Raul Vera: Ayotzinapa / Acteal, “a message from the state to intimidate the insurgents”
Massacring social strugglers, “a habit” in Mexico: Raúl Vera
By fabbia @ desinformemonos
Mexico. “I don’t believe it is organized crime; it’s something else. This is a message to social strugglers; we have already seen it in many places,” accuses Bishop Raúl Vera  –who has carried out his pastoral work in conflictive sites of Mexico, from Coahuila to Chiapas, passing through Guerrero. The massacre of normalistas  at the hands of Iguala’s police, on September 26, has antecedents in other repressions “and the unmeasured use of force,” he indicates.
Vera compares the attacks on students –that as of today have a result of six people executed, 43 disappeared and 25 injured, two of them gravely- with the governmental repression in San Salvador Atenco in 2006. “We’re dealing with State terrorism tactics,” he sums up.
Acteal and Iguala: cruelty
The Bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, finds as a coinciding point between the massacre of Acteal, Chiapas, in 1997, and the extrajudicial execution and forced disappearance of students, the cruelty with which it is enacted. In Chiapas, the treatment towards the murdered Tzotziles–“chosen pacifists, almost all women and children,” he clarifies”- was “Kaibilesque.”  The priest insists that it was a message from the State to intimidate the insurgents.
Another similarity between the massacres, which provoked inter-national condemnation of the Mexican government, is in the impunity that surrounds them. In Acteal, although the paramilitaries were captured, they are now free. And in Iguala, the kidnapping in June 2013 of eight activists and the murder of three of them, belonging to Popular Unity, also remains without punishment. According to a survivor, the one directly responsible for the execution was the mayor, José Luis Abarca, now a fugitive. The criminals continue to threaten the widow of one of the murdered leaders, Sofía Mendoza, continues to be threatened, the Dominican points out.
In Acteal, Raúl Vera insists, there are testimonies that the state police and the Army concealed and took care of the actions of the paramilitaries. “We see this kind of thing in Iguala,” he compares. The Bishop, as part of the organization called Decade against Impunity Network, participated in two human rights observation caravans to Guerrero, one for the Iguala case.
Vera abounds on the asesinato de Arturo Hernández Cardona, leader of the Popular Unity, which “disturbed” Abarca because he organized a “strong” demonstration to demand the application of government aid. He points out that he was captured, together with the other seven militants, and taken to empty land on the outskirts of Iguala, where the mayor threatened him and killed him, accompanied “by the criminals,” he relates. The survivor’s statement took place since March of this year, “and no one moved one single finger.”
“In these disappearances, another type of corps now participates,” the Bishop explains. And he insists that the criminals are the “arms” of the mayor. He classifies as “absurd” the versions that indicate that the normalistas could have disturbed, in any way, the criminals: “That is trying to legitimize what happened.”
“We no longer know where the cartels end and organized crime begins that is in the political structure and the apparatuses of justice. We are already fed up with this frightening connivance,” he laments.
 Raúl Vera is the Catholic Bishop of Coahuila, a state in Mexico. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center in Chiapas.
 Normalistas are students that attend rural teaching colleges, which principally train campesino and indigenous young people to be teachers in their own communities.
 A Kaibil is a member of one of the army’s death squads in Guatemala during its long civil war. The Kaibiles used unusually brutal tactics to terrorize the civilian population.
Originally Published in Spanish by Desinformemonos
Translation: Chiapas Support Committee
Monday, October 13, 2014