<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
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Marcos: Calderón Will Not Conclude His Term as President Due to Social Unrest

In Sinaloa, the Zapatista Leader Warns That the Country is On the Verge of a Crisis

By Javier Valdez Cardenas
La Jornada

October 13, 2006

CULIACÁN, SINALOA, OCTOBER 10TH: “Felipe Calderón Hinojosa will not last six years as president of the Republic due to the social discontent generated from the electoral fraud and the social mobilizations taking place throughout the country,” stated Subcomandante Marcos, from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, by its Spanish initials).

As part of the “Other Campaign,” and before some one hundred fishermen in the community of Dautillos, municipality of Navolato, the so-called “Delegate Zero” claimed that the Calderón Hinojosa will continue the same neo-liberal economic policies that developed under Vicente Fox and Ernesto Zedillo, which would imply the continued dismantling of productive capacity and the looting of national resources.

“What will be the role of the EZLN in this next six years?” he was asked.

“Calderón Hinojosaa,” he responded, evading the question, “will not be able to govern for six years because the country is on the brink of social crisis. There are many of us who don’t recognize that he has gained the electoral process legitimately.”

Marcos criticized the state and federal governments for abandoning cooperative producers, something that has generated poverty and marginalization, and he called the fishermen to organize to seek solutions for their problems.

In the afternoon, Subcomandante Marcos led an assembly with a hundred neighbors from the neighborhood Lombardo Toledano, located in the south of Culiacán.

Leaders of student and professors’ organizations from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS, by its Spanish initials) lamented to “Delegate Zero” that the government doesn’t address their petitions in spite of constant demands and mobilizations. José Luis García, from the Committee of University Struggle (CLU, by its Spanish initials) said that the union at UAS “es charro” (cowboys, roughly translated – who has no allegiance, a loner) and has forgotten to defend the interests of the workers after agreeing with the administration to sign for the end of benefits such as retirement and pension.

“Our union has submitted to neo-liberal politics and our president, Héctor Melesio Cuen, who helped out ‘little Felipe’ in this past election, has hit both workers and students hard by approving the Organic Law, ending the student vote in elections for dean and directors of the school,” he maintained.

Carlos Ramón López Torres, from the Unified Movement of the Retired and Pensioned of the ISSSTE (Social Security and Services Institute of the State Workers), indicated that the federal government wants to make a business of retirement and pensions by trying to end the solidarity system that used to benefit the workers.

“They are the same ones threatening the country’s workers with the privatization of Mexican Petroleum and the Federal Electric Commission”, he commented. Lawyer Bersahí Osuna asked, without getting an answer, the subcomandante, “where the Zapatista movement is going, and said that it seemed that the EZLN is vanishing,” making reference to the smoke coming from Marcos’ pipe, “that it is losing consistency, fading out into emptiness.”

In Los Mochis, in the municipality of Ahome, where Subcomandante Marcos tried to board the California Star ferry, of the Baja Ferries company, to cross to La Paz, Baja California Sur, the general director of the company, Juan Plata Medina, warned that in order to board the craft he will have to identify himself formally and take off the mask, along with those who accompanied him.

“To ask of us the maritime service of transporting Subcomandante Marcos, I want to tell you that it can’t be done, that is identify him as Subcomandante Marcos, and in order for him to board the California Star, he would have to give his name and identify himself upon boarding; there aren’t privileges nor special or extraordinary services in Baja Ferries”, he declared.

In an interview with the newsradio Línea Directa, Plata Medina insisted that if Marcos does not identify himself, he wouldn’t be able to cross in the Baja Ferries crafts.

“Delegate Zero” was trying to board the California Star around midnight on Thursday to cross to Baja California Sur and continue with the Other Campaign. [Update: Baja Ferries Backs Down?]

Marcos further maintained that in Sinaloa – whose State Commission for Human Rights has documented forty-four cases of aggressions against media workers – that it is more dangerous to be a journalist than a guerilla, because of security problems stemming from drug-trafficking and pressure from both the public and political officials.

He commented that in the state “journalists are in the hands of their immediate boss, who can order that an article not be published, and the drug-boss, who might kill if they don’t like an article.”

Recently in Sinaloa many journalists have been killed, among them Gregorio Rodríguez, Ismael Bargueño, and Alfredo Jiménez, who worked in local newspapers and disappeared on April of 2004, whereabouts still unknown.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America