First of all, and far most important, M.E.Ch.A. stands for Movimiento
Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan. M.E.Ch.A. is a student organization
that promotes higher education, political and culture awareness to
"La Raza". The M.E.Ch.A. Philosophy was created by students for the
students. There are M.E.Ch.A. chapters all over the nation, each
chapter stands for the same cause, and are all student run.
Many people have
different myths of M.E.Ch.A. to what it really is and stands for.
Such interpretations are; M.E.Ch.A. is a racist organization; it is a
Mexican organization; or that M.E.Ch.A. does not do enough for the
Movement. Such myths
being picked up without review by other organizations.
Therefore, below there is a breakdown of the myths being
is: “¡Por La Raza Todo, Fuera de La Raza Nada!”
MEChA’s motto is: “La Union
Hace La Fuerza.”
MEChA is a racist
organization because its constitution is “El Plan de Aztlan” and its
sole aims are to implement the goals printed in El Plan de Aztlan.
MEChA has a formal
constitution; “El Plan de Aztlan” is a document that was written
before MEChA was established. MEChA’s founding document is El Plan
de Santa Barbara, not El Plan de Aztlan.
El Plan de Aztlan is an historical document of the Chicano movement.
As such MEChA would not renounce the collective history of our
peoples Civil Rights struggle by denouncing what is inarguably the
true history of the southwest. The facts are that the southwest was
invaded upon by Anglos under the white supremacist banner of
“Manifest Destiny” in 1836 and 1846. The invasion was so brutal that
Irish-American soldiers deserted in droves and formed the St.
Patrick’s brigade and fought against U.S. forces in defense of the
Mexican peasantry (anyone ever wonder why there are so many redheads
in Northern Mexico?). In fact, the red stripe on the pants of the
dress blues of the US Marine Corps. symbolizes the blood of the
Mexican peasantry that was spilled by US aggression, to always
remind the Corp of what it did to the Mexican civilian population in
1846- 48. People’s ideologies may change, but we would not denounce
El Plan de Aztlan, just like many in the African- American community
would not denounce the legacy of the Black Panthers or Malcolm X in
the current African-American struggles for Human and Civil rights in
the U.S. today.
To be a Chicana or
Chicano you have to be born in the U.S. but have parents who were
born in Mexico.
MEChA believes that “the term
Chicano is grounded in a philosophy, not a nationality. Chicanismo
does not exclude anyone, rather it includes those who acknowledge
and work toward the betterment of La Raza.”
Thus, MEChA is not a Mexican or Mexican-American organization. In
1999, MEChA changed its philosophy and declared itself to be part of
the intercontinental Indigenous Struggle of the Americas. Thus, we
are internationalist in scope, and stand in solidarity and support
the aboriginal rights of all the indigenous peoples of the Americas
and we no longer recognize the borders of any colonial nation-state.
M.E.Ch.A does not do
enough for the Movement
MEChA is only the student portion of the
Movement. MEChA works on getting Chicana/o students into higher
education, and education and helping La Raza, as student Mechistas.
It would be impossible for MEChA to take on the Movement by itself.
The Movement is composed in different portions, like the labor
portion, the student portion,etc. All portions are vital to continue
the Movement going.
MEChA is a
MEChA is a non-violent organization; this is the legacy of the late,
great Cesar Chavez that MEChA has internalized. MEChA’s official
philosophy states it is a non-violent organization. In fact, MEChA
believes it must “combat all forms of oppression, and manifestations
as experienced through racism, sexism, and homophobia, both inside
and outside of our Movement, in order to better develop a more
meaningful educational plan of action (refer to Goals and
Objectives). Advocating an educational revolution, we recognize that
our bullets are our books and our victories are an increase in
Chicana/Chicano graduates committed to our people's progress. “
MEChA is a Mexican
is not Mexican centric organization. It is an organization that
works for La Raza, which includes other nationalities, including
Mexicans, that have the same struggles and go through the same
oppression. You do not have to be Mexican to be in MEChA.
MEChA is a
radical & militant organization.
If you think that getting
Chicana/os to graduate from High School and obtain advanced degrees
at colleges and Universities is a radical idea or that standing up
for immigrants rights, and resisting the racists, sexist,
homophobic, and class warfare perpetrated by reactionary forces in
society is a militant course of action… well this myth may in fact
wants to create a separate nation-state only for Chicanos.
MEChA refers to the liberation
of Aztlan as the liberation of our people from oppressions and
ignorance -- a spiritual liberation. And unless you've lived under a
rock for the last 15 years, you should make a note of this: The
southwest is already Chicana/o-Latina/o! Regardless, MEChA does not
believe in nation-state borders: “We didn’t cross the borders, the
borders crossed us!”