JUNE 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Moisés: There’s No More Space in the Little Schools – On June 13, Subcomandante Moisés released a communiqué reporting that the little schools where students will study “freedom according to the Zapatistas” are now full. There are no spaces left. It seems that there were a total of 1500 spaces and more people wanted to go. However, Sup Moisés says there will be another session of the little schools later, probably around December/January.
2. Marcos Issues Communiqués About the Little Schools – In a series of communiqués entitled Classmates, Subcomandante Marcos issued (so far) 5 reports on who will be and who will not be attending the little schools. Those who will not be present include the disappeared and political prisoners; among them, Alberto Patishtán, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and members of Pussy Riot. Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were also included. They are former members of the Black Panther Party (BPP), targeted in the U.S. government’s COINTELPRO program that spied on and infiltrated the BPP. Another group that will not be present includes those not invited; such as, current and former members of the Cocopa, the US State Dept., the CIA, FBI, etcetera. In the fourth comunicado, Marcos explains that the original peoples of the Americas will not be present because the Zapatistas have nothing to teach them. Rather, the Zapatistas have learned from them and they will have their celebration on August 17-18 at the Seminar Tata Juan Chavez Alonso. The most recent communiqué describes who the students are at the little schools, where they are from and how many there are.
3. GREAT NEWS! A Chiapas Court Frees Miguel Vazquez Deara – On June 26, a Chiapas Court released Miguel Vazquez Deara from prison. Vazquez Deara is from San Sebastián Bachajon and is an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration, an active participant in defending the loss of their lands to luxury tourism interests. He was arrested in September 2011 and charged with armed robbery and criminal association based on the false accusation of government supporters with an interest in the Agua Azul Cascades. He confessed under torture and was sentenced in November 2012. His illegally obtained confession was the only evidence used to find him guilty. On appeal, the court threw out the confession because Vazquez Deara did not have a lawyer or translator present when he gave his confession. This misuse of the criminal justice system is a weapon used against those who defend their land in Chiapas and throughout Mexico.
4. Worldwide Campaign: Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives! The Bachajon Struggle Continues! – Organizations in Solidarity with the Zapatista struggle launched a worldwide week of struggle –June 25 to July 2– to remember Juan Vazquez Guzman, who was assassinated on April 24. Vazquez Guzman was the leader of the resistance to tourism interests that want to take away land in Bachajon for “boutique” hotels with helipads for politicians and corporate executives. You can read more information about the Worldwide Campaign here.
5. Police Violently Repress Chiapas Teachers – On Saturday, June 29, Chiapas state police and special riot police violently broke into a statewide union congress and evicted all those present, arresting 28 and injuring around 200. Four teachers are hospitalized. According to several reports in La Jornada, Local 7 of the SNTE was electing representatives and a secretary general at the congress of delegates. When it became obvious that Section 7’s “democratic block” had the majority, representatives of the national union decided to break up the meeting by accusing the congress of “kidnapping” because the doors were locked to prevent outsiders from entering and voting illegally. The national reps went to the state government and accused the local teachers of kidnapping. The state government sent its elite police corps. The democratic block is to the Left of the national union’s leadership; in other words, they are a dissident voice within the union. Of concern here is the response of Chiapas police. Photos of the bloodied teachers can be found on the front page of Sunday’s La Jornada.
In the United States
1. Mexico Is One of the Countries the US Spied On – WikiLeaks revealed that the United States National Security Agency spied on the Mexican Embassy and that Mexico was only one of the US allies on which it spied according to the Guardian. Click here to read the full story.
2. US Immigration Bill Worries Mexico – June 24, a border security amendment seen as crucial to the passage of an immigration bill backed by President Barack Obama cleared a key procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate, helping pave the way for the biggest changes to U.S. immigration law since 1986. The amendment would double the number of agents on the southern border to about 40,000 over the next 10 years and provide more high-tech surveillance equipment to stop crossings without inspections at the U.S.-Mexico border. The amendment also calls for finishing construction of 700 miles of border fence. The bill would grant legal status (work permits) to millions of undocumented workers, who would be put on a 13-year path to citizenship. The Mexican government is worried about further militarization of the border and the violence that generates.
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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Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 654-9587