Regional Geostrategic Policy Is Linked
to Plan Puebla Panama
The Autonomous Zapatista community of
Ricardo Flores Magno'n has made public that the removal of these Indian
communities, this forced "expulsion-relocation"process, is
part of a "regional geostrategic" plan targeting the whole
central mountain range of the Mayan jungle which goes beyond the Lacandon.
According to the Mexican government agency Profepa, its "two priorities
are: Montes Azules (the Lacandon jungle) and El Vizcaino (a whale reserve
in the Sea of California)." The goal of exploiters and foreign
corporations alike is to get at the surface and sub-surface resources
in this vast virgin territory, to develop maquiladoras and dams for
energy in Chiapas and Guerrero and to create a new tourist industry
throughout the region.
They see this as linked to the Plan
Puebla-Panama (PPP), a development corridor involving dry canals, highways
and maquiladoras which will run from Puebla, Mexico, through the narrow
neck of Mexico at Tehuantepec and all the way through Central America
to Panama. The PPP is the priority project of President Vicente Fox
whose government is determined to implement it whatever the cost in
money and lives. Within Mexico, the Plan Puebla Panama route passes
from Beneme'rito de las Americas to Palenque, along the northern edge
of the Lacandon jungle. In the coming months, several industries will
be opened as well as a four-lane highway which is already built, a brand
new frontier roadway system that borders Mexico and Guatemala and passes
within a few kilometers of Montes Azules.
La Jornada, Mar.17:
The Governor of Chiapas Will Decide
Who Is to be Expelled
To better understand the drama of this
removal, forced relocation and possible inprisonment of indigenous peoples
who live in these areas deep within the Lacandon jungle, it is necessary
to understand who some of the protagonists behind this strategy are.
At the international level, Bellinghausen has identified the following
names which are surprising. They include: NASA, the UN, Coca Cola, USAID,
the World Bank and "other international stars."
At the national (federal) level, within
Mexico, those interested in this
expulsion process include several key persons, among them: Ramo'n
member the Chiapas Environmental [Board] (La Mesa Ambiental), has
for "the broadest possible removal of delinquents from Montes
Another is Rodolfo Di'az Arvide who has a long history
in the Salinas-Zedillo PRI governments and is charged with involvement
the counterinsurgency war against the Indians. A third is Ivan Azuara
has already directed several "removal and relocation" operations
dozens of indian communities, a number of them pro- Zapatista.
At the Chiapas State level, the responsibility for deciding who is
removed from the Lacandon jungle will fall to the Govenor Pablo Salazar
Mendiguchia who must resolve the "hot potato" issue of ungovernability.
For this purpose, a new state body was set up called the "Environmental
Table to Annul the Denunciation of the Plunder and Ecological Damage"
possible re-location and indemnization to the settlements. What is
revealing about this rapid response team is that it was established
Sept.13, two days after the Twin Towers implosion.
Indians Fear They'll Be Removed via Environmental Disasters
Since 1998, several suspicious fires
have destroyed forest areas in
Montes Azules and some of the ARIC Independiente communities have
practiced "clear cutting" of all the trees in a given area
against the traditional Indian practice of selective tree cutting
careful burning for farming. Now the campesinos within the Biosphere
Reserve fear that new fires will break out, not set by them, which
result in driving them out of the forests.
Not far from the heart of the Lacandon,
lies the Chajul jungle which is
joined to the Guatemalan Ixcan. It is here that one of the principle
trans-frontier corridors has been built in an vast region which those
government circles, along with investors and environmentalists, are
calling the Mayan Jungle, which would unite the prodigious Guatemalan
Pete'n with the Lacandona and the Ixca'n jungle. This vast area represents
the "regional strategic plan" of the United States which
jungles in Belice, Guatemala and Mexico."
Bellinghausen says "it is clear
that the plans underway are considering,
where possible, to empty the Mayan people from the Mayan Jungle."
accomplish this, the Mexican government has already committed itself,
according to the numerous declarations and manifests from functionaries
in recent months, to act energetically against this new type of
"terrorism" recently defined by international conclaves
La Jornada, Mar.24:
"False Charges of Ungovernability Mask Corporate Greed
Environmental issues, biosphere inspection,
ecoturism and birth control
projects (birth control means eventually sterilizing indigenous women)
are all part of an opening wedge in a long-term strategic and military
project. According to Mexican authorities, this is a matter of
"international security," a grave problem of "ungovernability"
and a "war
operation." According to the government of Chiapas, approximately
these communities are bases supporting the EZLN [Zapatistas]. Another
percentage belong to ARIC Independiente [an agrarian network], two
PRI-backed and one is from CIOAC [a peasant coop]. During recent years,
diverse independent groups in Mexico have pointed to the fact that
military and geostrategic interests are using environmental concerns
justify these expulsion whereas what they are really after is the
which these biosphere reserves contain.
In October, 2001, while president
Fox was visiting New York and met with
president George W. Bush, a delegation of US diplomats was travelling
from Mexico City to Montes Azules. The Americans involved included
military attache, a person in charge of economic and commercial relations
and a representative of political affairs from the US Embassy in Mexico.
Durig the visit, members of Compitch--an independent environmemntal
organization--heard the commercial attache from Washington say: "I
in the name of my government and of our companies. We want to carry
biosphere inspection in the Lacandon jungle, but we are also interested
in doing this throughout Chiapas and throughout the world. Our interest
is, basically, commercial and strategic."
La Jornada Virtu@l, Mar. 27,
Indians Speak the Truth: their Removal is Iimminent
The atmosphere in the Montes Azules
Reserve has changed dramatically.
Even though the government covers up the truth, rumors are rampant.
Mexican government claims that public opinion believes conditions
Reserve are improving and that concord exists between the communities
the other organizations. Indians claim this is untrue. They say,
campesinos from San Antonio Escobar have been cutting down cedar trees
and the mahogany for a long time. Now, the rebel authorities are warning
that the government is taking avantage of this time of drought when
indigenous are preparing the earth for seeding to attack them. And,
are using the few Lacandon Indians--the original tribes, but who in
came from outside the Lacandon--to denounce other Indians as the ones
carrying out the forest destruction.
To the contrary, the autonomous Zapatista
authorities say the goal is to
remove our communities from the jungle so that the Plan Puebla Panama
strategy can go forward. Indeed, they point out that the PPP "is
conterinsurgency strategy aimed at removing us, because neoliberal
interests seek to obstruct our different cultures because we see the
as sacred, as our mother, as a communal benefit, something that cannot
used just to benefit the few."
The goal is cultural extermination.
Towards the end of not allowing the
development of our communities, the goal--according to the autonomous
council, "is to create Centers of Strategic Development"(CEDs)
concentrating their support forces and obliging campesinos to leave
communities through lack of survival opportunities. In these CEDs,
will have to look for work in the maquiladoras or in tourism. "The
is that they want to stop us from being campesinos and indians...
do that they have to first divide us. That is the purpose of the
counterinsurgency, the same old manipulations, the same threats; the
political pressure, the economic pressures and, worst of all, extreme
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