Chiapas: the War

Between the Satellite and the Microscope:
the Other's Gaze

(Letter 5.1)

November 20, 1999

The following are some notes for the talk our CCRI-CG of the EZLN delegation will be having with a group of international observers from the CCIODH (International Civil Commission of Human Rights Observation). This talk was originally envisioned as a letter, anticipating that a personal meeting might not be possible. And now it remains as a letter, to be read out loud and face to face with the recipient, or rather, face to face with one of the recipients, because it is directed to national and international civil society.

I chose the date of the anniversary of the Mexican revolution, in addition to its being a prank, in order to have two images of this century here: one is the face of Emilio Zapata, the other is the face of an indigenous girl, with her face partially covered with a red scarf. Further on I will speak of these two images again.

This is not about demonstrating that there is a war on the Indian lands of the Mexican southeast (the Mexican government is doing everything they can to deny something so obvious), but to understand why this war is continuing.

Yes, this war that began in January of 1994 should have ended almost four years ago, when the first San Andre's Accords were signed and the dialogue process appeared to be progressing definitively towards the attainment of peace. There are reasons that the war continues, despite the fact that it could have been ended in a dignified and exemplary manner. Why war in Chiapas?

I ask for your patience and understanding. Given that I am not now restricted by the number of pages and considerations regarding the cost of paper and ink, I am thus able to expand on matters that would be dry if dealt with between the talks of Don Durito of the Lacandona and Old Antonio.

Sale, then, general theses, developed during the oral statement:

1. World Wars

- Constants: conquest and reorganization of territories, destruction of the enemy, administration of the conquest.

- Variables: military strategy. Actors involved. Weapons, tactics.

- World War III, the "Cold War" period. Two large superpowers, two nearby peripheries (Europe and part of Asia) and the rest as spectator and victims (Latin America, Oceana, Africa and the other part of Asia). The global arms race and local and regional wars.

- World War IV, the unipolar world to globalization. Neoliberalism. The double pair of destruction/depopulation and reconstruction/reordering, financial bombs. Destruction of nation states and what is inherent in them (language, culture, politics, economics, social fabric). Homogenization and hegemony began producing and encouraging the growth of their opposites: fragmentation and the increase in differences.

From the vast unified world to the archipelago, controlled and linked by computers and bombs (financial and otherwise). The war against humanity, that is, against the essentially human: dignity, respect, difference.

2. Military War. Projection in Concepts and Action. Stages:

a) World War III or Cold War.
Conventional war on European lands, localized nuclear war (Europe, Cuba, the east), total nuclear war. Strategy of advance positions, permanent logistical lines, stable rearguard. The large pacts. NATO, Warsaw, SEATO. Local wars: local armies and support of the metropolis. The dictatorships in Latin America, the wars in Africa, the Middle East conflict. The concept of total war is constructed, here incorporating economic, ideological, social, political and diplomatic arenas. Local wars within the concept of the 'domino theory.' The justification: the defense of democracy, aid and the prevention of world threats
(according to the logic of World War II).

b) World War IV.
Development and consolidation of the concept of total war. War anywhere and at anytime, under any circumstances. Evolution of military strategy. Strategy of rapid deployment (the invasion of Panama, the Persian Gulf war). Later, strategy of show of force (rejected almost immediately, anticipating protests, 'remember Vietnam.' New readjustment: "international" and "local" soldiers for world wars and the use of supranational bodies (Kosovo and NATO-UN). The justification: the defense of human rights (humanitarian war), in globalization, the entire world is the powers' backyard, ergo, anything that happens in any part of the world can be considered a direct threat to domestic security.

3. The World Military War.

Doctrines and Compartments.

a) Theatre of operations. From certainty to uncertainty, from systematic responses to versatility.

b) From the strategy of containment to that of extension. War is not limited to the military, but is extended to "non-war" actions, (the media and human rights). Therefore the "enemy" to be defeated is not just the opposing army or opposing armed force, but the entire social, political, economic and ideological framework within which the conflict develops. There are no longer "civilians" nor "neutrals," everyone is a "belligerent."

c) The readjustment of national armies in the new world strategy. The 'super-police' and their local helpers. Like in Hollywood, the main star and the "extras." The destruction of nation states forces national armies to restructure and to redefine their functions.

d) The budget. War as business. World military restructuring will be expensive. The budget Clinton presented for fiscal year 2000, and until 2005, could reach close to 1.9 trillion dollars, distributed among several accounts. The US' defense plan for the "future" is that of considering the enemy to be...the human species. The budget includes 12.6 billion for the Pentagon, 112 billion for military personnel, 280.8 billion for the military budget and 274.1 for other defense matters. The budget includes 555 billion for discretionary spending (281 for military personnel). In 2005, the United States will be spending more than the annual average during the Cold War (All figures from "The Defense Monitor," Center for Defense Information, Washington, D.C. #1, 1999. <>. Each one of the 6900 soldiers in Bosnia cost the United States $261,000, $1.8 billion for the year.

4. The War on the American Continent

a) The Cheney Doctrine. Drug trafficking as America's enemy. Replacement of the National Security doctrine with that of National Stability (limited sovereignty). Local and international police.

b) In the role of NATO...the OAS! The hemispheric defense system.

c) The testing of "versatility." Colombia and Chiapas. The objectives: redefine the archipelago according to the logic of the market. Business centers throughout the world, but disguised as old or "new" countries.

5. The War in Chiapas

Total war and total enemy. Everyone is the enemy. The objective is to destroy: the Indian peoples. The hindrance: the EZLN.

6. The War in Chiapas: The Conquest of the Land and the Plunder of War

a) Occupation Army: Behaviors: control of local political power (extension of the war), ad hoc creation of the media, distrust of the civilians, war plunder (children, drug trafficking, trafficking in precious woods, trade in blancas, alcohol, promotions, business, wages, benefits and desertions). The Military Police (insubordination, desertion versus civilians).

b) The surgical strike and the total strike. Not very propitious political environment. All options available for the right moment.

c) For the surgical strike: the GAFE (Air Transport Group of Special Forces).

d) For the total strike: Forces deployed in order to "block" the area. Underground cells, tunnels and crypts in the large barracks (San Quinti'n).

7. The Mexican Army

It is an Army moving towards its restructuring. Its current nature is that of a pawn to be sacrificed in the warlike game called "Chiapas." Its tests in the role of "local" police: drug trafficking, organized crime, subversion.

a) Restructuring of the general command. The interests of the military zones and regions (quota of the generals' powers).

b) Movement in quantity: from 170,000 in 1996. The budget grew by 44% between 1995 and 1996.

c) Fights between arms and between the Army, Air Force and Navy.

d) North American interference: The USADO (United States Attache' Defense Office) had two special teams in Chiapas in 1995, with the SEDENA's [Department of National Defense] blessing.

8. Individual Human Rights and Human Rights of the Peoples:

life, culture, difference, future.

9. The Images

Emiliano Zapata, yesterday, common and different face facing the Power. The zapatista indigenous girl, the future, common and different face facing the powers. Between the one and the other, the indigenous rebels of the EZLN, without face, and questioning everything, even their own steps.

From the mountains of the Mexican southeast.

By the Comandancia General
- Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

La Realidad at War.
November of 1999.

P.D. Map sequence. From the Satellite to the Microscope. Taken from Barreda Mari'n, Andre's. 'Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Atlas of the State of Chiapas.

a) Those of NAFTA: North America and the European Union. Including petroleum.

b) Military Spending in Mexico, 1987-1999.

c) The Mayan World. Location.

d) Indigenous in the Mayan World

e) Petroleum in the Mayan World

f) Minerals in Chiapas

g) Chiapas. Indigenous Groups. Languages.

h) Chiapas. Marginalization and the Indian Peoples.

i) Chiapas. Paramilitaries in 1997.

j) Chiapas. June 1999 Offensive.

Sender: irlandesa <> Originally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

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