“Enough, I’m tired” – Mexico’s politicians still trying to ignore a massacre

mexico demonstrations

The office of the Mexican president has been set alight as public anger intensifies over the government’s response to the apparent murder of 43 trainee teachers by a drug gang.

The violence comes after the country’s attorney general caused fury among the public with his throwaway remark about the case.

Jesus Murillo Karam, speaking at a press conference on Friday, fielded questions on the case for an hour, before saying, “Ya me canse” or, “Enough, I’m tired”.

Within hours the phrase was trending on Twitter and other social media sites. It is now being used as a rallying call for those who are demonstrating against the government’s handling of the case…

On Saturday evening what had been peaceful protests in Mexico City turned violent when the National Palace, which houses the office of the president, was set on fire by demonstrators carrying torches.

Protesters had earlier used a metal police barricade as a battering ram to try to enter the building. Police eventually pushed them back, before they breached the doors…

Before the attorney general’s ill-judged attempt to wrap up his conference, he had told the press that suspects had led authorities to rubbish bags that are believed to contain the incinerated remains of the abducted students.

Since the disappearance of the students in September, from a rural college in Guerrero state, Mexicans have reacted with outrage at the government’s response and its inability to fully explain what happened.

The case has proved a focal point for citizens’ anger in a country where almost 100,000 people have died in the past seven years due to organised crime.

This is a long and detailed, painfully accurate article. Not the best intellectual, political fare for a Monday morning. Which is exactly why you should read it.

Corruption, the absence of rule by law, the dominance of neighborhood by neighborhood, provincial, regional rule by gangsters, vicious killers wholly insulated from justice by bought-and-paid-for coppers – this is the stuff of daily life in Mexico. It lies at the core of my personal boycott of our southern neighbor. And, yes, it is also key to my contempt for jingoist, Amerika First Republicans, cruel conservatives who don’t understand commerce and base their definition of economic justice on bigotry.

Thanks, Mike

20 thoughts on ““Enough, I’m tired” – Mexico’s politicians still trying to ignore a massacre

  1. Volcán says:

    In addition:
    (10/12/14) “Oil price fall disrupts Mexico’s hedging and threatens spending” http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4b2361e4-509c-11e4-b73e-00144feab7de.html#axzz3IaQrjCDj “Falling crude prices have disrupted Mexico’s annual oil hedging programme – the largest of its kind in commodity markets – and raised fears the government may have to trim spending just as the economy starts to pick up steam. Luis Videgaray, the finance minister, took the extraordinary step this month of confirming that the highly secretive programme had kicked off. His comments came after the Financial Times uncovered terms of Mexico’s hedging contracts {link} from a new derivatives database.
    (10/14/14) “Bank of Mexico Confident About Meeting Inflation Target by Mid-2015″ http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/10/14/bank-of-mexico-confident-about-meeting-inflation-target-by-mid-2015/ {note photo of Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens} The Mexican government sets gasoline prices, and in recent years has been raising them by a small amount each month to reduce the level of government subsidy. Starting next year, the price will be raised in line with expected inflation. And in coming years Mexico will move toward allowing markets to set the prices under recent changes in the country’s energy laws that will open the business to the private sector. Currently, state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos is the only producer and importer of gasoline.”
    “The Rise of Mexico’s Self-Defense Forces : Vigilante Justice South of the Border” http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139462/patricio-asfura-heim-and-ralph-h-espach/the-rise-of-mexicos-self-defense-forces (July/August 2013) see also “Frontier Justice : How to Manage Mexico’s Self-Defense Forces (March 11th, 2014) http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/141022/patricio-asfura-heim-and-ralph-h-espach/frontier-justice

    • Cassandra says:

      “…The tide of criminal violence in Mexico must not only be contained; it must be stopped and pushed back. The citizens of Mexico, feeling deceived by all political parties and all politicians, have been roused to fury by the events in Iguala. They demand not merely a few arrests, but the detention of all those responsible from top to bottom. Above all, they demand that every possible step be taken to refute those who would say that the country is spiraling out of control or has become a virtual narco-state. It is no exaggeration to say that the viability of democracy in Mexico depends on the outcome.”
      Enrique Krauze, NYT Op-Ed (11/10/14), “Mexico’s Barbarous Tragedy” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/opinion/enrique-krauze-mexicos-barbarous-tragedy.html “Enrique Krauze is a historian, the editor of the literary magazine Letras Libres and the author of “Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America.” This article was translated by Hank Heifetz from the Spanish.”

    • Welcome2Hell says:

      Law and Order in Mexico (NYT 11/11/14) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/opinion/murder-in-mexico.html
      Includes link to the National Human Rights Commission of Mexico “Mexico: Delays, Cover-Up Mar Atrocities Response” http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/11/07/mexico-delays-cover-mar-atrocities-response and the following account:
      On June 30th in the Tlatlaya, Mexican military personnel killed 22 people inside an empty warehouse. Accounts from witnesses and a report by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said that at least 12 of them were extrajudicially executed.
      State prosecutors detained two of the three surviving witnesses, beat them, repeatedly asphyxiated them with a bag, and threatened them with sexual abuse to force them to confess that they had links to people killed in the incidents and to say that the military was not responsible for the killings, the CNDH found. Police threatened and mistreated a third witness who saw how the military executed her daughter during the incident. Police also forced the three witnesses to sign documents whose content they could not read.
      For weeks, the Defense Ministry, the governor of the State of Mexico, and the state attorney general upheld the official account that the fatalities had occurred in a shootout and that the soldiers had acted properly.*
      The federal Attorney General’s Office only got involved in the investigation of the alleged executions three months later, after the Latin America edition of Esquire magazine published an interview with one of the witnesses with her account of the events on September 17th. See http://www.esquirelat.com/reportajes/14/09/17/esxclusiva-esquire-Testigo-revela-ejecuciones-ejercito/

      • ¡Basta! says:

        “Behind the Disappearance of Mexico’s 43 Ayotzinapa Students” http://www.telesurtv.net/english/telesuragenda/Missing-Mexican-Students-20141014-0077.html
        …For Jorge Leon, a Mexican journalist who lived in Teloloapan, Guerrero, which is located near Iguala, politics and power are behind it all, rather than the state’s economic situation. Guerrero is one of the poorest areas in Mexico.
        Leon believes that the recent violent incidents are motivated by internal disputes to control Guerrero, disputes between the so called Figueroistas, who support former governor Ruben Figueroa Alcocer, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and current governor Angel Aguirre, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).
        “What is behind the recent violent events in Guerrero is the … ‘Figueroista’ ambition to control the state,” Leon told teleSUR.
        Figueroa governed Guerrero from 1993 to 1996. He stepped down in the middle of his term after the Aguas Blancas massacre, when 17 farmers were killed by Guerrero police. {in 1995 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aguas_Blancas_massacre}
        After Figueroa stepped down as acting governor, the local congress named Aguirre, who in that time was a member of the PRI.
        Leon added that the historic background of Guerrero, where two of the most popular guerrilla leaders during the seventies, Lucio Cabañas and Genaro Vazquez, were born, is another major factor that may have prompted such violent acts, which the local authorities participated in.
        “We must remember that Cabañas and Vazquez studied in the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College. This school was part of the seventies leftist effervescence that ignited after the Tlatelolco Massacre,” said Leon.
        On October 2, 1968, dozens of students were killed by the army during a demonstration in Tlatelolco square in Mexico City. They had been protesting against the government of former President Gustavo Diaz.
        The Mexican journalist also explained that the rural schools, like the one in Ayotzinapa, have historically embraced leftist and revolutionary education.
        “Add to that the criminal organizations, which have infiltrated local authorities so deeply that you cannot know who is really behind the power,” said Leon, referring to Iguala mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, who is now a fugitive after the national government accused him of colluding with organized crime. (November 12)

        • 4Warning says:

          “Crisis in Mexico: The Protests for the Missing Forty-Three” (New Yorker Magazine 11/12/14) http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/crisis-mexico-protests-missing-forty-three See also 2008 U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, a “historically informed, forward-looking effort to discern most accurately the challenges we will face at the operational level of war, and to determine their inherent implications”. Part III: The Contextual World, C. Weak and Failing States, page 35: “…There is one dynamic in the literature of weak and failing states that has received relatively little attention, namely the phenomenon of “rapid collapse.” For the most part, weak and failing states represent chronic, long-term problems that allow for management over sustained periods. The collapse of a state usually comes as a surprise, has a rapid onset, and poses acute problems.” “…In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico. …The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police, and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and pressure by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by the Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone” http://fas.org/man/eprint/joe2008.pdf

          • La cuenta says:

            “The violent disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college in Guerrero state has caused a political earthquake the likes of which Mexico has not seen in generations — perhaps even since the revolution of 1910.
            That makes it all the more baffling how little attention most people in the U.S. have paid to the unfolding tragedy. To understand the historical significance — and the moral and political gravity — of what is occurring, think of 9/11, of Sandy Hook, of the day JFK was assassinated. Mexico is a nation in shock — horrified, pained, bewildered.
            …Now people are struggling to grasp the enormity of a case that pulls together all the forces that feed the monstrous violence of the drug wars. In light of what happened, it is no longer possible to ignore the close links between virtually all the country’s political institutions and organized crime.
            …So if there is so much pain and passion in Mexico, our neighbor, a country with which we share a 2,000-mile-long border as well as profound economic and cultural ties, why such American indifference?
            It has become something of a truism to point to how deeply the United States is implicated in the drug war. American demand, Mexican supply. American guns, Mexican bloodbath. And yet the merciless violence south of the border — which Mexicans now see as the state mutilating its own people — makes it easy to think of the drug war as Mexico acting out its dark obsessions. What Americans can’t face is precisely that we’ve broken bad together with Mexico: that corruption is a binational affair, extending to rotten apples among our Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and to an American political class that cynically keeps in place the amoral machinery of the drug war.
            On Thursday, Nov. 20, the civil society movement will celebrate the 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution with a national day of marches and work stoppages. Will Americans notice?”
            Rubén Martínez, a professor of literature and writing at Loyola Marymount University and the author, most recently, of “Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape.”

          • Zopilote says:

            (11/16/14) The elder statesman of Mexico’s main leftist party said on Sunday the group was on the verge of falling apart after a series of mistakes and the disappearance of 43 students in a state it runs in the southwest of the country.
            Three-times presidential candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas said the opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which finished runner-up in Mexico’s last two presidential elections, had lost its moral authority and needed urgent reform.
            In an open letter published by his office, Cardenas, 80, said the PRD was “on the verge of dissolving, or ending up as a simple political-electoral franchise subordinate to interests alien to those of the broad base of its members.”
            Cardenas, the son of former president Lazaro Cardenas, a leftist icon who nationalized Mexico’s oil industry in 1938, called on the party leadership to step down to allow a process of reconstruction to begin. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/16/us-mexico-politics-idUSKCN0J00ZG20141116

    • Worмнzтυrn says:

      “Tired and Angry, Mexico’s Protests Show No Signs of Abating” (11/15/14) http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/15/tired_angry_mexico_protests_no_signs_abating_ayotzinapa_43_pena_nieto …it’s far from clear just how much worse things will get. “We’re here to demand justice – not just in the case of Ayotzinapa but for all of Mexico,” said Cecilia, a teenager in Mexico City. “If there isn’t justice, this country is going to explode.”

  2. Stay tuned... says:

    > “More Protests As Mexico President Also Faces Ethics Questions” http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/more-protests-mexico-president-also-faces-ethics-questions-n245431
    > “Report says Mexico leader was given mansion by train entrepreneur” http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-mansion-20141110-story.html “The sprawling mansion in the elegant hills on Mexico City’s western edge is said to be worth $7 million. Its floors and walls are white marble, it is equipped with spas and pools, and it has a particularly alluring feature: colored lighting that allows rooms to be flooded in orange or purple or pink. Who lives in this palace of pricey if questionable taste, dubbed the White House? According to a new report, none other than President Enrique Peña Nieto and his soap-star wife, Angelica Rivera. He never paid for it, however. It belongs to a wealthy entrepreneur who was recently awarded one of the most lucrative public-works contracts in recent Mexican history, according to a months-long investigation published Sunday by a team of reporters led by prominent journalist Carmen Aristegui. Quid pro quo? That is the suggestion from Aristegui’s report {link*}
    Aware the investigation was in the works, Peña Nieto’s government abruptly canceled the contract — a $4-billion deal to build a bullet train — on Friday. Yanking an already awarded bid was an unheard of move, commentators said.” {link}
    > “Mexicos Murderous SWAT Teams” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/10/mexico-s-murderous-swat-teams.html Three American kids allegedly were slaughtered by the so-called Hercules Group, which claimed to use special weapons and tactics just like many cops north of the border. Back when its existence was officially still a secret, citizens of Matamoros, a border city about five miles south of Brownsville, Texas, complained to the police about a militarized strike force that took orders from city hall.”
    * for English see https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Faristeguinoticias.com%2F0911%2Fm%C3%A9xico%2Fla-casa-blanca-de-enrique-pena-nieto%2F&edit-text= scroll down for some interesting details concerning President Nieto’s relationship with Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, owner of the Higa Group. http://www.grupohiga.com.mx/

  3. Espectador says:

    Scrutiny Rises on Mexico’s First Lady : A Fresh Revelation Over Properties Given to Angélica Rivera by Leading Mexican Broadcaster Televisa Spark Political Scrutiny http://www.mexbiznews.com/scrutiny-rises-mexico-first-lady-angelica-rivera-over-properties-linked-companies …her husband has long been accused of having too close a relationship to the broadcasting company, Grupo Televisa, despite government moves to rein in the power of the country’s oligopolies. Includes link to WSJ article

  4. Soldadera says:

    “Mexico’s Holy Warrior Against the Cartels : Padre Goyo, with his clerical collar and his bulletproof vest, is an icon for those fighting drugs and corruption. But some in the church think he goes too far.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/18/mexico-s-holy-warrior-against-the-cartels.html “At a moment when Mexico is pretty desperate for heroes, when the disappearance of more than 40 students, allegedly at the hands of corrupt politicians, cops, and the cartels has inflamed the country, Goyo is just the kind of figure to capture the public imagination.”

  5. StayTuned says:

    “The rebel spirit driving Mexico’s protests has deep roots” http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/11/20/the-rebel-spiritdrivingmexicosprotestshasdeeproots.html “Three caravans, led by family members of 43 missing students, began winding their way toward Mexico City last week from Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. On Thursday, they will converge in the capital, where they will join student groups, teachers and rights advocates in a “megamarch” for justice culminating at the city’s Zócalo Square — the symbolic heart of Mexico, and so often the stage for expressions of popular discontent.
    But the caravans’ finish line could also mark a starting point for a new challenge to Mexico’s prevailing social order, of which the 43 students are but the latest victims. And both the venue and the date of Thursday’s rally connect with a deep-rooted revolutionary tradition in Mexico. On the same day, 104 years ago, Francisco Madero, an heir to a powerful family in the state of Coahuila, had issued the Plan of San Luis de Potosí denouncing the regime of dictator Porfirio Díaz — and ushering in the start of the Mexican Revolution.”

  6. Footnote says:

    Fueled by the US-backed, transnational drug war, alleged cases of torture by Mexico’s security forces and military increased at least six-fold in the last decade, Amnesty International said in a special report released September 4. http://amnistia.org.mx/reports/torture_AIMex/english/P4353_Mexico_report_complete_web.pdf The organization collected information from government sources, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and testimony from survivors of torture in Mexico. The group said torture is used to illegally procure confessions in order to fit a police or state agenda. Victims allegedly suffered near-asphyxiation, sexual violence, electrical shock, and simulated executions. According to Amnesty’s report, these methods are commonly used by Mexican officials and tolerated by authorities at all levels.
    “The authorities can’t keep looking in the opposite direction,” the Americas director for Amnesty International, Erika Guevara, said during a press conference in Mexico City on Nov 6th. “The fact that measures to prevent torture and other abuses are just barely being taken – and that investigations into complaints often only lead to minimizing the gravity of the abuses – is a clear indication that the government is not protecting human rights.”

  7. .aspx says:

    “The economic growth in Mexico is disappointing and there is no way to know when it will jump and the miracle will become a reality, according to Paul Krugman, economy Nobel prize in 2008.” http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/in-english/2015/mexico-economy-paul-krugman-103545.html Legislative elections are scheduled to be held in Mexico on June 7, 2015. Voters will elect 500 deputies (300 by their respective constituencies, 200 by proportional representation) to sit in the Chamber of Deputies for the 63rd Congress.

  8. Update says:

    (10/30/15): “The army unit of Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero has been accused working with the Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors) drug cartel that is allegedly responsible for disappearing the 43 Ayotzinapa students in complicity with local police, La Jornada reported Thursday.
    The municipal commissioner for the Carrizalillo community in Guerrero, Nelson Figueroa, told the left-leaning newspaper that because nobody in the region trusts the army nor the federal police, they will ask the federal government to implement roadblocks in the area to discourage federal security forces from engaging in illegal activities.
    Figueroa was in Chilpancingo, the capital of the violent state of Guerrero, to handover the nine federal police officers who were detained by hundreds of outraged civilians in Carrizalillo on Wednesday along with an alleged drug cartel member as they attempted to arrest the local farmland commissioner Ricardo Lopez.
    He said that the locals have confirmed “without a doubt” that the Mexican army, federal police and local authorities are working in complicitly with the Guerreros Unidos, who have recently been accused of smuggling huge shipments of heroin and cocaine in buses into the United States.” See links also stories in sidebar @ http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexico-Army-in-Guerrero-Accused-of-Working-with-Drug-Cartel-20151030-0003.html

  9. George Metesky says:

    “Unknown Group Carries Out First Mexico City Bombing in 20 Years” http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Unknown-Group-Carries-Out-First-Mexico-City-Bombing-in-20-Years-20151102-0008.html “A Mexican group called the Pagan Sect of the Mountain claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on several buses outside of Mexico City that caused damage to four vehicles, but left no victims. They promised to continue bombing targets if nature continued to be destroyed by mankind and declared “fire and explosives against civilization.” The group, which proclaims to be anarchist, explained their attacks have nothing to do with the plights of bus drivers, nor did they claim to be in opposition to the bus line. The group’s statement was sent to a website called Contra Info along with photos of a bomb and the buses. Contra Info was founded in Athens, Greece, in 2010 and claims to be run by anarchists and activists.” See also http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/

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