Mexico: Government Prepares Offensive Against the Zapatistas

JOSÉ ANTONIO ROMÁN
La Jornada
UK Zapatista Translation Service

The Government prepares for a big offensive against the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) who despite persecution and harassment have dedicated themselves to building autonomous spaces and development through the unprecedented work of the Councils of Good Government.

In a panel discussion ’20 years after the San Andrés Accords’ organised by Casa Lamm and La Jornada, various researchers, writers and specialists in indigenous law warned about the threat already denounced by the Zapatistas.

“When the Zapatisas speak, they are not playing around, and as they said in their last communique the threat is real,” stated Luis Hernández Navarro, coordinator of the Opinion section of this newspaper and EZLN advisor during the San Andrés negotiations. He emphasised “The warning signs are flashing.”

Similarly, Magdalena Gómez Rivera, a lawyer specialising in indigenous law, commented that in this new phase of aggression the State “views the Zapatistas as being alone” and she urged society and social movements to become aware of the looming risk of attack on the Zapatistas.

Along with Gómez and Luis Hernández, the politician and anthropologist Gilberto López y Rivas and Francisco López Bárcenas, one the most renowned theorists on indigenous law, analysed the significance of the San Andrés Accords in terms of the rights of indigenous communities. Although they were signed on the 16th of February 1996, the Government has never fulfilled the agreement, betraying the EZLN and other indigenous communities.

Hernández Navarro said the Government always behaved as if they wanted to derail the negotiation process.

López Bárcenas highlighted that the Zapatista proposal is comprised of three main concepts: a return to being humans as the core of our actions, setting material goods aside; reestablishing solidarity amongst humanity; and building a new relationship with nature.