In a manifesto recently posted to anarchist blog site Liberacion Total, a Mexican eco-terrorist organization, the Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (ITS), declared war on Mexican scientists working on bio and nanotechnology. This group basically sees technology and modern civilization as its enemy and wants people to revert to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle lived by our ancestors.
The manifesto claims that the ITS are the ones responsible for the failed bombing attempt against a researcher at the Biotechnology Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and says that more attacks will be coming. They said Mexican scientists are bombing targets because they “must pay for what they are doing to the Earth.”
The ominous manifesto states;
“We have said it before, we act without any compassion in the feral defense of Wild Nature…Did those who modify and destroy the Earth think their actions wouldn’t have repercussions? That they wouldn’t pay a price? If they thought so, they are mistaken.”
Wired describes the ITS as “A violent fringe group with anarcho-primitivist views” stating; “its name roughly translates to “Individuals Tending to Savagery,” although “Tending to the Wild” might be more exact — ITS sees technology and civilization as essentially doomed and leading humanity to an ecological catastrophe.”
The organization is particularly disturbed by nanotechnology, seeing it as a scourge. They believe that self-replicating nanobots will one day take over the earth if action is not taken and that the weaponization of nanotech is inevitable.
The first incident that catapulted the ITS into the public eye took place in August 2011. They mailed a package bomb to the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico City. The bomb exploded seriously injuring a robotics researcher and bursting the eardrum of a computer scientist. At the scene, investigators recovered the charred remains of an earlier ITS manifesto but have yet to make any arrests in connection with the incident.
They also recently claimed responsibility for the 2011 shooting of biotechnology researcher Ernesto Mendez Salinas from the National Autonomous University. The ITS said that his murder signified their “first fatality”. However police dispute their claim, believing Salinas’ murder to have occurred during an unrelated carjacking.
Whether or not they are responsible for that particular murder, their message is clear – they are willing to kill for their agenda.
Though the ITS are nowhere near as dangerous as the drug cartels and narco-terrorism that has been prevalent in Mexico for many years, they have claimed responsibility for 7 bomb attempts in the last few years that have injured 3 but have had no fatalities.
Many who have seen the ITS manifesto will be reminded of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Roger Griffin, a political scientist at Oxford Brookes University and the author of Terrorist’s Creed said that the language in the ITS manifesto showed “very strong parallels” to the anti-technology pamphlet “Industrial Society and its Future” written by Kaczynski.
Griffin said; “Kaczynski became persuaded that the technocracy was destroying the world,” adding that he was a “lone wolf version of ITS.”
Griffin muses that it is logical that eco-terrorists would target biotech and nanotechnology. He said;
“If you’ve got a paranoid mindset about technology, if you enter this Manichean mindset, a nanotechnology which gets into the very fabric of nature is the most incredibly threatening technology, because it’s insidious.”
He is cautious however when asked whether Mexico’s turbulent history full of social and political turmoil is a contributing factor in the emergence of eco-terrorism groups. He said an important precondition for a terrorist to become radicalized is a feeling of anomie, of alienation from society’s values. This, he says, can happen anywhere in the world.
“Paradoxically, the Sod’s law of anomie is that it can either thrive where nothing’s happening…just out of a sheer suburban boredom, where in the most prosperous areas people really have objectively no cause for anguish at all so just basic existential ennui – or in societies which are objectively chaotic and falling apart.”
Whatever the factors for their inception, the ITS have presented themselves as a huge threat to scientists and researchers in Mexico. They are keen to have the public see the organization as more extreme than other radical environmental groups and have promised a wave of attacks on scientific institutions and laboratories.