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(en) Mexico, Zapatistas in Atenco: Chapias Caracoles Reopen Today; “Intergalactic” Gathering Is Called for December 30 to January 2, 2007

Date Tue, 03 Oct 2006 06:58:40 +0200

The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in Mexico City October 1, 2006
MEXICO CITY, September 30, 2006: After his arrival last night in this city,
Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos and seven comandantes from the Clandestine
Revolutionary Indigenous Committee-General Command (CCRI-CG in its Spanish
initials) of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) met this afternoon
in the town of San Salvador Atenco. This information has been confirmed to Narco
News by Jorge Salinas – a telephone operator and member of the Other Campaign
and one of the people who faced the brutal repression begun in May 3 in Atenco.
Salinas was invited to the meeting at the Emiliano Zapata auditorium at 1:00 p.m.
Marcos and Zapatista delegates prepare to leave Chiapas i8n a tour:
At an event in memory of slain student Alexis Benhumea, Salinas said that the
meeting between the EZLN comandantes and subcomandante and the members of the
Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) was “private” in nature, a first
step toward the direct support that the Chiapas-based indigenous rebel group
has promised to the communal farmers of Atenco.
The seven comandantes constitute a new group of delegates that will support not
only Subcomandante Marcos (“Delegate Zero”), but also the fight for the release
of the 28 political prisoners still held in the Santiaguito Prison, in Mexico
state. The rebel leaders who will hold public events with the FPDT in Mexico
City and Atenco are: Gabriela (“Delegate One”), Zebedeo (“Delegate Two”) and
Miriam (“Delegate Three”). Comandanta Gema (“Delegate Four”) and Comandantes
David (“Delegate Six”) and Tacho (“Delegate Seven”) will return soon to
Chiapas. As for Comandanta Hortencia (“Delegate Five”) and her young daughter
Lupita (“Delegate Five-and-a-Quarter”), they will accompany Subcomandante
Marcos (“Delegate Zero”) in his tour through northern Mexico beginning October
According to Salinas, the message of “brotherhood” from the CCRI-CG of the EZLN,
through the voice of its representatives, was one of total solidarity with the
farmers of Atenco. “You are not alone,” the comandantes expressed, “we will
support you in this struggle until the last prisoner is released.” With an
emotional tone in his voice, Salinas said that Comandante David remarked “the
pain we all feel is provoked by capitalism,” and asked: “How long will this
pain go on that we all feel, farmers, women…? Until we organize ourselves in a
unified manner.”
Salinas commented that in the meeting, three “axes” of action were delineated:
1) the organization of the comandantes; 2) the call for an international
encounter (the long-awaited “Intergalactic?”) in Chiapas from December 30 to
January 2, 2007; and 3) the reopening of the Zapatista caracoles in the rebel
autonomous territories of Chiapas, with the goal of spreading information.
There was no decision to lift the Red Alert that has been in effect in rebel
towns since May 3.
Finally, the elder peasant-farmers of the FPDT presented several machetes to the
Zapatista comandantes, which symbolize their struggle. They announced that a
commission of Atenco leaders will travel to the north of the country with
Subcomandante Marcos.
“Alexis Lives, the Struggle Continues”
As an example of the self-organization of the different collectives that have
adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, an homage to Ollin
Alexis Benhumea was held this afternoon and evening in the Contraras Cultural
Forum (located just in front of the offices of the Mexican intelligence agency
known as the Center for Research and National Security, or CISEN). Benhumea
died in a Mexico City hospital on June 7, after a long period of agony that
resulted from being struck on the left part of the head with a teargas grenade
in the early morning of May 4 in Atenco.
Organized by the Benhumea family and the Other Campaign’s west Mexico City
section, the event saw five hours of dances, music, theater, poetry,
photography and live expressions of art. Some 200 people, between relatives,
friends and Sixth Declaration adherents and Other Campaign members, including
Jorge Salinas, were in attendance to proclaim that “Alexis lives, the struggle
Peoples’ faces expressed solidarity and confusion, although there was also an
insatiable spirit for the continuation of the Other Campaign and the struggle
for the freedom of the political prisoners. The message was clear: the people
must be made aware of what happened in Atenco, and must remember Alexis.
As Chela, the mother of the slain student, danced to danzon music with six other
women, down in the auditorium seats, to this reporter’s left, Alexis’ aunt
spoke with great sadness of the great nostalgia that such tributes produce in
her. She let a few tears fall and said, “Olli Alexis must be here, watching his
mother being happy.”
The sound of the sublime language of poetry was constant at this forum. The
actors with their monologues and performances came and went but lingered in the
minds and hearts of the hundred-or-so people who heard them. A musical group
went onstage as a sensual flamenco dancer finished her short but beautiful
Outside the auditorium, Alexis’ father, Ángel Benhumea, a member of the workers’
sector of the Other Campaign, spoke with Narco News about the national and
international criminal case being prepared on the issue of his son’s murder,
and about the struggle for the prisoners’ freedom. He said that he is working
with attorney Barbara Zamora and a team of lawyers from the Other Campaign and
the Miguel Agustín Pro Human Rights Center. In the past, there had only been
partial legal actions. Nevertheless, he said that now “we are awaiting the best
time to file the criminal complaint. According to Ángel, this legal action will
be announced in less than a month and will name the Mexican state as his son’s
murderer. It will make public the participation of President Vicente Fox and
the governor of Mexico state, Enrique Peña Nieto.
The goal of the legal struggle is for the case to “be heard by the Supreme Court
of Justice and for a commission to be named that will judge those responsible
for the death of my son, and to also take on the issue of Atenco in general,
including the political prisoners.”
In response to a question on the public actions that the seven EZLN comandantes
will hold in Atenco and the capital, Ángel emphasized that “the commandants
will strengthen not just the struggle for the prisoners’ release, but also the
punishment of the guilty.”
Alexis’ father occasionally interrupted the tribute event to salute his people
and thank them for their shows of solidarity. He looked happy. On the Other
Campaign’s current situation, he said, “the organization here and in the north
must be reinforced. We must pick up the pieces and find the people who have
come on board in the last few years, and thus build the National Program of
For his part, Jorge Salinas, asked about the struggle for the freedom of the
prisoners, said that “we will keep building the pressure; there is not nor will
be there be any retreat. This all depends on how strong we are as the Other
Campaign.” Alluding to the speech by Comandanta Hortensia this afternoon in
Atenco, he concluded: “As she would say, we are not afraid of the government’s
bullets, and they will have to understand that the struggle continues.”

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