Mexico: A War Against Organized Crime
Becomes a War Against Organized Labor

Todd Miller

Mexican police using the cover of the "War on Drugs" attack organized labor in Mexico City aided and abetted by the U.S. government.


PREFACE

When NAFTA was enacted, a new flood of U.S. corporate and private investment flooded into Mexico, requiring that this money be well protected.  For the international investor, political instability of any kind is bad for business.  This is in fact why NAFTA was extended into the "Security and Prosperity Agreement," which provides U.S. security (military) aid to protect the NAFTA-created "investments" inside of Mexico.

Naturally enough, the conditions imposed on average Mexicans by America's corporate invasion of that country has led to a growing restiveness in Mexico - which makes the importance of the U.S. military as "guarantor of last resort" indispensable. The U.S., of course, denies that it is the guarantor of U.S. corporate interests in Mexico. Its only interest insofar as Mexico's stability is concerned is the welfare of the Mexican people; but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) begs to differ; on it's website, the IMF states the obvious:

"We [i.e., the IMF] act as a potent deterrent against [foreign] government actions that may adversely affect investments. And even if disputes do arise, our leverage with host governments frequently enables us to resolve differences to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. Such security [insofar as the investments of America's "richy-riches are concerned] is ultimately guaranteed by the U.S. military."

NOTE: One of the most horrific aspects of America's penetration of Mexico is the entry of American agribusinesses into the country; agribusinesses that have driven millions and millions of peasant farmers off their land and into Mexico's big cities where they have either been indentured into industrial slavery working for pitiful wages at such American corporations as Ford, General Electric, General Motors or they have become nothing more than "human waste" with no other option but to attempt to cross into El Norte and become the nannies and gardeners of rich Americans or wage-slaves of American companies that traffic in the cheap labor of "illegal aliens." [Please see our article, "Dealing with the Human Trash of America's New World Order System."]

Obviously, the US must hide its military involvement in Mexico on behalf of America's "richy-riches"  - and it is doing so under cover of the "War on Drugs" - a war that is directed more at independent unions in Mexico fighting for the welfare of Mexico's huge underclass than anything else.

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On the night of October 10, a joint force of military and police personnel, looking like a SWAT team on the verge of a major drug bust, surrounded hundreds of buildings in and around Mexico City. Equipped with shields, helmets, and billy clubs ready to strike, they waited for a coordinated signal, and then hopped the walls and seized the buildings. The buildings in question belonged not to one of Mexico's big-time crime syndicates, but to Luz y Fuerza del Centro (Central Light and Power), the public power company that for decades has provided electricity to millions of people in the most populated part of the center of the country, including over 25 million people in the Mexico City area. Later that night, around midnight, President Felipe Calderón issued a presidential decree liquidating the company.

NOTE: What the U.S. is attempting to do here by privatizing Luz y Fuerza del Centro is exactly what it tried to do in Cochabamba in Bolivia by privatizing Cocabamba's water supply; we URGE you to get the details of this story by reading Part 1 in our article, Today's Church - Making Zombies out of Christians: "Why the world Hates America - A Case Study of What happened in Cochabamba, Bolivia."]

Luz y Fuerza del Centro is the employer of some 44,000 workers, most of whom belong to one of the most feisty, democratic and independent unions in Mexico, The Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME). Just like that, amidst the worst economic crisis Mexico has suffered since 1930s, 44,000 workers no longer had jobs. Eliminating the SME means eliminating "one of the few independent and democratic unions that remain in Mexico," says Ben Davis of the AFL-CIO's Mexico Solidarity Center.

44,000 electrical workers in Central Mexico have been locked out of their jobs since October 10, 2009, when the government of Felipe Calderon, who was imposed by fraud in the July 2006 presidential election, closed the public utility co. Luz y Fuerza del Centro with the aim of privatizing this nationalized corporation and destroying the powerful and militant Mexican Electrical Workers Union (Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas, or SME). [Please see our article, "Obrador's Parallel Leftist Government in Mexico City."]


Crocodile tears shed by
Ben Davis.

NOTE: One has to wonder how sincere Ben Davis' criticism of the Mexican government's attempt to shut down SME really is. There is a good deal of information that the AFL-CIO has been working hand-in-glove with the American government to suppress SME and other independent Mexican labor unions for some time now. More about this in upcoming articles.

By contrast, while the SME has traditionally been a painful thorn in the administration's side, especially in its successful resistance to the privatization of the energy sector, the Sole Union of Electrical Workers of the Mexican Republic (SUTERM), which represents workers of the CFE, has traditionally been submissive and under tight government control. Now all electrical workers in the country will be under this one union, the SUTERM, a union that is also known not to resist but to push for the privatization of the energy sector.

The Calderón administration has taken a step back to a tactic of the long authoritarian rule of the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in order to take a giant step forward into Mexico's militarized free market future. What has now changed is that the administration has one of the largest security budgets in Mexico's history at its disposal, resources that are justified to fight drug trafficking and organized crime. Along with the steadily rising security budget there has been an increasing and systematic repression of social movements, communities defending their natural resources, and independent unions, especially since Calderón took office in 2006.

The strike against Luz y Fuerza was reinforced by funds from the Mérida Initiative, the billion-dollar military aid package from the United States to Mexico. Though justified to help Mexico fight the drug war, the Merida Initiative fits into a larger geopolitical strategy, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The SPP, created in a 2005 meeting of the U.S., Mexican and Canadian heads of state, is an initiative that promotes deeper security, economic, and energy integration among the three countries. Although there is some question as to whether the SPP still actively functions under that name, Marco Antonio Velázquez of the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) stressed in an interview that the use of a military and police operation against the SME is a clear indication that its "policies are still in place."

In 2008 the ante was upped in Mexico insofar as America's support of that country's war against the people of Mexico: The Merida Initiative was passed in the US Congress - also known as Plan Mexico (based on the similar "plan" in Colombia). This agreement adds billions of dollars in U.S. military aide to Mexico, including "counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, and border security." PLAN MERIDA GIVES THE U.S. MILITARY THE LEGAL RIGHT TO INTERVENE DIRECTLY IN MEXICO UNDER THE RUBRICK OF THE SO-CALLED "WAR ON DRUGS." [Please see our article, "What's the US up to in Mexico?"]

In this militarized surprise attack against Luz y Fuerza and its militant union, President Calderón's much-touted war on organized crime has morphed into a war against organized workers. Few people who follow Mexican politics believe that the seizure of the company was motivated by its "inefficiency," as Calderón claimed on the night of the takeover. More credible is the belief that it was about removing a union that was antagonistic to both authoritarian control and huge neoliberal economic plans to reform the energy sector. "It has to do with the goal of reaching 'energy integration' in North America, which is one of the principal goals of the SPP," says RMALC's Velázquez, "The Presidential decree had the purpose of eliminating an obstacle, the SME, to gain trust of foreign investors."

"Inefficiency they say," a former Luz y Fuerza worker told me, responding to Calderón's accusation as if he himself were being blamed for it. "It wasn't us running the plants. It wasn't us deciding how much would be invested. We just worked with what we had." Domingo Aguilar, an officer of the SME, says the government had not invested in Luz y Fuerza for over 30 years. "The government stopped investing to strangle us little by little. Our machinery is practically the same as it was 100 years ago when we started." The lack of investment, say many critics, was apparently meant to squeeze the company out of existence, to follow multinational demands that the energy sector be privatized.

In an interview, the AFL-CIO's Davis stressed to me that, contrary to what the government says, "the move to the CFE is clearly a move to privatization." For years the CFE has been increasingly moving in the direction of privatization, and concessions to private, primarily foreign companies skyrocketed during the Fox administration (2000-2006). Private companies such as Iberdrola, Union Fonesa, Intergen, GE-Bechtel, and Mitsubishi already have over 30% of the contracts to sell energy to the CFE. The final goal of the Calderón administration, according to the SME, is that by 2012, these private companies control "58% of the installed capacity of energy generation in Mexico, making electricity privatization a forgone conclusion."

This body blow against unionized workers in Mexico is a clear indication that instead of heading in the direction of this promised renegotiation of NAFTA, there is an uncomfortable trend toward keeping the most undemocratic form of NAFTA in place, one that depends on military force, under the geopolitical rubric of the SPP.

This trend could have its blowback. Mexican journalist Luis Hernández says that "this is very far from being a mere dispute between the SME and the federal government. It has become now a key point in the class struggle in the country." A march of over 250,000 in Mexico City sent up flares of this possibility on October 15. Other unions, student groups, and members of civil society joined in the march that poured into Mexico City's center square. "Solution or Revolution!" yelled the marchers, calling the military/police raid and shut-down of Luz y Fuerza plants unconstitutional.

Labor historian Dan LaBotz has called the current situation a "watershed moment." If this is truly a watershed moment Mexico's security forces are ready, and they are backed by resources from the Merida Initiative. Since Calderón took office in 2006 the size of the federal police force has grown from 15,000 to 40,000 operatives, while soldiers routinely patrol the streets in major cities. Even today the police stand guard at the Luz y Fuerza plants, eerily symbolic of this new militarized economy.

But resistance is growing. On November 11 tens of thousands of people marched into the center of Mexico City. The general secretary of the SME, Martin Esparza, said to the crowd: "One month ago the buildings of Luz y Fuerza were seized in an assault, at night, as if by bandits, like cowards, and they made their decree. They thought they were going to annihilate us, but here is the conscience of more than 100 years of history of the SME movement."

THIS IS THE KIND OF REVOLUTIONARY "STUFF" THAT MAKES NIGHTMARES FOR AMERICA'S ULTR-RICH. [Please see our article, "To the Barricades: The Ultra-Rich Sleeping with Guns under their Pillows."]

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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