Mexico Solidarity Seminar

Thursday, 21 July
Latrobe University City Campus
215 Franklin St, City
Melbourne

6:30 doors for a 7pm start
Food and drinks will be available
Entry by donation – with all proceeds going to support human rights and popular organisations in Chiapas and Juarez.

Everyone welcome

The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET), in conjunction with the Latin American Solidarity Society at Latrobe University, is proud to present the Mexican Solidarity Forum with activist and academics interested in Mexican people situation. Since 1996, LASNET has been working in solidarity with the Zapatista movement and for peoples’ human rights in Juarez.

Today is time to reinforce our solidarity work with Mexico and we call on all people interested to join us in our effort because justice, dignity, peace and peoples’ rights cannot wait any longer.

Because the only struggle lost is the one that is abandoned.
¡Para todos y todas, todo!, For all, everything!

Main speakers

Ralph Newmark, Director of The Institute of Latin American Studies( ILAS) at Latrobe University. He will present an overview and introduction on Mexico situation.

Silvia Rosas, A Mexican Journalist living for the past few years in Australia.
Mexico has been caught in the middle of a spiral of violence since 2006. Roughly 35,000 persons, including numerous reporters, have been killed since then.

According to statistics from the National Human Rights Commission, about 70 journalists have been killed in Mexico during this period, while another 13 remain missing.

In addition, this organization reports 21 attacks on media facilities and says that since 2005 has received 473 general grievance complaints from journalists and human rights defenders.

However, the journalists have declared that the main obstacle to investigating crimes against journalists is state authorities’ lack of collaboration and transparency, as well as reticence from the victims’ families due to distrust of the authorities.

As result, Mexico is considered the most dangerous place in the Americas to be a journalist and the third in the world after Pakistan and Iraq.

Colm McNaughton is a multiple award winning radio documentary producer who focused on unfolding events on the Mexico / US border.

His radio documentary ‘La Frontera’ (available at:http://www.abc.net.au/rn/360/stories/2010/2844252.htm) recently won a silver medal at the New York Radio Festival 2011.

He will speak about the his experiences on the border as well as explaining his understanding of unfolding events in the region.

Rodrigo Rojas, LASNET activist

Will present the solidarity work for Mexican people and follow up discussion on what we can do from Australia to continued helping Mexican people in their struggle for human rights and social justice.

Why is so important to support the people of Mexico Today?

Sociologist and nationally syndicated columnist John Ackerman borrowed a phrase from Argentina’s recuperated factory movement to sum up his proposal for the movement: “Que se vayan todos” (“they all must go”), referring to Mexican politicians. “We have to demand the immediate ouster of all high-ranking officials who are involved in this criminal war at the federal and state levels,” argues Ackerman. “Beginning with, of course, [Secretary of Public Security] Genaro García Luna, [Defense Secretary] Guillermo Galván, and Calderón (current President). These politicians have spent enough time in office, and they’ve demonstrated that they are incapable of assuring social peace.”

When Felipe Calderón declared war on organized crime, some towns racked by violent cartel rivalries initially welcomed the military’s presence. However, it quickly became apparent that the military brought more chaos and abuses, not law and order. “The military doesn’t solve anything because it commits a lot of abuses,” a farmer from Galeana, Chihuahua, told Proceso reporter Marcela Turati. “They beat people, steal vehicles, rob from houses. Their trucks look like moving companies, they drive around loaded with so much furniture.”

Moreover, nearly every sector of Mexican society has confirmed its participation in the protests: labour, indigenous peoples, students, journalists, intellectuals, opposition politicians, feminists, artists, drug war victims and their family members, former political prisoners, Mormons, sex workers, autonomists, peasants, communists, marijuana legalization advocates, migrants in Mexico, Mexican immigrants living abroad, Catholic church leaders…even the commanders of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) have ordered Zapatistas to take to the streets to “end Calderón’s war.”

Extract from EZLN April 2011 Communique:

SISTERS AND BROTHERS:
COMPAÑERAS AND COMPAÑEROS:

THE PSYCHOTIC MILITARY CAMPAIGN BY FELIPE CALDERON HINOJOSA, WHO HAS TURNED THE STRUGGLE AGAINST CRIME INTO A TOTALITARIAN ARGUMENT TO DELIBERATELY GENERALIZE FEAR IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY, IS CONFRONTED NOW WITH THE DIGNITY OF THE ORGANIZED VOICES OF RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS OF THIS WAR.

…WE CALL ON OUR COMPAÑER@S OF THE OTHER CAMPAIGN IN MEXICO AND THE WORLD, INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, COLLECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS, MOVEMENTS, AND ORIGINAL PEOPLES ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, TO JOIN THE RIGHTEOUS DEMAND OF THIS NATIONAL MARCH TO THE DEGREE OF YOUR POSSIBILITIES AND CONDITIONS, BE IT ACCOMPANYING THE MAIN MARCH, WHICH STARTS IN THE CITY OF CUERNAVACA, MORELOS, ON MAY 5, 2011, IN MEXICO CITY ON MAY 8, 2011, OR BETWEEN MAY 5 AND 8, 2011, IN YOUR LOCATIONS, WITH SILENT MARCHES WITH BANNERS AND POSTERS, DEMONSTRATIONS, CULTURAL ACTS, ETC., WITH THE FOLLOWING SLOGANS:

END CALDERÓN’S WAR!

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
FOR THE CLANDESTINE INDIGENOUS REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE – GERENARL COMMAND OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION(EZLN-Mexico)

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
Mexico, April 2011.

More Info:

call 0425 539 149 or 0414 970 418

write to: lasnet@latinlasnet.org

visit:
http://observatoriointernacionalcpm.wordpress.com
http://www.latinamericansolidaritynetwork.org
http://www.latinlasnet.org

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