National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case

Ernesto Zedillo @ CNN México

The U.S. State Department on 7 September recognized that Ernesto Zedillo enjoys diplomatic immunity, in light of the case he is faced with due to his presumed responsibility for the Acteal massacre of 1997.

Víctor Hugo López, executive director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), holds that the Las Abejas organization of Acteal was not the one to present the civil demand against Zedillo in New Haven, Connecticut (USA), given that they have their own case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  He believes that the U.S.-Mexican strategy with regard to Zedillo’s immunity sought to avoid the deepening of the actions that both nations undertook during that time toward the end of annihilating the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) by targeting those they considered to be their support-bases.  Hugo López said that the decision is an attempt to “cover not only one person but an entire counterinsurgency strategy that was applied against indigenous communities in Chiapas, as implemented by the Mexican Army, and as advised by the U.S.”

For their part, Roger Kobert and Marc Pugliese, two of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, indicated that they find themselves “very disappointed by the decision of the U.S. State Department” which will prohibit them from “presenting evidence of Zedillo’s responsibility for the 1997 Acteal massacre.”  “Based on the testimony and documents we have collected, we are very sure that the high command of the Zedillo administration were familiar with and directly participated in the conspiracy that led to the Acteal masacre and its cover-up,” they note.

In a press-conference held on 13 September, the Las Abejas Civil Society claimed that “the immunity received by Zedillo in the U.S. is not universal, and for this reason the paths of justice continue, given that one atrocious act should never be forgotten or papered over, though his accomplices and the owners of death protect him.”  The organization affirmed that it will continue “the legal and juridical path” before the IACHR of the Organization of American States (OAS).

For more information (in Spanish):

Pese a inmunidad, debe investigarse a Zedillo por Acteal: Arizmendi(La Jornada, 9 de septiembre de 2012)

Propone EU dar inmunidad a Zedillo por caso Acteal (Proceso, 8 de septiembre de 2012)

EU otorga inmunidad a Ernesto Zedillo por caso Acteal (El Universal, 8 de septiembre de 2012)

La inmunidad al expresidente Zedillo no exime al Estado, dicen defensores (CNN México, 9 de septiembre de 2012)

Frayba: Sobre la inmunidad a Zedillo en la matanza de Acteal (Enlace Zapatista, 7 de septiembre de 2012)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas en conferencia de prensa(13 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Mexican State requests immunity for ex-president Zedillo in Acteal case (12 de enero de 2012)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal distance themselves from demand against ex-president Zedillo (27 September 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican ex-president Zedillo is denounced in US court for the Acteal massacre (26 September 2011)

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