Giordano: Showdown In Cuernavaca
Giordano: Showdown In Cuernavaca;
Marcos in Zapata's Morelos
April 11, 2006
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In an amazing display of the authority that Zapatista rebel Subcomandante Marcos now wields, 40 state troopers, including 10 mounted police, fled the scene of a protest yesterday in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca when they heard that Marcos was on his way. As Al Giordano and Bertha Rodríguez Santos report in The Narco News Bulletin, in the Mexican state of Morelos, the cradle of Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, the spirit of rebellion still runs deep.
"Forty state troopers - armed with helmets, shields, billy club, ten horses, and heavy artillery - came, this morning, to one of Cuernavaca's ritziest streets. Their intent: to remove a small group of environmentalists who had chained themselves to trees. The protestors oppose the construction of a shopping mall and a new highway over a small gorge at the end of the cul-de-sac named Acapatzinco Corner. At eleven a.m., a court order that had stalled the toppling of 200-year-old trees was to expire. The police - in this state where violence against social fighters is sacrament - brought two ambulances with them as an indication of how they thought the story would go."
"Somewhere in the bowels of Mexican intelligence agencies the phones lit up like a Christmas tree: Marcos had notified the 55 members the alternative media and others in the caravan that travels with him that he was suspending a meeting with supporters this morning in Tetelcingo, Morelos, and that everybody should head for Acapatzingo: on this 87th memorial day of the assassination of General Emiliano Zapata Salazar, the revolutionary for whom Marcos' Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) is named.
"Suddenly, the riot cops, the mounted police, and the ambulance drivers received a communication that Marcos was coming.
"'They ran like hens,' explained one of the environmentalists later this morning, still chained to a tree."
Rodríguez Santos reports on Marcos' meeting a day earlier with the people of Tlalnepantla, the Morelos town where people rose up in 2003 to oppose the imposition of elections for mayor - in a clear manipulation designed to give the post to a candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) - despite their traditional practice of choosing leaders through community assemblies. It was a bloody conflict that resulted in deaths and entire families fleeing brutal police to the hills.
Rodríguez Santos writes:
"Virginia Mercado Garrido - a small and thin woman whose figure is a composite portrait of the peasant woman of Mexico in the times of the Revolution: humble and noble - could not hold back her tears as she asked for 'justice' in the case of her son Gregorio Sánchez Mercado's murder.
"'I am 76 years old and I had never seen the government come in here by force. The mayor came in around one o'clock in the morning, killing and spilling blood... We waited for him here all day and night with clubs because we are poor and have no guns.'
"After declaring that the [PRI's] 'foxes' killed her son - for which the government rewarded them with new trucks - the old woman asked Subcomandante Marcos for help."
"[Marcos] predicted that in these lands of Morelos, the Zapatista spirit the people carry with them will rise again, and be followed by all the people who have dignity in this country. 'We are going to raise up another country, where there is Democracy, Liberty and Justice, but this time for the people from below.'"
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...as new content, including video of the incident Al Giordano describes above, is coming in every day.
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin