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Narco News 2001

Day Three of Zapatista Caravan...

From Puebla, the City of Angels...

50,000 Chant...

"¡Culeros!" Rock Groups in TV "Peace Concert"

Carlos Santana Says He Won't Play For It

Puebla Square "Filled Like Never Before"

...While European Parliament says:

"Keep Your Promises, Mr. Fox"


A Narco News Bulletin Special Report

By Al Giordano from Puebla, Mexico

The world is living immediate history through Mexico, again, because of the Zapatistas, on a 14-day Caravan to Mexico City to demand indigenous autonomy from the federal Congress.

Last night, Tuesday, February 27th, the Central Square of the City of Angels, Puebla, capital of the State of Puebla, was filled like never before to greet the 24 Zapatista Delegates on their way to Mexico City.

The seven indigenous ethnic groups - comprising one million of the state's five million citizens - were heavily represented. They came by truck, car, horse and foot to the state capital, all the ethnic groups: hñahñúes, tepehuas, popolocas, mixtecos, totnacos, mazatecos y nahuas. There, they and the Zapatistas were received by tens of thousands of youths, and a local reception committee dominated by poblanos (people from Puebla) under thirty, most closer to twenty. And it was, so far, the best-organized, most heavily-attended act along the Zapatista Caravan route. About two-thirds of the young organizers were women.

This is the new Mexico, and the hope for Mexico's future. Indeed, kind reader, if you have been reading these pages, then you have at least listened to the theory that this movement represents all of América's future.

The future has a name: Autonomy.

It has a route: Struggle.

It has an engine: Youth.

It has a brain: Experience.

And, most importantly, it has a heart.

That heart has a history: Indigenous.

And as Subcomandante Marcos, born Mestizo, said in the city of Tehuacan, flanked by 23 masked Zapatista comandantes of the Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol and Tojolabal ethnic groups, before arriving in Puebla's capital: "Who are the indigenous? The indigenous are those of us who remember... "

Every victorious revolution in human history has shared one factor: Youth, at the front lines of an inter-generational movement. So when the 40-something Subcomandante Marcos; and the (returned?) fifty-something Zapatista advisor Fernando Yáñez Muñoz, now coordinating the indigenous movement's negotations with the federal congress; and the eighty-something Felix Serdan, guerrilla of the 1950s and '60s of Zapata's state of Morelos; and a silver-haired indigenous leader from the Sierra Norte, Rufina; and the young firebrand of the Indigenous National Congress Cándida Jiménez (and U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone and Mexican television and movie actress Ofelia Medina were also alongside the rally stage last night) are joined - and in fact organized by - the youth of Puebla, something is happening here.

(Our valued "of counsel" General at Narco News, the 90-something member of the Indigenous National Congress, don Andrés Vasquez Santiago, is covering the events in the state of Hidalgo tonight as we translate and write this report from last night. We have just heard from him by telephone, and before we sleep, we will post the exciting news from the State of Hidalgo, with massive attendance by 20,000 members of an isolated indigenous community supporting the Zapatistas, even as a rainstorm struck. See page one of for the next update.)

Meanwhile, this same Tuesday, the General Strike Committee (CGH) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and other movements, national and international, offered creative protests against the World Economic Forum in the Caribbean tourist resort of Cancún. See the Chiapas Indy Media page for the horrible but true facts: Mexico president Vicente Fox was at the forum, trying to convince the indifferent world economic tyrants that the Zapatista Caravan was his idea, but contradicted by his own Federal Preventive Police Force (PFP) that brutalized peaceful demonstrators gathered against the neoliberal conclave in Cancún. Journalists were beaten bloody. One demonstrator, a Oaxaca native, disappeared, Tlalteloco massacre-style, after being arrested by police. As Fox speaks of "change" in Mexico, now even the pristine beaches of Cancún are covered with the blood of of regimes past and present.

As, on this same Tuesday, the U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher mumbled that Washington hopes the Zapatista Caravan leads to peace negotiations, while claiming his government does not meddle in Mexican affairs. Yet still, the US permits the 1970s dark fixer for Pinochet in Chile, Jeffrey Davidow, to continue as ambassador to Mexico. And since Fox's February 16th meeting with US President George W. Bush in Mexico, his administration has turned newly aggressive and disingenuous regarding the Zapatista Caravan and the San Andrés Peace Accords, yet to be complied with by the government that signed them in Chiapas. Washington doesn't meddle in Mexican affairs? If anyone believes that, we would love to publish your opinion as a dissenting view.

The European Parliament, however, receiving Mexican Secretary of State Jorge Castañeda today in Brussels, informed: It wants Fox to comply with his campaign promises. And it will be sending delegates to Mexico City March 11th to greet the Zapatista Delegates at the Zócalo.

There is more, much more, and the list of "culeros" (it means, roughly, "treasonous assholes") grows as the Zapatista Caravan disproves, right here, right now, the lies of years of official propaganda that claimed Zapatismo is an isolated movement.

Today, Zapatismo roars.

Today, more than at any commercially-fueled TV concert, the Zapatistas rock.

When, last night, one of the young organizers of Puebla at the microphone, awaiting the arrival of the Zapatista Delegates, mentioned the Televisa-Azteca "Concert for Peace" and the rock groups Maná and Los Jaguares who will perform at the March 3rd televised "peace concert," complete with Woodstock-style logo, as parodied here:

...the youths in the crowd, tens of thousands, shouted spontaneously: "¡Culeros! ¡Cooooolerooooohhhhs!," again and again. (Televisa stock, by the way, fell by two percent in the New York Stock Exchange today, the day after.)

And as icing on the rebel cake, Mexican-American musician Carlos Santana, who at the Woodstock 1994 concert, in a t-shirt featuring Emiliano Zapata and the Virgin of Guadelupe, announced, "my heart is with Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas," was also in Mexico on Tuesday. He was in his hometown in the State of Jalisco. There, he made lie of the Televisa-Azteca Maná-Jaguares claim that he would perform at the March 3rd televised "peace concert." He handled it diplomatically. "I've promised my wife and children I would be a full-time father and husband this year," said the rock legend. But, still, he broke all illusion, offered by the TV propagandists and the nefarious business interests that own and direct both national TV networks, that he would perform at this spurious event. Not so, said Carlos Santana. ¡Oye Como Va!

Today's steep fall of Televisa in the New York Stock Exchange cannot be exclusively blamed on its naked attempt, with "competitor" TV Azteca, to co-opt the indigenous movement through a televised rock concert by musicians now seen as culeros by their former fans. In fact, most Mexican industries fell in the international Stock Markets today, owing to a statement made by US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan that the question of interest rates will not be tackled by the Fed until March 20th. As predicted by Narco News on January 21st, in our translation of La Jornada columnist Jaime Avilés, the peso would fall in relation to the dollar during the Zapatista Caravan, as it fell today, due to a blatant attempt by economic powers to create chaos in the wake of the immediate history - a lame attempt to blame the poor for the consequences of the decisions of the rich.

The Zapatista Caravan has frightened the powerful, so accustomed to giving orders and to having them obeyed.

In the next few days, Narco News will begin its "Culero Watch 2001" page, listing each and every of the "treasonous assholes" - hey, we're just reporting what was said! - who, through their public statements, have revealed their fear of the writing on the wall: Now is the moment of arrival for the indigenous movement - and the local and individual autonomy for which it stands. Or, as Marcos said in Tehuacan, Puebla, yesterday morning: The San Andrés Accords, if faithfully complied with, mean "that the indigenous will no longer take orders from anyone."

The neo-culeros have lately voiced one last line of defense. They say, "Marcos is not leading an indigenous movement. He is leading a revolutionary movement that is aimed at the entire citizenry."

We ask, could there realistically be any difference between the two?

Here are some translations and reports from Days Three (and some still from Day Two) of the Zapatista Caravan, published below.

From somewhere in a country called América,

That is to say, from the state of autonomy,

Al Giordano


The Narco News Bulletin

Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

Words of the EZLN in Tehuacan

Indigenous Náhuatl, Popoloc, Mixtec, Totonac and
Mazatec Brothers and Sisters Who Are Gathered Today
In Tehuaca (Tehuacán), Puebla:

Brothers and Sisters of Tehuacán Civil Society:

We want to thank all of you for the honor you are extending us by receiving
us on your lands.

We, the zapatistas, know the historic role that the indigenous of these
lands have played throughout the history of Mexico, and that is why we are
all trying now to understand our history as indigenous. And that is why we
have to search in our memory.

The indigenous of our lands recount that, a very long time ago, men were
not men, but rather birds of many colors, of varied songs and of high

And these birds did many and varied things.

For example, it was the birds who touched things in the world and went
about painting their colors. Because in its beginning the world was gray,
and it was these birds which gifted it with color.

And there were others, for example, who let loose their song wherever they
went, and they were so beautiful that they turned into other birds and flew
from one place to the other, singing songs that birthed songs. Because in
its beginning the world was mute, and it was these birds which gifted it
with music.

And there were some others who made trails and they walked them over and
over so they would turn into path, and in that way no one would lose the
route or destination of their flight. Because in its beginning the world
had neither route nor destination in its flight.

And other birds were born and broke the silences. And so they gave sound
and word to the world. Because in its beginning the world had neither
sounds nor silences, it was only noise.

With the world painted, the paths drawn, the silences and sounds set, these
birds made themselves men so the thousand colors the world had painted
could be seen, so the paths with route and destination could be trod, so
the silences could be heard and spoken and the sounds and words lived which
had been thought and felt.

Because our most ancient recount that words are sounds which are lived, not
the noise which fills.

Brothers and Sisters:

We are indigenous, and many people ask who the indigenous are.

We, the indigenous, are the guardians of history.

In our memory we guard all colors, all routes, all words and all silences.

We live so that memory might live, and, living, not be lost.

We, the indigenous, are those who, based on the color we are of the earth,
paint the first colors of the many which live in the world.

We, the indigenous, are those who signal the time from which we came, our
past living today so that it will not be lost and we will not be lost.

We are also those who auger tomorrow which is to come, with more and all
colors and the common destiny of all we auger.

We, the indigenous, are those who make the silence and also those who
unmake it with words which look at both sides. That, and nothing else, is
what history is.

And if, before, we were birds of many colors, of varied and high flight,
now we indigenous are guarding that memory so that human beings might once
again be the great color which all colors contain, the singers of all
sounds, and those of many and high flights.

And, if someone asks who we indigenous in Mexico are, all of us shall

We, the indigenous, are both those who walk the path and the path itself,
we are those who are walking today so that Mexico shall not become lost and
so that it can then become, with everyone and in enough time, the nation of
all colors, the one of multiple songs, the one of high flights.

Thank you Brothers and Sisters of Tehuacán!

Vivan the Mexican Indigenous!

Vivan All Mexicans!

From Tehuacán, Puebla.

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

Mexico, February of 2001.

Words of the EZLN in Puebla

February 27, 2001.
In Puebla, Puebla.

Indigenous Brothers and Sisters Gathered Today in
Puebla de los Angeles, Puebla:

Brothers and Sisters of Puebla Civil Society:

Worker and Campesino Brothers and Sisters:

Brothers and Sisters from the Barzón:

Town of Puebla:

Through my voice speaks the voice of the Zapatista Army of National

We wish to say that it is an honor for us, the zapatistas, to be able to
set foot on the dignified Puebla soil.

Because flourishing on Puebla soil is the wise struggle of the indigenous,
of the workers, of the campesinos, of the teachers, of the students, of the
housewives, of neighbors, of honest religious men and women, of
professional persons, of the employed, of small and mid-sized business
owners, of debtors, of committed artists and intellectuals, of homosexuals
and lesbians, of women, of the old ones, of the youth, of the children.

So much wisdom and so much dignity will undoubtedly make us, the
zapatistas, better.

That is why we have come to Puebla.

To learn from you.

Thank you for allowing us to be students of the great lesson you give those
who walk this land and these times.

Thank you Puebla!

We wish to pay our regards to the memory of two people from Puebla who died
some time ago in order to give voice to those of us had no voice. I am
speaking of Julieta Glockner and Francisco Cabrera Huerta.

Brothers and Sisters:

We have reached the gates of the Valley of Mexico.

From here forward, our march, the March of Indigenous Dignity, the march of
the color of the earth, will begin to make a circle around the valley where
the Powers reside.

This circle will be extended from these Puebla lands, and, tracing their
arch of dignity by the states of Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Guanajuato,
Michoacán and the State of Mexico, it will be closed in the lands of our
General Emiliano Zapata, in the state of Morelos.

With the circle complete, we shall make our entrance into Mexico City.

The final circle of the March of Indigenous Dignity, the march of the color
of the earth, begins, then, in Puebla.

That is why we have chosen, at the beginning of this final circle, to have
a word spoken which looks very far ahead.

A word which might not, perhaps, find its true meaning immediately.

A word which requires time and wind in order to find its place in the heart
of the all that we are.

A word which speaks tomorrow.

A word which comes from very far back and, because of that, walks very far
ahead of us.

A word which is greater than us and which, nonetheless, must be spoken.

A word which is only spoken together, which demands that everyone walk it
in order for it to be able to be pronounced.

"Dignity" is how this word speaks.

And dignity is a bridge.

It needs two sides which, being different, distinct and distant, are made
one by the bridge, without ceasing to be different and distinct, but
ceasing, then, to be distant.

When the bridge of dignity is extended, the We that we are speaks, and the
Other which we are not speaks.

The One and the Other are on the bridge which is dignity.

And the One is not more or better than the Other, nor is the Other more or
better than the One.

Dignity demands that we be We.

But Dignity is not our only being ourselves.

The Other is necessary for there to be dignity.

Because we are always Ourselves in relation to the Other.

And the other is Other in relation to ourselves.

Dignity is, therefore, a looking.

A looking at Ourselves, who are also looking at the Other looking at
themselves and looking at us.

Dignity is, therefore, recognition and respect.

Recognition of what we are and respect for that which we are, yes, but also
recognition of what the other is and respect for what the other is.

Dignity is, therefore, bridge and looking and recognition and respect.

Therefore dignity is tomorrow.

But tomorrow cannot be if it is not for everyone, for those who are We, and
for those who are Other.

Dignity is, therefore, a house which includes the Other and Ourselves.

Dignity is, therefore, a house with one single floor, where we and the
other have our own places - which is what life is - and nothing else, but
the same house.

Therefore dignity should be the world, a world where many worlds fit.

Dignity, therefore, does not yet exist.

Therefore dignity is yet to come.

Dignity, therefore, is struggling so that dignity might finally be the

A world where all worlds fit.

Therefore dignity is, and it is to come.

It is the path to travel.

Dignity is tomorrow.

Brothers and Sisters:

When we speak of indigenous dignity, we are speaking of what we are as
indigenous, and of what the other is who is not like us.

Indigenous dignity is not dominating the other who is not indigenous,
subjecting him, destroying him, humiliating him, ignoring him, forgetting

Indigenous dignity is a bridge which needs the other side in order to
extend itself to, an other in order to look at him and to be looked at.

When we speak of the March of Indigenous Dignity, we are speaking of the
indigenous who see ourselves as indigenous, without shame, without
embarrassment, without sadness, without the death of what we are.

When we speak of the March of Indigenous Dignity, we are also speaking of
the indigenous whom we are being looked at, respected, by the

When we speak of the March of Indigenous Dignity, we are also speaking of
the indigenous whom we are seeing and looking at the non-indigenous, we are
respecting them.

The March of Indigenous Dignity cannot be just by the indigenous.

The March for Indigenous Dignity must be the march of the indigenous and
the non-indigenous.

Only in that way shall we be able to build the house, which is how it is
called to the world, where all of us who are equal because we are different

Brothers and Sisters:

The most ancient indigenous recount many stories about the world's past.

One of them tells us that, in the beginning, when time was not yet time in
the course of time, everything was darkness and obscurity and silence and
sadness in the world.

The people of that time had already become accustomed to living in that

But then the time did indeed arrive when time began to walk, and the sun
and music were birthed.

At those times, the sun would sometimes cover itself up so it would not get
cold, and, since the sun's covers had many holes, pieces of light pierced

Our most former forebears called it "day" when the sun went about

And "night" they called the many-holed covers which protected the sun from
the cold.

And "stars" they called the many holes which pierced the night.

Along with the day and the night, arrived music and, with it, joy.

That came to pass, as our most former forebears recount.

And they also recount how, when that came to pass, there were people who
were afraid, and they set about digging deep holes, or they surrounded
themselves with large rocks.

They did that so their eyes, accustomed to the dark and to the obscurity,
would not be hurt by the light.

They did that so their ears, accustomed to the noise of sadness, would not
be pained by the joy of music.

Among these people who did so, recount the most former forebears, one of
them finally died of sadness, hidden as she was in her holes.

Another died when the great rocks of arrogance fell on top of her, instead
of protecting her.

There were, however, also those who learned to see and to listen, not to
the new, because it was already there, but to the good.

Because the world teaches that things are not good or bad in themselves,
but rather, when we touch them, we make them either good or bad.

The new man is, in reality, the same old man, but he is made good through
touching things with dignity, with respect.

Brothers and Sisters:

The March of Indigenous Dignity has caused some to set about digging deep
holes or to trying to protect themselves by closing themselves off,
surrounded by large rocks.

The fact is they are accustomed to not looking at the other who we are.

And, therefore, when we make ourselves light of the shadow we are, we hurt
their eyes, and our word is music which wounds their ears.

But there are those who are learning to see the good that is this march.

They are learning and we are learning to look and to look at ourselves, to
speak and to listen, to speak to ourselves and to listen to ourselves.

They are learning, and we are learning, then, to be dignified.

And so all that remains is to choose: either we learn, together, to be
dignified, or we shall die and be outraged alone.

Our most sincere condolences to those who choose not to look at us and not
to listen to us.

Long life to those of us who, all together, are learning to live.

Because to live without dignity is to be quite dead.

Salud to ourselves and to the other!

Salud Puebla!


From Puebla de los Angeles, Puebla.

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

Mexico, February of 2001.

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada
Translated by irlandesa

La Jornada
Tuesday, February 27, 2001.

Even Punk Anarchists at Rally for Zapatistas in Oaxaca

Hermann Bellinghausen, correspondent.
Oaxaca, Oaxaca.
February 26, 2001.

"How fantastic for those who are up high," the child said, smiling.

In front of the cathedral filled from one street to the other, with the
zapatista delegation in the grandstand extending to the back, the child,
who was short, like so many from Oaxaca, and who couldn't see over the
crowd, was speaking, happily, without any hint of frustration in his voice,
to an older man, an indigenous like him, but not as short.

He was looking up, at the eyes of those who were managing to see the
platform, and he was listening, listening carefully, and feeling the

"Caps, caps!" a man selling ski-masks at 30 pesos each had been crying a
little before, among the rivers of people squeezed together. Indigenous,
mestizos and a variety of foreigners, but most especially indigenous, had
been gathering since 3 in the afternoon in order to receive the most
anticipated visitors for many years in old Antequera.

The radio news, the painted walls, flyers on posts, government statements,
television reality and even Radio Bemba, word of mouth - all had been
talking of nothing else these last few days. And today it was the only
issue in the city. From the most spectacular local punk anarchists to the
thousands of Triquis lined up, brought by the Unifying Movement of Triqui
Liberation (MULT), the entire gathering to the great disquiet of the
government, the big caciques, the owning class and their soundboxes. They
are not, in fact, over the scare yet.

The fact that Subcomandante Marcos was on the road, that close to three
thousand people were following the EZLN delegation through the Isthmus and
the Sierra, and that tomorrow the caravan would be heading for Mixteca:
this was all capturing the attention of the state PRI and the federal Fox
governments to the highest possible degree. The Government Palace wasn't
working, today it remained close.

At the close of this edition, the zapatista comandancia delegation was
spending the night in the Oaxaca Church House, in the Reforma neighborhood.
A group of shamans and witch doctors went there to perform a cleansing
ritual for the Comandantes and for Subcomandante Marcos, and they were
quite serious about cleansing the bad vibrations. Nonetheless, to the
relief of Governor Murat and the wide network of federal and state police,
undercover and uncovered, the zapatistas left very early this morning, and
Oaxaca returned to normalcy.

The Powers: Nerves on Edge

The hot potato of the national indigenous mobilization had left Juchitán
early this morning, under the worrisome signal of a new death threat
denounced by the EZLN. According to a new anonymous note, a known gang of
thugs would be attacking the zapatistas in Jalapa de Marqués. When the
caravan passed through that town, a few hours later, hundreds of smiling
children and young people positioned themselves by the side of the road in
order to say goodbye to them.

A Federal Preventive Police helicopter was flying in circles from one side
of the highway to the other. The zapatistas' bus and the trail of
automobiles belonging to civil society, journalists, Federal Highway Police
and a number of cops and spies made up the first part of the caravan.

Separated by a few kilometers from this group, some 60 buses and trucks
were travelling with indigenous organizations, students, a mixed bag of
civil society, Italians, US citizens, French persons, chiapanecos,
Tlaxcaltecas and Chilangos, at a less crazed speed. The real caravan.

The press and the police, as well as military and Department of Government
intelligence, go out every morning to risk their necks in pursuit of the
bus, while the Federal Highway Police do not allow anyone to overtake it.
The highways are always closed to traffic going in the opposite direction,
and so trailers and trucks wait at the side of the road.

From Tehuantepec, without making any stops, the caravan plowed through
Oaxaca, disembarking at the Alameda de Leon in the state capital, where,
according to the local radio station, only absolute cholos, gang members
and students who weren't in school were waiting for the chiapaneco rebels,
in addition to members of organizations "which did not represent Oaxaca
society." People, according to the announcers, "who still believe in
Communism" and are "mixed-up or manipulated." Otherwise, what could be the

The True Welcome

In Camarón, and also in Oaxaca, a banner: "Viva Fox! Viva Marcos! Viva
peace!" It was the exception. All the banners, walls and shouts were for
the EZLN. Children from the schools in the communities along the route
formed fences at the sides of the asphalt ribbon, cheering the EZLN and

In Tehuantepec, the Bishop without a Diocese, Arturo Lona, an essential
figure in the Isthmus and its struggles, had prepared a hundred students to
cordon off the Comandantes and to cheer them on during the welcoming event
provided by part of the population in a dance hall. In much greater
number, another part of the residents spilled out on to the highway,
forming a bridge over the Tehuantepec River (or what's left of it).

Scenes such as these were repeated in almost all the towns along the 220
kilometer route. But the zapatistas received the real welcome in the
Alameda of the capital.

There the presence of young people was marked. Joining the indigenous of
the Oaxaca towns were students and punks of a variety of styles and
attitudes worthy of the great urban centers. Marcos' presence was key for
this segment of the public. They showed their impatience with the other
speakers and cheered the Subcomandante when he spoke.

But these adolescents were only accompanying the thousands of campesinos
who were demanding the approval of the indigenous rights and culture law,
supported by the EZLN. Mixtecs, Triquis, Mazatecos, Zapotecos from the
Sierra, Chatinos, Chinantecos, Mixes, Amuzgos, had all come here, despite
the fact that it was the time to plant their fields and to harvest coffee
in their communities, dispersed throughout the four directions of the

Comandanta Yolanda said to them: "The Oaxaca indigenous have made all
indigenous feel proud to be so." Adelfo Regino, a Mixtec lawyer and member
of the CNI, said: "We are living in privileged times. A time to have one
single heart." And he expressed his support for the zapatistas and "the
comprehensive rebuilding of our peoples."

Presented by Tzeltal Comandante Abraham, Subcomandante Marcos stated the
march's purpose: "So that it is no longer a crime to think like an

The indigenous peoples were referred to as a guarantor for the conservation
of the nation and its resources: "There will no longer be either a
Puebla-Panama Plan, or a Trans-Isthmus Project, or anything which means the
destruction of the house of the indigenous."

The tree that is Mexico depends on the strength of its roots. In Marcos'
speech, and in the short tale of the first gods, which he illustrated in
the Oaxaca manner, the idea emerged of indigenous autonomy as the nation's

Dignity Means Tomorrow