by Max Barry

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Aztecas Rojas

Aztecas Rojas insurgents, c. 2017

Aztecas Rojas (Red Aztecs), as we know of it today, was established on the third of March, in 2006. It declared victory following a successful guerrilla war waged against the Mexican government on the 28th of December, 2018 after Aztecas Rojas soldiers captured Mexico City. The organisation bases their ideals from agrarian socialism, combined with fervent Mexican nationalism and anti-Catholicism, and draws inspiration from the Khmer Rouge and the theories of Mao Zedong, and moulds them into an ideology called Socialismo Popular. The ruling apparatus is intentionally left unknown and they employ usage of pseudonyms. The apex leader is known only as Brother Number One, and sympathetic Mexicans refer to him as Moctezuma. Moctezuma's second in command is referred to sparingly as Brother Number Two, and it is unknown what role he serves within Aztecas Rojas.

In the height of the chaos with the cartel war, the Aztecas Rojas announced their formation to the world in a series of viral videos across major social media platforms. Attracting many dissatisfied Mexicans by hearkening back to the great pre-Columbian civilizations and effective use of propaganda, the AR rapidly gained new members in all corners of the Mexican state. Although formally against drug usage, the shadowy group sold and smuggled drugs across the American border for funds, and with these funds the group acquired large quantities of weapons. By 2015, claiming over 8 million Mexicans as members, the Aztecas Rojas declared war on the Mexican government. Fighting erupted in major urban areas spare Mexico City, and the Aztecas Rojas spared none in their vicious lust for power.

The other major insurgent Mexican group, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation entered into a merger with the Aztecas Rojas following the eruption of war. Citing a ''unified outlook on the advocacy of indigenous rights and socialism'', the two groups became one and joined together in the armed struggle. The more libertarian inclined Zapatistas were convicted in wartime kangaroo courts of ''espionage and treason'', and subsequently purged.

After a brutal 4 year war, Aztecas Rojas forces triumphantly entered Mexico City on the 28th of December 2018 and deposed the government. On the 29th of December 2018, the Aztecas Rojas formally set up a new government and officially renamed the United Mexican States into the People's Republic of Aztlān. What had happened to the previous Mexican administration is unknown. It is speculated some were airlifted to the United States, and others captured and murdered by bloodthirsty Aztecas Rojas operatives. The new regime had gained control of most areas of Mexico, with the exclusion of some isolated areas in the Yucatán and Baja California peninsulas. Society was transformed overnight. All "intellectuals" and class enemies (including such people who needed glasses, high-ups in the old military or soft-handed people) were immediately "processed" which equated to being savagely executed and the remains dumped into mass graves. The "Foreign Catholic" calendar was abandoned, and 2018 became "Year Zero." The government was reshaped into a massive totalitarian police state simply known to the populace as "Calpolli." All foreign advisers, such as United Nations personnel were expelled as the new government withdrew from any and all alliances and international treaties, proclaiming "Aztlān is building socialism in one country." Compliant but weary, the UN kept a close eye.

Agricultural commune, loc. Northeast Aztlān
All metropolitan areas were immediately evacuated after the new regime took power. Under the threat of immediate American bombardment and invasion, each and every city was depopulated, and the inhabitants forced into small, highly restrictive agrarian communes focusing on collective labour numbering 8-45 people. Those who resisted were executed by the most depraved operatives, and in the most sadistic manners, usually with a crowd to make an example out of them. Mexico City was symbolically renamed to Tenochtitlán, and bulldozed alongside most of Guadalajara, Cancún, Monterrey, Puebla and Toluca. A special example was made in the former city of Cancún. Every single inhabitant of the city was convicted on the spot of "anti-revolutionary treason" & lined up twelve people at a time facing the Carribean. They were then shackled together and weighed down by looted gymnasium equipment. A tank then slowly crushed them to death. Those that tried to escape were drowned in the sea. Churches were filled with explosives and destroyed, the priests, nuns, and monks were hanged from the lampposts. Roads and railways leading either to the U.S., Belize, and/or Guatemala were land-mined and gargantuan electric fences topped with barbed wire were erected. Anti-aircraft batteries were placed at Benito Juárez International Airport and were ordered to target landing aircraft. International ports were closed and surrounding waterways were filled with naval mines. The Calpolli set about to abolish currency and destroyed the Bank of Mexico headquarters in a rare publicly televised video. The former bank employees had been designated as "reactionary capitalist enemies", and forced to march into the smouldering ruins, and their demise.

All outside communication was disestablished. Cellphone towers, internet, telephone lines and external services such as mail and trade were destroyed. Following the revolution, the now renamed Aztlān was completely isolated from the global community. In a rare address to the international community, Aztlān issued a definitive statement that the country had entered peaceful, socialist isolation and any attempt to uproot the new Aztec utopia would be met with the utmost force. Inside the new state, any and all former government workers, embassy workers, former army generals and civil servants were all massed up to specially designed killing grounds. They were all liquidated within the blink of an eye. With the threat of the old regime completely eradicated, the Aztecas Rojas moved on to their new plan, the creation of nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical weaponry. TBC

Many pre-Year Zero Autodefensas groups saw the need to take arms and restore the old society, but this was futile. Highly trained and well equipped shock troops swearing direct loyalty to Brother Number One himself raided the Autodefensas compounds all across the former Michoacán state. The fighting was brutal, but quick. In less than one week, several different paramilitary groups under the Autodefensas umbrella were liquidated, and their senior commanders abducted into clandestine command centres belonging to the Calpolli. No foreign intelligence group has managed to locate these centres, (or the location of the Aztec government for that matter), leading to speculation that they are either in the most inaccessible areas in Mexico, underground, or both. The autodefensas threat was severely neutered, but not completely stamped out, and many small splinter groups continue to be a thorn in the Calpolli's plans. It is alleged by the Aztec government that the United States and Israel fund and supply arms to these groups in order to overthrow the new Aztec society. These rumours have been continually denied by the respective governments.

Aztlān would become a partially-recognised state, recognised only by fellow communist states such as China, Laos, Vietnam and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Aztlān was quickly subjected to sanctions by most other nations, though this had little effect as the government embarked on a policy of autarkic self-reliance. Massive agricultural and irrigation projects were initiated throughout the countryside in order to restore the agricultural productivity of the pre-Columbian valley of Mexico to varying degrees of success. Mines in Aztlān were put into overdrive, the Calpolli had placed strict quotas to accomplish, any failure was met by death. Unlike the "brothers and sisters of Democratic Kampuchea", the Aztec officials first educated members of the communes with agricultural and mining knowledge, drawing from the failures in Kampuchea. As a result of this policy, Aztlān mainly achieved self-reliance by mid-March, though this was not without failure. Many inexperienced Mexicans perished in the murderous overdrive that the Calpolli found itself in. Coupled with deaths from starvation, extreme exhaustion, malnutrition, dehydration, and mass execution by the Aztecas Rojas, Mexico's population dropped from 129.2 million in 2017 to 98 million in mid-2019.

International human rights groups have all lambasted the new Mexican society, labeling it as a terrible return to the medieval dark ages of humanity. And the Aztecas Rojas responded, in a rare spectacle, "The socialist dark ages."