ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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MEXICO-Massacre at Chenalho Erasing Chiapas Uprising

COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY MILITIAS Massacre at Chenalho Erasing Chiapas Uprising Vijay Prashad JUST before noon on Monday, December 22,1997, a detachment of almost 70 members of a landlordist paramilitary organisation entered the village of Acteal in highland Chiapas, Mexico and attacked the villagers. The attack killed at least 45 people (21 women, nine men, 14 children and one infant) in a 5-hour long bloodbath, witnessed by the local police who stood quietly at a distance of 200 metres, The Mexican government shortly afterwards issued a statement that called for an investigation' into the 'incident'. The tone of the official statement revealed that the 'investigation' will blame this 'incident' on either a religious (anti- Catholic) or ethnic (anti-Tzotzil Indian) conflict or else it will minimise it as a 'skirmish' that is said to periodically affect remote regions. Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) dispatched a communique to the international press in which he asked the Mexican government: "How was Christmas dinner, did it have a little taste of blood?" (Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee, December 26,1997). This short report on events in south-eastern Mexico asks the same question, not just to the Mexican state, but also to the agents of US imperialism that stand behind it (not simply to secure Mexico's flimsy economy, but also to keep its political system in fine balance).

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