Mexico has held talks with the Israeli defence ministry on confronting the Zapatistas of Chiapas

Subcomandante Marcos EZLN - From TumblrAl Jazeera, 6/10/2013

Why now? Several observers have raised this question since the announcement in early May that Jorge Llaven Abarca, Mexico’s secretary of public security for the troubled southern state of Chiapas, had engaged in talks with the Israeli defence ministry. According to Llaven Abarca, the parties discussed security cooperation and coordination on policing, prisons and the effective use of technology. Only one major Mexican news organisation reported on the announcement in its immediate aftermath.

Chiapas is home to the EZLN (Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional), a movement comprised of indigenous Mayan fighters and their supporters. The Zapatistas led a popular rebellion against the Mexican government in January 1994, on the occasion of NAFTA’s implementation, re-taking large tracts of land in and around the Lacandon rainforest. Since then, the EZLN has established cooperative farms, autonomous schools, health clinics and other community infrastructure.

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Zapatistas break silence to slam Mexico elite

subcomandante marcosAl Jazeera, 2/15/2013

After years of silence, secluded in their base communities in Mexico’s impoverished south, indigenous Zapatista rebels have re-emerged with a series of public statements in recent weeks, attempting to reignite passions for their demands of “land, liberty, work and peace”.

In December, 40,000 Zapatista supporters marched through villages in Chiapas, re-asserting their presence. In January and February, Subcomandate Marcos – the Zapatistas’ pipe-smoking, non-indigenous spokesman and an international media darling – issued a series of communiques slamming the government of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which assumed power in December.

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