Recently, following violence where six students were killed and 43 went missing in Guerrero, Mexico, burned remains were found in a mass grave in Iguala, about 200 km south of Mexico’s capital. The bodies in the grave reportedly match video images of students who were taken away by police. Several witnesses reported the police taking away the students. Even before the bodies were discovered, relatives reported that the victims were turned over to drug gangs by the police. Dozens of police and officials are facing potential murder charges. The mayor of Iguala is also suspected of involvement. The fish rots from the head down.
Iguala has been the scene of state, paramilitary, and mafia terrorism against the people. This gruesome incident is only the last link in a long chain of violence. The discovery of the bodies itself falls only days from the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 when protesters were gunned down for protesting imperialism and the Vietnam war. And, earlier in Guerrero, on September 27, police and deathsquads fired on protesters from the teacher’s college that had occupied buses, resulting in three dead and 25 wounded. Not long after, they fired on two taxis and another bus carrying the football team, resulting in the deaths of two people in the bus and one in the taxis. Sadly, violence is all too common throughout Mexico and the capitalist world. The latest incident is not unlike another infamous massacre in Guerrero. The massacre at Aguas Blancas occurred on June 28, 1995 when peasant activists from the Front for the Construction of a Broad National Liberation Movement – Organization of the Farmers of the South Mountains (FAC-MLN-OCSS) were assassinated by the state, resulting in 17 dead and 21 wounded. The state denied any involvement in the Aguas Blancas massacre, but then released doctored photos claiming the farmers were armed. Later, undoctored footage was discovered showing that the state had brutally massacred the innocent, unarmed people. It was later discovered the governor of Guerrero, along with the head of state police, had been involved in planning the deaths. Just like Aguas Blancas, almost a decade ago, it is no doubt that the entire Mexican state has blood on its hands.
Guerrero, as one of the poorest parts of Mexico, has long been a center of people’s movements. It has long been a center of indigenous resistance. It was the home of the teacher and martyr Lucio Cabañas, whose Partido de los Pobres (PdlP) led an uprising against the state. Lucio Cabañas was killed by the Mexican army on December 2, 1974. Decades later, on July 3, 2011, his widow Isabel Ayala Nava, was assassinated, along with her sister, as the two women exited a church in Xaltianguis. Others like Partido Revolucionario Obrero Clandestino Unión del Pueblo (PROCUP) fought the state, then the Partido Democrático Popular Revolucionario – Ejército Popular Revolucionario (PDRP-EPR) announced its existence at the commemoration of the of the Aguas Blancas massacre in 1996. Today, many popular organizations are fighting back. Teachers, students, farmers, workers are rising. The latest victims of the state stand in the best tradition of Zapata, Villa, Cabañas, Gamiz, Che. Never forget: Tlatelolco, Aguas Blancas, Acteal, Iguala.
The latest incident only shows what we already know. Mexico’s masses, the indigenous, the landless and poor peasants, the workers, the teachers, students, intellectuals, the small owners, all face the same fate in the end. We are all the same in the end. There will be no change, unless we act. The yappers will yap. The liars will lie. The wreckers will wreck. The empire will kill. Alone we are weak, together we are strong. They cannot steal our future forever. Leading Light is a sword. Pick it up. Our martyrs are immortal. They are eagles in the sky, leading lights in a world of darkness. Honor them by standing up, by fighting back, by picking up the sword.