COMPLEMENTARY MATERIAL ON THE SITUATION IN MEXICO
Do you believe you really have enough information on what is going on in the US-Mexico border? We think unfortunately nobody has it, thanks to mainstream media. Nobody seems to care. It's a war zone with much pain and atrocities against good and humble workers, seeking nothing but better conditions of life. It is a question framed in the international labour market: where there is a need, there is a supply, where there is a buyer, here comes a seller. Hypocrisy, dissimulation and missinformation denied the very real fact: there is a NEED of this cheap labour force. Nobody will babysit their babies, or clean their toilets or a simple lettuce could cost 3 dollars if they didn't exist. These people are not criminals at all, though they are frequently treated worst than that. Now they are hunted like animals. They have contributed a lot for the US economy, but they are continually falsely accused of many horrible and unfair things. One of the biggest border zones on Mother Earth is in great pain: 10 million people interact yearly trough a vast extension of 3,300 km. It's the biggest migrant and trans-cultural phenomenom in the world. With them, Hispanics are now the first minority in the U.S. - 35 million people. Maybe that's the scary thing for many! Please join us in our prayings to bring peace, understanding and tolerance to this zone...
Love & Joy
Anahuak Radiant Centre
AI CANADA | USA Campaign Overview - The US Border Patrol http://www.amnesty.ca/usa/border.htm
Militarizing the Mexico-Us Border
Death on the US-Mexico border
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: 07 June 2000
Subject: [RMNEWS] 76,245 ILLEGALS ARRESTED IN TUCSON SECTOR IN MARCH
The following SHOULD have been the headline of the following story -- but it
wasn't -- ask yourself why? Could it be to raise sympathy for the illegals?
76,245 ILLEGALS ARRESTED IN TUCSON SECTOR IN MARCH
"In March, the Border Patrol arrested 76,245 illegal immigrants in the Tucson sector, which covers all but 50 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border. That puts the sector on pace to break an annual record of detaining more than 470,000 illegal immigrants."
THE FOLLOWING IS THE REASON THE ILLEGALS ARE IN ARIZONA --- WHY HAVE PATROLSINCREASED IN CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS? DOES SOMEONE WANT THE ILLEGALS ENTERING INTHE ARIZONA DESERT? IF SO, WHY?
"Federal authorities have increased patrols in California and Texas, forcing more border crossers to enter through Arizona. And stricter enforcement of the border near Arizona's urban areas is in turn pushing immigrants to try remote areas where they can find little water and must often endure triple-digit heat. Most are ill-prepared to survive."
Heat Deaths on Arizona-Mexico Border
Updated 9:09 AM ET June 6, 2000
By ARTHUR H. ROTSTEIN, Associated Press Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Four days into what she was told would be a six-hour trip, Yolanda Gonzalez lay dead of dehydration in the Arizona desert - a victim of a searing sun, 110-degree heat and her determination to save her daughter.
The 19-year-old mother from Oaxaca, Mexico, had given nearly all the water she carried to her 18-month-old daughter. Only a few ounces remained in the toddler's bottle when Border Patrol searchers reached them on Memorial Day.
The youngster was rescued. Gonzalez became the sixth illegal immigrant to dieof heat-related exposure in the past week in the Arizona desert. In all, 19 have died since October.
With summer still nearly three weeks away, "we're expecting that it is goingto get worse," said Doreen Manuel, a tribal detective on the reservation where Gonzalez was found.
Heat-related deaths are an annual occurrence on this parched section of border, which draws those immigrants who don't believe they can get into theUnited States anywhere else. But they're more of a concern this year, with immigrants pouring into the state by the thousands each month.
In March, the Border Patrol arrested 76,245 illegal immigrants in the Tucsonsector, which covers all but 50 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border. That putsthe sector on pace to break an annual record of detaining more than 470,000 illegal immigrants.
Federal authorities have increased patrols in California and Texas, forcing more border crossers to enter through Arizona. And stricter enforcement of the border near Arizona's urban areas is in turn pushing immigrants to try remote areas where they can find little water and must often endure triple-digit heat. Most are ill-prepared to survive.
During all the 1999 fiscal year, there were 10 heat exposure deaths in the Tucson sector's western deserts, but none before mid-June, said Border Patrolspokesman Charles Klingberg.
In the Yuma sector, which covers the rest of Arizona's border, 11 people havedied of heat exposure during fiscal year 2000. There were only four confirmedheat-exposure deaths in the area all of last year.
Alfredo Casillas, a Border Patrol spokesman in Yuma, said another factor behind the increase is that more patrols are venturing into the desert, wherethey are more likely to encounter stranded immigrants and find bodies.
Gonzalez was traveling with a small group that was told by smugglers "they were only going to be walking for six hours in the desert," Manuel said. "Butthe six hours lasted four days."
Gonzalez carried 2 gallons of water, but drank little herself to allow more for her child, who is now in the care of Mexican authorities and will be reunited with family.
Like many others, she was found because a member of her group sought help from tribal police. Police in turn called the Border Patrol, which began searching for the group.
"The Border Patrol thought they would be rescuing a very sick lady," Manuel said.
BORDERING ON INSANE
Dozens of illegal immigrants each night enter the New River in Mexicali, Mexico, and float north, hoping to elude U.S. Border Patrol agents who usually avoid the river for fear of pollution. Mexicali dumps 20 to 25 million gallons of raw sewage into the river daily, according to the California Water Resources Control Board, and the river also picks up agricultural and industrial wastes as it flows north. By the time it reaches the border town of Calexico, Calif., it violates U.S. water quality standards by several hundred-fold and contains nearly 30 viruses ranging from hepatitis A to polio, as well as chemicals and heavy metals. Border agents who have dived in to rescue drowning immigrants have contracted skin rashes and infections.
Straight to the source: MSNBC, Eric Niiler, 06.22.00
Chiapas Poised for Genocide
A Time of Urgency
On the eve of the presidential elections in Mexico the situation in the State of Chiapas has grown to a critical juncture. Military and paramilitary forces are setting the stage for a final showdown with the rebellious Zapatista movement. The time is now and the result of any armed conflict will be genocidal for the indigenous people of Chiapas.
For this reason the members of "Zapatistas Online" are sending out this urgent call to unity with other activist communities throughout the world. Though our particular "issues" may differ, the idealism and values which we hold true are consistent. Chiapas is a mirror and a real time example of the misguided policies of free trade and globalization. Millions of indigenous people practicing a traditional lifestyle are threatened not only with change, but, with cultural extinction. The government of Mexico offers them a choice between global economic slavery or death.
Events in the conflict are escalating on a daily basis now. The analysts both in Mexico and in the USA fear the worst is about to happen. A Ruling party victory, whether legitimate or by the historical use of electoral fraud, in the presidential elections will be taken by the government as a rubber stamp for war against the indigenous of Chiapas.
We need your help and we need it now. Though there are many pressing issues throughout the world, Chiapas is now at the critical moment. We are asking for two things from the activist communities worldwide.
First: Letter writing campaigns to your local and national news media and governments condemning the actions of the Mexican government and asking for international pressure to remove the military from Chiapas.
Second: Preparations for a massive emergency protest in the event that open war does break out.
Again, the situation in Chiapas is critical. Murder, assassination, intimidation, torture and other violations of the human rights of a minority ethnic group taking are now taking place daily and escalating in seriousness and quantity as well.
THE MAYANS DID NOT DISAPPEAR
On December 22, 1997, 45 unarmed Maya people, mostly women and children, were gunned down with automatic weapons by a group of 50 to 60 "paramilitary" thugs in the village of Acteal. The situation in Chiapas is tragic and complex - do not be fooled by the Mexican government's attempts to confuse the issue by calling this a "family feud". This is not a conflict between various Maya villages. Since the massacre, the Mexican army has been building up troops in Chiapas. Their explanation is that they are there to protect the Indians. But after reading the reports listed here, you will know differently
Mexico Election Monitor 2000
International observers for federal elections http://www.ife.org.mx/wwwcai/notice.htm
Zapatistas Brace for Mexican Government Attack (Reuters) Mexico's Zapatista armed rebel group said on Friday that the government is preparing a grand offensive against the Chiapas-based indigenous guerrillas about the time of the July 2 presidential elections. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000602/wl/mexico_guerrillas_1.html
Support Senator Joseph Kennedy's Effort to Close the SOA
Protest May 24th on steps of the SOA, Ft. Benning GA http://www.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=1254
If you want to know more details on the extent of US involvement in this horrible human rights atrocity, visit these web sites:
Slippery Slope: U.S. Military Moves Into Mexico http://www.nonviolence.org/slipperyslope/slip-b.htm
National Commission for Democracy in Mexico -NCDM http://www.igc.apc.org/ncdm/
SIPAZ: International Service for Peace
Food For Chiapas Online
The Mayan Relief Fund
Complicity of Mexican Government
Info on Chiapas and the EZLN
Chiapas Objectives & Strategies
Chiapas 2000: A Real Strategy for Solving the Conflict. http://www.chiapas2000.org/index1.html
Servicio Internacional para la Paz / International Service for Peace
Box 2415, Santa Cruz, CA 95063 USA
Tel & Fax: (int 1) 831 425 1257
Available in Español / En Français
CHIAPAS REPORT SUMMARY
SIPAZ Report Vol. 5, No. 2
Military belligerence, political stonewall
The image of a tightly-sealed simmering pot describes Chiapas in recent months. The Mexican Army's grip on the conflict area was tightened in the form of new checkpoints obstructing travel and additional military encampments. Several indigenous communities who have long been settled in the Lacandon Jungle have recently been accused of "ecological infractions" and simply ordered to leave. (They claim that their displacement is actually intended to strengthen a military corridor connecting two important bases.) Security force harassment of perceived Zapatista supporters, including aircraft overflights at very low altitude, constitute a constant pressure on the indigenous communities that exacts a physical and psychological toll.
The military pressure is a principal focus of continuing popular protest activities, which have recently included roadblocks, marches, and a National Consultation on Women's Rights. The other rallying cry of the Zapatistas and indigenous rights supporters is implementation of the San Andres Accords. Signed in 1996, their fulfillment has been stalled by disagreement regarding implementing legislation. Recent comments by federal officials make the prospects for resolution look dim. The EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) was criticized repeatedly for its unwillingness to dialogue. In addition, President Zedillo asserted, "Dialogue with the EZLN will not resolve the problem of Chiapas." Francisco Labastida, presidential candidate of the ruling PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), went further: "You cannot have a small group of people substitute for the legislative powers of the country. Laws are not made from the Jungle." The San Andres Accords that the federal government negotiated and signed require legislative reform regarding indigenous rights. In appearing to reject not only the outcome but also the very legitimacy of the previous negotiation process, Labastida cast a dark shadow over peace prospects if he is elected.
The influence of COCOPA (the congressional Commission for Agreement and Pacification) remained checked by partisan splits. The role of another key actor in the conflict, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, entered a transition with the naming of Felipe Arizmendi, Bishop of Tapachula (Chiapas), to replace retiring Bishop Samuel Ruiz. Mons. Arizmendi, who is considered a moderate, sounded a conciliatory note, observing, "I am not going to San Cristobal to compete nor to destroy, but rather to complement." Those who feared the possibility of an abrupt change in the pastoral practice of the diocese were relieved. Others pointed out that the influence of the diocese as a protector of the indigenous and supporter of peace efforts would almost surely diminish with the departure of Bishop Ruiz who carried such political weight.
Meanwhile there was an increase in visits to Chiapas by Mexico City-based diplomats, and the remarkable chorus of international criticism of Mexico's human rights record continued unabated. After her February visit to Mexico, Erika Daes, President of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, called on the government to respect the San Andres Accords. She said that the Mexican Army should suspend its patrols in Guerrero and Chiapas, return to its bases, and focus on external threats. (She also called on guerrilla groups to put down their arms and seek dialogue.) Also in February, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Asma Jahangir released a report on her investigation in Mexico last July. She concluded that some of those responsible for well-known massacres have not been prosecuted and that "the incapacity of the judicial system results in an increase in human rights violations." She called upon the government to demilitarize the society and to refrain from using the armed forces for law enforcement activities. Other voices critical of Mexico's human rights record during this period included representatives of the European Parliament, who lamented the role of paramilitary groups in Chiapas, and the US State Department.
Government officials generally dismissed or minimized these criticisms. However in an unusual admission, Minister of Foreign Relations Rosario Green acknowledged during a trip to Europe that Mexico has not been able to end human rights violations nor to solidify a culture of respect for those rights and intolerance of impunity.
Despite the escalating cost for the indigenous communities, the Chiapas conflict has not been a major factor in the presidential race. With the election set for July 2, both PRI candidate Francisco Labastida and PAN (center-right National Action Party) candidate Vicente Fox are running strong campaigns. Among the three leading candidates, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of the center-left PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) trailed.
The governor's election in Chiapas set for August 20 is being strongly contested by PRI candidate Sami David and Pablo Salazar, a PRI Senator who resigned from the party and has since secured the support of a broad opposition alliance. Salazar, who has been a strong supporter of peace efforts, would appear to be the favorite, but the situation remains unpredictable. This is both because of the history of fraud in Chiapas elections as well as because of the obstacles a new governor would have to face when it comes time to actually implement change.
The recent deportation of veteran election observer Ted Lewis, despite having observer credentials from the Federal Electoral Institute, raised the specter that the Mexican government is expanding its campaign against human rights observation to target observers of its election process as well. Lewis, Mexico Program Director of US-based Global Exchange, was deported despite his accreditation by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) to conduct observation activities related to the current election campaign.
Mexico continues to aggressively pursue international trade agreements. In mid-February Mexico and the European Union approved a free trade treaty. It was subsequently ratified by the European Parliament and the Mexican Senate. However its implementation was impeded by a failure to achieve approval in the Italian Parliament.
Negotiations on free trade agreements proceeded with Japan and Israel. As in the case of the European agreement, opposition political forces as well as social organizations complained that they were being left out of the discussions and their concerns were not being heard.
Global Outrage Against the "Globalizers of Misery"
29 January 1998
Today the 1.000 foremost corporations of the world, associated in the World Economic Forum, start their Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with the stated objective of setting the "Priorities for the 21st Century".
At the same time, 192 organisations from 54 countries, with an aggregate membership of 20 million, released the Declaration against the Globalisers of Misery, a statement that denounces the Davos meeting and "the accelerating centralisation of political and economic power caused by globalisation, and its gradual shift to unaccountable and undemocratic institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO)" (1)
The statement, issued by academics, authors, journalists and a broad coalition of organisations (including peasant movements, trade unions, indigenous peoples, human rights activists, environment and development NGOs and church-based groups), reflects the growing opposition to economic globalisation, "which only benefits multinational business elites, while increasing numbers of people are going hungry, unable to afford basic health care and education, and forced to cope with environmental destruction."
The statement emphasises the "leading role [that the World Economic Forum] played in the economic globalisation process", preparing the ground for the launching of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and the liberalisation of financial services. (2)
This denunciation of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is the first activity of the Peoples' Global Action against "Free" Trade and the World Trade Organisation (PGA), a new instrument for coordination created by grassroots movements from all continents to enhance their work against corporate rule. The PGA will hold its first worldwide conference in Geneva on 23-25 February, convened by some of the foremost peoples' movements of the world, like the Zapatista Front for National Liberation, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, the Sandinista Workers' Union, the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, the Indigenous Women's Network and the Karnataka State Peasant Movement, among others.(3)
The collection of signatures for the statement will continue until the evening of the 2nd of February. In the same period, protest actions against the World Economic Forum will take place in all continents, ranging from a demonstration in South Korea to street theatre in Mexico.
(1) The complete declaration and the list of signatories can be retrieved from the PGA web page at http://www.agp.org. For information about the statement and the actions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fax +34-8-524.11.21
(2) All direct quotations and factual information regarding the World Economic Forum have been taken from the Forum's web page http://www.weforum.org
(3) For more information about Peoples' Global Action Against "Free" Trade and the World Trade Organisation (PGA) and its first worldwide conference please visit the web page (http://www.agp.org) or e-mail email@example.com
Questioned about events in Chiapas at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the weekend, Zedillo said his government was interested only in dialogue and negotiation. ``In no way will the government have recourse to violence in order to resolve the conflict,'' he said. REUTERS
READ MORE ABOUT IT
Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer) $16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
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