rdom on Fri, 27 Aug 1999 17:31:13 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> EZLN sympathizers "take" Ocosingo, Aug 26

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by Leslie Lopez

La Jornada
Thursday, August 26, 1999.

Ocosingo March

La Jornada
August 16, 1999

*Thousands of sympathizers painted a mural in Ocosingo City Hall

*Zapatista graffiti emphasize Albores' insanity

Juan Balboa, correspondent, Ocosingo, Chiapas.  Aug. 25.  --In two hours,
some 4,000 sympathizers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (in
its Spanish initials, EZLN), drew a popular mural, with graffiti, on the
facade of Town Hall.  In red letters the graffiti emphasizes the Mexican
Army leaving the indigenous communities, and in black letters, the
"insanity of interim governor Roberto Albores Guillen." 

The zapatistas alarmed the ladino population for a period of 120 minutes,
enough time to symbolically take the municipal palace of Ocosingo, the
most important municipality in the conflict zone; and to repeat, "as many
times as necessary" that the 80 military camps currently in indigenous
communities of the Highlands, Jungle and Northern areas, should leave

Principal authorities of the autonomous municipalities of the Zapatista
Army of National Liberation today joined the concert of voices demanding
that interim governor Roberto Albores Guillen be removed from office. They
accuse him of violating the Chiapan and Mexican Constitutions and hold him
responsible for provoking a "war among indigenous brothers" and spending
the state money to carrying out their plans and for buying the "dignity of
brothers" who are confused and impoverished. 

The presence of the 4,000 zapatistas paralyzed Ocosingo: the banks closed,
the restaurants pulled in their tables and chairs, and businesses lowered
their curtains.  Meanwhile, the military shied away when passing in front
of the bulk of protesters, and the municipal president and his cabinet
fled in terror.  Taken by surprise, the State Public Security police
simply withdrew to their offices, where during a period of 120 minutes
they were among the spectators at the peculiar execution of the mural and
the noisy demonstration in the zocalo. 

The march was led by four women who had their faces covered with
ski-masks, like all the others.  The two youngest of them carried a
Mexican flag; the others, who were mature, carried an image of the Virgen
de Guadalupe and a crucified Christ on their breasts. 

The 4,000 zapatista sympathizers marched through the main streets of the
Chiapan city, yelling slogans against the government of President Ernesto
Zedillo and exalting "the insanity" of the interim governor of the state,
Roberto Albores Guillen. 

They stopped in front of the municipal palace, and, to the astonishment of
the police, invaded the whole facade of the town hall with graffiti, and
took over the flagpole, hoisting a banner on which their demands were
written.  Five minutes before leaving, they unfurled a second banner
across the main balcony, with the image of Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
and a warning: "Zedillo, don't provoke Marcos." 

A march with admirable discipline, without incidents--boisterous but

Across the main balconies of the municipal palace they placards and
banners were displayed, and in the central part of the building, two young
zapatistas finished off the last of the collective mural, drawing a cross
and leaving the message: "Guillen and Adolfo, your cross is ready." 

*The government is still talking of peace and making war

Regional leaders of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Ocosingo
accused the government of President Ernesto Zedillo and interim governor
of Chiapas, Roberto Albores Guillen, of continuing to talk of peace while
in fact they are making war: 

"They are using the country's economy for a war among Mexican brothers. 
They are using the money to accelerate the violence against indigenous
brothers with a massive presence of soldiers, more patrols, more military
apparatus to comb our territory, more money to pay people 5,000 a month to
take pictures of those who are struggling for their rights, denied for

Now the federal chiefs send their subordinates to go into the zapatista
zone and if they come out alive they give them double salary; if not, they
compensate them with double their life insurance," they said. 

They accuse governor Albores Guillen of offering money from "our taxes" 
to impoverished indigenous people to get them to confront EZLN
sympathizers and support bases. 

The state government, they add, responds with gas bombs and the
construction of ditches and roads so that the military and paramilitaries
can penetrate the indigenous communities. 

"It is useless at this point, Misters Zedillo and Albores, to keep wearing
yourselves out making plans of how to spend the nation's money against our
rebellion.  At least be a little bit human; even if you don't want to be
much don't lie, don't manipulate, don't take advantage of the ignorance
and humility of our indigenous brothers," they said. 

Authorities of the zapatista autonomous municipalities demanded the
fulfillment of the San Andres Accords; the demilitarization of the
indigenous communities and a halt to the persecution and harassment by
military in the Lacandon Jungle. 

They expressed their solidarity with the zapatista town of Amador
Hernandez and with the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) 
students' struggle. 

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