Chavez's Bolivarian Groups Operating in 10 Logistical Centers in Mexico City
by Francisco Reséndiz | La Crónica
Mexico City. 8 March 2006 | It is dusk at the Ciudad Universitaria [main campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico]. There is one more week to go before classes begin, but there is a lot going on. At the schools of Economics, Philosophy and Political Science groups of students, supported by Venezuelan agents, rush to print Bolivarian propaganda in favor of [leftist presidential candidate] Andrés Manuel López Obrador that they will immediately distribute in towns and communities throughout Oaxaca, Morelos and Guerrero. The rain, strange for February, and the cold weather, remind me that during the last three months I have been participating in one of the Bolivarian circles that receive economic support, logistic advice and ideological instruction from activists trained by the Venezuelan government, namely, the José Revueltas group. During these months I put together a list that identifies leaders of the Bolivarian groups, and their home and work addresses. Furthermore, according to what was said by members of their own groups and Venezuelan and Mexican intelligence sources, profiles were established, many linked to manifestations of the EPR [People’s Revolutionary Army] and the ERPI [Insurgent People’s Revolutionary Army].
The propaganda consists of posters that read “Bolivarians stand behind Andrés Manuel López Obrador;” some fliers with photographs of the man from Tabasco taken during the trial which took place in the Chamber of Deputies reads: “For the unity of Latin America AMLO [López Obrador’s initials],” and some booklets that speak of the need for unity among Latin American countries proclaim: “The Caracas-Havana-Mexico City Axis with López Obrador.” The students and members of the civic organizations distribute the fliers and booklets in poor neighborhoods in various metropolitan areas, mainly in Mexico City, and in small towns or communities in various states whenever they are doing community work such as medical consultations, giving haircuts, as well as conducting literacy programs. When I ask the students about the presidential election they halfheartedly tell me that López Obrador and the PRD [Party of the Democratic Revolution] “are the only way to stop the expansionism of the US Empire.” They do not appear to be convinced, but they maintain close ties with the Citizen Networks that promote the PRD’s presidential candidacy. I found out that they had close ties with the PRD leadership in the nation’s capital, but I was unable to find out their names; however, the activists themselves commented that they were not well received despite the fact that they were lending their support to López Obrador. “They didn’t want us anywhere near them but they were appreciative of the community work we were doing in promotion of their candidate,” I was told one day by one of the student leaders.
The pro-López Obrador Bolivarian groups are organizing themselves at the Schools of Philosophy and Letters, Economics, Social Work and Political Science and at the Aragón, Acatlán, Cuautitlán campuses of the UNAM [Autonomous National University of Mexico], as well as at various schools of the Autonomous University of Chapingo, the University of Mexico City, the Iztapalapa campus of the Autonomous Metropolitan University [UAM], the Benito Juárez Autonomous University of Oaxaca and the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos [UAEM] and at various private homes. Yesterday, upon finishing this report, I received an email through email@example.com which says: “I know firsthand that the ever-present labor figure from the UAM [Autonomous Metropolitan University], Edur Velasco, accepted airfare and lodging in Caracas from the Venezuelans so that he could be present at a march against the Mexican government (also attended by two PRD legislators ‘acting in a personal capacity’).”
In short, Friday, October 23rd, was the last time I attended one of their meetings at the School of Philosophy, where there were 15 activists. The discussion, like all others, always disorganized, began with a political analysis of the turning point brought about by the Mario Marín case. They talked about the attack against Lydia Cacho and of the need to encourage greater support for women. Then someone went to the back of the work space and picked up a beat-up copy of the “Alternative Project of Nationhood” and began to make a rigorous comparison between the projects of Felipe Calderón and Roberto Madrazo within the strict context of gender equality. The way they dress is like that of any middleclass youngster from Mexico City. They wear pants of a blended weave and cotton shirts or t-shirts, jackets made of either leather or a blended weave. Seated on a table in the work space, Laura “N” was practically shouting as she spoke. She was discerning and the rest of the group, some sitting on benches and others on the floor, spoke not a word about López Obrador, or about Madrazo, or about Calderón, but insisted that “Latin American unity must be achieved.” I am the oldest in my circle. The first meetings were held at the homes of activists and leaders who, according to intelligence reports, are linked to the EPR and the FARC-EP [Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces—People’s Army]; then we began meeting in Bolivarian circle work spaces, at the School of Philosophy and Letters as well as at the School of Political and Social Sciences.
This past Friday I accompanied one of the leaders. I only know his name is “Fernando.” He is a friendly fellow, always wearing a beret, sporting a scruffy beard, shabbily dressed and unkempt. He wears cotton shirts with images of Che, Christ or Marcos. We waited alongside a candy stand outside the School of Philosophy. A while later a man arrives speaking with a South American accent, then Fernando told me that it was a Venezuelan student from the School of Medicine; perhaps he lied to me. They then move away from me a bit. He gives him a small package wrapped in newspaper. It is 25 thousand pesos. A while later the activist himself would tell me that it has to do with a group of people entirely in the trust of former Venezuelan ambassador Vladimir Villegas. He starts to make use of the money immediately. He says nothing to me. We quickly go to the Copilco business district and buy cigarettes, beer and food. We go back to the School of Philosophy work space and he renders accounts to them… 24 thousand 500 pesos “for activities remaining during the rest of February.”
There are other Bolivarian groups, receiving Venezuelan support, who maintain political activities at offices located at Jalapa 213, in the Colonia Roma neighborhood, facilities belonging to the People’s Bolivarian Movement, which are shared with leftist organizations such as the People’s Front and the Union of Neighbors and Victims of September 19th.
At Santa María la Ribera Park there are meetings by people belonging to Cuauhtémoc Amezcua Dromundo´s Bolivarian Juarista Mexican Movement, which has facilities at Insurgentes Sur 216, in the Colonia Roma district, shared with the “Mexican Society for Legislative Studies,” a civic association. The homes of the principal Bolivarian leaders in Mexico are being turned into logistical centers and are located mainly in neighborhoods in the Mexico City metropolitan area such as Valle de Aragón, Polígonos II, in addition to centrally located neighborhoods such as Tlatelolco, Roma and the eastern part of the Federal District such as Iztapalapa. All of the addresses have been confirmed and some are being kept confidential for security reasons.
THE AGENDA AND THE LEADERS
The Peoples’ Bolivarian Movement (People’s Struggle Movement) is led by Ángel Fermín García Luna and Margarita Irasema Villanueva Gallegos. He is an employee of the October 1st Hospital. He maintains a radical discourse that fights for the establishment of socialism as the only means for a change in power. He is linked to Efrén Cortés Chávez and Erika Zamora Pardo, former members of the Insurgent People’s Revolutionary Army; and also to other leftist and pro-PRD activists. He is a member of the Association for the Promotion of National Unity against Neoliberalism.
Up until last August, his wife Margarita Irasema, acted in the capacity of housing negotiator in Ecatepec and forms part of the Popular, Social, Indigenous and Peasants’ Syndicated Front and the Peoples’ Bolivarian Movement. She is a woman who considers the way of arms as the only recourse for “overthrowing imperialism and consolidating communism.” In Guerrero she is linked to the defense attorney for members of the ERPI, Félix Rodríguez Navarrete, and is also associated with members of the Digna Ochoa Committee, the National Coordinator for Freeing Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience.
Another member of this organization is Alejandro de Jesús Veras Orozco, leader of the People’s Front and important activist in the People’s Urban Movement. In Mexico City he supports the Peoples’ Bolivarian Movement.
The person with the most public presence is Cuauhtémoc Amezcua Dromundo, leader of the Bolivarian Juarista Mexican Movement, who had been member of the federal chamber of deputies for the PPS [Socialist People’s Party] and is president of the APN [National Political Group] known as “New Democracy.” He lends initiative to the Alternative Nationhood Project which promotes the Popular, Social, Indigenous and Peasants’ Syndicated Front and the Association for the Promotion of National Unity against Neoliberalism. He is a writer, a promoter of the Movement for Solidarity with Cuba, the Mexican Committee against ALCA [FTAA—Free Trade Area of the Americas], and a researcher for the UAM. Concerning the Mexico Chapter of the Bolivarian Continental Coordinating Association [Mexican Core in Support of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces—People’s Army], it focuses its main effort at the UNAM, where it teamed up with the CGH [General Council on Strikes].
Activists Luisa Malinalli Rebollar Flores, Desireé Robledo Torrano, Sonia Moret Álvarez, Arlene Serna Espadas, Fernando “N,” Edgardo “N,” Estela “N” and Berenice “N” stand out as the principal promoters of the FARC-EP in Mexico, participating in diverse social forums where they distribute products alluding to the FARC-EP. They maintain a close relationship with the Mexican Movement for Solidarity with Cuba, the Juan Antonio Mella Students’ Struggle Front and the Revolutionary Workers’ Party. This cluster has its address at Xola 181-A, in the Colonia Álamos neighborhood, a property owned by the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, where there is a gathering of organizations such as the Bolivarian Continental Coordinating Association, the Socialist Convergence and the Graphic Workshops of the FMLN [Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation].
They have the Bolivarian project and the integration of the Caracas-Havana-Mexico City axis on the brain. They go and offer medical consultations, teach people how to read and write, and they become friends. They have their goal clearly in mind and in order to achieve it they say “let’s go support López Obrador.”
Intelligence reports in Mexico and Venezuela reveal that the centers where Bolivarian meetings are held are located in the following places in the Federal District and metropolitan area:
• Jalapa 213, Colonia Roma
• Insurgentes Sur 216
• Santa María la Ribera 27
• Xola 181-A, Colonia Álamos
• Monterrey 15, Colonia Roma
• Mina 62, Colonia Barrio San Miguel, Iztapalapa
• Pejelagarto Manzana 17, Lote 17, Fraccionamiento PROFEOEC, Polígono II
• Calle del Pozo 8, Colonia Santa Cruz, Toluca
• Cipriano Campos 1263, Colonia Villa del Nilo
• Avenida Constituyente 1094, Zapopan
• Avenida Hidalgo 1730, Guadalajara
• Inside the building housing Section XXI of the National Education Workers Union, located at Armenta y López 221, Centro
• Francisco Villa 207-A, Colonia Reforma Agraria
PEOPLE WANT TO COME FROM VENEZUELA AS OBSERVERS
by José Alejandro Sánchez
William Lara, the right arm of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez expressed his interest in being an observer of the Mexican electoral process for selecting a new President this coming July 2nd. By telephone, Lara was asked for his opinion concerning investigative research that shows that Chavista cells here [in Mexico] support having a Caracas-Havana-Mexico City axis, whereupon he stated that he would like to be in this country on the day of elections. “We are willing to bet that the Mexican campaign process and the elections will be carried out in a civil fashion and in peace as is characteristic of the collective conduct of the Mexican people, deeply rooted in democracy. In no way will there be any meddling by Venezuela, but if we are invited as observers we will be there,” he said. And he added: “Invited guests such as the Fifth Republic Movement (the party that brought Chávez to power), we will all be there. And if not, we will await the election returns by radio and television broadcast.” William Lara, who furthermore has been coordinator for the Bolivarian Circles in Venezuela, said that as of yet there has been no formal invitation but that if “some political power or other” should go so far as to invite them, they would reply immediately. Concerning the active participation by former Venezuelan ambassador Vladimir Villegas at meetings he held with university people at different houses of learning, such as the UNAM, he maintained that his fellow traveler stepped forward in order to broadcast political propaganda as a means of publicizing the Venezuelan project. “One must not intervene in domestic politics. When the ambassador spread the information he did none other than to make our process known. For that reason we are of the opinion that the information published in Crónica fits in with the US campaign that seeks to isolate Venezuela,” he assured. And he pointed out that his own party’s approaching legislators of the [Mexican] PRD does not mean that Venezuela is interested in having a political force of the left assume power as occurred in Brazil, Argentina and recently in Bolivia, countries where Hugo Chávez has investment projects.
Translation by W.K.
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