ricardo dominguez on Tue, 10 Feb 1998 00:21:50 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Electronic Zapatismo Action + Chase Manhattan Memo

2 types of possible electronic actions to take today.

zapata vive!



<html> <head>
 <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5">
 <frameset rows="20%,20%,20%,20%,*">
 <frame NAME="Frame 1" SRC="http://www.chase.com/" SCROLLING="Auto">
 <frame NAME="Frame 2" SRC="http://www.trustnet.co.uk/funds/1138.html"
 <frame NAME="Frame 3" SRC="http://www.bancomer.com.mx"
 <frame NAME="Frame 4" SRC="http://www.scudder.com/" SCROLLING="Auto">
 <frame NAME="Frame 5" SRC="http://www.banamex.com" SCROLLING="Auto">


Ping Action

I wrote the pinging bat file again and attached it to this email.  This
is a DOS batch file, so it will work on DOS based machines, (all windows PCs
are DOS based) but not on a Mac.  I don't know how to do this on a Mac.

Pinging is simply sending a codetouch to a server.  The server replies to
the ping by sending a codetouch back to the IP address that sent the ping.
So this is nothing more than tapping the server on the shoulder & getting
itto acknowledge that you tapped it.  That takes up server resources, so
hopefully others can't get to the server while it has to keep responding
to our pings. 

Running this file starts an infinite loop that will ping the 5 banks
targeted in the 1/29/98 Virtual Sit-in. Starting the file will cause the
banks to be pinged indefinitely.  -- So *you must stop* the file yourself.
You could use a text editor to change the URLs & make it ping anything you
want.  But please don't ping my ISP. 

To use this file you need to be online:

1) detach the attachment & save it to your hard disk.

2) locate the file on your hard disk and click on it.
This will cause a DOS window to open.  You can watch the file run in
that window.  The file will ping each bank, then go to the top of the list
and start again.  Sometimes it seems like it stopped on its own, but it's
just waiting for a reply from one of the bank servers.  Just wait & it will
move on to the next bank.

3) To stop the file, you have to close the DOS window.  Click the 'X' in
the upper right of the DOS window.  You get a message asking if you really
want to terminate the program like that.  Just say yes, or OK, or whatever.


The Chase Manhattan Memo

This is the memo that you weren't supposed to read. This was written by
an analyst for Chase Manhattan Bank. You'll read in it that the author is 
recommending eliminating the Zapatistas (!) and fixing elections - 
anything to protect investments. Even
killing people. It's a truly disturbing document. It should have brought
indictments down upon the author and the bank. But instead, the media let 
this past almost unacknowledged.
Read and learn how corporations think about the rest of the world, in
purely economic terms, to the detriment of the native peoples'

The following file contains a leaked internal memo from Manhattan Chase
Bank on Feb 9, 1995; the bank does not deny the memo, but does
deny endorsing the contents. To confirm the authenticity of this story,
you can contact

     Counterpunch Institute for Policy Studies
     1601 Conneticut Avenue Northwest Washington DC 20009
     (202) 986-3665 FAX: (202) 387-7915

The following three phone numbers can get you confirmation and more

     Paul Houle ph18@cornell.edu (607)255-6455
     Ken Silversee (202)986-3665 (Counterpunch)
     Steve Routenberg (212)552-4505 (PR/Chase bank)
     Paul Houle 119 Prospect St Ithaca NY 14850 ph18@cornell.edu



[By] Riordan Roett


The greatest threat to political stability in Mexico today,
we believe, is the current monetary crisis. Until the administration of
President Ernesto Zedillo identifies the appropriate policies to
stabilize the peso and avoid uncontrolled inflation, it will be
almost impossible to address issues such as Chiapas and judicial
and electoral reform.Moreover, a prolongation of the crisis,
with its negative impact on living standards, raises the issue
of labor unrest, specifically, and societal discontent, in general.


The inauguration of Ernesto Zedillo on December 1, 1994 as president of
Mexico appeared to open a new chapter in the effort to modernize national
politics. In his inaugural address, Zedillo stressed the Importance of
resolving outstanding political scandals such as the assassinations of
1994; as a guarantee of transparency and he appointed as Attorney General
a member of the opposition National Action Party (PAN). The new president
called for judicial and electoral reform and for a peaceful resolution of
the year-old insurgency in the southern state of Chiapas. He stressed the
need for transparency in government and the need to educate and train the
Mexican people. Zedillo's cabinet, drawn from the same pool as that of
his, predecessor, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, gave the impression of
competence and commitment. 

On December 20, Finance Minister Jaime Serra Puehe, the successful
negotiator of the NAFTA during the Salinas years, suddenly announced the
devaluation of the peso. In the fall out from that decision, not shared
with the international financial

community or foreign investors, Serra Puche resigned and was replaced by
Guillermo Ortiz. Ortiz had been number two in the Finance Ministry in the
Salinas government and had been appointed as the Secretary of
Communications and Transport by Zedillo. 

Ortiz is now in charge of the government's recovery strategy. In our
opinion, until the government is successful in stabilizing the peso,
avoiding a sharp increase in inflation, and regaining investor confidence,
it will be difficult for Zedillo to address the agenda of reforms
identified on December 1. There are three areas in which the current
monetary crisis can undermine political stability in Mexico. The first is
Chiapas; the second in the upcoming state elections; and the third is the
role of the labor unions, their relationship to the government and the
governing PRI. 


The uprising in the southern state of Chiapas is now one-year old and,
apparently, no nearer to resolution. The leader, or spokesman, of the
movement, sub-commandante Marcos, remains adamant in his demand that the
incumbent PRI governor resign and be replaced by the PRD candidate who,
Marcos argues, was deprived of victory by government fraud in the recent
election. Marcos continues to lobby for widespread social and economic
reform in the state. Incidents continue between the local police and
military authorities and those sympathetic to the Zapatista movement, as
the insurgency is called, and local peasant groups who are sympathetic to
Marcos and his cronies. 

While Zedillo is committed to a diplomatic and political solution the
stand-off in Chiapas, it is difficult to imagine that the current
environment will yield a peaceful solution. Moreover, to the degree that
the monetary crisis limits the resources available to the government for
social and economic reforms, it may prove difficult to win popular support
for the Zedillo administration's plans for Chiapas. More relevant, Marcos
and his supporters may decide to embarrass the government with an increase
in local violence and force the administration to cede to Zapatista
demands and accept an embarrassing political defeat. The alternative is a
military offensive to defeat the insurgency which would create an
international outcry over the use of violence and the suppression of
indigenous rights. 

While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to
Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the
investment community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas
to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of
security policy. 


President Zedillo, in his inaugural address, restated his commitment to
opening the electoral system to opposition parties. This has been a
principal issue between the PRI-dominated government and the PAN and the
PRD in recent years. The more conservative wing of the PRI has opposed
political liberalization while the Zedillo group has argued that an
opening is both inevitable and justified. The current monetary crisis
opens the question of whether or not Zedillo and the reformers will have
the capacity to honor the outcome of local elections in 1995. The
conservatives will argue that the crisis justifies the continued one-party
rule even if it must be maintained by fraud. The opposition, which
generally contests PRI electoral victories regardless of the validity of
PRD claims, will be emboldened to continue to do so. Zedillo will be faced
with a difficult situation in which he will need to neutralize the
conservative members of his own party while maintaining his commitment to
allow the opposition to win when they do so legitimately. 

Elections will be held this year in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato,
Yucatan, Michoacan, and Baja California. three will hold
both state congressional and gubernatorial elections. Michoacan
will vote only for a state congress and Guanajuato only for a
governor. In all of the states, the opposition is historically
strong and has a history of reacting strongly to electoral fraud, real

The government's electoral strategy in 1994 was based on holding together
core PRI supporters with the prospects of employment, an increase in real
wages, and more spending on public works. The monetary crisis makes it
highly unlikely that the PRI can adapt that strategy to the 1995 electoral
cycle. Moreover, while the PRI probably won over some opposition votes
with its perceived economic success story in 1994, it is unlikely that
they will gain any opposition ballots in 1995. The Zedillo administration
will need to consider carefully whether or not to allow opposition
victories if fairly won at the ballot box. To deny legitimate electoral
victories by the opposition will be a serious setback in the President's
electoral strategy. But a failure to retain PRI control runs the risk of
splitting the governing party. We believe that the ability of the Zedillo
administration to resolve the inherent conflicts in the 1995 electoral
agenda will be instrumental in determining whether or not the government
will be able to fulfill its pledge to liberalize Mexican politics. 


The labor movement has been the backbone of the PRI for decades. The
willingness of labor leadership to take its cues from the PRI has been a
fundamental part of the stability in Mexico since the 1930s. The current
monetary crisis threatens to undermine that support because of the
negative impact on living standards and wages. The fall in value of the
peso severely under cuts the capacity of the average Mexican worker to
purchase the bare necessities of life each day. 

In preparing the emergency economic program announced by President Zedillo
on January 3, 1995, the most difficult negotiations were apparently with
the labor unions who feared the impact on their membership of the
hardships required if the program is to be successful. In September 1994,
the unions had signed an agreement with the government and business that
allowed a seven percent wage increase for 1995. That agreement also
included income-tax credits for the lowest-paid workers and some
productivity bonuses in contracts. 

The seven percent wage package was considered a fair deal then because the
government estimated that inflation would be only four percent in 1995.
With the loss of purchasing power and rises in prices resulting from the
peso's devaluation, government economists now think inflation might reach
fifteen percent in 1995, and some economists say it will exceed twenty

Mexican workers still have not recovered the standard of living they had
in 1980, now three devaluations ago. The new agreement signed January 3,
1995 retains the seven percent wage increase. In exchange, the government
pledged to minimize price increases and keep inflation from spiraling.
Under the agreement, the lowest-paid workers will get a tax credit equal
to as much as three percent of income. The government has promised to
expand to 700,000 people government-funded scholarships for worker

In our opinion prolonged continuation of the current crisis will result in
pressures to reopen the agreement and compensate Mexican workers for their
loss of purchasing power prolonged continuation of the current crisis will
result in pressures to reopen the agreement and compensate Mexican workers
for their loss of purchasing power. The first indication of this occured
on January 11, when the Mexican Confederation of Labor called on its
affiliates to demand an immediate 15.3 percent salary increase for January
and a 56 percent increase for the rest of 1995. The strong corporatist
links between government and unions have weakened in recent years. While
the administration still retains influence, it does not have total
control. If the crisis continues, the Zedillo administration may be faced
with the options of either rejecting worker demands for higher wages and
facing the possibility of demonstrations or yielding to worker demands
which will further aggravate the economic situation. 


The Mexican monetary crisis has overshadowed the commitment of the Zedillo
administration to a new wave of political reforms that include political
negotiations to resolve the Chiapas crisis and to guarantee fair elections
at the state and municipal levels. It also raises the issue of whether or
not the Mexican working class will accept a prolonged period of wage
losses and diminished living standards. These social and political
questions, which are of high priority to the President, will inevitably be
postponed until the economic situation is clarified. To the degree that
the Zedillo government is unable to stabilize the peso and avoid
inflation, in our opinion, it runs the risk of social and
political uncertainty. 

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