By Jakob Stein
Tuesday July 9 marked the beginning of the third phase of the Campaign for Justice and Rights of the People in Mexico City. The third phase included demonstrations, the blocking of government offices, and the promotion of international campaigns for political prisoners such as Chairman Gonzalo. The campaign is led by revolutionary organization Sol Rojo, which has already completed two phases in Oaxaca and with the beginning of the third in the federal capital has moved toward mobilizing people nationally, outside their main base of support in Oaxaca.
The campaign has already mobilized many in militant occupations, demonstrations, and road blockades, with phase one conducted throughout the city of Oaxaca and phase two encompassing the larger state. The campaign includes workers, poor peasants, and indigenous people and has revolved around five basics demands.
The first demand is for the presentation of Dr. Ernesto Sernas García alive. Dr. Sernas acted as an attorney for twenty-three political prisoners who were held by maximum-security prisons for sixteen months on allegations of carrying explosives. He ultimately got them acquitted but was disappeared by the reactionary Mexican state on May 10, 2018. Since then an international campaign for the presentation of Dr. Sernas has been taken up across the world in the International Communist Movement.
The second demand is for the comprehensive reparation of damage and compliance with the precautionary measures of the displaced Triquis families of San Miguel Copala. The Triquis of San Miguel Copala are an indigenous group in Oaxaca, of whom over 160 families have been forcefully displaced from their homes since 2010. In the time since their displacement, the Triquis families have lived in terrible conditions and face racism as a barrier to finding work. Roberto López Mateo and Angela Osorio Melo died in this precarious situation and yet the reactionary Mexican state, including centers for the coordination of human rights, have failed to do anything for them over the course of nine years.
The third demand is for the cancellation of the military-electric substation of the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) in San Blas Atempa. The Tehuantepec Isthmus encompasses several states including Oaxaca, and is known for intense winds created by a mountain gap between the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean. The geography has brought several imperialist super projects to the area in the form of wind energy farms and “special economic zones”, displacing poor peasants and indigenous people along the way. The SEDENA military-electric substation in particular is being built in San Blas Atempa, involving communal Zapotec lands without proper notice or consent given.
The fourth demand is for the respect for work and freedom of association of unionized workers in Section 9 of the National Independent Union of Health Workers (SINTS). Health workers in the state of Oaxaca have been subject to personnel cuts, which amount to mass unjustified dismissals of workers. SINTS is demanding the immediate relocation of 165 workers in the health sector, who were dismissed arbitrarily and unfairly in a state that still suffers death from curable diseases.
The final demand is respect for and compliance with the rights of the people generally. Since the disappearance of Dr. Sernas and the beginning of the Campaign for Justice and Rights of the People, the reactionary Mexican state has accelerated its repression of revolutionaries and activists in Oaxaca, including arbitrary arrests, beatings, raids on offices, theft of physical and digital information, theft of computer equipment, burglary, attacks with firearms by police groups against demonstrations, eviction attempts with anti-riot equipment, death threats, and finally, the cowardly murder of the comrade leader Luis Armando Fuentes Aquino in a paramilitary ambush. The campaign has raised the slogans “Justice for Luis Armando!” and “Present Dr. Sernas Alive!” to highlight the rejection and violation of the rights of the people by the reactionary Mexican state.
The mobilization in Mexico City is working toward building the People’s Front from unity around a common program under the class line of the proletariat and the poor peasantry. The people’s struggle in Mexico is undergoing a qualitative shift, working to broaden the class struggle across the country, and unify people based on principles under Communist leadership.