The False Narco-Smear Against the Zapatistas
Mexico: The False Narco-Smear Against the Zapatistas
June 22, 2005
Gary Webb - Presente
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The rapid-fire sequence of communiqués in recent days "from somewhere in the mountains of the Mexican southeast" by Subcomandante Marcos in the name of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials), especially the Monday communiqué that announced that the indigenous rebels of Chiapas had called a "Red Alert," has placed various actors on all sides on tenterhooks.
My emailbox runneth over with pleas for "more information" or to explain "what is really happening" and I realize how cynical news consumers have become. Society is not used to newsmakers who do what they say, and that, alone, make the Zapatistas difficult for many to understand. My response is: Read the communiques! They're self-explanatory. You can find links to English translations of the recent Zapatista comms in our report of today, via The Narcosphere:
On the other hand, governments, unlike the Zapatistas, never do what they say and rarely say what they do. The Zapatista "Red Alert" comes on the heels of a massive redeployment of Mexican military troops surrounding the 38 Autonomous Municipalities and 1,111 or so villages that openly declare themselves to be in rebellion and self-government with the Zapatistas.
The troop movements in Chiapas, in fact, are related to President Vicente Fox's new "Mexico Seguro" ("Safe Mexico") simulation of an anti-drug campaign.
Perhaps government military commanders in Chiapas, fearing redeployment to someplace truly dangerous for them like Nuevo Laredo (where a military convoy was ambushed and shot at by local police earlier this month) are just trying to "look busy" to justify their continued vacation way down south in scenic Chiapas. And that's why the Army made a (demonstrably false) claim that it found some marijuana plants last week in Zapatista territory. In any case, whatever the motives, the behavior of the Armed Forces in Chiapas in recent days has backfired and led to a crisis, now, in Mexico's southernmost border state, too.
Read fresh translations from Hermann Bellinghausen, reporting from Chiapas for La Jornada, undressing the knowingly false claims by the Mexican Secretaries of Defense and State that the Zapatistas are somehow mixed up in the narco.
Read the clownish statements of those officials and the facts that disprove them.
The long confluence between repression of the indigenous in Chiapas and a false "war on drugs" is one of those pesky matters that few players want to talk about openly.
But oh how the mighty have fallen if we trace Vicente Fox's March 2001 declaration in favor of the legalization of drugs (precisely at the moment when the Zapatisas were pulling up stakes from Mexico City and turning their backs on the Fox government for its broken promises... and now, this week, the Zapatistas have turned around and faced toward his government for the first time since that moment four years ago...) to this month's remanifestation of Fox as boneheaded gringo-style drug warrior from Texas to Tapachula, it's clear that the US-imposed drug war has something to do - we don't yet know to what extent - with the "Red Alert" in Chiapas.
Be on guard, kind readers: The drug war pretext is the flavor of the month in the halls of Mexican power. The Fox administration, entering its final year, unable to solve any of the problems he said he would resolve "in fifteen minutes," is increasingly pulling out the narco-brush to distract from all other grievances of a public that has had enough.
And what does a failed government do when the illusion of control is crumbling all around it? In the 21st century, it plays the narco card.
The drug-free Zapatistas, though, stand at stark contrast with the government, which, now finds itself in another blossoming narco-scandal along the Caribbean coast, where Mexican narco-traffickers worked hand in hand with the Fox and Bush administrations this spring to give international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles safe passage up to Gringolandia.
Pot, Kettle, Narco. The accusers are the narcos here. And their "Mexico Seguro" simulation has now backfired on both borders, North and South, of the United States of Mexico.
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin