By: Arsinoé Orihuela / The Dawn News / September 18, 2017
Mexico is on the brink of human collapse. This inexorable truth is a prologue to the 2018 federal elections. And this is not unfounded catastrophism: the indicators of security, justice and human rights speak volumes about this ongoing human tragedy: 200 thousand homicides in 10 years of undeclared war; 32 thousand disappeared (civil organizations estimate the number goes up to 60 thousand); two million people internally displaced due to violence, 110 journalists murdered since 2000; a 700% increase in kidnappings (no family in Mexico is safe from this traumatizing crime); an increasing number of femicides (which are especially virulent in the State of Mexico, which is the current operative base of federal powers); ramping poverty (there are 55.3 million Mexicans living in poverty, according to the Coneval), and an unstoppable militarization of public life (complaints for human rights violations by military personnel have increased by 1,000%). But nobody in the upper spheres seem to be concerned about this calamity or even willing to name it. Mexico is a history of genocide that nobody is telling, not even acknowledging it. Outside this mute and deaf sphere, the left is giving life to two anti-establishment forces, one coming from institutions and the other from the grassroots: on one hand, the National Regeneration Movement (or Morena), and on the other, the Indigenous Council of Government, which is born from an agreement between the National Indigenous Council and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (CIG-CNI-EZLN).
Morena’s goal is a change of political regime through the electoral way, in the short-to-mid-term. Meanwhile the CIG-CNI-EZLN aims to generate a civilization change, a radical transformation of the social order, through the organization of the grassroots, in a mid-to-long-term temporal framework.
Morena is an electoral, anti-neoliberal and mildly nationalist movement. The CIG-CNI-EZLN is a wide-range social movement, of anticapitalist and decidedly autonomist nature. I don’t intend to equate them. It’s undeniable that these are different types of left-wing approaches: one is from above, moderate, and circumstantial; the other is from below, radical, and long-winded. Supporters of the former criticize the latter for not wanting to dialogue with them, or even of “collaborating” (sic) with the “forces of the right”. But history shows that the lack of dialogue is to blame on the Morena coalition, not on the indigenous collective. The electoral-institutionalist left never wanted to dialogue with the anti-capitalist indigenous rebellion, and even flagrantly betrayed the possibility of a meeting. In 1996, the main parties of the country, including the institutional left called Democratic Revolution Party (precedent to Morena) established the bases of the political-electoral system, which benefitted the parties and betrayed the San Andrés Agreements that had been signed between the EZLN and the federal government, which established openness and democratization of the political system. Maybe that’s why the EZLN has said that the leader of Morena, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is no different to the rest of the politicians.
There lies the obstacle to dialogue. The only way to remove the narco-left from power and installing the agendas of the “lefts” in a sustainable manner in 2018—an effort that is absolutely legitimate and urgent—is to enable dialogue, even if it’s only transitory or momentaneous, between the grassroots of those two forces.
This is in no way an attempt to simply solve, just by typing, the discussion between two political projects that are so different, both objectively and subjectively. But it is an attempt to encourage a dialogue that involves the grassroots of the left—although, luckily, spontaneous dialogue is beginning to pop up in some places. The priority is to get the left to rise, with a common goal: collectively imagining and developing an anti-body. Mexico is an unprotected organism at the mercy of nefarious political forces.
The cross-accusations are not entirely true. Morena is not exactly like the other parties—that’s why all other party coalitions have the goal of defeating this project—, nor does the CIG-CNI-EZLN aspire to sabotage López Obrador’s candidacy—the indigenous rebellion has been radically faithful to the program of resistance and is perhaps the only social actor with irreproachable moral attitude. A dialogue is only possible if both sides admit that reciprocal disqualifications only contribute to strengthen the continuity of the obscenely criminal right, and the hegemony of the PRI-governed state.
By definition, power is that which governs, and which has had the ability to reach a place of hegemony. In Mexico, the PRI governs the state, and its domains include: 1) the political system as a whole, that is, the totality of political parties; 2) the traditional political culture of clientelism and corruption; 3) the structural imbrication with drug trafficking; 4) the anglophilia or ideological adhesion to the United States by opposition to identifying with Latin America; 5) anti-national neoliberalism.
The empire of the (criminal) privilege in Mexico rests upon these columns of the PRI-state.
The lefts have basically two urgent duties, one of them in the short term and the other in the long term: the first, to develop an anti-body agains the PRI and destroy the bases of the PRI-state; the second, to reconstruct the social fabric and create a radically different order.
The dialogue between the lefts is functional to these common tasks.
Let the left upsurge (not unified, but in dialogue) in 2018.