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Ross: The "Dirty War" Returns to Mexico

Ross: The "Dirty War" Returns to Mexico

May 19, 2006
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The great chronicler of Mexico John Ross reports in The Narco News Bulletin that the violence earlier this month in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco bears a striking resemblance to the "dirty war" tactics of the 1970s. Details on this period of terror, particularly bloody in the state of Guerrero where hundreds of peasant farmers were killed in anti-insurgency campaigns but also felt in Mexico City and elsewhere, are just now beginning to come out as new government documents are revealed.

In a report that first appeared in his "Blindman's Bluff" newsletter, Ross writes, citing leading scholar of that period Carlos Montemayor:

"According to Montemayor's description, first an overwhelming force is assembled with the primary mission of totally subjugating a recalcitrant population. Then informers are introduced into the village to identify and eliminate rebel community leaders and those associated with them. If the leaders evade capture, their families are held hostage. Young men are rounded up and selectively tortured to extract information and to turn them into 'soplones' (informers).

"Meanwhile, shock troops terrorize the civilian population into submission. Indiscriminate beatings, home invasions, the theft of personal items of value, and the systematic destruction of property are encouraged by police commanders. Women are raped and sexually abused to underscore the occupation force's total domination over the rebellious villagers.

"Virtually all of these dirty war characteristics were on display in San Salvador Atenco May 4th when 3000 armed state police and elements of the Federal Preventative Police (PFP), a force largely extracted from the Mexican military, slammed into that dirt-poor town of 30,000 out on the dried lake beds east of the capital, killing one 14-year- old, leaving a 20-year-old student hovering between life and death, and arresting 209, all of whom required hospitalization from the beatings they received under security force batons - although only some prisoners actually received it (and they were chained to their hospital beds.) Of 47 women arrested, 23 reported that they had been raped or were otherwise sexually abused. One 53 year-old mother who had gone to a local store to buy a birthday present for her son was forced to perform oral sex on three police 'officers' to avoid arrest."

Read the full story in The Narco News Bulletin's continuing coverage of the Zapatista Other Campaign:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor
The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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