More attacks on Marxist Tendency Militante and student organisers

After student activists of the Marxist Tendency Militante led a successful struggle against the authorities of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico City last week, a new attack has been launched against them with slanderous accusations of fraud and as well as claims they have links to terrorist organisations. Please sign the letter of protest.

On September 13 and 14 the students of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico City organised a successful movement against the attempt by education authorities to change the academic rules to make it harder for students to finish their studies. Mass meeting at most schools and a demonstration managed to force the IPN director, Enrique Villa, to withdraw these new rules. The movement was led by the Polytechnic Committee of Struggle (CLEP), the traditional students organisation at the IPN, going back to the 1968 student movement. The CLEP is now part of the Students Committee for the Defence of State Education (CEDEP). Student organisers from the Marxist Tendency Militante have a majority in the leadership of both organisations. IPN Director Enrique Villa slandered the CLEP-CEDEP in the media, and named three of the main activists of the organisation (see for instance http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/142911.html ,
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2006/09/15/055n1soc.php
)

Now, unsigned leaflets have appeared at the IPN in which slanderous accusations of "fraud" are made against CLEP - CEDEP for its leading role in the victorious struggle in August of students for access to higher education, and repeating slanderous accusations of links between Militante and the EPR "urban guerrillas" (these allegations had already been made in El Universal in August ( http://www.marxist.com/struggle-mexico-marxist-militante010906.htm). We appeal all activists in the labour and trade union movement internationally to add their names to the following letter of protest (send your name, position and organisation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.):

 



Stop political repression against CEDEP, CLEP and Militante in Mexico

 

Vicente Fox Quesada
Presidente de la República Mexicana
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Carlos Abascal Carranza
Secretaria de Gobernación
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José Enrique Villa Rivera
Director General de Instituto Politécnico Nacional
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Those signing this statement, members of different social and trade union organisations in Mexico and other countries, would like to express our concern over the slanders and the attacks on the part of the Mexican mass media against the Students Committee in Defence of State Education, the Polytechnic Committee of Struggle and the Marxist Tendency Militante. One of the most outrageous examples is the article published by Raymundo Riva Palacio in El Universal on August 25th, under the title Strictly Personal, in which he falsely accuses members of these organisations and of the Oaxaca Peoples' Assembly APPO of having links with the EPR urban guerrilla.

Not satisfied with these slanders, the attacks have now reached a new level, which is worrying since open threats have been made against members of these organisations and repression can be used against them. We are referring to the fact that on September 20, unsigned leaflets appeared in different schools of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), calling on students who participated in the Movement of Non-Admitted Students (MENA) to gather a day later, on September 21 at 5pm, in the building of the Attorney General of the Republic, to introduce a legal case for "fraud" against three of the leading members of these organisations. The same unsigned leaflets once again slander Militante accusing the organisation of links with the EPR.

It is clear that this latest attack is the response on the part of the authorities of the IPN to the recent struggle by the students of this educational institution. On September 13 and 14 the students forced the director, Enrique Villa, to withdraw his reactionary reform of the General Rules of Study, which defined 8 out of 10 as the minimum mark to pass. Comrades from the above mentioned organisations played a key role, together with the students, in this struggle. It is with slanders and repression against members of these organisations that Enrique Villa wants to get rid of all those students who are committed to the struggle for an education system that serves the people.

Regarding the alleged fraud that the comrades are accused of, this is related to a financial collection that was held amongst the participants in the MENA movement, which was the result of a democratic decision taken at a mass meeting of all those participating in the movement and aspiring to enter both the IPN and the UNAM university, after having been rejected through the access exam. The participants in the movement agreed to make a voluntary financial contribution to the movement to cover the costs of the struggle, including production of leaflets, flyers, posters, placards, etc. This is obviously not explained in these unsigned leaflets produced by agents of the IPN authorities who want to fool the IPN students and all those who year after year have to fight for the right to access higher education.

For us there is no doubt that the campaign against the comrades of these organisations is part of a general campaign of the government to criminalise the social movement which has erupted in Mexico and to invent a pretext in order to use repression against the different social organisations, as already has been the case with the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO).

For all of these reasons we:

1.- Reject and repudiate all these attacks, as well as the political and judicial harassment against the CEDEP, the CLEP, Militante and the rest of organisations and social fighters in Mexico

2.- Demand an immediate stop of all attacks, slanders and harassment against the comrades of CEDEP, CLEP and Militante.

3.- Consider Vicente Fox, president of the Republic, Carlos Abascal, Home Affairs Minister, and Enrique Villa, Director General of the IPN, responsible for any acts of repression against members of these organisations.

4.- Make clear our commitment to exercise all necessary actions, nationally and internationally, to force the Mexican government and the authorities of the IPN to stop their campaign of attacks against CEDEP, CLEP and Militante.

Yours respectfully,

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