Red alert in Chiapas
Who the fuck knows what our government is up to now? Regarding the indigenous rebellion that started (in the eyes of the world) in 1994, our oh-so-dear government has played a stupid but very effective tactics: The Mushroom principle: Keep them in the dark, feed them with shit. This rebellion, where the Zapatist Army for National Liberation jumped to the spotlights, is very different from what you will find in many other countries in this region - and that’s why the EZLN was not crushed on its first days. This insurgent army is not about toppling a government and seizing power - It is about bringing decent life and equal rights to the indigenous population of my country. Seems easy, yes, but it is such a fundamental and radical change that it has had the political class for over 10 years in a stalemate. First of all: EZLN is not a violent guerrilla. Much to the contrary, it is a peaceful group. They resorted to an insurrection as that was the only way to get any attention - but the fight lasted for only 12 days. There has been a truce since then (except for two sad but very short periods). The government has set up many paramilitary groups (the guardias blancas) to weaken them and to scare the population. There have been important killings (the largest one, over 40 women and children, in Acteal, 22-12-1997). But the EZLN is about dialogue, not about power. Two years after the rebellion, in 1996, the rebels and the government signed the San Andrés Larráinzar agreements, in which the government agreed to pass a law granting freedom and recognition to the traditional organizations and ways of self-government for the indigenous population all over the country. The problem was, it was never implemented. The actual president, Vicente Fox, made a promise when he was on campaign: I will solve the Chiapas conflict in 15 minutes. As a side note, Fox has been the most prolific contributor to the Mexican folklore in the last 50 years, overshadowing great contributors such as López Portillo (Defenderé al peso como un perro) and even Luis Echeverría (No es ni bueno ni malo, sino que todo lo contrario). Fox is a master of words and responsability evasion, as we can easily witness in this Vicente Fox phrasebook. Well, back on topic. Last Sunday, Subcomandante Marcos published the (impossible) geometry(?) of the power in Mexico, a harsh criticism of basically every politician out there - specially of some of the worst aspects of López Obrador (the only one from the left wing, however centrist he is, with real possibilites of being elected). One day later, a general red alert was announced in the Zapatista area. The caracoles and the juntas de buen gobierno were closed, friends of the movement were asked to leave. Simultaneously, the biggest army movilization since 2001 into Chiapas was reported, although it has been continuously denied by any high-ranking officers. The army reports it found large plantings of marihuana in the Zapatista-influenced area. It is not even surprising for us: the areas they talk about are not Zapatista at all. Today, the Zapatistas announced their reason for the red alert: The EZLN is having an internal consultation regarding their reorganization, and is freeing whoever wants to leave them from any responsabilities in their future path. And why a red alert? Because the last time they had a consultation, in February 1995, the truce was broken by the Mexican Armed Forces. I don’t know what comes next. I am posting this in good part due to Alex’s pressure - It is important to get the word going, to spread the news before -as it often happens- our practically-state-controled duopoly spreads false news. So, help spread the word in any language you know. The Zapatista movement has gained tremendous support from people all over the world, and thanks to person-to-person communication and the pressure coming from around the globe, they are still around, demanding their right to live with dignity. Just a couple of final links: Natorro’s article, explaining this situation with more background information, Narconews’ Mexico: The False Narco-Smear Against the Zapatistas, the overly stupid reaction of our politicians to the recent events, and -more general- Frente Zapatista de Liberación Nacional will surely keep us informed (unless they are attacked again, as it happened on Monday), and -as not everything must be that serious- the beautiful lyrics of Oscar Chávez’s Chiapas record, to which I am currently listening.
alex 2005-06-22 16:30:20
RE: Red alert in Chiapas
Thank you so much for your post!
Felipe Gtz 2005-06-28 18:30:46
RE: Red alert in Chiapas
For the record, i’m not bashing this blog.. just want to add that to this opinion, that most Mexicans have a diferent view of these issues..
<i>Regarding the indigenous rebellion that started (in the eyes of the world) in 1994…</i>
And in the eyes of the all people of Mexico; no one knew back then what was happening in Chiapas..
<i>..is very different from what you will find in many other countries in this region - and that’s why the EZLN was not crushed on its first days…</i>
The "rebellion" was not crushed because the President Salinas stoped all military operations unilaterally, if he wanted to, they have been killed on the mountains.. (it has appended before in Mexico)
<i>This insurgent army… It is about bringing decent life and equal rights to the indigenous population of my country..</i>
All insurgents say the same things.. and more than 10 years after, the area that is controlled by them is exactly the same..
<i>First of all: EZLN is not a violent guerrilla. Much to the contrary, it is a peaceful group..</i>
Because they have no means to do violence, the firepower they have is ridiculus. If they have recieved serius arms is a fact they have used it
<i>The government has set up many paramilitary groups (the guardias blancas) ..</i>
Is widely know that the "guardias blancas" work for local "caciques" (landlords like) not for the goverment
<i>Two years after the rebellion, in 1996, the rebels and the government signed the San Andrés Larráinzar agreements… The problem was, it was never implemented</i>
That deal is unfeasible, it was signed because politics. It gives total sovereignty of the land where lives any etnic group, creating a defacto new countries inside Mexico..
And the problem is that etnic groups lives where is Oil, yea the big three leters.. The zapatatistas are just looking for easy money.
<i>As a side note, Fox has been the most prolific contributor to the Mexican folklore in the last 50 years..</i>
Err.. no. That will be "Cantinflas", and if your are talking of politics, clearly "El Peje" is as "imaginative" as Fox.
The rest of the post is just a bunch or rumors of things that are happening rigth now in Mexico, we should wait a little bit to see what really happens..
Just yesterday the EZLN where talking about forming a Politically Party, so they just will give up arms and start Yet Another Party in Mexico.
This rant is not directed to the author of the post and i’m not trying to start a flame-war, i just want to share a diferent view of these events to the readers of the blog.
(not that i don’t like a intelligent chat)
PS please excuse my bad english, still learning :)
lightme 2005-06-24 23:15:44
RE: Red alert in Chiapas
Nice post & about our gouberment, well…
They are very distracted about the conflict.