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Bullshit from the Washington Post

19 January 2014

Joshua Parlow (a new name to me among the “usual suspects” who report on Mexico for the U.S. media*) tries to create the impression that the self-defense organizations springing up (or rather, that have sprung up over the last year or two, but now dominate the news from Mexico) are something “created” by returned migrants from the U.S.

It could be that Parlow only spoke to those who spoke English, and it could be he was just looking for a U.S. “angle”, and — as is typical with U.S. writers — has no sense of history, nor is able to consider Mexican responses in any cultural terms other than those of the culture of the United States.

That men from rural Michaocán have to emigrate to the U.S. for work is well known, and has more to do with economic opportunity (or lack thereof) than anything else. Other than the weapons, the only real U.S. “contribution” has been your appetite for narcotics (which finance the Templars and other gangsters), and your insane agricultural policies that have bankrupted rural Mexicans and created opportunities for gansters.. To claim that “gangs” (as your writer dismissively labels these self-defense groups) are a U.S. import is nonsense.

Mutual self-defense organizations have a long history in Mexico, and rural people’s militias go back at least to the Revolution of 1910-20.  The sense of the village as a commune, and responsible for its own affairs (including its self-defense) long pre-dates the Conquest.  There are any number of local uprisings against the state, having used the slogan “DEATH TO BAD GOVERNMENT,” precipitated by the failure of the state to protect the local interests.

As to people’s militias, they go back at least to Emiliano Zapata… this movement challenges not just those old-fashioned banditos— rebooted in our international financial system as “cartels” — but the centralized state in its present incarnation as a subservient client, and resource provider to the  United States.


* As I should have known, Parlow’s background is as a middle-east correspondent. He was a Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar last year, his Expertise being in “Security and Defense; Asia; Afghanistan; Middle East and North Africa”… none of which has anything to do with Mesoamerica, Mexico or the avocado country.

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