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Forty Years After The Tlatelolco Massacre: The Mexican Army Attacks Civilians In The Indigenous Town of Xoxocotla

By: 
Kristin Bricker
Date Published: 
October 11, 2008

While I'm representing Narco News at the Social Forum of the Americas in Guatemala, here's an excerpt from an article from my pal and fellow Narco News correspondent Greg Berger about the escalating military-police repression of social movements that's been happening in Mexico as part of the US-funded war on drugs and organized crime. Read the whole article at narconews.com

On Wednesday, October 8th, Morelos Governor Marco Adame called out more than 1,500 police personnel from the State Police and from the Paramilitary Federal Police force to the indigenous town of Xoxocotla. Law enforcement agencies were instructed to dismantle a series of road blockades along the Alpuyeca-Jojutla highway. Residents of Xoxocotla, long known for their effective community organizing and for their willingness to show solidarity with other social movements, had set up the blockades to show solidarity with teachers who have been on strike in Morelos for nearly two months.

The teachers of Morelos and the townspeople of Xoxocotla are united in a common struggle to stop the rapid privatization of public resources. Teachers on strike in Morelos are trying to halt a new set of educational reforms they say would open the doors to the participation of private capital in the public education system. Xoxocotla, on the other hand, is desperately trying to save the aquifer which feeds its municipal water system from being sucked dry from private condominium developers who skirt local zoning laws.

As poorly organized police marched on Xoxocotla, they were quickly outwitted by the highly organized women and men of the town. When police advanced on the roadblocks, the townspeople removed one of the barricades, allowed a few of them to enter, and then established the withdrawn barricade once again. These hapless police officers were trapped within the confines of Xoxocotla's barricades. The officers were effectively penned in for several hours, during which they were unable to dismantle the roadblocks.

Later that night, between 500 and 1000 members of the Mexican Army from the 24th Military Zone barracks in Cuernavaca were given the order from the National Defense Secretary to assist police in their efforts to dislodge protesters in Xoxocotla. Accompanying these soldiers was a vast mobile arsenal, including humvees, tanks, and helicopters. It is important to note that such use of force can only take place under authorization from the executive branch of the Federal government.