Response to Allegations Linking the EZLN and Other Campaign to Kidnapping

Response to Allegations Linking the EZLN and Other Campaign to Kidnapping

While the Zapatistas were peacefully celebrating the 17th anniversary of their 1994 Uprising, a New Years surprise appeared on the web pages of various Spanish language newspapers in Mexico and around the world. Someone calling himself "Balam Warrior" sent an email to media outlets attributing responsibility to the EZLN and the Other Campaign for the kidnapping of Diego Fernandez de Cevallos. "Balam Warrior" alleges that the admitted kidnappers, the Red por la Transformación Global (Network for Global Transformation, RTG), constitute the armed wing of the Other Campaign. Whew! That’ll shake you out of your holiday doldrums.

The Balam Warrior claimed to be a "loyal member of the EZLN" or an "adherent" (depending on which newspaper version you read) and based his allegations on the language used by the RTG in its Epilogue of a Disappearance, the 3-part communiqué issued upon Diego’s release. To its credit, La Jornada did not print Balam Warrior’s email.

The following day, Javier Elorriaga and Sergio Rodríguez Lascano, editors of Enlace Zapatista (http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx), the Zapatistas’ official website, published a response contradicting Balam Warrior’s allegations. Jose Narro Cespedes, current president of the Commission for Harmony and Pacification (Cocopa), told the press that he considered the email and subsequent publication of the email to be the beginning of a counterinsurgency move by the government and demanded a full investigation. The Cocopa is a legislative commission composed of deputies and senators from all parties in Congress charged with mediating peace in Chiapas. It was created as an on-going commission in a 1995 law promoting peace in that state.

Rodríguez and Elorriaga’s response is available on the Enlace Zapatista website: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx (click on the banner at the top of the page where it reads "se desmiente…"

Their response is translated into English below by the Chiapas Support Committee:

Deny Links of the EZLN and the Other Campaign With Any Kidnapping

On January 1, 2011, a note began to circulate in some national and foreign newspapers starting with the Spanish press agency EFE. In the note "a faithful member of the EZLN’s insurgent forces" attributed, through a communiqué, the kidnapping of Diego Fernández de Cevallos to the EZLN. In the confusing note distributed by the Spanish news agency it also accuses different collectives of the Other Campaign of being co-participants in said kidnapping, as well as referring to several electronic pages and ancient communiqués, of free circulation, at the disposition of anyone in the network, as sites where one can look for proof of said accusation against the Zapatistas.

Now then, the complete "communiqué" also arrived by email on our web page, the same one that arrived at different media that published with it their note. It would be enough that they would publish the complete writing that they received so that any reader could see that it is impossible that it has an origin with the EZLN. Well, let’s see, it is incoherent throughout its editing, it is clear that whoever did it is only trying to be a star, generate confusion and serve the interests of power.

The Other Campaign is a political, civil and peaceful movement. It has been that way since its inception and it has mobilized and acted that way throughout the years. It does not resort, therefore, to kidnappings to obtain resources nor to make political propaganda.

At the same time, it is known to everyone, that the EZLN, and its history and practice for 27 years, from its beginnings until this day, show that it does not carry out kidnappings; that goes against its principles. Therefore, the EZLN has not developed either the organizational structure or the material infrastructure for this type of action. Since the year 1994 in which the Zapatistas decreed a cease fire to the war offensive, to give an opportunity for the construction of a just and dignified peace, it has fulfilled its word, not so the Mexican State that has attacked them politically, economically and militarily since January 1, 1994 until now.

For all these reasons it is clear, and we repeat one more time, that neither the EZLN nor the Other Campaign carry out kidnappings. Neither the EZLN nor The Other Campaign kidnapped Diego Fernández de Cevallos.

If anyone sympathizes or considers it politically correct to practice kidnapping, he or she has no place in the Other Campaign. “Balam Warrior,” the self-named person who sent the communiqué to which we referred, already had his 15 minutes of fame. Some media took fragments from his writing and put it on their first pages. He can enjoy them. Meanwhile, the indigenous Zapatista communities suffer a new escalation of attacks as a result of these kinds of opportunist and police occurrences. This is the real danger, compañeras and compañeros, we are pending before this new provocation against the Zapatista compañeros.

For Enlace Zapatista, Javier Elorriaga, Sergio Rodríguez Lascano.

Mexico, January 2, 2011.

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