The conservative Baptist Press News (May 5) chalks this up (pretty damn blatantly) as a victory for a gringo pressure campaign. That spin will not serve Fox well, as a sudden upsurge of peasant and labor unrest is sending Mexico into crisis.
MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Vincente Fox, in a surprise reversal, announced he will not sign a drug bill legalizing possession of illicit drugs passed by Mexico's Congress five days earlier.
From El Universal, May 4 via the Chiapas95 archive:
A state judge on Wednesday exonerated a Michoacan police officer accused of shooting and killing a striking steel mill worker last month, despite video footage showing the officer firing his rifle toward the workers.
From the online Radio Sabotaje, late on May 5:
Marcos has just arrived in Atenco with 4,000 individuals representing students, workers, farmers, teachers and and community organizations. Mexican mainstream media is reporting agression on the part of the marchers - the truth appears otherwise. The Other Campaign will stay in Mexico City indefinitely. A peaceful meeting is scheduled in Atenco tomorrow at 12 noon.
Subcommander Marcos of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), speaking in Mexico City's historic Tlatelolco Plaza May 3, stated that the Zapatistas are officially going on "red alert" in response to violence in San Salvador Atenco, a village in the state of Mexico which has declared as a Zapatista-style "autonomous municipality." (Notimex, May 3) Later that night, six of 14 state and federal police officers detained by Atenco's rebel authorities, the Frente de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa de la Tierra, were released. News reports said they had been severely beaten. (APRO, May 4)
The Zapatista "Other Campaign" continues to advance through central Mexico, with recent stops emphasizing peasant ecological struggles. In Campos, Colima state, Delegate Zero (Subcommander Marcos) and other Zapatista leaders met with fishermen at Cuyutlán lagoon, whose livelihood is falling victim to environmental damage caused by the port’s thermoelectric plant. (La Jornada, April 1) In Michoacan, they met with Purepecha indigenous campesinos defending the local Lake Zirahuen from the real estate and tourism development that is encroaching from the nearby bigger Lake Patzcuaro. (La Jornada, April 5) Emulating the Zapatista rebel zones in Chiapas, the Purepecha have established a "Caracol in Rebellion of Lake Zirahuen." (Narco News, April 4) In Morelia, Michoacan's capital, Marcos called for a new "national force" to combat the neoliberal capitalist program, and affirmed that indigenous peoples are critical to "the possibility to build a different reality for our nation" because they have "another relation with nature." (La Jornada, April 3) The Other Campaign has just arrived in Ocotepec, Morelos, heartland of the original Zapatista insurgency (La Jornada, April 8)
Some 15,000 people marched along Mexico City's Reforma avenue on March 16 to protest water privatization plans as the representatives of 140 countries met nearby for the opening of the 4th World Water Forum. "Water isn't for sale and won't be sold," the marchers chanted, denouncing all three major Mexican political parties for water policies that "degrade and profit from the suffering of the people." In 1993 the then-ruling centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) awarded a 30-year water concession in Cancun, Quintana Roo, to the French multinational now known as SUEZ, while the Federal District, governed by the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), recently signed a contract with the Mexican water bottler Bonafont, owned by the French multinational Groupe Danone. Mexican president Vicente Fox Quesada, of the center- right National Action Party (PAN), is the former head of Coca- Cola Mexico, which sells Agua Ciel brand bottled water. (Adital, March 17; Minga Informativa de Movimientos Sociales, March 22)
The Zapatista "Other Campaign" continues to advance through central Mexico. On March 20 in the Jalisco city of El Salto, Subcommander Marcos convened the first National Worker Encuentro, attended by dissidents from Mexico's official labor unions and what they called "neocharrismo"—including leaders of a recent strike at the local Euzkadi tire plant. (Charro is popular slang for Mexico's corrupt labor bosses.) Marcos called for a new labor opposition to Mexico's government, and to whichever party is elected in July's presidential race. (APRO, March 20)
Tens of thousands of Mexican miners went on strike from March 1 to March 3 at 70 companies in at least eight states--Hidalgo, Coahuila, Guerrero, Chihuahua, Queretaro, Michoacan, Guanajuato and Mexico state--in a wildcat action protesting local conditions and government intervention in the National Union of Mine and Metal Workers of the Mexican Republic (SNTMMRM).