed as CARSI’s progress is evaluated and the recommendation for more explicit measures of accountability to become instituted is proposed. Within the deconstruction of CARSI’s security principles, the rates of social and police violence will continuously be compared and criticized in order to provide more insight into the questioning of the root causes that breed corruption in these institutions of public security. There appears to be no existing theory directly theorizing about the corruption of national security institutions other than the conversation on good governance and how its nature of accountability would be essential for the partnering of cross-border counter-narcotic strategies. CARSI has gained a responsibility in providing greater oversight over Honduras’ institutional crisis because of the funds it has committed transnationally. Sadly, two years after its initiation, the Honduran Minister of Security in 2011, Oscar Alvarez, denounced the National Police for having “converted into ‘aviation controllers’ for the narco-airliners, that brings drugs from South to North America…”, contradicting the intended results of this foreign policy (Hondureño Radio Nacional, November 11, 2015). Whether the primary concern is disrupting organized crime or supporting the creation of a safer social environment, the continuous funding of CARSI should be thoroughly re-approached and halted until Honduras and their North American security counterparts can devise a regulatory framework that will institute accountability and consequences for failing to provide a promised reality of safer citizen security. This multilateral initiative funded by the United States can only really begin achieving standards of progress when corruption is purged from the very security forces that have vowed to protect their citizenry before the law some of them betray and devalue.

The complete version of my senior capstone proposal can be viewed in the following link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/13fJh8t7nnDKSWI0GVU8tKDesDuAAOWhfgmGBMQqXcQY/edit?usp=sharing

 

La Revolucion en Mexico no tiene estado: Magon, Cárdenas, y Ayotzinapa

One of my favorite spanish essays I’ve written. Magón was right, we shouldn’t have allowed ourselves to believe we need a state inconsiderate of the people’s needs in times of crises.

REUTERS/GINNETTE RIQUELME

 

El movimiento de la independencia mexicana logró en expulsar la monarchia Española sin ser capaz de prevenir las décadas de concentracion política que iba a ser perpetrada por un orden capitalista y desafiada por movimientos insurreccionales. La dictadura inminente de Porfirio Díaz, entre 1876-1910, no simplemente creo la necesidad de incitar una revolución nacional, sino tambien iba siendo atacado por medio de los pensamientos anticapitalistas de pensadores mexicanos creando una oposición al estado mexicano anos anteriores. Después de la creación del Constitución de 1917, una estrategia política de incorporar valores de la Revolución mexicana, la revolución y el movimiento anti-opresiva que conlleva fue apropiado por las reformas del estado mexicano que nunca configuró la posición del ciudadano en relación al funcionamiento del estado. La Revolución en México no puede tener estado porque su institucionalización es dirigida por la agenda capitalista que desea conquistar el derecho de vivir y subyugar las clases bajas, laborales, y rurales a la explotación que sostiene proyectos de modernización económica. El autoritarismo del estado mexicano que siguió desarrollando a lo largo del siglo veinte incito la necesidad de rebelarse contra un orden estatal que oprime la libertad individual que una revolución regenerada intenta solidificar y proteger. La última meta de una Revolución en México es poder definir como uno quiere vivir en la sociedad que habite.

Antes de la Revolución y entre las dos décadas que siguieron el resultado de la revolución mexicana, se produjo una ruptura en cómo las funciones del estado eran percibidas por la sociedad. En el año 1910, Ricardo Flores Magón publicó una llamada a la guerra en su panfleto anarquista Regeneración que estuvo en contra el despotismo de la tiranía militarizada que invadía los libertades personales. Como veinte años después, el general Lázaro Cárdenas es elegido presidente de la república para prevenir la concentracion del poder gubernamental de sus predecesores quienes se hicieron indiferentes a las necesidades de una ciudadanía desesperado por estabilidad. Lo significativo del manifiesto magonista y las reformas cardenistas es que tomaron la iniciativa de explicar cómo los ciudadanos mexicanos mantienen su autonomía para redefinir las relaciones que ellos y sus vidas tiene con el funcionamiento del estado. Los dos figuras políticas implementaron diferente medidas en generar la necesidad de entender el derecho a la rebeldía que es necesario para desafiar al mismo estado que desgraciadamente oprime las condiciones de vivencia de los ciudadanos. Magón dice que “la revolución es inminente: ni el Gobierno ni los oposicionistas podrán detenerla” para mostrar que ningún estado comprometido es capaz de satisfacer este impulso (1910, 30). Cárdenas, por otro lado, dirigió el estado a poder satisfacer necesidades por medio de sus reformas que intentaron aliviar el descontento popular heredado de sus predecesores. Aunque mantienen un contraste en cómo perciben el papel del estado en el ambiente de revolución política, las palabras anarquistas de Magón y las reformas institucionales de Cárdenas son recursos que ayudan a desafiar la dirección del gobierno que se ha dedicado a satisfacer poderes económicos en vez de las necesidades de un pueblo despierto. Decadas despues, vemos que los administraciones que son obligados a ejecutar elementos constitucionales, siguen oprimiendo las movilizaciones con valores anticapitalistas.

El discurso magonista ha demostrado que una Revolución no se lleva a cabo mediante una simple transferencia de poder gubernamental debido a la cantidad de ciudadanos que siguieron marginados por esta negociación política. Magón explica que la opresión que han sufrido los pueblos mexicanos es debido a los hombres del gobierno y que sus ciudadanos han “quedado subordinados al solo deseo del cambio en la administración pública” (1910, p. 29). Esto fue publicado en su segundo capítulo, después de explicar la regeneración de la voluntad en redefinir el significado del estado y agencia ciudadanía. Magón asumió que todo los miembros de las clases oprimidas estaban cegados por esta ilusión democrática y trato de ilustrar la forma en que siguen subordinados a algo que parece más prometedora. Las revoluciones tenían la tendencia de ser terminados por una derrota militar o por concesión de una nueva representación de clases altas que deseaban preservar el poder del estado. Este anarquista anticipo esto mientras el estadista de Michoacán intentó refutar este nivel de desconfianza con el estado que sólo se intensificó por comunidades rurales como Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

El gobierno y presidencia de Cárdenas ha mostrado que las metas revolucionarios si se pueden implementar mediante un poder ejecutivo que desea apoyar políticamente a las clases de mexicanos que han sido marginalizados. Cardenas experimento más de quinientos huelgas en los primeros seis meses de su gobernación por el descontento de los trabajadores que resistieron el maximato, un periodo donde el presidente predecesor que mantiene control sobre el poder presidencial. Carlos Martínez Assad, en su artículo sobre Cárdenas, reportó que Calles denunció las huelgas que el presidente apoyaba, reclamando que “no hay en ellos etica, ni el más elemental respeto a los derechos de la colectividad” para mostrar la desaprobación por un poder nacional (p. 23). La crítica elitista del presidente anterior justifica la afirmación de Magón en su argumento de que las sucesiones políticas sólo conservan a una cierta clase en el poder ejecutivo. En respuesta a la amenaza política de Calles, Cárdenas lo envió al exilio, junto con otros símbolos de poder concentrada, no solo para demostrar su control del estado, sino también para desaprobar la noción de que el gobierno es incapaz de ser autónomo de los intereses elitistas. El control del estado ejercida por el cardenismo muestra que fue capaz de expulsar elementos de corrupción política. Desafortunadamente, su legado también experimentó límites en poder garantizar esta actitud política en las administraciones sucesivas.

La represión que han recibido los normalistas del estado de México muestra como elementos de la revolución mexicana, programadas en las agendas y nombres de partidos políticos, siguen oprimidos por una plataforma de desarrollo capitalista. Las escuelas normales fueron creados para ser laboratorios de apoyo político al gobierno que estuviera sosteniendo la educación socialista de los normalistas, que son hijos e hijas de familias campesinas. Después del sexenio cardenista, administraciones explícitamente capitalista tomaron la presidencia y empezaron abandonar las escuelas normales porque la educación socialista y transformación personal que el cardenismo promovió estuvo en contra del desarrollo nacional que deseaba establecer. En su ensayo “Memories of Justice: Rural Normales and the Cardenista Legacy”, Tanalis Padilla reporta que “…it was the state itself that now attacked them closing fourteen of the country’s twenty-nine rural normales in 1969 (p. 31). The privileged position Cardenas had assigned them was officially a thing of the past” para enfatizar las diferencias en cómo cada administración trataba a estudiantes rurales que deseaban ser maestros. Aunque el crecimiento personal iba apoyado por un fase del estado, la sucesión del poder concentrado no toleraba el anticapitalismo de los estudiantes que criminalizan como comunistas. La revolución educativa que permitió la transformación política de los normalistas fue cuestionado por la incertidumbre del legado cardenista que atentó de reformar el funcionamiento del estado.

Era necesario convencer a los pueblos mexicanos de esta ilusión democrática para poder disolver esta tradición de perpetuar la jerarquía opresiva y política por medio de elecciones presidenciales. Por esta razón, Magón dedicó su publicación de Regeneración a enfatizar la necesidad de crear una conciencia que permitiera a su audiencia redefinir su rol en ayudar a dirigir la transformación nacional, oprimidas por décadas de la inestable pax porfiriana. Magón explica que este movimiento regenerado “es caricia y es alivio para el que trabaja y el que sufre, es fusta y es castigo para los que oprimen y explotan” porque es un proceso de despertar en el cual las clases oprimidas ahora se dedican a entender y cambiar las implicaciones de su ciudadanía en medio de un cambio social (1910, p. 27). Esto ilustra la desigualdad del poder que existe entre las diferente clases con la intención de probar que este movimiento revolucionario no desea ofrecer ningún beneficio a los elitistas capitalistas que oprimir a mujeres y los trabajadores del campos y la industria. Además, este castigo es reconocer “[…] con horror con que fuerza, con que implacable destreza hemos dejado caer el látigo sobre sus lomos” para enfatizar que la revolución regenerada por consejos magonistas si es una amenaza al orden estatal (1910, p. 27). Esto es planteado para inspirar el reconocimiento de la posibilidad en poder derrotar a esta jerarquía represiva y redefinir las dinámicas políticas que esta nueva forma de actuar puede ayudar futuros generaciones a alcanzar.

La inestabilidad nacional que siguió después de la creación del estado moderno  constitucional mexicano requería un gobierno centralizado que pudiera evitar más caos que realizará el desarrollo del país. Magón, en cambio, escribía contra el control que un estado mantiene en la sociedad durante el periodo de tiempo cuando ningún orden constitucional existía para combatir la inestabilidad social. La violencia que se extendió mucho más allá del año 1920 agotó a la joven república con ganas de construir un gobierno que asumiría la responsabilidad de mantener un orden social y proyecto de desarrollo nacional. Es por esta razón que Cárdenas tuvo que establecer principios gubernamentales capaces de prevenir otra guerra de clases incitado por las desigualdades del capitalismo. Por ejemplo, Assad mencionó que días después de que Calles denunció la gobernación de Cárdenas, este “aceptó toda la responsabilidad por las condiciones existentes en el país” reclamando explicitamente que tiene “plena confianza en las organizaciones obreras y campesinas del país y espero que sabrán actuar con la cordura y el patriotismo que exigen los legítimos interés que representan” (p. 24). Hasta este momento en la historia de México, los trabajadores industriales nunca había tenido un presidente que ha legitimado sus acciones contra funciones del estado porque los que han estado en poder solo han sido dictaduras capitalistas que hicieron priorizar al orden estatal, pero no a la nación en general.  En el contexto de su campaña presidencial, se creó la Confederación General de Obreros y Campesinos de México por el líder sindical Vicente Lombardo Toledano, que constituye un base de apoyo crítico, con la intención de “crear un solo frente que tuviera por finalidad defender con más eficacia los intereses del proletariado” que estuvieron en oposición al desarrollo de la modernización (p. 22). La jerarquía que Cárdenas ha mantenido y que el magonismo denunciaba fue apoyado por un gran parte de los mexicanos porque Cárdenas dio la impresión de que el estado es capaz de dar prioridad a los intereses populares antes de los que son marginalizados por oficiales elegidos. El estado actual de México no ha transmitido las implicaciones del cardenismo porque sigue criminalizando la educación socialista de los estudiantes normalistas.

Las escuelas normales y su sostenimiento depende en el mismo gobierno que los utiliza para mostrar su compromiso a la educación público y que sigue en contra de los ideales que enseñan. La Revolución que ocurre en México durante 1910-1920 resultó en obligaciones constitucionales que prometió modelos educativos que iban ser dedicados a ayudar las luchas sociales del los comunidades rurales en México. Fue el jefe de estado Cardenas que añadió una dimensión política a la identidad normalista “by elevating teacher’s 1920s role from one of agents of national consolidation to one of foot soldiers in the battle for a more just order” que era necesario para movilizar una defensa campesina contra elitistas políticas (Padilla, p. 4). Esta relación entre el estado y la sociedad rural negocio la el proyecto revolucionario estatal sin reformar las posiciones gobernantes que una revolución regenerada no solo deseaba cambiar, sino destruir totalmente por su represión perpetuado.

Todo cambió, drásticamente, cuando la guerra fría, entre los años 1960’s-1970’s, se ensucio de corrupción y represión explícita por parte de oficiales mexicanos. Por ejemplo, John Gibler, en su capítulo “The Historical Continuity of Conquest and Revolt”, explica como Lucio Cabañas “escaped and formed an armed self-defense forces that evolved into the Party of the Poor (Partido de los Pobres), a guerrilla army that ambushed military and police convoys in the mountains […]” in response to the repression of teacher and student protests (p. 46). La revolución que fue institucionalizada por este partido político reveló las verdaderas intenciones de su orden estatal que era lograr el control de la población rural que iba mostrando su intolerancia de un estado hipócrita. El caso de los 43 normalistas que fueron desaparecidos el 26 de septiembre, 2014 han perdido confianza en las instituciones estatales solo despliega la misma represión experimentado durante esa época oscuro. El valor de estos estudiantes es reducido a un función laboral que desafía la Revolución que ellos mismos quieren continuar en la ausencia de una prioridad al capitalismo.

La diferencia en cómo Magón y Cárdenas hablan sobre la rebeldía que los campesinos y trabajadores industriales mostraban por todo el país revela el papel que cada uno piensa debe tomar el gobierno en contacto con una revolución. Magón, en su texto, La revolución, dice que “debemos tener presente que ningún Gobierno puede decretar la abolición de la miseria” para enfatizar que ninguna sustitución de gobierno va a poder garantizar la eliminación de las desigualdades creadas por la elite política del país (1910, 90). Además, esto muestra que no cree el funcionamiento de un gobierno cultivado por herencias políticas y el roce elitista. Al contrario, en la declaración de Cárdenas en el párrafo anterior, el presidente menciona que espera un patriotismo en su rebeldía nacional, indicando que a lo mejor solamente apoyaba estas huelgas porque representaban intereses que él compartía. Aunque temporalmente, durante el sexenio de Cárdenas, el gobierno pudo garantizar mejor reconocimiento de la luchas sociales iniciadas por sus constituyentes, sin embargo, el escepticismo magonista en el poder estatal fue probado con los poderes conservadores que sucedieron a esta administración.

El estado reformista y cardenista logró forzar al gobierno a responder a su ciudadanía durante su gobierno, pero falló en no poder ayudar a sus ciudadanos en evitar su dependencia sobre el funcionamiento y el apoyo del estado. A diferencia del anarquista intelectual, Cardenas no critico la jerarquía del estado porque era esa posición institucional que le permitió poder tener la autonomía estatal que le diera la oportunidad de evitar caos social por implementar reformas institucionales y reconocer la necesidad de terminar la explotación que solo pudiera iniciar otra guerra. Por ejemplo, los normalistas representan un elemento revolucionario para la programa educativo que desarrolló el PRI y aspiran ser maestros en condiciones empobrecidos. En su ensayo “Estado de Excepción: Marx y Lacan en Ayotzinapa”, David Pavon-Cuellar argumenta que el estado mexicano “les pide a los estudiantes que se pongan a trabajar, como si estuvieran descansando mientras manifiestan su inconformidad, como si no hubiera trabajo en sus protestas, sus asambleas, sus colectas de recursos y sus otras formas de militancia” (18). Esto muestra cómo el gobierno no reconoce los manifestaciones de los normalistas por la justicia social digna de recibir más apoyo o participación en orden gubernamental que puede ser dirigida lejos del capitalismo.

El triunfo de la Revolución que Magon imaginaba solo será posible si las clases oprimidas pudieran visualizar la nueva realidad en donde su agencia sustituyeran la gobernación del estado, construida socialmente como  un poder elitista en la sociedad mexicana. Magón tenía una manera asombrosa de ilustrar el verdadero potencial de los miembros de la sociedad reprimida por autoritarismo y exclusión de participación política. El anarquista explica que “[…] los marrazos de los mercenarios del César no encontraran el pecho inerme del ciudadano que ejercita sus funciones cívicas, sino las bayonetas de los rebeldes prontas a devolver golpe por golpe” para colocar a estos ciudadanos en este escenario (1910, 28). Su público atemporal se convierte en un cofre implacable,no sólo para inspirar a reconocer su fuerza, sino también para la reivindicación de que la revolucion no sera detenido por los conflictos de los interés del poder que ha preservado la élite o los generales militares. Las falacias de cambios estructurales anteriores se debió a su incapacidad de poder tocar fondo con los diferente grupos de personas que deseaban iniciar una revolución mexicana. Lo que Magon estuvo tratando de hacer era demostrar que no hay una estructura de poder que sea digna de confianza y que deben ser los ciudadanos, como los normalistas de Ayotzinapa, los que reconozcan esto con la nueva conciencia anti-opresiva acompañada con la voluntad armada.

Las demandas de los diferente movimientos revolucionarios en México fueron capaces de llegar a ser actualizado por las iniciativas gubernamentales instituidas por el presidente Cárdenas. En su capítulo Una cierta idea de México: Presencia, nostalgia y persistencia del cardenismo, Adolfo Gilly menciona que las dos grandes reformas del reparto agrario en 1936 y la expropiación petrolera de 1938 eran iniciativas que redefinieron relaciones entre gobierno y población mexicana (601). Aunque no hubo cambio de poder del ciudadano en relación con el poder que mantenía el gobierno, el cardenismo iba cambiando la realidad en que un gobierno asumido completamente corrupto por intereses privados, puede tomar la acción de implementar estas reformas. Magón reclama que las bayonetas del descontento popular mexicano estarán listas para resistir el poder concentrado del estado y esto cuestiona si serán apuntadas al proyecto estatal que Cárdenas ejecutó. El cardenismo, su énfasis en corresponder su gobernación con las necesidades de los pueblos marginalizados, trato de calmar el pecho que Magón trató fuera impedir fuera manipulado por intereses elitistas. Este fue para mostrar cómo se podría institucionalizar los intereses de los que están fuera del poder político para fomentar una mayor confianza entre una relación necesaria para sostener la legitimidad gubernamental.

La autonomía que Cárdenas fue capaz de garantizar que existe entre el gobierno y los interés del elite nacional era necesaria para contrarrestar la reivindicación intelectual de Magón de que ninguna estructura de poder jamás podría garantizar las libertades de las clases bajas y que esto solo se podría lograr a través de estos pensamientos, una revolución armada, la resistencia estudiantil, o por la autonomía política. Los hijos de campesinos que fueron desaparecidos hace uno año y medio refleja un límite en como un régimen en poder puede representar elementos revolucionarios y institucionalizados cuando sigue prohibiendo que soldados cómplices sean entrevistados por investigadores y comisiones internacionales. Pavon-Cuellar, en detallar quien verdaderamente eran estos estudiantes, dice que “[…] son los que más dan, más necesitan y menos reciben” para ilustrar el tipo de correspondencia que recibe por el estado que está obligado a financiar mejores condiciones educativas las escuelas normales (10). Aunque Cárdenas tomó la iniciativa de redefinir la significación de la identidad normalista, sus sucesores como ex-presidentes Manuel Ávila Camacho, Miguel Alemán, y el presidente Enrique Peña Nieto. Es esta falta de voluntad política que les convencen a ciertos grupos de mexicanos reconocer la necesidad de combatir contra las desigualdades sin el ayuda estatal.

Los tiempos posrevolucionarios de Mexico todavia experimentaron violencia iniciada por la violencia de causas sociales que aún no han sido solucionadas. Gilly define esta violencia desde abajo que “es venganza de agravios antiguos y valoración de existencias y voluntades presentes” dispuestos a seguir desafiando el orden del gobierno que está facilitando la modernización de una estado desigual (592). Cárdenas reconoció y simpatizo con el descontento nacional que mostraban campesinos y trabajadores industriales porque el elitismo burgués-nacionalista que ha mantenido el poder no ha tomado precauciones para evitar pésimas condiciones laborales. En el caso de esta administración, la ciudadanía ya ha estado liderada por palabras magonistas y zapatistas, y lo que era necesario era demostrar que el estado puede ayudar al pueblo a alcanzar el cambio que ellos deseaban. La educación que Cárdenas expandió en su estado Michoacan y al nivel nacional durante su sexenio promovió el entendimiento del poder del ciudadano, pero a través de la necesidad de estar alineado a las causas que está apoyando el estado porque los obreros y campesinos mantenían el poder de imponer efectivamente el funcionamiento de la economía y ahora, la imagen internacional del estado.

Guerrillas surgen en respuesta a un abandono del estado que ha fallecido en servir los interés y necesidades de clases marginalizadas afuera de centros de modernización. El cardenismo logró en redistribuir tierra pero no en el poder administrativa que podía asegurar la prolongación de este acceso institucional a las hectáreas que ayudaba las vidas de muchos comunidades campesinas. El documental “La guerrilla y la esperanza: Lucio Cabañas” narra como este alumno de la escuela normal Raúl Isidro Burgos reveló las disparidades entre su gobierno y su comunidad por medio de armar su gente. La mala calidad de la educación en comparación con los que estuvieron ubicados en áreas urbanas fue un motivo, con Padilla reportando que “[…] in the mid-1960s, 70 percent of rural schools had only first through third grade, a professional education was beyond the reach of most youngsters” living in rural areas (26). La dirección capitalista que gobiernos durante este tiempo tomaron explícitamente mostrarán cómo trataron de privar estos estudiantes del tipo de educación que les podría dar más acceso al gobierno y la posibilidad de desmantelar el poder concentrado arraigado en el estado mexicano. Guerrilleros como Genaro Vázquez y Cabañas fueron traicionados por tratar de confiar en los intenciones del gobierno en negociar resoluciones y este legado de represión gubernamental es evidencia en cómo el estado responde a los ciudadanos que interrumpen su agenda capitalista.

La necesidad de priorizar la anulación de las desigualdades que sufre clases explotadas siempre han sido ignorado por la gobernación preocupado en preservar un orden político en particular. El anarquista intelectual ayudó a plantear los elementos precursores para una verdadera transformación nacional cuando ofreció educar a los diferente grupos de mexicanos de porqué deberían revaluar su posición con el estado. Documentando el progreso revolucionario cinco años después en Artículos políticos, Magón reveló que los logros de la revolución no radican en poder “elegir un presidente, sino algo más serio, algo más trascendental” la conquista del derecho de vivir […]” debido a las desventaja del progreso humano que la autoridad estructural fomenta (1915, 82). Debe obligar a su audiencia a reconocer cuando trata de su derecho a vivir y esto era necesario para provocar un profundo reconocimiento de la necesidad de imaginar maneras diferente en medio de una revolución sangrienta. Al ilustrar esta tiranía como una invasión al derecho de vivir, Magón trato de apelar al sentido moral de la gente que el creia solo eran capaces de redefinir las funciones del estado.

El cardenismo no ignoro la desigualdad en las clases sociales de México y su sexenio se dedicó a resolver muchas desigualdades producidas por años de elitismo que rigió la reconstrucción del país. El liderazgo de Cárdenas funcionó para producir razones en porque el pueblo mexicano debe de regenerar la fe que ha perdido en el centralismo del estado. Similar a Magón, ofreció educar diferente facciones de la población mexicana por medio de su expansión de un sistema de aprendizaje que los iban valorar como personajes capaces de contribuir al dirección del estado mexicano. Sin embargo, nunca tomó la iniciativa de sustituir miembros de su gabinete, oficiales de alta clases, con representantes de los diferente niveles de sociedad que estuvieron manifestando sus demandas durante este tiempo. Además, en respuesta a las 647 huelgas que ocurrieron en 1936, Cárdenas dio 14 puntos en los que expresó un cambio de la operación en el sistema político mexicano, sin olvidar enfatizar en el punto tres que “el gobierno es el árbitro y el regulador de la vida social” (Assad, 26). Entre los cambios que Cárdenas estaba tratando de apoyar por medio de su control de los instituciones del poder estatal, las reformas cardenistas les quitaba el derecho a vivir a las clases marginalizadas porque asumió el poder de garantizar su protección y prolongación. El cardenismo priorizo el funcionamiento del estado Mexicano no solamente para satisfacer más del pueblo capaz de desafiar su legitimidad, sino también para tomar el poder de definir cuales son las condiciones de vida que son determinadas por el apoyo que ofreció el gobierno capitalista.

El estado mexicano no debe tener ningún derecho de definir el derecho de vida de sus ciudadanos porque a su agenda neoliberal le importa más el sostenimiento de sus proyectos de desarrollo modernizado en vez de las condiciones deterioradas de la vivencia que sufren los mexicanos anticapitalistas. El estado posrevolucionario de México trató de presentarse como la encarnación de los ideales revolucionarios porque lograron establecer unos elementos en la constitución que sigue establecido, pero que mucho más cambios orientado al orden neoliberal. Pero esto es imposible simbolizar cuando oposiciones a la corrupción entre compañías de petróleo y represión estatal en comunidades en el estado de Guerrero reciben una represión brutal y contrarrevolucionario. En referencia a los 43 normalistas, Pavon-Cuellar pregunta si “Podemos decir entonces que fue por anticapitalistas y antigubernamentales que los estudiantes fueron asesinados?” porque esto estudiantes no eran narcotraficantes ni asesinos de figuras estatales (8). La necesidad de que estos estudiantes evitarán el pago de los servicios de autobús y el derecho a la protesta contra la negligencia institucional se trataría de un movimiento revolucionario que no será limitado por la burocracia exclusivo. Una revolución regenerada es constituida por un enfoque en desarrollar la autonomía anti-opresiva que el proceso de institucionalizar la revolución invade y manipula para servir interés lejos de las masas. Los movilizaciones que los familiares de los normalistas desaparecidos siguen organizando intentan de no sólo redefinir la calidad y aplicación de una educación normalista, pero acentuar que es por la desconexión que el estado capitalista tiene con comunidades como Ayotzinapa que les permite criminalizar la exigencia de la verdad. Ayotzinapa, una encarnación de mucho sentimiento antigubernamental que tuvieron los magonistas antes de la revolución mexicana, explica la urgencia de crear alternativas al estado y de independizar de sus gobernación neoliberal.

Una revolución se prolonga fuera del control del estado debido a la inevitabilidad de que estos principios sean manipulados, sean de apropiados por movilizaciones para los propósitos de legitimidad o la prevención de permanecer fiel á sus compromisos reformistas. La oposición de Magón  a que el estado sea el regulador de la vida no debe descartarse como paranoid anarquista, sino más bien como un desencanto justificado con la forma centralizada que ha mantenido la regla y el desarrollo del gobierno. Cárdenas no debe ser denunciado por el grado de control que tenía sobre el estado mexicano, sino más bien apreciado por su voluntad de dar prioridad a los interes del dominio político por el bien de aquellos que están limitados de acceder el poder. Sin embargo, el proyecto político de Cárdenas mostró que ningún estado es capaz de asegurar los compromisos en una única administración. Los escuelas normales no han recibido la misma pasión que invierte el estado cardenista. Los partidos políticos que han logrado la presidencia mexicana no han mejorado las realidades que muestran los estudiantes y comunidades rurales capaces de vivir más feliz sin las regulaciones estatales porque siguen opresivas bajo una sistema electoral. Por lo tanto, el papel del estado no debe ser institucionalizar algo a lo que no puede permanecer fiel debido a la dependencia en otras personas para desarrollar este apoyo institucional. México permanece en la necesidad de una revolución fuera del estado porque los mexicanos se hacen responsables de la realización de que el estado ha fracasado en soportar sus visiones revolucionarios para una sociedad que todavía sigue con la necesidad urgente de redefinir las relaciones entre el estado y el pueblo consciente y regenerada.

Ayotzinapa: Committed Transnational Solidarity, 21 Months Later

If the parent’s won’t stop marching, the world shouldn’t neither.

Ayotzinapa continues to resist Mexican government repression twenty-one months later as the family members and community of the missing future teaching revolutionaries continue demanding their presence. This community’s normalista school, rural teacher colleges slowly dwindling across Mexico, experienced a tragedy September 26th, 2014, when forty-three of their compañeros were kidnapped and three of their classmates lost their lives. They continue to be oppressed from the impunity the federal government is extending to national military elements complicit in the student tragedy that has caused a global uproar. As students with the privilege of not having to study in the midst of an extremely violent war on drugs, it’s important we continue to demonstrate our transnational solidarity every 26th of the month until their families receive the justice they deserve. Por que, si fuel el estado.

The Latinx/a/o Chicanx/a/o student community on our campus was shocked to hear about this and became concerned over the days as this school’s students and family members took the streets demanding the presence of their sons and peers. Whether we are children of Mexican, Central American, or South American migrants, our family’s history understands the trauma caused by forced disappearances and corrupt authoritarian powers, the very circumstances that motivated this state’s government to believe that this would simply be forgotten in a matter of days. This is why many on our campus decided to organize and discuss Ayotzinapa.

The following days of mass graves revelations and police officer arrests only emphasized the levels of violence that have skyrocketed since the ex-Mexican president declared war on domestic organized crime. As we individually and collectively reflected on the social atmosphere that accompanied their educational pursuits, many of us decided to commit ourselves towards not allowing the world to forget this grand injustice on Mexican student mobilization. The cruel nature of forced obscurity orchestrated by this government has succeeded in doing so for the names and experiences of over 100,000 no longer living in Mexico and for the over 27,000 awaiting to be found and reunited with their loved ones.

The normalistas from the Escuela Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos and the family members of those kidnapped asked the world to demonstrate their transnational solidarity on November 20th, 2014, the very date recognized for the proclamation that announced the coming of democracy as the Mexican Revolution began. At UC Berkeley, over three hundred of us denounced what occurred and the demanded the truth from the government in the midst of pouring rain. It was beautiful. It was revolutionary. It was speaking thousands of miles south of the border  preventing us from marching to the Mexican president’s palace together. Yet, month after month, our solidarity front start getting smaller and smaller as their resistance hardened.

Now, twenty-one months after this horror ensued, our solidarity is more important and needed than ever. The government has sought to officially close their investigation and expelled the independent commissioner of human rights tasked with monitoring Ayotzinapa’s case because of the truth they did not allow the government to suppress. I had the privilege in going to Mexico City and met with Omar Garcia, a surviving normalista, and he said this: “It does not matter if you are ten, forty, or one hundred. We are thankful that you still mobilize for my brothers because it assures us that we are not alone”.

On June 26th, we will be having a demonstration, informing the Berkeley community about what occurred and how the Mexican state is responsible for this mass disappearance. This date is special because it also is the Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action, a global advocacy campaign dedicated towards raising awareness of the various harms being caused by the war on drugs. Ayotzinapa students and family members denounced Plan Mexico (the Merida Initiative), when some of them caravanned through the United States last year, because it’s this bilateral treaty with the United States that has financed the militarization of the Mexican security forces violating human rights. This day will seek to highlight much of the interconnectedness between punitive and military counternarcotic policies and the student and citizen uprising being silenced.

A country’s war on drugs and organized crime should not be disappearing future professors and intimidating their family members demanding justice and honest governmental cooperation. That is why the war on drugs and organized should end in the United States, Mexico and the world.

The action will be taking place on the south side entrance of UC Berkeley on June 26th, 2016 from 12:00pm – 3:00 pm.

Senior Thesis: Negotiating With Narcos: Mexico’s Power Struggle for Citizen Security

Can a dialogue of peace even be established between the Mexican government and the country’s various cartel networks?

Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/GettyImages

Abstract:

Mexico’s narcotraficantes have come a very long way from primarily trafficking cannabis and cultivating poppy fields to dominating the present-day, multi-billion dollar transnational trade of cocaine. The illicit and synthetically prepared derivate of the coca leaf that once enriched infamous Colombian cartels and terrorized the Andean region, has now caused the Mexican government to plunge into the deadliest conflict in contemporary Latin America: the war against drugs and narcotraficantes. As these cartel networks and government forces continue to both illegally collude and violently clash, the collateral damage has caused the death of over 85,000 people from 2006-2014, where “total murders rose 112 percent” (Reuters, April 1, 2016). In addition, Mexico’s National Statistics Institute, in 2014, reported that there were 22,732 homicides in the country since President Calderon’s inauguration in December of 2006. In addition, this violence contributed to the displacement of thousands in the absence of any other effective alternative to ensure citizen safety (Eline Gordts, April 1, 2016). What immediately becomes questioned is the Mexican government’s commitment towards dismantling various cartel structures and reducing the drug trade due to the historical and continuous clandestine relationship between certain political representatives and domestic drug trafficking organizations. An analysis of Mexico’s formation from a post-revolutionary state to one currently having its citizen security and legitimacy threatened is required to better understand how the government is at risk of allowing more of its autonomy become controlled by organized crime bribery.

The intra-state conflict that has developed between the Mexican government and the country’s various regional cartels has continuously crippled the ruling state for over twenty years. Ex-Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s declaration of war was made within his first two weeks in office in 2006 as Mexican commander-in-chief. Though promising militant counternarcotic policy, this only resulted in the large-scale captures and seizures that were accompanied by appalling homicide and disappearance rates as organized crime proliferated. Countless militarized offensives to topple Mexican cartel hierarchies are still being deployed by Mexican security forces and now with the help of North American intelligence agencies. This bilateral assistance continues in the absence of a dialogue between both social forces participating in this war because a national negotiation process between these two forces at war would be fatal to the legitimacy of the government and invigorate the power of certain narcolords. The reputation of the Mexican state would be harshly criticized for seeking to mediate violence with the very perpetrators of violence they are already accused of cooperating with clandestinely. In addition, this widespread violence is causing civil society to begin to seriously question the capacity of the Mexican state to ensure the safety of its people.

Due to high levels of presidential disapproval past and current presidents experience, facilitating a peace dialogue between the government and cartel networks would become instantly critiqued by Mexican citizens who perceive their own government to be complicit in organized crime. Mexican civil society is skeptical that a negotiation would reduce violence because they fear that it will unintentionally strengthen the power of certain drug traffickers. As some of these regional cartels continue expanding their operations and wielding greater territorial control, the civilian demand for an immediate reduction and ultimate termination of violence can no longer be institutionally neglected. What is being analyzed is how much more violence will it take for the government to recognize that its complicity in the drug trade is preventing dialogues of peace to appear feasible. Political corruption only dramatizes the issue of negotiating with non-state violent actors unwilling to sacrifice their illicit trade for safer communities.

The Mexican government’s narrative about this conflict fails to acknowledge the collusion that has existed between drug trafficking organizations, armed security forces, and government officials in the past. Mexican cartel networks have historically infiltrated the government and its counternarcotic forces and this has played a role in perpetuating horrifying levels of violence. During the late 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s, this clandestine relationship became public as high-profile official corruption cases and greater involvement from foreign intelligence services increased. From this period to the present, this political affair experienced critical changes as cartels collapsed into more rebellious splinter groups and as the Mexican government experienced more exterior pressure to end illicit pacts with well-established cartel networks.

The Mexican state, its various drug trafficking organizations, and its citizenry maintain contrasting demands that cannot be satisfied because they would clash with each other’s interests in power and resolutions. The Mexican government remains desperate for the social stability that will draw attention away from their authoritarian and repressive rule; various Mexican cartels desire cooperation from state officials and governmental non-interference in their drug trafficking; and most importantly, the Mexican people demand their right to citizen security, jeopardized by this intrastate conflict, be protected or allowed to be safeguarded by their non-state initiatives. Challenging these narco-networks, militantly, has produced an intolerable amount of collateral damage. This has proven the need for an alternative that does not threaten the security of its citizens who are already having their safety under siege by institutional inefficiency and organized crime’s impunity. Before Mexico became heavily monitored by its northern regional neighbor, the cooperation between drug trafficking organizations and elected government officials had facilitated lower levels of violence due to an illicit pact that would now destroy the bit of legitimacy the current Mexican presidential administration continues to preserve. The arrests of high-level profiled drug traffickers in Mexico has only increased levels of social violence and produced power vacuums that allow the creation of more splinter groups to challenge the government’s capability of suppressing sources of drug trafficking. The narco-political complex continues to unfold as a violent confrontation between these two opposing forces intensifies in the persistent absence of a non-violent mediation process that requires financial and political sacrifices. Moreover, it unravels before the state apparatus that rules in the authoritarian and corrupt manner incapable of reducing the murder rate in Mexico and without secretly communicating with organized crime.

In this thesis, I elucidate how the evolving relationship between the Mexican government and the cartels ended up expanding the power of the latter as the Mexican state and its institutional efforts to address the expansion of organized crime were losing credibility. In my analysis of this history and the current state of affairs, I argue that they key obstacles to the launching of the peace negotiations is the degree of institutional corruption prolonging drug trafficking operations and the different cartels that are being fractionalized into splinter groups. This analysis is determined to provide an explanation as to why peace talks are now seemingly impossible between this national government and drug trafficking organizations and describe how the political corruption harnessed by the long standing rule of the PRI and the twelve year rule of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) created the obstacles its weakening state capacity is unable to overcome.

The complete version of my senior thesis can be viewed with the following link (comments appreciated):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y0RnphoIDVLGXub42Z7Fpm6WffPD48KMDagSylwzuPk/edit?usp=sharing