Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 19:29:12 -0600 (CST) From: Edgar Abarca Rojano <sestrada-AT-fiscom.fcfm.buap.mx> Subject: M-NEWS: E;MEXPAZ Chiapas #129 (They Finally Spoke!) Jul 2 (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 21:09:16 -0500 (CDT) From: Chiapas95 <owner-chiapas95-AT-mundo.eco.utexas.edu> To: chiapas95-AT-mundo.eco.utexas.edu Subject: E;MEXPAZ Chiapas #129 (They Finally Spoke!) Jul 2 This posting has been forwarded to you as a service of Accion Zapatista de Austin. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 11:45:54 -0500 (PDT) From: MEXPAZ_chiapas-eng <chiapas-eng-AT-mixcoac.uia.mx> To: chiapas-eng-AT-mixcoac.uia.mx Subject: Chiapas-esp 129 Resent-Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 11:45:54 -0500 (PDT) Resent-From: chiapas-eng-AT-mixcoac.uia.mx BULLETIN No. 61 CIACH, CHIAPAS, MEXICO (July 2, 1997) THEY FINALLY SPOKE! In a communique dated July 2, the EZLN made known its stance with respect to the upcoming elections. The EZLN's message may be resumed briefly in three points. 1) The Zapatistas explain their silence on elections in stating that now is the hour of political parties. The election scene is theirs, which explains why the EZLN hushed up. 2) The communique describes the new Mexico and its new realities: indigenous peoples as social actors; civil society and new social movements outside the party scheme, and which question political parties; improved electoral competition under more equitable conditions and with increasing citizen control over elections; greater openness in communications media, which no longer serve as propaganda for the state party; a crisis for presidentialism, Zedillo's image and manner of governing; crisis of a worn out state party system; polarization of intellectuals where even artists take part in politics; physical and political militarization of the country, with armed groups and the smell of discontent everywhere. 3) The EZLN will respect the decision of those who have decided to vote, as well as those who have decided not to vote. It should be mentioned that, in the communique, the EZLN states that electoral participation --although important and necessary-- is not the only road to democracy. But there remain several questions concerning the EZLN's silence: its position on the San Andre's talks, fulfillment of agreements reached during the first round of negotiations, political prisoners, violence in the northern zone and the alarming militarization of the state. It would seem that the EZLN is waiting for election results, new shifts in power groups, society's reactions to election outcomes and the government's moves to force them to speak out on the questions we have already mentioned. Militarization In this pre-electoral atmosphere, the Federal Army continues to increase patrols, day and night over-flights, not only in the Lacando'n Jungle, but also in the Highlands, Huitiupa'n, El Bosque, etc., in order to take new positions at different strategic locations. In addition, the Army is attempting to detect new roads and breeches which connect the canyons of Altamirano with Patihuitz, and from there to Avellanal Canyon. Grain buyers, merchants, workers from the National Adult Education Institute (INEA) have entered the zone to do social work, interrogate the population concerning its electoral preferences and threaten to intervene in confrontations between the PRI and the PRD during elections. For now, the Army has stopped using the war against drugs as a pretext to penetrate the communities, marshalling other arguments and means. Rather, the Army is coordinating with PRI authorities, who --going above the head of municipal authorities-- request that the Army enter to undertake social work. Nevertheless, many communities have rejected the Army, with the civil population preventing its entrance, since the Army invades community land and destroys jungle by cutting down trees for its trenches and barracks. Given this resistance, the Army has attempted to buy land, but the communities have refused to sell because the Army has not allowed the townspeople to reap their corn. In the zone of the Highlands, in the municipality of Pantelho', the Army has begun to experiment with the formation of rural guards, along the lines of the Civil Self-Defense Patrols (PAC) implemented in Guatemala, training and proving arms to police in rural communities to "safeguard" communities and confront the insurgent movement. President Zedillo's Visit to Chiapas One of the last visits of President Ernesto Zedillo made to Chiapas was last year, to the Lacanja' Chanzayab community, in the municipality of Ocosingo, where he delivered resources to the Interinstitucional Commission, which has allowed the Army to control the Social Attention Centers, as in the case of San Quinti'n. These resources have been handed out to PRI groups in the Northern Zone, including "Peace and Justice", and have been a condition for voter registration, receipt of PROCAMPO credits or identification at military checkpoints. This context has strengthened and supported the Army, which has got its paws on reforrestation projects which should belong to the Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (Semarnap), as well as other responsibilities proper to the state, its secretariats and agencies, which no longer govern in Chiapas. Ernesto Zedillo's visit to Chiapas constituted evident support for PRI candidates in their campaign closures. The President delivered resources to bilingual indigenous teachers who belong to the Peasant Teacher Solidarity organization (Socama), accused of being a base group of the paramilitary group "Justice and Peace", and fortifying its economic plan Pronafide. President Zedillo signed the Exclusive Development Agreement, which will provide Chiapas with 180 million pesos for health, infrastructure, education, etc. The question is, what institutions and who will receive these resources? The supposition is that they will be delivered to the Inter-Institutional Commission (Secretariat of Health and Assistance --SSA--, Secretariat of Social Development --SEDESOL-- National Adult Education Institute -- INEA-- National Indigenous Institute --INI-- Public Education Secretariat --SEP-- National Defense Secretariat --SEDENA-- Interior Secretariat, etc.) The objective: repeat history in the Junge and Northern Zones. Given public knowledge of the links between some peasant groups with the Army, government and paramilitary groups, the government is looking for a new strategy: transferring conflict in the Northern Zone to the Highlands, using distinct coverage and creating different organizations, but always with the same institutional relationships: Government-State Congress (the PRI candidate from this zone is a Socama member)-municipal presidents-paramilitary groups-Army. Significantly, President Zedillo visited Acapetahua in the zone of Soconusco, principally because of two reasons: first, because the zone exhibits excellent conditions to promote the Free Trade Agreement; and second, because Acapetahua is where the most Japanese immigrants are concentrated, who last month inaugurated a moment dedicated to the arrival of the Japanese to Chiapas in 1892. Zedillo committed himself to supporting and promoting production of African palm, other species of palm trees, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, etc., all export crops which would substitute production of corn, beans, etc. President Zedillo's other promise was to install other factories to extract oils, which have already been started up in Jiquipilas, Villa Comatitla'n, Acapetahua. The Electoral Process The pre-electoral atmosphere is quite tense due to the wave of violence started by paramilitary and PRI groups that have threatened the population, as with ambushes of Zapatista sympathizers and PRD militants in Sabanilla; harrassment of peasant organizations; power outages; attacks on the Diocese of San Cristo'bal and the reappearance of ex-communicated priest Luis Mijangos, who rails against the bishops of San Cristo'bal. The closer the elections, the more the PRI and local authorities exercise pressure on the population to buy and coerce the vote, as in the cases of Tuxtla and Comita'n; increase militarization and para-militarization; and increase crime in the Highlands. Nevertheless, organizations interested in undertaking the transition towards democracy in our country view elections with great hope as a possibility to win the Federal Congress and permit the San Andre's Agreements to be translated into congressional law; to achieve true respect for indigenous rights, liberty, democracy and justice; to hope that there may really exist a counterbalance to the Mexican presidential system, especially the Executive Branch. Many Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil and Citizen Organizations have joined this process, including Civic Alliance, which has provided about 200 observors, 80 of which have been accredited by the IFE. Electoral observation will be carried out in nine districts considered to be in high-risk zones, where the opposition has a chance to win, in marginalized zones and in places where vote buying and coercion is already occurring. The IFE recognizes and foresees that there will be electoral problems in Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbala', Salto de Agua and perhaps Palenque (District 1); District 2, seat in Pichucalco; District 3, in the Jungle, and District 5, in the municipalities of Chamula and Mitontic. In the Northern Zone, Simojovel, Ixhuata'n, Jitotol, Solosuchiapa, Tapalapa and Tapilula, participation as an election official has been conditioned upon payment of 800 pesos. The IFE has also made public that in the District of Ocosingo, some 21 polling sites will not be installed; but these polls do not amount to more than 20% of the total, which would require postponement of elections. Other communities in the Jungle Region have conditioned their participation in elections on fulfillment of the San Andre's agreements (La Jornada, June 29, 1997). Possible Scenarios 1. Foreseeably, in many Zapatista zones, the civil population may prevent installation of polls, block roads and highways the day before elections, or prevent ballot boxes from arriving to Electoral Districts. This would lead to intervention of Public Security forces and the Army and provoke sharp confrontations. 2. Confrontation within the population is also predictable in both Zapatista and non-Zapatista zones, whether between PRD militants, Zapatista sympathizers, peasant and citizen organizations with power and shock groups. This will occur mainly in municipalities where there are two municipal governments --those recognized by the government and those recognized by rebel authorities-- as in San Andre's Larrainzar, Chenalho', El Bosque, Soyalo', etc. 3. Civil resistance organizations should make the election process into an instrument to pressure for solution to their demands. 4. Elections should be carried out without delays: those that will vote should do so and those that won't should be observers. The outcome will favor the PRI and that's that. 5. Some organizations should decide to vote en masse, to protect themselves; this could generate tensions and confrontations with PRI groups at the polls. 6. The PRD may win some districts or polls, which would increase aggression against the party's sympathizers. Center of Information and Analysis on Chiapas (CIACH) Address: Flavio A. Paniagua No. 107 Barrio de Guadalupe San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas Tel./Fax: (967) 8 65 81 e-mail: ciach-AT-laneta.apc.org ************************************************************************** COMISION NACIONAL DE INTERMEDIACION CONAI Patricio Sanz 449 Tel's : + (52-5) - 543 36 60 Col. Del Valle + (52-5) - 523 04 92 Mexico, 03100, D.F. FAX : + (52-5) - 543 36 60 MEXICO. Correo-E: mexpazdf-AT-laneta.apc.org ************************************************************************* ____________________________________________________________________________ MEXPAZ An electronic bulletin collectively produced by: CRT: Centro de Reflexio'n Teolo'gica; SIPRO: Servicios de informacion procesada, A.C.; FC: Fronteras Comunes; CENCOS: Centro de comunicacion social, A.C.; CONPAZ: Coordinacion de organismos no-gubernamentales por la paz; PRODH: Centro de Derechos Humanos, Miguel Agustin Pro; CEE: Centro de Estudios Ecume'nicos; CAM: Centro Antonio de Montesinos; CONAI: Comision nacional de intermediacion; EP: Equipo Pueblo. The material produced by MEXPAZ remains the intellectual property of MEXPAZ. It should NOT be reproduced by e-mail, rather we recommend that people with e-mail subscribe themselves. Material from MEXPAZ may be reproduced in other fora, WWW, faxes, in print, etc. if the source is cited and the method of subscribing is also reproduced. To subscribe to a chapter of MEXPAZ, send to: chapter-request-AT-mixcoac.uia.mx Subject: subscribe where the word "chapter" is replaced by one of the chapter names listed below. MEXPAZ provides the following chapters: SPANISH ENGLISH ______________________________________________ analisis analysis informacion information chiapas-esp chiapas-eng derechos rights solidaridad solidarity -- To unsubscribe from this list send a message containing the words unsubscribe chiapas95 to majordomo-AT-eco.utexas.edu. Previous messages are available from http://www.eco.utexas.edu or gopher://eco.utexas.edu.
Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005