OCTOBER 2014 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Zapatista Solidarity with Ayotzinapa, 4 Comunicados, 2 Demonstrations – First, the Zapatistas issued a comunicado expressing solidarity with Ayotzinapa students and announcing that its members would participate silently in the October 8 marches throughout the country. It also urged
the Zapatistas issued a comunicado expressing solidarity with Ayotzinapa students and announcing that its members would participate silently in the October 8 marches throughout the country. It also urged adherents to the Sixth Declaration to participate in solidarity mobilizations. Some 20,000 Zapatistas marched silently on October 8.
Second, an October 20 comunicado announced that the EZLN would participate in the national and international October 22 actions in support of the Ayotzinapa students and also the Yaqui prisoners. On October 22, thousands of Zapatistas participated by lighting candles in their communities and on local roads, demanding the safe return of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, as well as the freedom of the 2 Yaqui prisoners, Mario Luna and Francisco Jiménez.
Third, On October 23, the EZLN and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI, its initials in Spanish) issued a strong joint statement on Ayotzinapa (accusing the bad governments of disappearing the students) and also on the Yaqui political prisoners. The EZLN and CNI concluded by calling Mexico a Narco-State. The EZLN and the CNI are not alone in analyzing Mexico as a Narco-State; Luis Hernández Navarro reached the same conclusion, and he named names.
Fourth – On October 29, the EZLN and the CNI issued a second joint statement, this time regarding a private company invading indigenous communal lands of the Ñatho and Mexica in San Francisco Xochicuautla, state of Mexico and the attack and threat made against Yaqui activist Lauro Baumea.
2. The San Cristóbal-Palenque Super-Highway – The route for the super-highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque has been finalized. The highway’s route will cut through the lands of many ejidos and, therefore, it continues to generate protest. The Los Llanos ejido extended an invitation to communities adhered to the Sixth Declaration to meet on October 12, Día de la Raza, regarding their rejection of the super-highway. On that date, those adherent communities sent some 800 representatives to Los LLanos. They raised many issues, including the fact that the super-highway would dispossess lands reclaimed by the EZLN, cause environmental damage to Mother Earth and affect food security. There were other affected communities that also demonstrated against the super-highway that day. The Candelaria ejido extended an invitation to a November 25 march in San Cristóbal de las Casas, where they will make clear their position of rejecting the dispossession of their lands for the super-highway project.
Mexico’s Southern Border
1. Plan Sur Militarizes Chiapas – The so-called Southern Border Strategy, called “Plan Sur” in Chiapas, to deter drug trafficking, human trafficking and provide for “orderly” immigration is proving to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. “Orderly” immigration has meant stepped-up enforcement against Central American and other immigrants, as well as their abandonment by coyotes, deportation by immigration authorities and criminalization by the Mexican State. Moreover, the containment posts staffed by federal forces, allegedly to intercept the traffickers and immigrants, have increased militarization in the state and they just happen to surround Zapatista Territory!
In other parts of Mexico
1. Protests for Ayotzinapa Continue In Mexico – Protests have been taking place in various parts of Mexico in solidarity with the 43 Ayotzinapa students that were forcibly disappeared on September 26 and 27. The state of Guerrero is in turmoil as teachers, relatives of the disappeared students and social organizations join with students to protest against the Narco-State. Fires have been set in state and municipal office buildings, roads blocked and buildings occupied to protest the murders and demand that the 43 are returned alive and well. Several universities are on strike and solidarity demonstrations continue throughout the country. Government officials have denied that the bodies found in numerous clandestine graves are those of the disappeared students and continue asserting that they don’t know what happened to the 43. However, experts are conducting investigations on human remains found in a Cocula municipal garbage dump not far from Iguala. Meanwhile, Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre has been replaced with Interim Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez. Ortega was Secretary General of the Autonomous University of Guerrero before being appointed as the Interim Governor. Aguirre leaving the governorship has not decreased the protests. The Huffington Post published a very good Homero Aridjis article on the violence in Mexico with a graphic that parodies the Time magazine cover that showed Peña Nieto as “Saving Mexico.” The Huff Post graphic depicts him as the Grim Reaper “Slaying Mexico.”
2. The Permanent People’s Tribunal Announces Drug War Numbers – Here they are: In the last 7 years [end of 2006 to end of 2013] the “drug war” in Mexico has produced “over 125,000 civilian victims [civilian deaths], some 25,000 forced disappearances and more than 250,000 people who have been internally displaced or forced into exile.” The Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) is an international opinion tribunal independent of State authorities. It examines and provides judgements relative to violations of human rights and rights of peoples. The Tribunal was founded in Bologna (Italy), June 24, 1979, by legal experts, writers and other intellectuals. It succeeded the International War Crimes Tribunal, which, in 1967, exposed war crimes committed against the Vietnamese people. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal may use International human rights law, or the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the United Nations. The focus of the PPT’s Mexico branch is on the violence in Mexico. Two of its members recently published the tribunal’s findings on the San Fernando Massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico, which included findings on Drug War numbers.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
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Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
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Tel: (510) 654-9587