Impunity and Provoking the EZLN: Part of a Global Strategy?
La Jornada, 25th August, 2015
Once again we are given evidence that we live in times of uncompromising impunity. Justifiably outraged, the Zapatista leadership charged that it has no reason to trust the justice handed down by those from above. Unfortunately, it is a justice that includes neither impartiality nor objectivity. In the case of social sectors and movements outside the political and economic elites, it is a justice that systematically avoids the historical truth or manufactures it to suit itself, as in the Ayotzinapa investigation.
In their August 16, 2015, communiqué, Subcomandantes Moisés and Galeano reported that: "Two of the intellectual authors of the murder of the compañero and teacher Galeano have returned, fat and happy, to their homes in the village of La Realidad. They were supposedly being held prisoner for the murder of our teacher and compañero. We already know that they have been declared innocent of this crime by the same people who financed and supported them: the federal and Chiapas state governments.
"On August 12 of this year, the self-proclaimed “judge” Victor Manuel Zepeda López, of the criminal court in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas, declared that Mr. Carmelino Rodríguez Jiménez and Mr. Javier López Rodríguez are innocent, despite that fact that they and their accomplices in the CIOAC-Historical know that they are guilty of organizing the crime. They aren’t the only ones responsible, but they are guilty.”
Pedro Faro, director of Frayba, said that both Tojolabal indigenous men were presumably released on the grounds that: "witnesses retracted their testimonies, and that the Public Ministry prosecutor did not authenticate the body" of the teacher at the Zapatista escuelita. Faro asserted that there are also 10 arrest warrants against members of the CIOAC-H -charged with being involved in the events – that 15 months after they were issued have not been carried out (La Jornada, 22/08/2015).
Let’s keep in mind that on May 2, 2014, CIOAC-H members murdered the teacher Galeano, José Luis Solís López, a Zapatista from the community of La Realidad, with firearms and machetes. In those days, the Zapatista leadership pointed that:
1) It was a pre-planned attack, militarily organized and carried out with malice, premeditation and advantage. It is an aggression that took place in a climate created and encouraged from above;
2) The leadership of the CIOAC-Historical, the Green Ecology Party (name by which the PRI governs in Chiapas), the National Action Party [PAN] and the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] are all involved;
3) At the very least, the state government of Chiapas is involved.
Still to be determined, they said, is the extent to which the federal government is involved. As at Acteal, once again decisions taken under counter-insurgent logic are justified under the customary failures of due process.
We cannot assume that it is about a decision taken apart from the political intention to provoke the EZLN; specifically, the Zapatista bases in the emblematic community of La Realidad. It would appear that they aim to inflame a local confrontation with paramilitary support to prevent coordination with other of the country’s resistance movements, such as the Yaqui, Xochicuautla, Ostula and Ayotzinapa and the democratic teachers, among many others that the subcomandantes named in their communiqué.
In Support of Mexico’s Entry into Global Economy
Nor is this scenario removed from the pending announcement of the project that Enrique Peña Nieto will send to Congress as an initiative for authorizing the Executive Branch to establish special economic zones in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero, under the argument of facilitating strategic transnational investment. According to Treasury Secretary: "in these states, the positive effects of the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], and Mexico’s entry into the global economy are not observed." They add that welfarism and extreme poverty will be overcome. They are going for all the territories; their plan against the indigenous peoples is well underway.
Thus tension in La Realidad is revived in order to:
- Justify in the events a local siege of the EZLN;
- Defend the Army at all costs for its involvement in the events at Tlatlaya, Tanhuato, Apatzingán, Ayotzinapa;
- Keep imprisoned the Yaqui Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez Salgado, Nestora Salgado and Semeí Verdía; and
- Send 15,000 Federal Police to Oaxaca to contain the protest in the teacher ranks.
All this while the mantle of impunity stretches out not only over the self-exoneration and "excuse me" announced for the [conflict of interest] regarding the so-called White House, but for the incapacity and chain of complicities in El Chapo Guzmán’s escape—neither of which will be evident in the next presidential Report. The coming months will be crucial for stopping this offensive. As the Zapatistas concluded well in their recent seminar Critical Thinking in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra: "Things are bad, and they are going to get worse."
*Magdalena Gómez is a lawyer specializing in Agrarian Law, Indigenous Rights and Law, Political Education and Society.
Translated by Jane Brundage