CIA, US military operating inside Mexico’s “drug war”

By Bill Van Auken, 9 August 2011

The Mexican government has acknowledged that US intelligence and military officials are deployed inside Mexico, but refused to confirm details on their role in the country’s “drug war” for reasons of “national security”.

Mexico’s former ruling party, the PRI, gains in governors’ races

By Kevin Kearney, 20 July 2011

Mexico’s PRI—which controlled national politics for 70 years before it was unseated in 2000—has managed to parlay popular opposition to President Calderon into electoral gains in three more Mexican states.

Mexican drug gang’s guns traced to US operation

By Bill Van Auken, 10 June 2011

An arsenal of assault rifles and other weapons seized by police in Mexico has been traced to a US government program that intentionally allowed guns to be smuggled across the border.

Global commission brands “drug war” a failure

By Bill Van Auken, 3 June 2011

An international commission that includes former Latin American presidents and US officials issued a scathing indictment of Washington’s “war on drugs.”

Mexican teachers vote to end strike

By Rafael Azul, 2 June 2011

In occupying central Oaxaca, thousands of striking teachers are repeating the form of struggle that they carried out in 2006. Despite their militancy, today as in 2006, the teachers go into struggle without a clear political perspective.

US banks involved in money laundering operation for Mexican mafia

By Rafael Azul, 20 May 2011

As the brutal war between the Mexican Government and the drug cartels claims the lives of thousands of civilian victims, evidence piles up of the complicity of US and international banks in the financing and arming of the global drug trade.

Mexico: Opposition to government militarization of “drug war” grows

By Kevin Kearney, 11 May 2011

The peace march is a particular manifestation of growing national dissatisfaction with the bloody drug war that has effectively shredded the social fabric of Mexico.

Mine explosion in Mexico: Unsafe conditions and government corruption

By Rafael Azul, 9 May 2011

A May 3 explosion in a coalmine in northern Mexico exposes brutal conditions for miners as well as the corruption and indifference of the government. The mine was one of many precarious and unregulated mines in Mexico.

Mexico’s “left” and the Oaxacan teachers struggle

By Kevin Kearney, 1 March 2011

Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s provocative visit to Oaxaca last month reawakened the apparently dormant volcano of the region’s militant teachers and students.

Teachers battle riot police as violence flares in Mexico

By Bill Van Auken, 17 February 2011

Teachers fought a pitched battle with state and federal police in the city of Oaxaca Tuesday, as the death toll from Mexico’s drug war continued to mount elsewhere in the country.

Pentagon official: US could send troops to fight Mexican “insurgency”

By Bill Van Auken, 10 February 2011

The second highest civilian official in charge of the US Army warned Monday that US troops may have to intervene in Mexico to combat what he termed an “insurgency”.

Cables reveal US considered “state of exception” in Mexico

By Kevin Kearney, 15 December 2010

US and Mexican officials discussed imposing a “state of exception” to facilitate army operations in Mexico, cables released by WikiLeaks show.

Human rights groups expose gross abuse of Mexican orphans and disabled

By Rafael Azul, 11 December 2010

A recently released report describes abominable conditions for Mexican orphans and the disabled poor.

72 immigrants massacred in Mexico

By Kevin Martinez and Rafael Azul, 30 August 2010

The bodies of 72 undocumented immigrants were found in a ranch in northern Mexico by Mexican marines after a gun battle with drug traffickers on August 25.

Low voter turnout in Mexican state elections

By Rafael Azul, 6 July 2010

On Sunday, Mexicans went to the polls to vote for governors and legislatures in 12 states.

BP containment effort set back as government acknowledges undersea oil plumes

By Hiram Lee, 25 June 2010

BP was forced to remove the cap on the Deepwater Horizon wellhead on Wednesday following an accident with an underwater robotic vehicle used for examinations and repairs.

US Border Patrol murders Mexican teenager

By Jerry White, 10 June 2010

In the second killing of a Mexican citizen by the US Border Patrol in less than two weeks, an agent shot and killed a 15-year-old youth Monday evening at the El Paso, Texas-Ciudad Juarez crossing.

US, Mexico in crisis talks on “drug war”

By Rafael Azul, 24 March 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading a high-level US delegation to Mexico City this week for crisis talks on the US-backed “drug war”.

Mexico: growing crisis over failed drug war policy

By Kevin Kearney, 15 February 2010

Mexico’s “war on drugs” is an unmitigated social disaster, having claimed some 17,000 lives over the last three years, while doing nothing to curb drug trafficking. Its failure has led to deepening fissures in the ruling party, the PAN.

Mexican government closes electric utility, sacks 44,000 workers

By Rafael Azul, 15 October 2009

Earning praise from Mexico’s financial sector and Wall Street, President Felipe Calderón ordered the sudden liquidation of Mexico’s Luz y Fuerza del Centro public electrical utility, wiping out the jobs of 44,000 workers.

Mexico: President Calderon calls for “doing more with less”

By Rafael Azul, 14 September 2009

Mexican President Felipe Calderon called for doing ‘more with less’ when he presented to Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies his 2010 budget.

Mexican economy in free-fall

By Rafael Azul, 26 August 2009

The Mexican economy shrank at an annual rate of 10.3 percent in the second quarter of 2009, the worst economic performance since 1981.

NAFTA summit papers over divisions between US, Mexico and Canada

By Rafael Azul, 14 August 2009

This week’s NAFTA summit in Guadalajara ended without any agreement on confronting the deep economic crisis that has swept the North American continent.

Mexican state of Michoacán under military state of siege

By Carlos del Rocío, 22 July 2009

The deployment of 2,500 more Mexican army troops to the state of Michoacán signals a major escalation of the US-backed “war on drugs” being waged by the Calderón government.

Mexican election results: an escalating crisis of class rule

By Rafael Azul, 13 July 2009

The defeat of México’s ruling National Action Party (PAN) at the hands of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the July 5 midterm election signals an escalating crisis of bourgeois rule.

Capitalism’s deadly toll: 44 children dead in Mexican day care fire

By Rafael Azul, 9 June 2009

A fire that swept through the ABC day care center in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state in northern Mexico June 5, has claimed the lives of 44 children, while leaving at least 30 others in critical conditions.

Mexico’s “war on drugs” employs army torture and police-state tactics

By Rafael Azul and Kevin Kearney, 25 May 2009

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, an independent government agency, has reported that the Mexican army is torturing citizens just across the US border in its war on drug cartels.

Mexico: Epidemic deepens the social crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2009

With the death toll in Mexico’s swine flu epidemic having risen to at least 159, measures taken to halt the spread of the disease are deepening the country’s economic slump. Meanwhile, criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis is growing.

Washington escalates “drug war” intervention in Mexico

By Bill Van Auken, 27 March 2009

With its reinforcement of federal agents on the border, increased aid to the Mexican military and visits by Secretary of State Clinton and other top US officials, the Obama administration is escalating its intervention in Mexico’s “drug war.”

Pentagon drafts border plan as Mexico hits US protectionism

By Bill Van Auken, 19 March 2009

The Mexican government imposed a set of tariff increases this week against some 90 US imports in retaliation for the Obama administration signing legislation that ended a pilot program allowing Mexican long-haul trucks to operate on US highways.

Pentagon warns of US military intervention in Mexico’s “war on drugs”

By Kevin Kearney, 9 February 2009

A report issued by the United States Joint Forces Command warns that “chaos” and a potential government collapse generated by Mexico’s “war on drugs” may pose a threat to US security requiring American military intervention.

Mexico: Energy reform referendum reveals impotence of the PRD

By Josué Olmos, 12 August 2008

A non-binding referendum organized by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) on Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s proposed energy reform was held Sunday, July 27 in the Federal District of Mexico City, as well as in nine out of the 31 Mexican states. Behind Calderón’s reform is the clear aim of dismantling the state-owned oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). The Associated Press reported that approximately 2 million people voted nation-wide, and in Mexico City turnout was as low as 11 percent. The referendum reveals a widespread disaffection among workers with the populist program of the PRD.

Specter of a police state:

Mexican torture videos reveal ties with US military contractors

By Kevin Martinez and Rafael Azul, 11 July 2008

On July 1, videos surfaced on the Internet and Mexican television depicting police officers practicing torture techniques in the city of León, Guanajuato. The videos reveal ongoing ties between Mexican authorities and US military contractors, and an escalation of repressive measures against the Mexican working class, youth and peasantry. The tapes show an English-speaking private contractor training the officers, a chilling image that brought back memories of the “Dirty War” of the 1970’s and 80’s, when the Mexican government systematically hunted down and tortured left-wing students and peasants with the complicity and assistance of the United States.

Mexico: Election dispute threatens breakup of PRD

By Kevin Kearney, 7 May 2008

The results of the March 16 election for president and general secretary of Mexico’s Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) are still unknown, and it is increasingly unlikely that the final results will ever be determined.

Mexico: López Obrador may lose control of PRD to “new left” faction

By Kevin Kearney, 11 March 2008

The Mexican opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), one of the three major Mexican bourgeois parties, will hold intra-party elections March 16. An ascendant “new left” faction (NL) led by Jesús Ortega—candidate for party president—is poised to assume control from forces loyal to former PRD presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Mexico: Aftermath of the Tabasco floods—another manmade “natural” disaster

By Kevin Kearney, 21 November 2007

Tabasco and neighboring Chiapas state are still reeling from last month’s floods in Mexico, which caused 19 confirmed deaths, caused hundreds to go missing and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Tabasco Governor Andres Granier declared that about four-fifths of Tabasco state was under water, estimating damage at $5 billion, and warned that many evacuees will not be able to return for months.

Mexican president deploys troops in wake of oil pipeline bombings

By Kevin Kearney and Don Knowland, 19 September 2007

In the wake of a coordinated series of oil pipeline bombings on September 10, Mexican President Felipe Calderon ordered the deployment of tens of thousands of army troops throughout the country. This action follows a first year in office in which Calderon, of the National Action Party (PAN), had already militarized Mexico to an extent not seen for over 70 years under the guise of waging a war on violent drug traffickers.

Mexico: Calderon uses drug violence as pretext for militarizing society

By Kevin Kearney, 1 June 2007

Much like George Bush in his fraudulent “war on terror,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his media supporters are deeply engaged in a fear campaign to bully Mexican public opinion into accepting a move toward authoritarian rule and increased US intervention.

Mexican government steps up repression in Oaxaca

By Rafael Azul, 16 November 2006

The Mexican city of Oaxaca is under police occupation. Government security forces are engaging in a “dirty war” of arbitrary detentions and disappearances reminiscent of the operations carried out in the 1970s.

Mexican government launches bloody assault on Oaxaca protesters

By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2006

Thousands of federal riot police invaded Oaxaca on Sunday to crush an oppositional movement that has held control of the southern Mexican state for several months. The significance of this police operation goes beyond the Oaxaca protests, which have been driven by growing poverty and inequality. It is a warning to the nation’s working class that Mexico’s ruling elite is willing resort to naked violence and repression. The defense of the Oaxacan protesters requires the mobilization of working people throughout Mexico.

Mexico: Government ultimatum against striking teachers

By Rafael Azul and Julio Ponce, 17 October 2006

The Mexican government has threatened striking teachers in the city of Oaxaca with police and military repression this week unless they accept a negotiated agreement between the Vicente Fox government, the teachers union and the Oaxacan Peoples Popular Assembly (APPO). On October 12, striking teachers voted to reject the deal.

Mexico’s political crises intensifies after Calderón is certified as president

By Rafael Azul, 11 September 2006

On Tuesday, September 5, Mexico’s Federal Judicial Elections Tribunal (TEPJF) declared Felipe Calderón Hinojosa the winner of the July 2 presidential election. The decision has only inflamed the ongoing political crisis, under conditions in which Mexican society is deeply polarized and class relations are at a breaking point. Calderón is a member of the National Action Party (PAN).

Mexico: President Fox puts legislature under siege

By Rafael Azul, 4 September 2006

Mexican President Vicente Fox had to cancel his final state of the union speech before the country’s Congress September 1, after legislators protested a massive police/military mobilization against anti-government demonstrators by seizing the podium. This is the first time in modern Mexican history that a sitting president has been prevented from addressing the opening session of the legislature on September 1.

Mexico’s election tribunal denies Lopéz Obrador’s challenge to July vote

By Rafael Azul, 29 August 2006

Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) went into public session on Monday and threw out most of challenges to the results of the July second presidential elections. The challenges, questioning the votes cast at some 40,000 ballot boxes, came from Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

Mexico: Election court rejects Lopez Obrador’s demand for full recount

By Rafael Azul, 8 August 2006

On August 5, Mexico’s seven-member Federal Election Tribunal (TEPJF) in a unanimous ruling denied the demand of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the presidential candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), for a full recount of the votes cast in the July 2 election.

Over a million march to demand recount in Mexican election

By Rafael Azul, 2 August 2006

In the largest demonstration in Mexican history, between 1 and 2 million people rallied Sunday in Mexico City’s central square, the Zocalo, to demand a recount in the presidential election that was held on July 2. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), called on his supporters to engage in acts of civil resistance to demand that the Federal Judicial Electoral Tribunal authorize the recount. His speech indicated a turn to more aggressive tactics in the month-long dispute over the official results of the election.

Election crisis in Mexico deepens as one million protestors demand recount

By Rafael Azul, 18 July 2006

The disputed vote in this month’s presidential elections has become the focal point of deep social antagonisms in Mexico. The growing social discontent was on display July 16, when over one million supporters of presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador gathered in Mexico City to demand a full recount and an investigation into charges of election fraud.

Mexican candidate files challenge in presidential vote

By Rafael Azul and Patrick Martin, 11 July 2006

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the presidential candidate of the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), filed a formal challenge Sunday to the officially announced outcome of the July 2 election, charging fraud and other misconduct by the Mexican election authorities as well as the administration of outgoing President Vicente Fox.

Near-tie election deepens Mexico’s crisis

By Rafael Azul, 6 July 2006

No clear winner has emerged from the July 2 presidential election in Mexico. Officials of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) refused to declare a victor until all ballots are counted this week. A virtual tie between the leading candidates, Felipe Calderón and Andrés Lopez Obrador, mirrors the country’s social and geographic polarization, which have reached crisis proportions. This week’s election results can only serve to push Mexico closer to a social explosion.

Workers’ struggles intensify on eve of Mexican elections

Major candidates offer no solution to the social crisis

By Rafael Azul, 1 July 2006

On Sunday, July 2, Mexican voters will elect a new president and a new Congress. The election takes place under conditions of mounting class tensions, as hundreds of thousands of teachers, miners and other workers have taken to the streets. None of the major candidates in the presidential election genuinely addresses the needs of the masses for decent-paying jobs, improved living standards and social programs.

Police kill strikers

Mexico: Armed siege of steel mill reveals escalating class war

By Rafael Azul, 25 April 2006

The killing of two young metalworkers in a military siege against strikers at a steel mill in Mexico signals a sharp escalation in the class struggle in Mexico.

National strike by miners, steelworkers reveals class tensions in Mexico

By Rafael Azul, 7 March 2006

Last week, more than a quarter-million miners and steelworkers walked off their jobs in one of the largest industrial strikes in Mexico in three decades. Between March 1 and March 3, hundreds of mines and mills across the country were affected by the national strike called by the 270,000-member National Mine and Metal Workers Union (STNMM).

After deadly blast, Mexican miners launch strikes to demand safe conditions

By Rafael Azul, 2 March 2006

In the wake of the death of 65 coal miners at Grupo México’s Pasta de Conchos mine, located in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, more than 5,000 miners struck several operations owned by the giant mining company February 28 to protest unsafe working conditions and demand decent wages.

Mexican government suspends search for trapped coal miners

By Rafael Azul, 27 February 2006

On Saturday, February 25, Mexican authorities announced the suspension of rescue efforts for the 65 miners trapped underground after the February 19 explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine in Cahuila, about 85 miles southwest of the US border. With the lack of breathable air and no sign of the miners after more than a week, it is presumed the 65 men have perished.

Mexico: miners trapped after explosion

By Tom Carter and Rafael Azul, 22 February 2006

The fate of 65 miners in a Mexico mine is still unknown, three days after an explosion trapped them underground during the early morning of February 19.

Mexican rights group exposes government’s whitewash of student massacres

By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2005

On October 19, the Committee of 68 led a rally in front of Mexico’s Supreme Court in Mexico City to demand an independent investigation into the student massacres of 1968 and 1971 and the “dirty war” of which these two events were a part.

Interview with Mexican Committee of 68 member

“Students were the main targets of the dirty war”

31 October 2005

Alejandro Alvarez is a Mexican economist and a member of the Committee of 68. As a student he participated in the peaceful student protest of June 10, 1971 which was attacked by paramilitary thugs, leaving scores dead. He spoke to Rafael Azul of the World Socialist Web Site about the committee’s work and the campaign to unmask the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

12 perish in Arizona desert

Season of death on US-Mexican border

By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2005

The so-called season of death began on the border that separates the US and Mexico last weekend, with American Border Patrol agents recovering the bodies of 12 undocumented migrants in the Arizona desert and detaining scores more, many of them suffering from extreme dehydration.

Massive protest forces end to prosecution of Mexico City’s mayor

By Rafael Azul, 3 May 2005

Mexico’s President Vicente Fox announced last Thursday that the “storm clouds” had cleared in the political crisis that has gripped the country since the government stripped Mexico City’s Mayor Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of his immunity from prosecution. The government has backed away from the political maneuver, which had seemed almost certain to preclude Lopez Obrador’s candidacy in the 2006 presidential election.

Impeachment of Mexico City mayor sparks political crisis

By Rafael Azul, 18 April 2005

On April 7, the Mexican House of Deputies stripped Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mayor of Mexico City, of his immunity from prosecution in connection with an obscure case involving a contempt of court charge over a land-use dispute. The action sets the stage for Lopez Obrador’s prosecution by the National Attorney General, which would bar him from running in the 2006 presidential election. He currently places first in presidential polls.

Mexico: judge quashes “genocide” indictment of former president Luis Echeverría

By Rafael Azul, 21 August 2004

On July 22, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Past Social and Political Movements (FEMOSPP), headed by Ignacio Carrillo, ordered the arrest of former Mexican president Luis Echeverría and 11 others, charging them with genocide. Specifically, the indictment accused them of ordering an illegal paramilitary squad to shoot down dozens of students on June 10, 1971, in Mexico City, in what became known as the Corpus Christi Massacre.

Faced with mass opposition to war

Mexico’s President Fox leans toward US on Iraq

By Rafael Azul, 14 March 2003

Mexican President Vicente Fox appears to be leaning toward a “yes” vote on the new US-British resolution giving final United Nations sanction for a war of aggression against Iraq. Despite massive popular opposition in Mexico to a US attack, and contrary to his stated position just weeks ago, Fox has moved from opposing war to a position of official neutrality, while loudly attacking Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for allegedly failing to disarm.

Ex-president stonewalls Mexican massacre probe

By Bill Vann, 13 July 2002

Mexico’s former president Luis Echeverría continued to deny any responsibility for the repression carried out by security forces during the 1960s and 1970s after appearing July 9 for a second time before a prosecutor investigating the bloody events of that period.

Assassination of Mexican human rights activist provokes political crisis

By Peter Daniels, 12 November 2001

The assassination of Mexican human rights attorney Digna Ochoa last month has focused attention on the continuing threats and outright terror facing workers and political dissidents in the country.

Strike by Mexican Volkswagen workers ends

By Gerardo Nebbia, 11 September 2001

The 18-day strike by autoworkers in Mexico that stopped production at the giant Volkswagen-Mexico plant in Puebla state ended September 5 after the union agreed to management’s wage and benefits offer. The 12,400 workers will receive a 10.2 percent increase in wages, 3.5 percent increase in food vouchers and 1 percent more for school supplies for workers’ children.

Mexican VW workers reject settlement, continue strike

By Gerardo Nebbia, 1 September 2001

Mexico’s VW workers overwhelmingly rejected a proposed contract settlement and decided to continue their strike for improved wages and working conditions against the German-owned auto giant. Nearly 97 percent of the 11,460 strikers voted against the 10.2 percent wage offer accepted by their union, with only 281 workers approving the deal. Earlier in the week, the union dropped its wage increase demand to 10 percent, down from 19 percent at the beginning of the strike.

Zapatistas' march on Mexico City ends in accommodation with President Fox

By Bill Vann, 11 April 2001

Seven years after launching a brief armed confrontation with the Mexican army that left 200 dead in the southern state of Chiapas, the Zapatista guerrilla movement has taken the well-trodden path of transforming itself into a political instrument of Mexico's ruling establishment.

Ruling party in Mexico suffers another defeat in Chiapas state vote

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2000

The Partido Revolucionario Institutional (PRI—Institutional Revolution Party) was swept from power August 20 in the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, in the first statewide election after the PRI's historic defeat in the July 2 presidential election. Chiapas is one of eight impoverished southern states which have been strongholds of the PRI throughout its 71 years in power nationally, but Pablo Salazar, candidate of an eight-party opposition coalition, easily defeated Sami David of the PRI, 57 percent to 43 percent.

Mexico after the elections

By Gerardo Nebbia and Patrick Martin, 22 July 2000

The July 2 Mexican elections, the first in the country's history to transfer power from one party to another, have been hailed by both the Mexican and US media as a triumph of democracy.

Ruling party defeated in Mexican elections

By Patrick Martin, 4 July 2000

The long-ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) suffered a massive defeat in the July 2 national elections in Mexico, losing the presidency for the first time in its history and suffering other losses in elections for Congress, for mayor of Mexico City and for two state governorships.

Presidential election marks turning point for Mexico

By Gerardo Nebbia and Patrick Martin, 1 July 2000

The candidates for president of Mexico suspended campaigning June 29, observing the 72-hour moratorium required under the country's electoral laws. Nearly 70 million are eligible to cast ballots July 2 for president, congressional seats and positions in a dozen state governments, but most attention has been focused on whether the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institutional (Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI) will be defeated for the first time in a presidential campaign.

Political issues unresolved in the wake of the Mexico student strike

By Gerardo Nebbia 20 March 2000

20 March 2000

Five weeks after the Mexican federal police broke up the 10-month-long strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) hundreds are still in jail. The UNAM authorities pretend that things are getting back to normal. At the same time, the student General Strike Committee (CGH) continues to agitate in defense of education rights and for the release of the UNAM prisoners.

Police suppress Mexican University strike

By Gerardo Nebbia and Bill Vann, 10 February 2000

Mass arrests and a police-military occupation have brought an end to a 10-month student strike at UNAM, Latin America's largest university, while sparking protests by students in other parts of Mexico City which threaten to spread nationwide.