Background information about the horrific student massacre in Guerrero, Mexico, from OWS Zapatista

Originally posted on dorset chiapas solidarity:

Background information about the horrific student massacre in Guerrero, Mexico, from OWS Zapatista

Dear friends,

Some activists have asked us for background information about the massacre of the students from Ayotzinapa School in the city of Iguala in Guerrero, Mexico. There is not much information circulating in English, so here is more in case you want to know:


The Ayotzinapa School is an iconic school for elementary rural teachers (that’s what the word “normalista” means, because they are teachers of “escuela normal” which means “elementary school”).  So when we say “students,” that is what they are, but they are studying to be teachers. They are mostly indigenous people and peasants. The school is located in the heart of the mountains (the Sierra), in a very, very, very poor rural area. It is iconic because it is where two important teachers in the 60s and the 70s started a guerrilla movement…

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Thousands of Zapatistas Demonstrate in Chiapas on Oct 22

Originally posted on dorset chiapas solidarity:

      Thousands of Zapatistas Demonstrate in Chiapas on Oct 22

In Chiapas, Thousands of Zapatistas Demonstrate in Support of Ayotzinapa and the Yaqui People


Chiapas, Mexico. October 22, 2014

Just as was happening in different parts of the country and the world, thousands of Zapatista support bases once again demonstrated in silence, this time from the autonomous communities, to demand the presentation alive of the 43 Ayotzinapa students and for the freedom of Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, political prisoners from the Yaqui people.

As they had announced, the Zapatistas demonstrated on Wednesday afternoon, October 22,  in the communities and roads of the state wherever they have a presence, in solidarity with the Ayotzinapa students and the Yaqui people.

In the Caracol of Oventic and nearby communities, banners are seen with legends that demand the presentation with life of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College…

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The Mystery of the Disappearing Reporter: a “Deconstructed Myth”



Did no one see me?  You never know.

Look at other stuff, like snow.

When its falling through the air

you can see  the flakes right  there.

But when flakes land upon the ground

they disappear: an icy mound.


Who can believe in what they see?

How can I prove that I am me?

In all those years that passed on by

Wasn’t  I  lit up  by  the sky?

If I wasn’t, tell me why.

Oh, that is why the light is there:

“This is a snowflake, that  is Claire” -


No copies  of  either: anywhere






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Teodora’s adventures in culture: a new chapter

Aviary Photo_130576223610670766

One day, Teodora decided to be an artist. Readers may be certain that this is old

  news, but a fetching surprise awaits those who persevere.


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“They appear identical, yet are  not,” she  pointed out to an imaginary audience,

 practicing early in the  unlikely event of  a  sudden lecture invitation.


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  At  6:oo PM, Teodora removed her new salmon-colored beret and began

chopping the last of the begonia leaves into a classic Autumn Desert Salad.   “Let’s

see,” she mused as she whisked a fried egg into a light dressing of Heinz Catsup,

“Tomorrow I shall manage a hedge fund.  Either that or tow barges up the

 Mississippi  River by tug boat”

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Teodora  bit into a large begonia leaf and reconsidered as she chewed.

“On the other hand,”she remarked “Considering the current state of the fine arts,

 perhaps I should extend  my  contributions for several days, even a week…in any

case, it’s straight to bed for me”

Perhaps recalling her general ignorance of the fine arts, Teodora had slipped off

her stool before completing this sentence,  and was halfway down her bedroom

 hall as the  last hint of her plans drifted back to the kitchen.




“Theatre .. Century .. American novel…



A long pause:


We can only  pray that our young heroine develops an intense interest in

industrial hygiene before tomorrow morning.



Photos/ Paintings / Text / Claire O’Brien  © 2014

Mexico’s most astonishing interviews

Claire Marie O'Brien:

You represent one of the best sources on Mexico I have encountered. It’s more than your knowlegeble choice of topics – your writing voice perfectly balances an authoritative depth of feeling with the kind of restraint and broader perspective that gives that depth its power. You won’t flinch from a horror of human suffering in which the US is inextricably bound, but you also won’t allow Mexico to be defined by either suffering or America. There’s a whole lot more to the nation -complex, huge, beautiful. Also, if something is funny , you’re going to laugh, albeit in that wry British way…

Originally posted on The Mexican Labyrinth:

Impunity is a persistent theme in Mexican society. It has been manifest everywhere from the courts and elections, to the recent massacre in Guerrero. Many Mexicans are suspicious of the two major TV networks, Televisa and Azteca, whose bland and polished coverage has led not just to accusations of bias, but to allegations of secret deals with political parties.

Yet there are some journalists, such as Carmen Aristegui and Jorge Ramos, who have established a reputation for rigorous reporting in the face of considerable pressure for conformity. Here are five occasions when key Mexican figures have come under scrutiny, and faced the questions that they are so keen to avoid.

1. Future President Enrique Peña Nieto forgets how his first wife died

For more than two years, there was speculation and rumour surrounding the early death of Monica Pretellini, the first wife of then Governor Enrique Peña Nieto. The magazine

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Mexico Student Massacre a ‘Delicate Moment’ For Enrique Pena Nieto

Originally posted on Mexico Institute:

10/10/14 International Business Times

hands holding candle“This is not just about narco-traffickers fighting it out over turf,” said David Shirk, a security expert with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “This is taking criminals and using them for a political purpose. That is a new and very dangerous aspect of the violence that we’ve been seeing over the last five years.” This new kind of violence has been enough to stoke nationwide fury. And while President Peña Nieto has spoken out, calling the case “outrageous, painful and unacceptable” and vowing justice, he has spent most of his time in office trying to minimize the country’s security problems in favor of promoting the image of a humming economic engine. Now he may have to take a different approach.

Read More…

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Migrants snared in multi-million dollar kidnap racket on U.S.-Mexico border

Claire Marie O'Brien:


Originally posted on Mexico Institute:

10/13/14 Reuters

gr-mexico-immigrants-624Tens of thousands of Central American migrants are being kidnapped, abused and extorted by Mexican gangs just yards from the United States in a growing racket that may be worth up to $250 million a year. Arriving in ragtag border towns like Reynosa, Mexico’s migrant kidnapping capital where police in armored vehicles patrol the streets and daytime shootouts are commonplace, migrants are picked off buses by gangs who federal authorities say are in cahoots with local officials. They are then held captive in small houses packed with dozens of fellow migrants, where they are ransomed for up to $5,000 a head. Women who cannot pay face rape, while men risk beatings and conscription into gang ranks, police say.

Read More…

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Massacres in Mexico underscore government collusion with cartels

Originally posted on Mexico Institute:

10/16/14 Fusion

guerreroTwo recent massacres tell the story of human rights failures in Mexico. One massacre was committed by municipal police in Iguala, the second one by Mexican soldiers in Tlatlaya. Both occurred in areas teeming with crime, and activists have linked each one to a government increasingly powerless against drug cartels and violence. Thousands are protesting the disappearance of 43 students from a Iguala school known for its progressivism and activism. Police allegedly opened fire on the youth, and 22 officers have since been arrested. The officers may have acted on behalf of a cartel targeting the activist students, though the investigation is ongoing. Many believed the discovery of 28 unidentified bodies found in a mass grave would be some of the students, but a DNA test did not result in a match. About 50 people, including 14 police officers, have been arrested in connection with the…

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Citigroup’s Mexico Unit Fined $2.2 Million Over Loan Controls

Originally posted on Mexico Institute:

10/15/14 Bloomberg

finance-market_dataCitigroup Inc. (C)’s Mexico subsidiary was fined 30 million pesos ($2.2 million) by the nation’s bank regulators, which faulted the firm for inadequate controls and making loans that violated lending rules. The regulator known as the CNBV announced the penalty in an e-mailed statement today. Banamex said in a separate statement that it paid the sanction and is working on corrective measures. Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank, said in February that it had discovered the Banamex unit had made bogus loans to Oceanografia, forcing the New York-based company to cut previously reported earnings for 2013 by $235 million. Banamex had advanced funds to Oceanografia secured by promises that state-run Petroleos Mexicanos would repay the bank for work the oil-services firm performed.

Read More…

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