Mexico

The political situation in Mexico is heating up. The anger of the masses has been aroused by the political interference of the United States in the internal affairs of the country and that anger is threatening to boil over into an all out social explosion. The most popular candidate in all polls for next year’s presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has not even officially announced his intention to run as PRD candidate for the presidency, and US imperialism and Mexico ’s ruling class are already trying to block him from running for office.

The year 2004 is beginning and with it also the second half of Vicente Fox's term in office. On the international level, turbulence and crises on all levels will be on the agenda. While it is certain that there is a possibility of economic growth, this does not mean that the crisis of Mexican capitalism has been resolved, nor that stability will be possible. On November 27, for the first time, a packed public square chanted the slogan of a general strike. But this is only the beginning; the principal struggles of the workers, in defense of their economic interests, as well as against the capitalist system, have barely started.

Since 1993, more than 4,000 women - workers and students - have disappeared in Ciudad Juarez. According to Amnesty International, 327 of them have been found tortured, raped, mutilated and murdered, after having been kidnapped in the centre of the city at the end of their workday in the maquilas [assembly plants in the US border region], or leaving their computing academies, their bodies abandoned on vacant land.

Between August 9 and 11 in Oventic, Chiapas, the history of "Aguascalientes" as a rebel territory of the EZLN ended. This has made way for the establishment of civil administration in the areas where the EZLN has set up autonomous municipalities. It is a clear sign of the open intention of the EZLN leadership to go from being a military organization to being a local or regional political organization.

On Saturday June 21, Alan Woods, editor of Marxist.com delivered an address in the auditorium of the Trotsky Museum in Coyoacan, Mexico City on the present world situation. The meeting was packed, with over 150 people in a hall that seats only 80. In order to get everyone in, people sat in the passages and the staff of the museum had to open the side doors, where people stood outside, trying to listen.

On May 31, 26 peasants were ambushed and murdered in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. They belonged to the community of Santiago Xochiltepec, and the authorities initially blamed the massacre on intercommunity conflicts. However there have been allegations concerning the role of logging companies that operate illegally in the area and receive protection from state and paramilitary forces.

Thousands of peasants armed with machetes and wooden sticks, many of them on horseback, fought running battles against anti-riot police in Mexico City on November 14. The peasants had travelled 30 km from their properties in the State of Mexico to protest against the expropriation of their lands by the government in order to build the new Mexico City airport. This conflict, which has been going on for months, threatens to became a major headache for Vicente Fox's one year old government.

During his election campaign, Vicente Fox, the right wing candidate of the Partido Accion Nacional (National Action Party), had promised a huge increase in employment, education, welfare, and peace in Chiapas, etc. Not only that, he also claimed that these changes would be introduced quickly. Reality, as could be easily predicted, has turned out somewhat differently.

On December the first 2000, Mexico witnessed the inauguration of Vincente Fox Quejada as its new President. The pomp and circumstance, the ceremonial unveiling of the flag, the military bands, the florid rhetoric, the servile speeches, were all nothing new.Yet this inauguration was something very new for Mexico. For the first time in 71 years, the President was not a member of the PRI - the comically misnamed Institutional Revolutionary Party which had ruled Mexico ever since 1929.

Ten years after the appearance of Militante, we see that none of the fundamental problems in our society have been improved; on the contrary, the scheme of capitalist growth continues to wreak havoc among the masses. The misery and violence of the capitalist system is more crude than ever; thus the need for a newspaper that fights for a revolutionary alternative is more urgent today than ever. The united activists at Militante, Marxist Voice of Workers and Youth, call you to join our struggle for the construction of a revolutionary alternative for the socialist transformation of society. We call on our comrades and sympathizers in the United States and Canada to...

It is now more than a month since the federal police arrested more than 800 members of the students' General Strike Committee. There are still 150 students in jail and they are only being released with very expensive of up to 5,000 dollars. Despite these difficult conditions, on March 10th, more than 20,000 students marched through the northern part of the capital and sorrounded the jail where the arrested students are being held.

The strike at the UNAM was broken up by police and thugs, but the struggle is just beginning! On 9th February, almost 300,000 people, above all workers and their families, took to the streets in defence of political prisoners and to demand a satisfactory solution for the student movement.

On the surface it would seem that the Mexican economy has fully recovered from the currency collapse of 1994/95, and some international analysts are even saying Mexico is the example the Asian economies should use to get out of their recession as quick as possible. Reality, however is slightly different. And the regime is increasingly using repression to try and keep people quiet.

Splits in the PRI and the official unions, growth of the opposition PRD and the May Day Inter-Union Confederation, emergence of new guerrilla groups, economic crisis. An analysis of the situation facing Mexico in 1997.