Technology is a territory that links all struggles.

The weekly newsletter of the México Solidarity Project

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September 13, 2023/ This week’s issue/ Meizhu Lui, for the editorial team


Pope Francis blesses a photo of a child, displayed on a cellphone, at the end of a special audience with members of the Christian Workers' Movement in the Vatican on January 16, 2016. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino / AP

The Power of Cellphones: Immaterial but not Divine

Is that a “real” child inside a cellphone one who will feel the blessed touch of the Pope’s hand?  Could we pour holy water on the phone and baptize the child?  Will the Pope bless an AI-endowed “being” in the future? 

Maybe since divinity is not material, it could work. But isn’t it a wonder that there are people who believe that the pope is blessing not an electronic machine called a cellphone, not the bunch of pixels gathered by another mechanical device called a camera  but a flesh and blood human being via those devices. We are like the people in the movie The Matrix, who unknowingly live in a world of algorithms created by the overseer class  the capitalists whose principles are power, profit and control.

For the sake of convenience and connection, we willingly cede our right to control our own lives. We impatiently scroll through the fine print on Google or FaceBook, click “agree,” and presto! As invisibly as the Pope’s blessing, everything about us is released into the digital marketplace.

But not everyone has taken the blue pill of blissful ignorance. MayFirst Movement Technology members, whom we feature today, understand how these addictive  communications platforms busily gather our data 24/7. MayFirst wants, with full consciousness and intention, to engage collectively in building a different technology, one built on the best of Christian principles loving our neighbors and lifting up the poor.

To regain our autonomy, we can’t rely on divine intervention.  But we can rely on each other to make a world that is more human, not less.


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Jesus Hermosillo is a Los Angeles-based Chicano independent journalist who has done extensive research on media coverage of Mexican politics. He regularly contests false narratives in mainstream US and Mexican outlets. He hosts the MSP Twitter account.

The Piece/

Last week, the Washington Post’s Mary Beth Sheridan and David Agren wrote about the women nominated for president by México’s two largest political formations ahead of next year’s elections. Xóchitl Gálvez, a businesswoman and senator for the National Action Party (PAN), is the standard-bearer for the neoliberal coalition, which includes the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and México Citys former mayor, was nominated by the left-of-center coalition that includes President López Obrador’s party, MORENA.


The Claim/

The piece is mostly well-balanced until it cites an unsubstantiated claim by political analyst and longtime AMLO critic Bárbara González, asserting that AMLO sought to swing his sizable following and political machine behind Sheinbaum in the primary.”


The Backstory/

Just hours before MORENA officials announced results from five national surveys (one conducted in-house and four by independent pollsters) that were to determine its 2024 presidential candidate, former foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard, who came in second, pulled out of the process and demanded a do-over, citing serious irregularities favoring Sheinbaum. The Post restates rumors as if they were facts — unsupported allegations by opposition groups, and by Ebrard, suggesting the surveys were merely a ruse to disguise AMLOs personal handpicking of Sheinbaum. But though Sheinbaum is widely seen as AMLOs protégé, no credible evidence has yet emerged pointing to a rigged process. Meanwhile, the official survey results — giving Sheinbaum a double-digit lead over Ebrard in voter preference — closely match those of dozens of independent polls published for over a year.


The Bottom line/

Given the countrys long history of corruption — and the PRI’s practice over 70 years of having the President pick his own successor — many Mexicans are understandably tempted to believe even dubious accusations. People should remain skeptical, and always demand transparency, even from leaders they like. But it’s even more important that journalists refrain from printing hearsay and demand evidence to back up their sources’ claims, especially when they can be so damaging.


Given the above, it is particularly striking that the piece fails to mention the fishy machinations behind the neoliberal side’s nomination process. Though independent polls in recent weeks had shown a tight race between Gálvez and another female politician Beatriz Paredes for their coalition's nomination, the PRI's president preempted his party's internal process in late August by announcing, days before its scheduled completion, that it was backing Gálvez, long seen as his personal favorite.  


Artist/Activist Vicky Hamlin is a retired tradeswoman, shop steward, and painter. In her painting and in this column, she shines the light on the lives of working people and the world they live in.


A couple of news stories appeared this year about archeological discoveries dating from about 250-900 CE in the Central Maya Lowlands of the Yucatán peninsula.


At Ocomtún, in the state of Campeche, researchers found multiple pyramids almost 50 feet high, a ball court, three main squares, side courtyards, a road, a rectangular acropolis, and more.  Rock and earth formed and carved by hand, growing out of the soil, became a city.

Another discovery was made of stela from an ancient Maya city founded around A.D. 700 in the eastern Yucatán Peninsula. “Sculpture” doesn’t begin to describe this stela. Apparently, it is thought to represent gods and goddesses, life and death a reflection of a society’s beliefs.

Other ancient sites I have visited seem to have this same quality of organic growth, of not fighting against the planet but emerging from it. This theme of organic growth seems evident throughout these ancient cultures and their remaining archaeology.

These finds are from civilizations that rose and fell over thousands of years. The solid, stable, carefully carved rock formations were developed in a world that had time to develop, that expressed itself in an indigenous form, using indigenous materials.

“Art” was born out of the use of a thing utilitarian, spiritual, or social. These beautiful objects, like architecture or devotional pieces, grew out of their environment. “Art” was not a separate category of “product” designed to be bought and sold, but an intrinsic, natural expression of social life organic growth from the earth, as well as organic growth out of civil society.

This has made me think about long history. Our stories can reflect inaccurate, racist (white), often expropriated notions about who is entitled to what version of history in what place. North Americans will have a different POV than South Americans. At only a few hundred years old, USA society is so young, and cruelly, artificially imposed.

This window into such an ancient culture felt like a revelation. If only we could reimagine our best, fully developed selves, oh what a world we might be!


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

Claudia Sheinbaum will be MORENA’s candidate for Mexican Presidential election People’s Dispatch. The left of MORENA fared well in the nomination contest, with former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum securing the position of Defense Coordinator of the Fourth Transformation and Marxist Gerardo Fernández Noroña placing a respectable third place in a grassroots-driven campaign.


Miguel A. Romero, Recibe Claudia Sheinbaum bastón de mando a manos del presidente López Obrador De Raíz. El 1 de diciembre de 2018, el presidente López Obrador recibió de una mujer de la comunidad de Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero, el bastón de mando con la encomienda de “Mandar obedeciendo al pueblo”.


Drazen Jorgic, US officials ignored Mexican corruption for decades during drug war, Sen. Grassley says Reuters. Ignored or aided and abetted? A handy reminder that Genaro García Luna, former top cop in the US friendly, pre-AMLO administration of Felipe Calderón, will be sentenced in the US in March, 2024.


Ofrece Xóchitl Gálvez abrir Pemex y CFE al capital privado La Jornada. Los sueños del imperialismo estadounidense encuentran voz en boca del candidato de la oposición de derecha.


Simon Romero and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Mexico’s Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion Nationwide New York Times. As progress rolls back in the United States of America, Latin America sees a regional expansion of women’s rights.


Theo Beutel, Democracia y simulacro Sentido Común. Puede a todas luces verse cómo el proceso interno de la oposición no fue sólo una simulación para colocar a Xóchitl Gálvez en la coordinación del Frente, sino que se trató de un simulacro de lo que hicieron con los procesos electorales cuando estaban en el poder


 Jarrett Renshaw and David Lawder, Biden administration moving to escalate energy trade dispute with Mexico Reuters. The hypocritical doctrine of “Bidenomics for me, but not for thee” characterizes recent US policy towards Mexican energy and corn policy.


Miguel Badillo, Berrinches, miedos y traiciones de Ebrard Contralínea. Todas esas mentiras que lanzó Marcelo encontraron fácil eco en la mayoría de los medios, con la esperanza de que de llegar a la Presidencia de la República les devolvería los miles de millones de pesos que durante décadas los gobiernos priistas y panistas les otorgaron en contratos publicitarios.


Jacob Poushter and Jordan Lippert, 6 facts about how Mexicans view the U.S. and their own country Pew Research Centre. Some 82% of Mexicans have a favorable view of President AMLO, including 45% who see him very favorably.


Petro: Somos víctimas de la política antidrogas de EU. AMLO: Ayudamos por obligación Sin Embargo. En la última jornada del foro de tres días, los presidentes de México y Colombia coincidieron en abordar el problema de las drogas con un nuevo paradigma que abarque las causas profundas que lo provocan. 


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, Courtney Childs, Victoria Hamlin, Agatha Hinman, Peter Shapiro. To give feedback or get involved yourself, please email us!

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