Oaxaca solidarity action against Calderon regime in Cambridge, MA

Monday, February 11, 2008 – 6:00pm
In front of: Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum 79 JFK Street, Cambridge.

Massachusetts Global Action writes: A growing coalition of local progressive organizations and individuals has decided to protest the policies of the Mexican government represented by its President, Felipe Calderón as he addresses Harvard’s JFK Forum. Calderon came to power after another undemocratic “election” in Mexico. His government continues to repress indigenous people, the labor movement, in particular in Oaxaca, and is responsible, together with the government of the United States for the situation of millions of undocumented Mexican workers in the U.S. At the same time, Calderon is now advocating for the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which strengthens the NAFTA agreement that is detrimental to workers in Mexico and the U.S.

* In 2006, President Calderon stole the presidency from the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate Andrés López Obrador. On July 2, 2006 Mexicans voted at over 130,000 different polling stations, casting separate ballots for president, senator and federal deputies. International and Mexican election observers noted that there weren’t enough independent and party observers present in the process. In many regions, one party dominated, creating opportunities for vote shaving, ballot stuffing, lost ballots and other forms of fraud. The PRD’s strongest accusation comes from the fact that ballots in nearly one third of the country were not counted in the presence of independent observers. One analysis of (Federal Election Commission equivalent) IFE results found that in 2,366 polling places only a PAN (Calderon’s National Action Party) observer was present and in those places, Calderon beat Lopez Obrador by a 72-21 margin. Furthermore, PRD observers discovered that sealed ballot boxes were being opened illegally at IFE offices where PAN’s observers dominated the process. Given a history of electoral fraud in Mexico, during the nearly century reign of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party now allied with PAN) and the explicit support of Calderon in the Western media, we charge Calderon with manipulating Mexico’s democratic process, just as President Bush disenfranchised voters in Florida and Ohio to become president in the United States and demand that democracy be respected in Mexico, without interference from the United States or any other Western power.

* There are at least 31 indigenous political prisoners, punished for their autonomous community organization, the defense of their territory and natural resources, the defense of their right to freely decide their own community matters, and their refusal to forget their culture and history. All of them organized to improve the living conditions in their regions and communities, yet charges have been invented to keep them locked up. There is paramilitary activity backed by the US and Mexican government against indigenous communities in Oaxaca. This facilitates the expansion of capitalism and empire in Oaxaca has led to an international call for solidarity against this state sponsored repression. What makes Oaxaca and other indigenous struggles in Mexico notable is the commitment of strong currents within it to militancy, to non-violence, to non-hierarchical forms of social structure, to cooperation in place of competition, to local autonomy and, as much as possible, to local self-sufficiency. The jails of Oaxaca now reveal the war unleashed by the state government and those who have served it down through the years. By means of a silent war, the corporations and all the political parties are trying to do away with the Indian peoples, plunder their natural resources, erase their history with blood, and take their territory away from them. Extermination, exploitation, lies, dispossession, and prison have been the only state and federal government policies concerning the Indian peoples of Oaxaca.

On September 25, 1996, the massive repression of the Zapotec men and women of the Loxicha region began when the Mexican Army brutally attacked those who were demanding better living conditions. The result was “200 illegal arrests, 150 cases of torture, 32 illegal searches, 22 extrajudicial executions, 22 forced disappearances, 137 political prisoners or prisoners of conscience, and an undetermined number of sexual abuses, harassment, death threats, and corrupt procedural irregularities” (Civilian Mission for the Observation of Human Rights, March 21-24, 2002).

We therefore demand: Freedom for all Indigenous prisoners; Stop repression against indigenous peoples; Land, culture, history, language, Indigenous people are not merchandise.

* Felipe Calderon inherited and strongly supports the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He supports deepening it in the form of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Neither benefits working people in the 3 countries of North America. NAFTA weakened worker protections in all 3 countries, it increased low-wage, dead-end employment in Mexico while destroying food independence and agricultural employment in Mexico with highly-subsidized US crops. Millions of Mexicans are now forced to seek livelihoods across the border in the US. NAFTA also decreased job growth in the United States by a million jobs. However, as a former Mexican foreign minister remarked, NAFTA was “an agreement for the rich and powerful in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, an agreement effectively excluding ordinary people in all three societies.”

In this vein, SPP is being drafted by the North American Competitiveness Council that consists of 30 corporate members. In addition to rewriting regulations entirely in favor of the corporations, it will likely extend US Government Patriot Act-style “security” policies to Canada and Mexico. This extension and recommended pro-corporate policies tend to be adopted by presidential/executive decree rather than through deliberation by elected bodies (Congress or Parliament).

Progressive organizations and unions in all three countries seek alternatives to NAFTA based on principles of real fair trade and solidarity. Other models for Latin American economic cooperation are being developed involving countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Cuba while rejecting US-imposed free-trade regimes. Felipe Calderon is helping lead the opposition to these progressive initiatives. We demand the termination of NAFTA and termination of the Security and Prosperity Partnership negotiations.

* The governments of the United States and Mexico are responsible for the current situation of millions of undocumented workers in the U.S. These workers are on the one hand exploited and abused; on the other the U.S. government persecutes and repress them through raids, detention and deportations. The Mexican government, now headed by Felipe Calderon, pushes millions of workers out of their country and away from their families in desperate search for jobs in the North, while at the same time participating in the North American Free Trade Agreement that produced more exploitation for Mexicans but more unemployment of agricultural workers.

Of particular note is the ill treatment that Mexican authorities provide migrants coming from Central America in transit to the United States. Hundreds of Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans attempting to go through Mexico are robbed, detained, and sometimes killed in the process by corrupt police or gangs. Mexico signed the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, yet as of now it has not implemented it in full or in consciousness.

We, therefore denounce these abuses and demand justice, and fair and humane treatment from Mexico and the U.S. for migrant workers and their families.

source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oaxacastudyactiongroup/message/3869

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  1. Calderón will be in NYC on SUNDAY February 10. Plans include meetings with the UN Secretary General, the leadership of the Council of Americas, Mexican immigrant community leaders, “opinion shapers”, and outstanding personalities in the financial world (it’s a busy day).

  2. the articles below explain the very direct link between the SPP and Plan Mexico:


  3. From Dallas Morning News

    “Mr. Calderón’s coast-to-coast trip begins Sunday with a tour of the northeast corridor ? New York City and Boston ? followed by stops in Chicago, Sacramento, Calif., and Los Angeles.

    On Monday night, Mr. Calderón will deliver an address at his alma mater, Harvard University. Mr. Calderón, a Mason fellow, completed a Master’s of Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000.

    In New York City, he meets with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. He postponed a trip to the U.N. last September because of massive floods in the Mexican state of Tabasco.

    Mr. Calderón is also scheduled to meet with key political allies, such as New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He will also meet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a prominent Hispanic leader who endorsed New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Traveling with the Mexican president will be his wife, Margarita Zavala; the governors of Zacatecas, Colima and Guanajuato; as well as Rafael Fernandez de Castro, an expert on international relations.”

  4. Harvard, the intellectual “School of the Americas” continues trying to legitimize fascism by giving Mexican president-by-fraud Felipe Calderón a platform.

    VISIT TO CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts
    Monday, February 11, 2008 – 6:00pm
    In front of:
    Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
    79 JFK Street, Cambridge


    A growing coalition of local progressive organizations and individuals has decided to protest the policies of the Mexican government represented by its President, Felipe Calderón as he addresses Harvard’s JFK Forum. Calderón came to power after another undemocratic “election” in Mexico. His government continues to repress indigenous people, the labor movement, in particular in Oaxaca, and is responsible, together with the government of the United States for the situation of millions of undocumented Mexican workers in the U.S.

    For more information, contact
    Suren Moodliar
    Massachusetts Global Action
    Phone: 617-482-6300

    Go to http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/S2/2008-02-10.htm for the full posting.
    All comments and criticisms are welcome.
    You can subscribe to my personal listserv by sending an e-mail (no message is necessary) to
    [email protected]

  5. In Oaxaca, Harvard Comes to the Rescue – of Capitalism
    April 1, 2007

    by G.S.

    There are four main sections that make up this posting:

    1. An article I wrote about a surprise (to me) visit to Oaxaca by Manuel Stefanakis of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The article is critical of the social role of Harvard University, and, unjustly, of Mr. Stefanakis as well.

    2. This section contains: first, a note I wrote to Mr. Stefanakis, about whom I knew nothing first-hand, asking if he would be willing to provide information, and second, his very courteous and affirmative reply, which challenged my “assumptions, accusations and misinformation.”

    3. The first part of my reply, which begins, “I believe I was unfair to you in my article, and I want to apologize for the errors, both of judgment and fact, that it contained”, and included my commitment to “make the corrections public.”

    4. The second part of my reply consists of criticisms and comments I received from correspondents, and a great deal of information about Harvard’s institutional relationship, through endowment funding, with war industry, thanks to the investigations of Brad Bellows. However, none of this information cast the least shadow on Mr. Stefanakis. My letter concluded,

    “I want to assure you, Mr. Stefanakis, that it was wrong of me to make critical assumptions about you as an individual without first contacting you and seeking more information than was readily available to me. I assumed ‘guilt by association’, an old and discredited practice. If you do come to Oaxaca again, I would welcome the chance to meet you.”

    Read the posting at:

  6. The leader will have dinner in private after his arrival on Sunday with the Rockefeller Foundation, he will lodge in the hotel Waldorf-Astoria and will visit on Monday at 10:30 hours the secretary general of the UN Ban Ki-moon. He will meet with the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, as well as with the Governor Eliot Spitzer.


    Monday Feb 11 – Boston – John F. Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University (5:00 p.m.) were he will take part in a conference.

    Tuesday Feb 12 – Chicago – Visit community leaders.
    Anti-immigrant groups think he will visit Adalberto United Methodist Church, which has given sanctuary to undocumented immigrants- there would likely be anti-immigrant protesters there. This source indicates that once in Chicago, he will visit La Villita

    Wednesday Feb 13 – Sacramento – Besides attending a private lunch hosted by Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver, Calderón will visit privately with Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, and address a joint session of the Legislature.

    The luncheon for Calderón, who will be accompanied by his wife, Margarita Zavala, will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. From here, he will travel to Los Angeles and arrive there in the evening.


    Thursday Feb 14 – Los Angeles – Visit L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

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