[News] 100, 00 Mexican Campesinos Protest on Emiliano Zapata's Birthday

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Aug 8 16:58:13 EDT 2016


  100,00 Mexican Campesinos Protest on Emiliano Zapata's Birthday

August 8, 2016

Thousands of campesinos poured into the streets of Mexico City Monday to 
at once celebrate the birthday of the iconic Mexican Revolution leader 
Emiliano Zapata 
<http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexico-Emiliano-Zapata-Murdered-96-Years-Ago-20150410-0024.html> and 
to demand more federal government support for infrastructure and 
development in rural areas, local media reported.

Organized by national Autonomous Front of the Countryside, campesinos 
from more than a dozen Mexican states, rallied at Zocalo Square at the 
National Palace, the city's main political hub.

After gathering at midday for a sit-in outisde the federal 
executive offices in the main square, the march continued toward the 
Ministry of the Interior, where some protesters planned to set up an 

With some 130,000 protesters in 3,000 buses expected to join the march, 
the government deployed 3,700 security agents to patrol main protest 
points, while police helicopters also watched from overhead, La Jornada 

Protesters flew banners with slogans such as “They’ve taken everything 
from us, even fear” and blasted President Enrique Peña Nieto for 
neglecting rural communities with inadequate budgets and 
government inattention to land reform, a central tenet of the legendary 
Zapata's populist platform.

Mexico’s campesinos have suffered the consequences of more than twenty 
years of the North American Free Trade Agreement 
between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Launched in 1994 under 
then-President Bill Clinton, NAFTA has displaced 1.5 million Mexican 
campesinos as a flood of subsidized, cheap U.S. food imports undermined 
local markets and adversely impacted Mexico’s agricultural sector and 
food security.

Members of the Mexican Electrical Workers union and the CNTE dissident 
teachers union, in ongoing heated talks with the government after 
protests erupted in violence during a fatal police crackdown 
in Oaxaca in June, also joined the protest in solidarity with the 
campesinos and their demands, local media reported.

While the country’s campesino movements have raised distinct complaints 
and demands, the underlying issues also parallels the issues raised by 
striking dissident CNTE teachers in their fight to overhaul the 
country’s public education system. The union has criticized neoliberal 
education reforms brought in by Peña Nieto in 2013 for failing to 
recognize the unique education needs 
in rural and Indigenous communities, demanding a new approach to public 
education that protects it from creeping privatization.

The campesino marches coincide with the 137th birthday of the legendary 
Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, a symbol of campesino resistance 
in the country and founding father of the Zapatismo movement from 
which the iconic Zapatistas of Chiapas 
draw their name.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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