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Rage One (blog)

lunes, octubre 06, 2008

September 2008 Chiapas / Zapatista News Summary

[SAVE the DATE - Sunday, November 16, 2008! The Chiapas Support Committee is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. Because some of us will be in Mexico/Chiapas over New Years, we won’t be here to celebrate with you. So, we decided to make our 10th Anniversary Fundraiser a 25/15/10 Celebration of Zapatista History and Culture in the Bay Area. Dinner, Music, Keynote Speaker, Emiliano Zapata Awards. Details soon.]

1. EZLN Announces “World Festival of Dignified Rage” to Celebrate 25/15! - On August 15, the EZLN issued a communique detailing plans for an end-of-year celebration of its 25/15 Anniversary (25 years since the EZLN’s founding and 15 years since the Jan. 1, 1994 Zapatista Uprising). The celebration will take place in three locations: Mexico City (December 26-29 ); Oventik (December 31-January 1); and San Cristobal de las Casas (January 2 - 4 2009).

2. EZLN Announces “Our Prisoners First” Campaign - On September 11, the EZLN issued a communique giving the Other Campaign’s political prisoners priority attention and focusing specific attention on the encampment in front of Molino de las Flores prison in the city of Texcoco (state of Mexico). The EZLN asks Other Campaign adherents throughout Mexico to reinforce the permanent protest there and convert the encampment into a meeting space. Internationals are asked to hold events and/or protests to remember the violent police rampage of May 3 & 4, 2006 in San Salvador Atenco that resulted in 2 deaths and the imprisonment of more than 270 people, as well as the outrageously longer-than-life sentences of FPDT (People’s Front in Defense of Land) leaders. The FPDT is the organization formed by San Salvador Atenco’s residents to fight the taking of their lands for an international airport. Their resistance was successful.

3. Mega-Tourism Corridor Threatens Indigenous Peoples’ Lands and Culture - A new toll road planned between the Chiapas cities of San Cristobal de las Casas and Palenque is just one part of a mega-plan for tourism “development” in the Northern Zone of Chiapas. The mega-plan, formally known as the San Cristobal-Palenque Planned Integral Center and billed as an “eco-archaeological tourism” project, includes “theme parks” at the beautiful Agua Azul Cascades and the exquisite archaeological site of Palenque, bridges over 3 rivers, hotels, restaurants, related businesses and an expansion of the Palenque Airport. The highway and other construction will cut through and divide the land of the living Maya while facilitating the tourist exploitation of the ancient Maya! According to La Jornada, the government has already started talks with some indigenous communities to acquire their lands.

4. Grenades Explode in Morelia, Michoacan Killing 8! - On September 15 Mexican Independence Day), at an Independence Day celebration in the historic Michoacan capital city of Morelia, 2 grenades were thrown into the assembled crowd, ultimately killing 8 people. The government, the press, and probably most Mexicans, attribute the crime to drug cartels. The EPR (Ejercito Popular Revolucionario), however, blamed the right-wing PAN government of Felipe Calderon, claiming that the right wants to justify further militarization and repression in the country.

5. Mexicans Demonstrate in Protest of Violence, Privatization and High Prices - Three successive large demonstrations took place in Mexico on August 30, 31 and September 1. The first one was against the escalating violence which has seen young people kidnapped and murdered even after their parents have paid ransoms and 4,785 people executed since President Felipe Calderon took office 18 months ago. The second protest was against the proposed privatization of the petroleum industry which would sell off the nation’s oil resources piece by piece. Currently, the Mexican Constitution nationalizes the nation’s oil resources, meaning that the oil is owned by the Mexican people. The PAN government wants to pass a “reform” that would permit privatization of oil resources. The 3rd protest was the National Civic Strike by labor and popular organizations against austerity, shortages and high prices as the Mexican economy declines and unemployment rises.

6. U.S. Activist Murdered in Oaxaca - The body of Marcella Sali Grace, a U.S. activist, was discovered on September 24 in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. According to news sources, she had originally gone to Oaxaca to accompany the people of Oaxaca in their struggle against the governor. It is not known if her brutal rape and murder are connected to her accompaniment activities.

7. First U.S. Presidential Debate Fails to Mention Mexico - It did not escape our notice that the first presidential debate last week failed to mention our neighbor to the south. One might think that an approximately 2,000 mile-long shared border, NAFTA, and a billion dollar Plan Mexico recently passed by the Congress would warrant some mention of our third largest supplier of oil. Actually, there was no mention made of Latin America!
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.

We encourage folks to distribute this information widely, but please include our name and contact information in the distribution. Gracias/Thanks.
News Summaries from previous months are posted on our web page:
The Chiapas Support Committee is a grass roots all-volunteer human rights organization in Oakland, California. We work with indigenous and campesino organizations in Mexico. We have an hermanamiento (partnership) with San Manuel autonomous Zapatista municipality. In the Bay Area we provide public information about Chiapas through community events, our newsletter (Chiapas Update), our listserv and web site. We organize delegations to Chiapas and also recruit and certify human rights observers and volunteers. We participate in the Other Campaign and the International Campaign. Our contact information is below!
Chiapas Support Committee
P.O. Box 3421
Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 654-9587

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