Mexico: Calderon pledges bloody campaign against “terrorism”

Responding to the Nov. 6 bomb attacks in Mexico City, Mexico’s contested president-elect Felipe Calderon pledged to “work arduously to recover the capacity of the state to face delinquency and terrorism… I have to be honest about this approach, it will not be easy, it will not be fast, it would be pretentious to offer immediate results, it would be an unpardonable boast to say the solution is simple and within easy reach; it will cost us work, time, economic resources, and it will cost us, unfortunately, human lives.”

He made his comments in Ixtapa, on the coast of Guerrero, a state bordering conflicted Oaxaca, and where several small guerilla groups are known to be operating. Press accounts noted that Guerrero’s Gov. Zeferino Torreblanca of the left-opposition Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) failed to show up for the appearance. (El Universal, Nov. 8)

Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, head of the federal Investigative Sub-prosecutor for Organized Delinquency (SIEDO), asked by a reporter if the bombers have any relation to Popular People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) or the PRD, answered, “At this moment we can say nothing.”

But, as we noted yesterday, Government Secretary Carlos Abascal said the federal prosecutor’s office (PGR) will follow every “line of investigation”–including the possibility that Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz’s political machine carried out the bombings as a provocation.

SIEDO’s Santiago Vasconcelos said the Democratic Revolutionary Tendency-Army of the People (TDR-EP), the lead organizaiton claiming credit for the attacks, is a schism from the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), which broke off in 1999 and carried out bomb attacks on banks in Morelos state in 2004. He said nine “subversive organizations” are active in Mexico: the EPR, TDR-EP, the Popular Army of the Insurgent People (ERPI), the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the People (FARP), the Villista Revolutionary Army of the People (EVRP), the May 23 Comando Jaramillista Morelense, the Revolutionary Clandestine Committee of the Poor-June 28 Justice Comando, the National Guerilla Coordinator-Jose Maria Morelos and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). (El Universal, Nov. 8)

Santiago Vasconcelos indicated to La Jornada that the prime suspects arethe ERPI, another EPR schism. He also announced that his agents had discovered a cache of plastic explosives in Celaya, Guanajuato, believed to be linked to the Mexico City bombings. (La Jornada, Nov. 9)

Meanwhile, the Public Security Secretary Eduardo Medina Mora said his agents had fingered the May 23 Comando Jaramillista Morelense as the top suspects, saying the modus operandi was “exactly the same” as that used by that group’s apparent attack of Oct. 23, 2005 on a Banamex branch in Temixco, Morelos. However, he denied that these groups were “terrorist,” as their attacks are not directed at the civilian population. (El Universal, Nov. 8)

As we also noted yesterday, the dawn attack on a Burger King near the APPO-occupied university campus in Oaxaca City also raised suspicions of intentional provocation by agents of the Ulises Ruiz political machine or its national Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). APPO immediately denounced the attack. The organization’s Florentino Lopez Martinez said, “acts of violence against real estate are no the methods utilized by the social movement.” He added that precedents indicate the state government may have “ordered acts of vandalism to tarnish the image of APPO.” (Noticias de Oaxaca, Nov. 8)

There are some signs of normality returning to Oaxaca, with some government offices, including the state supreme court, opening again over the past few days. Most, however, remain closed. (Noticias de Oaxaca, Nov. 8)

Meanwhile, in Durango City, the EZLN’s Subcommander Marcos (protected by an official truce, as Santiago Vasconcelos failed to point out) again predicted before a gathering of supporters that Calderon will not finish his term. Echoing comments he made at a similar tour stop last month, Marcos said Calderon “is not going to last six years,” because of widespread popular disconent and growing social movements. “He’s going to fall.” (E.g. El Universal, Nov. 6)

Most of the above sources are archived at Chiapas95.

See our last posts on Mexico and the Oaxaca crisis, the Zapatista response, the Mexico City bombings and Guerrero.