Skip to comments.Mexico readies for "Dirty War" report
Posted on 04/12/2006 11:31:18 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
MEXICO CITY - Mariana Ramirez cannot forget the anguish of one mother whose husband and son vanished 30 years ago in Mexico's "dirty war" against dissidents.
A rural sociologist documenting past government atrocities, Ramirez found the aging woman in the Sierra Madre mountains off the Pacific coast, going blind and clinging to hope of learning her loved ones' fates.
"She begins to cry and tells me, 'Mariana, you left your family, your parents, to come here to work, but they know where to find you,'" Ramirez recalled. "'I don't know where my husband and son are, I don't know where to begin to look.'"
This month Mexico's government will present a report on an era of government brutality from the 1960s to the 1980s, based on investigations by Ramirez and two dozen other sociologists, anthropologists, historians and rights experts.
They fanned out across the country during the past few years to take testimony, visit mass graves and pore over long-secret papers. Their report will be Mexico's first public document of its kind.
Dirty war prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo says it will detail systematic killing of hundreds of people, abductions and intimidation under the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for 71 years until President Vicente Fox's 2000 election.
But even before its formal release, the report has been discredited by some as overblown, while survivors fear it will be watered down to protect former leaders from punishment.
"Every Mexican should be assured that the past will be made known, that it will never be repeated," Ramirez said. "This should go into the history books, even for school children."
Ramirez, 28, wanted to help rewrite history when she joined the special prosecutor's team in Guerrero state, once a rebel hotbed and major dirty war battleground.
She found a shadowy world of blood vendettas and entrenched power brokers. The peasants of the rough-and-tumble countryside stayed mum, afraid of reprisals.
Slowly, survivors started approaching, often under cover of darkness. "People began to trust, to say, 'yes, I want this resolved, it's an open wound,'" Jose Martinez, another member of the investigative team, said.
"We saw where the guerrilla movement and the repression took place, where the bodies turned up. In Guerrero entire communities disappeared. We went to places that no longer exist, just trees," he added.
On a threadbare budget the investigators went months without pay and dipped into their pockets for everything from photocopies to hammer and nails to fix office furniture.
Then in 2003 a key government witness was murdered. Ramirez had helped convince Zacarias Barrientos to testify and was with him earlier on the day he was shot.
Prosecutors concluded he was killed by his wife and accomplices in a crime of passion. Ramirez and others fear he was silenced by a network of former officials.
"He had 19 bullet wounds, they tortured him before killing him," she said.
FOX'S FAILED PLEDGE
As his six-year term ends, Fox has failed in his pledge to win justice for dirty war victims. Special prosecutor Carrillo has won no convictions. Ex-President Luis Echeverria, 84, who ruled at the height of the violence in the 1970s, has twice evaded indictment for genocide.
In February, a draft report was leaked to the press. Some, including Carrillo, questioned its findings, leading activists to fear the final version to be presented this month will be watered down.
The investigators call it a work in progress. While they negotiate with the attorney general for back pay, Ramirez and Martinez and others keep talking to survivors.
Asked why, they remember Elba Fuentes. After decades of silence she traveled four hours on foot and by truck from her mountaintop hamlet to tell her tale of abduction and rape.
As the teenage daughter of a leftist rebel, she was taken by soldiers and police in the 1970s. An officer rescued her from her secret jail -- on condition she become his concubine.
Fuentes eventually escaped to the mountains to start a new life. She kept her past secret for 30 years until, encouraged by Martinez and Ramirez, she testified to prosecutors.
"She told us, 'I need to tell my story after so many years, things I have not even told my husband and children. It left me with such pain,'" Martinez said.
"He had 19 bullet wounds, they tortured him before killing him," she said.
Paging the United Nations!
Mexico is one of the more corrupt, racist regimes on the planet, and we would be perfectly justified to invade Mexico and overthrow their corrupt regime in order to stem the flow of illegals entering this country.
We were at 1 time all the way into Mexico City if I recall history right. But, who wanted the anus of North America as part of the country, so we withdrew back to our "new" border.
Troubles must come home to roost...but woe to him by whom the curses come...
*FRee the Travis 1*....Please
Where is Travis McGee?...
[This account has been banned or suspended]
If it weren't such a serious topic, then one would almost have to laugh at how all of these ethnic interest/grievance groups, as well as those masses of protesters, lob ridiculous charges of racism and xenophobia at the United States (and Republicans in particular), yet they give a free pass to the ruling elite in Mexico who do their best to get rid of as many 'brown' Mexicans as possible and who refuse to make the reforms that could allow for the growth of a strong middle-class in Mexico. If anyone is bigoted against Mexicans, its the ruling class of Mexico.
Amazing, isn't it.
But why do people protest against the US so much?
Guerra Sucia Ping!
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off this South Texas/Mexico ping list.
Travis is missing/banned/suspended? Anybody know why?
TheMom told me it was a bogus reason, but did not elaborate. TheMom, can you be more specific?
Go here . . . http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1612338/posts?page=429#415 . . . and read for yourself.
The more pressure we keep on Mexico, immigration-wise, the more reformers
inside of Mexico can be emboldened and empowered to scale back monopolists'
abuses down there which keep our own country flooded with economic refugees.
Here's an interesting new thread on new legal reform progress that finally
emerged in Mexico I think as a result of immigration reform's failure:
We can make a difference for our sake, and their's as well. Isn't it the
neighborly thing to do?
Americans are pretty ignorant about the history of Mexico, that's for sure.
Sad. I wonder if Barry Goldwater would have been banned from this site? "I would remind you that extremeism in the defense of liberty is no vice!... And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
"Americans are pretty ignorant about the history of Mexico"
How true - the Socialist regime (PRI) were, and still are, butchers. The evidence of their atrocities is available for all to see. They repressed and terrified the Mexican people for over 70 years. Their effects on the Mexican people are amazing. There is a lack of hope in those people and a general acceptance of corrupt and evil government. That's why it will be really hard to inact change there. The Mexicans have accepted corruption as inevitable in government. And, the government in Mexico is more than willing to oblige.
Because JimRob apparently thought that illustrating the fact that a Civil War was coming was the same as advocating one and banned him. That's how it appeared to me; there may have been some more inflammatory quotes that were deleted in the thread