Meanwhile, as teacher strikes continue in Oaxaca and all over the country, it has became clear that the PRI (the corrupt political party that has had a strangle hold on the country for more than 70 years) candidate, Pino Nieto, is the front-runner for the up-coming election for national president. The government controlled TV media is supporting him with impunity and bias. So the young people, mostly university students and others, are demonstrating peacefully in Mexico City and other cities. They are saying that Peña Nieto takes “historical responsibility, moral and political” for the human catastrophe of Atenco. (Read: crimes, rape, abuse, missing, devastated families, political prisoners ….). when he was Governor of Mexico State. When they asked him which books he read he bragged that he doesn’t read. During a speech at a library in Mexico City the students railed against him with jokes and demands for him to get out.
Then, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, president of the PRI,” gave a radio interview demanding “punishment to the rebels and expulsion of students.” The students responded with cries of “we have changed…you haven’t!”
However the university authorities’ response was unequivocal: the Universidad Iberoamericana guarantees its students the full right to freedom of expression with the “same integrity of the authorities” that, in 1968, (after over 200 students were gunned down in a university soccer field) led the Rector Javier Barros Sierra to protect UNAM students against the intervention of government power. Now, police authorities are not allowed on any university campus. However, now, only one university, so far, is unconditionally protecting the right of students to be critical…the prestigious Universidad Iberoamericana.
So 131 students of the Ibero, “despite the siege and the threats that are reported in the media,” decided, through twitter and Facebook, that “it is dignity which makes possible the bonds of community.” One by one, the 131 students, ironically mostly from affluent families, took responsibility as members of their society. Now, all my young Mexican friends on Facebook are posting “#YoSoy132″ which is the twitter hashtag for what is becoming a movement. Face after face, name after name, identity number after number, “together-we-stand” is transforming the political consciousness of a young generation who are sick of death and corruption and just want to get on with life.
The problem, though, is not just refusing to be intimidated by power. But how to disarm it.
My god, they look young!
Tags: Mexico, Mexico City