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The Final Straw Radio

The Final Straw is a weekly anarchist and anti-authoritarian radio show bringing you voices and ideas from struggle around the world. We’ve been broadcasting from occupied Tsalagi land in Southern Appalachia (Asheville, NC). We also frequently feature commentary (serious and humorous) by anarchist prisoner, Sean Swain.  More archives going back to 2010 can be found at our website.

Feb 4, 2020

This week on The Final Straw, an anarchist living in Mexico talks about the reign of the MORENA party of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka AMLO), the new face of capitalism it presents, it’s relation to social movements and indigenous sovereignty and the anarchist and indigenous resistance to the regime. We cover mega-projects being pushed through around the country, the repression of activists and more in this whopper of an episode.

Here’s a great English-language blog based mostly out of Oaxaca that covers struggle in Mexico and across the northern border:

To learn more about the Anarchist Days that our guest spoke on, you can email!

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Final Straw Notes from the guest:

AMLO & Mexican social movements
  • Partido Revolucionaro Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party) 71 years in power 1929-2000
  • PRI lost in 2000 to Vicente Fox (PAN) 
  • 2006 Felipe Calderon PAN
  • 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto
  • 2018 AMLO (MORENA)
AMLO's History (Career Politician)
  • 1977 Director of National Indigenous Institute of Tabasco 
  • Late 1980’s joined the PRD Party
  • AMLO is elected mayor of Mexico City in 2000 with the PRD Party
  • 2006 ran for president with the PRD Party
  • 2012 ran for president with the PRD Party, afterwards leaving the PRD to form MORENA in 2014
  • 2018 won the presidency with 53% of the vote
AMLO’s politics, modernization & neoliberal efforts. Fourth transformation?
Discourse of "Anti-corruption, address poverty, security, businessmen as mafia of power"
Capitalism with a new face “Post-neoliberalism?”
Populism- Appeals to national sovereignty, nationalism, domestic self-sufficiency
"Popular consultations" to justify and impose megaprojects “mandar obedeciendo”
Abrazos no balazos (hugs not bullets) “we don’t repress anyone”
"Pacifist Government"
Modernization, development, overcoming of marginalization, bringing Indigenous communities into the national economy
Problematic support of AMLO from leftists in the global north
If you want to understand the politics of Mexico, listen to the voices of Indigenous peoples and communities, women in struggle, campesinos
Indigenous populations and megaprojects
Airport Lake Texcoco
New International Airport of Mexico City proposed in 2001 by Vicente Fox, but cancelled shortly after due to organized resistance
AMLO cancelled project after carrying out a "popular consultation"
Cancel one mega-project to impose three more
Expansion of Santa Lucia and Toluca airports
Naucalpan- Toluca highway
Interurban train
- Tren Maya (Mayan Train) 
950-mile train connecting principal tourist destinations in the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan and Quintana Roo
17 stations including Playa del carmen, Tulum, Palenque, Merida, Cancun
Infrastructure projects to be built around train stations
For tourists and cargo
- “Corredor Transistmico” Interoceanic corridor 
Industrial corridor connecting the ports of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, on the pacific coast, and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, in the gulf of Mexico. 
The project is meant to compete with the Panama Canal, as a route of land transportation connecting the Pacific with the gulf of Mexico. 
United States has been trying to get this project going since the 19th century
Train routes and a super highway, modernization of ports, and various older train routes
- Proyeto integral de morelos (PIM) (Integral Project of Morelos)
Project that began in 2012 and has faced stiff resistance from the Frente de pueblos en defensa de tierra y agua Morelos-puebla-tlaxcala (People’s Front in Defense of Land and Water Morelos-Puebla-Tlaxcala)
The PIM roject includes:
Thermoelectric plant in Huexca, Morelos 
A natural gas pipeline to supply gas to the plant which passes through 60 Indigenous and campesino communities in Tlaxcala, Puebla and Morelos
An aqueduct that seeks to move 50 million liters of water daily to the thermoelectric plant from the Rio Cuautla
Italian and Spanish transnationals
Armed Indigenous rebellion in Chiapas in 1994. After failed talks with the government, they took the path of autonomy
2003-formation of five caracoles (zones of autonomous self-government) The caracoles are regional administrative units where autonomous authorities come together and from which clinics, cooperatives, schools, transportation and other services are administered.
The Zapatista communities are managed by the Juntos de buen gobierno (Good Government Councils), which are made up of representatives of the autonomous councils of the rebel municipalities.
Expansion of autonomous territory: In august of 2019 the Zapatistas announced 7 new New Centers of Autonomous Zapatista Rebellion and Resistance (CRAREZ) and 4 new rebel Zapatista autonomous municipalities. Added to the 5 original Caracoles for a total of 16. In addition to the 27 original autonomous municipalities, giving us a total of 43 (CRAREZ). Made up of different assemblies, autonomous municipalities, etc.
Zapatista communities made up of Insignous tzotziles, tzeltales, mames, choles, tojolabales y zoques
Zapatista activities in December of 2019: Celebration of Life: A December of Resistance and Rebellion
Film Festival 7-14 of December 2019
Dance Festival December 15-20
Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth December 21-22
3,259 women
95 little girls
26 men
From 49 countries
Celebration of the 26 Anniversary of the Beginning of the War Against Oblivion December 31 and January 1
EZLN declaration to continue struggle.
Autonomous struggles in Indigenous and campesino communities. Processes of self-organization
Community assemblies
Community and free media
Self-defense and community police forces
State repression of social movements and migrants
Repression and suppression through consultations, social programs
31 defenders killed
11 communicators
Militarization (national guard) (Discipline, hierarchy)
The Secretariat of Security and Citizen protection, Alfonso Durazo Montaño, announced at the beginning of 2020 the deployment of 21,170 new elements of national guard in 50 new regions to reach a total of 200 regions. 
More and more Police in streets of Mexico city
National Guard deployed to Guatemala border to suppress immigrants trying to reach the U.S.
Samir Flores, Indigenous community radio worker and organizer from Amilcingo, Morelos, killed February 20, 2019 
CODEDI (Comité de Defensa de los Pueblos Indígenas)
Took over an abandoned coffee plantation in 2013 
Centro de capacitación, training center
CODEDI assasinations:
On February 12, 2018- Ignacio Ventura, Luis Angel Martínez and Alejandro Diaz Cruz.
On July 17, 2018- Abraham Hernandez Gonzales 
On October 25, 2018- Noel Castillo Aguilar 
COPIG-EZ assasinations:
Concejo Indígena y Popular de Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata CIPOG-EZ (Indigenous and popular council of Guerrero-Emiliano Zapata)
May 2019- José Lucio Bartolo Faustino, Modesto Verales Sebastián, Bartolo Hilario Morales, and Isaías Xanteco Ahuejote of the Nahua people organized as the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata (CIPOG – EZ).
Other assasinations
Samir Flores Soberanes of the Nahua people of Amilcingo, Morelos.
Julián Cortés Flores, of the Mephaa people of the Casa de Justicia in San Luis     Acatlán, Guerrero.
Ignacio Pérez Girón, of the Tzotzil people of the municipality of Aldama, Chiapas.
Juan Monroy and José Luis Rosales, of the Nahua people Ayotitlán, Jalisco.
Feliciano Corona Cirino, of the Nahua people of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán.
Josué Bernardo Marcial Campo, also known as TíoBad, of the Populuca people of Veracruz.
Political prisoners
Fredy García Ramírez (detained November 6, 2019)
Fidencio Aldama Pérez (detained October 27, 2016) Loma de Bacuum
Prison organizing in Chiapas- Hunger strike of over 130 days in 2019
State of the anarchist movement in Mexico
- Primary organizational efforts
- Anarcha-feminism, women's movement
- Relation with Indigenous and campesino struggles
Building international networks of solidarity, both anarchist and otherwise, with Mexico
Anarchist Days- July 13-19, 2020 in DF Email:
Las jornadas en defensa del territorio y la madre tierra "Samir Somos Todas y Todos" February 20-22, 2020

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Music for this episode by:

U.N.E. - Explosion Humana