HEART of TIME (CORAZËN del TIEMPO)
A Zapatista Love Story
Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 7:00 PM
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood
2966 College Ave, Berkeley
A Benefit for the Chiapas Support Committee
AUGUST 2010 CHIAPAS/ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Zapatistas Celebrate Anniversary Together - On August 8 and 9, the five Zapatista Caracoles celebrated the 7th anniversary of the birth of the Good Government Juntas and Caracoles with fiestas. Two Chiapas Support Committee (CSC) members were in La Garrucha for festivities on August 8. Delegations of 50 people from each of the 4 municipalities in this Tzeltal Jungle Zone arrived in La Garrucha on August 8 and danced all night (until 5 AM) to the music of a live band. More music and dancing, food and speeches were planned for August 9 in La Garrucha. We were told that each Caracol sent a delegation to participate in the celebrations at the other Caracoles. There were no public announcements or press reports.
2. Las Abejas Protest in San Cristˇbal - On August 12, around 200 members of Las Abejas held a "day of action" in San Cristˇbal to protest injustice. They denounced that the "paramilitaries" who were convicted of participating in the murder of 45 Las Abejas members in Acteal on December 22, 1997 and recently released by Mexico's Supreme Court are roaming freely through the communities and roads of Chenalhˇ (official) Municipality. Their complaint is that the government never confiscated the "paramilitaries'" weapons and, therefore, those who they consider killers now have access to weapons once again. This may explain the tight security 2 CSC members encountered in los Altos (Oventik). We were not permitted to visit San Pedro Polhˇ to buy crafts from the women's weaving cooperative. Polhˇ was closed to the public. Approximately 6,000 Zapatistas live in Polhˇ. They were displaced from their communities by the paramilitary violence that occurred in 1997. San Pedro Polhˇ is the name of the autonomous Zapatista municipality within the boundaries of Chenalhˇ. Acteal is also within Chenalhˇ, where those released from prison are seen.
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. 72 Migrants Massacred in Tamaulipas! - In a story of cold-blooded murder that is so difficult to process that it seems surreal, armed men, allegedly from Los Zetas, kidnapped a group of 73 undocumented immigrants from Central and South America as they were passing through Mexico on their way to the United States. When the migrants were not able to pay for their release, the kidnappers shot all 73 in cold blood. One man survived by pretending he was dead. He sought help at a checkpoint put up by the Mexican Armed Forces. The bodies were found inside a building in the San Fernando Municipality, Tamaulipas. The Zetas are a drug cartel. They were hired guns for the Gulf Cartel before they split and formed their own cartel. The lone survivor of the massacre returned to his home country of Ecuador to recuperate from his trauma and injuries. Besides Ecuador, the migrants were from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil.
2. Oaxaca: Another Attack on San Juan Copala - On Saturday, August 21, members of the Ubisort and the MULT allegedly attacked a truck with men from San Juan Copala autonomous municipality. Three men were killed and two were injured. They were performing work in preparation for a caravan of women and children that planned to leave from the autonomous municipality for Mexico City to protest conditions in the autonomous region. The caravan has been "suspended" as a result of the attack.
3. Guerrero: Good News! Raul Hernandez of OPIM Is Free! - After two years in prison, Raul Hernandez Abundio is free. A judge found that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of the murder of an Army informant. Amnesty International declared Hernandez a prisoner of conscience and worked tirelessly for his release. He is a members of the Organization of Me'phaa Indigenous People, an adherent to the EZLN's Other Campaign. He was released from prison on August 27.
4. Death Toll In Drug War Climbs To More Than 28,000 - The rising death toll from the bloody drug war in Mexico, not surprisingly, is causing alarm among Mexican citizens and politicians. Some politicians are criticizing President Calderˇn's approach to the warring drug cartels. Nevertheless, Calderˇn says that the Army will stay in the streets until his term of office ends (November 2012). Several politicians have suggested legalizing drugs, including former President Vicente Fox.
5. Mexico's Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage - On Aug. 5 Mexico's Supreme Court upheld as constitutional a law enacted in the Federal District (DF, Mexico City) last December recognizing same-sex marriages. Eight of the 11 justices voted with the majority; two opposed the marriage equality law and one was absent for reasons of health. On August 10, the Court extended its ruling to decide that lawful gay marriages in the Federal District must be honored throughout the country. On August 16, by a 9-2 vote, the Court upheld the Federal District law legalizing adoption by same-sex couples.
6. US Citizen Killed by Mexican Military - On August 21, the Mexican Army shot and killed a US Citizen, Joseph Steven Proctor, while he was driving on the Zijuatanejo-Acapulco Highway in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The on-line news service "Stop the Drug War" states that Proctor was in Coyuca de Benitez living with his Mexican wife and went to the super market. The Mexican Army claims he opened fire on them with an AR 15 while he was driving (next to impossible to do) and they, of course, fired back! (The Army says the same thing about everyone they kill.) And Surprise! Surprise! investigators found an AR 15 in Proctor's truck. The US Consulate is asking that the Army cooperate in the police investigation.
The US-Mexico Border
Southwest Border Security Bill Becomes Law - This month, Congress passed the Southwest Border Security Bill,m which provides $600 million dollars to deploy an additional 1500 border patrol agents and law enforcement officials to the US-Mexico border, as well as 2 aerial surveillance drones. Obama just sent 1200 National Guard troops to the same border last month. Immigrant rights groups say this undermines the health and safety of border communities. Politicians say that securing the border is a pre-requisite to enacting comprehensive immigration reform.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.
The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
We encourage folks to distribute this information widely, but please include our name and contact information in the distribution. Gracias/Thanks.
News Summaries from previous months are now posted on our web page:
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Chiapas Support Committee/ComitÚ de Apoyo a Chiapas
P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 654-9587