More on the Red Alert

First, if you only read english, you should know that Irlandesa, the main english translator of Zapatista material, has a new blog and will be posting her translations there, though that wasn’t her intention in starting the blog, as she says. She translates everything from the Zapatista command, and does so very fast.

ZNet has republished two communiques explaining a little more about the Red Alert.


First, if you only read english, you should know that Irlandesa, the main english translator of Zapatista material, has a new blog and will be posting her translations there, though that wasn’t her intention in starting the blog, as she says. She translates everything from the Zapatista command, and does so very fast.

ZNet has republished two communiques explaining a little more about the Red Alert.

There was also a useful piece on the ALAI-amlatina news service by Ana Esther Cecena. She gives 7 possible reasons for the alert. I am not doing verbatim translation.

1. The army has redeployed in the Zapatista zones, opening roads, preparing barracks and checkpoints, patrolling and performing exercises – essentially preparing a siege around the Montes Azules region – the disputed biosphere where Zapatista supporters had been evicted (some of whom recently returned).

2. The construction of highways around Montes Azules, one delimiting the Guatemalan border and another entering the Zapatista zone, making for rapid travel in and out of the two key Zapatista areas – the Altos (highlands) and the Selva Lacondona.

3. The recent cancellation of the bank accounts of Enlace Civil and the dirty accusations against that Zapatista support group on sham charges of ‘money laundering’, as well as a report by the Secretary of Defense claiming the existence of marijuana cultivation in Zapatista territory (Zapatistas banned cultivation of marijuana in their territories before the 1994 rebellion) – preparing the ground for painting the Zapatistas as ‘narcotraffickers’ as an excuse for legal repression.

4. The recent visit of Condoleeza Rice to Mexico and all the ‘smart border’ business, focusing not only on the US border, but the Mexico-Guatemala border.

5. The existence of mafias and human traffickers at the Mexico-Guatemala border, probably linked to police, paramilitaries, and so on – all of which organizations are opposed to the Zapatistas.

6. The OAS decided to have the defence secretaries of all the OAS countries meet in Chiapas…

7. In the background, the natural resources and strategic location of Chiapas in terms of Plan Puebla Panama and the other megaprojects, genetic modification plans, etc.

That’s all I’ll translate here. I’d just add my own suspicion that there probably has been a degree of paramilitary pressure as well, and the Mexican government might think that creating a crisis in advance of the 2006 elections might give them a chance to beat the leftist candidate that is set to win. A recent Zapatista communique (that came out before the red alert) actually denounced that leftist candidate, Lopez Obrador, as a corrupt neoliberal, but that doesn’t mean the right and the US like him or like the prospects of him winning (if he wins, they’ll try to domesticate him, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll try to destabilize, of course).

Anyway Ana Esther’s piece shows that this move is a very sensible one, a way to try to prevent a massacre of the Zapatista’s civilian supporters while preparing for a continuation of the fight.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.