Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of the Zapatista rebel uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. And thousands of protesters marched in Mexico City demanding the withdrawal of some 35,000 Mexican army troops presently stationed in the province. Protesters also called for the prosecution of those responsible for the December 22 massacre of some 40 people in the Chiapas village of Acteal.
The massacre, and growing militarization of Chiapas, comes in the wake of sharply increased military ties between the United States and Mexico. Saying that the military support is necessary for the war on drugs, Washington is providing the Mexican military with extensive covert intelligence support and training of hundreds of its officers to help shape a network of anti drug troops around the country.
But the military build-up has proceeded despite growing concern that it may lead to more serious problems of corruption and human rights abuses.
- Carlos Sslinas, Amnesty International’s advocacy director for Latin American and the Caribbean.