Mexico

The humble headquarters of a Mexican student organisation, CLEP-CEDEP, “accidentally” burned down on the morning of the 26th of October. As expected, no one has claimed responsibility and the police, as well as the authorities of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional (National Polytechnic Institute - IPN), have given up pursuing the investigation and have decided that a short-circuit caused the fire (a “short-circuit” in a building where power is turned off every night). Once again, what is clearly a politically motivated attack – possibly conducted by the police itself – against a left wing organisation, will be filed for all eternity as a simple accident.

Mass street protests have erupted against electoral fraud in Mexico. The official version of the results of the presidential election on 1 July gave Enrique Peña Nieto, the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) 38.21% of the vote, with 31.59% for leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), and 25.41% for Josefina Vázquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party (PAN). The small New Alliance party got 2.29%.

For them, it was over very soon. Less than a couple of hours after the polling stations were closed, the night of July 1, the main monopoly television stations were already declaring the victory of bourgeois candidate, Pena Nieto, of the hated Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The newspaper “El Universal” had already printed in advance its morning edition with Pena Nieto on the cover as the “winner” in the country’s presidential elections. They had in fact planned this months and years ahead and just couldn’t wait a few more hours for such niceties as an official declaration of results!

“It will be the biggest march of your life” a comrade of La Izquierda Socialista (Marxist wing of Morena) told me before Wednesday, 27th of June, when leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), like other candidates in the coming Mexican presidential elections, was to hold his final election rally or ‘cierre de campaña’ (campaign closing) as it is called here.

It came like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky, but now that is here it is not going away, anytime soon. I am talking about the #Yosoy132 movement here, which has mobilised tens of thousands of youth (and not only youth) all over Mexico in opposition to Enrique Peña Nieto of the bourgeois authoritarian Party of Institutionalized Revolution (PRI), the lead bourgeois candidate in the coming Presidential Elections of July 1.

On 23rd of March 2012, ‘Fundacion MEPI’, a NGO that dubs itself as a ‘regional investigative journalism project based in Mexico’ published a report on the participation of youth in the upcoming presidential elections on July 1. Reporting that there will be the decisive number of 24 million voters between the ages of 18 and 29, it however portrayed its own grim outlook on youth, claiming that most of them are not interested in the elections and are not participating. It suggested some gimmick solutions, such as the presidential candidates getting more active on Facebook and Twitter!

On April 15, 2011 Enoc Escobar Ramos died. He was a brilliant lawyer who throughout his whole life defended every revolutionary cause.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of one of the great events in modern history. On November 20th of 1910 Francisco I. Madero denounced the electoral fraud perpetrated by President Díaz and called for a national insurrection. This marked the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. Today, the conditions have matured for another revolution, this time with a mighty proletariat at its head.

We republish here the appeal from the Mexican CLEP-CEDEP students that are facing a campaign of legal harassment and threats from the authorities. Five of them, all leading student activists, are facing jail sentences for the only crime of having defended free education. The authorities are accusing them on trumped up charges as a result of the students' strike to defend free education on June 4th. The legal costs involved in this campaign have already run up to 825 euros (16,000 Mexican pesos). We make an appeal to all IDOM readers to sign the protest letter, raise this issue in your organisation and ...

“Poor Mexico! So far from God, so near to the United States.” The famous words of Porfirio Díaz are truer today than at any time in the tempestuous history of this country. The crisis of world capitalism has hit Mexico hard. And its extreme dependence on the USA, which previously was presented as something beneficial to the Mexican economy, has turned out to be a colossal problem.

The struggle of Mexican workers in defense of the Mexican Electricians Union (SME) has become one where at stake is not just this single union, but the position of the entire Mexican labor movement. It poses questions that go well beyond the realms of the Electricians’ Union. Here Ruben Rivera explains what is required to fight back and push the whole movement forward.

For Mexico, the world economic crisis has provoked a severe fall in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of -10.3% in the second quarter alone - the worst on record since 1981. 36,000 companies have gone bankrupt and 735,000 workers have lost their jobs. Massive government spending cuts are further aggravating the situation.

On January 15, the workers at Olympia de México SA de CV in Edomex, México, went on strike to protest against the fact that the company had not paid them bonuses agreed in the collective bargaining contract. Faced with the lack of interest of the bosses in solving their just demands, the workers have now decided to struggle for nationalisation under workers' control.

Last weekend more than 100 revolutionaries from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, El Salvador, the USA, Canada, Ecuador, Cuba, Guatemala, gathered in Mexico City for the first Pan-American Marxist School of the International Marxist Tendency. A new tri-lingual Pan-American journal of the IMT, America Socialista, was also launched at the event.

On Thursday, February 26, the Marxist Tendency “Militante” had called a meeting in Mexico DF for Alan Woods to present his latest book Reformism or Revolution. Marxism and socialism of the 21st Century – a reply to Heinz Dieterich. Trotsky's grandson Esteban Volkov also addressed the meeting.

There's an old saying that when the US economy gets a cold, the Mexican economy gets pneumonia. The deepening US financial crisis is already having a violent knock-on effect around the world, and Mexico will be among the hardest hit.