Last March 4th, the Caravan for a Fair Wage and Decent Life began with a blockade of the Transpeninsular Highway by the day laborers from the fields of the San Quintin Valley. The workers then went on to cover 3,000 kilometers, arriving in Mexico City on March 17th.
Two years ago, the strike of thousands of farm workers brought to light the appalling conditions in which at least 80,000 men, women and children toil as day laborers in Baja California agribusiness. The hours are long, up to 14 hours a day with no rest on the weekends at a deplorable wage, with no vacations, no social security and no decent housing with basic services. Striking workers denounced human rights violations, and especially sexual abuse and harassment of the mainly indigenous women workers by the foremen.
In response to a call sent out by the National Democratic Independent Farm Workers Union (SINDJA) and the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice, this year’s Caravan was organized to protest non-compliance of agreements reached with federal and state government officials in Baja California. The struggle continues for decent wages and benefits, the right to social security and an end to the sexual harassment of women.
Your support and contributions will help ensure that El Enemigo Común continues to provide on the ground independent journalism from Mexico.
El Enemigo Común is an entirely free, all-volunteer operation. To ensure we continue to be so, please give what you can to help cover our operating expenses.
In February 2017, elenemigocomun.net celebrates its 12 year anniversary. I say celebrate but we don’t really celebrate as we are not the celebrating type. So in fact our 12 year anniversary will pass unannounced. For 12 years we have been churning out independent media from Mexico in English and Spanish. For 12 years our independent journalists have published investigative articles that continue to be relevant today. For 12 years elenemgocomun.net has not asked our readers for any direct monetary support. All we asked was that you read us, reference us, repost us, and use our work to call out and counter the often-disgraceful corporate journalism about Mexico and the Mexican people.
This is a special IGDCAST with Sofi, an anarchist compañera from Mexico City who is deeply involved in a variety of solidarity and organizing efforts with anarchist prisoners in Mexico. The audio interview is in Spanish, while below is an English transcription, along with two song MP3s you can download separately. If you want to see more in depth reporting on what is happening in Mexico, be sure to support our Mexico trip fundraiser.
We start off this episode with a recorded greeting from the Cimarrón Collective in North Prison in Mexico City. Then Sofi discusses the persecution and repression facing the anarchist movement in Mexico City as well as a review of the situation of four anarchist prisoners currently being held by the Mexican state. We look at the corruption, exploitation and neglect that occurs in Mexican prisons and what compañeros on the inside are doing to fight back. In particular, there is a focus on the Cimarrón Collective, a formation started by anarchist prisoner Fernando Bárcenas that has autonomously reclaimed space inside the North Prison and self-manages a variety of initiatives. For listeners, perhaps the most intriguing one will be their punk band, Commando Cimarrón. A couple of their songs are included in the podcast.
Members of Chanti Ollin are calling for those who stand in solidarity across the globe to deliver the below statement to the nearest Mexican Embassy.
Chanti Ollin, a well-known okupa and autonomous cultural center in the gentrified financial district of Mexico City, was violently evicted on November 22nd, 2016. 800 riot police, 2 helicopters, and an armored car executed the operation, illegally breaking into the building and detaining 26 individuals without so much as a judicial order. This eviction takes place against the backdrop of Mexico City’s new constitution, which seeks to privatize land and resources, increase the surplus value that governments extract from property, and suppress any political or cultural activity that disrupts this profit-making program.
This week, members of Chanti Ollin are calling for those who stand in solidarity across the globe to deliver the following statement to the nearest Mexican Embassy, either in person or by e-mail. Find your embassy’s e-mail address here.
In Mexico City, the autonomous cultural space Chanti Ollin withstands a violent eviction and continues in resistance.
Have you ever visited a community space in Mexico City called the Chanti Ollin? Its name means “House in Movement,” and there’s always movement of different kinds here: workshops on urban agriculture, bici-machines, alternative health, massage, video creation, painting, theater, production of educational and artistic materials, and transmission of free and alternative media collectives. It’s a space for playing and enjoying great music and painting incredible murals, for baking bread and giving classes on vegetarian cooking, for screening documentaries and organizing forums on past history and current reality. Members of collectives and peoples in struggle from communities like Atenco, Xochicuatla and Ayotzinapa are invited to tell about their resistance against the plunder of their lands and efforts to eliminate their people. And ongoing resistance is organized at the Chanti Ollin. Maybe you’ve had the good fortune to participate in some of these activities, or if you come from another city or country, maybe you’ve found a place to stay for a while.
Fed up with heightened violence, Mexican women joined in the mobilization against feminicide convoked from Argentina after the violent rape and murder of young Lucía Perez.
It’s getting more dangerous all the time to be a woman (or girl) in Mexico, where seven sisters, friends, comrades, mothers or daughters are killed every single day with impunity — and with a level of hatred and scorn once unthinkable. Living breathing people, now tortured to death, become a cast of characters in a macabre spectacle: There’s the girl that’s dismembered, another beaten bloody, another impaled, another stuffed into a suitcase, yet another drowned in a sewer. Virtually all have been raped. This is the face of feminicide.
Fed up with this alarming situation, women in Mexico City and the states of Guerrero, Guadalajara, Michoacán and Oaxaca, joined in the global mobilization against feminicide convoked from Argentina after the vicious rape and murder of 16-year-old Lucía Pérez, last October 8. The young girl was drugged and attacked by at least three men —Juan Pablo Offidani, Matías Farías and Alejandro Alberto Masiel— who left a pile of used condoms before raping her anally with a pole. According to the district attorney who investigated this crime, “extreme pain caused her death through stimulation of the vagal nerve,” prompting a heart attack.
The combative march brought together more than 400 libertarian, anarchist, and antifascist compañerxs who were able to get to Tlatelolco to remember the fallen from October 2, 1968 and to demand freedom for political prisoners.
Forty-eight years after the Tlatelolco massacre we continue demanding justice for the murdered, disappeared, persecuted, tortured, defamed, and imprisoned, as even though the killers and masterminds have not been tried and punished, those compañeros who fell in the militant struggle remain present in the popular and social struggles today as part of our memory, solidarity, guidance, dignity, strength, inspiration, rage and courage. Today, no one doubts that IT WAS THE MEXICAN STATE who planned and carried out that mass murder, just as it did with the disappearance of 43 teaching college students on September 26, 2014, as from Tlatelolco to Ayotzinapa one can trace a historical continuity that affirms the totalitarian character of the state that today we can characterize as “narco and terrorist.”