Rage Against the Machine Words

Bloodiest Attack Since January 1994

December 23, 1997

On Monday Night, PRI gunmen attacked two small towns 12 miles north of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. At least 45 Zapatista civilian supporters were massacred. Eighteen children one infant, nine men and 17 women were among the dead. It is the bloodiest attack since the twelve days of fighting between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and Mexican government troops in January 1994.

In response to this horrific act, the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico, myself and Aguascalientes LA-a broad coalition of Zapatista support groups as well as labor, community, Mexicano, Chicano, and student groups are here at the Mexican Consulate in order to demand and hold accountable the Consul for information as to why the 45 defenseless men, women and children were massacred last night and why the war against the Indigenous Zapatistas continues. We will continue to organize and take actions to demand an end to senseless blood shed and to demand the end of the genocidal war against the Indigenous Zapatistas.

This massacre is part of the on-going low-intensity war which has been waged against the Indigenous Zapatista communities since 1994. This policy includes the placement of more than 60,000 Mexican troops in the conflict zone and the use of terror, murder, repression, rape, torture and forced starvation. We find President Zedillo’s denial of involvement an outrage considering that this dirty war intensified in February 1995 when President Zedillo himself issued an executive order for a military offensive against the Zapatista communities. At that time, it was designed to undermine and terrorize Indigenous Zapatista supporters and destroy the larger popular movement both in Mexico and abroad. Now the Mexican federal government has once again intensified its efforts which are again designed to terrorize, divide, confuse and exhaust the social bases of the EZLN in an effort to force them to the negotiating table on the government’s terms.

We believe that this massacre can not be seen in isolation. The Mexican government’s silence and denials with regard to the on-going violence is a indication that it is committed to war as opposed to a peaceful resolution to the four year conflict. The massacre last night clearly represents the latest atrocity in what has become an incomprehensible situation in which paramilitary groups act with impunity while the Mexican government silently supports their campaign of violence against the Indigenous peoples. This violence has escalated over the last seven months leaving dozens murdered, "disappeared," raped, tortured and more than 7,000 Indigenous peoples homeless.

We demand that the violence must stop. We can not tolerate another genocidal war against the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. The Mexican government must stop its campaign of terror and death against the Indigenous Zapatistas who struggle only for the right to land, work, health, food, education, Indigenous rights and a life of dignity. The Mexican government must demilitarize the Indigenous communities and take action against these paramilitary groups. The Mexican government must also implement the San Andres Agreements on Indigenous Rights and Culture. We further demand that there US government suspend all military aid to Mexico and that there be full and independent investigations into the existing human rights situation in Chiapas.



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