Articles by: NACLA
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.
“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 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.
We have collected in this Report a series of articles analyzing these 21st-century coups in the Americas—in Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004), and Honduras (2009)—against the backdrop of popular movements for democracy and economic justice. The fight to overcome neoliberalism in the region has produced not only left-leaning governments but, perhaps more significantly, a widespread, commonsensical respect among citizens for transparent, democratic norms and institutionality. Coups are seen as an extra-legal retrogression to a barbarous past. The dark days of the region's late-20th-century military dictatorships, which came to power through U.S.-sponsored coups, comprise a sinister legacy that continues to inform how leaders and social movements in the region frame current events. Coups, and the threat of coups, are still a part of the Latin American reality, even in the 21st century.
Indigenous peoples across Latin America have taken a leading position in defending national sovereignty, democratic rights, and the environment. A renewed cycle of capitalist accumulation in the region centered on mining, hydrocarbon extraction, and agro-industrial monocultures has sparked the new round of indigenous resistance. Drawing on organizational and political legacies of previous decades, indigenous groups in the 1980s and 1990s grew and gained strength from an international arena in which governments were encouraged to recognize and promote cultural and minority rights. In this issue of the NACLA Report, we explore the contributions and creative possibilities of indigenous movements at a moment when indigenous politics has moved beyond this request for state recognition and inclusion.