|Another hanging body Blvd. 2000 courtesy Zeta|
In his essay, "Can President -Elect Lopez Obrador Pull Mexico Out Of Its Slumber", Andres Vichete says of Tijuana:
"In Tijuana I witness absolute misery, I visit multinational maquiladoras that pay only an equivalent of $55 USD per week to their workers, I manage to enter gangland, and I see how the US is building a depressing wall between two countries.
I spend hours listening to stories of Sra. Leticia, who lives just one meter away from the wall.
“They are cutting across our land, and it harms many creatures who live here. It also prevents water from circulating freely.”
“All this used to be Mexico. North Americans had stolen several states from us. Now they are building this wall. I visited their country on several occasions. And let me tell you: despite all our problems, I like where I am, at this side!”
Then, late at night, I listen to a man who knows his country from north to south, from east to west. We are sitting in a small café; sirens are howling nearby, another murder has just taken place. He faces me squarely and speaks slowly:
“Mexico has its back against the wall. This situation cannot continue. This is our last chance – Andrés Manuel López Obrador. We will rally behind him, we will help him. If he delivers what he promises, great; then Mexico will change and prosper. If not, I am afraid that our people will have no other choice but to take up arms.”
In our neighborhood, we have not heard about the local Mexican people taking up arms, nor have we heard this from Mexican nationals we know throughout Baja California. You might be saying under your breath - 'Well, they certainly aren't going to tell, you're a gringa." But we have heard from Mexicans and gringos alike who want desperately to leave. We have heard and read that the Zapatistas and the EZLN have been anti-AMLO and anti-organized crime and the narcos from the very beginning, indeed are armed and aim to stay that way. Even Padre Solalinde could not win them over.
As I was reading Vitchek's piece and his description of Tijuana, I thought - he is right, it is in a miserable state. But then I thought back to last August and the Inez Garcia Ramos interview of Dr. Jose Manuel Mireles when he was in town; I'm going to paste this for you, it is important:
|Dr. Jose Mireles in Tijuana courtesy Zeta|
Mireles Dejo Las Armas, Ahora Buscan "Despertar Conciencias"
Por, Ines Garcia Ramos - 08/27/2018
Mireles left the weapons, now seeks to "awaken consciences"
After spending almost three years in prison, José Manuel Mireles rules out re-leading an armed movement. Now, the 59-year-old doctor travels the country collecting money to free 258 self-defense groups who are still imprisoned; meets with organized groups of civil society and criticizes the ruling class. Question: "Or do you conceive that a poor nation has billionaire rulers?"José Manuel Mireles Valverde has changed short sleeve shirts and jeans for a dark suit and tie, but retains his traditional black hat. He is about to enter a gala dinner in Tijuana, where dozens of people await him.
As he has done in other cities, that night he will offer a talk, he will dedicate copies of his book to the assistants, with whom he will live some hours. The money raised will finance the legal defense of 258 self-defense groups that remain incarcerated in Mexico.
That's what Dr. Mireles is doing now. After spending two years and eleven months in prison, accused of carrying guns along with 69 members of his self-defense group, he ruled out re-heading an armed movement.
"I continue to build trenches and not just in Michoacán, but throughout the nation. No longer nothing more armed, it is not needed, now my trenches are with university students, academics, workers' organizations, peasants, "he said in an interview with ZETA .
The 59-year-old doctor regained his freedom on May 12, 2017, the day after a long legal fight, he was granted the benefit of bail, but during the time he was in prison he suffered three pre-infarctions and a heart attack. .
"The day I left the captivity, I professionally considered that I had fifteen days to live. I was wrong for three days, on May 24 I was already in Cardiology in Mexico, with a sudden attack, "he recalls.
"The solution is never for peoples to arm themselves," says the doctor
More than a year, Mireles is recovered. Having been acquitted of the crimes that led to his imprisonment, his case was closed, but nine of the men who were detained with him in a federal operation carried out in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, are still being held.
Although some of them had already obtained their freedom under bail, they were returned to prison when accused of stealing wire from a fence or because of errors in their homes, the doctor said.
Here is the interview of Dr. Mireles with ZETA:- In Mexico, is a self-defense more pursued than a narco?
"Sure, I saw them inside the federal prison. 90 percent of the inmates are not criminals, they are victims, those who must be imprisoned are their employers, those who ordered them to commit a crime, but those are not prisoners because they are the ones who eat breakfast with the authorities and that is why they never touch the jail"
However, for the former leader of the self-defense groups, a narco is not the same as a criminal. The distinction, from his reasoning, is that "a drug dealer is a provider of foreign currency, there are communities that have schools, drainage, electric light thanks to what you call narco "
- So, how do you call them?
"Since man left caverns and forests, the world was divided into two social classes, the civilized and the barbarians. The civilized learned to till the land to put the seed, to ensure their food through work. The barbarians were hidden in the mountains, the ravines or behind the walls, waiting for the harvest to be ready to be stolen. Now they are not civilized or barbarians, they are productive people and organized crime. Do you know some organized crime wretch who works? They have never worked in their bitch, they are watching, how much they earn and the day they are going to harvest they kill for their fortnight, even if it is one thousand pesos.
"I am not a narco, nor do I agree with the illegal practices of the people who are dedicated to that, but unfortunately, thanks to that, there are entire towns that can eat."
- Does the country's economic model have to change so that the narco stops fulfilling these functions?
"Simply and simply that the authority should carry out its work, that it detains all the children of the bitch who only dedicate themselves to stealing and killing for money. Among the best institutions established in the nation to provide security to the people, there is organized crime and crime. "
- What is the role you play now?
"Awaken consciences, nothing more. Yes today, everyone, from all social levels, academics, academics, workers, farmers, day laborers, farmers, entrepreneurs, if we start by awakening consciences, first inside our homes, then in our work places, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, streets, neighbors, compadres, relatives, friends, a time will come when we do not have to sell our soul to the devil, if we want to live well or live in a nation in peace. "
- Enrique Peña Nieto is months away from the Presidency, what is the balance left?
"More than 138 thousand murders in his period, more than 134 thousand disappeared. More than 40 thousand displaced families and still the very wretched, 90 days left to leave, and still takes out a loan of 10 billion dollars, for what ?, is not leaving a stable or solid health system. How is it possible for a magistrate to earn 600,000 pesos a month while a worker can take a house of 600,000 pesos to pay for it in twenty years? Or do you conceive that a poor nation has billionaire rulers? No, all that has to change. For that we voted 32 million Mexicans. "
- Do you think then that Andrés Manuel López Obrador can change that panorama?
"Not only he, we Mexicans are the ones who seek that change. We already achieved our first victory in the election, the gentleman does not have any magic wand to solve the problems of the nation, but he has the Mexicans that we want the change. I believed in him and I still believe in him. The change comes and goes hard. It is going to shake all the strata of society that were accustomed to rob the nation without working one day or giving anything in return to the country. "
- I already mentioned the more than 130 thousand homicides and disappearances, but do you think it is possible in terms of the relatives, of the victims, to give them justice? Can it be healed?
"Of course. If each citizen, in the activity that we have to develop, we do what belongs to us. That the magistrates, ministers and judges do their constitutional work, the public ministries, that the municipal police do and do not associate with organized crime to fuck the citizen, that everyone does their work and things do change. If constitutionally and based on Mexican jurisprudence, no Mexican citizen should be prosecuted or prosecuted when being detained far from his place of origin, but close to his family and friends to facilitate social reintegration. I asked the judge why they sent the Michoacanos to Sonora or why they send the Yaquis from Sonora to Yucatan, who are the main violators of the Law and of justice in this country? Those forced to enforce and enforce it, that is what has to change. Others can do the job as the police to take care of your neighborhood and your neighborhood, others can do the work of the best judges in Mexico. They have already demonstrated that their corruption is not only physical, it is intellectual, it is moral ".
- When did you realize that this transition was necessary? No longer to be armed or in the villages, but to leave ...
"Never, never the solution is that the civilians arm themselves to defend themselves, that's what the institutions are for, but since they never did it, we had to do it. I am fully aware that what we did was not right, but it was the only thing we could do if we wanted to stay alive. I do not care about property or productivity, but life. We have self-defenses in 23 states of the Republic, they do not necessarily have to arm themselves, they have to defend themselves, but if necessary, they have to do what is necessary. When justice is contravened by law, justice must prevail even if it comes out of the hands of the same people. "
VIOLENCE, AN INSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM
Through Fundación Mireles, the former leader of the self-defense groups has visited states such as Oaxaca, Zacatecas and Querétaro, as well as Mexico City to give lectures on the self-defense groups.
So he came to Baja California, where in addition to holding private meetings with activists and businessmen in Tecate, Rosarito and Tijuana, he presented his book "Somos Autodefensas: El Despertar de un Pueblo Dormido", in which Mireles narrates the struggle he started in Michoacán in 2013
Since then, the surgeon became a symbol of civil resistance to the power of organized crime and in the shadow of the government. Not only in the events that people lead approaches to ask for a photograph, during the interview a woman recognizes him and shouts at him to greet him at a distance.
Others even take selfies with the doctor in the background, no matter if he is busy in an interview, in the middle of a conversation or signing a book.
After three days in Tijuana and hours before his flight leaves, Mireles still has time to attend this interview and talk with those who approach him, either to share his admiration, present projects and even to contribute money for his foundation. This is the case in almost every city that visits.
During the interview, Mireles talks about a town of six thousand inhabitants in Morelos to explain why the public assumes the tasks of public safety. "He was reviled, destroyed, exploited by thirty guys who are not even Mexican, extorting, kidnapping and executing people until they hung one of the extortionists on the flagpole. They had warned that 'delinquent we stop will be lynched' and they did not believe it. If there is no one to defend them and the people decide that this is their only solution, they will do it and nobody will stop them. That is why the institutions must fulfill their obligation. "
- In the states that you have visited, what is the common denominator that triggers insecurity, violence?
"Across the nation, it's an institutional problem. What was our war cry in Michoacán, after assassinations, kidnappings, dismemberments, rapes to our women: (we ask) efficient public security, a fair administration of justice that does not exist in the whole nation. Today there are 27 PRI bandit governors who looted the citizens, who gave the children the key water in the chemotherapy to cheat all the money and said that the chemists had cost them dearly. Don Gerardo, from Nayarit, who was put in jail for six years for stealing four cans of tuna to feed his children and the same day he entered prison; the one who stole 8 billion pesos from the Bank of Mexico and deposited a bond of 7 million dollars so that he would not be put in jail ... Is justice just for the fucked up? "