JUNE 2012 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Campaign To Free Alberto Patishtan and Francisco Santiz Lopez – The 2nd week of struggle, called “Bringing Down the Walls of the Jails,” to win freedom for Alberto Patishtan and Francisco Santiz Lopez, took place during the week of June 8-15. Patishtan is a member of the Zapatistas’ Other Campaign and Santiz is a Zapatista support base. The national and international week of protest, supported by the Zapatistas and the family and friends of Alberto Patishtán, again gained support from around the world. The Bishop of Saltillo, Raul Vera, is president of the Board of Directors of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center in Chiapas and is informed about both cases. He stated very recently that there may be a space opening for discussion with the government about Patishtan’s case. And he indicated that the national and international support is a factor in opening that space. The Chiapas Support Committee thanks everyone who signed on to the letter we sent to President Calderon during the 2nd week of protest.
2. San Sebastian Bachajon Takes Over the Ticket Booth – On June 21 at 7 am, Other Campaign members from San Sebastian Bachajon once again took control of the ticket booth as a protest action in support of Alberto Patishtan and Francisco Santiz and 3 men from their ejido who are in Chiapas prisons. Police arrived around 9 pm to force them from the building. Several people were slightly injured, but there are no reports of anyone being arrested or seriously injured.
3. Frayba Releases Report on Torture in Chiapas – On June 26, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) issued its report on torture in Chiapas. The report concludes that torture is routinely used to gain information and extract confessions. The report can be read in Spanish at: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/boletines/120626_boletin_09_tortura.pdf
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. Mexican Elections – On July 1, Mexicans voted in elections for national offices and some state and local offices, including the election of a new president. With more than 90 percent of the vote counted, PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto leads the other candidates with 37.89 percent of the vote and appears to be Mexico’s next president. PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is in second place with 31.85 percent. The PRI also won the governorship in Chiapas, while the PRD won the election for mayor of the Federal District (Mexico City).
2. Sicilia Peace Caravan Coming to US – On Monday, June 18, Javier Sicilia and other members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) held a press conference to announce a month-long Caravan for Peace across the United States. In its invitation to the press conference, the MPJD referred to 71,000 innocent deaths due to the drug war! With Sicilia at the press conference were representatives from both US and Mexican NGOs working with Sicilia on the Caravan. The Caravan hopes to build support for changing drug policy in the US in order to reduce the profits of the criminal organizations that have evolved in Mexico from drug trafficking. It also hopes to reduce the number of guns crossing the US Border into Mexico and will advocate for better treatment for immigrants. The Caravan’s route is published on our blog: https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/javier-sicilia-and-the-caravan-for-peace-us-schedule/
In the United States
1. Fast and Furious: What Are the True Facts? – On June 27, Fortune Magazine published an in-depth report on the US government operation known as Operation Fast and Furious. After a 6-month investigation, the report tells a very different story than the one originally reported on CBS News. It claims that the ATF agent that appeared on CBS News was actually a disgruntled employee seeking revenge against a supervisor with whom he disagreed. According to the disgruntled agent, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) permitted guns to move across the Arizona/Mexico Border in order to track their destination. The Fortunereport claims that there was little the ATF agents could legally do to stop them from crossing the border due to Arizona’s loose gun laws and the interpretation of those laws by a US Attorney. It also claims that the National Rifle Association and conservative politicians took the ATF agent’s story and ran with it to further a pro-gun agenda and to embarrass the White House in an election year. See: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.
The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
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