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Zapatistas Start "The Other Campaign"

Monday, January 02, 2006 | download (MP3 • 1,25MB • 2:44 min)

In the 12th anniversary of the rise of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in Chiapas, Mexico, its main leaders, including Subcomandante Marcos- started a tour around the country on January 1st, in order to tell people about the proposals and demands of the indigenous peoples, in what they called "the other campaign", talk rounds between zapatistas and the Mexican civil society.

At the outset, there were movements of officials of the Mexican army in Chiapas rainforest and in the Altos region, which are areas under the control of zapatistas, and mainly in some of the possible routes in which the zapatista delegation would start their tour from the main base in La Garrucha.

Members of human rights organizations that work in Chiapas confirmed the movement of effectives of the Mexican army, which included placing road blocks, and the deployment of large amount of military effectives.

On December, 28th, the police harrassed a zapatista support unit, which was detained for some hours and released afterwards.

The Mexican presidential elections will be held in July of 2006. The center-left candidate for the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Andrés López Obrador is leading the polls, which is unprecedented in the country's political history.

In order to make people aware of the demands of the indigenous peoples, and after 12 years of struggle, the EZLN starts "the other campaign".

The decision of going on a tour around the country under "The Other Campaign" was discussed for a long time by the EZLN's leading bodies. Subcomandante Marcos adopted the nickname "Subdelegado Zero" or Delegate Zero, being therefore empowered to tour around the country.

The work done by human rights organizations is very important in this process, since there have been threats against both the zapatistas who are touring, and against the support communities which remain in Chiapas.

The Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) announced in a joint communiqué that they will monitor the respect for human rights during the tour of the zapatista delegation.

The Social Communication Area of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas revealed that supporters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of Chiapas have publicly warned that "they were armed and they would take the communities and burn down their houses" while the delegation is on tour.

A joint communique of these organizations dated December 30th, warned that "an attack to this delegation would be a serious risk that would block any peaceful solution in the country for a long time".


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