On May 31, 26 peasants were ambushed and murdered in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. They belonged to the community of Santiago Xochiltepec, and the authorities initially blamed the massacre on intercommunity conflicts. However there have been allegations concerning the role of logging companies that operate illegally in the area and receive protection from state and paramilitary forces.

On Saturday June 21, Alan Woods, editor of Marxist.com delivered an address in the auditorium of the Trotsky Museum in Coyoacan, Mexico City on the present world situation. The meeting was packed, with over 150 people in a hall that seats only 80. In order to get everyone in, people sat in the passages and the staff of the museum had to open the side doors, where people stood outside, trying to listen.

Between August 9 and 11 in Oventic, Chiapas, the history of "Aguascalientes" as a rebel territory of the EZLN ended. This has made way for the establishment of civil administration in the areas where the EZLN has set up autonomous municipalities. It is a clear sign of the open intention of the EZLN leadership to go from being a military organization to being a local or regional political organization.

Since 1993, more than 4,000 women - workers and students - have disappeared in Ciudad Juarez. According to Amnesty International, 327 of them have been found tortured, raped, mutilated and murdered, after having been kidnapped in the centre of the city at the end of their workday in the maquilas [assembly plants in the US border region], or leaving their computing academies, their bodies abandoned on vacant land.

The year 2004 is beginning and with it also the second half of Vicente Fox's term in office. On the international level, turbulence and crises on all levels will be on the agenda. While it is certain that there is a possibility of economic growth, this does not mean that the crisis of Mexican capitalism has been resolved, nor that stability will be possible. On November 27, for the first time, a packed public square chanted the slogan of a general strike. But this is only the beginning; the principal struggles of the workers, in defense of their economic interests, as well as against the capitalist system, have barely started.

The political situation in Mexico is heating up. The anger of the masses has been aroused by the political interference of the United States in the internal affairs of the country and that anger is threatening to boil over into an all out social explosion. The most popular candidate in all polls for next year’s presidential election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has not even officially announced his intention to run as PRD candidate for the presidency, and US imperialism and Mexico ’s ruling class are already trying to block him from running for office.

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