The Common Enemy and the Machete: Neoliberalism and Indigenous Resistance

This multi-media workshop/presentation is intended to introduce the audience to neoliberalism through the eyes of a popular resistance in Oaxaca, Mexico. The workshop will include scene selections from three films: “El Enemigo Común” (2005), “El Machete” (2007) and “Paz Sin Justicia” (2008) in order to illustrate neoliberal atrocities and community based resistance to them. The first film documents some paramilitary activity in Oaxaca from 2000-2005, leading up to the arrival of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, Oaxaca’s current governor. The second film has been filmed and edited by indigenous women and youth from communities in Oaxaca, during the winter of 2007, and documents a more profound look at the day to day struggles for land, water, transportation, culture, dignity, justice, liberty, and peace.

“Paz Sin Justicia,” a 41 minute film by the Committee in Defense of the Rights of the People – CODEP, examines what Oaxaca looks like today, and what it really means for Oaxaca to return to normal after the 2006 uprising. Corruption, institutionalized repression, and economic slavery are the standard through which, a weak government attempts to hold itself together, and stay in power.

All the while the Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly APPO, along with Oaxacans in general, wait for the next moment to practice what they have already begun: self-determination, autonomy, popular power, and the dignity that comes with rising up from below.


Portland, OR
Thursday, March 27th
5040 se Milwaukie
(corner of SE Mitchell & Milwaukie)