May all humanity hear itself in our Cry
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May all humanity hear itself in our Cry

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July 30, 2007

“the most important thing is to unite our struggles and thoughts against the capitalist system that continues to steal our labor. Our voice and our struggle is one that as we walk we learn and as we walk we teach… so that we can recuperate what the system has stolen from us.” — Ofelia, member of the Good Government Council during her speech at the inauguration of the 2 Encuentro.

The Second Encounter of Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World should be winding down about now. It was formally inaugurated last Sunday with a gathering of over 2,000 People from 43 countries. See here for an overview of what was discussed at the gathering.

Before the inauguration, on July 19 there was a conference in San Cristobal de las Casas, which primarily focused on sharing positive news of importance, such efforts for autonomous health and for recovering ancestral knowledge.

Going back even further, on July 12 the Zapatista got a tentative win in the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez, after an Agrarian tribunal issued a ruling which “tacitly recognize[d] the legitimacy of the autonomous communities and their lands–” through dismissing claims of Zapatista-held lands by a group connected to the PRI…

From the WW4 Report – Following a long campaign by the EZLN’s Sixth Commission, a civil support network, the Zapatistas met with a tentative victory July 12 when the Agrarian Tribunal in the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez issued a ruling dismissing claims to Zapatista-held lands at El Nantze by the PRI-linked Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (OPDDIC). La Jornada’s Hermann Bellinghausen writes that the decision “tacitly recognizes the legitimacy of the autonomous communities and their lands.” (La Jornada, July 13)

Bellinghausen also reported that since the arrest of OPDDIC leader Pedro Chulín Jiménez earlier this year, many of the organization’s adherents have defected to the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). This may loan credence to Zapatista claims that the PRD is coming to mirror the PRI as a corrupt political machine, but also seems to signify a weakening of the most militant anti-Zapatista organization in Chiapas. (La Jornada, July 15)

A San Cristobal-based NGO, the Center for Political, Social and Economic Study and Analysis (CAPISE) issued a document in July entitled “Face of War,” accusing the Mexican federal army of expanding its positions in the Chiapas rainforest over the past year—in a pattern of collaboration with local anti-Zapatista forces. The study charges that “military elements have held meetings and visits with settlements and families opposed to the Zapatistas” in the jungle, “guaranteeing the penetration” of the OPDDIC into the lands of rebel-loyal communities. (La Jornada, July 18)

On July 6, the Fray Bartoleme de Las Casas Human Rights Center announced that its investigators, working with residents of the now-abandoned jungle settlement of Viejo Velasco Suárez, had uncovered the remains of two of the four indigenous campesinos who were presumed killed in the armed attack on the community last November. (La Jornada, July 7) The Fray Bartoleme Center and other rights groups, as well as the Zapatistas, had named the OPDDIC as behind the attack.

Following allegations in the Mexican press, the EZLN also issued a statement earlier this month denying links to the EPR guerillas, who re-emerged with dramatic attacks on pipelines in central Mexico. (source)

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