Mexico News and Analysis: October 15-21

173 1 - ZAPATISTAS AGAIN UNDER ATTACK
2 - SEVEN FEDERAL OFFICERS ARRESTED
3 - GORDILLO RENEWS POWER BASE
4 - POLICE RAID TEACHERS COLLEGES

The Zapatista Junta of Good Government in Oventic denounced escalating provocations against Zapatista bases in the community of Jechvo in the highland region north of San Cristobal de las Casas.  The complaint revolves around PRI and PRD leaders in the area prohibiting Zapatista support bases from accessing water. See enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx to read the denouncement.

2 - SEVEN FEDERAL OFFICERS ARRESTED
Seven security officials, including three members of an elite federal organized crime unit, were charged this week with providing the powerful Sinaloa cartel with information on the timing of raids and the progress of investigations, according to Cuitlahuac Salinas, head of the organized crime unit.  One of the accused worked previously at the Supreme Court and another was reportedly close to Attorney General Marisela Morales.  Cartels may spend as much as US$12 billion a year buying politicians and security officials.  Corruption among high ranking officials is nothing new.  In 2008, the head of the organized crime unit, a former General vetted by the US before he was appointed, was accused of taking $450,000 a month from the Sinaloa Cartel.
3 - GORDILLO RENEWS POWER BASE
Elba Esther Gordillo, perhaps the most powerful and corrupt political figure in Mexico, was elected Saturday in a pro forma vote to a new six year term as president of the 1.3 million-member National Union of Education Workers (SNTE).  Gordillo has been president since 1989 and was confirmed as “president for life” at the 2006 national meeting of the union.  As the lone candidate, Gordillo received 3,205 votes from participating delegates, with none against and 22 ballots reportedly left blank.

4 - POLICE RAID TEACHERS COLLEGES
Police raided three teachers colleges on Monday in Michoacan, where students were protesting new obligatory English and computer classes.  Teachers colleges traditionally prepare students for teaching in rural areas and are seen as bastions for the Left in a country where higher education is more and more directed toward business interests.  The Calderon administration waged a virtual war against rural teachers colleges over the past six years, reducing admissions and cutting budgets and staffing.   Students and human rights groups criticized police violence directed against autonomous institutions that are legally inviolable by state security forces.  The colleges are often located in indigenous regions, including Cheran, and many of the students are indigenous.