The weekly newsletter of the México Solidarity Project

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January 24, 2024/ This week’s issue/ Vicky Hamlin, for the editorial team


Whose Story? Whose Art?

Joaquín Torres Garcia, América Invertida, 1943, ink on paper

map from Douglas Fernandes/Flickr

Traditionally, history is told by the winners — by the colonizers, not the colonized. Fortunately, these days there is much greater interest in the faces behind the colonization stories, about the people who drove the past into the present and the future. And our interpretation of our origin stories has become more honest.


The art of México from the last centuries has fewer blind spots than many notions of art history. After all, revolutions do, of course, produce revolutionary art. In the USA, blind spots about our history with México (both her Revolution and her art) run deep.


America Invertida aims to right some of these wrongs.


The show of that title currently, at CASA 0101, 2102 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033 in LA, is described this way on the website:


“The artwork in this exhibition draws its inspiration from poets, writers, environment activists and Zapatistas leaders. Its a unifying SUR to SUR and brown to brown dialogue. 

The title is inspired by Joaquín Torres GarcíaAmerica Invertida 1943 ink on paper. Torres Garcia challenges the imposition of top to bottom geographical relations between the north and the south.”

Gallery Curator Jimmy Centeno chose wisely. The theme for the artists Barbara Rivera, Laura Vazquez Rodriguez, and Aydee Lopez Martinez is loosely based around the lives of Berta Cáceres, winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental prize;  Rigoberta Menchú, winner of The 1992 Nobel Peace Prize; and Comandanta Ramona, a leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional).


The art, and these artists, gently, beautifully and forcefully reinforce new ideas of women, solidarity among women, and the roles and contributions of women who fight for themselves and the future of their worlds. The work of each of the three women artists complements the others. They all have strong drawing chops, all represent their own lives in their work, and all are skillful colorists. 


The past and the present come together in the work of Torres-Garcia and these three contemporary women artists. Between the four of them, our notions of who owns history are turned up-side down.


Let these seeds be planted, be nurtured, sprout and grow!


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

in-person US speaking tour!

The México Solidarity Project, Liberation Road/Camino para la Libertad, and Democratic Socialists of America are proud to host this accomplished investigative journalist from México City. He will speak, among other things, on issues of immigration and the border, national sovereignty, and labor, and what this means for México and US progressives. Here are the West Coast cities José Luis will visit and the dates:


Jan 31 - Feb. 2:  Portland, OR

Feb. 3:  Salem, OR

Feb. 4 - 6:  Oakland and San Francisco, CA

Feb. 6 - 7:  San Diego, CA

Feb. 8 - 10:  Los Angeles CA


Bring friends and feel free to share this notice. Donations gratefully accepted.

Any questions? Contact Betty Forrester or Jeff Elkner


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Want more news and analysis? Go to the new Mexico Solidarity Media website:


"These Seeds Will Never Die"

These are the words of artist Barbara Rivera, speaking about the artwork and relationships developed out of the exhibition, America Invertida, by Gallery Curator Jimmy Centeno, showing at the CASA 0101 Theater in LA. They are standing in front of Martinez' work "A Blessing and a Curse".


Our correspondent Victoria Hamlin talked with the three artists Laura Vazquez Rodriguez, Barbara Rivera, and Aydee Lopez Martinez; here are some of their thoughts.

Laura Vazquez Rodriguez, Barbara Rivera, Aydee Lopez Martinez and Jimmy Centeno


What is the importance of this show to you? 

Laura Vazquez Rodriguez: Rigoberta Menchú: Champion of Peace

Laura Vazquez Rodriguez: This exhibit is a tribute to Berta Cáceres, winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental prize;  Rigoberta Menchú, winner of The 1992 Nobel Peace Prize; and Comandanta Ramona, a leader of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional), who refused to be silenced, who fought to defend their land, their rights, and their indigenous way of life. Some paid the ultimate price in their fight for freedom. I celebrate their social, economic, and political achievements. They are champions for peace.






Barbara Rivera: There was a lot of creative freedom in this project. This whole project was bigger than all of us, there is so much more that we can continue to do to be a part of this beautiful world. There are different kinds of suffering and our world is a hot mess right now, we have to do our little part, put in our 2 cents to make it better.

Barbara Rivera: Berta Cáceres, Rios de Esperanza

Aydee Lopez Martinez: Your Bitter Song Soothes Me



Aydee Lopez Martinez: I think that our goal as artists was to take a little bit of the essence of these women and weave it into each one of the pieces we created. It motivates me to learn so much more about them and so many women out there like them.


With these works, I want to bring awareness to the incredible power that women have when we unite in the name of change. This exhibit is not only about Latin American women, it is about humanity and our shared struggle for justice. Courage to act begins with one voice. We have the power to make a difference.


Can you tell me some about your own history?


BR: As the child of immigrants, I totally identify with my Mexican/Cuban roots, even more Méxican because we still go back every year with my mom. Even though we’re born in different places, we are all similar. 


ALM: My family and I immigrated from a small town in México to the Cypress Park neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles, California in 1970. I attended several community colleges before transferring over to Cal State University Los Angeles where I received a BFA. I have an art studio in Covina where I work as an artist and art teacher.


LVR: I grew up in the predominantly Mexican community of Pico Rivera. I was raised to believe that all people are equal. We are all valuable and we are responsible for one another. 

What is your inspiration?

BR: As an adult I started realizing that oh, my goodness, the beauty in my culture is incredible. La cultura is beautiful, lets do something to really show your culture. I love all that.


The environmentalist Berta Cáceres and the stuff that she was fighting for. She was assassinated, but what people dont realize is that the seeds that were planted will never die, they are blossoming in children and other people that took up the cause. I want to learn everything about this woman and her work and her love for humanity.


You realize that its not about you, you put your ego down and record our culture, everything will start falling in place. Its not about you, its bigger than all of us.

Barbara Rivera: Comandanta Ramona, Nunca Mas

Aydee Lopez Martinez: Inside the Trembling Mountains





ALM: I am always inspired by great women in history and those who surround me in my everyday life. I find that I am always looking for ways to portray women in the most positive and heroic way possible.


LVR: Love. To love others and to help others see their value. We are all part of one body.


I have one painting called Seeds of Love” and it was inspired by the three women's environmental activism, and it is about how we are planting the seeds of love not only in our own children but in our childrens children and our friends children and our neighbors and in our community. These seeds of love will grow for generations and we just need to plant them.

Laura Vazquez Rodriguez: 

Based on Gabriela Mistral’s poem Children’s Hair: Ternura

Barbara Rivera: The Big Day

Aydee Lopez Martinez: A Mother's Love


Who or what have been influences in your art?

BR: I got to travel to Morocco in June of 2023, and we came together for the Safi International Arts and Music Festival. Art transcends all the languages. It didnt matter what our religion was, it was the most eye-opening trip of my life. It gave me so much hope for all of us. They would say USA, USA, and I said yes it is America, but deep down inside of me I represent Latin America.

ALM: Family, culture, and of course everything about the feminine mind and body are my biggest influences. In my work, I always want to touch on the perspective of being a woman.I think that definitely shows through very strongly in my work.


My mother has always been a great influence too. Her support and encouragement of my career as well as her brave spirit even in the face of adversity will always drive me to pursue my goals. Women just rock!

LVM: My faith, my culture, and my family have influenced my art. I have learned the importance of gathering and sharing stories. I have learned the importance of gratitude and giving back. The idea that we are not well unless we are all well, and the importance of learning history and recognizing the struggles and sacrifices that others have made in the name of freedom and justice, have all played a role in my art. The women who are featured in this show are an inspiration to me and their stories influence my work. To be able to express their passion, their struggles, and their voices is so important. We need to amplify their voices any way we can. My art is my voice and with it I amplify the voices I admire.

Laura Vazquez Rodriguez: Voices of Courage


Is the US Press Manufacturing Consent?

Mexico City based freelance writer and photojournalist José Luis Granados Ceja previously spent time as a staff writer for teleSUR, and currently works with Venezuela Analysis. His writing on contemporary Latin American democratic struggles can be followed on X (formerly Twitter): @GranadosCeja.


How does it come to pass that a self-described progressive” US news outlet ends up regurgitating the talking points of Mexico’s right-wing opposition? This month the Texas Observer ran an interview by Lise Digger with the Baker Institute's Tony Payan about Mexico’s upcoming 2024 election. A cursory glance at Payan’s social media would make it apparent to even a casual observer of Mexican politics that Payan closely sympathizes with the right-wing opposition. A neutral observer he is not. 


But the problem is not Payan’s easily debunked lies. A far worse crime is Digger’s astounding ignorance. It isn’t just that she allowed Payan to disseminate his falsehoods about the state of politics in Mexico, but her framing of his comments was wildly off base. 


In her first paragraph, Digger presents readers with a bald-faced lie, saying that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has insisted he will not accept defeat for his hand-chosen successor.” First of all, Claudia Sheinbaum, the candidate for the progressive left, was not chosen by a dedazo (handpicking by the outgoing president, a tradition of the former ruling party, the PRI), but rather through a transparent process of national polling. Second, nowhere has AMLO said he will not accept defeat. Why would he say that? He doesn’t need to worry. Sheinbaum has consistently been polling between 20 and 30 points ahead of her rightist opponent, PRI/PAN candidate Xochitl Gálvez.


Digger has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the opposition’s framing of the election as a battle between the pro-democracy” Gálvez and AMLO/Sheinbaum’s “authoritarian” Morena party. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Mexico’s previous neoliberal model of democracy parties created enormous inequality and dissatisfaction among the people. Under López Obrador the country’s citizens have had their faith restored in democracy. A study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2017, a year before AMLO’s win, only 6 percent were satisfied with the state of Mexican democracy; the figure has since skyrocketed. With historic investments in the country’s poorest regions, a rights-based and universal approach to social programs, and millions lifted out of poverty, a huge swath of the country that once felt ignored now feels seen by the man in the National Palace.


The evidence is easy to see. Digger’s wanton disregard for what is actually happening in Mexico demonstrates astounding ignorance. But is that all? Something more insidious may be at play.


The right-wing opposition knows that if nothing changes soon, they are going to get trounced in the election come June. What we are seeing is an effort to manufacture consent for foreign intervention to prevent a peaceful transfer of power in Mexico. By suggesting that AMLO and Sheinbaum are dictators-in-waiting — enemies of democracy akin to Donald Trump — articles like this published by the so-called progressive” Texas Observer serve to undermine US progressive and leftist support for their comrades in Mexico. 


Many in Mexico are concerned that the will of voters will not be respected. But the threat is not coming from AMLO or Sheinbaum, but from the country’s rotten judicial branch, which could overturn the results of a fair election. This sort of brazen assault on democracy could only come to pass if US imperialism gives the green light. For that to happen, the true enemies of democracy, the capitalist class, must first manufacture consent.


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

William Savinar, Mexico Congress set to debate 40-hour workweek Courthouse News Service. If passed, this would be the first amendment to Mexico's workweek laws since the constitution was enacted in 1917.


Francisco Javier Soto, Vibrante cierre de Precampaña de Claudia Sheinbaum, un momento de unidad Sentido Común. La unidad se da en la lucha en las acciones, apuntó, en las definiciones, en nuestra democracia interna y que la unidad es con el pueblo y para la Transformación.


Ernesto Hernández-López, Canada’s dairy lesson can help solve Mexico corn crisis National Observer. As it weighs in, Canada should remember its reasons to protect dairy farmers and consumers in the face of lower prices and oversupply from the U.S. Mexico faces the same, but with corn.


Arturo Sánchez Jiménez, Solicitan México y Chile investigar posible genocidio en la franja de Gaza La Jornada. Sin embargo, el fiscal del CPI, Karim Khan, ha sido criticado por muchos estudiosos del derecho internacional y ha generado preocupaciones urgentes sobre el cumplimiento de su oficina con la imparcialidad y la no discriminación, ya que muchas de sus acciones favorecen a Israel.


José Luis Granados Ceja, Mexico and Chile Refer Violence in Gaza to the International Criminal Court Mexico Solidarity Media. The ICC is considered a court of last resort and prosecutes the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression in situations where states are unable or unwilling to do so themselves.


Ordenan al ejército no destruir ni esconder documentos de la «Guerra Sucia» Desinformémonos. El Mecanismo de Esclarecimiento Histórico, encabezado por expertas y expertos independientes, tiene el mandato de investigar la verdad, a través del reconocimiento de instalaciones militares, del registro de testimonios y de la revisión de archivos relacionados con la violencia de Estado en ese periodo.


Heinz Dieterich, Monroe Doctrine: Two Centuries of Implacable Imperialism Telesur English. The Monroe Doctrine, at its core, is the formalized expression of a state piracy policy: the appropriation of others' wealth, even if it requires shedding blood to achieve it.


Liberan a ocho militares ligados al caso de Ayotzinapa Telesur. Los procesados son parte de la lista de 16 militares contra los que el pasado 13 de junio se ordenó la aprehensión por el delito de desaparición forzada. Los ocho se entregaron voluntariamente ante la FGR, una semana después de que se ordenaran sus capturas.


Wojciech Zylm, USTR Invokes USMCA in Defense of Call Center Workers’ Rights in Mexico BNN.  The intervention, a first in the call center industry, specifically targets Atento Servicios, S.A. de C.V., a multinational corporation known for providing outsourced customer support services.


Alelhí Salgado, Jorge Álvarez Máynez, precandidato de Movimiento Ciudadano, insinuó que de alcanzar la presidencia de México, podría implementar “el modelo Bukele” para disminuir la violencia en México El Universal. Moralmente sin rumbo y oportunista, el partido neoliberal que fue formado en un laboratorio del gobierno estadounidense, recurre a actividades de búsqueda de atención mientras languidece en las encuestas electorales.


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, Susan Weiss.  To give feedback or get involved yourself, please email us!

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