Aztec Antifas

Interview with Vitter, Acheu, Tony, and Victor in Mexico City.
Tell us where you were born and what you are doing with your life now.
Vitter: I was born in Mexico City, currently acting and modeling. I have always loved the performing arts and it’s what I dedicate myself to these days. 
Tony: I was born in the north of Mexico, in Torreon Coahuila but I grew up in Mexico City. Right now I’m studying, I’m training to be a Jiu Jitsu fighter and I’m also a rugby player.
Acheu: I was born in Mexico City, currently working as a graphic designer and doing various related activities, screen-printing, web design, and selling some of my creations.
Victor: I was born in Mexico City, I currently work in the tourism industry and have had the opportunity to travel to many countries like India, Netherlands, Japan, Spain, Brazil, England, Iceland, Belgium and Germany.
How old were you when first started getting into the skinhead scene?
Vitter: I started on the scene at 15 years old.
Tony: I was 14 years old when I was introduced to the skinhead scene and I became a skinhead at 17 years old.
Acheu:  I was 20 years old
Victor: My first encounter with the scene was at 16 but it wasn’t until the age of 18 that I began to fully get involved in the scene.
What was it about the scene that made you want to be a part of it?
Vitter: Primarily aesthetics, music and lifestyle.
Tony: The first thing that caught my attention from the skinhead scene was reggae music and fashion, then I investigated it more, after reading a lot about it I realized it was something that really suited me because I come from a working-class family. It is an identity, which adhered almost naturally to me because I grew up with values ​​like work, loyalty and was always frowned upon by society. 
Acheu: Something that go me completely hooked was the music, ska, early reggae, rocksteady. Also the dress code appealed to me greatly.
Victor: I think it was primarily the music that drew me completely, but also its origins, its ideals against racism and atmosphere of camaraderie that exists in the scene.
What kind of bands were you listening to at that time?
Vitter: I listened to a lot of Oi, Rocksteady, Punk, Rap, Rock, Alternative, Psychobilly. Actually I've always been very open musically.
Tony: The Kingstonians
Acheu: I don’t remember well, at least in Mexico there weren’t many bands to listen to. Only bands of the third wave of ska were to my liking. I listened to a lot of traditional ska throughout that time.
Victor: The bands I listened to at that time were mainly old school, The Skatalites, Desmond Dekker, Pat Kelly, The Specials, Bad Manners.
Were you able to find other people like yourself in Mexico City?
Vitter: Not really, but there are people out here with similar tastes or similar attitudes like mine. 
Tony: Yes, in local pubs I met many people who share my ideas, musical tastes and training with Puños Libertarios.  I’ve met people that have become like my family and always with clear ideas always antiracist.
Acheu: Yes, where I lived there were many skinheads. 
Victor: Many years ago it was a bit difficult as the seasoned skinheads were very protective so not everyone knew the meeting points, and it was difficult to get the music that was part of the scene. The older skinheads did not want it to become a fad.
How has the skinhead scene influenced your life?
Vitter: Absolutely everything, the skinhead scene rules my life.
Tony: It change my life in many ways, the way of dress, the haircut, and how the people look at you, unaccepted by society, a lot of trouble, life in the streets, but it makes me hard and strong.
Acheu: The skinhead scene has influenced my life creatively and socially, especially with my job it has given me great inspiration to do well. It has also greatly influenced my thinking toward others without distinction of race or religion. It has influenced me, some of my family, and many other skinheads who are like my brothers.
Victor: Basically everything, but it has influenced my professional development the most because the origins of skinhead culture come from the working class and this has been my main motivation.

Does your family support your lifestyle?
Vitter: Sure, my family is my wife and my little boy, and she always has agreed with it. My child learns all the values that I can give him so he doesn’t grow up with prejudice. 
Tony: Most of the trouble with my family was about my way of life. The first time I came home shaved and with my boots, my family was surprised and they did not approve, they said that I looked very rough. I got in trouble so many times, sometimes I would get involved in fights and they don’t like it.  
Acheu: My family supports anything I do as long as it makes my life worth living and I don’t destroy it. They would continue supporting me even if I was a punk, raver, dark, emo, circus clown or something else.
Victor: Initially it was a taboo subject in my household, but after a few discussions my parents came around to the idea and my involvement in it.
What are some difficulties of being a skinhead in Mexico City?
Vitter: We don’t have that many problems like in other cities, it is not a big problem because they do not see you as someone who is in a gang; the issues are between other skins and how they influence politics among activists.  But because of my tattoos I always have problems with the police.
Tony: Unfortunately, there is a lot of divisions in the scene, Boneheads, Traditionals, Antifascist, communist etc… And there is no unity against the real problem in the scene; The Boneheads.
Acheu: Well personally, the main difficulty is to not be a magnet for problems. People, who do not know you, neighbors or police, tend to always make up ideas about you and invent frightening stories that are not what you really are. In Mexico of course, a Mexican is always wary of another Mexican.
Victor: I am totally convinced that the difficulties of being a skinhead in Mexico is the scene itself. It is responsible for fueling division between each person with stupid ideals ranging from music you listen to, the brand of clothes you wear, the events that you attend, those who do not attend, your friends. Seems like a joke but it's true, if someone from the scene does not like something about the list I mentioned you're accused of not being a real skinhead.
What is the biggest misconception about skinheads that people have in Mexico?
Vitter: They think that we are Nazis and then ... the question is always the same "Dark Nazis?" jajaja
Tony: They look at us in the streets and they avoid us. They don’t have an idea about what is the skinhead scene is.
Acheu: In Mexico the main problem in the skinhead culture is ignorance. Many people in Mexico enter the small skinhead scene, knowing little or nothing about the history of this way of life; they do it for fun or to fit in with others. What sometimes happens is that shortly after that their thinking becomes distorted, they end up joining ultra radical groups such as National Socialist groups who are full of ignorance. These groups are often called skinheads Morenazis of Mexico.
Victor: In Mexico as in many other countries the main mistake that society has about the skinhead scene is and will continue to consider us a racist and fascist movement. 

What does it take to be a dedicated Antifa in Mexico City?
Vitter: I personally doubt there is actual Antifascist skins entirely in Mexico, as in other cities there is always direct actions, collectives, events and other things but here in the city its mostly violence that is rampant.
Tony: I adapt my ideology to my reality, trying to fight against the inequities and helping the people who need it. In Mexico there is a lot of fascism disguised as government, religion, corruption by the police and a lot of other abuses. To be a real Antifa, in my opinion is to think as a person, a human and show resistance against oppressors.
Acheu: The basis of any ideology is education.
Victor: I think you just have to be true to your ideals, completely believe in them and never abandon them.
What can we all do to help stop the spread of racism and corruption?
Vitter: Not working of course with it and do everything possible to eradicate people with these ideologies either through education or through violence.
Tony: All we need is education.
Acheu: In Mexico racism and corruption are almost dogmas, where since your childhood you are shown that only certain groups can get riches, pleasures, achievements or luxuries. For example we have a television program that shows in their majority that white people with high or stellar positions and people of different skin color in low-wage jobs, almost as if it were a law of life that things are so. In turn, in Mexico there is racism towards ethnic and indigenous people of the country, marginalized, abused and discriminating against those who come from the countryside or know less. Education, not only can be in a classroom, but also the education that should be given from a family, to other cultures and religions it is the solution to get rid of all this ignorance. Help those who know less by teaching and not harassing.
Victor: Although there are institutions and groups entirely dedicated to combat and eradicate these problems, I believe that all change begins within oneself and major social circles around us like family, friends, and coworkers. It is those people that we spend more time is how we begin to sow the idea of not being part of these problems, in turn these people can help spread the idea to more people.