ricardo dominguez on Fri, 7 May 1999 07:58:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Report on the Online Zapatistas Consulta + EPR Commander Z arrested

A very happy hello to our friends at the Encuentro!  And congratulations
for the tremendous success of the Consulta. Three million participants! 
Here in the north it seems a miracle because almost everyone up here is
asleep, secretly ashamed, and therefore isolated from themselves, mother
earth, and each other, all because they win in the struggle to be better

But not everyone.

The eVote team reports to you that the Online Consulta drew 210 voters: 

   Yes     No   Don't Know   Question

   207      2      1    1. uno
   192      7     11    2. dos
   201      2      7    3. tres
   202      2      6    4. cuatro
   179      8     23    5. cinco

and for the Solidarity Petition, 119 signatures.

For a complete report of the counting, and the attacks we drew, please
see: http://www.deliberate.com/consulta/results or write to
results@deliberate.com. In it we prove that we had probably only one
attacker, no more than two.  There is no way to know from where in the
world the attack was perpetrated.  Perhaps all the machines used to attack
us were accessed remotely, from some other machine not implicated in the
data.  Of all the machines that left a footprint on ours, only the one
called jaguar.uam.edu.ni ( d id not track from "dynamic IP"
addresses in Mexico which can *only* be remotely accessed.  Perhaps UAM in
Managua (011 505 278-3800) can help track our attacker(s) further. 

We are pleased to report that 160 voters in the Online Consulta indicated
that they wanted the EZLN to receive their email addresses.77 signers of
the Solidarity petition also gave permission to give their email addresses
to the EZLN bringing our online public relations army to 237. 

Very many of our voters and signers wrote thoughtful and heart-felt
comments, ensuring the quality of support we have in this community. These
comments can be found at http://www.deliberate.com/consulta/comentarios or
write to comentarios@deliberate.com. 

At the close of this important work, we want to say that it is a great
honor to work for justice shoulder to shoulder with Zapatistas in Mexico
through the internet.  In all the world, only indigenous and Zapatistas
are teaching democracy. We stand ready to help in any way we can. 

For the Consulta, we made the web pages and maintained the mechanisms for
the plebiscitic vote. But, if you wish, we could do much more. We have the
potential to support deliberative democracy, like that of some indigenous
in Mexico, Panama, Alaska and other places.  On the net, we can form a
group of supporters who can suggest ideas andpreguntas for the next
consulta. We can discuss and vote on thesesuggestions.  This process would
serve at least three purposes: uproot the criticisms about the contents of
the preguntas themselves, since new preguntas would be decided
democratically by the global community; involve global civil society in
our struggle at a more meaningful level; demonstrate and teach
deliberative, rather than plebiscitic, democracy. 

We understand, as you do, that there can be no lasting justice unless it
is global justice, unless the ordinary working people of the world, the
whole world, rise together and claim their earth and its bounty. This can
only happen now, now that there is the computer network to bind our
relationships, solidify our organizations, and carry truth. There could be
no better model for this unification and empowerment of ordinary peoples
than the indigenous of these continents, the people who have maintained a
caring relationship with the earth and each other for centuries in the
face of devastating aggression from Europeans sadly devoid of meaningful

Whether you chose to further computerize and globalize now or later,
please know that we online Zapatistas are with you and ready to assist
Zapatistas in Chiapas in any way we can, whatever path you choose. 

In total solidarity,

the team at zapa@deliberate.com


May 1, 1999

Popular Revolutionary Army commander arrested

By Pilar Franco

MEXICO CITY, Apr. 27 (IPS) --

The arrest of commander "Zacarias" in Mexico is a major step toward
"beheading" the insurgent Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR), according to
legal authorities. 

Having failed to earn the support of political organizations, and without
links to the larger Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in the
southeastern state of Chiapas, the EPR suspended its armed attacks a few
months ago, which led to its virtual disappearance from the scene. 

Prosecutor Jorge Eduardo Franco in the impoverished southern state of
Oaxaca expressed his confidence today that the arrest of Zacarias, also
known as "Commander Z," would shed important light on the armed group. 

The EPR leader was arrested by the judicial police on Apr. 25 in the
municipality of San Agustin Loxicha as he tried to make it past one of the
many military checkpoints set up in the southern states -- Oaxaca and
Guerrero -- where the EPR operates. 

Pascual Ramirez -- reportedly Zacarias' real name -- is facing a long
string of charges, including murder, incitement of rebellion, criminal
association and possession of weapons restricted to the exclusive use of
the army. 

Legal authorities in Oaxaca say they hope the rebel commander, who
maintains he is innocent of all charges, will provide important
information on his movement, Prosecutor Franco told a local radio

Zacarias is accused of heading an August 1996 EPR attack in La Crucecita,
in the Oaxaca municipality of Huatulco. 

The EPR first revealed its existence on Jun 28, 1996, at a rally of the
center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in the mountains of
Guerrero, which was being covered by television reporters. 

More than 100 indigenous people in the Loxicha region have been jailed for
supposedly belonging to the guerrilla group. Some detainees have spent as
long as two years in prison, pending trial, according to human rights
activists, who point out that no sentence has yet been handed down. 

Unlike the EZLN, which operates in Chiapas and has not fired a single shot
since the 12 days of fighting after its first public appearance in January
1994, the EPR has staged systematic attacks against army and police posts. 

The emergence of the EPR led the army to step up its presence in vast
areas of the country, which had been militarized after the Zapatistas
burst on the scene. 

The heavy military presence in Oaxaca and Guerrero has been accompanied by
the persecution, arrest and torture of peasant farmers and leftist
political leaders, according to rights organizations. 

The EPR agreed to the EZLN's request last month not to carry out actions
that would hinder the free movement of some 5,000 Zapatista rebels --
unarmed but wearing their habitual face masks -- who are touring the
country to promote a public consultation on indigenous rights and culture. 

Despite the heavy presence of the army in the area, 45 members of the EPR
showed up this week in the town of El Moreno, in the state of Guerrero,
calling on local residents to work for democratic change. 

The guerrillas, dressed in military fatigues, armed and with their faces
covered, combined their political action with sports, taking the time to
play a basketball game with local residents. Nearly three years since the
emergence of the EPR, the government continues to refuse to hold peace
talks with the group. Negotiations with the EZLN, meanwhile, have been
suspended since 1996. 

The EPR thus continues to wage what local analysts describe as a "silent

The EPR arose from the fusion of around 20 small armed groups reminiscent
of the guerrilla organizations fighting in Mexico in the 1970s. The basis
of the rebel group is the Party of the Poor -- created by the legendary
guerrilla fighter Lucio Cabanas - and the Clandestine Revolutionary
Workers Party. 

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