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Sat Jun 21 2008 (Updated 06/22/08) Zapatistas Implicated in the "War on Drugs"
Militarization in Mexico Under the guise of the "War on Drugs" the Mexican Army has increased its presence around the Zapatistas autonomous municipalities in La Garrucha — the last place Subcomandante Marcos was seen. On June 4, a convoy of 200 army, state and local police tried to enter La Garrucha under the pretext of “looking for marijuana plants,” but were turned away by Zapatista men, women and children armed only with machetes and stones.

While the violence surrounding drug cartels in Mexico causes great alarm in Mexico and abroad, the targeting of the Zapatista communities in the "War on Drugs" is equally alarming.

Mary Anne Tenuto of the Chiapas Support Committee recently wrote, "President Bush has proposed a billion dollars in military assistance to Mexico for its war on drugs. A bill known as the Merida Initiative, more commonly labeled 'Plan Mexico,' after the failed Plan Colombia, is currently winding a twisted path through the two houses of Congress as H.R. 6028. Each house has approved a different version of the bill and lots of political influences are at play: defense contractors; Mexican politicians; and human rights groups to name a few. Much of the money would go to U.S. defense contractors to buy those helicopters that swoop down on protesting communities, like in Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, Atenco and many others."

The Chiapas Support Committee will host a discussion on the recent militarization in Mexico. They will also present a film about military repression of indigenous communities in the Mexican state of Guerrero at 7:30 p.m. on June 26 at the Unitarian Universalists Church in Berkeley (1924 Cedar St.). Their story is the story of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Atenco and organized indigenous communities throughout Mexico.

Mexican Army Incursions Threaten Zapatista Jungle Region | imc_video.gifPlan Mexico threatens peaceful Mexican communities | Event Announcement: Chiapas Support Committee | Previous Coverage

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