Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Regreso al Avión Narco - Ventanilla

Regresé al avión narco en la Playa Ventanilla, Oaxaca.
I returned to the narco airplane at the Ventanilla Beach, Oaxaca.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photo Essay: Migrants Search for Justice in Mexico

Originally published at Upside Down World

On August 1st, a caravan of several hundred Central American migrants, family members of disappeared migrants, and migrant rights activists arrived in Mexico City to denounce Mexican authorities  for their indifference and lack of action to protect undocumented migrants from organized crime, kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder.
Named “Step by Step for Peace,” this caravan composed of citizens from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico left Guatemala on July 24th, traveling primarily by freight train, known as “la bestia” [the beast], which is the preferred method of transport by many migrants heading to the United States or Canada.

The route through Mexico taken by migrants has increasingly become more dangerous as violence, insecurity and impunity related to the war with Mexican drug cartels escalates. Many migrants become targets of violence as cartels and organized crime seek to expand their operations into human smuggling, extortion, ransom and forced recruitment into the cartels themselves. In August of last year, one of the most feared cartels, Los Zetas, massacred a group of 72 Central and South American migrants in the state of Tamaulipas near the Mexico-US border.

This migrant caravan forms part of a broader and growing social movement within Mexico that is demanding structural and systemic changes to end the violence and impunity caused by the “War on Drugs”. In July, this movement, known as the “Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity” set out an eight point national pact outlining some of the structural causes of violence, including: state corruption, policies of greater militarization, poverty, lack of education and opportunity for youth. The movement also proposed potential plans of action and strategies to find solutions and an end to the violence.

Roughly 200 participants in the caravan arrived to Mexico City’s main square, the Zocalo, and marched to the senate building, demanding audience of legislators and senators. Some chanted to the Mexican President: “Calderón entiende, no somos criminales, somos trabajadores internacionales!” [Calderón, listen! We are not criminals, we are international workers!]

On August 3rd, several days after the arrival of the caravan, the National Institute of Migration (INM), the administrative body that handles migration in Mexico, issued 100 “humanitarian visas” to participants of the caravan as a result of public pressure and protest. International members of the caravan were demanding access and stay in the country so they could look for their missing loved ones.

A Triumph amongst the sadness:
“I now have triumphed in my search because thanks to God I have found my daughter here! . . . We are here precisely to find our children, because they have left Honduras in search of the “American Dream” and they get caught and channeled here [to Mexico]. According to my daughter she wasn’t allowed to continue on forward and so she became stuck here in Mexico City.”– María Munguía, Honduras

“We demand that they respect our children! Because they know that Mexico is only a country of transit , people are only crossing through, but sadly those people are ultimately the ones who suffer kidnappings and our children disappear . . . they are only looking for an “American Dream” but sadly they do not know that that “American Dream” turns out to only be a nightmare . . . We see now that the routes are much more difficult and that the majority of the youth that cross via freight train are the ones who are kidnapped the most and young women are being raped. We demand that the Mexican Authorities protect our children, because we are all human, and we all have a right to our life, people leave their countries to find a better life. In Honduras we don’t have much employment as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
– Eva Yaneth Ramierez, Honduras.

“It has been more than 8 years since I have seen my son. I don’t know if he is dead or alive, I don’t know where he is . . .  The objective of this Caravan is to find our children, whether they are dead or alive . . . We are also asking the people of the United States to help protect our children. They do not go there as thieves or hoodlums, but rather the opposite, to simply find work.”
– Marco Antonio, Honduras

According to the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico, there were over 20,000 kidnappings or abductions of undocumented migrants this year.
Family members of missing migrants brought placards, signs and photos of their missing loved ones to put face and names to the statistics.

“No more deaths!”


“No human is illegal”

Oscar Armando Canizales
Marisela Cecibel
Aristondo de Canizales

“Step by Step to Peace: Peace is the fruit of justice”

"God Bless You.  I Love You So Much.
Maria Avila (Mother)"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherán, Michoacán - Defensa Comunitaria - Community Defense

El 15 de abril 2011, la comunidad indigena de Cherán, Michoacán ha leventado barricadas y su propia forma de policia comunitaria en defensa de la comunidad. Esta enfrentando la violencia a partir de los narcos, pagados por otras comunidades que estan talando ilegalmente los bosques. Esos bosques son recursos necesarios por esa comunidad. El estado de Michoacan y el gobierno federal no ha hecho nada para proteger la comunidad.
Since April 15th, 2011, the indigenous community of Cherán, Michoacán has erected barricades and it's own form of community police in defense of it's community. They are confronting the violence that is being produced by narcos, paid by other communities that are illegally cutting down their forests. Those forests are necessary for the community of Cherán. The state of Michoacan and the federal government have done nothing to protect the community.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Estudiantes Toman la Rectoria de la UAM-Xochimilco

Students at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) in Xochimilco, Mexico City have occupied the offices of the administration for over 9 days. Explanation soon...

(Democracy in construction, excuse the inconvenience.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Video - Movement Against Drug War Model in Mexico

(Originally produced and published for the Americas Program)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing Movement Against the Drug War

More photos and descriptions en route || Mas fotos y descripciones en ruta

Taken throughout the week of the "Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity"
Tomado durante la semana de la "Caravana por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad"
 "No more blood! We are sick of this shit!"(Originally published at Desinformemonos)
State Police, Durango (Originally published in NACLA Blog).
The son of Julia disappeared in Jan. of 2008. State officials and autorities lack the will to justly investigate. Listen to the testimony of her husband Jaime.
El hijo de Julia desaparecio en enero de 2008. Oficiales y autoridades del estado faltan la voluntad de investigar su caso. Escucha el testimonio (ingles) de su esposo, Jaime.

 "Where are they?" Torreon, Coahuila (Originally published at Desinformemonos)
"Crime Scene"

 State Police, Durango.
Members of the Other Campaign in Zacatecas
La Otra Zacatecas

"Welcome friends the peace" and "Jaurez is now awake!" -  Ciudad Juarez