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Mexican army chased from base by Zapatistas

by Boston-Cambridge Greens Tuesday, Jan. 09, 2001 at 1:43 PM

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 thereafter.

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:


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

troops leave.

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":



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