JANUARY 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. EZLN Declares An End to the Other Campaign – In January the EZLN, through its spokesperson Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, released a 5-part essay entitled THEM AND US. All 5 parts are translated into English on our blog:
In Part V, the EZLN does away with the Other Campaign and the International Campaign and says that from now on there are just adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. It also made a large part of the message in Part V password-protected. In other words, folks need to have the password to read some of the communiqués or messages from the EZLN. The password will change from time to time and will be readily available through members of the Sixth.
2. The EZLN Extends Invitation to Anniversary Festivities – In a just-released post-script to Part V, the EZLN extended an invitation to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the birth of the Good Government Juntas with the Zapatista communities. No dates were specified in the post-script, but the birth of the Caracoles was on August 8, 2003 and the birth of the Juntas was August 9, 2003. So, you can estimate the approximate dates of the celebration. There are obviously more details to come. This post-script has not been translated into English yet.
3. The Government Strikes Back In Las Margaritas – On January 21, in a nationally televised event, President Enrique Peña Nieto, accompanied by members of his cabinet, the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, and most of the official Chiapas municipal presidents, launched his administration’s National Campaign Against Hunger in the Chiapas municipality of Las Margaritas in the Lacandón Jungle. Although the details are still unclear, this anti-poverty program is supposedly designed to help Mexicans living in extreme poverty. Indigenous peoples from the state were hauled to the event by the political parties. Although the administration said there were 30,000 people in attendance, local reporters estimated 15,000. Since the content of the program was not clarified during the event, it seemed more like a government attempt to show its power in response to the silent march of 40,000 Zapatistas.
4. Marcos Gives “The Finger” to Las Margaritas Event – Marcos immediately sent out a brief, critical and pointed response to the government’s production in Las Margaritas. A few words saying the spectacle was poorly organized and directed, the implication being that they threw it together in a hurry as a response to the EZLN mobilization. In a communiqué “To: Ali Baba and His 40 Thieves,” Marcos inserts a graphic image of “The Finger” as the main message.
5. Francisco Santiz Lopez Free! – Francisco Santiz Lopez, a Zapatista support base from Tenejapa, was released from the state prison in San Cristóbal on January 25, after a judge signed an order for his release. The judge’s order followed a favorable decision on a request for injunctive relief from another court. An international campaign for his freedom along with that of Alberto Patishtán, took place last year and gained support in 30 countries. Francisco Santiz was in prison for 13 months for a crime he did not commit: carrying a firearm for the exclusive use of the Mexican Army.
6. Chiapas Judge Denies Protective Relief to San Sebastián Bachajon Lands – On January 31, a federal judge in Chiapas refused to grant protection to the common use lands taken away by the government in the San Sebastián Bachajon (SSB) ejido. They were taken violently by the government in a dispute over where to locate a ticket booth for access to the Agua Azul Cascades tourist area. The government only permits the ejido members that are pro-government to collect fees at the access. The ejido members that protest are adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. The judge said the petition for relief was untimely. Lawyers for the pro-Zapatista SSB ejido members disagree.
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. Marcos Seeks Solidarity Collection to Support Compañero “Kuy” – In Part V (THE SIXTH) of the essay THEM AND US, Marcos asks the Network against Repression to start a fund and send details of how to send money for the medical expenses and rehabilitation of Juan Francisco Kuykendall, known as “Kuy”). He was gravely injured in the December 1 demonstrations protesting Peña Nieto’s inauguration and he is a member of the Sixth. His skull was cracked open by a projectile fired by law enforcement and a large portion of his brain exposed and lost. He remains hospitalized and his children have filed a request for clarification of the events that caused his injury and for damages with Mexico’s Attorney General. “Kuy” is a 67-year old activist and theater director in Mexico City. The Zapatistas sent money for the fund along with their message to the Network. As soon there are details about where to send economic solidarity, we will publish them.