Archive and updates on the Zapatista uprising and solidarity campaigns.
See also UK Indymedia - Zapatista
The murder of two radio activists in Oaxaca has brought the repression suffered by indigenous Mexicans into sharp focus. Oaxaca has the biggest percentage of indigenous people who speak many different languages and suffering serious discrimination including the theft of their natural resources.
One such example is the village of San Isidro Aloapam who have been fighting the destruction of their local forest by commercial loggers who are bending the law to justify their activity. Attempts by the villagers to protect the forest have been met with extreme violence leaving many villagers injured and imprisoned. The village is represented politically by indigenous action group CIPO-RFM who have organized a series of media and international solidarity events to highlight the struggle. CIPO-RFM activists Miguel Cruz Moreno and Pedro Bautista Rojas were recently interviewed by IMC UK about the struggle.
There will be a prisoner support benefit gig in London on Wednesday April 16th.
Related links: IMC UK coverage of Oaxaca election 2007: ‘1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | IMC UK coverage of CIPO-RFM 2004/5: Intro | Assemblies | Protest camp | Raid | Repression | CIPO/Zapatistas feature | CIPO Speaking tour
"We are on the eve of either a great uprising or a civil war," the EZLN's Delegate Zero stated recently, referring to the current situation in Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Whilst the 45,000km-long Other Campaign tour around "the forgotten corners of Mexico", which the Zapatistas started on 1 January, 2006, ends in Mexico City, the repression in Oaxaca is worsening by the day. And this is why the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) is now calling for a global wave of active solidarity with the people of Oaxaca, to culminate with a "worldwide day of action" on 22 December to "say and to demonstrate that the people of Oaxaca are not alone" [Full communique | Words from Delegate Zero | APPO's response]. Closer to home, the Network of UK Zapatista Solidarity Groups called for a national week of solidarity actions from the 9 to the 17 of December, 2006.
Meanwhile, the popular uprising continues in and around Oaxaca city, and so do the illegal detentions of the so-called 'leaders' of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO), which have increased in the last few days, forcing many people into hiding. APPO is a grassroots movement organising for popular democracy, and it is currently at the centre of the Mexican government's latest wave of repression, which has already resulted in mass illegal arrests of more than 500 people [Flavio Sosa's arrest | more | Interview] and the 'disappearance' of up to 100 people [APPO Communique | APPO activist interview | Eyewitness report].
At the same time, there is also a concerted effort by the Mexican government to try to silence any independent media that is reporting the truth on what is happening in Oaxaca. Following the murder of Indymedia videographer Bradley Will, who was shot dead by paramilitaries whilst documenting an APPO barricade on the 25th of October, the attacks against international and national independent media have continued. Two documentary filmmakers and a translator were illegally detained on 3 December while they were eating at a restaurant in Oaxacxa city centre.
Oscar Beard is an independent journalist from London currently travelling in the southern estates of Mexico. He has regularly contributed text, video and photo reports to the Indymedia newswire. See a list of his reports from Mexico.
"They might have the strength to impose their will, but we will never give them our consent". (Extract from the Radio APPO log)
Outrage spread around the world over the weekend following the killing of the documentary filmmaker and Indymedia video reporter Brad Will, from New York City at the hands of pro-government supporters who opened fire on unarmed protestors on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. Three others were also killed alongside him (making four dead in total); one member of Radio Universidad was injured.
On Sunday, more than 10,000 military swept the streets of Oaxaca. At their head were tanks with water cannons, laced with tear gas, followed by lines of 3,500 riot cops with batons. Behind them, a further 3,000 military police with automatic rifles. 5,000 army troops were waiting in the outskirts of the city while the paramilitaries continued attacking. Reports came in of snatch squads operating within the city centre, with police and military using helicopters and ambulances to grab protestors and injured people. Many arrests were reported, and at least two protestors were confirmed to have been killed in the clashes. See timeline of events. Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5.
This unprovoked aggression by the Mexican State against the pacific and unarmed people of Oaxaca is one of the largest in the recent history of México and Latin America. As a result, the Zapatista Army of National Lberation (EZLN) is calling for a day of action on November 1st and announces a nationwide strike on November 20th [Call]
A peaceful demonstration against the repression by the Mexican state (police and military) of the Oaxaca workers and the general population took place in front of the Mexican Embassy in London on Monday evening [Press release]. 60-70 or more gathered in front of the Embassy, with a screening of Brad Will's final footage projected onto the Embassy's facade - violently interrupted by the police, resulting in eight arrests [Update on arrests: Tuesday | Wednesday]. Reports: 1 | 2 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 and Video. On Wednesday night red paint was thrown on the walls, stairs and doors of the Mexican Embassy in London to symbolise the blood of the people of Oaxaca.
'William Bradley Roland, also known as Brad Will, 36, a documentary filmmaker and reporter for Indymedia New York in Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil, died today of a gunshot to the chest when pro-government attackers opened fire on a barricade in the neighborhood of Santa Lucia El Camino, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. He died with his video camera in his hands.' (source: Narconews) Read NYC-Indymedia statement and a Call to all independent journalists to support the struggle in Oaxaca.
Brad had been in Oaxaca taking video and reporting on the state wide popular uprising and teacher strike that began in June with the violent attempted removal of the striking teachers from their encampment in the centre of Oaxaca City by federal police forces. 3 others were also killed alongside him (making 4 dead in total); 1 member of Radio Universidad was also injured: he was taken to the hospital in a volkswagen van as police would not let any ambulances come.
Since the beginning of the strike in June, teachers and other groups have formed the APPO - the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People - and have called for the removal of the governor of state Ulises Ruiz of the PRI. There is a long history of Mexico using government sponsored paramilitaries to repress social movements, including a massacre of hundreds of students in Mexico City in 1968. As reports of protesters surrounded by armed government forces and police continue to pour in, activists in cities around the world are planning protests at Mexican embassies and in cyberspace in outcry against the violent aggression against the people of Oaxaca.
On Friday 12th May, several activists and human rights campaigners, including people from different groups such as the London Zapatista Action Project (z.a.p.), Bristol Solidarity group Kiptik and the Comite Cerezo support group in the U.K, staged a peaceful occupation and noise demonstration at the Mexican Embassy in London [Photos and Report]. Four people locked on in front of the Embassy, effectively closing it down for business for most of the day. Meanwhile a Samba band was playing whilst other activists held banners referring to the events that have been taking place in San Salvador de Atenco, northern Mexico [Press Release]. Another protest outside the Mexican embassy had already taken place on Wednesday 10th [Pics and Report]. The Electronic Disturbance Theater and the Borderlands Hacklab also called for a virtual strike against the Mexican Government on May 5th.
Last week, residents of Atenco, a municipality near Mexico City, suffered massive police brutality and repression, after local organisations helped 60 flower vendors of the Texcoco local market to resist a blockade by state police that prevented them from setting up their stands. People from Atenco quickly responded by obstructing the highway that borders their town and leads to Texcoco market. The events that followed speak of unprecedented levels of police brutality. More than 3000 armed police forces stormed the town beating everyone in their path [Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] and arrested more than 200 people after a house to house search around the town. Francisco Javier Cort�s, a 14 year old local boy, was killed as a result of police violence on the first day, and many were severely injured. Since then there have been reports that a total of up to 300 people were arrested (of which the authorities have only recognised 109), 18 people were disappeared, 5 women were raped whilst in custody, and 5 foreigners deported.
Reports in the IMC-UK newswire by: Global Exchange | The Other Campaign Montreal | Irene of Mexico City | Erika Del Carmen Fuchs from Mexico DF | Kasa de Kultura para Tod@s | Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group.
Follow the unfolding events in: Narconews Bulletin | IMC-Chiapas | IMC-Mexico | IMC-UK Zapatista Page
Radio webstream with daily reports (Sp): Ke-Huelga Radio Zapote
On January 1 2006, twelve years after the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas (Mexico), a delegation of the EZLN departed from the Garrucha Caracol to San Cristobal de las Casas [Report and Pics]. This marked the first step in the new Zapatista political initiative known as The Other Campaign (or 'La Otra') - a proposal that aims to forge an anti-capitalist alliance "form below and to the left" in Mexico and beyond. The Other Campaign, timed to coincide with this year's Mexican presidential race, will take the delegation of the EZLN - which includes Subcomandante Marcos (or SubDelegate Zero as he is known in relation to this campaign) - throughout Mexico's 32 states, "so to meet, talk and decide together how fo build another way of doing politics. A programme of struggle that will construct democracy from below, with all these national and international organizations that resist neoliberalism and fight for humanity."
Words: To the Alternative Media | To the National & Int’l Press | SubDelegado Zero on security issues | EZLN denounces harassment and threats | On the Intercontinental proposed in the Sixth Declaration | Revista Rebeldia (Sp)
Translations of EZLN's communiques 1 | 2.
From 22nd to 24th of July a european-wide gathering of Zapatista Solidarity Groups was convened in Barcelona. More than 120 delegates of 36 organisations from Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Belgium have gathered to discuss the new initiative of the Zapatista Army for Liberation EZLN to build up broad non-parliamentary left alliances.
The Initative to build broad non-parliamentary left alliances was published in the “Sixth Declaration from the Lacadonian Jungle” [1|2|3] start of July.
MP3 audio streams from "The Other Campaign" Zapatista meetings (Sp) 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Photos 1 | 2 | 3 Videos 1 | 2
Almost a month after the EZLN announced a Red Alert in all the autonomous Zapatista communities, the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation announced on July 11 that "with the completion of the internal consulta the EZLN has decided to lift the Red Alert which it has been maintaining since June 19, 2005". The EZLN also informed that "the Zapatista Caracoles will be reopened" and that "the different Good Government Juntas will also once again begin their work in their respective headquarters". [ Read full Communique ]
This follows a period of internal consultation with the Zapatista autonomous municipalities and support bases, where "meetings and assemblies were held in more than one thousand indigenous communities in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas". On June 26 a new Communique announced that "the results were that more than 98% approved the new step, and less than 2% decided not to support the proposal", and that over the next few days, the EZLN would make public a series of texts which would form the "Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona."
On June 29 the First Part of the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona is published. This is followed with Part 2 in which the Zapatistas describe how they "see what is going on in the world and in our country", and Part 3 that not only states what the Zapatistas "want to do in the World and in Mexico" but also how they are going to go about doing it.
On July 13, the CCRI-CG of the EZLN publishes two further communiques in which the Zapatistas explain the "Ways and Means" of the new phase of the Zapatista struggle to all those "individuals, organizations, collectives, groups and associations of the left who support what has been proposed in the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona".
“The art world belongs to everybody. It is not just for the illuminated that have access to the so-called temples of art. It’s like the history made by the people and now it is up to us to make worlds where many worlds fit, to paint them, to sing them, to write poems to the free men and women and to sing and sing. Let the words and the music and the poems and the colours announce that art belongs to everybody and is for everybody, like this world, like these dreams, like freedom!”. Gustavo C. P.
[Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group | Glasgow Zapatista Solidarity Group | Indy UK Zapatista section | IMC Chiapas | Indy Scotland ]
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