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News and Analysis: April 23 - 29

1 - NEWS FROM THE OTHER CAMPAIGN
2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
3 - U.S. WEAPONS FLOOD MEXICO
4 - UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION DECLINES

On April 24, the Junta of Good Government in the Zapatista caracol La Garrucha published an open letter criticizing attacks on the Zapatista community Nueva Paraiso by neighboring communities affiliated with local politicians.  The attacks began last October and include land invasions, armed attacks, destruction of forests and cropland, and stealing crops.  Damages are estimated at nearly US$40,000, a small fortune for a campesino community struggling for existence.  The Junta accuses local, state and federal authorities of organizing the attacks.  These kinds of attacks against autonomous communities have been increasing in recent years.

2 - WALMART SCANDAL REVERBERATES
WalMart and its allies in the business press and ruling class did their best this week to rescue the transnational corporation from an embarrassing, illegal, and potentially costly scandal.  Mexico’s ruling party first tried to ignore the US$24 million bribery scandal that made WalMart the country’s largest private employer.  On Monday, President Felipe Calderon claimed that if the accusations are true, it would be a local matter since bribes for construction permits would have been paid to municipal and state officials. 

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