Sunday, June 29, 2008

A footnote of sorts visa vis NAFTA and genocide

Every once in a while, I mention that the Zapatistas had, in their communiques, referred to NAFTA as genocidal. Here is just one, by Subcomandante Marcos, that jumped out at me as I was doing some background reading this evening:
The U.S. government has been wrong more than once in regards to its foreign policy. When this has occurred it is due to the fact it is making a mistake as to the man it ought to be backing up. History is not lacking in this type of examples. In the first half of this decade, the U.S. government made a mistake backing Carlos Salinas de Gortari. It made a mistake signing a NAFTA which lacked a majority support from the North American people and which meant an order of summary execution against the Mexican Indigenous people.

On the dawn of 1994 we rose up in arms. We rose up not seeking power, not responding to a foreign order. We rose up to say "here we are." The Mexican government, our government, had forgotten us and was ready to perpetrate a genocide without bullets or bombs, it was ready to annihilate us with the quiet death of sickness, of misery, of oblivion. The U.S. government became the accomplice of the Mexican government in this genocide.

With the signing of NAFTA, the U.S. government acted as guarantor of and gave its blessing to the murder of millions of Mexicans. Did the people of the U.S. know this? Did it know that its government was signing accords of massive extermination in Mexico? Did the people of the U.S. know that his government was backing a criminal? That man is gone. We remained. Our demands had not been solved and our arms kept saying "here we are" to the new government, to the people of Mexico, to the people and governments of the world. We waited patiently for the new government to listen to us and pay attention to us. But, within the dark circles of U.S. power someone decided that we, the insurgent Indigenous people of the Mexican South East, were the worst threat to the United States of America. From the darkness came the order: Finish them up!

They put a price on our brown skin, on our culture, on our word, because, above all they put a price on our uprising. The U.S. government decided, once more, to back a man, someone who continues with the politics of deceit of his predecessor, someone who denies the people of Mexico democracy, freedom and justice. Millions of dollars were lent to that man and his government. Without the approval of the American people, an enormous loan, without precedent in history, was granted to the Mexican government. Not to improve the living conditions of the people, not for the democratization of the country's political life, not for the economic reactivation promoting factories and productive projects. This money is for speculation, for corruption, for simulation, for the annihilation of a group of rebels, Indians for the most part, poorly armed, poorly nourished, ill equipped, but very dignified, very rebellious, and very human.
I cleaned up a couple glaring spelling errors, and highlighted passages that struck me as deserving emphasis, but otherwise the text is as originally translated. Flag Blackened has a pretty decent section on the Zapatistas, including EZLN communiques archived up through 2005.

No comments:

Post a Comment