Zapatista peace camps threatened

Chiapas state authorities have declared a “Huitepec-Alcanfores Natural Protected Area” in exactly the location where a “Zapatista Communitarian Ecological Reserve” had been declared weeks earlier. The Zapatistas say the Huitepec area, just outside the highland city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, is coveted by corporate interests for its resources—both its timber and its watershed, for a local Coca-Cola bottling plant. The local environmental group Maderas del Pueblo (Timber for the People) called the government’s move a “provocation.” (La Jornada, Frayba, March 14; Narco News, March 13)

Meanwhile, the activist network De Todos, Para Todos reports an arrest for illegal fishing near the encampment that Zapatista supporters have established at El Mayor, in Baja California, near the US border. The camp was established in support of the right of the local Cucapa indigenous people to fish in their traditional waters. Fishing rights were restricted in 1993 by the federal government’s declaration of the Alto Golfo de California and Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere Reserve. (DTPT, March 10)

Relevant websites:

Sources archived at Chiapas95.

See our last posts on Mexico and the Zapatista struggle, and the Zapatista peace camps.

  1. Coca-caciques?
    Hermann Bellinghausen writes for La Jornada March 24, that Coca-Cola, seeking to extract five liters of water every second from the Huitepec aquifer, is in a “chain of cmplicity” with the local caciques (village bosses) of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan to abrogate the Zapatista ecological reserve.