Acteal: A Crime Against Autonomy

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Posted by Gilberto Lopez y Rivas on January 03, 1998 at 16:09:33:

In Reply to: Re: Text of payment/agreement between gov.and paramilitary posted by ellokal on December 30, 1997 at 15:06:32:

Acteal: A Crime Against Autonomy

The Acteal massacre is a calculated blow from the dirty war against the
EZLN. However, it is also a perverse and pathological reaction of the
government and groups of power, at both the local and national levels,
who are working against the autonomy of the indigenous groups. For this
reason they chose Chenalho to perpetrate their Dantesque crime. Because of
the visceral hatred that the municipal councils of autonomous rebels
inspire in them.

For a regimen that has maintained during its long existence a relationship
of extreme subordination of the Indigenous people there isn't a more
subversive practice than that of the indigenous autonomies. Especially
because the foundation of their politics reside in the tutelage of those
peoples; in the submission of their communities, in the mediation of their
and Practices and Customs for the reproduction of their vertical power,
authoritarianism and political control.

This is one of the reasons why they create and disseminate the ghosts of
autonomy: balkanization, separatism, rupture of national unity, etc. This
is also the origin of the distortions and false claims that the government
has used in its fight against the autonomies, such as attributing to them
the vices and contradictions that the regimen itself has imposed in some
indigenous communities.

This is the case of San Juan Chamula, where the indigenous bosses have
practiced an exclusionary type of politics outside the law. This is a
problem inherent to bossism and not the product of autonomy; on the
contrary, it is the corollary of the subjection and control of that
community on the part of a government that has encouraged, supported and
protected that system which in all senses of autonomy is aberrant and

Acteal also means that the indigenous autonomies will be faced with the
Guatemalan model: to recruit, train, and arm indigenous people to try to
kill, from the inside, the seed of autonomy. The paid assassin must be
indigenous. In this way, war by different means can always be properly
masked, calling it: "intrafamily conflicts," "Inter-ethnic conflicts,"
"Intracommunal fundamentalism, and all kinds of anthropological euphemisms.

The hatred to the autonomies resides, likewise, in the fear of
contamination that they may cause in other social sectors. Finally, the
autonomies are the expression of a way of acting inside the space of the
nation as a politically independent and self-affirming subject. Actually,
the autonomies constitute, in essence, political conscientization processes
directed towards the formation of social entities who are capable of
deciding their own destiny.
To the extent that a sense of belonging to a people, to a nation, to a
social national process in favor of democratic change is deepened, the
result is the con-formation of autonomous subjects. This is what our rulers
fear. They fear the propagation of the autonomous example of the
indigenous people. They fear the creation, in other sectors of Mexican
society, of autonomous councils of leadership and government.

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