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    Update: What they say. Good f..., 2003-02-14 00:00:00 | Main | Osama Hearts Hussein..., 2003-02-14 00:00:00

    Living as I do in a small cave-like room perched on a side of the tracks just as dismal as the other side, I only just heard about the confrontation at Rancho Esmeralda from NPR, albiet I had recieved this downplay of it a week ago but hadn't read it until just now. What exactly the locals consider themselves to be opposed to in this instance isn't clear, and what exactly the locals consider themselves to be isn't clear either, some reports describe them as "Zapatistas", on NPR it was "Zapatista rebels", and in others it's merely "Zapatista sympathizers". Pesky decentralized democratic autonomy movements, all tail and no head.

    So, just to get the facts sorted out, this has been going on since December, the US State Department did ask local government to protect the couple, the govenor declined the request on account of not having the authority to call in the army, and instead is purchasing the ranch to curb the tantrum. Being personally sympathetic to the Zapatistas I have to admit to being confused about this particular event. Fighting the patenting of local fauna by foreign businesses makes sense to me, blockading a couple of former Peace Corps workers and opposing tourist kyaking doesn't, so much. It sounds like there was at least a suspicion that the Americans were aiding the military, which might explain some of the behavior, and I'm skeptical of the threats to "invade", but I haven't found any indigenous response to the story.

    I'm not, on the other hand, surprised that this is the first story about the Chiapas conflict to get wide coverage since I don't remember when, one might note that nobody explains why a major military installation is next door to Rancho Esmeralda and the autonomous municipality in the first place.


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-02-14 00:00:00 CST | link





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