Climate of Impunity

In Oaxaca, a region of popular collectives and strong social movements, the Mexican military has targeted indigenous and environmental activists as enemies of the political elite. Protecting their privileges against demands by teachers and popular activism has led to what Oaxacan human rights lawyer Alba Cruz calls a climate of impunity. With 50,000 police, army, and paramilitary on the streets of Oaxaca, the institutionalized violence that characterizes the Mexican state — much like in Plan Colombia — is a showcase of US military aid awarded under the pretext of combating drugs.

When the teachers of Oaxaca went on strike in 2006, a million supporters marched in the street. The violent repression by the Mexican military of this popular uprising, in a state where protest is illegal, may upset Amnesty International and some agencies in the UN, but it is unlikely to interrupt the flow of US Aid by an American administration that recently conducted FBI raids against peace activists.

For human rights defenders like Alba Cruz, charges of sedition used to inhibit popular organizing foreshadows a long bitter battle against Free Trade.

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~ by Jay Taber on November 12, 2010.

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