Mexico: the war that really interests Peña Nieto

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Politics & economyPovertyViolence

The government of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) declared war on drug trafficking. The war still continues, and has cost more than 100,000 deaths.

His successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, has continued the war without changing it, but the war that he is really interested in is not this one.

His war is the offensive on various fronts that he has unleashed in benefit of a few and against the rights of all.

Beginning with the prolongation of Calderon’s battle, it is evident that homicidal violence has rallied in various parts of the country. In the state of Tamaulipas – a state “that is putrifying” according to one reader of the leading Mexico City newspaper La Jornada – has already seen several weeks of massacres and blockades.

In Morelos, the recent wave of criminal violence resulted in the assassination of the coordinator of Social Work at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos and his wife.

In in Michoacán, in Jalisco, in Guerrero in Chihuahua, the cartels are reorganising, disputing new spaces, making perverse new alliances, and showing that the federal strategy in its diverse forms – operations, coordination, etc – have had little impact on them.

But, we must insist, this is not the principal war of Peña Nieto.

The interest of Peña Nieto and his allies is to strengthen and increase the power of money everywhere.

It is to ensure that in questions of infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, tourism and wages, the benefit of those who hold this power prevails over the rights of the majority.

Those who struggle to defend human rights and their territory are criminalised and deprived of freedom. There is a formal and informal assault on the communities and university students who struggle against the gas pipeline that will impact the states of Morelos, Tlaxcala and Puebla.

There is open combat against the community policies of the people of Guerrero who attempt to defend themselves against the invasion and devastation of Canadian mining companies.

There is also a systematic attack on anything to do with the nation’s assets.

Transnational interests take advantage of the legislature, political parties such as PRI, PAN and their allies impose their law and widen the loophole opened by the constitutional reform to open the way for mining and gas companies.

As if this were not enough, they move against the Federal Electrical Commission (CFE) and Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), in order to starve them to death.

In the area of telecommunications, secondary legislation opens the way in benefit of the television oligopoly, Televisa and TV Azteca, against the rights of audiences, of the public, of communities.


Merciless offensive

There is a merciless offensive against tens of thousands of Central American migrants, who are hassled and jailed. In 13 months, 74,000 have been deported. But there is complete silence and submission over the 1,100 Mexicans deported daily from the United States in similar conditions.

Family economy also suffers a continuous wave of attacks. Everyone sees this, except those who enjoy, elaborate and impose economic policies.

Wages are at the lowest level in 28 years: the OECD points out that 18.5 per cent of Mexican workers cannot live on their wages, the highest percentage cited by this organisation, and that in Mexico buying a month’s meagre basic rations takes thirteen days work.

The National Association of Departmental Shops complains of the collapse of sales in the supermarkets. Growth expectations fall daily, the year started at some four per cent and now hardly reaches 3.4 per cent.

But there is no mention of any wage increase and the monthly rise of gasoline prices will continue until 2019.

Worse still, and cruder than the preaching of those who used to promise heaven in exchange for suffering and submission on earth, is the Peñanietista litany of “suffering now” to enjoy the benefit of structural reforms that appear ever smaller and further away.

Internal consumption is falling, increasing insecurity for people. This matters little, as long as profits are not endangered.

In any war, the strongest fight to impose their laws, their treaties. In this one, whose visible leader is Peña Nieto, there is no question of constitutional reforms or secondary legislation.

What they want above anything else is to establish, by blood and fire, the primary law, the unique law of profit and money.

Unfortunately this war is not simply metaphorical. The wave of destruction is more than real: communities torn apart, the environment devastated, natural resources looted, jobs lost, wages cut, prisoners, deaths, exiles.

Against this globalised war of profit against legal rights, as Alain Touraine has noted, we can only set a moral principle that goes beyond ideology. On these principles we must base our resistance.


This article was originally published on ALAI.

This article has been translated from Spanish.