Tuesday, September 29, 2009


MONDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 2009: Call in on behalf of indigenous political prisoner
Byron Shane Chubbuck! End the torture!
For more information on Byron: www...osoblanco.org

Byron Chubbuck, who's Indian name is Oso Blanco, is serving 80 years for expropriating money from banks and sending thousands of dollars to Chiapas Mexico to help fund the Zapatistas and feed indigenous children. Because of his political background he has been subject to horrendous treatment (beatings, gassing, transfer with the intent of having him murdered by hostile inmates, lockdowns, write ups, heat exhaustion, added time --6 months for hanging a towel as to avoid mold, forcefully cutting the circulation to areas of his body over periods of time, mail tampering, and being denied medical treatment among other things) at U.S. Penitentiary Lewisburg which must be stopped!

There is going to be a coordinated effort to call in on behalf of Byron Shane Chubbuck. Contact USP Lewisburg on Monday October 5th, 2009 between the hours of 10am-12:00pm Eastern Standard time, (7am-9am Pacific) If you cannot make this time frame, you can still CALL at another time on the 5th, but make sure you do CALL. It is essential that we maintain a unified effort in letting the prison staff know that we oppose the abuse against Mr. Chubbuck.

The number at USP Lewisburg is:
570-523-1251 (keep trying if no answer!)
ask for the Warden’s office (Warden Troy Williamson)

What to Say
Hello, I am calling out of concern for inmate Byron Shane Chubbuck, prisoner #07909051. I am aware that his mail is being tampered with, he has been denied medical treatment as well as religious rights, and has sustained both physical and psychological abuse by staff at your facility. I am requesting that steps be taken to correct this misconduct and hope to hear a response from you as soon as possible. Mr. Chubbuck will let us know if this continues.

Thank you,

Let Oso Blanco know that you supported him! It is absolutely essential that Oso Blanco knows how many people he has on the outside that will not allow him to be forgotten, even if it is a single letter.

Byron Chubbuck (Oso Blanco)
#07909051 / USP Lewisburg
U.S. Penitentiary, PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

In Oso's Words.
Please. Everyone Roll with it! Nationwide action! Email, letters, calls. June 23rd Lt. Hooper assaulted me with A. Smith and 3 others. Lt. Argueta and 4 others assaulted me September 24.
Never Back Down!

Love and Power of the gente!

Free Oso Blanco!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Benefit Auction for Lalo Angulo


Our family recently suffered a devastating loss. However we understand the cycles life and for now all we can do is honor and REPLICATE the example of life that our Brother left behind as his legacy. The loss of our Brother Lalo and his beautiful daughter was felt all through out the hemisphere without a doubt. He stood for unity and Strictly Movement; and by his actions uplifted the warrior spirit of his family, comrades and Nation on a daily basis...
The following painting is being auctioned throughout the months of September and October and all proceeds will be donated to the Angulo family.
Let's show our brother's family solidarity and make an effort to lend them a helping hand in these hard times. Let's come together and follow his example.



Armed Attacks on the Zapatistas

From Glasgow Chiapas Solidarity group:

On the morning of Tuesday 1st September about 150 members of the paramilitary groups Aric Official, Aric Historical and OPDDIC from Santo Tomas attacked a group of Zapatista support bases who were working in White House predio, in a community recently established on lands they have been working for the last 12 years, within the autonomous municipality of San Manuel, caracol La Garrucha. In the clash a member of Aric-Union of Unions was killed, and more than 20 people were wounded, most Zapatistas. Seven Zapatistas were captured, imprisoned and tortured in Santo Tomas. During their detention they were forced to sign documents of indictment, and were savagely tortured. One man was suspended from a tree with the aim of hanging him, and another had his testicles cut off.

The lands were reclaimed by the Zapatistas in 1994. The support bases who live there have been harassed by members of these organisations since July. They have established a civil peace camp there to monitor and prevent these attacks. This is the first time that they have been attacked by such a large number of people, bearing machetes, sticks and firearms. Evicting people from their land, injuring, stealing, or killing livestock, and kidnapping, beating and torturing Zapatista support bases are practices whose sole intention is to provoke and create sources of conflict and remove them from their lands.

A statement by the Council of Good Governement of La Garrucha, Carocole III about this incident can be found at http://chiapas.indymedia.org/


An attack by Aric-Official and Aric-UU left 1 member of Aric-UU dead, 8 Zapatistas injured, 8 Aric members injured and 7 Zapatistas taken prisoner. Those Zapatistas prisoners were taken to Santo Tomás ejido and tortured for 36 hours until government officials and human rights defenders arrived. One man is in such serious condition that the Good Government Junta in La Garrucha told La Jornada’s reporter they don’t know whether he will live. The prisoners were placed in deep mud holes during pouring rain, stuck with machetes, tied to orange bushes, had tubes placed in their throats, doused with cold water, made to sign declarations while blindfolded, forced to run without shoes and psychologically tortured by threats to cut off their testicles. One man had rope burns around his neck where they placed a noose and said they were going to hang him.

This incident occurred in the valley of the Jataté River, in what is known as the Las Tazas Canyon, in the Lacandón Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. The Zapatista name for the region is the Municipio Autónomo Rebelde Zapatista de San Manuel (San Manuel County). It is also known in some books written in Spanish as Avellanal, the name of a nearby ejido.

On September 1, approximately 60 Zapatistas were working a plot of land called Casa Blanca, next to the Santo Tomás Ejido. They were attacked by a group of 150 PRI members, which included the two Aric factions and members of the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (Opddic, its initials in Spanish), also affiliated with the PRI. Zapatistas in the La Tazas Canyon, and elsewhere in Chiapas, refer to the Opddic as a paramilitary group. The gang of PRI groups had machetes, clubs and guns for weapons, the guns allegedly supplied by the Opddic members. The Zapatistas were unarmed. The group of attackers closed off the way out of Casa Blanca so that the outnumbered Zapatistas had to pass through them to get away.

Casa Blanca is land recuperated by the Zapatistas as a result of the 1994 Uprising. Consistent with the EZLN’s directive to occupy recuperated land, the Zapatistas of the Las Tazas Canyon have worked the Casa Blanca land since September 1997. Aric members from Santo Tomás now say that the owner sold this piece of land to the government in 1993 and, therefore, it was not land recuperated by the Zapatistas. Consequently, members of Aric from Santo Tomás claim the land as theirs. The Zapatistas say that such a sale never took place and have worked the land for 12 years. Reading between the lines of newspaper reports on this situation, one gets the impression that although civilian Zapatista bases worked the land, they did not construct houses and live on it. The provocations occurred after the Zapatistas completed land measurements and began to construct their houses on the land.

The Rural Association of Collective Interest (Aric, its initials in Spanish) is a campesino (peasant) organization in the Jungle region. Many of those who organized the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in its growth period were Aric members. The organization was weakened when its members who also belonged to the EZLN left the organization to prepare for war (around 1992). Since the 1994 Zapatista Uprising, Aric has split into various factions: Aric-Official, Aric-UU (or historic), Aric-PAN and ARIC-Democratic and Independent (Aric-ID), among others. Aric-Official and Aric-UU are affiliated with the PRI political party and are not sympathetic to the EZLN, although they may occasionally share a common interest. They are pro-government, but not paramilitary. Aric-ID is a mix of folks; many sympathetic to the EZLN’s goals and some belonging to the EZLN’s Other Campaign.

There are several aspects to this attack worth pointing out. First, there had been unarmed provocations by the Aric-Official and the Aric-UU members from Santo Tomás prior to September 1 without serious injury. The two PRI groups had warned the government that they were going to evict the Zapatistas. The San Manuel Zapatistas sent their unarmed civilian guards to provide some security for those in Casa Blanca. The use of these guards had proven effective in 3 communities under siege: 24 de Diciembre, Bolón Ajaw and Agua Clara. The addition of Opddic members who were not from Santo Tomás and the Opddic’s provision of guns to Aric members was the first time the civilian guards have faced an armed attack and a serious escalation of hostilities. Secondly, the government knows whether or not it bought the land in 1993 and could have resolved the dispute as soon as the differences arose. However, it chose to let the communities confront one another until someone died. Finally, the role of the local Chiapas media emerged once again as a purveyor of propaganda.

San Manuel is the Chiapas Support Committee’s (CSC) partner Zapatista County. The CSC established the relationship with San Manuel in October 2002, just 2 months after a large paramilitary attack by the Opddic on another San Manuel community, Nuevo Guadalupe Quexil, in a different part of San Manuel. Some 200 armed Opddic members attacked the small village of Quexil, but were, rather amazingly, driven away by unarmed Zapatistas. Several Zapatistas were shot and severely injured and required hospitalization. At that time the International Committee of the Red Cross still had a clinic in the canyons region and its fully equipped ambulance came to the scene and gave emergency care to the severely injured.

That was our introduction to both San Manuel and the Opddic. Since then, the Opddic has continued its threats and aggressions, including death threats to some of the people with whom we work. Opddic members pal around with local government officials and police, as well as numerous federal army soldiers who are stationed throughout this region. According to La Jornada and local press, the Opddic is sometimes uncomfortable for the state government, but at other times useful, like in San Sebastián Bachajón. Its members form part of the base of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) that governed Mexico for more than 70 years.

The September 1 armed attack follows on the heels of the July 21 attack on Mitzitón campesinos belonging to the EZLN’s Other Campaign by members of the Army of God. One Other Campaign member died in that attack and 5 were injured.


Mary Ann Tenuto Sánchez

Chiapas Support Committee



Thanks to J.D.

Modesto: Updates and General Bad Assery (A-Cafe and Caravan for Justice)

MAC has busted out of our lab and we've got a couple of monsters to unleash upon the world. We're writing this in order to update all our friends and comrades about the new issue of Modesto Anarcho, let people know about some recent interventions, entice you to come out to our speaking tour, and fenagale our way into getting your ass to come out to some upcoming events.

Modesto Anarcho #12

We're done. Stick a fork in this one. The best issue is now finished. Includes original articles, direct action reports, repression news, prisoner letters, and much more. Download

the PDF at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/09/20/18622596.php.


MAC Speaking Tour

We're hitting the bricks on this won. We're speaking in Fresno (Cafe Infoshop), Berkeley (Long Haul Infoshop), and SF (Station 40), from October 2nd – 4th. For further wetting of appetites, we've produced this snazzy little flyer.


Upcoming Events

We won't mince words – here's what we got going on.

Friday, October 9th, 7pm. Firehouse 51, Downtown Modesto. Roldolfo from the Venezuelan publication, El Libertario is stopping by to discuss what's happening in Venezuela and show films from Chile.

Saturday, October 10th, 7pm. 10th and J Street, Downtown Modesto. We're having an Anarchist Cafe. Located outside, in soon to be charming ruins, we'll be having free food, literature tables, local speakers, and a collection of local MCs from the Modesto area out spit on the mike and occupy space.


Sunday, October 11th, 1pm – 8pm. 1739, Crows Landing Road, Deep South Side Modesto. The 'Keep Your Head Up Festival,' shall feature performances from anarchist MC Sherman Austin, local hip hop acts, and major labor artist, JT the Bigga Figga. Joaquin from Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC), will also be a main speaker. There will also be movie screenings, food, and literature tables from a variety of groups.


We realize that the above collection of events for the weekend look pretty bad ass. We know, we organized them. If you're interested in coming out, hit us up at: anarcho209{at]yahoo[dot]com.

Proletarian Hooliganism

So, some shit went down at the PRIDE Festival in Modesto. We made a video. There's a report back. In the Mo, fo sho.

To view video: www.modestoanarcho.org

When We Ride On Our Enemies

We are hanging out together. Talking. Reading. Eating. Watching a movie. The door slams open. “Hey, I just drove by the PRIDE festival and there's a bunch of anti-gay Christian protesters out there with signs.” “Let's ride,” one of us replies. We do. We're off. Into a couple separate cars we drive to the festival. We get there and look around. The stage is being taken down. People are trickling out. Christian fascists stand around with signs screaming about sin and proclaiming that we are going to hell; reinforcing capitalist modes of sexual reproduction and patriarchal society. People stand around, just looking. Some of us yell at them. Security tells us to be quiet. One of them approaches and tells us in a hushed voice, “Just ignore them and they'll get the message.” One of us looks at them and replies, “That's what Hitler said. The only way he said that his enemies could have stopped him is if they would have fought them in the streets. Which is what we aren't doing right now.” The security guard looks down at the ground.

We are in the car again, driving. We arrive at our house. Our hands reach out for a blank banner, some spray paint, and video camera equipment. A text message is sent out to friends that reads, “Christians fascists at the park. Throw down. Tell friends.” Quickly a message upon the banner is written that reads: “Reclaim Pride - Bash Back!” We arrive again at the park. We approach our enemies and start chanting for them to get out. A buzz is spreading throughout the crowd. People shake hands, meet old friends, and rush in from elsewhere. The police look worried; more people are coming to meet the zealots head on.

“Why did they shut down PRIDE? Where's the party at? Get out of the park! Who's Park? Our Park!” The chants change, but the message remains the same: leave now, or we'll confront you. The police inform us that we are on the verge of starting a riot and to not confront the protesters. Others tell us we're as bad as the fascists. We smile and laugh. We've heard this before. No. Actually, we're worse, because we are prepared to stand and fight. The crowd continues to grow. The protesters look at each other nervously as they attempt to preach to us despite the fact that we're yelling so loud no one can hear what they're saying at all. The police stand around the zealots and protect them and the social peace that hides the everyday social war. The protesters look at each other. They pack up. They leave. We've won.

People smile and slap each other on the back. We've had a victory. We later learn from talking to friends who had already been at PRIDE that when the protesters first showed up, the event organizers responded by shutting the event down. We also heard rumors that before we arrived, people threw bottles and confronted those attacking them...But thanks to the organizers of the event, so much for PRIDE. “This is where you're liberal leaders lead you,” declares one rebel, as some of us make our rounds of the park after the fascists have left. Over 50 people participated in the confrontation. For these people, for a few moments they felt what it is like to come together as a group and push back not only against the police and our oppressors, but also experience something so much more than just listening to boring speakers and staring at the booths of non-profits and food vendors. They felt what it was like to win. To push back against what class society forces against us.

This is what it means to intervene. To stand up for ourselves. At work. In the streets. In our neighborhoods. Everywhere. To all the haters who are tripping off of everyday people bringing da ruckus – you're the ones that are just as bad. We see you, hi hater. We have begun, where you at? This is Modesto muthafucka. 209. Holla.

-Some of those accused of inciting a riot.

West Coast Speaking Tour: Venezuelan Autonomous Movements








Monday, September 21, 2009

Support Community Jobs: RAC Community Carpet Cleaners

Support Community Jobs: RAC Community Carpet Cleaners

From $25 a room

Contact 213-924-1316

Revolutionary Autonomous Communities

Free Books For SCL's Community Partners


Community Partner Free Book Day
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Southern California Library
6120 S. Vermont 
Los Angeles, CA 90044

What if you could come to one of the Southern California Library's book sales--and all the books were FREE?
We're extending a very special invitation to our community partners to come to a free book day at the Library where you will have access to all the books that were available at our booksale, only you won't have to pay anything. There's thousands of titles, so you might have to do some looking, but you can find great books--authors like James Baldwin, WEB DuBois, and Michael Harrington and topics like Katrina and the politics of culture.
Come by on Tuesday, September 22, any time during the day, say hi, and pick up some free books. Whatever you don't take, we'll have to pack up and store, so spread the word and help us create some space--all members and staff of your organization are welcome! 

For more information:

Southern California Library
(323) 759-6063 • www.socallib.org
6120 S. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90044
(Get directions to the Library)
The People's Library
Making Our Own Histories

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Prison Walls Will Crumble - Sept. 12th

Let the run ring loud to this system, that these folk of strong committed reflections of Justice and Freedom are not and will never be forgotten and that their release is being demanded!
Phil Africa’s Statement for RDTW 2009

On Saturday, September 12th, an event will take place in 14 various cities and prisons throughout North America – in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war. The event – known as Running Down the Walls – is a 5k run / walk / bike in support of these comrades who have been imprisoned because of their dedication to liberation and freedom.

In some locations, people will be running through parks or city streets; others will be running in prison yards and even in their cells. In all cases, they will be participating in the spirit of solidarity – the truest and purest meaning of our movements.

We will be running in solidarity for Leonard Peltier – who, on the day of the run, will be “celebrating” his 33rd birthday behind bars. We will be running in solidarity for Veronza Bowers – ordered by the courts to be released in 2005, but because of the power of the Fraternal Order of Police has been held illegally for 4 years. We will be running in solidarity for Kuwasi Balagoon, Merle Africa, Thomas Warner, Bashir Hameed, Albert ‘Nuh’ Washington, Richard Williams and all those dear and precious comrades who have died behind the prison walls. We will be running in solidarity of all those political prisoners and prisoners of war unmentioned but certainly not forgotten.

We ask that you join us on this day as an act of solidarity and Run Down the Walls!. We ask that you run for those who have fought. We ask that you sweat for those who have suffered. We ask that you care for those who have died.

Locations of Runs: Albuquerque, NM; Arcata, CA; Denver, CO; Elmore, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Marion, IL; New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ (two runs in Phoenix); Portland, OR; Shiprock, NM, Tucson, AZ (two runs in Tucson); and West Massachusetts.
(*more runs may be announced or added at the last minute. For contact information about a specific location, contact LA ABCF at la@abcf.net)

Funds raised for this event will go to:
ABCF Warchest – a program that sends monthly stipends to political prisoners who receive little or no financial aid.
Chip Fitzgerald Homecoming Fund – a program designed to assist Chip Fitzgerald – the longest held political prisoner in the US – with his parole campaign.
Ojore Lutalo Fund – Ojore Lutalo has just been released after 27 years in prison. Funds raised will go to assist him getting re-established.

Running Down the Walls – Los Angeles
When: Saturday, September 12, 10 am - 2 pm
Where: Whittier Narrows Regional Park Grounds
750 Santa Anita Ave South El Monte, CA 91733-4300

Registration fees: $12 preregistration; $15, the day of the run. (Make checks out to Tim Fasnacht)

For more information: http://www.abcf.net/la/laabcf.asp?page=la/rdtw or la@abcf.net

"Give flowers to the fallen rebels with a glance turned toward the new dawn"- (old anarchist hymn)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Threat of Genocide: US Military Mapping Against Mexico’s Indigenous


Originally published in Left Turn July/Aug 2009
By Simon Sedillo

The facts are clear: indigenous communities in Mexico are being preyed upon by the US military with the help of Kansas University geographers. In 2005, the Department of Geography at Kansas University received $500,000 in Department of Defense funds to map communally-held indigenous land in the Mexican states of San Luis Potosi and Oaxaca. With the help of the US Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), located at Fort Leavenworth Army base in Leavenworth, Kansas, geography professors Peter Herlihy and Jerome Dobson ploughed ahead with the “Mexico Indigena” project, a part of the larger mapping project, the Bowman Expeditions.

The FMSO researcher assigned to the Bowman Expeditions, Lt. Col. Geoffrey B. Demarest, is suspected of using the maps as military intelligence against indigenous communities that assert autonomy and self-determination through collectively governing and owning their territory. According to Demarest, the only path to ‘progress and security’ in Latin America is through the privatization of such types of communally-held land.

In FMSO publications and a textbook titled “Geoproperty: Foreign Affairs, National Security and Property Rights,” Demarest claims that “informally owned and unregulated land ownership favors illicit use and violence,” and that the only solution to these breeding grounds of crime and insurgency is the privatization and titling of the land.

It should come as no surprise that Demarest was not only trained at the US Army School of the Americas—the facility famous for teaching torture and the creation of paramilitary death squads to Latin American military personnel—but also served as the US Military Attaché at the US Embassy in Guatemala between 1988 and 1991, a time of heavily US-backed military repression against indigenous communities in Guatemala and several high-profile cases of torture and murder.

Before his work on the “Mexico Indigena” project, Demarest was implementing his land data strategies in Colombia, at least up until 2003. A March 2003 FMSO essay written by Demarest titled “Mapping Colombia: Land Data and Strategy,” clearly states the ultimate use of the geographic data: “While the forensic value of land ownership data is relatively obvious, not so obvious is the correlation between land data and military strategy, but this correlation precisely marks an essential attribute of successful counterinsurgent campaigns.”

In the same essay, Demarest takes it a step further and exposes the imperialistic intentions for land data and strategy: “Strategic power becomes the ability to keep and acquire ownership rights around the world. National, sub-, supra- or transnational power can be measured accordingly.”

The FMSO’s primary mission is to assess asymmetric and emerging threats to the national security of the US. By asymmetric threats they mean guerrilla armies, and terrorist organizations. The FMSO is therefore evaluating indigenous-influenced-social movements as emerging threats to the security of US political and economic interests in Mexico.

Oliver Froehling, geographer and academic director of the Universidad de la Tierra (University of the Earth) in Oaxaca city, highlights the danger of these mapping projects when he states: “The Mexico Indigena project subscribes to a military/political strategy. We cannot forget that the mapping begins amidst talks for a US military funding packet known as the Merida Initiative. The control and displacement of indigenous communities intends to remove potential political hot spots, contribute to military control of the region, and ultimately ‘liberate’ natural resources for the benefit of the government and, in turn, its transnational allies.”

Indigenous resistance

Demarest’s notion that the greatest resistance to the neoliberal world order in Mexico comes from indigenous communities claiming autonomy and self-determination in the form of communal territory, is of course, no suspicion. It does.

In 1992, after then president Carlos Salinas de Gortari revoked Article 27 of the constitution that had legally given communal land grants to Mexico’s indigenous farmworker population, and in 1994, after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a series of indigenous-led-and-inspired uprisings in southern Mexico have been mobilizing for self-determination and self-defense of their territory.

One of the most notorious struggles, familiar to Left Turn readers, is that of the Zapatistas, who gained global attention by capturing a third of the state of Chiapas in the early hours of January 1, 1994, the day NAFTA went into effect. They called their armed indigenous uprising a fight against death and oblivion; a fight for peace with dignity, justice, and liberty. While the Zapatistas’ rifle barrels have remained silent for the last 15 years, they have continued to resist, and more importantly to inspire and listen to many struggles all over Mexico and the world.

On June 14, 2006 one of those many struggles, a teacher’s union strike in Oaxaca city, quickly blew up into a popular people’s uprising with a very strong indigenous base. The success of the ensuing 6-month-uprising was fueled by strong ideas of traditional forms of land tenure and the subsequent strategies for self-governance that indigenous communal life entails. Indigenous farm workers, teachers, students, housewives, and laborers came together in a standoff against the state’s governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, demanding his removal from office.

The Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly (APPO), that ultimately took over the state’s capitol city for six months, using a series of blockades and claimed itself the de-facto governing body, grew out of a strong indigenous base. The first general assembly of the APPO, in which 270 delegates participated, was organized under the Mesoamerican indigenous principle of “lead by obeying,” and the general assembly uses an indigenous form of consensus organizing that has existed in Oaxaca for thousands of years.

Exercising their self-determination, APPO members occupied state, local, and federal government offices throughout the city. Strategies of expropriation were employed immediately. Food, water, transportation, and communication were the primary targets of expropriation. At one point, middle-aged APPO women occupied a state-run TV and radio station. When the station’s antennas were attacked, the APPO responded by occupying 13 commercial radio stations. Oaxacans had never expected to hold the city as long as they did. But murder, disappearance, rape, torture and police led drive-by shootings on the part of the state eroded the social movement’s momentum. Oaxaca and the APPO continue to resist the brutal regime of governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and demand his removal.

The battle for Oaxaca is no small one. The state is strategic for neoliberal interests as it is extremely wealthy in natural resources. Already it has become a site of a series of industrial mega projects implemented through NAFTA and the Plan Puebla Panama. Highways, railways, ports of trade, wind energy corridors, mines, agribusinesses, and maquiladora-style assembly plants are some examples of the “progress” touted by the proponents of Plan Puebla Panama. However, over the last 15 years, these symbols of progress have only systematically displaced indigenous communities, which are no longer considered “economically viable.” Human life in Oaxaca is just another disposable variable in NAFTA’s equation for profit. To push indigenous people off their land, and to rob them of their means of subsistence is tantamount to genocide.

Curiously, in 2006, at the same time that the APPO was fighting battles on the streets of the capital, the “Mexico Indigena” mapping project quietly moved its operation from the state of San Luis Potosi to Sierra de Juarez, to a biologically diverse and mineral-rich-region the state of Oaxaca.

Question of identity

For the indigenous of southern Mexico, territory and culture are so intertwined in daily life that one without the other is like a bicycle with no wheels. Yet the ‘progress and prosperity’ of free trade inherently implies a loss of identity and tradition for indigenous communities. The constant bombardment of anti-indigenous propaganda in cartoons, TV shows, and newscasts is no accident. In the free-market, indigenousness is culturally devalued. Billboards on the highways between indigenous villages depict white-skinned consumers with absolutely no relationship to the land from which they consume. The mannequins in all the women’s clothing shops in Oaxaca City—the capitol of a state that is 70 percent indigenous—are all tall, skinny, and very, very white. The most prevalent cosmetic product sold to indigenous women is skin bleach. For indigenous communities in Mexico to claim their autonomy and territory is therefore a deeply urgent reclamation of identity.

In Oaxaca, the indigenous have always been more willing to die fighting for their territory than any government has ever been able to kill them and take it, because negating and criminalizing traditional forms of land tenure is to negate indigenous culture and life. Demarest, the FMSO, and the US military know this. But what they have also discovered in their studies of indigenous territory and resistance in Mexico and other regions of Latin America, is that the most dangerous weapon to neoliberalism is not necessarily struggles for state power, or the presence of physical force. Rather, it is the relentless belief in self-governance and self-determination, exemplified in the traditional form of horizontal power harvested by indigenous communities of Mexico, which poses the biggest threat to the world order. This is the key of cultural resistance, applicable to community-based struggles for self-determination everywhere.

Simón Sedillo is a chicano community rights defense organizer and a documentary film-maker whose work has centered on placing skills, cameras, and editing equipment in the hands of communities in resistance so that they may be able to document their own histories of struggle. Sedillo has spent the last 6 years documenting and teaching community based video documentation in Mexico, in immigrant communities in the US, and with youth of color across the US. Sedillo, who is a contributor to www.elenemigocomun.net, is currently on tour screening short film segments from Oaxaca and Chiapas, and presenting a workshop about neoliberalism and the self-defense of community rights.

Shut Down 2010 Olympics! Settlers Off Native Land!

NO Olympics on STOLEN Native Land!!

Why We Resist
the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Olympics are not about the human spirit & have little to do with athletic excellence; they are a multi-billion dollar industry backed by powerful elites, real estate, construction, hotel, tourism and television corporations, working hand in hand with their partners in crime: government officials & members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

10 Reasons to Resist 2010

1. Colonialism & Fascism
The modern Olympics have a long history of racism, from its early founding members (i.e., Pierre de Coubertin, a French Baron who advocated sports as a means of strengthening colonialism) to recent IOC presidents. The 1936 Berlin Olympics empowered Hitler’s Nazi regime. Both the 1988 Seoul and 2008 Beijing Summer Games helped legitimize authoritarian regimes in Asia. The 1968 Mexico City Olympics (where over 300 student protesters were massacred by soldiers, days before the Olympics began) also helped legitimize state terror. IOC President Avery Brundage, an infamous US racist and Nazi sympathizer, didn’t even acknowledge the massacre. But when two Black US athletes raised their fists in a Black power salute on the medal podium, he had them immediately stripped of their medals and ejected from the Games! Another well-known fascist IOC president was Juan Antonio Samaranch (IOC president from 1980-2001), a former government official in Franco’s fascist regime in Spain.

2. No Olympics on Stolen Land
BC remains largely unceded and non-..surrendered Indigenous territories. According to Canadian law, BC has neither the legal nor moral right to exist, let alone claim land and govern over Native peoples. Despite this, and a fraudulent treaty process now underway, the government continues to sell, lease and ‘develop’ Native land for the benefit of corporations, including mining, logging, oil & gas, and ski resorts. Meanwhile, Indigenous peoples suffer the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, imprisonment, police violence, disease, suicides, etc.

3. Ecological Destruction
Despite claims to be the “greenest Olympics” ever, and PR statements about ‘sustainability..’, the 2010 Olympics will be among the most environmentally.. destructive in history, with tens of thousands of trees cut down & mountainsides blasted for Olympic venues in the Callaghan Valley (near Whistler) & the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion. In the summer of 2007, a record number of black bears were hit on the Sea-to-Sky Highway, with at least 11 dying (attributed to loss of habitat). Massive amounts of concrete used in construction have also caused millions of Salmon to die in the Fraser River, where tons of gravel are being mined to make concrete.

4. Homelessness
Since winning the 2010 Winter Games in 2003, Vancouver has lost over 850 units of low-income housing; during the same period, homelessness has increased from 1,000 to over 2,500. It is estimated by 2010, the number of homeless may be as high as 6,000. Since the 1980s, Olympic Games have caused the displacement of over 2 million people (Fair Play for Housing Rights report, 2007). In Seoul 1988, some 750,000 poor were displaced, in Atlanta 1996, over 30,000, and for Beijing in 2008, an estimated 1.5 million have been displaced. Yet still today Olympic officials talk about ‘sustainability..’ and ‘Olympic legacies’!

5. Criminalization.. of the Poor
To ‘clean out’ the poor and undesirables, Olympic host cities routinely begin a campaign to criminalize the poor. In Vancouver, the city has launched Project Civil City and new by-laws to criminalize begging for money, sleeping outdoors, etc. It has also included hundreds of thousands of dollars for increased private security (i.e., the Downtown Ambassadors). New garbage canisters on streets make it more difficult for the poor to gather recyclables, and new benches make it impossible to lay down. These measures fit with government plans to remove poor downtown residents to mental institutions, “detox centers” on former military bases, and the ‘fly-back’ scheme by police to return persons wanted on warrants in other provinces. This is nothing less than a process of social cleansing!

6. Impact on Women
Events such as the Olympics draw hundreds of thousands of spectators and cause large increases in prostitution and trafficking of women. In Vancouver, over 68 women are missing and/or murdered. Many were Native, and many were reportedly involved in the sex trade. In 2007, the trial of William Pickton occurred for six of these murders, and he is to be tried for an additional 20 more. In northern BC, over 30 young women, mostly Native, are missing and/or murdered along Highway 16. The 2010 Olympics and its invasion of tourists and corporations will only increase this violence against women.

7. 2010 Police State
Some 12,500 police, military and security personnel are to be deployed for 2010, including Emergency Response Teams, riot cops, helicopters, armoured vehicles, etc. The RCMP plan on erecting 40 km of crowd-control fencing along with CCTV video surveillance cameras. Special security zones will be established to control entry near Olympic venues. For 3 weeks, Vancouver will be an occupied Police State! And once the Olympics are over, there is no guarantee many of these security measures will not remain (i.e., CCTV).

Repression also involves attacks on anti-Olympic groups & individuals, including arrests of protesters, raids of offices, surveillance, media smear campaigns, cuts to funding programs, etc., all in an effort to undermine anti-2010 resistance. This repression has already been used against anti-poverty & housing groups, environmentalis..ts and Natives, in Vancouver.

8. Public Debt
VANOC and government officials claim the 2010 Games will cost some $2 billion. However, this amount doesn’t include the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion, the Canada Line Skytrain to the airport, the Vancouver Convention Center, or the lower mainland Gateway Project. Including these costs, since they were necessary to win the bid and had to be completed by 2010, makes the true cost of the Games some $6 billion, which must be paid for through public debt, money that could’ve been spent on social services, housing, drug treatment, healthcare, etc.

9. Olympic Corruption
The modern Olympics are well known for their corruption, including both top IOC officials involved in bribery scandals (i.e. Salt Lake City 2002) or athletes found to be using performance-..enhancing drugs (such as steroids). Yet the IOC still claims the youth need an inspiration and a “model” of good sportsmanship! Despite published reports of bribery scandals involving IOC members and host cities (i.e., The New Lords of the Rings, by Andrew Jennings), the Olympics continue to be seen as an honorable & noble enterprise, thanks to the corporate media.

10. Corporate Invasion
Government’s and business use the Olympics as a means to attract corporate investment. In BC, the Liberal government has ‘streamlined’ application processes, cut taxes, and offered other incentives to increase certain industries such as mining, oil & gas drilling, and ski resorts. This includes large increases in transport systems, including new ports, bridges, expanded highways & rail-lines. This is all part of their Investment to 2010 Strategy. The results have been dramatic, record-..breaking increases in these industries, resulting in greater environmental destruction and more corporate power & influence over our daily lives.

Many of the main corporate sponsors of the Olympics are themselves responsible for massive ecological destruction and human rights violations, including McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Petro-Canada, TransCanada, Dow, Teck Cominco, etc., while others are major arms manufacturers (General Electric & General Motors).


“What causes opponents to come of their own accord is the prospect of gain. What discourages opponents from coming is the prospect of harm.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

From the Streets of Iran

Join us for the Opening Reception:
Thursday September 10, 6-9 pm

Los Angeles, CA - Crewest presents From the Streets of Iran, Works on
paper by urban artists in Iran, curated by Shervin Shahbazi. This
exhibit is the first of its kind in the U.S. featuring graffiti-based
works on paper by ICY, SOT, FRZ, MAD, and CK1. These artists have
exhibited their work in Iran and Europe and this is their United
States debut.

The artists draw inspiration from Iran’s rich heritage of calligraphy,
visual arts, revolution and the state in which they live, as well as
their exposure to graffiti and urban art in the West. Their work
encompasses a broad range of subject matter—from urbanism and
political resistance to scenes of everyday people and the innocence of
youth. Each of the artists practices their own aesthetic. In some
works, detailed hand styles overlap with spray can imagery; in others,
stencil work and careful attention to texture affect a stylized
photorealism. However the individual styles may differ, the works as a
group resonate with hope and a determination to realize the promise of
a better future from the streets of Iran.
For more information please visit: http://crewest.com/

And on Saturday, September 12, 6:00 - 10:00 PM
Join us for another exhibit on Iran:
Traces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories
at Morono Kiang Gallery, 218 West 3rd Street, Bradbury Building, Los
Angeles, 90013

Traces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories
September 10 - November 21, 2009

Artists Reception:
Saturday, September 12, 6:00 - 10:00 PM

Traces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories explores the primacy of
personal memory against a backdrop of divergent cultural experiences and
collective histories. These memories capture more than moments in time—they
bear witness to unprecedented change and inspire new interpretations of the
past, which, in the end, create Traces of Being. This exhibition
curated by Shervin Shahbazi features new mixed media and
installation-based works by Pantea Karimi, Hushidar Mortezaie, Amitis
Motevalli, and Fereshteh Toosi.

We invite you to bring your own ephemera, such as written accounts,
objects, or images, to add to our interactive timeline of Iran's
contemporary history from 1979 to 2009.

Future programs include a panel discussion with the artists and a sneak peek of
Robert Adanto’s new documentary film about contemporary women artists from
An illustrated catalogue for the exhibition will be available in October.

For more information please visit:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Community Rallies Behind Imprisoned Ex-Gang Leader

Community Rallies Behind Imprisoned Ex-Gang Leader
By Leilani Albano


Jul 22, 2009

A Los Angeles judge has delayed a decision on whether to allow bail for gang intervention leader and peacemaker, Alex Sanchez. Sanchez, a former gang member of the notorious Salvadoran gang “MS-13,” faces federal conspiracy charges for plotting to kill reputed gang leader Walter Lacinos, who was found murdered in El Salvador three years ago.

As part of the indictment, Sanchez –- along with 24 others affiliated with the Mara Salvatrucha — is also accused of multiple murders and drug violations. The indictment also alleges members of the gang were responsible for seven murders and eight conspiracies to commit murder since 1995.

Sanchez was first denied bail on June 30 after the courts ruled that he did not have enough community support. The second bail was held last week but the courts put off making a decision until the next hearing, which is set for August 17.

Homies Unidos Board of Directors Chair Troy Garity says the delays in granting Sanchez bail are hurting his case. “The denial of bail is the denial of Alex’s equal opportunity to defend himself. A fair trial for Alex begins with granting him bail.”

The charges against Sanchez continue to baffle community members. “The allegations are utterly incompatible with not only his reputation not only with the steps he has taken, the programs he has started, the lives he has changed,” said Garity.

Born in El Salvador, Alex later joined the MS-13 but left the gang after settling down with a wife and child in Los Angeles. He then began to help gang members change their lives. As co-founder of the gang intervention center, Homies Unidos, Sanchez led a staff that provides life skills counseling, job placement programs and tattoo removal programs for youth wanting to avoid or leave gangs. The 37-year-old activist has also acted as an advocate for immigrant and youth rights and lobbied for gang intervention programs. “He’s a hero in our community,” said Alex’s brother, Oscar.

In addition, Interim Executive Director for Homies Unidos, Mirna Solarzano, says Sanchez has worked extensively with different groups to forge truces between gangs, including African American and Latino gangs, leading to safer streets.

“That’s one thing that Alex did…the black and brown unity,” she said. “As you can see, most of our black brothers are united in support of Alex and that says a lot.”

Across from the court house, supporters, friends and family members held a prayer circle for Sanchez before last week’s bail hearing. His backers, who range from neighbors, religious leaders to politicians, have so far put up $2.5 million in sureties to secure his release for bail. “The amount of money that was raised says a lot. That people are putting their savings up, because they trust him,” Oscar said.

Sanchez first received national attention after testifying against the Los Angeles Police Department in a murder trial during the Rampart Police Station Scandal, which refers to the period of widespread corruption among the LAPD’s anti-gang unit in the 1990s.

About 70 police officers were implicated in the scandal for framing, beating and killing people, stealing drugs and other offenses. In response, the LAPD tried to deport Sanchez to El Salvador in 2000, but he successfully won political asylum two years later.

Some community members see the link between Rampart and the federal indictment against him, as payback for Sanchez’s testimony against the LAPD. “He was one of the ones targeted by the Rampart police,” said Copwatch LA organizer, Joaquin Cienfuegos. “He was able to testify against the police.”

As one result of the scandal, federal officials imposed a consent decree in 2001 that acted as an oversight committee for the LAPD. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Gary A. Feess lifted the decree. The decree will be replaced by a transitional committee made up of community members, which will monitor the police department’s actions.

In the federal indictment against Sanchez, prosecutors presented evidence that includes: a chest tattoo, as well as Sanchez’s criminal record (despite the fact that his convictions were struck down), a poem by him that was obtained by police, and a picture of him making gang signs at a gang peace conference nine years ago, according to ex-senator and civil rights leader, Tom Hayden.

Prosecutors also contend that they have wiretapped evidence of Sanchez conspiring to kill Lacinos, a gang leader, about a week before his death on May 15. Hayden wrote in an article he wrote for the magazine, The Nation, disputes the prosecutor’s claims, stating that the wiretap evidence against Sanchez is weak.

Hayden contended that prosecutors based their allegations on an unreleased wiretap in which Sanchez says “we go to war.” About a week after that statement was made, an MS-13 member killed Lacinos, according to the prosecution’s account, he said.

“It is hardly substantive evidence of ordering a gang killing,” said Hayden, who noted the statement was not put into context nor were additional quotes provided by Sanchez. Despite this, not everyone is convinced of his innocence.

Civil Rights Attorney Connie Rice, who heads the Advancement Project, casted doubts about Sanchez’s innocence after she said he missed meetings focusing on violence among MS-13 gang members. Her statements riled Alex’s brother, Oscar, who is asking that she clarify her statements.

“There’s no logic. Because he was missing some meetings, he was committing crimes?” he asked. Rice could not be reached for comment.

If convicted, Sanchez and others named in the indictment could face 25 years to life in prison. Homies Unidos was not named as part of the indictment.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Show in K-Town 9/4/09



The Police Execution of Saul Soriano



The Police Execution of Saul Soriano
By O22 L.A.

As we know, police continue to kill civilians and justify their actions by portraying the victim as criminals. Police murdering innocents has grown into an epidemic, targeting poor people of color. Unfortunately, Policemen Bill of Rights protects an officer from getting fired, form being tried, from getting questioned for a certain period of time. We cannot rely on the courts to get justice for it is only through the people and by the people, that justice can be served.

On January 1, 2009 at 2:20am Saul Soriano, 41, father of four boys was killed in Arleta (in the San Fernando Valley) by three Los Angeles Police Department officers, in the attic of his home during a New Year Eve celebration with his family.

After collecting data through outreach in the community where Saul was killed, community and family members have shared their testimonies with community activists. One witness who was forced to evacuate his home by police officers said, frighten by the officers Saul refuged himself in the attic of his home. According to witness and family members of Saul, LAPD officers did not arrive at the scene with the intention of mediating with Saul but with the intention of killing him in cold blood.

Pictures of the Attic where Saul was shot in cold blood, you can see bullet holes and blood stains on the wall and ceiling





While Saul was in the attic not visible in the dark, officers stood below diagonally from him, less than ten feet away reacted by pulling out a nine-millimeter gun and a shotgun that shredded his face. Because his body was not visible, the roof was tore apart and firefighters had to use a fire-truck crane to carried Saul’s body out of the attic. The community remains in trauma after witnessing LAPD officers murder Saul and carried his body out the roof.



Further, more not only was Saul executed in cold blood but he was portrayed as a terrorist. Article cover by Paula Diaz in HOY (Spanish newspaper), title "Familias exigen una investigacion" (translated to "Families demand an investigation"), misrepresented Saul as a terrorist that had a bomb in his car. Outraged by his brother’s death Rafael, met with the Salvadorian Consulate to demand an investigation in regards to his brother's death by three LAPD officers. In addition, of being misrepresented as a terrorist, Saul was criminalized as a dangerous individual by Lt. John Romero, LAPD spokesperson. Romero insisted in justifying Saul’s death by stating that officers arrived at Saul’s house after a 911 call about a man firing shots in the air and threatening his family. Romero stated that Saul was armed when he was shot, but witnesses oppose his argument. Community members loved Saul and testify that he was a loving, dedicated father of four boys who although was divorce permitted his ex-wife to maintain in house and paid for all the families expenses.

In order to obtain Saul’s body, his brother, Rafael Soriano was required by the coroners office to obtain a letter of full power custody over his brother's dead body, signed by his parents who reside in El Salvador. Saul’s families along with neighbors remain in trauma and demand justice for Saul execution in cold blood by three LAPD officers.

New Afrikan Anarchist POW Ojore N. Lutalo is free!!!

If anyone would like more information please contact arcata.abcf@ yahoo.com or timABCF@aol. com

============ ========= ========= ========= ========= ====

Ojore was released from New Jersey State Prison at 4pm on August 26th. Ojore is currently in Philadelphia getting reoriented to being on the streets. He will eventually be moving to New Jersey once he finds a space.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to donate funds please contact me.

Solidarity and struggle!

Philly ABCF
timABCF@aol. com

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can a Mother Lose Her Child Because She Doesn't Speak English?

Can a Mother Lose Her Child Because She Doesn't Speak English?
By Tim Padgett with Dolly Mascareñas / Oaxaca


Can the U.S. government take a woman's baby from her because she
doesn't speak English? That's the latest question to arise in the
hothouse debate over illegal immigration, as an undocumented woman from
impoverished rural Mexico — who speaks only an obscure indigenous
language — fights in a Mississippi court to regain custody of her
infant daughter.

Cirila Baltazar Cruz comes from the mountainous southern state of
Oaxaca, a region of Mexico that makes Appalachia look affluent. To
escape the destitution in her village of 1,500 mostly Chatino Indians,
Baltazar Cruz, 34, migrated earlier this decade to the U.S., hoping to
send money back to two children she'd left in her mother's care. She
found work at a Chinese restaurant on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

But Baltazar Cruz speaks only Chatino, barely any Spanish and no
English. Last November, she went to Singing River Hospital in
Pascagoula, Miss., where she lives, to give birth to a baby girl, Rubí.
According to documents obtained by the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, the
hospital called the state Department of Human Services20(DHS), which
ruled that Baltazar Cruz was an unfit mother in part because her lack
of English "placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby
in danger in the future." (Read "Should a Muslim Mother Be Caned for
Drinking a Beer?")

Rubí was taken from Baltazar Cruz, who now faces deportation. In May, a
Jackson County judge gave the infant to a couple (it is unclear if for
foster care or adoptive purposes) who reportedly live in Ocean Springs.
Baltazar Cruz is challenging the ruling in Jackson County Youth Court
and hopes that if she is deported she can at least take Rubí back to
Mexico with her. (She has not disclosed the father's identity.) (See
the best and worst moms ever.)

Baltazar Cruz's case has been taken up by the Mississippi Immigrants'
Rights Alliance (MIRA) and the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law
Center (SPLC), whose lawyers say they can't comment on its specifics
because of a judge's gag order. But Mary Bauer, the SPLC's legal
director, says that on a general level, any notion that a mother can
lose custody of a child because she doesn't speak a particular language
"is a fundamentally outrageous violation of human rights." (Read "When
Motherhood Gets You Jail Time.")

Before the gag order, advocates for Baltazar Cruz had charged that the
problems sprang from faulty translation at Singing River. Baltazar Cruz
arrived at the hospital after she flagged down a Pascagoula p
officer on a city street. She was later joined there by a
Chatino-speaking relative, according to MIRA, but the hospital declined
his services and instead used a translator from state social services,
an American of Puerto Rican descent who spoke no Chatino and whose
Spanish was significantly different from that spoken in Mexico.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, the state report portrayed Baltazar
Cruz as virtually a prostitute, claiming she was "exchanging living
arrangements for sex" in Pascagoula and planned to put the child up for
adoption. Through her advocates (before the gag order), Baltazar Cruz
adamantly denied those claims. Since "she has failed to learn the
English language," the newspaper quotes the documents as saying, she
was "unable to call for assistance for transportation to the hospital"
to give birth. The social-services translator also reported that
Baltazar Cruz had put Rubí in danger because she "had not brought a
cradle, clothes or baby formula." But indigenous Oaxacan mothers
traditionally breast feed their babies for a year and rarely use
bassinets, carrying their infants instead in a rebozo, a type of sling.

MIRA has accused Singing River and Mississippi DHS of essentially
"stealing" Rubí. Citing the gag order, DHS will not comment on Baltazar
Cruz's case, but before the order, an official insisted to the
Clarion-Ledger that "the language a person speaks has nothing to do
with the outcome
of the investigation." Singing River spokesman Richard
Lucas calls the MIRA charge "preposterous" and, while noting that the
nonprofit hospital delivered Baltazar Cruz's baby free of charge,
insists it "did what any good hospital would have done given her
unusual circumstances" by alerting DHS.

Still, despite DHS statements to the contrary, language seems a central
issue in the state's case against Baltazar Cruz. It wouldn't be the
first time this has happened in the U.S. In 2004 a Tennessee judge
ordered into foster care the child of a Mexican migrant mother who
spoke only an indigenous tongue. (Another judge later returned the
child to her family.) Last year, a California court took custody of the
U.S.-born twin babies of another indigenous, undocumented migrant from
Oaxaca. After she was deported, the Oaxaca state government's Institute
for Attention to Migrants fought successfully to have the twins
repatriated to her in Mexico this summer. In such cases, says the
SPLC's Bauer, a lack of interpreters is a key factor. When a mother
can't follow the proceedings, "she looks unresponsive, and that conveys
to a judge a lack of interest in the child, which is clearly not the
case," she says. She also argues it's hard enough for any adult to
learn a new language, "let alone when you're a migrant working long
hours for low pay."

One of DHS's apparent fears is that an infant isn't safe in a home
where the mothe
r can articulate a 911 call solely in a language spoken
only by some 50,000 Oaxacan Indians. Bauer points out that children
have been raised safely in the U.S. by non-English-speaking parents for
well over a century. Had they not, thousands of Italians and Russians
would have had to leave their kids with foster care on Ellis Island.
"Raising your child is one of the most fundamental liberties, and it
can only be taken from you for the most serious concerns of
endangerment," says Bauer. "Not speaking English hardly meets that

Rosalba Piña, a Chicago attorney who co-hosts a local radio program on
immigration law, agrees. She likens Mississippi officials to those who
fought to keep 6-year-old Elián Gonzalez in the U.S. nine years ago
because they argued his life would be better here than in impoverished
Cuba with his father. "They're ignoring basic U.S. and international
law," says Piña. "Unless there's some real threat to the child's life
back in the home country, most judges know it's in the child's best
interest to be with his parents." In the end, she notes, Rubí is a U.S.
citizen who could return to this country at any time as an adult.

The next court hearing in Baltazar Cruz's case is slated for November.
In the meantime, Mexican consular officials in the U.S. struck an
agreement with Mississippi authorities this month to ensure that Mexico
will be informed when nationals like B
altazar Cruz become embroiled in
cases like this. Says Daniel Hernandez Joseph, director of Mexico's
program for protection of citizens abroad: "The main concern of the
Mexican government is not to separate immigrant families." Baltazar
Cruz now has to persuade Mississippi judges that it should be their
concern too.