The third front in mexico

The internet has become open scene of the social conflict in Chiapas

It’s all thought out: The worn guesses decorate three red stars, over the face is a big wool mututz pulled out of just the great eyes out. The belt adorns an empty pistol holster, over the shoulder straps a belt with cartridges. Marcos, the "Subcommand" the "Zapatist army for national liberation" (EZLN) combines two supposedly incompatible worlds. The Guerillero uses the symbolism of the Mexican revolution as well as the technical innovations of the 20. and 21. Century. In contrast to other Latin American guerrilla movements, the Internet is not only a propaganda presentation, it is part of its political strategy.


With mobile phone and cartridge strap: Subcommand Marcos. Photo: Indymedia Chiapas

Soon after the spectacular occupation of several cities in the sad-mexican state of Chiapas on the first of January 1994, the military inferiority of the movement became clear. Nevertheless, the prophecy of a rapid defeat of the uprising, because the group continued their struggle at the media level. For the uprising the virtual sphare, Marcos had explained in an interview at that time, a completely novel space that it applies to occupy. Eight years after the surprising appearance of the group, this goal is largely realized.

The war of networks

Amazing is that the EZLN has no own official homepage. At www.Ezln.Although or is one side, which was registered immediately after the media-effective appearance of the Zapatists in 1994 by the US literature student Justin Paulson – certainly not against the interests of the group. To the strategy of the EZLN do not lectich in the construction of its own organization with the aim of taking over the power, but networking and construction of the "Civil society". More than once they have confessed the Herbe criticized, Orthodox-oriented guerilla movements of Latin America.

For the march of Zapatists on Mexico City in February 2001, massive has also been recruited on the Internet. Photo: Indymedia Chiapas

When the former Mexican sword Minister Jose Angel Gurria tried the Zapatiste uprising but with concern for the image of his government as a war of the printer black and the Internet, the subcommand encountered him with HAME. Gurria attempts to promote a picture that he can not control from Mexico from control because it is at the same time as a year, says Marcos. Currently you can find yourself under the keyword "Ezln" Far over 100.000 entries in the network. Many of them are hosted in the USA, where Burger’s lawyers and privacy facilities were conceivably made a politically motivated approach to the pages.

The third front in Mexico

Give the theses of David F. Ronfeldt believe from the edge cooperation, so prevails in Mexico since then "Social war in the net". The zapatists, that is the basic thesis of security analysts, had developed a new form of social struggle. Not only the foundations of the Mexican political system had been degraded, even the interests of the USA were threatened, concluded the edge analysts in the 168-pine security study, which was published in book form.

Mexico’s Zapatista Movement Exemplifies A New Approach To Social Conflict That WE Call Social Netwar. Mexico, The Nation That Gave The World A Prototype of Social Revolution Early in The 20th Century, Has Generated to Information-Age Prototype of Militant Social Netwar on the Eve of the 21st Century. This Study Examines The Nature of This Netwar and ITS Implications, Not Only for Mexico But So for Our Understanding of the Prospects for Similar Conflicts Elsewhere.

The Zapatista "Social netwar" in Mexico, David F. Ronfeldt (1998)

Because the zapatists had finished it "Spectrum of Instablitaten" In the neighboring state of the United States, Ronfeldt and its Counters understand the Zapatist strategy in the study commissioned by the US militar as one "new challenge" For security policy in Mexico, the US and the rest of the world.

Photo: Indymedia Chiapas

Prasence on the Internet serve primarily to contact NGOs (non-governmental organizations). The in turn was responsible for diffusion of the political content and the development of international networks, which in turn applied to the Mexican government in the sense of the zapatists. Not the direct military confrontation is therefore the objective of the EZLN, but the construction of such friendly networks. Irony of the matter: The rights analyst Ronfeldt confirms an ancient slogan of the left that the solidarity is a weapon. Consequently, however, the authors recommend that the work of the NGOS Artistic should be dedicated to a strong interest of the US militar.

Consequences of security studies

When Mexico and the Internet for Zapatists a trial field "For other similar conflicts" is, what does that mean in reverse? In September 2000, the Mexican Prasident Vicente Fox experienced a comprehensive modernization campaign for the, so Fox in a radio response, "underdeveloped suds" (of his country). To the plan obey the expansion of the internet and other media infrastructure (second conquista?To). Almost at the same time the Mexican daily published "La Jornada" An internal study for the Mexican prasident in which under the title "Chiapas 2000" Tactics for "Decline" influential (up-to-desk) groups, especially the EZLN, are recommended.

Thus, the reason for the armed conflict should be analyzed in Chiapas. In addition, it applies so it is called in "Chiapas 2000", Return the influence of the existing actors of all pages to regain political sovereignty in Chiapas. Central importance comes in the paper of the media encounter of the conflict. For social programs, the impression arise that they are not due to the prere of the EZLN, but because of the "legitimate demands of our indigenous brother in Chiapas" be started. This will allow Vicente Fox to be possible in Germany and abroad again to take a protagonist role.

To regain the Mediale Highness, MUSS "Social communication determined by audiVisual media" will. This should be copied to the propagandist level the strategy, the subcommand Marcos with the Internet pursue. The expansion of its own internet language does the incident.

The opposite side rests on her laurels but not. "It is obvious that Fox relies on television as propaganda", Says Paco, one of the staff of the Buros of Indymedia in Chiapas. In San Cristobal de Las Casas, you have set up your Buro in a small room. Of two discarded computers, "who only run again thanks to a friendly computer freak", The student’s jokes, the site is updated.

The Chiapanekian Buro of Indymedia (IMC) was founded a year ago, just before a coarse march of the Zapatists on Mexico City and the demonstrations against the World Economic Forum in the tourist city of Cancún. "Indymedia in Chiapas works in a special situation", Says another employee, Maria, "because we have to deal with different languages." In the Zapatistish communities, from which and over the one reports, three different Native American idioms are spoken next to Spanish. Even if you do not consider that, even Spanish and Portuguese pages on the Internet are still less than ten percent.

Many of the local media projects that have emerged in the syllable circle of solidarity movement with the zapatists, given the importance of the media in wrestling around the opinion fuferschaft courses for dealing with media. One of the San Cristobal-occupied organizations, for example, tries to train women from the indigenous communities at the video camera. "In view of illiteracy in the municipalities, video documentation should be used by those affected to build prere against the police, army or paramilitarian groups", Says Paco, who cares about the video project at Indymedia. The videos were then published on the IMC page. Thus, one attempts to reduce the gap between the communities concerned and the support groups. So far, Maria says, be it that it will be reported on the zapatists. But their opinion is always always "Printed by a filter" has been. With the video project you want to give the request of the dissemination "Authentic information" satisfy.

Cathedral of San Cristobal: Diozese sponsoring independent media projects

Problems with the authority has hardly had the Indymedia Buro. However, the apartment has been broken into the apartment of a friendly journalist. "The rooms were thuded and the computer destroyed". The burglars had sprayed on the wall: "We do not want any foreign journalists here."

Nevertheless, the mostly student employees of the Buros want to expand their work. International networking, to which the Internet is a major fund, has not lost importance. It is also clear that the Mexican state did not escape that. As a few weeks ago, a poster designed by the Indymedia Buro was glued in the city, on the US Prassident George W. Bush is referred to as a terrorist, a backpacking traveler from Portugal raised the placadians. The scene was observed by a policeman who arrested the young man. A few days later he was deported.

Nevertheless, the media makers face the political difficulties mainly exposed to financial contradictions. That’s why the little Buro at the same time serves as an internet cafe, through which you want to fuel the cash register something. "Indymedia does not depend so much of resources than rather from the activity of the people", says Paco. And in the end still remain the technical hurden. "Subcommand Marcos has no server", This means the Ezln.Org-Grunder Paulson. The messages of the famble Guerilleros were still arguably passed by donkeys and jeep from the jungle to militar controls.

Harald Neuber, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

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