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Mexico is the first tourist destination of choice for many Canadians. But that reputation as a sunny place to go forget about your troubles is not well deserved. Mexico is also a place where human rights abuses continue. New communications technology has resulted in traditional methods of political repression co-existing with newer high-tech forms of surveillance and policing.

But this juxtaposition of the new and old also permeates counter-movements. For example, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Indigenous communities are using community media, new technologies and grassroots infrastructure to organize resistance and build community.

In this episode, we hear from two organizers from Oaxaco, Loreto Bravo and Peter Bloom. They were in Toronto on May 1 for the Union for Democratic Communications Conference.

Loreto Bravo is a feminist hacker and anthropologist. She currently coordinates Palabra Radio, a collective based in Oaxaca, Mexico that uses community FM radio and technological appropriation as tools of struggle, with a focus on women’s and Indigenous peoples’ rights and liberation.

Peter Bloom is a community digital defence and autonomy advocate and scholar who lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. Peter is the general coordinator and founder of Rhizomatica, a collective that works to increase access to telecommunications through the use of new technologies and spectrum access advocacy. Rhizomatica is best known for starting the first community-based cellular networks in the world.

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