Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three Amigos Summit : Protecting corporations from the people

In his Counterpunch article Three Amigos Summit : Sleepwalking Through the Minefield, author John Ross relates a story not covered up here : Mexican government use of ex-RCMP to pin the murder of a US journalist by Mexican authorities on a Oaxaca social activist.

After American journalist Brad Will was gunned down while filming a violent clash between government and anti-government forces in 2006 in Oaxaca, the US Congress stipulated that 15% of $1.4-billion Plan Mexico Merida Initiative war on drugs money flowing from the US to Mexico would be subject to Mexico stemming human rights abuses that have left thousands dead. Only 15%.
This is the presumed reason why, despite front-page photographs of five plainly identified Oaxaca politicians and police officers firing on Will and the protesters, federal prosecutors have instead framed one of the protesters, Juan Manuel Martinez, who has since been languishing in jail awaiting trial.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission, Physicians for Human Rights, Committee to Protect Journalists, and the family of Brad Will have all called for his release and the arrest of the government gunmen.

"On July 26, the following headline appeared in Mexico's daily Milenio newspaper:
"Canada: Will assassinated at point-blank range."
Soon, similar headlines followed. The stories focused on a recent report by three Canadian investigators that sustains conclusions made by the Mexican authorities in the case of Bradley Roland Will. The government-commissioned report has sparked controversy for echoing the findings of Mexican authorities, whose investigation has been heavily questioned by local and international human rights groups and the Will family for being politicized and riddled with irregularities."

In fact it was not an independent investigation from "Canada" at all, but rather three ex-RCMP hired by the Mexican government, apparently to bolster its claim to that endangered 15% in aid prior to the Leaders Summit. A thorough debunking of the so-called RCMP report which praised the Mexican state's version of events while slagging the slain Brad Will, and the report itself, here and here.

Ironically, ten days later at the Leaders Summit in Mexico, as noted by John Ross :

"in the spirit of the Security & Prosperity Partnership, Stephen Harper offered a $15 million Royal Canadian Mounted Police program to train Mexican police chiefs."
The people of Oaxaca are protesting the exploitation and environmental destruction of the over 80 mining concessions granted to transnational companies, most of them Canadian. :
"Mexican Secretary of the Economy figures reveal that more than 70% of all mining exploration, development and production projects in Mexico are owned by Canadian corporations. Canadian mining companies have benefited from legal reforms that the Mexican government adopted in order to accommodate NAFTA and draw foreign investment."

Good to know the SPP is still protecting its corporate citizens from the people.


Anonymous said...

sounds similar to the liberals allowing the bush era to contract the rcmp to train iraqui's as police (remember the iraqui police, the guys with a 2 minute life span?).

mexico. is there any hope for that country? i mean christ, they still operate under napoleanic law.

chiapas is still a hot bed of indigenous uprisings and the army picking off subcomandate marcos.....marcos is rumoured to be in the oaxaca mountains.

yet we don't hear the reports of the 'settlement' between the chiapas indigenous peoples a few years ago as a grand political gesture to the world being constantly undermined by the mexican government going in and taking the land back that they restored to the people. or all the murders. or all the other bullshit.

the military check stops now range about every 100 km and it's publisized as drug cartel measures.....they don't publisize their abysmal hatred of the indigenous and that these check points are also in place to help quelle uprisings.

a sad, pathetic place.

Alison said...

Hi Scout
As you say, the influx of US money and the mobilization of the Mexican army in the drug war just happened to coincide with the rise of social movements in Mexico.
And is there anything old Change We Can Believe In! is not making worse?
AP, August 9, 2009 :
"Obama told Calderon that human rights is a major priority for him, but also assured him that the State Department is working to prepare a report that recognizes all Mexico's efforts to prevent abuses…"
Well alrighty then.

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