Friday, May 05, 2006

cinco de mayo post

Feliz Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos!

I'll be going out tonight to see my friend Laith perform, and Mexican beer will be my drink of choice.

Cinco de Mayo is, of course, more than just a day to get drunk and celebrate Mexican culture. To learn more about the day's historical significance, check out the Cinco de Mayo Wikipedia entry.

On a more serious note, David Reynolds has taken the time to write a Cinco de Mayo post about the current struggle in Mexico between farmers and the government. The following excerpt explains the the plight that these farmers face:
The flower farmers are supported by members of a group known as Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra (People’s Front in Defense of the Land or FPDT). The FPDT opposes the government confiscation of communal lands known as ejidos that have provided farms and residential space to the ejidatarios for decades. The ejidos were eliminated by the Mexican government when it signed the NAFTA agreement.

As a result, the Mexican government routinely gives land to transnational corporations to build factories, retail stores, and the like. (It has been rumored the marketplace area where the FPDT-supported flower farmers tried to set up their stalls is slated to become a Wal-Mart.) The indigenous ejidatarios are often forced off the land where they have lived their entire lives, and their livelihoods are destroyed. Their choices are usually either becoming wage slaves for the transnational corporations or seeking lives elsewhere, including sneaking across the border into the United States to seek work.

A violent standoff between the farmers and local, state, and federal authorities began on Wednesday, with the predictable result of police initiating violence and taking control of the town.

The people who live and work on the land are the rightful owners of it, not the government. The government has no right to claim the land as their own and then hand it over to transnational corporations, continuing the accumulation of wealth by force that should be condemned by all friends of liberty.


Blogger Nick Manley said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Nick Manley said...

Just wanted to drop a note of thanks for linking me on your blog sidebar.

Shoot me an email if you'd like, since I've started a weekly mailing. Would add you to it.

9:27 PM  

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