This just came from the Schools for Chiapas camp, a nonprofit based in San Diego that helps build schools in rural southern Mexico:
“Violent Escalation Raises Fears in Chiapas
On August 29 and 30, 2008 Zapatista small farming families once again faced a serious escalation in the disturbing pattern of violence which has swept Chiapas in recent months. The latest attack by armed paramilitary forces occurred in the autonomous municipality of Olga Isabel and resulted in the wounding of 43 year old peasant Mariano Pérez Guzmán. Click here to read the Spanish language denunciation published by Zapatista officials in the caracol of Morelia.”
I’ve heard the scene in Chiapas described as surreal: Peaceful indigenous farmers living and working in villages below while armed military men watch over them from the surrounding hilltops. Why? Will indigenous people ever be left alone? We here in the United States made sure we destroyed our native people’s so-called rebellious spirit by putting them on crappy reservations and cramming limitless wealth into their pockets via casinos and legal gambling. Ug. I’m not sure which scenario is worse: The one in Chiapas and Oaxaca or the one right down the road at Viajas or Barona.