Posts Tagged ‘politics’

This is the banner from Oaxaca that will be carried at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017.  If you go, look for it!


If you are in Oaxaca, join U.S. citizens and friends on January 21 at 11:00 AM, in front of Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, for a Women’s March Oaxaca — in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington.  Your bodies and banners would be most welcome!  Just remember, slogans should be directed toward the U.S. government, as foreigners are forbidden by law from involvement in Mexican politics.

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New year’s morning… 9:00 AM… music coming from the Plaza de la Danza.  Sheesh, only a few hours after the booms, bangs, and hisses from fireworks that announced the arrival of 2014 had finally quieted.  Thus, sleep deprived, I was moving slowly.  However, speeches joined the music and I thought I heard mention of Mexico’s current president, Enrique Peña Nieto… AND there was cheering.   Hmmm… I showered, dressed, and headed up Morelos.











and crowds…


heralded the inauguration of Oaxaca city’s new mayor, Javier Villacaña Jimenez, a PRI-ista, political party of the state’s former (much-hated) governor and party of Mexico’s current president.  Oaxaca’s current governor was elected July 4, 2010 by an alliance between the PAN, PRD, and a couple of other left-leaning parties, whose primary goal was ousting the PRI from its 80+ year reign in the state of Oaxaca.

This ought to be interesting…

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Yesterday, as today’s article in Noticias states, “with great dignity and head held high” the Triqui families from San Juan Copala pulled up stakes and moved to temporary housing in Colonia Reforma.  The 105 displaced families had been occupying the front of the Government Palace for several years, but reached an agreement with the state government to relocate.

Meanwhile, on the east side of the Government Palace, the band played on…  September is “La mes de la patria” (the month of the motherland).  Tomorrow night, governor Gabino Cue will repeat El Grito de Independencia (the Cry of Independence) from the balcony of the Government Palace and Monday, an hours-long patriotic parade will pass in front of the Palace.

Today, the scene has changed.  Members of the Frente Único de Lucha (FUL), the new incarnation of APPO, have taken up positions in front of the Government Palace and vowed to remain until those arrested in clashes with the federal police, on December 1 and yesterday in Mexico City, are released.  Hmmm… I wonder what will happen tomorrow and/or Monday.

Just remember, when you read, hear, or watch the news…  Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca are the most indigenous and poorest states in Mexico.  And now, the tears of Mother Nature are raining down on Oaxaca.

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Another revealing article by one of my favorite journalists, David Bacon

What real immigration reform would look like

Clue: It’s Not a New Guest Worker Program

By David Bacon

Oralia Maceda, an immigrant mother from Oaxaca, asked the obvious question recently. At a meeting, talking about the Senate immigration reform bill, she wanted to know why Senators would spend almost $50 billion on more border walls, yet show no interest in why people leave home to cross them.

This Congressional blindness will get worse as immigration reform moves to the House. It condemns U.S. immigration policy to a kind of punitive venality, making rational political decisions virtually impossible. Yet alternatives are often proposed by migrant communities themselves, and reflect a better understanding of global economics and human rights.

Rufino Dominguez, who now works for the Oaxacan state government, describes what Maceda knows from experience: “NAFTA forced the price of corn so low it’s not economically possible to plant a crop anymore. We come to the U.S. to work because there’s no alternative.” The reason for the fall in prices, according to Timothy Wise of the Global Development and Environment Institute, is that corn imports to Mexico from the U.S. rose from 2,014,000 to 10,330,000 tons from 1992 to 2008.

Mexico imported 30,000 tons of pork in 1995, the year NAFTA took effect, and 811, 000 tons in 2010. This primarily benefited one company, Smithfield Foods, which now sells over 25% of all the pork in Mexico. Mexico, however, lost 120,000 hog-farming jobs alone. The World Bank says extreme rural poverty jumped from 35% to 55% after NAFTA took effect due to “the sluggish performance of agriculture, stagnant rural wages, and falling real agricultural prices.”

Read full article HERE.

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One of the main roads into and out of Oaxaca is Federal Highway 190.  It is a section of the Pan American Highway (which runs from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, at the southernmost tip of Argentina).  I cross the highway several times a month on my way to the Organic Market in Xochimilco or to a restaurant in Colonia Reforma — and the same thought always crosses my mind, “I can’t believe I’m walking across the Pan American Highway!”

However, the highway has another name, as runs through the city — Calzada Niños Héroes de Chapultepec.  Child heroes of Chapultepec?  Who were they?  If you visit Mexico City, your guidebook or tour guide might direct you to Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec) set high on a hill in the middle of the beautiful 1694 acre Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park).  There you will discover that they were young martyrs from what is called the Mexican-American War in the USA and is known here as the Invasion of Mexico.

Monumento a las Niños Heroes,

Monument to the Child Heroes in Chapultepec Park

Penn State historian Amy S. Greenberg calls it, A Wicked War, and her book, by the same name, chronicles a war waged on the basis of a Presidential lie, against a guiltless neighbor, for the express purpose of annexing half its territory.  (Hola, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California.)  Then Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln opposed the war and it spawned the first U.S. anti-war movement.

To discover what your teachers may not have told you about the Invasion of Mexico and its Niños Heroes, take a look at last week’s CBS Sunday Morning segment by Mo Rocca and with Amy Greenberg.

h/t Tim Johnson

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It may be Good Friday and the streets of Oaxaca may be blocked while processions marking the Stations of the Cross pass by and Mexico may be overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.  BUT, when it comes to politics, the Mexican constitution demands the church must mind its own business.

After Mexico court ruling, gay couple weds in Oaxaca

Two women became the first same-sex couple to marry in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca after the Supreme Court found the state’s definition of marriage unconstitutional, a gay rights group said Thursday.

Mexico City is the only jurisdiction in the deeply Catholic country that has authorized same-sex marriage.

But in December, the top court ruled that Oaxaca’s civil code, which states that marriage is only between a man and a woman for the purpose “to perpetuate the species,” violates the constitution.

The Oaxaca Front for the Respect and Recognition of Sexual Diversity, which had taken part in the legal challenge, announced Thursday that two women got married on March 22 during a private ceremony.

The two women, along with two other gay couples, had appealed to the Supreme Court after Oaxaca state authorities refused to marry them.

Gay rights groups have voiced hope that the court ruling would pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage across Mexico.

Argentina is the only Latin American country to authorize such marriages, while Uruguay is considering a similar law.

Mexico giving the USA a lesson in the separation between church and state.  U.S. Supreme Court, are you listening?

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Old news, I know, but couldn’t resist…  Mitt may have had his “binders of women,” but Oaxaca has her walls of women and they could kick some serious @#$!!!

Liberty  ~  Equality  ~  Respect

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Yesterday in the United States…

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message.

It didn’t work. The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon, with a final vote of 61 to 38, which seems like a lopsided majority, but which fell short of the two-thirds necessary for ratification.  [Link to full article in The Maddow Blog]

Today in Mexico…

Mexico’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Wednesday striking down a marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca. Advocates say the language of the decision could open the door for same-sex marriages throughout the nation. 

The ruling effectively changes Oaxaca’s civil code to state that marriage takes place “between two people,” instead of between a man and woman, reports Spanish-language site AnimalPolitico.

The Court ruled in favor of three same-sex couples who sued the state of Oaxaca for the right to marry. The ruling does not immediately eliminate marriage equality bans in other Mexican states, but it does set a legal precedent to begin challenging statewide marriage bans, according to the blog AfterMarriage.  [Link to full article in The Advocate]

I am not the only gringa and gringo who is speechless re how low US politicians have sunk.  A gal pal (since we were 12) who now lives in Mexico and is confined to a wheelchair due to MS just posted on Facebook that she is “disgusted and, frankly, very upset” and feels “like traveling to Washington and getting in their face.”  And, Chris over at Oaxaca-The Year After asks, Seriously?

Which country do I feel prouder to live in?  ¡Bravo, México!

h/t  Michelle V.

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November 25, 2012 marks the sixth anniversary of the bloody attack by the Federal Preventive Police on the teachers and members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in the zócalo of the city of Oaxaca.  I wasn’t here during the 5-month long struggle, but its repercussions continue to reverberate.

Plaque "Plaza de los pueblos en lucha." "por la verdad y la justicia" Oaxaca, 25 - noviembre - 2011

Last year a plaque was unveiled by organizations representing victims, survivors, human rights, and social activists.  Located where the Alameda de León meets the zócalo, it symbolically renames the zócalo, “Plaza of the peoples in struggle; for truth and justice.”

Man with cap looking at photos

Truth and justice have not been attained, assassins go unpunished, many of the same issues remain, and Oaxaca’s economy still hasn’t rebounded.  Today, the Survivors and Former Political Prisoners of Oaxaca in Defense of Human Rights (SEPODDH) mounted a photo exhibition across from the Government Palace.

Women looking at photos, with a basket of sliced bread on her head.

Adults, children, and even vendors stopped to look and, for many, remember those days and nights six years ago.

Crowd of people looking at photos

Somber and unsmiling, they stood silently, gazed at the photos, and read the captions.  The only hint of levity was SEPODDH’s mascota, who sat beside a collection bucket.

Plush monkey wearing bandana across his face.

Section 22 of the teachers’ union held another march and rallied in the zócalo, but today these photos spoke much louder than the words coming from the loud-speakers.

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Yesterday, I walked down to the zócalo twice; once in mid-morning and again late in the afternoon.  My Spanish teacher had advised her students of the probable presence of army trucks, soldiers, and federal police; but to be assured this was standard operating procedure on election day.  However, all I saw were the normal transit police directing traffic and only 2 federales.  From my terrace, I did watch a helicopter circle the zócalo a few times.  A friend filmed a tussle re lack of ballots about the same time as my helicopter siting.

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To begin to understand the Mexican electoral system, the Instituto Federal Electoral has a FAQ page, in English, where it answers, 30 Essential Questions.  In addition, readers might be interested in Robert Pastor’s article, 8 things the U.S. election system could learn from Mexico’s.  While I don’t agree with some of his points (his conclusions re the PRI and the issue of voter ID cards in the US; problematic given its troubling history), I think the article is worth a read.  By the way, the Yo Soy 132 movement was present yesterday on the zócalo and vows to continue.

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… and I’m not talking weather!  Today, I headed down to Soriana for a major restocking of the empty larder.  As I was perusing the wine section, a new sign caught my eye.

Sign - "Estimada clientela: Anticipe sus compras de vinos, licores y cervezas ya que el fin de semana habra ley seca por disposicion oficial por motivo de las elecciones federales.

(Translation: Anticipate your purchases of wines, spirits and beer for the weekend. There will be an official prohibition on selling because of federal elections.)

In the event you were unaware, there is a big election in Mexico this weekend; on Sunday, July 1, Mexican voters elect their next president.  In anticipation, the above sign went up and Noticias reported that Oaxaca’s governor, Gabino Cue, announced on Monday that alcohol sales are forbidden from midnight June 30 through midnight  July 1 — the entire 24 hours of election day.  This, he said, was in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures, “thus ensuring the safe and harmonious development of the Federal Election Day on Sunday 1 July.”

I’m confused!  According to an article in NOTIMEX and other sources, the 1915 federal law prohibiting the sale of alcohol 24 hours before the elections and throughout election day (Paragraph 2 of Article 239 of the Código Federal de Instituciones y Procedimientos Electorales (Cofipe) was repealed prior to the 2006 presidential election.  It was a nod to the states with a heavy-duty tourism industry.  No cervezas and no margaritas for 24 hours equals unhappy campers at Mexico’s popular resorts!  Regulation was left up to the individual states.

So I ask, is Oaxaca’s ban a state statute?  Or, has the federal law changed again?  Or, has word of the 2006 change not reached this far south?  Hmmm…

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