Land Defense

Nahuas reject mine in Colima

By Mónica Montalvo

December 29, 2013
Translated by Scott Campbell

For our indigenous people, the land is not merely an object of possession and production.

The integral relationship between our people’s spiritual life and our lands has many profound implications. Furthermore, our land and our water are not commodities to be appropriated, but a common good which we and our children should freely enjoy.

Indigenous Council for the Defense of the Territory of Zacualpan

Media Repression

Five years in prison for activist who filmed October 2 march

By Arturo Rodríguez García
December 6, 2013
Translated by Scott Campbell

Mexico, Federal District (apro). – Alejandro Bautista, one of those detained this past October 2, was sentenced today to five years and nine months in prison by a Mexico City criminal court.

Bautista, an actor and comedian who in recent years has been strongly opposed to the Super Highway and the South Arch in Mexico City, was accused of offenses against authority, with a gang enhancement, for which the crime was judged a felony.

The sentence was imposed despite the fact that using video footage, Alejandro was able to show that the police who accused him were not the same ones who detained him; as well, he proved that the prosecution’s description of events did not match the time, place, or his actions at the point of his arrest.


Alberto Patishtán: A Message From the State

By Luis Hernández Navarro
La Jornada
September 13, 2013
Translated by Scott Campbell

Alberto Patishtán is not a French kidnapper like Florence Cassez, nor a narcotrafficker like Rafael Caro Quintero, nor one of the killers from the massacre in Acteal. He is a Tzotzil schoolteacher, a member of the Other Campaign, unjustly imprisoned for 13 years. She, they and he are not the same. For Cassez, Caro Quintero and the paramilitaries from Chenalhó, despite their guilt, justice let them go. For teacher Patishtán, the justice system has him in jail, despite being innocent.

The judiciary recently had the possibility to rectify the damage done to the indigenous Tzotzil man from El Bosque. But this Thursday, the 20th Circuit First Appellate Court in Chiapas declared baseless the evidence with which his attorneys sought to obtain his release.

Education Repression

Under Attack, Mexico’s Teachers Fight Back Against Neoliberal ‘Reforms’

By Scott Campbell

On December 1, 2012, while protests were being brutally repressed in the streets, Enrique Peña Nieto addressed Mexico for the first time as the country’s newly-anointed president. He outlined the five main goals of his administration and announced ten “presidential decisions” to achieve them. To reach his third goal of “quality education for all,” Peña Nieto stated he had decided to pursue a program of educational reform requiring the modification of the constitution and the establishment of a national evaluation system for teachers. And in doing so, Peña Nieto — the Butcher of Atenco and the signed, sealed and delivered choice of the ruling elite — made clear his intention to target education and take on Latin America’s largest union, the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE).

He wasted no time in getting to work. The following day, the heads of the three main political parties signed the “Pact for Mexico,” a document committing them to Peña Nieto’s five goals. With such backing, Peña Nieto’s proposed changes to the constitution easily passed both houses of Congress and were quickly approved by a majority of state legislatures. On February 26, 2013, the constitutional reforms related to education went into effect.


Three letters from political prisoners David Venegas and Efrén Hernández from Ixcotel Prison in Oaxaca

[ Efrén Hernández and David Venegas ]

Translated by Scott Campbell

Letter on March 30, 2013

Thursday, March 28, we, Feliciano Efrén Hernández Pablo and David Venegas Reyes, were violently detained by members of the State Investigatory Agency (AEI), accused of robbing a taxi driver who minutes earlier had given a ride to David Venegas Reyes and two compañeras, and who tried to rob them but they didn’t allow it. After getting out of the taxi, they arrived at the house of Feliciano Efrén Hernández Pablo, and when we left for the store the agents detained us, and without any explanation, violently put us in police vehicles in spite of the fact that several neighbors tried to stop them because there was no reason for our detention. To avoid more violence, we decided to let them take us. Yet in spite of that, David Venegas Reyes was beaten in the face, back and chest by an agent during the drive to the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE), in La Experimental, Oaxaca, and later was again beaten in the face and stomach by another agent in the PGJE building.