On the 1st January, slanderous information about the alleged links between the EZLN and the kidnapping of the Mexican politician, Diego Fernandez De Cevallos, from the National Action Party (PAN), began to circulate. This information is based on a “communiqué” from a certain ‘Guerrero Balam’ in which he says that he has given five pieces of evidence to support his claims, proving that the texts allegedly sent by the kidnappers use words also used in Zapatista communiqués. He also says that Fernandez de Cevallos did everything in his power, which was great, to prevent the adoption of the Ley Cocopa, and thus the fulfilling of the San Andrés Accords.
Guerrero Balam also implicates the Other Campaign, and more directly the Network against Repression and for Solidarity, using the argument that searching for their name on the Internet reveals reports written in the same style.
This is not the first time that some media have tried to discredit the Zapatistas, perhaps with the intention of paving the way for an increase in counterinsurgency actions in the area, so that it is not surprising that this alleged information has been treated with a lack of rigour or discretion.
However, although this is not the first attempt, like previous attempts this one is so crude that falls on its face; previously, for example, in March 2010, the newspaper Reforma published a story, also based on information from another supposed Zapatista, which revealed the hidden face of Subcomandante Marcos. This proved in fact to be the face, which has never been hidden, of an Italian solidarity worker living in Chiapas.
That information came crashing down under its own weight. They are now trying a new attack in the hope that this time it will be used to enable a further escalation of attacks against the Zapatista communities, while at the same time they continue to criminalize and repress any form of protest , social struggle or non-conformity with the bad practices which are operated with impunity by the Mexican government, its institutions and henchmen.
From the brothers and sisters in solidarity in Europe, we wish to say to our Zapatista compañeros that their dignified hard work, every day, dating back from even before the 1st of January, 1994, a day which enlightened us all, continues to encourage us in our lives and our common struggle, both here and there, in our different countries and in our work towards this new world we seek to build together. So they can certainly be sure that THEY ARE NOT ALONE.
Please pay special attention to what might happen in the coming days and weeks.
NO TO LIES, MILITARISATION, PARAMILITARY ATTACKS, THE CRIMINALISATION OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES, PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE, MURDERS, IMPUNITY, AND FINALLY TO THE TERRORISM OF THE MEXICAN STATE!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
THE ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES LIVE!
THE EZLN LIVES!
THE OTHER CAMPAIGN LIVES!
ZAPATISTAS DENY KIDNAPPING CHARGE
On New Years Day, 17 years after the initial Zapatista uprising, Mexican newspapers circulated a vicious rumor that began with the Spanish press agency EFE: “a loyal member of the EZLN” claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of “Jefe” Diego Fernandez de Cevallos. In a confusing and internally contradictory piece, EFE also accused various groups from the Other Campaign of participating in the kidnapping. In a letter published this week, Sergio Rodriguez Lazcano and Javier Elorriaga, both long associated with the Other Campaign and the Zapatista movement, flatly denied the EFE accusations: “The Other Campaign is a civil and peaceful political movement. It began like this and has grown as such throughout these past years. The movement does not participate in kidnapping to obtain resources nor for political propaganda. Likewise, as everyone knows, the EZLN throughout its nearly 27 year history, from its beginnings until today, has never participated in kidnappings, as it would violate its principles… Neither the EZLN nor the Other Campaign is a kidnapper. Neither the EZLN nor the Other Campaign kidnapped Diego Fernandez de Cevallos.”
People who have followed the Zapatistas throughout the years would find the accusations of kidnapping ridiculous, yet the movement found it necessary to publicly deny the EFE report because of the difficult situation in which indigenous communities in Chiapas find themselves – under constant attack from paramilitaries, police, elected officials and the three major political parties. In the context of a country that is increasingly militarized, this kind of irresponsible journalism runs the risk of setting off violence against Zapatista communities.