In Mexico the most brutal consequences of capitalism can be seen on a daily basis from the thousands of preventable deaths because healthcare, water quality and food are all based on profits rather than guaranteeing human rights.
Work has become any ridiculous task which can allows survival. Production is of the lowest quality in order to maintain the highest profit margins. Resources are for multinationals to exploit at will and foreign owned companies and an elite few take all the profits from the majority consumption. Misinformation, poor access and quality of education and the most deceiving manipulating advertising keep the consumption machine well oiled as the majority strive for an unachievable european image and wealth.
Any action against this system is met with brutal force. What remains of the state is purely to protect wealth. Even military is more and more foreign run.
In the community where I am working healthcare is delivered by pharmacies which have profits in mind as they sell indigenous poor remedies which don’t treat their illness. Whether this is deliberate or a result of poor education would have to be resolved on a case to case basis but the result is death and suffering. And that is for those who manage to afford some sort of medication. I have seen swolen knees injected with water and diabetes treated as a nerve disorder because coke and sweet coffee give the patient the shakes. To see a doctor requires at least a days wages before medicines are prescribed. When health is a business treatment is low quality and unnecessary death is the result. We are attempting with Las Abejas to recreate the right to medicine which has always existed amongst indigenous populations with processes underway to create a hybrid clinic with natural and modern medicines. If you have an interest in getting involved or supporting this project which aims to guarantee the right to medical attention please contact me. There is a chance that 2 cuban trained indigenous people from the region will come back shortly to give their service.
The exodus of workers leaving productive jobs on the land in search of a dignified wage and life is always evident in Chiapas. Those who get an education are taught that life in the city is better. The result is millions of highly skilled farmers leaving home to perform unskilled labour in the city. In many cases demeaning and unnecessary jobs like cleaning shoes or selling in the street. The massive waste of labour is most evident here in Chiapas where every block has a number of corner stores selling the same things, in a cooperative economy these stores could perform the same service for the same profits with a fraction of the labour freeing up time for any number or more useful cultural, educational, social or constructive labour tasks. In the market there are 50 places to buy tomatoes and 15 places to buy beef, 15 to buy chicken, 20 to buy pork and 15 to buy fish. The wasted labour is massive. Meanwhile food production is being left to multinationals which leave desert soils and create nutritionless food sustained through energy intensive, chemical farming which will end within the next 50 years because of it’s own use of resources and destruction.
Almost every food in a corner store or in the village stores is owned by a multinational and will cause cancer and diabetes if consumed on a daily basis. Soda, cookies and sweet bread have invaded mexico bringing previously unknown obesity and diseases. I have spoken to people here who have grandfathers that lived past 100 on corn, beans and a little meat. Todays young and middle aged have no chance of reaching this age on their current diets. Sugar and additives have brought disease they can’t afford. I feel myself becoming insulin resistant after 6 weeks on their diet despite going to the gym or working in the fields most days.
Indigenous populations are being forced to make way for mining and private resource enterprises.In 2001 Chiapas produced 47% of the countries total gas and 21% of it’s oil http://www.rightsaction.org/articles/mining_chiapas_021409.htm
The people of the region continue to live in poverty with the worst forms of repression and discrimination metted out to those who wish to defy the authorities. The same story is being played out in Oaxaca http://www.narconews.com/Issue57/article3522.html
The wealth is not for the people. No services are guaranteed. Electricity blackouts are regular in Abejas communities. Water is often carried hundreds of meters on the backs of women and girls it must then be boiled to avoid life threatening diarrhea for the young. There are no human rights in Mexico!
At the same time education and advertising in Mexico are of the worst kind. Most education is rote learning and about getting a good number rather than gaining understanding. Their are exceptions but most are self-educated people. Advertising is a mind washing mixture of paranoia creating images of chemical cleanliness portrayed by european looking models. Nutrition is also all about chemically fortified foods which contain no fat but are high in sugar. For this reason Mexico is in the battle to be the fattest nation on earth, Misinformation and sugar addiction are two of the keys to capitalist companies selling these high profit margin poisons.
For all the above reasons change is closer everyday. The official figure of 5% unemployment doesn’t go anywhere close to the waste of labour and poverty in Mexico where very few are performing tasks which are of value to society. The political system is generally accepted as being void because of the corruption which has stolen many local and national elections. Because of all these factors the time of privilege in Mexico is going to come to conflict. The 1994 uprising of the Zapatista movement didn’t achieve it’s goal of national liberation. The next wave is likely to be much broader and more difficult to repress.
Latin America is in revolt. So far the power structure in Mexico has maintained it’s obedience to capitalism in it’s purest form. Milton Freedman would be proud. It’s going to take Chile style brutality to maintain it as social movements continue to build their wave of resistance.