By David Martinez
Revolutionaries in Mexico have initiated a donation and solidarity campaign for a community cultural center in Oaxaca bearing the name of revolutionary Luis Armando Fuentes Aquino, also known as ‘Comandante Gato,’ who was killed in a paramilitary ambush in 2019. The campaign is being carried out by Corriente del Pueblo Sol Rojo (Current of the People Red Sun) and Las Vanders Collective.
The center is located in the small community of Cerro Grande in the isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca. According to the donation campaign statement, “It is a fishing community, it population is mostly indigenous, among them the binnizá e ikoots people, imparting a cultural richness that makes it unique among the people of the region.”
The community and its people are fierce fighters against the oppression of the Mexican state and imperialist interests that dominate the community. They undertake many service projects where the state fails to provide, including water projects, street paving, constructing civic spaces and schools, in addition to the ongoing ‘tequios’ (traditional community work).
They have fought for lower electricity rates, uniting nearby communities in payment strikes that have persisted since 2007 to demand “better service, modernization of the electric energy network and fair rates, affordable to the population.” They also combat mega-mining projects that devastate the land and threaten precious water resources.
Luis Armando Fuentes Aquino, affectionately known as ‘Comandante Gato,’ was also a fisherman and a principal leader in these struggles until he was gunned down in a paramilitary ambush on April 11, 2019. Just the day prior to his murder, he led the mobilization of 2,000 peasants and fishermen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata, one of Mexico’s most revered revolutionaries and leader of agrarian struggles. While Aquino shared Zapata’s own fate, his memory and the revolution he was committed to carries on.
The campaign statement reads: “In homage and in continuation of his struggle, the youth and children of the community have decided to promote the construction of a Cultural Center that will bear the name of their fellow countryman, leader, and comrade. The community has also joyfully welcomed this initiative, and through the tequios and donations it has been possible to build it.”
The Community Cultural Center “Luis Armando Fuentes Aquino” has many needs, including the goal of creating a library and developing youth cultural programs.
We encourage our readers to donate, spread awareness of the campaign, and show solidarity with Mexican comrades struggling against US imperialism and the bureaucrat capitalists that dominate the Mexican people.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to donate.