Return of Institutional Revolutionary Party Brings Violent Protests To Mexico City

69 People Jailed Following Violent Mexico Protests


PHOTO: Some protesters clashed with Police on Saturday in Mexico City. It was President Enrique Peña Nieto´s first day in office.

Some protesters clashed with Police on Saturday in Mexico City. It was President Enrique Peña Nieto´s first day in office. (Marco Ugarte/AP photo)

Dec. 4, 2012


Sixty-nine people have been sent to jail in Mexico City, for allegedly destroying businesses and public property during protests held on Saturday against Mexico’s new president.

These detainees, who were in temporary detention centers until Monday, have been charged with “rioting,” and “disturbing the public peace,” and if convicted could face five to 30 years in jail.

But the charges brought against these 69 individuals have been vehemently rejected by social movements who participated in Saturday’s protests against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. These groups are accusing police of using excessive force on Saturday and of imprisoning the 69 protesters as an intimidation tactic.

See Also: Amidst Violent Protests Enrique Peña Nieto Sworn in as President of Mexico

On Monday afternoon, members of the YoSoy132 Student Movement, the Communist Party and a half dozen more political groups held a rally at Mexico City’s Independence Monument to call for the liberation of these detainees.

“They weren’t doing anything but voicing their opposition against an imposed president who is bad for the country,” said Aura Sorita, holding a poster with the pictures of two university students. Sorita’s friends, Mary Montezuma and Obed Palgod, were detained during Saturday’s protests and are now being held in separate Mexico City penitentiaries.

“The only thing they were doing was trying to help another compañerowho’d fallen to the floor. That was enough motive for the police to hit them, and detain them too,” Sorita claimed. “They’ve been accused of attacking a bus that was destroyed at the same time as they were arrested in another part [of the city].”

Several critics of the Mexican president have accused police of using excessive force on Saturday, and even of randomly arresting people who were not involved in the protests. Videos like this one have also indignated critics of the new president.

But there is also plenty of video and pictures from Saturday of masked protesters attacking police with stones, molotov cocktails and metal beams. In downtown Mexico City at least four hotels were randomly attacked by masked protesters; store windows were broken, shops were raided and a local Starbucks was destroyed.

Student movement YoSoy132, claimed in a statement that violence was provoked by police. A subgroup of the YoSoy132 movement, called Acampada Revolución 132, or Revolution Camp 132, said in another statement that several organizations with “different forms of struggle,” attended Saturday’s protests, and that the “anger” unleashed by police repression was channeled in “different forms, that the media labeled as violent.”

The group acknowledges that acts of vandalism occurred on Saturday, but says that they “cannot be compared to the violence that the state exercises and has resulted in the death of more than 90,000 people, [due to drug violence]… in the extreme poverty that millions of Mexican citizens live in, and in the thousands of youth who are denied educational opportunities each year.”

On Monday, analysts in Mexican media attempted to explain the wave of violence that washed over Mexico City on Saturday.

“This could be an angry expression from a [political] minority, that is very frustrated and sees no other way to channel their discontent other than, direct violence,” reasoned political scientist Lorenzo Meyer, on MVS radio. “Or it could be something prepared by the other side,” to discredit groups that peacefully protested against Peña Nieto, Meyer said.

Wiretaps Implicate Saad Hariri Associate In Arms Trafficking To Syrian Terrorists

[Mr. Hariri had better wise-up and stop being a Saudi hand puppet.  I am sure that having Bandar’s arm up his ass all of these years is beginning to chafe a little.  Perhaps he should think about helping someone fry-up some of that Fat Porker from Qatar for a little lubricant?  America’s piss-ant royals and would-be Arab aristocrats have done enough damage to the Middle East, and to the world, in general.  It is long past time that someone stepped on them….Putin, are you listening”?  (SEE:  If We Are Serious About Exporting Democracy Then We Must Invade Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Next).]

Wiretaps implicate Lebanon MP in arming Syrian rebels

the national

Agence France-Presse

BEIRUT // Wiretaps implicating a Lebanese member of parliament close to ex-premier Saad Hariri in arms shipments to Syrian rebels has stirred fresh controversy in Lebanon, which is deeply divided over the civil war raging in its neighbour.

Published on Thursday in Al Akhbar newspaper and broadcast on OTV television, both considered pro-Damascus outlets, the conversations were authenticated on Monday by the MP in question, Okab Sakr.

Mr Sakr is one of the few Shiite parliamentarians belonging to the opposition Future bloc headed by Sunni leader Mr Hariri and both men currently live outside of Lebanon.

In the wiretaps released on Thursday, Mr Sakr is heard speaking on the telephone with a rebel commander in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, who asks urgently for weapons.

“May God protect you. You must help us. I do not know what to tell you, but what is certain is that after God, there is only you,” the rebel leader says.

In a second recording released on Friday, Sakr is heard demanding arms from an unidentified dealer: “We need automatic weapons, ammunition for PKCs [Russian guns], anti-tank rockets, bombs and quality weapons for Aleppo city and province and Idlib province. We must meet the demand as soon as possible.”

And in a third recording released the same day, the MP speaks with a rebel leader responsible for distributing arms in central Syria. “I will give you instructions for the guys to maximise the quality of the weapons,” he says.

In the last conversation published on Saturday, Sakr is heard speaking to Louay Moqdad, identified by Al Akhbar daily as a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a personal friend of Mr Sakr.

“It’s driving President Hariri crazy, he wants victory so much he can’t even sleep. He follows the situation hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. He wants the battle to succeed. There is no room for failure.”

In an interview published on Monday by the Saudi daily Asharq Al Awsat, Mr Sakr verified the recordings but absolved Hariri of any wrongdoing.

“Yes, it is my voice and they are my words,” Mr Sakr said.

“I’m not ashamed of what I did and what I am doing … What I do reflects my deep conviction and is in the interest of Lebanon. I am personally responsible for everything I do.”

Sakr also rushed to clear Hariri’s name: “He asked me to take care of only the humanitarian, political and media support for the Syrian people — nothing more and nothing less.”

The recordings have embarrassed Sakr’s political allies, namely the March 14 opposition coalition opposed to the Syrian regime, whose members include Christians from the Lebanese Forces party and Sunnis of the Future Movement.

“The Future position is clear: We oppose any intervention on the ground in Syria because we reject any Syrian intervention in Lebanon, regardless of what regime controls Damascus,” MP Ahmad Fatfat told AFP.

Lebanon lived under Syrian domination from 1976 until 2005, when Damascus was forced to pull out its troops from the country under international pressure following the assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, Saad Hariri’s father.

“Okab Sakr is acting on his own. Hariri is very clear about this. and will take the appropriate decisions if there was a breach by Sakr,” Fatfat said.

Hariri’s critics refuse to believe that Sakr acted on his own accord.

Although Hizbollah, Syria’s staunchest ally in Lebanon, has refrained from commenting directly on the recordings, the Shiite movement’s television channel Al Manar delivered a blistering commentary last week.

The recordings “unambiguously confirm the involvement of the Future party [in arms deliveries to rebels] because Sakr is the man closest to Hariri. He is his right arm,” Al Manar said.


China rapidly becoming primary player in post-war Central Asia

China rapidly becoming primary player in post-war Central Asia


Illustration: Liu Rui
Illustration: Liu Rui

By Raffaello Pantucci and Alexandros Petersen

China is on its way to becoming the most consequential actor in Central Asia. This isn’t a critical or a negative statement, but rather a reflection of a reality on the ground.

The heavy investments in Central Asian infrastructure and natural resources, the push to develop the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and China’s focus on developing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into an economic player are slowly reorienting Central Asia toward China. None of this means that China is aiming to become a regional hegemon, but unless it is willing to write off considerable regional investment, it is going to find itself needing to engage in regional affairs in a more focused manner.

And these actions are likely to be interpreted regionally as hegemonic. A potentially very prosperous corner of the world, Central Asia, is in an early stage of development that could easily be pushed by instability in a wrong direction. China needs to prepare herself to step in and help resolve matters.

First among the potential storm clouds on the horizon is 2014 and the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan. The forces left behind will have a very limited and focused mandate. Their duty will be to protect diplomatic and aid communities and to focus on ensuring that groups like Al Qaeda cannot reform in Afghanistan and pose a threat to US or European interests. Their focus will not be on what the Taliban are doing in general or the instability that they might foster regionally. After over a decade of war, the Western public is tired of Afghanistan and has little appetite for war.

This casts a question over what is going to happen in Afghanistan post-2014, right on China’s border. China played a limited role in Afghanistan in the early years after the US invasion, but it has now invested considerable resources into the country that it will have to protect. It is also likely that instability in Afghanistan will have a knock-on effect into Central Asia, where China has even more investments. And all of this will end up having some sort of impact directly on Xinjiang, China’s long underdeveloped border region.

The US is in a very different position. It has security concerns from Central Asia and Afghanistan, but these will be addressed by the forces left behind. Some US companies have investments in Central Asia, but these are nowhere near as crucial as those made by Chinese firms.

As former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski put it, the US is “too distant to be dominant in this part of Eurasia.” The reality is that the Pamir mountains are too high and the steppe too far away for the US to focus on the region.

China’s ascendant investments in Central Asia are something that also stands in contrast to Russia’s declining ones. This is a more complex picture, as Russia, for many of the same reasons as China, has a clear strategic interest in Central Asia. But it is no longer the regional hegemon that it once was.

Russia’s power has been diluted by growing Chinese interest and Western attention paid to the region as a strategic launching pad into Afghanistan.

On the one hand, Russia realizes that it has to do something about security post-2014 and so is investing military loans to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. But at the same time, its regional security organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, has lost one of its most important members, Uzbekistan.

Even more significant in some ways is the recent statement by Russian energy giant Gazprom that it needed to evaluate its position in Central Asia as it had noticed that the region’s producers were “reorienting themselves toward China.”

And while it is clear that Russia still has influence regionally, it is not Russian firms that are putting up buildings, laying down roads and rail or investing in rebuilding the underdeveloped region.

Russia may still exert considerable diplomatic influence and soft power in the region, but it is clearly not investing a huge amount in the region.

Instead, seen from the ground, the scope and range of Chinese investments is clear, and China is increasingly shaping itself to be the most consequential power in the region.

This reality may be unpalatable to China, but it is something that it cannot avoid.

China is increasingly reshaping Central Asia to becoming its backyard rather than Russia’s and this will bring with it some regional responsibilities that China has not yet figured out how to address. China needs to formulate a proper strategy for Central Asia.

Raffaello Pantucci is a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and Alexandros Petersen is the author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West (Praeger, 2011)

New Delhi Reports Pakistan Still Manufacturing Terrorists At 42 Training Camps

zee news
New Delhi: Government Tuesday said terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan is still intact with reports of presence of about 2,500 militants in various camps across the border.

“The terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir remains intact and infiltration attempts from across the border still continue to pose a challenge to the security forces.

“Reports indicate that there are 42 militants camps functioning across the borders, 25 in PoK and 17 in Pakistan with about 2,500 militants,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran told Lok Sabha in a written reply.

He said intelligence inputs indicate active support of Pakistan Intelligence and Securities Agencies to push terrorists in India.

“The Indo-Pak border, particularly Jammu region, is highly vulnerable to infiltration from Pakistan side. Pak-based, terrorists with the support of Pak Rangers/Pak Army, often make abortive attempts to sneak into Indian territory.

“However, due to intensive vigil and high degree of alertness, BSF personnel foil every attempt of infiltration by Pakistani terrorists. There has been no case of infiltration by terrorists,” Ramachandran said.

There have been a total of 249 infiltration attempts this year as against 247 last year, 489 in 2010, 485 in 2009, 342 in 2008 and 535 in 2007, as per the information given by the minister.

The Centre in tandem with the State Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross-border infiltration including strengthening of border management, construction of border fencing, improved technology, weapons and equipments for security forces, improved intelligence and operational coordination among others, he said.

“Following visit of All Party Delegation to Jammu and Kashmir in September 2010 and in pursuance of the decision taken by Government, the State Government has been requested to review notification of the areas as ‘disturbed areas’ under the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special powers Act, 1990,” the Minister said responding to a question on withdrawal of AFSPA in a phased manner from J-K.