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October 28, 2001

Narco News 2001

Shadows & Light

Communiqué on the Assassination of

Mexico Human Rights Attorney Ochoa

By Subcomandante Marcos

Publisher's Commentary: The unsolved crime of the assassination of Mexican human rights attorney Digna Ochoa y Plácido strikes at the conscience of the world and at the credibility of the regime of Mexican President Vicente Fox. Ochoa's assassination had been threatened many times before. The attorney for ecologists Rudolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera -- framed drug war prisoners -- and for dubiously accused young activists charged with the August bombings of Banamex branches in Mexico City -- in protest of the bank's sale to Citigroup -- Ochoa had been kidnapped, tortured, left tied to a chair in a house with the gas turned on, meant to explode, but had miraculously escaped death many times. The Fox government and its backers in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City knew her life was in danger, did nothing to protect her or to find her assailants, and two Fridays ago their negligence wrought her assassination.

This is the first public statement by Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos since April 2001. We re-publish it here to, once again, share with the English-speaking world the sentiments of the other Mexico -- not of narco-bankers and cynical politicians -- but the Mexico of the people, the Mexico from below.

Translated by irlandesa

To the relatives of Digna Ochoa y Plácido:

To the members of the Miguel Agustín Pro Human Rights Center:

Brothers and sisters:

I am writing you in the name of the old ones, children, men and women of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

We have just heard of the assassination of Digna Ochoa y Plácido, so long foretold and so irresponsibly discounted. The crime that blotted out this life reaches and is enough to shock any honest person into indignation. When social fighters are eliminated, the Powers hold parties, sport their best finery, and let drop a few coins so that their charity might purchase indifference. There is no change above other than that dictated by fashion, and, below, injustice and poverty are repeated in faces and steps. There will be sadness and anger below, but no longer will there be impotence.

The crime committed against Digna will most certainly cast a shadow over the steps of all those men and women who have made the defense of human rights their path and goal.

But we must everywhere build that collective light which will dispel that shadow, and which will prevent the clock from once again marking the yesterdays of impunity, cynicism and indifference, which are nothing but the clothing of forgetting.

We cannot find the words that would serve, at the same time, to hurt and to relieve the grief that is veiling our, and your, eyes, but not our course.

Anyway, our silence goes as timid embrace, because you know that you are accompanied in silence as well.

Vale. Salud and long life to she who carried vocation and destiny in name.

For the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee - General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, October of 2001.

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"What we seek, what we need and want, is that all the people without a political party, without an organization, come to agreement in what we want and what we don't want, and organize themselves to achieve it (preferibly for civil and peaceful means), to to take power, but to exercize it. I know that you will say that this is utopian. But that is the style of the Zapatistas."

-- Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos