From A World to Win News Service:

"They were alive when you took them, we want them back alive!"—protests threaten political crisis in Mexico

October 27, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


October 20, 2014. A World to Win News Service. Students from a women's rural teachers' college in the city of Juarez in northern Mexico are on strike to demand that 43 kidnapped comrades in south-western Mexico be brought back alive. Police and civilian gunmen attacked the students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' training school as they returned from a protest in the city of Iguala on September 26, killing three students and three other people. Dozens of students were forced into police vehicles and have not been seen since then.

In Juarez, after seizing the school premises and then fanning out through the state to inform people about Iguala, the women students were joined by university students and others in seizing the entrance to the international bridge leading to El Paso, Texas. About 700 people blocked traffic with large banners reading, "They were alive when you took them, we want them back alive," according to the newspaper La Jornada.

Meanwhile, parents of the kidnapped students travelled to the cathedral in Mexico City where they were greeted with applause, embraces and tears as they entered during a service carrying religious signs and chanting, "We want them alive!" They were accompanied by a priest active in supporting migrants and a well-known poet, Javier Sicilia, who has condemned the government for the murder of his son in 2011.

Many thousands of students marched in Iguala and other states across Mexico on October 17 and 18 to mark three weeks since the kidnapping. In a large march in Acapulco, the biggest city of the state of Guerrero, where the murders and kidnappings took place, protesters chanted slogans denouncing the police and drug-gang gunmen as "the same filthy shit." They demanded the downfall of the state governor, who has tried to blame the killings and kidnappings on the corruption of the Iguala mayor, condemned the country's three main political parties as partners in organized crime, and proclaimed, "The terror comes from the state."

At the annual Mexico City International Book Fair, national university students, publishers and others collected more than 3,500 books for the Ayotzinapa rural teachers 'college.

More demonstrations around the country have been called for October 22.

Following is a leaflet by the Revolutionary Communist Organization of Mexico, which is leading a National Week of Resistance to the War Against the People October 20-26. (See, in Spanish.)

Ayotzinapa: Crime and crisis of a rotten, bestial state

The government's crimes in Iguala, Guerrero, are infuriating. Six unarmed, innocent people murdered by police and armed civilians, a young man with the skin peeled off his face. Twenty-five wounded, two of them seriously. Forty-three students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' college disappeared, at least 20 taken away by the municipal police. After a big spectacle about alleged confessions that led to secret mass graves, now we are told that at least the 28 bodies identified so far are not those of the students but victims of other savage crimes.

The federal government led by Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI [the governing party] and the state government of Angel Aguirre of the PRD ["left" opposition party] put off even the appearance of taking action as long as possible, giving Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca, also of the PRD, enough time to clean up the evidence and get away. The archives and computers of the municipal government and the public security forces were destroyed and the arms taken to a military facility.

The army arrived just minutes after the police shooting. They confiscated the students' phones and refused to call an ambulance for a wounded youth who had been shot in the face. They detained the survivors of the massacre, insulting them and telling the students, "You got what you asked for."

In June, 2013, town mayor Abarca personally murdered the leader of the People's Unity organization in Iguala, according to the testimony of others who had also been kidnapped but managed to escape. The tortured bodies of the leader and two of his comrades were later found lying along a road. Although an eyewitness testified before the state prosecutor and federal prosecutor assigned to this case, they did nothing, and now the attorney general is lying when he says that his office knew nothing about it. This shows that both the state and federal government covered up these previous political murders and protected the mayor.

Now, facing the massive protests sparked by the September 26 massacre in Iguala, they pretend to be "surprised" to have "found out" that the mayor was involved with organized crime. Their aim is to try and disguise this bloody act of police repression as an "organized crime problem," even though the attack was launched by the municipal police lead by the police chief, who like the mayor, has now fled. Although the whole truth about the Iguala massacre is not yet known, the involvement of gang hit men in political repression cases around the country shows that the problem is not "organized crime," but that the local, state and federal government all work with organized crime and use it to repress and kill political activists and the people in general.

The problem goes beyond the Mexican government: the government of the United States is the main architect of the so-called anti-crime campaign that has served to justify 125,000 murders, 25,000 disappearances and 30,000 feminicides [serial killings of women], among other crimes. This amounts to a war against the people. After the Ayotzinapa massacre, what is the U.S. government's advice to us, given by the State Department's anti-narcotics head? Patience—when what they have done has turned Mexico into a bloodbath. At the same time an article in The New York Times (October 6, 2014), the "liberal" organ of the U.S. ruling class, informs its readers that Mexico is "a country accustomed to mass murder," a racist comment refuted by the massive protests against the mass murder in Iguala that took place in many parts of the country on October 8.

The fact is that in the days after this murderous attack, no prominent government member and no major leader of any of the main political parties anywhere in Mexico unambiguously denounced these abominable crimes nor called on people to protest. In addressing the nation, President Peña Nieto could not even bring himself to use the word "murder." Instead, he referred to "people whose human rights were affected." Why? Because despite all the disputes among them based on their petty ambitions, they know that this state cannot do without political repression against the people, that such repression is essential to protect the capitalist state that is inevitably characterized by the wealth of a few and the poverty of the majority, the oppression of women, the domination of the indigenous peoples, the destruction of the environment and all the other evils that are endemic under this system.

The Iguala massacre is not an "anomaly." It is a continuation of the hounding and repression of the combative Ayotzinapa students that previously led to the police murder of two of them in 2011, and it is part of a long history of massacres, disappearances, rapes and tortures by the armed forces, police and paramilitaries since the massacres of 1968, 1971 and the "dirty war" [Mexican government war against student and guerrilla groups in '60s and '70s]—including the massacres in Acteal, El Bosque, El Charco y Aguas Blancas, the 2006 wave of murders in Oaxaca, the repression on Atenco carried out by all three major parties that left two dead and two dozen women raped by the police that year alone, and the army's execution of 21 people who had surrendered in Tlatlaya last June.

The basic problem is this criminal and illegitimate state, and the inhuman and oppressive capitalist system this state serves and protects. It is not simply a question of corruption, bad politicians or the policies of one or another of the main political parties that represent the ruling class.

The broad and indignant protests against the barbarity in Iguala have provoked a political crisis within the reactionary state that opens new perspectives for the struggle against this state and this system and to put an end to the war against the people. It has revealed, for all to see, the systematic terror that props up the system in Mexico, a country that "world leaders" recently proclaimed "exemplary" because of its anti-people structural reforms. On October 2 the streets of Chilpancingo [the capital of the state of Guerrero] resounded with a massive outpouring of indignation, a mega-march that drew people from other states. On October 8 angry protesters filled the Zócalo [Mexico City's central square] and surrounding streets. There were marches in at least 25 states, and other protests in more than 20 countries around the world.

It is essential to intensify and broaden these protests even more and carry the exposure and denunciation of the Iguala massacre and the war against the people far and wide and deeply, so that more and more people see that this state is not negligent, it is criminal, and strengthen their combativeness and organization, contributing to preparing the terrain to get rid of this illegitimate state through revolution.

Down with this state that tortures and murders to defend the unspeakable interests of a handful of people! We need a state that protects and serves the people, that encourages and nourishes people's creativity and their struggle to transform the world in the interests of the immense majority. To hell with this system of injustice, impunity, oppression and hunger! We need a new, socialist economic and social system committed to the emancipation of humanity. This great transformation can only be won by means of a conscious and determined struggle of the masses in their millions. "Impossible"? It's time to stop complaining about people's supposed "apathy." Once again the people are beginning to awaken. Every conscious person has the responsibility to spread the truth about this state's atrocities. It is the duty of every communist and revolutionary to help people develop the consciousness, combativeness and organization they need to liberate themselves.


A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.


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