The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.2           January 19, 1998 
Behind The Mexico Massacre  
The pre-Christmas massacre of dozens of peasants in Chiapas, Mexico, by pro-landlord thugs shows the true face of capitalism today and what it offers humanity tomorrow.

U.S. president William Clinton hypocritically deplored the killing as a "violation of the most basic human values" while praising the capitalist government of Mexico, whose ruling party was responsible for the crime.

Meanwhile, Washington is stepping up its military intervention in Mexico under the guise of fighting drug trafficking - through CIA training of Mexican special troops and providing military helicopters - to try to keep workers and peasants in check.

Workers should not be fooled by the U.S. rulers' occasional campaign around "democracy" in Mexico. When the billionaires talk about democracy, we should ask: Democracy for whom? For which class? They really mean keeping the world safe for the capitalists. In fact, as the class struggle and polarization heats up, Washington needs a stronger, more authoritarian regime in Mexico to try to guard its profit interests.

For decades, foreign and domestic landlords have sponsored death squads and terrorized Indians and other rural toilers in southern Mexico - with not a peep from big-business spokespeople. It's only when the struggles by peasants and workers in Chiapas exploded that they got the attention of "civilized" society.

The December 22 slaughter in Chiapas is simply one of the brutal consequences of the capitalist economic and social crisis in Mexico. Since the U.S.-engineered "bailout" imposed on Mexico after the December 1994 collapse of the peso, U.S. capitalist investors and some Mexican capitalists have recovered from the worst of the crisis. But the results have been devastating for Mexican working people: slashed social programs, lower real wages, higher unemployment. Peasants continue to be driven off the land and into the ranks of the agricultural and urban working class. Meanwhile, Yankee and other foreign capitalists have grabbed bigger pieces of the country's national patrimony. The stepped-up repression is an effort by the wealthy rulers to stem the inevitable growth of resistance to this economic disaster.

As U.S. imperialists sink their tentacles further into social powderkegs around the world such as Mexico, however, more explosions are guaranteed. The capitalist system itself, by its own workings, is the world's number one subversive force: it fosters conditions that produce more workers - more soldiers for the army of labor - and that push working people into fighting for our own class interests. For working-class militants the world over, this is the time to steadily organize, recruit, prepare, and fight -to build a movement of millions that can wrest state power from the propertied minority and place it in the hands of workers and farmers.  
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