CASE STUDY: MEXICO
targets Guerrero state
by Carlos Cota Meza and Cynthia Rush
On June 28, a shootout in Aguas Blancas, in the municipality of Atoyac de Alvarez in the Mexican state of Guerrero, left 17 peasants dead, all of whom were members of the Peasant Organization of the Southern Sierra (OCSS), a group created by the National Revolutionary Civic Association (ACNR), founded by guerrilla leader Génaro Vázquez.
The state government's communiqué established that the shootout was provoked at a police checkpoint, after two individuals attacked the police with machetes. According to Gov. Rubén Figueroa Alcocer, the group was on its way to Atoyac de Alvarez to violently take over the mayor's office. Mayor María de la Luz Ramos, nominally a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), is the wife of veteran communist Arturo Martínez Nateras. The OCSS had long since broken its ties with her. Last May 18, in commemoration of the 1969 uprising launched by pro-Cuban guerrilla Lucio Cabañas and his Party of the Poor (PDLP), the OCSS had organized violent demonstrations in this and other municipalities.
Almost immediately, the same national and international support apparatus which is behind the insurrection launched in the southern state of Chiapas on Jan. 1, 1994, went into action to transform this incident into the detonator for a new "Chiapas" in Guerrero and, at the same time, to accelerate the destabilization of the Mexican nation-state. There was also a huge orchestrated outpouring of protests by the international media, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other groups from London to Paris to Wall Street, whose intent was to turn Guerrero into an international cause célèbre, the next Chiapas. This apparatus, which coordinates internationally by the Internet and other forms of electronic communication, is a virtual "Internet International"—and it is deployed to destroy Mexico.
This "Internet International" is counting on activating inside Mexico a nationwide constellation of left and proterrorist groups into an actual insurrection. Much of the ground work for this has already been laid. According to a recent Mexican Army intelligence document, as reported by Epoca magazine, the Revolutionary Clandestine Workers' Party-Popular Unity (Procup) is playing a critical role in pulling together the remnants of the different terrorist groups that existed at the end of the 1980s and which eventually coalesced into the EZLN.
According to the military intelligence document, Procup-led forces have gained control of at least 21 universities, where "former" guerrillas that were amnestied by the last three administrations, are now on the faculty. They have now formed clandestine regional cells, or have joined above-ground political organizations that they use as cover for kidnappings, arms-running, etc. The report says that there is a "guerrilla corridor" between several municipalities in the state of Guerrero that is responsible for a series of bank robberies, kidnappings, and other violent acts.
The apparatus is activated
Despite the confusion surrounding the Aguas Blancas shootout, by July 1, an entire constellation of national organizations, led by PRD leader Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, had emerged to demand the "political trial and removal" of Governor Figueroa and the establishment of an interim government. Some demanded that the Mexican Army be withdrawn from Guerrero, and that its presence be limited in other parts of the country. PRD federal Deputy Ramón Sosamontes demagogically warned that "it would be very dangerous for soldiers to roam around the country, with no logical explanation or constitutional mandate."
The demonstration in which Cárdenas made his demands, like similar ones around the state, were organized by the PRD, together with openly terrorist or proto-terrorist groups such as "500 Years of Indigenous, Black, and Popular Resistance," the Workers Party (PT), and UOCEZ, FEUG, CDP, and others (see profile).
Together with the states of Tabasco and Oaxaca, Guerrero is one of the primary targets of this international destabilization apparatus, for two reasons. First, it is the national center for the trafficking of drugs and weapons. A report prepared by the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) on Mexico's anti-drug fight affirms that "Guerrero occupies first place in drug production," and "is distinguished by the largest production of drugs within the region considered to have the highest incidence [of drugs] in the Republic of Mexico, that is, the area sloping down to the Pacific Ocean."
Second, since the 1960s, Guerrero has been a base of operations for pro-Cuban guerrillas, such as Lucio Cabañas and his PDLP, and Génaro Vázquez, founder of the ACNR.
The "Internet International" also opened a new flank over the last few months in the neighboring state of Morelos, which raised the coordination of the "environmentalist" terrorist apparatus with their "indigenist" comrades to a new level. On Sept. 3, in the tourist-dominated town of Tepoztlán, a large group of enraged townspeople, whipped up by the PRD's environmentalist machine, assaulted the police and kidnapped the Guerrero government undersecretary and three other officials, holding them prisoner in the town for several hours. The protesters charged that the planned building of a golf course and tourist center would dry up the region's already-scarce water supply and threaten the traditional, bucolic lifestyle of the area's "Indians." In a matter of hours, an entire network of national and international ecology groups sprang up out of nowhere, offering their support to the townspeople. Among the supporters were Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and Friends of the Earth.
Morelos is of strategic importance, lying north of Guerrero, directly on the route to Mexico City.
A manufactured insurgency
In the case of Chiapas, the Zapatista National Liberation Army's (EZLN) base is not the state's peasant or Indian communities, but rather the hundreds of NGOs which British Intelligence has deployed to back the separatist insurgency, both nationally and internationally. For every peasant or Indian which the Zapatistas use as cannon fodder, there are at least a dozen NGOs mobilized to promote the "indigenous cause." The same is true of Guerrero: The destabilization there is based on the activation of dozens of NGOs to provoke insurrection in a state which, like the others of southern Mexico, has an indigenous population which can be used as cannon fodder for the agents of the "Internet International."
In his 1993 book Utopia Disarmed, Mexican Jorge Castañeda, a São Paulo Forum ideologue, underscores the importance of this international propaganda machine when he discusses how Guerrero's guerrillas operated in the 1960s. He notes that "had Cabañas and Vázquez received outside help, to break their isolation and increase their meager resources, and had the urban middle-class student movement been more developed and committed, history might have taken a different turn."
Today, such "outside help" is visible everywhere. The parliamentary fractions of both the PRD and the PT in the National Congress announced that letters were being sent to NGOs in the United States and Europe, denouncing events in Guerrero and accusing the state government of "human rights violations." On July 15, Joseph Manso, political affairs secretary at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City, traveled to the state to gather "information on human rights violations for the State Department's annual report."
The American diplomat met with representatives of the OCSS, with the Voice of the Voiceless Human Rights Commission (created at the urging of the EZLN and its National Democratic Convention), and with the mayor of Atoyac, among other opposition groups.
On July 16, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS), accepted a PRD denunciation of the Aguas Blancas events, and began to discuss making a possible "recommendation" on the case to the Mexican government. On Aug. 14, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) rejected the Guerrero government's account of what happened, and ruled that the ambush was perpetrated by the police "which fired at will and finished off the survivors with a final shot." It demanded the removal and "legal action" against 22 state officials, including the government secretary and attorney general, as well as the naming of a special prosecutor to investigate the incident and its aftermath.
After the Guerrero incidents, it appeared that the "Chiapas model" of armed, separatist insurrection would be successfully extended to another state. Nonetheless, and despite all of the propaganda and media warfare, reality at least partially imposed itself.
On July 7, ten days after the Aguas Blancas shootout, five agents of the state's motorized police were ambushed and massacred. Governor Figueroa denounced the activities of the Revolutionary Workers Party-Clandestine Union of the People Unity (Procup) and the PDLP. At the same time, for a full week in different parts of the state, there were public statements of support for the state government and denunciations of several terrorist incidents (kidnaps, murders, robberies, etc.). In many municipalities, the PRD itself split, and some of its members supported the governor.
Another of the events "not foreseen" by the supporters of a new Chiapas, was the massacre of 12 peasants one week after the Aguas Blancas shootout, apparently related to family feuding, or an execution by drug traffickers. On July 16, there were three more murders. Two of the dead, who were OCSS leaders, "were involved in previous investigations of murders, armed robbery, and kidnapping," according to the police report. The third, a PRD member, was apparently killed by an enemy from his own party.
On Sept. 27, four more peasants were murdered by individuals "dressed in military uniforms," according to eyewitnesses. The next day, three other people were killed by individuals identifying themselves as members of the judicial police.
Immediately, the PRD's top leader in Guerrero, Sen. Félix Salgado Macedonio, demanded the Army's withdrawal "from some towns irritated by its presence." But he was forced to admit, speaking from the Senate, that "we don't even know whether the dead were PRDers or PRI members.... Hooded ones enter homes carrying high-caliber weapons, take the residents out and kill them. And this causes concern at Sedena, which fears the resurgence of guerrilla groups."