Mexico Theater

Zapatista tour advances 10 years after stalled peace accord

Feb. 16 marked a full decade since the signing of the San Andres Accords, negotiated by rebel Zapatista commanders and Mexican federal legislators in the restive southern state of Chiapas. The Accords called for changes to the Mexican constitution as a minimum peace demand for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), but have languished for ten years as the federal bureaucracy has refused to implement them. As the anniversary passed, Zapatista leaders on a national tour dubbed "The Other Campaign" (a reference to the presidential campaigns now underway in Mexico) arrived in the city of Puebla. (La Jornada, Feb. 17)

Free speech under attack in Mexico

From Mexico's El Universal, Feb. 16, via the Miami Herald:

Fox calls for probe in Lydia Cacho case
The governor of Puebla is under fire after he is allegedly heard discussing the jailing of a journalist on a tape released to the media

The federal government on Wednesday condemned an alleged plot by a state governor and a prominent businessman to jail a journalist for libel after she wrote a book about networks of pedophiles and child pornographers.

Zapatista "Other Campaign" reaches Oaxaca

The Zapatista "Other Campaign" is making its way up the Mexican isthmus. Leaving behind the Maya realms of Chiapas and the Yucatan, in recent weeks it has passed through the states of Tabasco, Veracruz and, most recently, Oaxaca. At each stop, Subcommander Marcos—dubbed "Delegate Zero" for the tour—met with local activists and campesino leaders, addressing local issues. He and his fellow rebel leaders also visited political prisoners in all three states.

Zapatista tour reaches Yucatan; supporters harassed

Subcomandante Marcos said Jan. 14 that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation will not accept the invitation by Bolivian president-elect Evo Morales to attend his Jan. 22 inauguration. During a meeting with supporters on the Zapatistas' "Other Campaign" in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Marcos—known as "Delegate Zero" for the duration of the national tour—responded to a question about Morales' request: "They invited us and we received the invitation but we're not going to go, because we are in the Other Campaign... We don't have relations with governments, whether they are good or bad. We have relations with the people. And we have a lot of respect for the Bolivian people." (NarcoNews, Jan. 15)

Zapatista tour halts for funeral of Comandante Ramona

On Jan. 6, just as the Zapatista national tour (dubbed the "Other Campaign" in reference to the presidential campaigns now underway in Mexico) had reached the town of Tonala, in the Pacific coastal zone of Chiapas state, word arrived that Comandante Ramona, a highly respected member of the Zapatista Army's General Command, had finally succumbed to kidney cancer after a long struggle. Subcomandante Marcos announced from Tonala that the tour would be delayed by two days as the Zapatistas congregated in the highland hamlet of Oventic for Ramona's funeral. "Comandante Ramona snatched 10 years from death," Marcos said. "[T]he world lost one of those women who give birth to new worlds."

Zapatista "Other Campaign" on the road

The Zapatista rebels' "Other Campaign"—thusly named in reference to the presidential campaigns now underway in Mexico—has held rallies at various locations around the state of Chiapas since it took off from the jungle village of La Garrucha on New Years Day.

Zapatistas begin national tour; violence continues in Chiapas

The "Other Campaign," a tour of Mexico by leaders of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), set off from the Chiapas village of La Garrucha on New Years Day—the anniversary of the Zapatistas' 1994 uprising. Rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos, at the head of a procession of hundreds of Zapatista rebels (masked but unarmed), departed from the village on a black motorcycle with a Mexican flag tied to the back. (Xinhua, Jan. 2)

Mexico: peasant ecologist kidnapped in Guerrero

On December 16 the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (LIMEDDH) reported that a campesino active in the environmental movement in the southern state of Guerrero, Diego Bahena Armenta, hasn't been seen since November 8, when he was kidnapped by eight hooded men in a Nissan van without license plates as he was working with his nephew cleaning the road near the Riscalillo ranch, in Zihuatanejo municipality. His family reported his disappearance immediately to the state police but has received no information on him.

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