Narco News 2001
this money going?"
sympathize with them (the Zapatistas), with what they are doing
because the fundamental cause is simple respect for a way of
life, to live life in autonomy."
March 3rd "Chiapas
Cynical Ploy Against
By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News
February 18, 2001
From the beginning of the Zapatista uprising on January
1, 1994, Mexico's two television networks have been united in
efforts to discredit, distort, invent falsehoods, and ignore
the basic demands of the Zapatista movement in Chiapas and the
indigenous cause throughout Mexico.
By the time negotiations
were underway, in 1996, between the Mexican government and the
Zapatistas, the coverage had been so distorted that scores of
respected Mexican and international journalists signed a public
letter criticizing both TV networks for their yellow and false
journalism on events in Chiapas.
The television stations,
after the December 22, 1997 massacre at Acteal, repeatedly obscured
the fact that anti-Zapatista paramilitaries carried out the mass
murder of 45 unarmed indigenous women, children and elders who
were praying in a church for peace. "You mean to tell me,"
said one daily TV Azteca watcher recently, a taxi driver in Mexico,
"that the Zapatistas were not the murderers at Acteal? Then
why did they say that on TV?"
In February of 1998, TV
Azteca hostess Lolita de la Vega landed at the Zapatista base
community in La Realidad in a helicopter provided by the governor
of Chiapas. The chopper broke the roof of the local schoolhouse,
and damaged the sacred ceiba tree of the maya under which Zapatista
subcomandante Marcos gives many of his interviews. With the full
knowledge that international human rights observers had always
encamped near the community soccer field, the helicopter touched
down there. The international observers, startled by the racket,
emerged to take video and photographs of the unannounced helicopter,
as the TV Azteca crew filmed them. That evening, on national
television, TV Azteca's de la Vega announced her "story."
She claimed, at last, there is proof that the Zapatistas are
led by foreigners, using footage of the foreign observers with
menacing circles around their faces and special effects of arrows
pointing to them.
De la Vega then cut to
an old archived interview with La Jornada reporter Hermann Bellinghausen,
implying that the blonde Mexican-born reporter on indigenous
affairs was, himself, a foreigner. Bellinghausen's father had
to write a letter to the editor to clarify, "my son was
born here in Mexico." But the campaign of xenophobia and
fiction posing as TV news continued.
TV Azteca, in June of
1999, fell into its own trap when Paco Stanley, one of the key
personalities of the TV station's "Live Without Drugs"
campaign, was shot dead and found with cocaine and a cocaine
grinding mill on his person. Suddenly, the information about
Stanley's links with high level narco traffickers, his own work
as a drug dealer, and the laundered money trail of TV Azteca's
purchase from the Salinas government ($29.5 million US dollars
laundered by presidential brother and presumed drug trafficker
Raúl Salinas) was uncovered by the Mexico City prosecutor's
UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan arrived to try to bail the TV station's destroyed reputation
out, handing them an international prize for their "live
without drugs" campaign.
Marcos replied that "the UN has no credibility" for
handing out anti-drug awards to "cocaine addicts."
TV Azteca film crews have
not been allowed to return to the village where they destroyed
the schoolhouse (and injured children in the falling debris)
back in 1998.
So when, last week, TV
Azteca owner Ricardo Salinas Pliego called a surprise press conference
with Televisa owner Emilio Azcárraga Jean to announce
the March 3rd "Chiapas Peace" concert, complete with
Woodstock-style logo, and more than coincidently scheduled at
the same time as 10,000 members and supporters of the Indigenous
National Congress will meet with the 24 Zapatista delegates in
Michoacán (all camping out for three days in an indigenous
region), many eyebrows were raised.... Including those of the
world-respected Brazilian political cartoonist Latuff...
First, because the TV
that musician Carlos Santana would be playing with the Mexican
groups Maná and Los Jaguares. (As of today, it's not clear
at all that Santana ever agreed to do the concert). All three
musical groups had, in the past, expressed their solidarity with
the Zapatistas, as seen in the 1999 communiqué by Marcos
Tomorrow, February 19th,
the musicians of Maná and Los Jaguares have scheduled
a press conference about the TV network sponsored concert, which
claims it will donate the proceeds to a yet undisclosed project
in Chiapas. (With 450 staffers working on the concert, one wonders
whether there will be any proceeds to distribute).
What is clear is that
the Zapatista Caravan to Mexico City has the TV networks scared:
afraid of losing control of the microphone, as thousands of Mexican
and international reporters will be covering the Caravan directly.
The polemic of the next
two weeks regarding this concert should be interesting.
Narco News today publishes
some translated excerpts relevant to the story, and will continue
covering it in the coming days.
Salud y abrazo,
The Narco News Bulletin
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19 UPDATE: The Zapatistas are apparently not impressed by
the "Concert for Peace." In a new communiqué
calling a press conference in La Realidad for Thursday, February
22nd, Subcomandante Marcos stated:
again we make it clear that police dressed as journalists will
not be allowed to enter, nor, by decision of the community, those
of the TV station that destroys indigenous schools with its helicopter
(although it now does "concerts for peace.")
Venegas: "Where is the money going?"
Reuters, Feb. 16 MEXICO
CITY: The Mexican singer Julieta Venegas declared herself a supporter
of the Zapatista guerrilla of the impoverished southeast state
of Chiapas, whose leaders will begin a march to the Mexican capital
on February 25.
"I sympathize with
them (the Zapatistas), with what they are doing
the fundamental cause is simple respect for a way of life, to
live life in autonomy," said Venegas in a recent interview
On March 3rd, in the Capital,
a surprise concert organized by rival TV stations Televisa and
TV Azteca "in favor of peace in Chiapas" will be held,
in which the rockers Maná and the Jaguares will participate.
A native of the northern
border city of Tijuana, Venegas voiced skepticism about the good
will of the TV stations organizing a concert and donating the
funds to "a cause" in the state where the guerrilla
"In my suspicious
mind I say, 'Where is this money going?' They say to Chiapas,
but where?" said Venegas.
By Florence Toussaint
Sunday, February 18, 2001
Last week in an unprecedented act, TV Azteca
and Televisa announced that they will organize a concert in Aztec
Stadium to raise funds for Chiapas.
"We still don't know
what program we are going to give the money to," said (Televisa
owner Emilio) Azcárraga Jean, but "it's evident that
there are many needs and poverty in Chiapas," added (TV
Azteca) owner Ricardo Salinas.
The concert will
be broadcast on all the channels of both businesses - without
advertisements - and in any other national or international TV
station that wishes to carry signal without paying anything.
As original and looters
as always, the logo of the event is a replica of the 1960s, of
peace and love, of Woodstock, of the hippies, the counter-culture.
It only lacks a few marijuana leaves.
Two rivals suddenly
united and surprise us with their generosity. For the suspicious,
the announcement is part of a grand strategy of counter-propaganda.
The TV stations don't want to stop being the principal actors.
The press conference
was, in reality, a dialogue between deaf ears, as the businessmen
did not respond to inconvenient questions. It was difficult.
The behavior of Lolita de la Vega and her helicopter in a Chiapas
community is still remembered. The reports "from the jungle"
sent by TV Azteca reporters. The commentaries by (TV Azteca personality
Sergio ) Sarmiento on the intransigence of the Zapatistas. For
Televisa, the incongruent nature between reports like those of
Ricardo Rocha on the conflict and the informations given first
by Zabludowsky and later by other anchors about the 1994 uprising.
Also in the collective
memory is the silence by both TV stations during a long period
to try and make the conflict, and the attention of the viewers,
disappear from the screen.
Azteca union provokes sarcasm:
Concert for Chiapas
just like always" - Fátima Fernández
By Columba Vertíz
Sunday, February 18th
The owners of the commercial TV stations,
Emilio Azcárraga Jean and Ricardo Salinas Pliego, are
The panorama has changed,
as they understand. Thus, the alliance of TV Azteca and Televisa
for the "United for Peace" concert - to be held March
3rd in Aztec Stadium from 9 to 11 p.m. - has generated distrust,
questions and doubts, even sarcasm.
The investigator Fátima
Fernández Christlieb goes on the attack: "So that
nobody ends up sucking their thumb: the television businessmen
are playing politics, like always, but on stages never before
The Chiapas poet Juan
"At the root of it,
what the two businesses want is to continue administrating poverty.
Also, it's meant to distract and manipulate public opinion."
Not to be outdone, the
journalist María Victoria Llamas assures that these companies
are not trusted because of the way they have covered the information
about the situation in Chiapas
On February 19th the musical
groups Maná and the Jaguares will offer a press conference
about the repertoire that they will offer in "United for
Peace." Maná is still trying to convince guitarist
Carlos Santana to perform...
heart is with the Zapatistas and Subcomandante Marcos"
Carlos Santana at Woodstock 1994
from Marcos to musicians of the world, February 1999:
Originally published in
Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa
Date: Moday, February
TO MUSICIANS ALL OVER
ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL
February 20, 1999.
To: Musicians all over
From: Sup Marcos.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Old Antonio used to say
(who, if he had been a musician, would have played
the blues) that music opens paths that only the wise know how
to walk, and
which, along with dance, builds bridges which bring you close
to a world
which cannot even be dreamt.
This all comes to mind
because we have received news of concerts and shows
by musicians in Mexico and in other parts of the world. Their
promote the Consulta and to be in solidarity with the Mexican
and their dignified struggle.
We want to express our
appreciation to all of them, and to those who have
had to do with those paths to peace, which criss-cross the planet
to end, most especially, but not only, to the rhythms of rock.
Nothing pleases us more
than those who compose, sing and play. As well as
the producers, the sound people (is that how you say it?), the
people, the stagehands, the drivers, the ticket people, the loaders,
artists' reps, the local owners and administrators, and all the
women who have to do (and who, nonetheless, are not seen) with
a concert or
musical show (often doubly volunteering, receiving neither money
credit). Thanks to everyone.
And now that we're into
the "one, two, three, four," we want to salute all
those who musicians who, over the last five years, have played,
playing, will be playing, for the peace with justice and dignity.
Everyone has called for
an end to the war. Some have cut records, others
have participated in concerts, or visited the indigenous communities,
spoken out in favor of the peace with justice and dignity, or
against the Acteal killing, or given us their instruments or
or more tours to the struggle of the Mexican indigenous. Here
are some of
the names (some of them escape me, but you already know how space
tyrannizes the written word). Sale and vale:
In Mexico: La Bola, Santa
Sabina, Panteon Rococo, Maldita Vecindad, Sekta
Core, Makina, El Mastuerzo, Tijuana No, Jambo, Los de Abajo,
Trolebus, La Dosis, Resorte, Guillotina, Estramboticos, Mana,
Venegas, Petroleo, Juguete Rabioso, Rotor, Funkswagen, Cafe Tacuba,
Minimo, El TRI, Fratta, Botellita de Jerez, Serpiente sobre Ruedas,
Hermanos Rincon, Los Nakos, Ana de Alba, Leones de la Sierra
de Xichu, Jose
de Molina (QEPD), Lidia Tamayo, Arturo Marquez, Nina Galindo,
Eugenia Leon, Hebe Rossel, the men and women from the National
Conservatory Schools, the raza of the CLETA, and the not few
singer-songwriters who, in vans and buses, delight their audiences
exchange for only "lo que sea su voluntad joven, senito,
In France, Germany, the
State of Spain, the Basque Country, Italy, Canada,
the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and in
other parts of
Negu Gorriak, Mano Negra,
Hechos contra el Decoro, Color Humano, Sook and
the Guay, Joaqui'n Sabina, Joan Manuel Serrat, Juan Perro, Ismael
Dut, Manu Chao, Hubert Cesarion, Ruben and Babakar, DKP, Ethnicians,
Pushy!, La Huanda, Sree, Denise, P18, Ghetto 84, Radio Bemba,
Bassotti, Arpioni, Gang, Tupamaros, Klaxon, Radici Nel Cemento,
Swoons, Another Fine Mess, Maltschicks, Dady Longleg, Jelly Gruel,
Mundmachine, Lunchbox, Caution Sreams, Kommerzinfarkt, KJB, Deh-kadenz,
Nervous, Ate Hands for Brains, The Evil Bad, Provisorium, Novotny
The Stairs, Rubabs, Daisies, Plattrock, King Prawn, Steven Brown,
y Tuxedo Moon, Tuxedo Moon, Paralamas, Xenreira, Planet Hemp,
Charly Garcia, Todos tus Muertos, Los Guarros, Divididos, Ilya
The Valderramas, Andre's Calamaro, Lumumba, Los Tres, Mercedes
Gieco, Daniel Viglietti, Vicente Feliu', Rhytm Activism, Rage
Machine, Aztla'n Underground, Indigo Girls, Quetzal, Ozomatli,
Browne, Los Skarnales, King Chango', Sepultura.
We also know of groups
and performers in Ireland, Greece, Nicaragua, Cuba,
Canada, and many others in Italy, the United States, the State
France, Brazil, Germany and Mexico, whom we have heard about
mountains of the Mexican southeast, but whose music has not reached
There are many others who have spoken about us, have sung for
us and who
have made themselves heard for us.
Thanks to all those musicians,
men and women, who, in Mexico and all over
the world, have echoed the zapatista "Ya Basta!"
Once we have won, we are
going to organize a super-mega-magna-hyper concert
for everyone, with no time limits...and free! (You're kidding!
to end up playing only the San Jose marimba).
Vale. Salud and, doesn't
the morning also arrive through song?
>From the mountains
of the Mexican Southeast.
Mexico, February of 1999.