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Offener Brief der EZLN an den Herausgeber der Zeitung "La jornada"

Die Ermordung zweier Aktivisten der EZLN in Chiapas hat in der mexikanischen Presse die üblichen Verzerrungen hervorgerufen. Wie oft, war die Zeitung "La Jornada" das einzige Blatt, das differenziert
berichtete. Darauf reagierte die Staatsanwaltschaft von Chiapas mit einer ganzseitigen bezahlten Anzeige in "La Jornada" in der sie ihre zynische Version der Ereignisse ausbreitete. Javier Elorriaga antwortete für die EZLN darauf in einem offenen Brief an "La Jornada" mit der die Lügen der Staatsanwaltschaft - es habe sich um eine Familienfehde gehandelt - zurückwies. Der offene Brief der EZLN kam (auf englisch) über die Mailingliste nettime" On journalistic integrity and cynical depths in Chiapas":

Thursday, August 29 2002

Letter to the Editor, La Jornada

regarding the full-page display ad (Wednesday, August 28, 2002), paid for by the Government of Chiapas, and in which the Prosecutor's Office for Justice [PGJ] of the State of Chiapas offered its "objective and professional" version of the recent paramilitary attack against zapatistas of Flores Mago'n, some comments:

1.- In the display ad, a pair of "docile" and "peaceful" paramilitaries, with their full names, appeared as witnesses, Nicolás Hernández Gutiérrez and Camilio Hernández Ballinas, who, paid for by the PGJ, "objectively and professionally" stated that what took place in Amaytic was a family conflict. In the government's display ad, the dead have no names, the PGJ refers to one as "a deceased", and they have mislaid another dead zapatista compa. For their relatives, for zapatistas throughout the world and for La Jornada, they do have names: Lorenzo Martinez Espinosa and Jacinto Hernández Gutierrez. That is what La Jornada and their correspondent Hermann Bellinghausen are being reproached for? That they name the dead? The "witnesses" are convalescing in the hospital, paid for by the Government of Chiapas. The zapatista dead are being kept vigil over by their relatives, in their huts, paid for by the consciences of the state and federal governments.

2. - As is obvious, the Chiapas PGJ prefers the attitude of complicit silence which the majority of the written and electronic press adopted, and they characterize the fact that La Jornada has dedicated a respectable amount of space to the cowardly paramilitary attack of August 25 as being an "obviously militant attitude." It so happens that now the "models" of an objective press are "Diario de Chiapas" and "Cuarto Poder," and that journalistic objectivity is defined in terms of the power of money, and not in terms of the facts and actors involved (dead, in the case of the zapatista compas). The Government of Chiapas has paid for an "objective and professional" full- page display ad (approximate cost: 100,000 pesos), paid for by the public treasury. The zapatistas appeared on the front page (to the exasperation of the federal and state governments), paid for with their own blood.

3. - The Chiapas PGJ, with its display ad, has invited the public to close their eyes and ears. The blood of the dead zapatistas has invited civil society to not forget. Forgetting costs money, memory costs blood.

4. - The bodies of Lorenzo Martinez Espinosa and Jacinto Hernández Gutie'rrez are lying in huts in the Ricardo Flores Mago'n Autonomous Municipality. La Jornadás "militant" version gave proof of their death. The Chiapas PGJ's "objective and professional" version gave full-page proof of the government's cynicism. Yesterday, purported "zapatistas" were being paid to "desert" the EZLN. Today, "witnesses" are being paid to profusely promote "family conflicts" in the mountains of the Mexican southeast. In a full-page display ad, the Chiapas PGJ has reiterated the government's need to construct lies (badly edited, incidentally) in order to arrange facts in favor of cynical and irresponsible forgetting. In this letter, I am merely saying that the Government of Chiapas is looking more like the Croquetas Albores and less like Salazar Mendiguchi'a.

5. - We readers are grateful to La Jornada and to their correspondents in the conflict zone for having given voice to the blood of the dead zapatistas. And also for their having given us the opportunity to savor that mixture of cynicism and bad editing which is the Chiapas PGJ display ad.

6. - Journalistic objectivity is not cynicism which waits in line for its government paycheck. If memory eventually reaches the front page, and the "letters to the editor" more regularly, it is because power makes up in money what it lacks in shame.

7. - Hopefully more deaths and more front pages will not be necessary to remind us that we should not forget. And, I repeat, the names of the zapatista dead are: Lorenzo Marti'nez Espinosa and Jacinto Hernández Gutie'rrez, their deaths were indeed in favor of a political and ideological cause: the recognition of the rights of the Indian peoples. And they were also against a political and ideological cause: that of forgetting and cynicism made governments.

Thanks to La Jornada.
Javier Elorriaga. Zapatista Front of National Liberation

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