Repression follows Zapatista tour

The Zapatista “Other Campaign” continues to advance across central Mexico, drawing attention to local struggles. In Guanajuato, Subcommaner Marcos was denied entry to the state prison, the Social Rehabiliation Center (CERESO), where he sought to visit political prisoners, on the grounds that he refused to remove his ski mask. In a press conference outside the prison, Marcos accused both Guanajuato governor Juan Carlos Romero Hicks and Mexican vice president Ramon Muñoz of ties to the ultra-right paramilitary network El Yunque. (La Jornada, March 14; Marcos statement, March 13)

At Amealco village, Queretaro, Marcos joined local campesinos who had established a protest encampment to prevent the government from drilling 14 wells to service a new industrial park, threatening the aquifer. (Narco News, March 12)

While the Zapatista tour has not met with over repression, violence by the security forces seems to be following in its wake. Oaxaca, where the tour passed through in early February, has seen a wave of violence in contested rural areas. On Feb. 19, 60 heavily armed state police invaded San Juan Bosco Chuxnaban, a Mixe community in municipality of San Miguel Quetzaltepec, in Oaxaca’s Northern Sierra. Ostensibly in the community to arrest a rape suspect, the police used tear gas and gunfire, briefly turning it into a “war zone.” (Narco News, March 10)

In a March 7 communique, the EZLN protested the violence in Oaxaca. It cited one example: “On March 4, 2006, in the community of Santiago Cuixtla, municipality of Santos Reyes Nopala, Oaxaca, the townspeople were attacked with firearms. The cowardly attack was directed by municipal mayor Freddy Gil Pineda Gopar, and by other PRI supporters, and left two people gravely injured.” (EZLN communique, March 7)

See our last posts on Mexico and the Zapatista campaign.