Narco News 2001
March 8, 2001
Zapata's Hometown of Anenecuilco...
News to AP's Distorter Patterson
It's the Struggle,
By Al Giordano
the Zapatista Caravan snaked its way into
the state of Morelos, local political bosses, known as caciques,
attempted to prohibit the entry of the 24 EZLN delegates into
the museum space built around the ruins of the humble one-room
adobe house where General Emiliano Zapata was born.
Local PRI party bosses Pablo Torres Chávez,
Héctor Plascencia Ayala and Alfredo Acevedo convened a
meeting of 20 citizens of the city of Ayala - where the neighborhood
of Zapata's birth, Anenecuilco, is located - and made up fantastic
stories of what the indigenous Zapatista rebels planned to do
in their town.
According to the local bosses, the 20,000
armed Zapatista soldiers were going to arrive and steal historic
documents and artifacts from the museum that is the pride of
the town. The 20 citizens then voted to ban the planned Zapatista
Further causing the late General Zapata
to turn in his tomb in nearby Cuautla, Morelos, the local bosses
then invited Mexican President Vicente Fox, of the PAN party,
to come in place of the Zapatistas.
But the story doesn't end there. On March
2nd, Civil Society in Anenecuilco stepped forward to correct
the facts. Members of the community convened a second, larger,
meeting and explained that there would be 23 Zapatista comandantes
plus one subcomandante, that they would be unarmed, and that
the last thing they would ever wish to do is dishonor the site
of their hero, for whom the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
The citizens of the town repudiated the
local bosses and voted to issue a formal invitation welcoming
the Zapatista rebels to visit their town and enter the Zapata
Museum as honored guests, and invited the Zapatista delegates
to please sign the guest book while there.
The Zapatistas visted the general's birthplace
this morning without incident.
"We don't come here to take the name
of Zapata away from where he was born and where he will always
live," Marcos told the assembled. "We're not here to
usurp a history that belongs to everyone. He goes forward and
we march behind. General Emiliano Zapata taught us not to fight
for power because power rots the blood and darkens the mind.
We will never come to be Emiliano Zapata, but we will always
strive to do so... Salud always to the blood of the General in
Chief Emiliano Zapata!"
The people of Anenecuilco then made a
gift to Marcos and the Zapatista delegates: A piece of the earth
below the home where Zapata was born, to carry with them on their
journey to Mexico City.
from Zapata Son and Daughter
During the visit to Zapata's homeland,
two of the late General's children broke with their big-mouthed,
government-paid little brother, Mateo Zapata, who on a television
program attacked the Zapatistas as "delinquents." Mateo
has long been on the payroll of the PRI regime and now of the
Fox regime of the PAN.
His older sister, Ana María Zapata,
told the press that she shares the Zapatista goals and hopes
for an invitation to accompany the EZLN to Mexico City. The goals
of her father, she said, are those of today's Zapatistas.
Zapata, with brother Diego, greet Marcos
At this morning's ceremony, Diego Zapata,
pictured here with Marcos, also came to welcome the Zapatistas.
photo was taken by Associated Press.
Unfortunately, one of the "journalists"
assigned by AP to cover the caravan has done little except trivialize,
lobotomize and make superficial the agency's coverage of this
The "reporter," to our knowledge
new to AP, and filling in, we suppose, for the often fair and
never boring Mark Stevenson, is none other than Wendy Patterson,
who wrote to Narco News last June to defend corrupted
journalism that protects drug-traffickers and bankers.
In a hysterical, barely coherent rant
to this publication, which we published
uncensored last June, in which she hung her own credibility
from her own gallows, Patterson defended her friend Sam
Dillon, now ex-bureau chief of the New York Times in Mexico.
Apparently unconcerned that Dillon had withheld information from
New York Times readers about drug trafficking on the properties
of Banamex owner and free speech opponent Roberto Hernández
Ramírez, Patterson offered a screeching conspiracy theory
against Narco News for criticizing Dillon: "One
has to wonder what interests are really behind your rag, the
so-called Narconews? Or are you just jealous of first-rate journalists?"
In her recent coverage
of the Zapatista Caravan, Patterson has revealed herself to be
anything but first-rate. Her coverage has been dreadful, even
making an exciting march sound boring.
Check out today's AP story
in which Patterson touched upon issues that she neither understands
nor can explain:
From AP: Zapatista leader
Subcomandante Marcos criticized Mexico's bankers on Wednesday,
saying that they were the biggest threat to the country's indigenous
Speaking to hundreds of
supporters in Cuautla, 45 miles south of Mexico City, Marcos
accused the country's bankers of wanting to exploit the land
by extracting precious resources.
"They want to construct
and administer centers of diversion where the peasants and the
indigenous would be clowns," he said.
He also attacked President
Vicente Fox's plan to bring more development to the country's
poor southern states.
"Instead of using
riches to support poor peasants and small business owners ...
Fox has a plan to use the money to support those who want to
fill the land with gas stations, malls and plastic playlands,"
Marcos is leading a two-week
trek through Mexico to build support for an Indian rights and
autonomy bill. He and hundreds of supporters are scheduled to
arrive Sunday in Mexico City, where they will lobby Congress
for passage of the bill.
Marcos' repeated attacks
drew the criticism of Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, a congressional
leader from Fox's party.
"The discussion has
been about nothing," Hinojosa told the state-run news agency,
Notimex. He said the rebel leader's speeches have been based
on "insults, and I know that you can't win with those...."
First of all, Narco News had eight correspondents
on the scene in Cuautla yesterday, half of them Mexican, three
of them indigenous. Where Patterson claims there were only "hundreds"
present, there were in fact many thousands.
Why this blatant distortion
from the AP stringer when thousands of witnesses exist to disprove
Second, although Patterson
does mention the Zapatista critique of Mexico's fraudulent bankers,
she does not report what the critique is based upon, other than
a vague reference to the bankers "wanting to exploit the
land by extracting precious resources."
Marcos, in his Cuautla
"The Mexican countryside's
most dangerous enemy is not the land invasions, but the bankers.
"The ones provoking
destabilization in rural Mexico are not agrarian reform advocates,
but the usurious banks."
The subcomandante explained
that the interest rates (often over 20 percent per year and sometimes
more) of the bankers, protected by the government, have destroyed:
peasant farmers without land, impoverished and dislocated communal
farmers, small time business owners and those who have never
been able to obtain anything other than insults, contempt, deceit
and sorrow: the Mexican indigenous."
"The neoliberal reforms
to Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution did not bring security
to small and mid-size property. They did not promote investment
in the countryside. They did not improve the lives of
ejiditarios and comuneros. The anti-zapatista reforms to Article
27 were made so that powerful bankers would have legal protection
for their thefts and dislocations.
"The bankers are
not interested in whether or not the land produces. They have
no interest in working it or planting it or harvesting food from
"They are interested
in it in order to sell it, in order to speculate with it, in
order to destroy it, trying to extract what it conceals in its
bosom: oil, uranium and other minerals. In order to exploit what
gives life: wood and water, and in order to build and run entertainment
centers where the campesinos and indigenous are the clowns.
"They are wrong,
those from above, if they think we are going to remain with our
arms crossed while the law and the thief join up together and,
together, destroy the land which is mother.
And Marcos concluded his
words by saying:
"Brothers and Sisters:
"We who are the color
of the earth, we are string in the bow of history.
"At times slack,
we are the bowstring which guards and waits.
"At times drawn,
we are the bowstring that shall let fly the arrow we are.
"The hour to be drawn
has come, but with everyone.
"Only thus will our
desire be able to reach far, to there, to the morning.
"Down with usury
and crime! Viva forever Emiliano Zapata!"
Marcos didn't just attack
the banks for wanting natural resources; in fact he accused them
of not being interested in cultivating the most "precious
resources" to use Patterson's term: food for the people.
He called the bankers usurious and mentioned how they are protected
by "those from above" which includes, apparently, Associated
Press, for allowing this poor excuse for a "journalist"
to distort immediate history in which the boring Patterson does.
When Patterson quotes
a congressman from Fox's PAN party, saying, "This discussion
has been about nothing," she might as well be reporting
about her own coverage of the Caravan, clearly aimed to make
it seem to be "about nothing."
The cub reporter for AP, previous defender of the disgraced
NY Times bureau and its cover-up for the very bankers mentioned
by Marcos yesterday, however, had the bad timing to attempt her
unethical distortions just as La Jornada of Mexico City
interviewed scholar Noam Chomsky about the Zapatista Caravan
and the lack of serious coverage it receives in the United States
Chomsky spoke of the global
significance of the EZLN caravan and its worldwide potential:
"It is this potential
for solidarity and mutual aid that frightens the cupolas in the
United States and other countries, indicated Chomsky. 'The business
and political worlds are trying everything to avoid that this
happens.' As an example he cited the reduced coverage of the
Zapatista march that the mass media of the United States have
offered. This, he said, is a conscious decision to evade the
development of these connections. "They like to characterize
these movements as marginalized and crazy Non-Governmental Organizations,
but they know very well that it is not the truth," he said.
"The social movements
that don't participate in the institutional channels of politics
- called extra-parlimentary - are those that generate political
changes," Chomsky said. For example, he indicated, 'if the
San Andrés Accords succeed in being passed and applied
within the parliamentary circuit, it will be the result of a
social struggle that promoted this change from outside of the
institutional political circuit.'"
Chomsky was speaking of
the very kind of false and deceitful "journalism" from
above that Patterson attempts to get away with.
Our message to Patterson:
You didn't get away with it, and never will. It's the struggle,
The Struggle, Stupid!