Date: Mon May 16 2005 - 18:34:20 EDT
I asked Harry Cleaver for information about the current threat to the Zapatistas. The following is his response which I am forwarding with his permission. The message to aut-op-sy that he refers to near the end of his message is: < http://lists.resist.ca/pipermail/aut-op-sy/2005-May/001651.html > In solidarity, Jerry ================================= > I hadn't really noticed that the zapatistas were under attack by > imperialism. Did I miss the US efforts to get rid of them? I don't > want to be facetious-- I think the Zapatistas represent an important > struggle for human dignity; however, I would not equate this with > Venezuela. Jerry, The Zapatistas have been under attack by the state and federal government and by local ranchers and PRIista power brokers ever since shortly after they emerged on the public scene on January 1, 1994. The only thing that has changed over time has been the form and intensity of those attacks. Their communities remain surrounded and harassed, often violently, by the army, the police and by paramilitary forces financed and largely given impunity by the former. Yes, your interlocator clearly has "missed" US complicity with first Salinas, then Zedillo and now Fox's efforts against the Zapatista. The flippant character of the remark you quote above seems ask whether the marines have been sent in. The answer to that is obviously no. But US intelligence has been involved since the beginning and the US not only has trained but provided on-going support to the Mexican military that has mustered the largest number of forces against the Zapatistas - not only in the two major military assaults of early 1994 and early 1995 but in the ongoing campaign of containment and harassement and support for paramilitary actions within and against zapatista communities. The intensity of those paramilitary forces have varied over time, just like those of the official forces, and while that intensity seems to be lower today than during the period around the Acteal massacre when thousands were being driven from their homes and many murdered their efforts have by no means disappeared. As for current information, the usual best ongoing source is the FZLN website: http://www.fzln.org.mx/ which has, currently, some amusing illustrations that reference the EZLN offer of a soccor match to a European team. Latest news on harassement and attacks are usually carried in "denuncias" issued by various communities or regional Zapatista "Juntas de Buen Gobierno". I'd also refer you to the Chiapas95 archives for information but they have been inaccessible for some time - a problem I'm trying to get fixed. Why anyone would equate what is going on in Venezuela with what is going on in Chiapas is a mystery to me. However, according to a report just submitted to me by one of my students, there appear to be some parallels between the situation of the Zapatista communities and those of some indigenous peoples in Venezuela now threated by government-backed expansion of coal production. I'm about to paste that report into a postin to autopsy list to see if anyone has anything useful to say on the subject so you can check it out there. It's not something that I have been following so I hope someone else has and can further clarify the situation. H. ............................................................................ Snail-mail: Harry Cleaver University of Texas at Austin Department of Economics BRB 1.116 1 University Station, C3100 Austin, Texas 78712-0301 USA Phone Numbers: (hm) (512) 442-5036 (off) (512) 475-8535 Fax:(512) 471-3510 E-mail: email@example.com Cleaver homepage: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/facstaff/Cleaver/index.html Chiapas95 homepage: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/facstaff/Cleaver/chiapas95.html ............................................................................
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