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November 8, 2023/ This week’s issue/ Meizhu Lui, for the editorial team


 A Culture of Guns: Bang Bang, Youre Dead!

UK Prince William’s sons prepare early to take the reins of government. AP Photo, July 2018


As a child, the first person I knew personally who died was my piano teacher’s daughter, shot by her brother over a squabble about what TV show to watch. The second was a sixth grade classmate shot dead in a hunting accident. 


When my son was little, I didn’t want him to have any toy guns. But you can’t escape the gun culture kids ingest with their pablum, from GI Joe to video games like Mortal Kombat. Even without a toy, he could still point his tiny finger and say, “Bang bang!”


The US, like other settler nations, was founded with guns. They were needed to clear the land of the people already here, needed to grab Mexican land to expand US territory. Reaching for a gun is in the US DNA; if there’s a problem — poverty, migration, drugs — send in the police or the border patrol or the drug enforcement agency. 


So it’s no wonder that guns are the basis of US foreign policy too. Today, we watch in horror as the Biden government sends arms to Israel, itself a major gun manufacturer and seller. We see Republican politicians pointing their trigger finger at México, as if that would stop fentanyl abuse in the US.


But that’s not all. The US coddles its gun companies; for them, exporting death is just a highly profitable business. As John Lindsay-Poland reports in this reprinted interview, holding manufacturers responsible is essential to halt the flow of guns — guns that have killed thousands in schools, in bowling alleys, in the borderlands. 


And those little pointer fingers that are pretend guns? They grow into big fingers holding real guns. Bang bang, you’re dead! Bang bang I’m dead. Bang bang.


We’re excited to announce MSP member José Luis Granados Ceja’s

in-person US speaking tour!

This accomplished investigative journalist from México City spoke with hundreds of people on his East Coast tour, sparking much interest in México. He spoke about changes in México since AMLO’s election in 2018, and what they mean for México and US progressives. Walk, ride, fly — you won’t want to miss him when he comes to the West Coast, now scheduled for January/February. Stay tuned!!


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Made in the USA: Exporting Death to México

Accompanying and getting to know courageous activists risking their lives to gain justice in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia in the 1980’s caused John Lindsay-Poland to dedicate himself to freeing all people from the fear of violence. He researches the connection between militarization and human rights abuses, and organizes action to demilitarize US policy in Latin America. Among other activities, he coordinates Stop US Arms to Mexico, a project of Global Exchange.

When did the era of gun violence in México begin and why?


A toxic cocktail of issues changed the pattern of gun violence in 2004 and 2005, and even more so from 2005 to 2010. 


First, market dynamics shifted. The international narcotics business had been centered in the Andes, but due to drug wars there, much of it moved to México. Production increased, including of synthetic drugs. Second, beginning in 2007, there was the War on Drugs, jointly declared by Presidents Calderón and Bush, using military strategies to stop drug trafficking. Third, since the drug trade is illegal, the only way to resolve disputes is through violence. Lastly, the ban on assault weapons in the US expired in 2004. Sales and trafficking to México of more deadly weapons led to an internal arms race between cartels competing for territory, and with government forces.


What was the strategy behind the War on Drugs, named the Mérida Initiative?


Initially it was a military and police strategy aimed at taking out the kingpins through a massive influx of US support. That backfired, because taking out the head of a cartel triggered violent competition between the factions wanting to take the kingpin’s place, and because so many government forces are colluding with criminal organizations.

The Mérida Initiative comprised the majority of US aid to México from 2008 to 2021 — to the tune of $3.3. billion. Now, both nations agree it was a failure. Will that reduce the arms flow into México?


No. Already by 2010, aid money began to shift away from a military strategy. But Mérida was never about giving México firearms; the support was in the form of surveillance, training, helicopters, and other equipment. 

The biggest problem isn’t the War on Drugs, it’s arms sales.


Mérida money went through the State Department. But there’s also significant Pentagon assistance, which doesn’t require Congressional review. There are also private commercial sales. Gun manufacturer Sig Sauer had a $5.5 million license to sell automatic rifles to the Mexican navy.

Pacific Council on International Policy

US weapons from these various sources are known to have been used in many extrajudicial killings; they were used for example in the disappearance of 43 rural teachers college students at Ayotzinapa in 2014 by government forces. The truth is, when a gun is exported to México, it’s not clear who will eventually be the end users that have their finger on the trigger.


Do you see any changes with AMLO’s Presidency?


It’s discouraging. AMLO has given unprecedented authority to the military. He created a new National Guard, whose officers carry Sig Sauer semi-automatic weapons. A single institution – the army – has authority in Mexico over arms manufacture, gun imports, sales to police, sales to private entities, the gun registry, and confiscated weapons…. There is no civilian oversight over this comprehensive web. And there has been almost no progress on serious human rights cases involving the military, such as the forced disappearances in Ayotzinapa.

That said, there is an encouraging development. In 2021 and 2022, México’s Foreign Relations Ministry filed suits in Boston and Arizona against eleven US gun manufacturers. US federal law provides broad protection to the firearms industry to prevent victims of, say, Sandy Hook, from suing the manufacturers for their products’ misuse. But México argues that crimes committed on Mexican territory — 20,000 gun deaths a year — don’t fall under those laws. 


In addition, the suit seeks reform in the way gun companies market their products, including their military quality guns advertised to retail markets. México also is asking for damages, since 70% of all firearms recovered and traced from crime scenes in Mexico came from the United States.


For once, a solution has been put forward that doesn’t focus on border security!

What does México need from its US allies?


Those fighting for gun violence prevention in the US — and that’s a growing number as the mass shootings continue — need to know that the number of gun homicides committed with guns made or sold in the US is even greater in México than in the US itself. Solidarity across borders is not just possible, it’s essential to end the scourge of gun violence plaguing us all. 



  • While México’s Boston lawsuit was initially rejected, in July 2023 México asked that their $10 billion lawsuit be revived. We’re waiting for a response.
  • On October 27, 2023, the Commerce Department, which oversees US exports of semi-automatic firearms and their parts and bullets, announced a 90-day hold on new licenses for exports to non-governmental gun users in some countries, in order to “mitigate risk of firearms being diverted to entities or activities that promote regional instability, violate human rights, or fuel criminal activities.” Stop US Arms to Mexico applauded this action, while calling for a broader suspension of weapons exports to reduce violence.

México’s Stand on Israel and Palestine

All over the world, massive demonstrations have demanded a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine. This sign linking Palestinian and Mexican freedom of movement was spotted in San Francisco. On October 24, Alicia Guadalupe Buenrostro Massieu presented to the UN Security Council the stance of the Mexican government on the current conflict in the Middle East.

Remarks by Alicia Guadalupe Buenrostro Massieu, chargé d’affaires at the Permanent Representation of Mexico to the UN (edited) 

Mr. President:

Mexico is participating in this meeting in view of the critical escalation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas and the situation in the Gaza Strip, an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory. If not stopped immediately, this conflict is on track to cause a humanitarian disaster of immeasurable and unprecedented proportions.

We recognize and appreciate the humanitarian work done by the UN under the leadership of the Secretary-General, and we deeply lament the death of 35 UN workers.

1. Condemnation of the terrorist attacks and a call for an immediate halt to the hostilities

Mexico reiterates its strong and unequivocal condemnation of all forms and manifestations of terrorism and violent extremism, regardless of who, where, and for what purpose it is committed. As this Council has stated, “Any act of terrorism constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”[1]

My country reiterates its strong condemnation of the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel by Hamas and other extremist organizations in Gaza, which have claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people. And Mexico joins the Secretary-General in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages being held by Hamas, which include two Mexicans.

The Israeli response, on the other hand, has resulted in almost 5,000 deaths, more than 14,200 injured, and incalculable damage to civilian infrastructure. 

Mexico recognizes Israel's right to protect its citizens and its territory, as well as to guarantee its security, but this must be done in full compliance with international law, and with the principles of necessity and proportionality that govern any use of force.

We call for an immediate and lasting cessation of hostilities throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, especially the indiscriminate attacks and violence against of civilians, by all parties to the conflict, and we call for lifting the state of siege in which the Palestinian population currently finds itself in Gaza, in accordance with Resolution 1860 (2009).

2. Humanitarian situation in Gaza

According to international humanitarian law, any indiscriminate or directed attack against the civilian population under any circumstances, and against medical and humanitarian personnel, or against civilian property and essential infrastructure, is contrary to the principle of distinction, applicable to all situations of armed conflict, at all times and places. These behaviors could constitute war crimes, as they are serious violations of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Any retaliation is contrary to international law.

Mexico condemns and repudiates, in the strongest terms, the events that occurred at the Al Ahli hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, and all other attacks that have taken place in recent days on civilian facilities and property.

Therefore, an independent and impartial investigation of these attacks is essential, to clarify the facts, attribute responsibility, and ensure accountability.

We welcome the humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.  However, the 34 truckloads that have entered are insufficient, which is why we are making an urgent call for the uninterrupted entry of humanitarian supplies, including water and fuel. Civilians must also be allowed to use this corridor between Gaza and Egypt, as well as the West Bank-East Jerusalem corridor.

Mexico also expresses great concern about the increased intensity and frequency of incidents of violence, military roadblocks and attacks by Israeli settlers, and we are alarmed by a possible Israeli military incursion into northern Gaza, which would only aggravate conditions for the civilian population.

3. Paralysis of the Security Council

In this context, Mexico considers unacceptable the United States' use of the veto on October 18 to prevent the Security Council from acting. The draft resolution (S/2023/773) proposed by Brazil was a balanced text of an essentially humanitarian nature.

Since 1945, Mexico has taken an unwavering stance against the use of the veto, and we reiterate our call to those who have not yet done so to join the Franco-Mexican initiative on restricting the use of the veto, which already has 106 signatories.

4. Occupation under international law

Mr. President:

Responsibility for resuming the peace process and de-escalating the current violence lies with the parties directly involved in the conflict. The Security Council and international community have a collective responsibility to promote a political process aimed at promoting a lasting peace. We recognize Egypt for convening last weekend's Peace Summit, and we call on regional actors to exercise the utmost restraint to prevent the conflict from expanding.

No occupation is lawful and is always the result of a breakdown of the international order in contravention of the UN Charter. Nor is there the right to an indefinite occupation that has already altered, for the benefit of the Occupying Power, the demographic, economic and social realities of the occupied territory and its inhabitants, creating potentially irreversible changes on the ground.

Under international law, any territory acquired through the use of force is null and void, and the international community has the obligation to demand that the Occupying Power cease its occupation and all other acts affecting the territorial integrity of the State of Palestine, and to abide by to the Council's resolutions.

Until we address the structural causes of conflict, including oppression and recurring human rights violations, we will continue to see more cycles of violence and destruction.


Mexico supports a comprehensive and definitive political solution to the conflict based on the premise of two States, that addresses Israel's legitimate security concerns and allows for the consolidation of a politically and economically viable Palestinian State that lives side by side with Israel within secure and internationally recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.

As Mexico's Foreign Secretary said on September 23 at the General Assembly, we must “recognize the right of the people of Israel, but not at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Mexico, a country whose foreign policy adheres to international law, has always defended and will always defend the peaceful settlement of disputes over the threat or use of force.

For this reason, we will continue to support all efforts aimed at establishing a peace based on mutual respect and fully compliant with international law.

Thank you.

[1]Resolutions 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001)


Recent news reports and commentaries, from progressive and mainstream media,
on life and struggles on both sides of the US-México border compiled by Jay Watts

Mexicans Reject the Genocide Perpetrated by Israel in Gaza Telesur English. Thousands of Mexicans marched through the streets of Mexico City demanding the Mexican government cut off diplomatic relations with Israel.


Daniel Kent Carrasco, Disidencia y confusión. ¿De qué habla Pablo Majluf? Revista Común. El más notable de los nuevos neoconservadores mexicanos es quizás Pablo Majluf, un experto en opinión que ha logrado una considerable proyección nacional a través de su presencia semanal en televisión, articulando una postura más común al chauvinismo eurocéntrico y al revanchismo de Niall Ferguson y otras figuras de la "derecha disidente.”


María Alejandra Trujillo, Claudia Sheinbaum Criticizes Former Presidents, Advocates for Change BNN. Sheinbaum pledged to prioritize wage hikes for the working class if victorious in the 2024 elections, stressing that all Mexicans deserve equal rights and access to education.


Pedro Miguel, Brevísima (y triste) historia del PRIAN Sentido Común. Ya para entonces se había borrado toda diferencia programática sustancial entre el priismo y el panismo, y la alianza de facto había quedado sellada por la práctica compartida de la corrupción.


President López Obrador hails the return of the ‘super peso’ Mexico News Daily. The Mexican peso extended its winning streak to seven days.


Viri Ríos, El rescate que Acapulco merece El País. Tres propuestas para reconstruir anteponiendo el bien común y no los designios del alto empresariado.


President López Obrador outlines reconstruction plan for Acapulco Mexico News Daily. Direct monetary support and large public works plans are part of the plan to recover from the category 5 Hurricane Otis, which may rank among the strongest hurricanes ever recorded.


Lucas Reynoso, Antonia Laborde y Zedryk Raziel, México, Argentina, Colombia, Chile y Bolivia elevan el tono contra Israel tras el bombardeo en YabaliaEl País. Las reacciones van desde comunicados de repudio a la ruptura de relaciones diplomáticas.


Bill Fletcher, Jr., In Defense of AMLO - Understanding Morena’s Project The Real News Network. An interview with MSP member, journalist and political analyst José Luis Granados Ceja during his East Coast tour of the United States.


Kurt Hackbarth, Palestina será libre Sentido Común. Miembro del MSP escribe sobre Palestina: algo tiene que cambiar.


Antonio De Loera-Brust, America Shouldn’t Invade Mexico Foreign Policy. As a former special assistant to the US Secretary of State writes in US imperialism’s foremost foreign affairs journal, not all the gringos are wild about invading Mexico. Yet.



The Mexico Solidarity Project brings together activists from various socialist and left organizations and individuals committed to worker and global justice. We see the 2018 election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador as president of México as a watershed moment. AMLO and his progressive Morena party aim to end generations of corruption, impoverishment, and subservience to US interests. Our Project supports not just Morena, but all Mexicans struggling for basic rights, and opposes US efforts to undermine organizing and México’s national sovereignty.


Editorial committee: Meizhu Lui, Bruce Hobson, Agatha Hinman, Victoria Hamlin, Courtney Childs.  To give feedback or get involved yourself, please email us!

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