Calderón, tough but fragile

(originally published in La Jornada)

The government of El Yunque [tr.: ‘The Anvil’] is tough, but fragile–in that it is lacking in social consensus, is blindly unyielding, and its base is a reactionist minority–which only believes in force, and, of course, in repressive measures. Even though the socially multi-layered conservatism which rejects mobilizations and demands, which it identifies with disorder and violence, this one [Calderón], in turn, accustomed to illegal violence and who murders exploiters (which seems “normal” to him, and, consequently, acceptable), has, nevertheless, neither the necessary backing for a lasting repression in Oaxaca against the APPO, nor in the country, an antidemocratic brutality, which, furthermore, marches together with [other] anti-populist measures in the areas of public education, human rights, and salaries. Even the showings of his weakness, like the dinner with the murderer Ulises Ruiz to buy the vacillating support of the PRI and impose within the PAN itself his [Ruiz’s] repressive politics, or the infamous arrest of Flavio Sosa and the leaders of the APPO who were invited [to Mexico City] to “negotiate”, or the ridiculous 10% lowering of his [Calderon’s] salary and those of his posse ([the lowering] rounded, conservatively, to 200,000 pesos [~20,000 USD]) appear as insults and provocations.

The reactionist, racist and pro-inequality government, furthermore, is weak because they are oozing [alt. tr.: leaking, pissing] Bush [tr.: id, están haciendo agua Bush] and his neo-Nazi politics—by extension of the “preventative war” and continuous attacks against democratic rights in the United States itself. Calderón will have to adapt himself to that environment and to a weak American economy, and to the growing social protest in Latin America, with its political reflection, the contagious anti-imperialist governments. The ferocity of the oppressors and exploiters against the inhabitants of Atenco, first, and now against the APPO (while the murder Ruiz is loose [alt. tr.: with bad intentions who has the liberty to do his/her free will; has been unleashed] and dines with Calderón, even though his continues employing his paramilitaries) , might, initially, put the Oaxacan social explosion on the defensive and make the social movement focus their efforts on demanding the immediate liberty of political and social prisoners and on the punishment of those responsible for the dozens of murders and wounded. But, the social movement will deepen, consolidating their grass roots, preparing a new leap forward, as all the indigenous Oaxacan ethnicities are doing, who in their recent [constitutive] congress have decided to reinforce their autonomy and unity, mobilizing their grass roots, and making them aware [of the situation].

In reality, the government’s great fundamental “force” has consisted in the lack of real, resolute support to the APPO, over the course of months, by López Obrador and the PRD, and the [Zapatista’s] Other Campaign, because of an incomprehension of the importance of independent social movements, of autonomy and the construction of the seeds of a dual-power (the police of the teachers, the honorable body of tópiles [guardsmen in Oaxaca’s usos y costumbres indigenous form of government present in a majority of Oaxaca’s municipalities] , the occupation of municipalities, the “government” edicts, etcetera) and of the plurality in the organized social participation of the most poor and discriminated sectors of the Oaxaca population. But they are there and will continue fighting. The indigenous, the campesinos, and the teachers will abandon neither their struggle for autonomy nor their struggle against repression and the incomprehension of their revolutionary allies which have the same verticalist and substitutive organized structure/vision of the real movements or of their institutional allies, which fight within the system, within the Congress and the arguments between parties. The Gandhian non-violence which the indigenous Oaxaca peoples proclaim is not that of Gandhi, but rather of those supporters of the masses of a nationalist orientation.

Even though [Subcomandante/Delegado Zero-] Marcos and the Other Campaign gave up, for the moment, being present in Oaxaca, supporting APPO, and even though López Obrador concentrated everything in the short term fight against [electoral] fraud, now a APPO—CND [Lopez Obrador’s Convención Nacional Democrática/National Democractic Convention]—OC [Marcos’ Other Campaign]—unified front is possible. With Calderón, the “special situation” which granted police guarantees to Marcos and the EZLN has effectively ended. The savage and illegal repression against Atenco and against the APPO will not have social and political limits because the government only has force and will try to use it, rapidly, to impose their politics before there is enough time for electricians and worker sectors to react and mobilize. In the parliamentary struggle, the PRD will appeal to the few congressmen and senators, and the many in the grass roots, on one side, who want to use the Congress as an instrument in a fight outside it [the Congress], presenting initiatives of social and democratic laws which might serve to politically educate and organize, in an autonomous form, those who want to give real life to the CND, and appeal to those, on the other side, who want to install themselves in their new institutional positions and negotiate with the government and the PRI with visions of positioning themselves for [the elections of] 2012, worrying only logistically about what happens in the country and for the exploited and oppressed.

AMLO (Andrés Manuel López Obrador) himself cannot count on, now, an extra-electoral fight, with the PRD leadership and with a big part of the congressmen and senators who pushed, without much disgust, to win an electoral fight which ended, logically, in fraud—that is to say, with the force of government who knows not how to stop for laws or constitutions. Unfortunately, in politics, to act in time is a decisive factor. They let pass a moment in which an ensemble offensive to cause the downfall of Ulises Ruiz and impede fraud was possible, and now a defense  will have to be prepared, beginning with not permitting the government to imprison the victims and reward the victimizers, violating the law and the Constitution.


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