Hola, recepción puede paginar. Acabo de querer a pregunto que usted heche una ojeada mi página principal también, y me doy cualquier regeneración, de las noticias actuales en el movment en Chiapas, que se puede utilizar para una actualización. Mi conozca a un cierto español, pero a me no son grande, sino feal libremente al E-mail yo en español si eso es la mejor para usted.     

                                          Everything for everyone, and nothing for ourselves!

This was the rally cry heard worldwide as rebels of EZLN (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional or Zapatista Army of National Liberation).  January 1st 1994 was the date, the same day as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was put in effect. One that day the people of Chiapas and others in Mexico said they where tired of the treatment of the indigenous people and the mistreatment of the people in general. This is the statement given by the EZLN in it’s Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, 1993 “We have nothing to lose, absolutely nothing, no decent roof over our heads, no land, no work, poor health, no food, no education, no right to freely and democratically choose our leaders, no independence from foreign interests, and no justice for ourselves or our children. But we say enough is enough! ….”

While this was the official start of the war, there is speculation it may have started in March of 1993. It was on then that the bodies of two federal officers where found 15 miles south of San Cristobal. Is thought that they may have stumbled upon a rebel training camp. Later a full scale free-fire was fought in a training area made to resemble one of the cities later involved in the official start of the revolution. The adding fighting was stopped when Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo was assassinated in an airport in Guadalajara by druglords. This caused Federal troops to focus on other areas.  The ELZN dined the events where committed by them. The Federal Government produced documents saying that the events did occur, but I would not lend too much faith to the merit of those reports. It would be easy and beneficial for the government to use this to cast a dark shadow on the EZLN.

Who are the rebels?

The people of Chiapas that started this revolution are almost all poor peasants, who for years had been pushed of lands, and not given the excess to things enjoyed by the elite’s. These things are food, water, education, power, and a voice in government. The EZLN really started with two main groups. The first was those who followed Bishop Samuel Ruiz, of the Dioceses of San Christobal de la Casas. The Roman Catholic Church has a large following in Mexico, and the church itself has often been said to be apart of the revolution itself. Ruiz has never advocated any type of armed struggle, but only one of peace and prayer.  Then in the Late 1970’s Ruiz came into contact with the group of mostly young Marxist, fleeing security forces. These young Marxist are the group that effetely became the armed wing of the EZLN. The official EZLN was set up in 1983, as a coalition of the two groups . Both groups generally agreed on what changes where needed, and the Marxist ideals generally fit into the Churches views, but soon the Marxist felt more and more that a call to arms was the only way to get change. The two groups split but felt an extreme closeness to each group.

The Roots of this revolution are found deep in Mexican History, and in a revolution followed almost religiously by the EZLN, that of Emiliano Zapata in 1910. In fact these are the words quoted to describe the start of the revolution in 1909. Change the date and they fit exactly. “In 1909 there came a humble man from Morelos, in the south of Mexico, to declare the grievances of his fellow peasants. This man was named Emiliano Zapata. His powerful, direct, yet dreamy gaze affected all who saw him." The old bureaucracy remained, the haciendas were untouched, the peasants did not recover their lands, and the army was there, ready to repress them if they tried. Peasant groups began to invade rural townships. Street battles between trade unions and police occurred. As instability grew, so did anxiety in the United States. Business was fearful, and finally, the streets of Mexico City became a battleground. The tiger was out of control."   In this revolution the poor peasants of South Mexico moved on the government that was trading their lands to rich landowners, and building itself up at the expense of the masses.  His revolution failed after he was killed while in a ambush that was suppose to be a meeting with government troops who where going to side with him.  As of today (December 2000) the future of this revolution look to have a better future, as I will discuss later.

Not long after the attempted revolution of Zapata, PRI was set up in 1929. This party was an official party, and held power until the year 2000. Under the PRI the people of southern Mexico have lost more and more, until NAFTA finally made them decide they where going force them to change. The PRI has forced most of the people to be farmers, and left very little else for them, while at the same time helping large corporate farms push them out. Corrupt credit and tax programs and the extremely large differences is farm size enjoyed by large-scale agricultural producers reinforce this idea of helping the rich, and forget the poor farmers. Normal farmers of the area average about two hectares (10,000 square meters) compared to that of the 20 average of commercial farms.  Other issues that have been not been addressed by the PRI are the inequalities of water, power, literary, and development in the area of Chiapas. Here are some comparisons against the rest of Mexico, which are not all that great to start with.

Those who have running water:


Mexico overall: 79% 
Chiapas :            58%

Power/Electricity:
Mexico 88%
Chiapas 67%

Literacy rates:
Mexico 87%
Chiapas 69%

Urban Vs. Rural living
Mexico 71% Urban
Chiapas 40% Urban

These numbers give a good idea of what living conditions are in the area, and why a group of people would be inclined to take such a drastic action as to declare war on its our government. Also of note is that as shown Chiapas has a very low percent of people with power, but yet this area is also the major producer of power for all of Mexico. One question you may ask is why is it a big deal if the area is mostly farmers, and not urban? Well farming itself would not be a problem, it is the land that the indigenous people and the peasants who came fleeing poverty in other areas. Also along with the PRI as a target for distrust over this, was the leaders of small government offices, in the area, who where rewarded very well for maintaining the status quo, and not instituting reforms.

While hundreds of years ago, the people farmed the fertile fields for cotton, coffee, sugar, and other crops, they where pushed off these lands by those who where of Spanish, or mixed Spanish-Indian Heritage. They where first push to farm poor rocky soil near the outskirts of the major farms, then they where pushed even more to the near by rainforest, which they cleared, but found that after only about three years, the land could yield not more crops.  This whole process is not unlike that of Native Americans who where pushed to use only the land that whites deemed undesirable. Like the EZLN, and some groups also finally fought back, those in the AIM movement took over Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, and other areas.

One of the large differences in this revolution over many others is the very active roll the women have taken. These poor women have little if anything to arm them selves with, yet they willingly stand up to well armed troops with anything they have, rocks sticks, and if they don’t have that, they use amore powerful instrument, there voice. Sixteen-year-old Clotilde Gomez Moreles throws a rock and hits a soldier on his helmet as their truck rolls out of the village. He turns and his gun at her, as she screams “Kill me then, if that’s what you came for!” “We don’t want you here!” and he lowers the gun and looks away.  The fact that he puts the gun away is something that always happens as you will see shortly. Solders looking for the men, typically those who are considered the front line of the EZLN, often move into towns under the guise of humanitarian aid. The women knowing the violence that could result for the men, have pushed the men into hiding, while they deal with the soldiers.  Also many times towns have been evacuated to avoid the military, but not all are able to flee. Older people, Women and their Children are often forced to stay behind. There are an estimated 6,000 refugees in Chiapas, mostly these people who could not flee. 

The Fighting and Human Rights Violations:

On January 1st, subcomander Marcos (the masked leader of the ELZN) moved in and overtook many small cities in Chiapas, and also the capital of Chiapas, San Cristobal de Las Casas. One the first day 150 people lost their lives, but many more where to come.   Major fighting lasted for 12 days, but since then there have been large amounts of small scale fighting, and cases of genocide.

On January 7 1994 the federal government troops kidnapped three men who where tortured and then killed. Investigations by the De La Casas Human Rights Center confirmed these claims but the government has never accepted any blame.  This killing was directly linked to the women’s movement to hide the men as detailed before.

Dec 22, 1997 at San Cristobal De Las Casas Troops opened fire on a group of Tzotil Indians praying for peace in a Catholic Church. 45 where killed 21 of them women, four of them pregnant. Thirteen others where wounded in the massacre. The guns used where guns that where only legally used by government security forces. Following the killings, 40 people where arrested, most in connection with PRI and the Military. This included the mayor of the area.  Other reports also list as many as 15 Children dead in the killing.  I believe this report counts the 4 children that where yet to be born, and while no listing of children is found in the first article, I believe if the number was that high, they would have also listed it.

February 21,1994 the PRI’s presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Coslosio is assassinated. The EZLN went on the alert, as the EZLN quickly looked at as the group responsible. It is not known if they where, or if it was one of many Drug Cartels who may operate in Mexico

  June 28,1995 Guerrero state security forces ambushed and killed 17 peasants and wounded 19 others, near Aguas Blancas. The victims, unarmed peasants, including women and children, who were travelling to Atoyac de Alvarez to participate in a demonstration to demand the release of Gilberto Romero Vasquez, a peasant activist who had “disappeared” in Atoyac on 24 May 1995.   Such “Disappearances have grown very common for those who have sided with the EZLN, and those who may know the whereabouts of elite members of the Zapata’s.

These are just some of the more known abuses, with more reports of rapes, beatings, disappearances, and executions then I can list. But the PRI is not the only group to blame for these actions, in a letter I received in repose to my urging of action to stop the killings in Mexico, I learned from Senator Bill Luther  that a unit of the US Military has also played a part. The School of the America’s has been the training ground for many of those found responsible for the mass killings and beating of people in Mexico during the revolution. At least 13 leaders of top military positions accused or found guilty are found to have had their training with the S.O.A.   One other aspect that needs to be addressed is US military aid to fight the drug war, and how that equipment is used. The U.S. military has sent over helicopters, night-vision, satellite intelligence, and other things in order to fight the drug war, but all of it can easily be used to fight the EZLN as well. This could lead eventually to a “Iran Contra” like scandal for Bill Clinton and those who follow him.

Future if the EZLN and Mexico

Peace in Mexico will not come with token gifts to make the people happy. The EZLN has stated that schools, food, and basic changes. The EZLN wants a full re-innovation of Mexico. This change will need to include good paying jobs, a fair democratic election system, and something that will raise the common people of Mexico in all area’s must be moved in direction of getting about the sub-standard housing, plumbing, and power to those who need it. Some of these changes may be on the way, and there is new hope in Mexico. That new hope comes after the fall of the PRI from power, with the presidency going to Vicente Fox of the Opposition Alliance. This statement from Sub-commander Marcos (leader of the EZLN) tells a great deal of the effect this new leader may have in Mexico. ``Mr. Salazar and the federal executive are now in a position to contribute ... to the resumption of dialogue, and if it advances in a serious and responsible manner, even to an end to the war and the beginning of a just and dignified peace.''   One of the first orders Fox made was to bring the EZLN back to the table. They had not done this for quite some time when talks fell apart when the EZLN stated that they felt the PRI was not making a effort and also refused to withdraw troops out of the conflict area. With Foxes ideals and plans for a better Mexico this conflict could soon be over, but it now rest in the hands of a man who has taken on a huge task, one that many feel may be to great for one man to take on, but one he seems to believe he can do.  The people are watching closely to make sure that progress is made, and hopes are high for this idealistic new leader.

The EZLN of Mexico
Brian Dobbs (PocketfullofShells)
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If you plan to use this, please let me know. I wont stop anyone, but I like to know who is useing this. 
UNDERSTANDING CHIAPAS by Peter Rosset with Shea Cunningham

David LaFrace "Yo Acuso: A los gobiernos de Mexico y al EZLN" Mexican Studies-
Esudios Mexiconos, Winter 1996 .v12 pg. 91

  Dan Tschirgi "Marginalized Violent Internal Conflict in the Age of Globalization:
Mexico and Egypt's. "Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Summer 1999 v. 21

  http://www.indians.org/welker/zapata.htm (Thunder Over Mexico (The Legacy of
Emiliano Zapata)

  World Book Encyclopedia 1990

  Gizewiski, Peter, Commentary No. 71 (a Canadian security intelligence service
publication), Spring 1997

Peter Gizewski is Senior Associate, Project on Environment Population and
Security, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Toronto.

  Anuario Estadstico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, (Instituto Naconal de Estadistica,
Geografia E Informatica, 1991)

  "Marginalized Violent Internal Conflict in the Age of Globalization: Mexico and
Egypt's".

  Peter Rosset and Shea Conningham "Understanding Chiapas."

  Flinchum ,Robin, "The Women of Chiapas" The Progressive, March 1998

  "The women of Chiapas"

  "Yo accuso"

  "The Women of Chiapas"

  Belehacj, Barbera, "In Mexico, foxes guarding the chickens" World press Review,
march 1998 v45 pg. 71

  Shorris, Earl "Virtual Talks in Mexico" The Nation ,January 26,1998 v266, pg. 7

  Amnesty International and Amnesty USA "Mexico Overcoming Fear: Human Rights
Violations against Women in Mexico." March 1996 report.

  Bill Luther is part of the US Congress, 6th District of Minnesota.

  School of the Americas Watch: www. soaw.org

  "Mexican Guerrilla Leader Hails Chance for Peace" Reuters, December 11, 2000
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