MARCH 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. EZLN Concludes THEM AND US Essay – During February, the EZLN released Parts 5, 6 and 7 (the final part) of THEM AND US. All 7 parts are translated into English on our blog: https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/ The last three parts, signed by Marcos, talk about how money is handled by the Juntas, some experiences in resistance, including critical comments about Rural Cities, the Mesoamerica Project, formerly the Plan Puebla-Panamá and the current Plan for Mexico. They also revealed a little history of their founding organization (the FLN) by revealing that several clinics are named for 2 FLN compañeras who died in the struggle. In Part 7, entitled Doubts, Shadows and one word, Marcos talks about the “shadows” that have made what they have done possible. He also talks about coming to the Little Schools to erase your doubts about the Zapatistas and learning and says that Sup Moisés will send out details about those schools.
2. Moisés Issues Dates and Other Details About the “Little Schools” – On March 17, the EZLN issued a communiqué signed by Subcomandante Moisés. It contains much of the information about the “escuelitas” or little schools” where they will teach Freedom According to the Zapatistas. For details, see: https://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/ezln-moises-dates-and-other-details-for-the-little-zapatista-school/ The Little Schools will begin immediately following the Celebration for the 10th Anniversary of the Good Government Juntas (August 8 to 11) and will last for one (1) week. Another of the details contained in the communiqué is that the Good Government Juntas are now closed to brigades, caravans, interviews or any visit that requires the time of the authorities because all the Zapatistas will be busy preparing for the little schools and the celebrations. The Caracoles remain open to visitors.
3. Mexico’s Supreme Court Denies Patishtán’s Appeal – On March 6, Mexico’s Supreme Court refused to grant a “recognitions of innocence” hearing to Alberto Patishtán, a teacher, human rights defender and prisoner in Chiapas. Sentenced to 60 years in prison for the ambush and murder of 7 police, the Court referred the appeal to a collegiate tribunal in Chiapas. Legal sources in Mexico think the chances are slim that a federal court in Chiapas will do what the Supreme Court refused to do. An international campaign in support of his freedom is underway.
4. Mexico’s Supreme Court Releases Another Man Convicted in the Acteal Massacre Case – One week after it refused to hear the request from the social struggler Alberto Patishtán Gómez for a recognition of innocence, the first hall of the Supreme Court resolved the immediate liberation of Marcos Arias Pérez, accused (and convicted) of participating in the Acteal Massacre on December 22, 1997 in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas. Once again, the rationale for the release was because of due process violations. Patishtán’s case is also replete with due process violations, so what is prohibiting Patishtán’s release? Speculation is mounting that influential politicians in Chiapas may be to blame.
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Holds Hearing on Atenco Rapes – When the Mexican governments and the state government of Mexico jointly conducted a police operation to terrorize, repress and torture the population of San Salvador Atenco on May 3 and 4, 2006, the police included sexual torture (forced rape) on at least 26 women in custody. They filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a division of the Organization of American States, with headquarters in Washington, DC. A hearing was finally held in the middle of the month. The government offered an apology and a friendly resolution, but the women who suffered the sexual assaults rejected the offer.
2. Mexican Court Annuls Immunity for Zedillo – On March 6, a Mexican Court ruled that former president Ernest Zedillo was not eligible for immunity protection under the Mexican Constitution and invalidated a diplomatic note from the then Mexican Ambassador to the United States requesting that the US State Department recommend immunity to the Connecticut federal district court in which Zedillo has been sued by some victims of the Acteal Massacre. The court reasoned that Zedillo was no longer entitled to immunity because he was no longer president. He now lives in Connecticut and teaches at Yale. The lawsuit filed on behalf of some of the victims of the massacre is still an open case in the Connecticut court. For the full story: http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2013/03/25/mexican-court-rules-zedillo-ineligible-for-immunity/
3. Drug Trafficking Is 5th Largest Source of Jobs in Mexico! – A report prepared for members of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies state that estimates are that drug trafficking employs around 468,000 people, more that PEMEX (the acronym for Petroleos Mexicanos), the oil company with the most employees in the world). The purpose of the report is to support a proposed legislative change to create a financial intelligence technical unit capable of investigating and pursuing money laundering. The report cites estimates of profits from drug trafficking at somewhere between $25 and 40 billion dollars per year and concedes that governmental structures, including police, are infiltrated with drug trafficking employees and corrupted with bribes, blackmail and threats. The conclusion seems to be that there is no way to stop the corrupting influence of that kind of money without putting dams in the way of money laundering.
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).