Mexico: Atenco prisoners 30 days on hunger strike; Marcos calls for national protests

On June 3, Mexican telenovela star Ofelia Medina, who has launched the group Mujeres Sin Miedo (Women Without Fear) to support those arrested in the protests at San Salvador Atenco, held a press conference to announce that 24 of the prisoners had completed 30 days on hunger strike. (statement June 3)

On June 2, two convoys of Mexico state police entered Atenco in a brief incursion which was protested as an attempt to intimidate the residents. (La Jornada, May 4)

La Jornada continues to monitor international support for the Atenco prisoners, noting protests at the Mexican embassies in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Chile, and the consulates in Vancouver, Milan and Bordeaux. In Brasilia, the organization Ação Rebelde Dignidade Candanga held a public meeting to support Atenco and discuss the Zapatistas’ Sixth Declaration. In Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, the Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostiano, released a statement saying “as a people who have faced the repression of US imperialism,” they express their solidarity “with our brothers of San Salvador Atenco and the Other Campaign. Here, the Yankee oppressors assassinated our brother Filiberto Ojeda Rios last September. This was not the first independentista to be assassinated by the empire, nor the last.” (La Jornada, June 1; La Jornada, May 31)

In Mexico, the imprisoned Gloria Arenas Agis, the supposed “Col. Aurora” of the Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo Insurgente (ERPI) joined the hunger strike in solidarity with the Atenco prisoners at her cell in Chiconautla federal prison in Ecatepec. Interviewed by telephone, “I am not making a call for armed struggle. I am an adherent of the Other Campaign and I am convinced that, in the current conditions, this pacific movement is the only alternative.” (La Jornada, May 29)

Subcommander Marcos issued a call for national protests on July 2, the prelude to Mexico’s presidential elections. to demand justice for the Atenco prisoners and “interrupt the electoral process in a civil and pacific form.” (La Jornada, May 30)

Federal Prosecutor General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca replied to those demanding the arrest of Marcos, stating that he has not violated any terms of the peace agreements. (La Jornada, May 30)

Security chief for the state of Mexico, Wilfrido Robledo Madrid, contradicting the findings of human rights groups, announced that lie detector tests had indicated no evidence of rapes or sexual violence on the part of the police in the Atenco protests. (La Jornada, May 6)

In another sign of growing unrest in the Mexican countryside, a land dispute between the villages of San Juan Tetla y San Agustin Atzompa in Puebla state left one dead and some 30 injured, as state police stood by and did not interfere. (La Jornada, June 3)

All sources online at Chiapas95.

See our last post on the Mexico crisis.

  1. New York anarchist solidarity with Atenco
    Communique from the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists, May 25, via A-Infos:

    Rebellion is Bursting into Blossom

    Across the world, from Global South to Global North, news of the struggle in San Salvador Atenco is spreading like a prairie fire. Even in New York City, a center of empire and a capitol of capital, we have heard of the brave resistance of the people of Atenco to a global system of terrifying violence.

    Four years ago, when the people of Atenco fought from below against the incursion of an airport on their land, they captured the attention and embodied hopes of all of us who fight for autonomy and freedom. Like us, the people of Atenco fight for their own lives, but not solely their own.

    Their rebellion shook a free trade plan at its foundations, and has drawn a line of defense for communities across the region.

    We consider this month’s police attack in Atenco an attack on everyone in the Western Hemisphere. Once again the powerful are employing arbitrary arrests, beatings, rape and murder to defend their system from the modest demands of human dignity. Once again the businessmen, politicians and police are trying to bury the truth alongside their victims. But from New York to Atenco, resistance continues to bloom–astonishing those with suits and flags, money and guns.

    In this spirit, the New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists demands the IMMEDIATE RELEASE of all those arrested or disappeared by government forces, and the IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL of all such forces from San Salvador Atenco. Let those for whom oppression would bring fear and silence know: we are prepared to mobilize in our city to oppose the atrocities committed against you, and to fight for a world that includes us all.


    New York, 25th of May 2006
    The New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists