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Assassination in Guerrero — not an isolated incident

22 August 2009

You cannot, of course, slander the dead, but CNN does its best to do just that:

(CNN) — Armando Chavarria Barrera became the latest sad note Thursday in a dirge Mexico has been humming bitterly for nearly three years.

Chavarria, president of the Guerrero state congress in southwestern Mexico, was gunned down in his car as he left his house. One bullet hit him in the forehead, another in his chest.

With those two shots, Chavarria joined the more than 11,000 people who have been killed since President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug cartels upon taking office in December 2006…

The implication, obviously is that Chavarría’s assassination had something to do with the drug cartels… something no one (except maybe CNN) has suggested.  I think what CNN (and presumably other U.S. media) are missing is that left-wing and reformist political figures throughout the hemisphere are under attack by those who feel threatened by changes to the status quo.

The Guerrero PRD, like the national party, is somewhat split between those who are willing to compromise with the Calderon administration and those who see such compromise as capitulation to what they saw as a stolen Presidential election. Chavarría — from the “progressive” pro-AMLO wing  had been meeting with the present governor, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, a pragmatist,  to work out a reformation within the state party that would have given the leftists the upper hand, and given Chavarría a clear path to the governorship.

Jesús Ortega, the PRD’s national leader (and one of the “blue dogs” to use the U.S. equivalent) and Federal District Chief of Government Marcelo Ebrard (a “progressive”) both have stated that Chavarría was seen as a threat by the “caiques” — the tradtional elites who run the rural state — not to the party.

There is a reason for the  rash of political violence against reformers throughout the Americas.

… We believe that there is a real confrontation between those who hold on to their own economic interests and those who defend new alternative models which try to incorporate the interests of the majority.

That carefully worded statement, from the Provincial of the Dominican Order in Central America, addressed to Dominicans in Honduras.  It nicely sums up the rationale for a turn to violence, not just in Honduras, but throughout the Americas, including the United States.

Honduras was an extreme example, and hard to miss even for the Associated Press, to judge by a  recent article by Alexandra Olsen , in calling the Honduran coup a “a glimmer of hope for the region’s conservative elite” seems to have finally caught on that the real threat to peace and democratic institutions in the Americas is coming, not from change people believe in, but resistance to those changes.

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