|November 8 protest in Mexico City. Photo by ProtoplasmaKid (Wikimedia Commons)|
The land of Zapata has once again become a beacon of hope in the middle of the arid desert of corruption which today controls politics as usual in Washington, Mexico City, Ottawa and beyond. While Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, is busy negotiating deals with international investors and rubbing elbows with world leaders this week at the APEC summit in China and the G20 summit in Australia, his country is exploding at the seams. The good news is that the vast social mobilization engulfing Mexico today holds the seeds for the liberation of Mexicans from decades of political exclusion on both sides of the Río Grande.
Not since the uprising led by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in Chiapas in 1994 has Mexico been convulsed by such a powerful independent citizen movement which seeks to transform the roots of the existing system of repression and inequality. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout Mexico and in over 80 cities abroad. Students have suspended classes in over 50 schools throughout the country in solidarity with their friends and colleagues of the Escuela Normal Rural “Raúl Isidro Burgos”in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero—the principal victims of the massacre of September 26, 2014.
Dozens of municipalities in the state of Guerrero are now under the control of independent citizen groups, frequently armed although peaceful, who refuse to be the victims of the next massacre. Parents of the kidnapped students shut down Acapulco’s international airport for over four hours this Monday. Banks, shopping centers, government buildings and highways throughout the country have been targeted by the continuous, spontaneous protests which have gripped the nation for the last month and a half. Mexico City’s international airport may even be circled by protesters at the end of this week when Peña Nieto tries to return home from his trip to Asia....
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