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Trip to Autlan to hear Loopez Obrador

Posted by Dobie on August 1, 2011, 2:31 pm

Yesterday several busloads of folks from the coast went up to Autlan (between the coast and Guadalajara). A few days before, some fliers appeared saying that Lopez Obrador was going to be in Autlan and that Salvador (Chava) Magaña (who has been one of the people helping the fight for Tenacatita since the beginning) was going to allowed time to speak about Tenacatita. The buses were paid for by the movement MORENA - Movimiento Regeración Nacional (Mexicans love acronyms). Andrés Manuel López Obrador ran against Calderon in the last presidential election, and as with Gore and Bush, he really won, but.....

Last week via Wikileaks it came out that the then archbishop (now cardinal) in Guadalajara encouraged the US to keep Obrador from becoming president. I'll post a summary of one of the newspaper articles in another posting. Obrador was very popular when he was president of Mexico City. He gave a pension of almost 900 pesos a month to everyone over 68 years old and all the handicapped. Also gave over 800 pesos a month to students of single Moms and paid for 10 million school uniforms, notebooks and all the stuff needed for students through middle school.

Not to get sidetracked, lots of people from all neighboring municipalities came to the center of Autlan where the event was held. Unfortunately shade was limited and the midday sun was shining down brightly. And that's the first thing Obrador said when he started speaking,he apologized for the layout, that this was the old way, the bigwigs up on stage under a tarp and the peons down below melting in the sun (there were some trees and building overhangs that helped).

While we were waiting for him to show up, a mariachi band entertained us. Between songs, a woman emcee was naming the different places people came from and I noticed that she didn't mention the coast. So I went up to the side of the stage to tell her, and next thing I knew I was on the stage with a mike in hand. At first I didn't want to - why should I be the one speaking when there were Mexicans who were totally affected by the desalojo, but it was one of those now or never things, so I spoke a little. I was happy that Magaña was going to be speaking for us later! He spoke quite forcefully about the violent desalojo (eviction) and also about what happened in Chamela, where the whole town was moved and now there's a gate like here and the beach closes at 6 pm. He got Lopez Obrador to sign a paper saying he'd get his supporters in the various parties to bring the Tenacatita issue up (yet again) in Federal congress and Senate.

What Chava told me afterwards was that although it's in the constitution that the beaches are patrimonio of all Mexicans, there's no actual reglamento that says that there has to be public access to the beach. He said he spoke with the head of SEMARNAT (the agency in charge of the beaches) who told him that he couldn't do anything because there's no law mandating public access. So that's something Magaña's working on with Obrador.

Obrador's talk was really interesting - he spoke about the 3 big transformations in the history of Mexico: Independence from foreign control; land reform, and the Revolution. Now he said it's time for the 4th big transformations in which he would like to see government from the bottom up, not top down. He said that he learned from the last election that he needed more local infrastructure, so that's what he's trying to put into place now. A bunch of us signed up to be protaganistas - each of us is supposed to convince 5 people to vote for him.

Wed. is August 4 - one year since the horrible day.

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