Note: this movement gaining momentum, could go either way. If
citizens actually had real weapons things probably would be much
"We look for weapons to pressure politicians"
The poet says Javier Sicilia citizens seek legal weapons to take
tools with which to pressure governments and reestablish the country
ACTIVIST. The mobilizations in Mexico are similar to those of the
Middle East, because they are rotten States
Monday May 23, 2011
Salvador Frausto | El Universal
salvador.fraustro @ eluniversal.com.mx
Javier Sicilia has been closely following the news coming from
distant countries. European social events and civil unrest in the
Middle East and Africa called the attention of the man who leads the
latest wave of public protests to demand peace, justice and democracy
The poet notes, like millions around the world, young Spanish, French
and German demands for employment conditions and inviting not to vote
for mainstream parties. Look for citizens of Egypt, Libya, Yemen,
Bahrain, Algeria and Tunisia demanding the resignation of corrupt
governments. Sees some similarities between what happens there and
what happens here.
"The state as we know, the one that emerged from the Enlightenment as
intended., from the French Revolution, has come to an end We are
facing historic changes, we are at a historical turning point of
national crisis. Now the state is no longer fulfilling their
vocation, and they are not serving the citizens, it is crumbling, we
are building something new that I don't know clearly what it is, but
the current state is not working, "says the man made in a stream of
Catholicism that shows concern for the social and the mystical.
"There is a complaint in Europe and in Mexico by the party-but in
Europe there are at least democratic, functioning institutions, the
demonstrations in Mexico are more similar to the protests that have
developed in the Middle East, because they are rotten States,
criminal cover-up, leaving citizens in the hands of the crime,
leaving things in the hands of police and military who are often
criminals, "he says in an interview with El Universal.
Activist eyes light up when he recalls the case of the boy died from
beatings at the hands of the Egyptian police. And then people in the
streets shouting "We are all Khaled Said." And then the resignation
of President Hosni Mubarak. A people make a difference. "When
citizens can be killed, and everything goes unpunished, it is a state
that does not work, I wish we were as in Europe, but we are as the
Middle East," he says.
The poet's words convey anger and despair. His son Juan Francisco was
killed at age 24, apparently by a gang of criminals connected to
organized crime. The tragedy occurred in Temixco, Morelos, 28 March.
It happened after a series of marches that became a social movement
that demands justice and peace. But political reforms to empower
Another string of protests starting in Cuernavaca on June 4 and will
tour 12 states. Hispanic organizations in the United States will make
their own route for the same reason. Everyone will be in Ciudad
Juarez, on 10 March. There materialize a compact city and deploy
again to the federal government, legislators and parties to push for
"This fight goes to the civic unity that would enable a demand the
Mexican government to make fundamental changes, because now the state
is a submissive state, which serves the interests of employers,
political parties and criminals. We are involved in a stupid war that
has not given us security, in contrast, has left us more insecurity,
Sicillia is a man concerned with social transformation. In the 80
committees involved in Christian Base (CEB), which have some overlap
with the liberation theologians. Christian intellectual formation
includes the idea that people can and should drive change. "Citizens
do not have any weapons. So we are asking for political reform, to
have instruments of pressure against the ruling class, in order to
reestablish the country. "
The Mexico with the dream of activists of the movement led by
Sicillia may revoke the mandate of a president, a state governor, a
secretary of state. The deputies and senators could be judged
corrupt. citizens candidates would be possible.
Sicilia believes that political parties should agree to nominate a
presidential candidate of unity. "With an agenda that meets the
demands of citizens, that the parties agree to save the 2012" calls.
On May 8, before a vibrant Zocalo, Sicily called for the resignation
of Genaro García Luna, Secretary of Public Security. Still holds the
same position. "García Luna has already spent a lot of money, as was
long, and has accumulated much power, if it continues to accumulate
power will lead us to a police state and we citizens do not want that."
He adds: "You do not want someone accumulate so much power, power
must always rotate, their strategy has backfired, but if we had the
revocation of the mandate, citizens choose whether Garcia Luna must
Note: The same tactics increasingly in use here also. Too many
occasions where they have authentic uniforms, equipment and
vehicles. All this points out yet again the need for protocols and
procedures between citizens and law enforcement here so citizens can
verify it is really law enforcement they are encountering. Situation
is actually worse in many rural areas.
Bloody Mexican Gangs Make It 'Official,' with Uniforms, Insignia
By Kelley Vlahos
Published May 23, 2011
May 19: Federal police stand guard outside the Attorney General's
office (PGR) in Cuernavaca after the arrest of Victor Valdez, known
as "El Gordo Varilla" (The Big Stick).
There are places in Mexico where residents don't know who the real
Shadowy kidnappers and men committing grisly crimes in broad daylight
are often dressed in formal police or military gear, suggesting no
difference between the good guys and the bad guys, between the drug
cartels and the government trying to stop them.
According to a growing number of reports out of Mexico today, the
major drug trafficking operations (DTOs) – like Los Zetas, the Gulf
Cartel, La Familia Michoacana and its latest incarnation, Caballeros
Templarios (Knights Templar), are not only donning uniforms but
brandishing insignias, badges, even decals on their vehicles that are
indistinguishable from that of the federal or local police forces.
"This has been going on for about five or six years and perhaps even
longer – members of Mexican cartels impersonating the cops … or
dressed in some sort of dark, scary uniforms," said Howard Campbell,
a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas El Paso.
"They want to wear the disguise that will allow them to carry out
their activities more successfully," noted George Grayson, author of
"Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?"
He pointed to a rash of successful prison escapes two years ago in
which members of Los Zetas dressed in police and federal uniforms to
help spring fellow members from jail. According to reports, the Zetas
pretended to carry out "inspections" and, with aid from guards on the
inside, were able to get to the inmates, open the cells and allow
them to just walk away.
In one of the most notorious cases, Zetas dressed up like members of
the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) and had successfully released
their friends from a prison in the northern state of Zacatecas within
"They accomplished a blitzkrieg of a prison escape, aided by those
uniforms," said Grayson, who noted that "there is a big black market
for military uniforms" and other official gear, including weapons, in
More recently, Mexican police are still looking for the gunman behind
the brazen daylight murder of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) special agent Jaime Zapata in February in San Luis Potosi.
Reports say Zapata and fellow ICE agent Victor Avila, who was wounded
in the attack, may have stopped their armored SUV and rolled down the
driver's window before they were shot, suggesting they believed they
were being approached by friendly forces. Police are looking at
members of Los Zetas as possible suspects in the case, according to
Subterfuge like this is not new – even insurgents in Afghanistan have
been known to use official military or police uniforms in bold
attacks against coalition forces. In Mexico, where the reputation of
the police is almost as bad as the gangs themselves, it is smart
strategy. It confuses witnesses.
"The default position is you always suspect the police are engaged in
illegal activity, so it would not surprise the average Mexican one
scintilla to see a 'police officer' committing a crime," Grayson said.
But Campbell points out that the DTOs are not only employing the
uniforms and insignia as tactical deception. They are using them out
in the open to identify themselves in places where the gangs have
nearly total control. Increasingly, the gangs are becoming the
government, and they are taking their new roles very seriously, he
"They might as well wear uniforms because they are the people in
charge," said Campbell, noting the uniforms serve at least two
different functions -- to intimidate local residents and to reflect a
system of hierarchy and pride among members.
A video released in April by the Mexican blog Videos Policiacos shows
at great length the official patches and insignia of the Zetas, the
Gulf Cartel, Knights Templar and their regional affiliates emblazoned
on hats, shirts, flak jackets, trucks and SUVs – plus endless caches
of weapons, helmets and other security gear – including gold-plated
AK-47s and diamond encrusted handguns.
Experts say this is only a reflection of how badly the Mexican
government's war against DTOs is failing today. Last year, Mexican
lawmakers admitted that some 71 percent of municipal governments in
Mexico were under the influence of criminal organizations. The drug-
related death toll in 2010 hit a new high of 15,273, compared to an
estimated 2,800 in 2007, according to numbers released in January.
Government officials continue to insist that the drug war is working
and that the high body count reflects the government taking the fight
directly to the cartels.
Alejandro Poire, President Felipe Calderon's spokesman for security
issues, told The Dallas Morning News recently that 20 out of 37 top
cartel leaders identified by the government have been brought down in
the last two years. "These criminal organizations have been weakened,
have been significantly weakened," Poire said.
Though Poire denies it, experts like Campbell say the northeastern
gulf state of Tamaulipas – where a total of 183 bodies in mass graves
were found this spring -- is completely overrun by DTOs, particularly
Los Zetas. Similarly, multiple cartels have been fighting for control
of Ciudad Juarez, a murder-wracked city in Chihauhua state located
right across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Recent reports have highlighted the Zetas' control of Nuevo Laredo, a
Tamaulipas city also near the Texas border. In effect, the gang taxes
and regulates the operation of local businesses through extortion,
steals from or rations local resources like gasoline and imposes
order through an elaborate network of spies and enforcers, says
The gangs outfitting themselves like the government is just another
way for them to announce that the official Mexican leadership has
lost its authority in those places.
"This is not only about drug running," Campbell said, "but about
becoming regional powers repackaging the Mexican government."