Mexico: Zapatistas join Drug War protest

As momentum builds for the May 8 protest against violence and impunity in Mexico, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) announced its support for the movement started by poet Javier Sicilia. In a communiqué dated April 28, the EZLN leadership declared it would wholeheartedly support the struggle by conducting a silent march of Zapatista base communities in the Chiapas highland city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas on May 7.

In a pronouncement signed by the Zapatistas’ legendary Subcomandante Marcos, the EZLN said it would terminate the march with readings of statements in Spanish and indigenous languages. The Zapatistas sharply condemned the Mexican government’s anti-organized crime strategy as a “psychotic military campaign by Felipe Calderón Hinojosa” that has turned into a “totalitarian argument” for spreading fear across the nation.

In response to Sicilia’s earlier call to place name plaques of victims of violence in public plazas, the Zapatista statement mentioned the names of 15 people killed in the Ciudad Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvarcar in 2010 and the 40 children who perished in the notorious ABC day care center fire in Hermosillo, Sonora, in 2009.

The EZLN also urged its supporters in Mexico and throughout the world to support the movement launched by Sicilia and supporters last month, which arose after the poet’s son and companions were murdered in Cuernavaca, Morelos, by an apparent organized crime group.

Backed by prominent public figures like Eduardo Gallo, former president of Mexico United against Delinquency, and Malu Garcia, persecuted activist with the anti-femicide group Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa of Ciudad Juárez, Sicilia and friends plan to begin a silent march from Cuernavaca on May 5 and then arrive in Mexico City for a massive rally the following Sunday.

In the heart of the Mexican capital, the activists are expected to call for the signing of a national reconstruction pact at an undetermined time in Ciudad Juárez. In addition to the main protest in Mexico City, similar events are expected to take place May 8 in more than 40 Mexican cities and at least 20 foreign ones.

Father Alejandro Solalinde, well-known Oaxaca migrant advocate, called the May 8 mobilization the best chance Mexico has had to “remake a country that’s going to the pits and put an end to violence, corruption and impunity.”

From Frontera NorteSur, May 3

The Zapatistas issued a statement of protest against the Drug War earlier this year, as they have before.

See our last posts on Mexico’s narco wars and the struggle in Chiapas.

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