Going way down, Mexico way?

Tomorrow, December 1, Mexico gets a new president in Felipe Calderón. This is not good news for those of us who are encouraged by the rebel Zapatistas’ progress in claiming a place on Earth, which for them means southeast Mexico.

Theirs is a coherent political response to Wild West global capitalism, one that has inspired protestors around the world to seek out more than is on offer from our patchily democratic governments. It holds lessons and hope for progress in easing human rights abuses, poverty and environmental desecration.

It is one thing to be disappointed from the comfort of western Europe, the Zapatistas and many other Mexicans speaking out against established power risk lethal violence and repression.

Al Giordano, the publisher of the often excellent narco news, writes of a coup d’etat going on in the country. He contrasts the political pantomime engulfing those in power, “left” and “right” alike, with the Zapatistas’ efforts to build good governance from the grassroots. Don’t expect to read, see or hear that sort of analysis on your mainstream news source.

Europeans are lucky to be so wealthy and relatively safe from state-sanctioned disappearance and abuse, though there are innocent Muslims and their families who would disagree with that. Yes, yes and the odd guilty one. Yet the issue of government unaccountablility is familiar enough. If you doubt it, take the time to read the UK Power Inquiry report, published this year after extensive research and chaired by Helena Kennedy QC. It shows clearly the extent of popular disengagement and unhappiness with our political classes and makes a first stab at starting to sort out the mess.

If only Calderón could find the time to read it.


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