Late Tuesday Alejandro Toledo, president of Peru, declared a 30-day state of emergency. This was the Peruvian government's response to growing social tension in the country. A wave of strikes has been sweeping the country over the past two weeks with more and more workers coming out.

Following on from yesterday's article, Fred Weston, updates the situation as it is unfolding in Peru. At least one student has already been killed in clashes with the security forces, and the movement does not look at all as if it is prepared to back off.

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.

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