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November 15, 2013
Dear Friends of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy,

        Richard Roman, long-time friend and supporter of CPD, has launched an international campaign in defense of his colleague Edur Velasco Arregui, who has been expelled for political reasons from the Mexican National System of Researchers. Please add your name to the open letter calling for the expulsion decision to be reversed -- and also circulate the letter to your friends and colleagues for signature.

In peace and solidarity,

Tom                           Joanne

Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
New York, NY, USA

The Case of Dr. Edur Velasco Arregui
November 2013

To sign the open letter in defense of Arregui, email, providing your institutional affiliation, profession or other identification. We will indicate that institutions are for identification purposes only


MY COLLEAGUE AND co-researcher, Mexican intellectual and trade union activist Edur Velasco Arregui, has been expelled for political reasons from the SNI (National System of Researchers) in Mexico. This expulsion has many severe consequences for Edur (financial, job security, and health coverage) and is part of the effort of the Mexican government to intimidate those who oppose by actions as well as words its authoritarian, repressive and neoliberal path.

Edur’s history of opposition to the regime, his academic record, and circumstances surrounding the case are presented in the statement “Political Retaliation against a Mexican Intellectual: The Case of Dr. Edur Velasco Arregui,” which begins:

Edur Velasco Arregui, a distinguished Mexican academic (Professor of Labor Economics and of Labor Law at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana — UAM) and trade union activist, has been purged from his position in the National System of Researchers (SNI). This purge is part of a broader repression by the Mexican regime, a repression that ranges from attempts to purge left academics and left programs at universities to imprisonment, disappearances and violence against journalists, environmentalists, indigenous activists, and trade unionists. Edur, at various times, has suffered most of these forms of repression, disappeared by the military for 21 days in 1978, being shot in 1982 while on a picket line, and now purged from SNI.

This reprisal against Professor Velasco Arregui is taking place during a period in which Dr. Velasco Arregui’s health is frail as he is still recovering from the effects of  a  six week hunger strike during the fall of 2011 in front of the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican Stock Exchange) to protest major cuts in governmental support for public universities, a hunger strike supported by his union (SITUAM — (Sindicato Independiente de Trabajadores de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana — Independent Union of Workers of the Metropolitan Autonomous University) and the “Ocupa la Bolsa” movement, a movement stimulated by and in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.


Dra. Julia Tagüeña Parga, Directora Adjunta de Desarrollo Científico, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Deputy Director of Scientific Development, National Council for Science and Technology)

José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores de Mexico [Mexican Foreign Minister]

        We find the decision to remove Dr. Edur Velasco Arregui from the SNI (National System of Researchers) in Mexico deeply troubling on a number of levels. We are alarmed by evidence that political considerations entered into the evaluation of Professor Velasco Arregui’s work as the quality and quantity of his work is impressive and, as we understand it, well meets and surpasses the requirements for SNI renewal.  Dr. Velasco Arregui is well known for his scholarly contributions to the study of the political economy of Mexico and of the Mexican labor movement.  He has also made important contributions to the study of North America as a whole, especially of the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on unions and workers in Canada, Mexico and the United States. His scholarly contributions are recognized in Latin America, North America and Europe. His interdisciplinary approach, which combines perspectives drawn from the disciplines of Law, History and Economics, has contributed to the original character of his work. We call on you to reverse your decision to deny Dr. Edur Velasco Arregui renewal as a member of the National System of Researchers of Mexico.

Signers of the support letter include José Raúl Vera López (Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico), Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Dan La Botz (editor, Mexican Labor News and Analysis), Porfirio Muñoz Ledo (Mexico’s Secretary of Labor from 1972-1975 and Mexico’s UN Ambassador 1978-1985), Leo Panitch (Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy and Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science, York University), Alejandro Encinas (Mexican Senator), Stephanie Ross (President, Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies), Enrique C. Ochoa (Professor of History and Latin American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles), Sam Gindin (former chief economist and assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto Workers), Jeffery R. Webber (Senior Lecturer, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary, University of London), Greg Albo (Professor, Political Science, York University, co-editor, Socialist Register), Sue Ferguson (Coordinator, Journalism Program, Wilfred Laurier University), Teresa Healy (Adjunct Research Professor. Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University), and David McNally (Professor, Political Science, York University) – as well as Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison, Co-Directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy.

To sign the open letter, email, providing your institutional affiliation, profession or other identification. We will indicate that institutions are for identification purposes only.

Please indicate if you do not want your name publicized in print, or on the internet.