Protests have erupted this year in Brazil when on January 4 in Rio de Janeiros neighborhood City of God (Cidade de Deus – CDD) a family father of two was shot dead by members of the Military Police. 38-year-old worker Marcelo Guimarães was killed at around 8:30 in the morning on his way home, where he forgot his cell phone, after dropping his son at the daycare center before work.

Witnesses report that the shot was fired from within an armored vehicle of the 18th Military Police (MP) Battalion that stood along the road where Marcelo was traveling on with his motorcycle. Video footage immediately after the shot was fired show the armored police carrier fleeing the scene. Policemen only returned 40 minutes later.

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The military police by now has confirmed that the shot was taken by one of their officers, supposedly to “lay down cover-fire” for a fellow policemen. This murder is part of the reactionary terror exerted by the Brazilian government against its own people in which time and again murders are excused with "stray bullets", people getting "caught in crossfire" and other "accidental deaths". In this case the police was even making jokes and having fun next to the corpse of Marcelo, as was denounced by his mother.

In response to the murder, people of the CDD erected barricades on January 4 blocking the Yellow Line, a mayor expressway in Rio, under the bridge of which Marcelo was shot. The traffic remained completely disrupted, even though the military police tried to break through the barricades in one instance with one of their armored vehicles. However, they were repelled by the protesters. Other actions are to follow.

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In the city of Bauro, located inside the state of São Paulo, military police on January 2 attacked a birthday party of a 16-year-old girl. After a confrontation with one of the neighbors developed, who is member of the military police but was not on duty, over two people smoking marijuana in front of the building the neighbor called his buddies from the MP who came in force, surrounding the place. A video shows several MPs entering the party and intruding the premises without any warrant what soever, using their batons against the stunned guests and blood spattered over the walls. In the forefront of all this: The off-duty neighbor dishing out fists, clearly showing how this action is nothing but a petty act of revenge over a sore ego to which the military police made itself a willing accomplice to, because one of theirs had hurt feelings.

Last week, comrades from El Comunero published an article covering the celebration for the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Birth of Friedrich Engels in Colombia's second largest city Medellin. The commemoration, to which various members of revolutionary organizations in the city had gathered, included two aspects: First, a presentation on Engels' life and the contributions he made to Marxism, followed by a collective discussion of his merits. Second, a day of action disseminating propaganda on this occasion. A banner was dropped from a pedestrian bridge and leaflets were distributed to passers-by.

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In recent days comrade Joel Gutiérrez López, president of the Commissariat of Communal Assets of Santa Cruz Tagolaba (Tehuantepec) in Mexico passed away. The comrade was part of the historical contingent of Sol Rojo as well as a prominent militant and defender of people’s rights. The comrade was at the forefront of the organizational process and the fight against the Interoceanic Corridor.

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Mexican comrades further expressed their solidarity with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional – EZLN) on occasion of the 27th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising. On New Year 1994, in the early hours of January 1st, EZLN launched a major military offensive that put the question of armed struggle on the agenda. In the statement it says: "Despite the subsequent development of the Zapatista process and the notable ideological differences, we salute the EZLN for representing a bastion of the people's struggle against the old state [...]. Honor and glory to the Zapatista comrades who fell in combat! Long live the EZLN!"