A week after the new camp was installed, the new Mexican Federal Army's base in the banks of the river Euseba, has become a great threat to La Realidad. Presently housing 500 military personnel who themselves have said to the peasants who pass close by, that they will not leave, "that they are there to take La Realidad".
Also, the Army's special task forces have shortened the distance that separate them from the emblematic zapatista town, installing themselves on the other side of the river and not only now in the lands of the next town, Hidalgo.
During the first days, there were 80 to 90 military personnel. After the protest from the zapatista bases of support this past October 8th, they duplicated in number reaching 150. Since yesterday their numbers reached five hundred.
In what results in a change in strategic scheme on the part of General Mario Renan Castillo, highest chief of the armed forces in the conflict area, (that consisted in concentration of troops two months ago), the new positions expand the combat positions of the Mexican Federal Army, with obvious offensive intentions.
The large army bases of San Quintin and Quadalupe Tepeyac have mobilized military personnel, arms and equipment for the bases at Hidalgo. An army detachment left San Quintin to occupy again the town of Providencia (since the detachment there advanced to the Euseba river), and 11 vehicles filled with equipment and barbed wire left Quadalupe Tepeyac; they went through La Realidad with a 20 vehicle patrol and 180 soldiers, and delivered the equipment on the banks of the river Euseba 5 kilometers from here. At that site another barracks and supply stores for another base is being build at high speed.
To complete the scenario, since today at 4 in the morning a low flying recognizance plane practiced flights over La Realidad and it's neighboring towns, and later military helicopters flew overhead.
In the meantime, the construction work on the road that was taking place by a private company, by concession of the State government, continue suspended and the tensions increase. The thread of peace stretches and thins out. How much more will it take before breaking?
The civilian population is concerned and on alert. From here, a great loneliness is felt. Is La Realidad all alone?
It's one thrifty in the afternoon. Through the town, and a few meters away from the Aguascalientes, 31 vehicles of the military patrol, in the majority Hummers with armed troops pass very slowly. From several of the vehicles machine guns are visible and in position. Hanging from them are the bullet belts and their gunners point to anything that moves.
Other soldiers film and photograph the witnesses on the road. The children in the town are indoors. A few peasants observe discreetly, while some members of the Civilian Peace Camp place themselves, as always, on both sides of the road.
And last, from a truck, a canon is pointed against the civilian population. That is what they call, "to cover their rear guard".
translated by: Susana Saravia Ugarte Nuevo Amanecer Press/USA translators notes: Aguascalientes: zapatista camp. La Realidad: Zapatista town where subcommander Marcos is given interviews to the press. Translation from La Jornada, Mexican Daily. NUEVO AMANECER PRESS is a volunteer non profit organization. We are part of "civil society" in Mexico, USA and Spain supporting the work of human rights and the Peace Process in Chiapas, Mexico. As an alternative press service we hope to be one more link in the chain of hope that is distributing, duplicating and translating the news that the regular media does not cover. The news that speaks on behalf of the poor. We encourage translation and duplication of all materials. Please mention the source.