Anarchist bomb blasts in Mexico City?

A group called the "Pagan Sect of the Mountain" (Secta Pagana de la Montaña) claimed responsibility for Oct. 31 coordinated attacks with improvised explosives that damaged four buses of the MexiBús commuter line at a terminal in the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec. There were no casualties. The communique, online at ContraInfo, was full of eco-anarchist rhetoric, pledging more bombings to resist the "frenetic advance of modern development... If civilization destroys nature, we will respond in the same form." It signed off: "Fire and explosives against civilization!" The Prosecutor General of the Republic has opened an investigation. (La Jornada, La Jornada, Nov. 2)

TeleSur in its coverage writes (incorrectly): "This is the first attack with explosives in Mexico City in more than 20 years, when a bank and the exit to a subway station were bombed by groups claiming to be supporters of the Zapatista movement." This is a very ironic error for a supposedly "progressive" news source. In fact, the last bomb attacks in Mexico City—on three banks, similarly resulting in property damage but no casualties—were in October 2006, and were not carried out in the name of the Zapatista movement. When a communique was issued claiming credit for the attacks in December of that year, it was signed by a coalition of six factions from the simmering guerilla movement in the mountains of Guerrero and Oaxaca states. The communique's only reference to the Zapatistas—who are based in Chiapas state, and have observed a ceasefire since their brief uprising in 1994—was to contrast their commitment to armed struggle with the civil route pursued by the Zapatistas.

Timber and mining operations in Guerrero and Oaxaca have certainly animated the popular rage among campesino communities in these states, and it is possible that an urban anarchist cell has emerged in support of the guerilla movement. The "Pagan Sect" rhetoric, however, smacks more of anarcho-primitivism than that of the authentic campesino struggle.

It should also be noted that PROCUP, the clandestine vanguardist group said to be at the core of the guerilla movement, carried out kidnappings and executions against other leftists in the 1980s, leading to widespread speculation that it was controlled or co-opted by elements of the Mexican "deep state." So the possibility of an intentional provocation in the new bombings is not to be dismissed either. In any case, it is baseless—and dangerous—to imply that the Zapatistas had anything to do with it.