Posts by: Fred Rosen

Aug 21, 2012
Fred Rosen

On August 12th, the Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity kicked off its one-month, 6,000-mile journey across the United States. Riding from San Diego to Washington, D.C., the Caravan seeks to educate and confront Americans about the terrible violence besetting Mexico—and perhaps to recruit those who are convinced and inspired to a U.S. offshoot of Mexico’s Movement for Peace. 

Aug 16, 2012
Fred Rosen

Unbelievably good news! The national fútbol team won an Olympic gold medal last Saturday for the first time ever, beating Brazil (Brazil!) 2-1. (OK, the news is not all that good if you happen to be a Brazilian, but Brazil has had more than its share of good soccer news over the years.) And otherwise, these are not happy times in Mexico. There is precious little good news that comes out of the land of the Aztec sun these days. 

Jul 31, 2012
Fred Rosen

The months following Mexico’s presidential election are turning out to be as conflictive and as revelatory of Mexican politics as the election itself. One of the ongoing debates centers around the testimony of a Mexican-American public relations hustler named José Luis Ponce de Aquino, who claims to have been hired by campaign functionaries of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to promote a favorable image of PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto in the United States.

Jul 17, 2012
Fred Rosen

Sergio Haro is a veteran reporter for Zeta, an independent newsweekly in Tijuana, Mexico. Haro has reported widely on organized crime and violence on Mexico’s northern border, and for his efforts, has worked under constant credible threats. He is the central figure in Reportero a new film directed by Bernardo Ruiz, which will be shown this Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 PM at the Spanish Benevolent Society, 239 West 14th Street in Manhattan. The screening is a benefit for NACLA. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door. What follows is a brief interview with Haro conducted this week by Fred Rosen.

Jul 4, 2012
Fred Rosen

They’re still counting, or re-counting, the votes in Mexico. Enrique Peña Nieto of the once-all-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was (probably) elected the country’s next president this past Sunday with about 38% of the vote. The results remain contested because the second-place finisher, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has challenged them, alleging various kinds of fraud and demanding a total recount. 

Jun 26, 2012
Fred Rosen

Supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), are angry and dismayed as polls show the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto maintaining a lead over second-place AMLO of six to 18 points. None of this is to say that Peña Nieto deserves to be the front-runner, much less that Mexico would be better off with the authoritarian, corrupt, corporatist PRI back in power, but when I reported the polling consensus in last week’s blog, I received several negative comments from AMLOistas accusing me of betraying the cause of the left—as though recognizing that you are behind is the equivalent of admitting you are wrong. 

Jun 19, 2012
Fred Rosen

There are many problems with public-opinion polls—like their failure to illuminate the real forces and phenomena behind popular beliefs. They have generally been pretty good, however, at predicting how (as opposed to why) citizens are going to vote in an election a few days away. With Mexico’s presidential election just a week and a half away, a variety of voter surveys continue to show the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto as the frontrunner.

Jun 13, 2012
Fred Rosen

It is not so much that the television networks, and the people who control them, have chosen Enrique Peña Nieto to do their bidding as the next president of Mexico. It is that Peña Nieto, and the people who control him, have purchased his way into power by buying favorable coverage.

May 29, 2012
Fred Rosen

Narco violence gets most of the headlines in Mexico, but state violence continues to be just as deadly, and the high degree of criminal infiltration into the institutions of the Mexican state sometimes makes it difficult to tell the difference. The recent murders of a courageous investigative reporter and an outspoken sociology professor drive home this difficulty.

May 21, 2012
Fred Rosen

Alejandro Solalinde is a Catholic priest who runs the Hermanos en el Camino shelter in southern Mexico for migrants who are crossing the country on their way to the United States. For his efforts he has received both plaudits and death threats. Last week, at the suggestion of Mexican Bishops, international human rights organizations, and many of his political supporters, he decided to leave the country for at least six weeks. 

May 8, 2012
Fred Rosen

Mexico’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies unanimous approval of a law to alleviate the damage and suffering experienced by victims of state and criminal violence may turn out to be of enormous importance. It officially recognizes victims who have heretofore been seen simply as collateral damage in the war against illicit drugs, and official and organized crime. 

Apr 3, 2012
Fred Rosen

In what at first appears to be a contradiction, the fulsome praise lavished by U.S. officials on Mexico’s militarized “drug war” has long been accompanied by warnings issued by many of those same officials that President Felipe Calderón’s militarized offensive against trafficking and organized crime was spinning out of control.

Mar 27, 2012
Fred Rosen

Six years after being denied Mexico’s presidency in a disputed vote count, the presidential candidate of Mexico’s “lefts,” Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), says he is a “man without resentments.” Well, maybe, but when he formally registered his candidacy last week before the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), the non-partisan authority that organizes and oversees the country’s federal elections, he told the group that he still holds it responsible for his 2006 defeat. 

Mar 20, 2012
Fred Rosen

As Mexico’s presidential campaign moves into high gear, the left-of-center candidate for the presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) sketched a plan to combat the country’s high levels of violent crime by gradually removing the out-of-place military from the streets and replacing it with a professional force that would be drawn from the citizenry. 

Mar 15, 2012
Fred Rosen

On a visit to Mexico last month Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she greatly admired President Felipe Calderón for the offensive he had unleashed against organized crime, and was proud of its results. On the other hand, the consulting firm Strategic Forecast, Inc. (Stratfor) issued an alert last week, warning that spring-breaking U.S. college kids faced risks in virtually all the Mexican hotspots typically visited over their spring vacations. 

Mar 6, 2012
Fred Rosen

It is a sad truth that the structure of the Mexican economy in the early twenty-first century requires that poor citizens who seek work north of the border do so in sectors of the U.S. economy that provide sub-minimum wages, horrendous working conditions and unscrupulous employer practices. 

Feb 27, 2012
Fred Rosen

President Felipe Calderón wishes Hugo Chávez a full and speedy recovery from cancer surgery, pays homage to Chávez’s hero Simón Bolívar, flirts with Chávez’s Bolivarian movement, and welcomes the CIA, DEA and other U.S. intelligence agencies into Mexico. Is the president guilty of a fraudulent double discourse, or is he maintaining a skillful balancing act? 

Feb 21, 2012
Fred Rosen

As we have written here before, it is not likely that the Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity (MPJD), the small but persistent pacifist movement organized by the Mexican poet, essayist and nonviolent activist, Javier Sicilia, will bring a genuine internal peace to Mexico any time soon, but its growing visibility and its persistence in the face of threats and smug dismissals from all sides is encouraging. 

Jan 30, 2012
Fred Rosen

A few days ago, I had a wide-ranging talk with Javier Sicilia, the founder of the Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity. Since its inception last March, following the murder of Sicilia’s son, the group has campaigned against the spreading violence in Mexico, and more specifically against the militarization of Mexico’s Drug War and what Sicilia sees as the concurrent militarization of Mexican society. 

Jan 24, 2012
Fred Rosen

Adhering to the results of three independent polls of Mexico City’s registered voters, Mexico’s center-left electoral coalition, known in this election cycle as the Progressive Movement Coalition, or, informally, the coalition of “the lefts,” agreed last Thursday to nominate Miguel Ángel Mancera to be its candidate to govern Mexico City. 

Jan 17, 2012
Fred Rosen

With an eye on Mexico’s presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador is reaching out to civil society—not seeking a common stance on all social issues, much less any form of explicit alliance, but to pull prominent social activists into the arena of electoral politics. The electoral arena, he argues, is where real social change can take place.

Jan 10, 2012
Fred Rosen

This past September 19, in a federal civil court in Hartford, Connecticut, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo—now a resident of Connecticut and an economics professor at Yale—was charged with crimes against humanity for the 1997 killing of 45 unarmed members of the Tzotzil Maya ethnic group, in the Chiapas village of Acteal.