On the outskirts of San Cristobal de las Casas, famed colonial center of the southern state of Chiapas, on the wooded campus of the Indigenous Center for Comprehensive Training over a thousand people from all over Mexico and beyond are attending a week-long seminar “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra.”
From May 2nd to May 9th the Zapatistas hosted a tribute to fallen comrades, a celebration, and a seminar to “provoke thought, reflection, critique.” On May 2nd and May 3rd 2015 the Zapatistas convened a welcome ceremony for the families of Luis Villoro Toranzo, and Zapatista Teacher Galeano, in homage to their lives and their struggles. This celebration inaugurated the seminar, “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra,” to which they asked its participants to bring “seeds” that they could share with others.
In their struggle to never forget, parents of the 43 missing young people from Ayotzinapa and students from the rural normal school have in recent weeks launched a vigorous and intense international campaign.
Two years have passed since the vicious assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, community leader, spokesperson and social activist from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, Mexico. Despite the killing of two of their leaders and frequent attacks from local government-supporters and public security forces, the ejidatarios (common landholders) remain firm in their resistance to dispossession, and in their struggle in defense of their ancestral land, territory and Mother Earth. The situation has now become critical.
In Compañeras, Hilary Klein focuses in on the period around the time of the Zapatista uprising, which kicked off spectacularly on New Year’s Day 1994, as “a watershed moment” when “a tremendous amount of change was compressed into a very short period.” The book follows the development of the women’s struggle within and as part of the Zapatista trajectory over the ensuing 20 years.
Two years ago, citizens of the Mexican state of Michoacán, rose up in armed resistance against the Knights Templar cartel. Sick of the violence, the abuses and the indifference and complicity with which the authorities were treating the narcotraffickers, the citizens decided to solve the problems that none of the three levels of government: municipal, state and federal, had dared to confront up to that date. The Self-Defenses of Michoacán had been born. Two years later, the future of Michoacán and the Autodefensas [Self-Defenses] Movement remains in question.
Ayotzinapa is the end result of a bundle of interconnected events. These, with greater or lesser density and visibility, are part of the essence of Twenty-First Century capitalism, not limited to Mexico but spreading, whether surreptitiously or scandalously, throughout the whole world.
Since the forced disappearance in Iguala, Guerrero, of 43 Normalista students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College on September 26, 2014, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand that the students be returned alive and also to denounce political corruption and the “Narco-Government.” The Southern state of Guerrero has been the epicenter of these protests and a wide range of actions including citizen searches, takeovers of tollbooths, a statewide caravan and the burning of government buildings.