AUGUST 2012 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Collection of Signatures for Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés and Francisco Sántiz López! Please Sign On! – Threats of violence and eviction continue against Zapatista support bases in San Marcos Avilés. They are asking for our support. The Zapatistas fear another, and possibly violent eviction. All the Zapatistas’ crops, animals and building supplies have been stolen by political party members and there is not enough food to last them until the next harvest. A global campaign is underway to collect signatures on a Declaration in Support of San Marcos Avilés and Zapatista political prisoner Franciso Sántiz López. We hope you will take a stand for human rights and freedom by sending us your signature. The Declaration and how to sign is posted on our blog (below) at: https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/please-sign-this-declaration-in-support-of-the-zapatistas/
2. Justice Delayed for Tila’s Ejido Members – Adherents to the EZLN’s Other Campaign traveled all the way from Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, to Mexico City to be present when Mexico’s Supreme Court issued a decision on their case concerning the 321 acres (130 hectares) of land that the Chiapas state government and municipal authorities took away from them. A decision was expected on August 2, but the Court said it had other cases to decide first and, therefore, did not rule on the case.
3. Zapatista Good Government Juntas of Morelia and La Realidad Denounce Attacks – On August 15, 2012, both Zapatista Juntas (Morelia and La Realidad) denounced attacks. The Junta in Morelia accused ORCAO members of a succession of incidents involving firearms and death threats in Moisés Gandhí community. The ORCAO (Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers) members have also fumigated pastureland in several Zapatista communities. La Realidad denounced an attack on the Zapatista coffee warehouse near the San Carlos Ejido by members of two political parties, the PRI and the PVEM. These political party members put up a fence around the warehouse and cut off its electricity in their attempt to take the warehouse away from the Zapatistas, who store and sell their coffee products there.
4. Update on Alberto Patishtán Case – The effort to obtain freedom for Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a political prisoner and Other Campaign adherent, has entered a new phase. A lawyer specializing in human rights cases is attempting to obtain a meeting with the president of Mexico’s Supreme Court. The purpose of such a meeting is to request the creation of an innovative legal mechanism to open a space for Patishtán to prove his innocence. Patishtán’s supporters are asking for letters addressed to the Court supporting such a move. Their website provides an address and sample letter: http://albertopatishtan.blogspot.fr/2012/08/accion-carta-scjn.html
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. Two CIA Agents “Ambushed” and Injured by Mexican Federal Police – On August 24, vehicles allegedly carrying Mexican Federal Police pursued, stopped and repeatedly shot from close range at a US Embassy vehicle with diplomatic license plates. Inside the US Embassy’s SUV were 2 CIA agents and a Mexican Navy captain. The Embassy vehicle had the highest level of armored plating available and, therefore, the vehicle’s occupants were only slightly injured. The CIA agents and the Navy captain were on their way to a shooting range on a secret Navy training facility in the state of Mexico. The attack occurred in the state of Morelos, on the Mexico City-Cuernavaca Highway. One of the many suspicious facts is that the Federal Police were dressed in civilian clothing. Mexico’s Attorney General took the position that the federal police were “confused.” The US Embassy called it an “ambush.” 12 of the 18 federal police involved in the shooting are being held without charges for 40 days under the relatively new legal figure of “arraigo” until the investigation is complete. The US State Department is withholding any statement pending the completion of the investigation, in which the US and Mexican authorities are now collaborating. According to La Jornada, one of the lines of investigation is whether or not members of organized crime were involved.
2. Election Challenges Thrown Out! – On August 30, Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal threw out all challenges to the July 1 presidential election like pieces of garbage. The decision was signed the following day. This means that Enrique Peña Nieto is officially the president-elect of Mexico and will take office on December 1 of this year. #YoSoy132 held a “Funeral for Democracy” to protest the ruling in Mexico City, as well in various states. Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has also promised civil disobedience.
3. Murders in Mexico: 95,000 Since 2007! – This month, Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi, its initials in Spanish) released its figures on the number of murders in Mexico since 2007, the year when President Felipe Calderón sent the Mexican Army into the streets to perform the police function of fighting crime. Inegi also reported that 27,199 homicides were committed in Mexico in 2011. This means that 74 people died every day because of murder, three per hour or one every 20 minutes during the fifth year of this government, a portion 160 percent higher than the number of homicides perpetrated in 2006.
4. Mexico’s Supreme Court Issues 2 Rulings on Military Immunity – On August 21, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice ruled unconstitutional a section of the Military Code that permitted soldiers accused of abusing civilians to be tried in military courts. On August 30, the Supreme Court issued a second ruling that found the same section of the Military Code unconstitutional and transferred the case of a member of the military accused of child abuse to a civilian court. This is an important step for victims of human rights and other abuses by soldiers and a step long-sought by human rights advocates. There are several more cases involving this issue pending before the Supreme Court. Once all are resolved, the limits of military immunity will be more clearly defined.
In the United States
1. Sicilia’s US Campaign Travels Through the United Stateas – The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), headed by Mexican poet and journalist Javier Sicilia, started a US Peace Caravan in San Diego, California, on August 12. So far, the Caravan has traveled through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas , Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia addressing 5 US policy issues along its route to Washington DC: 1) US funding of a Drug War in Mexico through the Merida Initiative; 2) humane treatment of immigrants; 3) arms trafficking to Mexico; 4) laundering of drug money by US banks; and 5) the militarization of US foreign policy. Following the Caravan’s visit to El Paso, Texas, the City Council passed a resolution asking the US federal government for solidarity with the victims of violence in Mexico, a discussion of US drug policy and a code of conduct for arms sales. In Phoenix, Sicilia met with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sicilia stated in an interview afterwards that he believed the sheriff was “addicted to racism.” Hurricane Isaac prevented the Caravan from stopping in New Orleans. The Peace Caravan’s itinerary is posted on our blog: https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/javier-sicilia-and-the-caravan-for-peace-us-schedule/
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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