Back to Index

How to Deal with Mexico's Zapatistas by George W. Grayson

I wondered about the wisdom of the closing of army bases in Chiapas by President Fox. George Grayson sent me his latest FPRI report, which gives his explanation. Here is an extract:

"Political correctness has eclipsed sound judgment in Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada's overtures to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). Rather than heed the views of Xochitl Galvez Ruiz, 38, who heads Fox's recently created Presidential Indigenous Affairs Office, the new chief executive has relied heavily on the advice of Foreign Secretary Jorge Castaneda, 47, and National Security Adviser Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, 51. Castaneda and Aguilar are bright, articulate, and well-connected internationally. But they are also leftist intellectuals, ever ready to make shrill charges of "victimization" -- whether it's at the United States for perceived exploitation of illegal Mexican immigrants or at the landowning elite's subjugation of Indians in the poverty-ridden, southern state of Chiapas. This involves seven military bases near the EZLN enclave that El Sub wanted closed, removing 2,100 soldiers, dismantling 53 check-points, halting fly-overs of the "conflict zone," releasing 20 of some 100 Zapatistas who were behind bars,and reopening the state to pro-guerrilla foreigners. The chief executive has also appointed Luis H. Alvarez, an original COCOPA member and one of the nation's most respected politicians, as Chiapas Peace Coordinator."

Ronald Hilton - 2/12/01