A human rights caravan arrived to Mexico City on August 1 to demand that the Mexican government put a stop to the violence against undocumented migrants. Thousands on their way to the United States are kidnapped in Mexico each year, and recently it’s gotten worse. Violence has increased against both migrants and the advocates who provide them with basic services along their route.
On July 26, 1953 Fidel Castro led an assault on the Moncada Barracks in Cuba, launching a popular movement that would topple the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. This week, NACLA spoke with Ike Nahem, one of the coordinators of the July 26 Coalition, to discuss the significance of the anniversary, and its relevance to American activists in the United States.
In the most recent issue of NACLA, anthropologist Howard Campbell examines how Ciudad Juárez became the world’s most violent city after Mexican President Felipe Calderón deployed thousands of soldiers and federal police to fight the cartels. Campbell, a professor at the University of Texas-El Paso spoke with NACLA to further explain the political, social, and economic forces that led to this hyper-violence in Mexico.
On July 20, a caravan of over 100 people crossed the U.S.-Mexican border, carrying 100 tons of humanitarian aid on its way to Cuba. This is the 22nd aid caravan to Cuba organized by the interreligious organization Pastors for Peace, which brings humanitarian aid to Cuba each year in defiance of the U.S. economic embargo and travel ban.
“The roots of the War on Drugs go deep in Mexico. In fact, in some ways, they are deeper there than in the United States,” explains historian Isaac Campos in the most recent issue of NACLA. In order to better understand the forces behind drug prohibition in Mexico, NACLA spoke with Campos, who discussed the recent NACLA article, his forthcoming book, and his experience covering marijuana, prohibition, and drug culture in Mexico and the United States.
On June 5, Peruvian voters handed a hard won presidential victory to the progressive nationalist, Ollanta Humala. While it is too early to predict the future of the Humala government, his victory has dealt an important blow to both the Peruvian right and U.S. interests in Latin America.
Over the past few weeks U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and latter-day media "experts" have hailed Manuel Zelaya's return to Honduras and the pending reintegration of the country into the OAS as a restoration of democracy. Here in Honduras, it is clear that such claims could not be further from the truth. Honduras today is no closer to reconciliation than it was in the months following the June 28, 2009 military coup.
Three simmering scandals in Mexico, involving U.S. arms shipments to drug cartels, the presence of Guatemalan paramilitaries who had been trained under U.S. auspices, and money laundering by a prominent U.S. bank, have led many Mexicans to believe that that the guns, the assassins, and the laundered money that are at the heart of the drug violence, that has taken almost 35,000 lives since 2007, all carry U.S. fingerprints.
On April 24, the New York based Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB) will launch several days of global action calling for the release of five indigenous Zapatista supporters, who are being held by the Mexican police in the state of Chiapas. The “Bachajón 5,” as they are called, were arrested on February 3 when approximately 300 state police raided a meeting of indigenous Zapatista supporters in San Sebastian Bachajón, Chiapas, arresting 117 people. All were released except for the five who remain in prison as part of what human rights organizations call a fabricated conflict to strip the community, particularly the Zapatistas, of their territorial rights.
Among the villains in the crosshairs of the Department of Homeland Security’s $57 billion 2012 Fiscal Year budget are coyotes, the smugglers migrants often hire to help them enter the United States without authorization. The border enforcement part of this budget, which supports an all-time high number of agents and officers, will in part focus on taking down these "criminals." However the book, Clandestine Crossings, by David Spener, directly challenges this "discursive" and costly fable about coyotes, and in doing so reveals that coyotes play an essential role for migrants trying to resist a blatantly unjust system.