Sign Up for Free Mailing List

Narco News 2001

20,000 Masked Zapatistas in San Cristóbal...

And They're Off!

Day One

In La Realidad, Marcos delivered his arms to Major Moisés

20,000 Zapatistas march in the streets

Caravan News Briefs Below


Translated from La Jornada of Saturday, February 25, 2001:

La Realidad, Chiapas, February 24. The Tojolabal and Tzeltal comandantes who today left La Realidad stood behind Subcomandante Marcos as he disarmed his panopoly in front of the eyes of the press. Many women of the towns cried quietly over the kerchiefs that cover their faces. They are worred for those who are going, just like on that night of December 31, 1993.

The long day began at 10:44 a.m. when Subcomandante Marcos delivered his guns and bullets to Major Moisés, in the presence of hundreds of Tojolabal peasants, until the night, when at 9 p.m., Jovel, the Royal City of the Colony, was taken peacefully but convincingly by 20,000 indigenous Zapatistas, maked and hard as gravel, shouting "Marcos! Marcos! Marcos!", and demanding with voices and banners compliance with the San Andrés Accords.

From Heart to Heart

A re-beginning to take one step more in their demands faces the nation. This was a special day, historic. With a clamour the indigenous march for peace began. They go to the heart of Mexico, but also come from the heart of Mexico. Seven years later.

Just as in the already not far away first of January of 1994, the indigenous rebels entered Jovel (San Cristóbal) marching from the other side of the shadows. Only this time it wasn´t the armed Zapatistas of the EZLN, but its bases of support, civilians from the entire indigenous region of Chiapas... The inundation that occupied the city paralyzed and fascinated it. The Coleta families watched from seats on the rooves of their houses to see the spectacle that challenged their prejudices. The indians, again.

Only this time the lit-up Central Plaza received them, full of people awaiting without imagining that so many would come. The thousands of people in front of the Cathedral waited for only 24 Zapatistas and not the largest mobilization of masses that San Cristóbal has seen in its history.

...In La Realidad, the women saw their representatives leave with apprehension and hope. They go with the charge of convincing the Congress of the Union to recognize the rights of all the indigenous Mexicans. Comandantes Tacho, Abraham, Fidelia, Míster, with backpacks on, were witnesses: Major Moisés took the bullets, one by one, from the sash of Subcomandante Marcos and put them in a black bag. Next, he received the rifle and the pistol of the rebel chief and a strong hug that doubled his stature.

Marcos walked a few steps toward the journalists, holding up the arms that he had left, saying: "To make it clear that we comply with the dialogue law, we are going unarmed...."

Caravan Newsbriefs

February 25, 2001

Concepción Villafuerte, authentic journalist of San Cristóbal, accompanied the Zapatista delegates from La Realidad to San Cristóbal yesterday, while her husband, Amado Avendaño, also authentic journalist and for six years the "shadow governor" of Chiapas, is in Cancún organizing against the World Economic Forum there.

Various senators and deputies from the federal Congress are accompanying the Zapatista Caravan.

The Zapatistas have named the architect Fernando Yañez Muñoz, who was arrested, imprisoned and accused by the government of being "Comandante Germán" in 1995, as the Zapatista representative to the federal Congress in the effort to gain compliance with the San Andrés Accords.

Participants in the Zapatista Caravan won't be required to pay tolls on federal highways during the march, said the federal office of Roads and Bridges.

Oaxaca Governor José Murat and 30 municipal presidents along the Zapatista Caravan path have declared a "dry law" prohibiting the sale of alcohol from midnight to midnight on Sunday, February 25th. Murat is physically present on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec overseeing security. A rumor, so far unconfirmed, was widely spoken of in that state last night that an anonymous sender of a fax threatening Subcomandante Marcos has been apprehended in Oaxaca City.

Five-Hundred unarmed members of the Federal Preventive Police accompany the caravan, along with other various armed members, in a security operation of the federal government.

115 Non-Governmental Organizations will accompany the Caravan through the state of Oaxaca.

Best commercial US Press Coverage: Friday's Los Angeles Times story on Indigenous Autonomy. It explains the concept of local autonomy. Worst: Saturday's Washington Post story by Kevin Sullivan. It trivializes Indigenous demands and attempts to discredit foreign observers on the caravan as somehow not serious. We wonder how long Mr. Sullivan would last in the jungle as so many of the observers have for weeks, months, some of them for years.

On the Long March of Authentic Journalism