The Fight for Mexico City’s Future

David Adler, 2/2/2015

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)MEXICO CITY — Around the corner from two taco stands and a small cantina, in an otherwise nondescript section of Mexico City’s Doctores neighborhood, there is an unmarked storefront known as the “Prepa Popular Tacuba.” On its outside, two large stencils frame the doorway. One depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe, melancholy, clinging to an AK-47. The other is of Emiliano Zapata, leader of Mexico’s biggest peasant revolution, scowling, looking outward. A poster below him carries the faces of Mexico’s missing 43 students.

Inside, in a large, dimly lit classroom, several leaders of Mexico City’s Urban Popular Movement convene for their weekly meeting. On the whiteboard, someone writes the details of an upcoming march in red marker. Others pass around copies of “Norma 26,” a law that regulates the construction of low-income housing in Mexico City. The rest of the members of the movement — a collection of local community organizations fighting for housing rights — sip instant coffee, eat biscuits and deliberate. “We must defend the city,” one leader said. “This is a matter of our right to the city, and we must defend it.”

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