ricardo dominguez on 14 Feb 2001 20:52:33 -0000

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<nettime> chiapas.indymedia.org and Globalization Doesn't Break Down Borders, It Creates Them

IndyMedia Chiapas Editorial

by IMC-C Editorial 3:22am Fri Feb 9 '01

Indymedia Chiapas (IMC~C) inaugurates its website on Feb 9th 2001, exactly
six years after Zedillo betrayed his word to uphold "peace with dignity" in
southeastern Mexico. The IMC~C bases its counter-information offensive in
the respect for la palabra digna.*
Chiapas, what a theme, what a place, what a struggle, what a history, what a
reality, for all that have lived, been involved, been affected or inspired
by the last seven years of conflict, repression and betrayal, organization,
mobilization and resistance in this previously forgotten corner of the

For six long years President Zedillo relentlessly waged war against the
indigenous communities in resistance because they chose to struggle for
schools with roofs, communities with health care and water, and above all,
peace with dignity. The Zapatistas and their multitude of support bases
responded by categorically rejecting the economic proposals that would
discard them as a by-product in the wake of globalization.

Indymedia Chiapas (IMC~C) inaugurates its website on Feb 9th 2001, exactly
six years after Zedillo betrayed his word to uphold "peace with dignity" in
southeastern Mexico. The IMC~C bases its counter-information offensive in
the respect for la palabra digna.* Unilaterally betraying the cease-fire, on
February 9, 1995, President Zedillo launched his infamous military offensive
against Chiapas' indigenous peoples, attempting to annihilate the EZLN. Not
only was the strategy unsuccessful, rather it galvanized broad support for
the Zapatistas' words and voice, gaining them further revolutionary
legitimacy in their struggle for liberty, democracy and peace with dignity
in a world geared towards consumption, competition, and laissez-faire

Indymedia Chiapas sees this as an appropriate moment to launch our page as
the Zapatista CCRI (general command) prepares to depart from their haven in
the Lacandon Jungle February 24, on its unprecedented trip through twelve
states en route to the halls of Congress in Mexico City. The EZLN-CCRI
intends to hold a special session with the Mexican Congress demanding that
it respect la palabra digna, signed as a partial peace agreement in February
1996 by the congressional intermediary team (COCOPA), the EZLN-CCRI, and
Zedillo's special negotiator. President Fox and the new congress have an
opportunity to uphold their word, "peace" in this case and the dozens of
campaign promises to "resolve the Chiapas conflict," by respecting the very
same San Andres' Accords that were betrayed by Zedillo in his unilateral
executive veto on the agreement's implementation in late 1996.

Indymedia Chiapas considers it important to offer balanced coverage and
weight to the February 26th World Economic Forum (WEF) meetings and
demonstrations in Cancun. In a special dinner, Fox's cabinet will toast the
business elites of the world and potential investors while they discuss the
wealth of Mexico's diverse resources and work sectors under themes titled
"Financial Outlook, Tequila Sunrise" and "New Administration, New NAFTA."
Not to be overlooked are the increasingly in-demand and lucrative themes
such as oil, "Energetic Mexico," and "Information and Technologies." In
short, Cancun has the potential to be the second sell-out of the Mexican
peoples in less than ten years. The Zapatistas' decision to take up arms was
in a part a response to the first of these two major sell-outs. Their
uprising stunned the world on January 1, 1994, the very day that the NAFTA
(North American Free Trade Agreement) went into effect. Before signing the
agreement, the US government mandated the dissolution of all collective
landholdings in Mexico, the "death warrant for Mexico's indigenous peoples."

First to lose and most expendable to the Global Economy are Mexico's diverse
indigenous peoples from the Tarahumara and the Huicholes in the north to the
Loxichas, Mixes, Tzeltales, Tzotziles in the south. If the millions of
Mexican indigenous people and the tens of thousands of Mexican electric, oil
and maquila workers are effectively absent from the WEF's three day agenda,
what are the chances that they will be taken into consideration in the
implementation of the actual policies agreed upon during Fox's economic

Can there be a true "peace with dignity" in Chiapas and Mexico if the global
economic institutions, Fox, and the Mexican corporate elite propose to
fashion "Mexico, The Bridge of the Americas"? Indymedia Chiapas will
simultaneously cover the events in Cancun and the EZLN-CCRI delegation to
Mexico. We will offer ample coverage and marginalized perspectives on la
palabra digna vs. the la traicion de la palabra. On one stage, the
Zapatistas will defend the dignified word in their effort to push Mexico
towards an inclusive, progressive, respectful peace plan. On the other
stage, Fox and the WEF will challenge the very essence of la palabra digna,
potentially opening the door for the latest traicio'n de la palabra that
include revolutionary General Emiliano Zapata's assassination on April 10,
1919 in Chinameca.

Indymedia Chiapas dedicates itself to creating a tool for the dissemination
of words of dignity, truth and forgotten perspectives by relying on
inclusive, progressive and honest reporting on and by those most affected
and involved in today's struggles.

*la palabra digna means literally "words of dignity" and is used in the
English sense of taking someone at their word, or being held accountable to
their word. In Mexico and even more so in Chiapas, where literacy rates are
the lowest in the country, peoples from rural communities place special
emphasis on "the word:" a person's word and promise is seen as a final

Tuesday,  January 30, 2001

Marcos:  Achieving Peace Is Closer Than Ever

Aurelio Fernandez F., correspondent.
Part 1/3

La Realidad, Chiapas.
January 28.

We are closer than ever today to reaching peace in Chiapas, to removing our
ski-masks in the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, said Subcomandante
Marcos.  "Closer than during the Cathedral talks in 1994," he added,
because there has been a very profound change in society, measured by July
2, 2000.

The guerrillero added that on that date society discovered a means of
acting, because it was no longer only informed, but also very worried, and
it wanted to participate.  In this case, the electoral process was one way
of doing something.  Mexico's problem continues to be that citizenship is
only exercised every six or three years, or whenever there is an election
which affects you.  The rest of the time citizens become spectators or
beneficiaries of what the government is doing.

The rebel leader was interviewed by Carmen Aristegui and Javier Solo'rzano,
hosts of the News Image noon and evening broadcasts.  This correspondent
participated in the dialogue.

"Every time we've come out into public light," Marcos said, "the response
we've had is yes.  They haven't forgotten us.  What we're therefore saying
to society is that we're not going to continue being an unresolved issue
now.  We have the will to see this resolved.  You, society, are different
in many senses.  Help us to push this so that it falls on the other side.
And I'm not referring to a program where Marcos is going to take work away
from Andre's Bustamente and compete with Viajes Ponchito.  I'm referring to
the indigenous peoples being recognized as such, that you're never again a
'pata rajada', which is an insult in this country.  That the color of your
skin, your language, your culture, your way of relating to the land, with
religion, even with your partner or with whatever, not be a reason for
discrimination or for persecution."

Marcos' reference to Ponchito had to do with the fact that Andre's
Bustamente was also present during the interview, waiting his turn, which
we will report on tomorrow.

In an outfit which appeared to have been changed only by the passage of
time, with a scarf whose color was merely a trace, and whose fabric weft
was barely supported by its warp, one more symbol from this man of symbols,
Marcos appeared unwell.  "You're thinner since the last time I saw you,"
Solo'rzano told him.  "I'm on a diet," he parried.

Aristegui and Solo'rzano questioned the Sub concerning his reaction to
President Fox's insistence that he had demonstrated his good will by having
withdrawn troops, having presented the Cocopa's proposal to the Congress of
the Union and having shown his willingness for dialogue.

"Look," Marcos responded, "the problem is that the EZLN carries a great
mistrust, the product of previous governments, and Fox isn't to blame for
this, I agree.  But the Indian peoples are asking us to say whether this
government is going to sit down for dialogue only to gain time, hoping that
our presence in the media decreases and the people forget about us.  And in
that way they can make a military strike against us.  It's obvious that
there is a hard-line group in Fox's government, even within the Army."

"On the other hand," he continued, always flanked by Tacho and Moise's, "We
see that there are contradictions in the government that make it unclear
with whom to negotiate.  Officially it would have to be Luis H. Alvarez,
because he's the Commissioner of Peace, but we've received envoys from
Secretary of State Jorge G. Casta~eda, offering him as interlocutor of the
government with us, even using international individuals.  Diego Ferna'ndez
de Cevallos doesn't want peace to be signed, in order not to give Fox any

And he goes on to say that the zapatistas think that, in response to the
question as to whether he is willing to abandon the military route and use
the route of dialogue, "one part of Fox is answering yes, and another part

He added:  "What Se~or Fox has done is to manipulate every withdrawal (of
military groups in the region) as a media event."  And that means a decline
in the federal Army.  They would have been reinforced in silence, and
nothing would have happened, but he's cutting back in a way that is
permitting that entire group to say:  "He's giving a lot," when, from the
beginning, it had been delineated that there were seven military positions,
and he had said that was fine.  "As far as we are concerned, Fox hasn't
finished his election campaign, he's continuing it."

"Really?" asked Carmen Aristegui.  "It's already been said that there's a
media contest between you and Fox."

"We think that as far as that goes, with Fox, we'd lose," Marcos responded.
"In the duel of vanities there are professionals and there are amateurs.
We don't gain anything if our ratings go up or down.  One way or another,
the zapatistas' public life has been this rise and fall.  How many times
have they killed us off in media terms and we appear again?  We're not
interested in being more popular than Fox, or less.  What we're interested
in is that this problem be resolved, because we believe that now is the
opportunity, and the PRI defeat on July 2 opened a space where it's
possible for this country to decide, but in another way.  We want to be
part of that future, and we don't want to have ski-masks in the future."

They Will Not Go To UNAM

Regarding whether they will visit the UNAM during the march to Mexico City,
the Subcomandante noted:  "This is a university community.  In the case of
the Metropolitan Autonomous, the UAM, we received an invitation from the
community, the students, workers, teachers and researchers, but in the case
of the UNAM, we haven't received an invitation like that."

"We can't go to a place where we signify, within the progressive forces -
because, one way or another, the UNAM is a catalogue of progressive forces
- a means of impacting on the division among those forces.  If the
university community of the Autonomous National of Mexico were to invite
us, we would go.  But if only one group within the community invites us,
no, because then, in a while, they are going to say to us:  and what about
us?  It's not like in the case of the strike, where it was the students who
were on strike and that was that.  They were there.  But there isn't any
strike now, right now the university is working like a community.  The act
of going only with a group of that group would show a lack of respect on
our part towards a university community."

The light became too dim to be able to continue taping.  The technicians
asked for a respite in order to light the lamps.  "This, my Sup, would not
have happened if Ponchivision had organized the work," said Andre's
Bustamente, decked out in his tropical shirt now, awaiting his turn.


La Jornada
Wednesday,  January 31, 2001.

Unfulfilled, the 3 Conditions Which Fox Accepted, Says Marcos

Aurelio Fernandez F., correspondent.
Part 2/3

La Realidad, Chiapas.

Subcomandante Marcos set out clearly a series of points concerning the
current moment regarding the negotiations between the EZLN and Vicente
Fox's government.  First, that three conditions had been established for
sitting down to the negotiating table which President Vicente Fox publicly
accepted and which have not been fulfilled:  the withdrawal of the military
positions in seven of the 246 positions, the release of the zapatista
prisoners and steps towards the Congress of the Union accepting Cocopa's
proposal on indigenous rights and culture.

The federal government has withdrawn its troops from four of the seven
points, but it doesn't want to do so in the other three, despite the
promise to do so, Marcos noted in the interview held with Carmen Aristegui,
Javier Solo'rzano and this correspondent.  "The case of Guadalupe Tepeyac
particularly concerns us, where hundreds of people have been living outside
their homes for 2000 days, 50 of which belong to Fox's government," he
said.  In a trip carried out by journalists, it was able to be confirmed
that the military fort built in that town, following the EZLN uprising in
1994, remains occupied by troops, despite the fact that a checkpoint is not
operating there, nor is it being occupied by its native residents.

The leader also noted that, regarding the political prisoners, even though
there has been much publicity about the release of some, the majority
continue imprisoned, approximately 80.  According to Marcos, the zapatista
prisoners who were released were those who had only been facing state
charges, and it was Pablo Salazar Mendiguchi'a's government which obtained
their release.  Those facing federal charges have not been freed.  "We're
not talking about prisoners for common crimes," he said.  "But about those
denounced by paramilitaries, those who are there for having carried a civil
band radio, or those who were found with a green militia cap - like yours,
Carmen - or with a brown shirt, those are the ones we're referring to.  But
we're not asking them to release rapists and drug traffickers.  If they
were to release those accused of common crimes, they could even be held in
the Autonomous Municipalities and be tried there.  Fox has not given a
response to this."

As far as the steps to see that the Cocopa law is approved, Fox has sent it
to Congress, but he has not taken one other step for its ratification by
the legislators.  "Fox is saying:  here's the law, here it's done.  And
it's not so.  It's not about supplanting the Legislative branch, but that
he does dedicate effort, like we're doing, in order to secure the approval
of the Cocopa proposal.  Or, in any case, that he clearly set out his
doubts and his differences, because no one is doing that now.  Now the
discussion is whether or not we should be going with ski-masks."

"That's why we're going on the march, to meet with the Deputies, who have
already expressed their willingness to receive us (Beatriz Paredes, among

"The communities are asking us for certainty about whether we can deal with
this government.  When they're sure it can be like that, they'll tell us:
"Make agreements with the government, end the war."  And we'll achieve an
opportunity to build peace, because the signing of peace doesn't achieve
peace.  There will still have to be much work, but it's going to be an
important step.  That all the EZLN's zapatista communities, not just the
leadership, will be able to end the declaration of war and go out an engage
in political work in order to rebuild the social fabric of the communities,
which are very damaged now.  That's why we're resistant to media events
they propose to us, like a meeting in order to have our picture taken with
Vicente Fox."

In response to a question about the importance of the march they are
organizing for late next month, Marcos stated:  "It's so important for us,
defining, that we think we are repeating January 1, 1994, when we ordered
the zapatista leadership into the first line of fire, because that's the
way of the indigenous peoples, the chiefs aren't in the back.  We are
sending a very clear signal:  we aren't sending others, they can't say they
aren't speaking with the leaders of the zapatista movement."

Marcos insisted that they won't be going armed;  "As far as this goes, we
want to give a very clear message regarding January 1, 1994.  At that time
we came out as zapatistas to make war and we went armed.  Now we are
leaving as zapatistas in order to engage in dialogue.  Why would we want
weapons if we are going to engage in dialogue?  We're willing to suffer an
attack, for them to arrest us, for them to throw eggs, tomatoes, at us, for
them to pull off our ski-masks.  The ski-masks aren't so important to us,
at the end of the day no one cares who's behind the mask.  I can take it
off, and when I put it on again I'm Subcomandante Marcos again, who is,
among other things, also a ski-mask.  In contrast to what is happening on
the other side of the power, we don't assign that physical worth to the
ski-mask, meaning that they take it off us and we're castrated and we're no
longer good for anything.  We are confident that, unlike what can happen in
the media trivia, the people understand that what's behind the ski-mask is
a debt the nation owes to a sector of the nation, which is also a native
group, and that the greatest part of the population forms part of their
blood and of their culture.  Because there are the indigenous, although
they don't want much, but there are many of the historical antecedents of a
large part of the urban population."

The interviewers remember that Beatriz Paredes ahs offered, if it is
necessary, to receive the zapatista march in the highway.  The interviewee
mentioned that on that February 8, 1995 he had a meeting with her and
Esteban Moctezuma when the Army carried out an operation whose purpose was
to arrest them.  "We're willing to speak with her, we don't bear a grudge,"
he said.  "I have another image.  It seems like one of the ties that which
dragged down the PRI was her bonds with the Executive."

Marcos notes that the movement he belongs to has much hope for the Congress
as a legislative body.  "Not just that, we think the nation should have
hope.  If the Congress doesn't make State policy, hold on, everything is
going to be patch-patch every day, and there's going to be two Mexicos
again:  the one shown in the media and in the news stories, and the one
going on below.  'El Chapo' Guzma'n is going to be just a caricature, what
follows will be more serious.  Because if there's no State policy in
response to organized crime, in response to the main problems of the
national agenda - it's Chiapas, but not just Chiapas, regarding the
economic program and all that - I believe this is going to turn into chaos.
The North Americans see this.  That's why they're moving the border.  What
else is the Puebla Panama Plan?"


Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa

La Jornada
Friday, February 2, 2001.

Marcos: Globalization Doesn't Break Down Borders, It Creates Them

Aurelio Fernandez F., correspondent.
Part 3/3

La Realidad, Chiapas.   It has been said that the Puebla Panama Plan is a
counterinsurgency instrument, but, in Subcomandante Marcos' opinion, it's
more than that:  "The problem isn't just us.  It's about the destruction of
a nation.  We have spoken of three Mexicos, and the businessmen have spoken
about three Mexicos:  the North works, the South sleeps and the Center
consumes what the North produces, they say something like that.  We said:
the North is being absorbed, the Center is being fought over, and the South
has been forgotten."

In this third and last installment of the interview conducted by "News
Image" broadcasters - Carmen Aristegui, Javier Solo'rzano and this
correspondent - the spokesperson for an important group of Mexican
indigenous demonstrates what he considers to be the stratification of the
economy and national geography:  there is "the upstairs, the downstairs,
and the basement, which is what we are."

He adds that the Puebla Panama Plan is an expression of those policies
which are leading to the fragmentation of the nation:  "If there is anyone
who wants this country to be fragmented, it's this process of
globalization, and they're going to do everything possible to achieve it."
He said that the great world interests would be delighted if the zapatistas
were to ask to separate from Mexico, because they would prefer to deal with
banana republics, which they can control better.

Marcos refers, for the first time, to this project which is being promoted
by Fox, which, according to important analysts, such as Carlos Fazio, is
concealing transnational corporate interests, in a desire to try and
control important social processes, such as migration to the United States,
and to exploit available biodiversity resources and the region's geographic
advantages.  "The trans-isthmus project," the interviewee continues - "is
transferring the functions of the Panama Canal to the Republic of Mexico,
but cutting the country effectively into two or three parts.  One has to
ask oneself why the secessionist policies have been coming precisely from
Yucatan and from Tabasco over the last few months. And it's not zapatistas
who are proposing it.  It's separating us from the rest of the nation.
That's the program."

"Mexico City is going to be the 'switcher', a signal box between the two
country.  And it will be even worse for the indigenous who are north of
Puebla.  What the Americans are doing is renouncing the control of
conflicts in this part of the continent.  They recognize now that it's
impossible to defeat the indigenous of the Southeast, or, rather, they
recognize that they can't incorporate their skills into the free market,
and they are ceding them to Central America.  Then they are going to move
the border from Guatemala to Puebla, they'll lower the border from the Rio
Grande to the Federal District and the State of Mexico.  That entire part
is in order to cushion the migration of 'illegals', or, at least, of those
who aspire to be 'illegals'.  And then, like that, moving the border, the
Northern states will be 'North Americanized', those in the Center
[sic/South] will be 'Central Americanized', and the buffer will be in the
middle:  Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and the State of Mexico."

"What globalization is doing is re-drawing the world.  If you look at a
world map prior to the Cold War, and after the Cold War and the fall of the
Berlin Wall, there aren't fewer nations, but more.  It's not a global
village, rather more and more split up.  Then they are re-drawing lands,
what neoliberalism, globalization in North America, is doing is defining a
new border between Central America and North America.  It's moving Mexico's
southern border towards the center of the country, and lowering the United
States' border towards the center of the country.  In this way the Northern
states of the Republic will be incorporated into the productive process,
circulation, even cultural, of the rest of the states of the North of the
country.  The Mexican Southeast, from Puebla down, will be incorporated
into the market logic and policies of the Central American countries.  And
the Center, Mexico City and the State of Mexico, will function as a buffer,
like a customs point between the two countries."

Marcos believes, nonetheless, that this policy is going to be a failure,
because in the North of the country, "they're aren't only the big
businessmen.  There is an indigenous population, there are workers, there
are neighbors, there are teachers, there are students, who will disturb the
process of "North Americanization', and who, in addition, have historical
and cultural ties and all that with the rest of the country.  Finally, no
matter who it upsets, Mexico continues to be a country, a nation.  And I
say that the Center of the country is for buffering what the North
Americans want buffered.  They want to turn them into the police of the
Southeast.  The country's Center is going to be turned into the police of
the Mexican South-Southeast in order to be accountable to the North, but no
longer the North of Chihuahua, but the North from Zacatecas to Canada.
It's going to fail, what's at stake is this:  we are going to be two
national projects.  The nation from here, up, from Puebla up, the political
and customs center.  And from the Center to the North the process of North
American development, and from Puebla to Panama, Central America.

"I don't believe Cervera Pacheco, but I do believe that it's convenient for
globalization to negotiate or to establish relations with small republics.
It would be convenient for them to recognize the Mexican Southeast as a
banana republic.  They want to turn not only the indigenous, but also the
poor in the rest of the country, into a great reservation.  And there is
going to be a fight to try and cross to where there's employment and better
living conditions.  But, instead of the trouble being at the border
crossroads of the Rio Grande, it's going to be in Mexico City, in the State
of Mexico, in Puebla, in that entire area.  It's going to be completely on
this side, but they're going to lose."

Opening of Borders?  Only For Money

Marcos defends the resistance action in the country's South.  "The South is
already reacting.  It's having its march in order to say:  we want to be
part of this country, that is, they would be willing to give us the
autonomy we are not asking for.  Really, if we asked for the Mayan state,
the Mayan nation, we would immediately be recognized by the UN, the IMF and
the World Bank.  Doubly simple!  'Yes,' they'd say to us, 'Look, we
recognize you, we'll finance you, we'll give you weapons and guerrillas,
and whatever you want we're going to give you, because it's what suits

He insists:  "Yes, that's what's happening.  It's going to fail precisely
because what they expect the wounded, the 'globalphobes', as they call
them, to do is to assume those losses.  But this country has a history,
what's happening is that it's being forgotten, but as soon as they remember
it, this is going to take another route.  The hope is, above all, that the
space is open, believe me, it's in dispute.  Those people there are still
willing to listen to another national project.  If there isn't any other
project for the nation, then we aren't going to be able to blame the
people, because if we don't offer them something else, just the neoliberal
program - have we offered them anything else? - we've just told them it
wouldn't do.  That's a responsibility of the left."

"Marcos," this correspondent asked, "You've described the general ideas of
the Puebla Panama Plan.  Then there's an economic program that's probably
more unpopular and savaged than the previous ones.  But you suggest that
peace is closer than ever, that it might even be achieved this year, but,
under these conditions, isn't that a contradiction?"

"No.  This globalization process and this economic program is happening,
but people are also waking up.  We are saying:  we can offer a better
resistance, more organized, and, in addition, contribute to the building of
an alternative.  That's why they don't want us to leave.  It's not because
they're jealous of our popularity ratings.  It's because we're going to be
able to engage in politics, and we know it, that's why we want to leave.
We're going to be able to engage in politics in many ways.  Because we're
in ski-masks and armed and here and all that.  That is, they are indeed
afraid of the people organizing and destroying that project.  But that
program hasn't brought anything but adversity in other parts of the world.
The world isn't a global village, nor is NAFTA an opening of borders,
except when it's for money, not even for merchandise.  Ask the truckers in
the North how often they can cross there, or ask the dead migrants, or the
migrants from Africa and Asia in Europe what's happening to them in the
European Community.

He continues:  "The world is becoming more and more closed, and it's
becoming increasingly intolerant, and it's causing absurd fundamentalisms
to proliferate.  They're absurd, it's nothing else.  And look:  the one
promoting it is not a Muslim, an indigenous, a Jew, an Israelite or
whatever you want, but the one promoting it is the man with the money,
who's in a big office, saying: that's what suits me, because that
fragmentation works for me.  We are saying:  what's operating here is a
world war.  They are destroying lands like never before, riches like never
before, they are eliminating populations like never before.  What's
happening is that if they win it, forget it, there won't be any way!"

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