Tag Archives: Chelsea Manning

Don’t forget, for your own good

14 Aug

The Two Thousands seem to be allergic to true tellers. No matter where you walk: you’ll find lots of good and almost fantastic stories on the media, but rarely the facts of life. It’s no mystery why, though: no one—be it Obama’s CNN, be it Putin’s RT, be it Iran’s Press TV—will ever tell a story without a political schedule, without an intention, and without an agenda. Be them well-intentioned or ill-intentioned, no story will be undressed of its political nature. Information, in the Two Thousands, has become the greatest weapon—the greatest untold fiction—for the power. George Orwell already predicted it in its novel 1984 and we’re now inside his prophetical picture.

The Two Thousands’ spirit loves the fiction. And yet, the truth… Well, that’s another kind of food.

As you might have noticed, there have been a sudden wave of leakers, reporters, etcetera, who have unveiled some uncomfortable cover of truth and shown the world a nasty fact that some big fat cheese might want under the dust. You might recognize some names. Assange. Snowden. Chelsea Manning… And there’s Rubén Espinosa.

Ruben Espinosa murder

Who’s Rubén Espinosa, you might ask? Well, one of the bravest reporters in Mexico. And yet, one of the most tragic ones…

Rubén Espinosa was known for his work as a Veracruz reporter. He focused mostly on Veracruz’s dirty secrets, which involved most of its politicians (even more the governor himself, Javier Duarte), and some nasty activities that ranged from suspicious murders and feminicides. You know, the actual work of a reporter, nothing like what the Televisa and Fox News stooges do as of today.

As you can expect, Espinosa became rather…unliked among Veracruz’s elite, especially with the governor Duarte. He was beaten, harassed, threatened…and yet he kept working, because he knew it was the correct thing to do. He knew his work wasn’t going to be a fluffy ride among daisy cars, but somebody had to do it, even though it would win him many enemies.

Like the governor.

Javier Duarte was known for his despise towards the reporters. One incident that, apparently, angered him was some photograph that Espinosa took for one prestigious Mexican magazine, Proceso:

Click on the image to reach an English site that details a bit more on Duarte. If you know who’s Franco, you might get the shills when you read Duarte’s a fan of his…

Why did Duarte get so angry because of this shot? Was it the hat, the hat that showered his authoritarian status? Was it his unfazed gaze, which showered an almost soulless look? Was it his grotesque belly, the one that made him a laughingstock among the people? Actually, would people seriously hurt a person just because he didn’t take a good photo of you…?

Well, yes. But that’s not the point of this, is it?

The photograph itself didn’t anger Duarte, but rather Espinosa’s whole work to discover the corruption and violence linked to his term. But this issue put Duarte in the center of the stage, and thus questions about Veracruz’s “Lawless State” began to float. He, naturally, didn’t like being known for this, and thus started to harass most of Veracruz reporters, Espinosa mostly, provoking in this last one’s a deep fear for his life that made him flee to Mexico City.

Espinosa had to rearrange his life to flee from some unwanted espionage and life with the lowest profile possible. And everything seemed alright…

…But what differenced Espinosa from guys like Assange, Snowden and Manning is that they’re still alive.

Funeral de Rubén Espinosa, fotoreportero asesinado en México. Foto: AFP/Getty

Espinosa was found tortured and dead, alongside four other women, some few days ago in Colonia Narvarte, just in their apartment.

Shamelessly, the local authorities have declared this as a “robbery” murder, as if robberies usually end up with two activists dead and four women massacred and tied on a bed. Even our favourite governor have declared to be “outraged” because of this incident, even though his government has been known for its lack of protection to reporters and for his rather polemical “advice” on the reporters who went to interview him about his murder…

…Seriously, would you feel calm after he quietly told you, a reporter, “Please, behave, I beg you. It’s for your own good”.

Your own good. Your…own…good…

I’ll let it sink in your mind…

But no, no. I won’t accuse anybody. I won’t. I recently learned that it’s not a good idea to give away names and accuse people that freely. It’s a sensationalist tactic and not a good idea, in the end. Besides, Espinosa was killed not by a man, but by something greater, bigger, a grotesque monster that has been killing poor Mexico for many years.

Corruption.

Corruption. Globalization. Dehumanization. A whole campaign to anesthetize you and make you more docile to a greater monster that controls this huge reptile puppet that’s controlling Mexico.

That was what killed Espinosa. That monster, with a human as a weapon.

People have their mouths taped as a group of artist, students, journalist and activist stage a protest demanding justice for Ruben Espinosa in Mexico City on 8 August 2015.

About the women…

One thing that has also angered most Mexican women is the lack of coverage towards the murdered women, as they suffered something worse than Espinosa.

They were raped.

Aside of torture, signs of sexual damage were found in their bodies, making them an almost—almost—separate crime, and yet a most common one in Mexico. Feminicide.

Espinosa was killed because of political issues. One of the female victims, Nadia Vera, surely as well. But the other women…? Not much of them is known, and some weren’t that close to Espinosa, so why were they tortured this way…? This is a different kind of crime. This is pure misogyny.

Pure, Mexican-style misogyny.

The only justice I can bring to these women is to name them and to present them to the public, so you, O Readers, do not forget their crimes. Rubén Espinosa’s the most sounded name so far because he was the main target, but these ladies deserve to be remembered. They were punished for something beyond their actions.

They were punished because they were women.

          Nadia Vera

32 year old Nadia Vera was a prominent Chiapas activist. She was a close friend of Espinosa’s and a known name inside the #YoSoy132 youth movement. She graduated from the Veracruz University, so her activities were focused on there too. She was also harassed by Duarte, and she even declared in a video that, should something happen to her, the only name they needed was Javier Duarte. But it seems that it wasn’t enough… Nothing’s ever enough in the country.

          Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro

18 year old Yesenia was a make-up student. She lived in the same department as Nadia and Rubén, and came straight from Baja California. Her name wasn’t told exactly by the authorities, but rather by the social media, which only proves how pathetic it is that you can trust more on the goddamn Facebook rather than on your own government.

         Mile Virginia Martín

31 year old Virginia was a model. She came straight from Bogotá to look for chances to become a model in Mexico City, while living in the same Narvarte building. She was planning to leave, though, and return home with her family. She was the sole foreigner of the group.

         Alejandra Negrete

40 year old Alejandra was mother of two girls. It was her second day as a cleaner when she disappeared and was found murdered in the Narvarte building. Authorities have said she was the only one who wasn’t sexually assaulted, but that didn’t diminish the family’s anger when they read in the media that she was considered a simple “housekeeper” or “fifth victim”. But we will gladly remember that she is no less important than the others.


I beg to you, O Reader, to never forget their names. To never forget Javier Duarte either. And never forget that this is Mexico. The American media is ready to blast the smallest thing in Venezuela, Iran and Russia, but because this is Mexico—a most important strategic point inside America—, I am afraid that the only pressure that will come to this corrupt government will come from very few: the ones that will never swallow this putrid government’s lies.

Please, O Reader. Maybe the Two Thousands is allergic to truth… But the best work of all is timeless, unattached to any epoch, One Thousand, Two Thousands, Three Thousands…because it is vaccinated by the very truth itself. Make this timeless. Make this not a Mexican case, but also a global case, because this could have happened anywhere. This will happen sometime too if a deranged being ever reaches the seats of your government.

Please, don’t forget and help Mexicans spread the word. To put some pressure into this bland mass of putrefaction.

Please, pretty please…

But I must shush now. I’ve said what needed to be said and what expects an answer as well.

I must keep quiet now. For my own good.

An activist holds up a picture of Ruben Espinosa at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, Mexico August 2, 2015.Thanks a bunch for reading.

All images redirect to their original locations and more informative articles about this tragedy. Please, inform a bit more and help us.

Have you heard of Alberto Patishtán?

22 Sep

Blame my weak childhood memory from the beginning of this 2000s, but you could say that we began this century with not a huge knowledge or interest in the struggle of several political prisoners around the world, perhaps due to many distractions. And in the beginning of this new 10s, mostly due to the expansion of info-sharing and (in my opinion) due to Chelsea Manning’s case, we’re finally closer to the fights of the freedom of other people who also got unjustly behind the bars. It wasn’t until recently when I discovered about Mumia Abu Jamal’s case, for example, and his interesting little articles written from prison. And there are many who got behind bars just because they weren’t of the like of the governments. But I would like to mention one in particular who recently got a brief spotlight in Mexico, as they just reopened his case with hopes of finally clearing his name after thousands of proofs of his innocence.

His name is Alberto Patishtán.

https://i1.wp.com/www.m-x.com.mx/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/patishtan.jpg

A tzotzil teacher who wasn’t even in the wrong place or in the wrong time when a crime in his town happened. He was, actually, in his respective place in his respective time. Thing is, they didn’t care.

You can read an article of his whole case in here: http://upsidedownworld.org/main/news-briefs-archives-68/4231-the-case-of-alberto-patishtan-gomez-and-the-culpability-of-the-mexican-state-we-are-governed-by-injustice.

But just to resume the whole story… One guy got shot in the south of the country, and the sole survivor of the whole ordeal pointed Patishtán as the responsible one out of pressure. And Patishtán got jailed without a warrant, without a lawyer and without a translator, despite the huge amount of witnesses and proof that he was in his school while the whole crime happened. The teacher received a maximum of 60 years as a punishment and, according to this, was severely tortured in the prison and neglected when his health deteriorated—and which keeps deteriorating—and needed a surgery.

The proof and the witnesses indicate he’s innocent, and that he’s kept in there for not being precisely the government’s favourite person in the world. Amnesty International has pointed out the serious flaws in his trial and many social movements claim for his freedom, as… Well, frankly, he’s not the sole case of unfair treatment and imprisoning. But it’s enough that, in the world, we don’t have lots of justice towards minorities, rural people, etc., and even worse when the very prisoner’s having health issues that needs to be treated. Issues neglected by the authorities who couldn’t care about this man.

And as I said, his case was reopened recently to check the new proof and give a new verdict. As you can guess, the authorities said “There’s not enough proof”. And he’s still jailed, mistreated and forgotten by the people who should be the first ones to remember him. And just to add some salt and lemon to the wound, around the same time, they released in another state a drug lord from the north, who was a proven killer, by the same sentence: “There’s not enough proof”. And days later, everybody said immediately that was the worst decision. Ever. This irony’s so awful, it’s not even funny.

I am sharing this story to the world, so everybody can pressure the authorities, reopen once more the case, accept the evidence of his innocence, and finally make real justice towards this man. I will thank you if you can read his case, share and sign to help this man gain freedom, specially because his health’s not the best nowdays, as he has spent so far 13 years in prison in not the very best conditions of all.

We’re living a massive awakening in this century. Let’s wake up everybody so the unfairness can disappear once for all.

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To read the English documents referring to Patishtán’s case, click on the image and check them out.

Independence Day is about freedom, apparently.

18 Sep

Independence Day in Mexico. Día de la independencia. The holiday of the nation. Ah, this day… Most of you, O my readers surely have a similar day in your respective countries. I bet at least one of you—at least one, seriously—must know of a holiday in where we celebrate the deeds of our historical figures which, somehow, changed the nation and put it in a new path of existence. Yes, yes, I am sure most of you have the overall idea of what I am talking about. These are the days in where we raise our cups, say “Hooray! Long live our historical heroes!”, and get extremely proud of our roots, lifestyles and identities…

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“Cheers, honey~!”

Now, before I begin, I would like to explain a bit our context in here, starting with what happened in this particular day. You see, in Mexico, nobody (sane or aware of the facts, at least) is really in the mood to, this time, celebrate our past heroes and the ones who freed us from the colonization. Several things are the cause of this. One: several debates, regarding the actual facts and deeds of some heroes, are making people rethink if some of our historical figures actually did what the storybooks say (and I found a little gem explaining a little theory that one of our stories was actually modified so it could become a romantic tale of patriotism to brag in front of several foreign diplomats). Two: our government has seen the return of an almost centennial authoritarian party who has a clear record of violence and censorship towards the citizens who oppose it. And three: said party just recently suffocated violently a huge teacher march in this weekend just to sweep the streets and prepare everything for the celebration of the Independence Day, and there are records that the policemen were terribly violent. And four: what are we celebrating again?

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“We want you to leave the goddamn place so we can celebrate that you’re free of oppression, silly people!”

No, really, care somebody remind me what are we celebrating…? Huh? Independence? Freedom of rule and chains? Oh, good. So glad to know we’re now free of colonial rule. So glad to know that nothing’s controlling our life. It’s so really nice to be free, to walk outside without fear, to have our own identity, to not feel pressed by other people, to breathe and say “Darn, I am so free!”…

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…Now, you can guess where I am trying to go. We really have nothing to celebrate in here. Independence Day is, in my opinion, supposed to be a holiday of freedom, of being ourselves, of not having anything to be afraid about, of—mostly, which is kinda the point of the day—not having somebody controlling us. And yet, our little vendors and national merchandise are shunned and left to rot in the corner while international merchandise, such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, etc., come and devour the life of people, and make them forget that our people needs help too with their businesses. We’re the playground of these international merchandises. We’re at the hands of the foreign people. They even passed a bill in where foreigners can buy land in Mexico and do whatever they want with it. And most of that land’s usually home of many indigenous people who are shunned and left to rot in the corner as well. And the TV has this mania of ignoring the pleas of these people, putting them as troublemakers, and then airing commercials in where people with warts and pimple are bullied and shunned by prettier people, and tells you that your sole solution is to buy this cream so you can be accepted again!

And yet, we’re supposed to celebrate a holiday in where we’re all FREE of domination…! Seriously!

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Name an area Shelltania and save us from trouble already.

But see, this is the Mexican context. I am posting this not entirely due to Mexico, but because I am sure that this is not the sole case. I am not saying that all Independence Days in the world are celebrations of nothingness (in fact, I bet there’s a country I don’t know whose similar holiday surely celebrates the whole glory of freedom; I believe that, if Cataluña wins its independence from Spain, the celebrations would be some of the most sincere in these years due to its recent status, specially if Spain remains with its little issues around), but rather that I am sure that there are people who have noticed that we’re not really that free as we’re supposed to celebrate. I remember watching an RT documentary, titled “La feria de las caridades” (sorry, can’t remember the English title >.<; If anybody knows, please do tell), which spoke about the delivery of American food support to several African countries not entirely out of kindness, but also due to political intentions. That is: winning a good position inside the continent just to keep a good watch in the surroundings. That can be bought once you deliver food to the needed people. Because they are ignored by their governments because they’re glad that other people are doing their job. When they could just help them get some water to work their own lands and agriculture. And so, the drama continues.

https://i2.wp.com/www.patriagrande.com.ve/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/africa_0.jpg

Some help to bring water to their areas could solve all their problems, but noooo…

That documentary, alongside this holiday, made me wonder about this. It made me wonder if we really should keep celebrating something (at least in the usual way, I am not saying “Let’s cancel all celebrations! They’re evil!” ;P) that we haven’t achieved yet. In my opinion, marking a holiday involves the culmination—the unanimous vote that we have achieved—of a certain value that will stay with us forever. And celebrating independence of colonial rule or even a national identity is a bit awkward. I feel that we’re still a colony not only from foreign powers, but also of fear. How “fear”, you ask? Well, simply that: fear. The fear of not being the person you want to be. Fear of not being what the media you must be, of not having the “correct” clothing, of having the “incorrect” clothing, of becoming silly nerds, of having an ugly smile, of not having sex lots of times as the “champs” of the TV, of not being fashionista enough… Fear which can be “solved” if you buy this brand of clothing, if you buy this toothpaste so you can finally have an acceptable smile, if you buy all the insignificant things from the malls just because they’re cute and in the mouth of everybody… Solutions offered by you by most companies, who are almost everywhere around the globe. Who don’t like competition at all from tiny and modest local places and bribe to get more stores (am I right, Wal Mart?). And who, by complete irony, also celebrate the patriotic holidays with discounts and special products, as if they never were fighting for land to sell themselves.

Basically, they tell us of what to be proud of, but not why. And they start these campaigns to create the image they want that both safeguards their interests and keep us satisfied. Let’s take Chelsea Manning as an example. She just wanted to help her country in an unusual way in the common standards (by showing everybody the Collateral Damages video to park debate); and what does she get as a thank you or a “Well, maybe we should indeed debate because we love this country and humanity”? 35 years of prison. Why? Because she broke the law… So yeah. And then they released a photo of her in a wig and make up for no reason, but with a clear intention of ridiculing her and ignoring her intention and actions. And thus, give to the public an indirect statement that no, no, people, this is not the patriotic attitude you must take, it’s wrong, it’s breaking the law, you’re loving erroneously your country. As if this was worse than the many war criminals that she wanted to denounce.

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The irony? I bet she needs 100 years to be finally hailed as a hero… Hopefully, she will be well remembered in the Independence Day when that time comes.

And thus, her attitude was wrong, but the soldier’s is correct because he fights directly and in a clear way for the country, and more importantly: by not doing what Manning did. You must pamper the good ol’ nation because it is already perfect, correct, and better than other places; because we’re already free from the terrible chains and from the evil Others! Because our problems are now in the past! And what better way to keep it than a holiday that celebrates such thing. A holiday that repeats the same speech over and over again—our heroes of the past, people!—, but never updates itself to the contemporary issues and that opens the debate that we’re also in an epoch in where we can see and create more heroes of liberty and identity like Manning. Oh no, it’s just a celebration of the past. Because the problems were in the past, so let’s celebrate we’re now better!

Independence Day’s supposed to celebrate our identity, our freedom. In Mexico, and other places like Africa and Latin America, we’re still bombarded by foreign powers. Identity’s a keyword in these holidays: they’re the cause of the celebration. We must celebrate that we’re who we are and are protecting our mother land by just shouting proudly “I am from this country, the best one of all!”. But it’s really hard to celebrate when they insult you for protesting for the sake of your own people (who happen to be the offenders too), when the foreign powers come to dictate what stays and what must leave in the nation, and when the government jails you for “treason” just for wanting to spark a debate about foreign policies in one of the most sincere, if not uncommon, expression of patriotism. I recently readed José Vasconcelo’s essay “La raza cósmica”, which deals with some racial identity in Latin America, and said that we can’t really celebrate our independence holiday if we can’t look at the other liberty heroes, way before the official ones, who did other things. And I would like to take his statement, but also add “the heroes of the future and contemporary”, which nowdays are taken as terrorists, vandals or criminals. And need a century to be finally recognized as warriors by the media and the governments.

The four races of the world create the fifth one, which will bring the ultimate glory and peace of humanity, according to Vasconcelos.

I am sometimes afraid to think that this holiday’s saying “We’re in the best condition now. Let’s celebrate! We are perfect, so there is no need to keep struggling to reach something we already have” instead of “Let’s celebrate we managed to get freedom, which means we can keep getting it with more struggle”. I am this afraid, people. This afraid.

I remember myself as a child, who would love to go to the church festivals to celebrate this holiday and say “I am so glad to be of this country!”, and it wasn’t until these years in where I finally took a seat and wondered what I was celebrating. What identity I am proud of. From whom I am free now. Because I just recently realized that we’re not free. We will never be free as long as ignorance in the past, in our identity and in the understanding of the word “colonization” keeps going in our collective mindset. I really feel a bit irked when I read somebody say “Viva México” because I want to ask them “What is it that you’re celebrating? What makes you proud of?”. And I know some of them would say “We’re free of the colonial rule, what else?”. And then I would point them that a Spanish company owns a bank in Mexico, so we’re not really free, but… I tell myself “Maybe later”, but I am afraid the chance might never come. And I am sure this is not only in Mexico, but around the world. Are we really free? What are we celebrating…? Why do we remember such days? Why? And what for? What’s the point of it?

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I forgot Texxon had a city called Dell Paso. I need geography classes again.

I am not saying that foreign products are evil, mind you. Oh no, I am just saying that either people sell themselves to these powers and let them interfere in the country or lifestyle for their own benefit, despising the local markets with people who need to make a living with their hands too and playing foul games to win power and influence inside, or are a bit contradictory and hypocrite in their own notion of national identity, just to protect their own interests. I am just telling an opinion and a preoccupation towards the world. My greatest reference is life itself. It’s what happened to the teachers in Mexico, to Chelsea Manning and Africa’s new colonization for its goods. I am afraid, O readers. I am afraid of what’s going on. But we’re on the Information Age. We’re now on the new age predicted by the Mayans. We’re living an Apocalypse—a lift of the veil—and understanding truth finally. And now that we’re getting it, we can finally help each other once we get what we did wrong and where we did right. And I believe that we will be able to celebrate independence in the future once we get rid first of the fear colonization—by not being afraid of what others will tell and teaching our future generations to care about the world (which is becoming a rare value among the youth who are becoming obsessed with junk TV and violent games) and to protect it, not only to honour it (and not with wars. Seriously, please…)—and then we can finally change the way our societies are handled.

dog enjoys a beautiful sunset

Let’s meditate together, looking at the sun… Not directly, though: you’ll go blind.

Any comments, corrections and/or expansion of this post are greatly appreciated. Just for the sake of building truth, people.

*Images not mine, found in the internet. Some do go back to some pages in where I found them, and others I believe are free of use. If not, I apologize and will remove them if I receive a complain*