Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords

January 8, 2013

Marcha silenciosa zapatista del 21 de diciembre de 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

Silent Zapatista march on 21 December 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

On 1 January, the 19th anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), governor Manuel Velasco Coello made a call for the observance of the San Andrés Accords regarding indigenous rights and culture.  These agreements were signed by the EZLN and the federal government in 1996.  By means of a public letter, Velasco Coello made public his view of the “vehement silence” of the EZLN during its march through 5 municipalities on 21 December, considering it to be “an opportunity for peace and justice.”  “The ultimate word of Zapatismo is constructive, peaceful, and political; it strengthens plurality,” he noted.  The governor announced a series of actions by the government, including as regards the “tense situation in Zapatista communities such as Comandante Abel and San Marcos Avilés” and the demand for the release of the Tzotzil professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez and that of Fancisco Santiz López (a Zapatista support base from the Tenejapa municipality).  Velasco Coello affirmed that he felt this release is necessary.Beyond this, the governor announced his position regarding two questions having to do with local community conflict: “We will respect the possessions of Zapatista lands that now are being used with social benefit, as regards the respect for all forms of property in land.”  Lastly, he assured that “all state development programs in communities with Zapatista presence will be careful in their propositions and implementation.  It is not our aim to divide communities, but rather to benefit them, to develop them and promote unity among all indigenous peoples of Chiapas.”

Para más información:

Demanda el gobernador de Chiapas cumplir los acuerdos de San Andrés (La Jornada, 2 de enero de 2012)

Chiapas hace un llamado a reconocer los Acuerdos de San Andrés con el EZLN (CNN México, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Carta de MVS al EZLN (Cuarto Poder, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Congreso indígena celebra aniversario del EZLN (El Universal, 1ero de enero de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN (8 January 2013)

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)


Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN

January 8, 2013

Movilización zapatista, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 21 de diciembre de 201 (@SIPAZ)

On 30 December 2012, shortly before the 19th anniversary of its 1994 insurrection, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) released a communique and two letters, one of them directed “to whom it may concern above” and another to Luis H. Alvárez (PAN), former coordinator for the Peace Dialogue in Chiapas and former official in the Department for the Development of Indigenous People.

In these new documents, the EZLN strongly criticizes the different political parties, the federal government (both the former one and the new one, with its president and new cabinet officials), the state and municipal governments, saying that they had all failed in their attempt to resolve indigenous problems.The communique also announces a new series of actions on its part: “IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS THE EZLN, BY MEANS OF ITS SIXTH AND INTERNATIONAL COMMISSIONS, WILL MAKE KNOWN A SERIES OF INITIATIVES, PEACEFUL AND CIVIL, TO CONTINUE COLLABORATING WITH OTHER INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN MEXICO AND THROUGHOUT THE CONTINENT AND ALL THOSE IN MEXICO AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHO RESIST AND STRUGGLE FROM BELOW AND TO THE LEFT.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EL EZLN ANUNCIA SUS PASOS SIGUIENTES. Comunicado del 30 de diciembre del 2012

Carta dirigida “A quién corresponda allá arriba” “No los conocemos” (29 de diciembre de 2012)

Carta a Luis Héctor Álvarez Álvarez (30 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)

National: Reactions by federal and state governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December

December 27, 2012

Inicio de la movilización zapatista en Palenque @ SIPAZ

Beginning of the Zapatista mobilization in Palenque @ SIPAZ

On different occasions, both the federal government and the Chiapas state government have expressed comments about the mass-mobilization of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) that took place on 21 December in 5 cities in Chiapas, as well as on the communique released by the rebel group that same day.  In the name of the federal government, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, secretary of Governance, declared that “they still do not know us; we hope they do not come out too soon, given that President Enrique Peña Nieto has a great commitment to the indigenous peoples.”  In comments published by La Jornada, Osorio Chong added that “President Peña knows of the problems, and for that reason he will support the indigenous peoples and particularly examine the demands of the people of Chiapas.”

For its part, the Chiapas state-government released a press-bulletin affirming that the Zapatista mobilization was carried out peacefully and respectfully.  Furthermore, it reported that it was aware of the communique published by the Zapatista leadership, indicating that on that day “all police units in the State were garrisoned so as to allow for the free flow of mobilization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: “Todavía no nos conocen; no se adelanten”, dice Osorio al EZLN (24/12/2012)

La Jornada: Brindar justicia al EZLN y a indígenas daría legitimidad a Peña Nieto: expertos (24/12/2012)

La Jornada: Zapatistas sí conocen a gobiernos del PRI: réplica a Osorio Chong (26/12/2012)

Proceso: El ominoso silencio de los zapatistas (22/12/2012) Movilizaciones del EZLN fueron pacíficas: gobierno de Chiapas (22/12/2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)

Mexico: EZLN denies connection with Diego Fernandez de Cevallos’ kidnapping

January 7, 2011

Diego Fernandez de Cevallos (

A statement from an alleged member of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) attributed to this group the responsibility for the kidnapping of a PAN politician and former presidential candidate in 1994, Diego Fernandez de Cevallos. A copy of the statement was sent to the Spanish news agency EFE, who released it on January 1st, just 17 years after the Zapatista uprising. The document titled “The ex Mysterious Kidnappers. The truth comes to light ” is signed by “el Guerrero [warrior] Balam”, a “faithful member of the insurgent forces of the EZLN”, member of the Network for Global Transformation (RTG) and subordinated to “Subcomandante Marcos and the wise Mayan Zapatistas“. He stresses that Fernandez de Cevallos is “one of the main enemies of our project”, the autonomy of indigenous peoples.

It should be recalled that the kidnapping of Diego Fernandez de Cevallos occurred on May 14, 2010. The kidnappers, calling themselves “The Mysterious Kidnappers” and later the Network for Global Transformation issued press releases three times to ask for money in exchange for the release of the former senator. After seven months of capture, Fernández de Vecallos was released on 20 December.

The day after national and international media informed on that last statement, a communique posted in the Web-page of “Enlace Zapatista” strongly denied that the EZLN and “La Otra Campaña” (The Other Campaign) participated in the kidnapping of the politician. The statement signed by Javier Elorriaga and Sergio Rodríguez Lascano, directors of the “Rebellion” Magazine and members of the Other Campaign says that who made the statement which stated that the EZLN had kidnapped the former Mexican presidential candidate for seven months, “is only looking to be center stage, causing confusion and serving the interests of power. ” Moreover, they observed that in consequence of the attempt to link them with the kidnapping of the Mexican politician, the Zapatista indigenous communities may suffer a further escalation of aggression.

For his part, the Congressman José Narro Céspedes, president of the Concord and Pacification Commission (Cocopa), rejected any attempt to link the EZLN to the kidnapping of Senator Cevallos. Through a statement, he asked the Federal Executive to realize extensive research on the origins of what he called “infamous pamphlets” that, it seems, intended to be the start of an escalation of repression against the EZLN. He said: “We must ask ourselves what is the purpose of slowly staging campaigns of slander and provocation against the EZLN? Less than a year ago, as now, without counting with sources of serious information, the Zapatistas were accused of being funded by the ETA, and now, the EZLN is linked to the kidnapping of Diego Fernandez de Cevallos. For a start, to spread so profusely information of uncertain origin speaks of a policy or intention to seek a pretext to undertake repressive action. “

On another hand, the governor of Chiapas, Juan Sabines Guerrero, said it was irresponsible to pretend to involve the EZLN with the kidnapping and that “if a message has been sent by the EZLN to the country in these times of violence, it has been one of caution, peace and political responsibility. ” He also said that one must recognize the contribution of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Good Government Committees in the political evolution and the fight against crime.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presunto miembro del EZLN atribuye al grupo secuestro de Diego Fernández (CNN México, 1 de enero de 2011)

– Se desmiente vinculación del EZLN y La Otra Campaña con cualquier secuestro (Pronunciamiento publicado en Enlace zapatista, 2 de enero de 2011)

– Irresponsable involucrar a EZLN en plagio de Diego (El Universal, 2 de enero de 2011)

Desmienten zapatistas presuntos nexos con el caso Diego (La Jornada, 2 de enero de 2011)

– México: Cocopa rechaza ligar a EZLN con plagio de Diego (El Universal, 2 de enero)

– EZLN no participó en secuestro del Jefe Diego señalan enlaces del grupo (CNN México, 3 de enero de 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: further controversy surrounding the EZLN in Mexican newspapers (April 2, 2010)