Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to MEChA: Aztlan


A group of Latinos known as MEChA believes that a large swath of the American Southwest should separate from the United States to form the country of Aztlán.

If you have never contemplated what the United States would look like if it hadn’t been for the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, you would be in for quite a shock if you saw a map with the nation’s borders minus the land encompassed by those treaties. The nation that we know today as stretching from sea to shining sea would still be clustered around the northeast seaboard, little more than the original thirteen colonies. The United States, as we know it, had to be purchased or won by treaty in order to become the expansive nation that we know today.

There is no record of any serious French movement to reclaim much of the southern and Midwestern states, but in the late 1960s a Hispanic separatist organization was formed to reclaim the lands of Aztlán. While Aztlán is a land that never existed, as MEChA defines its mythical borders it would include the present states of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon, and parts of Washington. MEChA, its official symbol depicting an eagle clutching a machete and a stick of dynamite in its talons, stands for “Movimiento Estudianti Chicano de Aztlán” or “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán.” Members of MEChA refer to themselves as “Mechistas” or “La Raza” (the Race), and their proposed goal is to liberate the lost lands of the Southwest.

According to many educators and others monitoring the movement, MEChA groups or clubs exist on as many as ninety percent of Southwestern public high schools and college and university campuses. The mystique of Aztlán is delineated in The Mexican American Heritage by Carlos Jimenez, an East Los Angeles high school teacher who portrays the mythical land in a recreated map of Mexico in which the Hispanic nation is depicted with the “lost” U.S. states attached to it. Jimenez predicts that soon Latinos will realize that they have the power to bring Aztlán under their control.

Some observers of the movement have been concerned about evidence of growing communist or socialist philosophy infiltrating the groups. At the MEChA National Conference on Marcy 15 to 18, 2001, the official philosophy of the movement was adopted; it urged all Mechistas to work for the liberation of Aztlán. All Chicano and Chicana students were instructed to take it upon themselves to promote Chicanismo within their communities. An emphasis was placed on politicizing Raza consciousness and struggling for self-determination. Capitalistic America was depicted as a nation controlled by greed whose goal was to hold Latinos in a kind of serfdom.

References in periodicals archive ?
We will eat from our competitors--very clearly we are going on a conquest strategy," Mecha said.
Mecha, who serves as managing director VW Middle East, says dealers have been essential in year of transition.
In a quick breath, he said that he identified as a sexual violence aggressor, having committed an act of sexual violence against a fellow student at a MEChA conference.
The sources added that the ordered volume from VZW for the Mecha is expected to help maintain HTC's shipments at a eight million level in the first quarter of 2011.
Says James: "It's quite difficult to say because we haven't recorded it yet so we're not sure how it's going to end up but the new single MEcha Love is just very dancey and got a bit of d'n'b edge to it.
At the unveiling of Touareg, Stefan Mecha, managing director of Volkswagen Middle East, said: "About 500,000 drivers chose to buy the first generation of Touareg worldwide, and it quickly established itself as our flagship vehicle in the region after its Middle East debut in 2003.
If you read any of Tatsumi's considerable work, you will quickly see, usually by the end of the first page, that his critical apparatus harvests from a wide variety of sources and he begins constructing an intertextual mecha, an assemblage of seemingly unrelated components that are worked into something that, like those magnificent powered suits, slips on easily and magnifies the user's agency in the world, "power without conscious thought" (from his chapter "Gundam and the Future of Japanoid Art" in Mechademia Volume 3, which he gestures to in his talk today).
Volkswagen Middle East is striving to grow its regional market share," said Stefan Mecha, managing director of Volkswagen Middle East.
Officially, it's the quickest drop top in its class , thanks in t he main to some clever engineering and a roof mecha nism that weighs in at jus t 21kg - one-fifth that of a conventional hard top.
Next year we will see nine more countries battle for the honour to represent the Middle East at the 2011 World Masters, when we expand the Volkswagen Junior Masters tournament to include the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, KSA, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Syria and Yemen," enthused Mecha.
Thank you so much for all your kind words on la Mecha.
The group that has been known for calling for the creation of a homeland called "Aztlan" in the American Southwest is MEChA, the Movement for the Education of Chicanos in Aztlan--not the National Council.