Zapatista Call for Virtual Action

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Posted by rdom on November 12, 1997 at 12:11:02:

President Ernesto Zedillo plans to visit the U.S. this Friday, Nov. 14th.
It is critical that we bring attention to the worsening human rights
conditions in southern Mexico at this time. Please sign and email this
letter to both President Clinton and President Zedillo in an effort to flood
the email lines with letters and comments until Friday. Please also use
this letter to express your concerns to your representatives.

email for President Clinton:
email for President Zedillo:

To President Clinton
To President Zedillo

It has come to our attention that hundreds of communities throughout
Mexico, particularly in Chiapas and other southern states with large
Indigenous populations, have been militarized during the past four years,
and human rights abuses occur with impunity across the country on a daily
basis. Recently we have been made aware that conditions have grown
particularly critical in Chiapas and other southern states, where a virtual
civil war and state of siege exist as the result of the activities by
government-backed paramilitary groups and the Mexican military's occupation
of the Indigenous communities. Just since the elections in July, reported
human rights violations in these communities have included: 5,000
indigenous have been displaced in the last felt months because of the
virtual civil war in northern Chiapas; 800 just during the past month.

There have been significant troop movements in Chiapas. One new base,
composed of more than 500 soldiers has been established less than 5 miles
away from the Zapatista Village of La Realidad On November 4, 1997
paramilitary troops attempted to assassinate Bishop Samuel Ruiz, a member
the CONAI, who has been a proponent for a just and dignified resolution to
the war in Chiapas More than a hundred people have been killed in the last
three months more than 12 international human rights observers have been
expelled from Chiapas in the last 6 months Human Rights organizations such
as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have come out with recent
reports documenting the widespread use of torture, disappearances,
extrajudicial killings and other acts of violence by the Mexican military
and paramilitary groups in Chiapas and throughout Mexico Yet U.S.
foreign policy as well as national media have been virtually silent
regarding these profoundly disturbing events.

President Clinton and President Zedillo, the low-intensity war in
Chiapas and the resulting human rights situation are intolerable. As
peoples, from many different nations, we want you to know that we are aware
of the war in Chiapas and of the genocidal policies which the Indigenous
peoples of that state are subject to.

Sirs, a just and peaceful resolution to the demands and needs of
Mexico's Indigenous peoples is long overdue. The war and disregard for the
lives and rights of those peoples has gone on for too long. It is time for
the United States and Mexico fulfill its moral and legal commitment to the
rights of Indigenous peoples rather than help perpetuate the last 500 years
of Native oppression and genocide.

Central to this process must be steps towards a peaceful resolution to
the war in Chiapas, including: Demilitarization of the Indigenous
communities in Chiapas and other states Immediate enactment of the San
Andres Agreements on Indigenous Rights and Culture and a resumption of the
dialogue for a just peace with the EZLN Full and immediate compliance with
international human rights laws, norms and standards; and full, independent
investigations into existing human rights violations President Clinton and
President Zedillo, the U.S. and Mexican government should not be complicit
in the destruction of Indigenous peoples. The sovereignty and rights of the
Mexican and Indigenous peoples in their struggle for democracy and
self-determination must be respected. We want you both to know that we
support the Zapatistas in their struggle for democracy, liberty, justice
and for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Mexico.

The world is watching and awaiting your immediate action and response.

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