On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we look at the Mexican state’s targeting of Indigenous resistance movements and communities, specifically the cases of political prisoners Fidencio Aldama and Miguel Peralta, and how this relates to the militarization of borders across so-called North America.
As a recent article on It’s Going Down wrote:
Militarization is being seen as a filter to prevent migration coming from the south and headed north toward the United States. AMLO has touted the project as a means to “develop” southern Mexico, or to put it correctly, to exploit the resources of the region and take advantage of the dispossessed populations as cheap labor. This cheap labor includes the extensive migrant population that travels through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec headed north.
Indigenous communities across southern Mexico represent an organized threat to the Mexican state and its various proposed mega-projects. As Avispa Media reported:
It is important to highlight the role of the Armed Forces who, under the pretext of executing the works, have extended their presence in the indigenous territories. At the same time as militarization is advancing, the communities charge that organized crime is also making inroads and, with it, violence through executions, disappearances and other crimes within the native populations.
This clamp-down is also happening at a time when the US is pushing for the militarization of borders across North America through troops on the ground and an expanding network of high-tech surveillance and migrant prisons. As discussed in this episode, with the ending of Title 42, which banned refugees and asylum seekers from entering the US under the pretext of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US is now pushing to expand border militarization under so-called Title 8, which will increase the policing of migrants across the Americas, subject them to criminal charges for crossing, and utilized US troops and other aggressive tactics to stop people from entering the US. According to one report:
Under the terms of Title 42 emergency public health rules, which were implemented by the Trump administration at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 2.4 million migrants seeking to enter the US, many of them asylum seekers, were deported back to their country of origin or to Mexico in violation of their fundamental immigration rights.
Over the past 28 months, the Biden administration has stepped up the expulsions and used Title 42 aggressively, while claiming to be opposed to its repressive rules. Now Biden is replacing the expiring procedure with a no less draconian regime of migrant apprehension and removal.
All those removed under Title 8 will be banned from entering the US for five years, and if they attempt to enter before then, will be subject to criminal prosecution.
This repression of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees is also taking place against a backdrop of growing attacks from both political parties and far-Right fascists. Just last weekend, in Allen, Texas a neo-Nazi gunman opened fire at a mall killing eight and in Brownsville, Texas, a driver made anti-migrant statements outside of a shelter before driving into a group of Venezuelan refugees, also killing eight.
As echoed throughout this podcast discussion, the need for autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements to build up networks and relationships of solidarity and mutual aid is needed now more than ever, in the face of increasing fascist violence, state repression, and border militarization.
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