Mexican army chased from base by Zapatistas, in a peaceful
New Year's Eve occupation.
The Zapatistas cut electric power and toppled antennas.
President Vicente Fox ordered the closure of the base shortly
The Associated Press reporter wisely remained anonymous.
The New Year's Eve reported stated:
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) - President
Vicente Fox ordered the closure of a second military base outside
an Indian community in troubled Chiapas state Sunday, only
hours after villagers marched onto the base and demanded the
The surprise closure was the latest of a series of gestures by Fox
to meet conditions set by the Zapatista rebels to restart peace
In fact, there had been no plan by Fox or his government to close
the base yesterday.
It was the Zapatistas who took the initiative. And they did a bit
more than march.
Upon entering the base, the Indigenous communities of the
Chiapas highlands, most of them Tzotzil Indians, cut the electric
power to the base and toppled two parabolic antennas, thus
cutting off its communications.
This was widely reported in the Mexican press. But Associated
Press instead gave Fox the credit, calling it "the latest of a series
of gestures by Fox."
True, Fox deserves credit for the army's wise withdrawal once its
communications and power had been cut by the peaceful citizen
occupation. His predecessor, Ernesto Zedillo, might have
ordered another massacre instead.
But it bothers us, at Narco News, how the US press corps never
seems to want to admit that people fight for their own freedom,
that justice is not given, it is taken.
Fox simply reacted to what the people had already done.
This military base at Jolnachoj, near the Zapatista base
community of Oventik, has been subject of our reports before.
It was from there, in 1995 and 1996, that the Mexican military
occupied the highlands using the pretext of marijuana eradication
against the drug-and-alcohol-free indigenous communities.
And it was in that same neighborhood that a Mexican Army
Colonel got caught holding the bag.
As reported in our nine-part Chiapas series chapter, "The
Colonel and His Troops":