<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español August 15, 2018 | Issue #41

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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
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Marcos Reappears in Atenco and Challenges Commercial Media to “Tell the Truth”

Holding Up Bullet Cartridges Used by State Police in Atenco, “Delegate Zero” Offers Interview to Any Mass Media that “Guarantees it Will Be Uncut and Unedited”

By Al Giordano
The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign in San Salvador Atenco

May 5, 2006

SAN SALVADOR ATENCO; STATE OF MEXICO, FRIDAY, CINCO DE MAYO, 2006: Holding up a shiny bullet cartridge into the evening drizzle of raindrops, Zapatista Insurgent Subcomandante Marcos tonight challenged the Commercial Media — by name, Televisa and TV Azteca, the twin antennas of disinformation in Mexico — saying, “We, the Zapatistas, have always told the truth.”

The cartridge, said Marcos, is the proof that police forces are responsible for the death of 14-year Javier Cortés this past Wednesday, near here.

His words, evidence that the guerrilla spokesman of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, in its Spanish initials) is not going to let the truth of this story die under a wave of media and government dishonesty.

And his announcement — that he will remain in Mexico City “indefinitely” — demonstrated that he has in his hand the thread of the curtain of deceit woven by a corrupt and compromised media and intends to keep pulling until that curtain comes down in tatters.

In response to what he called the “smear campaign” that the two national TV networks and other Commercial Media have waged against the fighting citizens of San Salvador Atenco and their (now imprisoned) leaders in recent days, Marcos, in his first public words since Wednesday afternoon when he announced that the EZLN has gone on “Red Alert,” he addressed the news correspondents present amidst a crowd of more than 10,000 indignant Atenco residents, plus a multitude of students and adherents of the Zapatista Other Campaign who marched nine kilometers into town with him earlier this evening.

“To the media and its workers,” he said. “I have seen you in Chiapas, risking your lives, suffering hunger, and I have seen how your bosses change everything. I’ve seen how your photos, your videos, are disappeared into the desk drawers of your editors.”

“There is a lynch mob campaign against the FPDT (Peoples’ Front in Defense of Land, the organization of the Atenco citizens that stopped a multi-billion dollar international airport project in 2002) and its leaders,” Marcos continued, indignantly. “Your bosses are putting themselves at the service of lies. They are paid by those who have money, and we don’t have it. Well, they are not in the streets. They are not in the factories. They are not out planting the fields. The Mass Media… is dedicated to discrediting the good and noble people who fight. The members of the FPDT are adherents of the other campaign. Ignacio del Valle and other men and women went out this week to help other adherents and they complied with that work. And we will support them just the same.”

“And you are the camera operators,” he faced into the crowd of reporters surrounding the steps of the Emiliano Zapata Auditorium. “It will not be your bosses who face the outrage and insults of the people. It will be you, the camera operators, video technicians, and reporters.”

“Here, below, we don’t believe anything that is reported because we are already familiar with how the media manages information,” he said, reaching into a white plastic bag.

“This is what some citizens brought to us tonight,” he said, holding a shiny object into the air as the drizzle increased into a light rain, and, yet, nobody left to find cover: nobody moved. The crowd hushed silent. “This is a rifle cartridge used by the state police of the State of Mexico. Televisa! Where are you? I am going to deliver a cartridge to you… TV Azteca! Are you here? Here are the cartridges! Bring them to your bosses! What, you don’t want to step forward?”

A voice in the crowd shouted, “Tape it well then, asswipes!”

“I am going to remain for an indefinite period of time in Mexico City to participate in the mobilizations,” Marcos announced, repeating that the protests will not stop until all the political prisoners arrested this week — 400 known about, and counting still — are released. “Workers of the media: Since we began the Other Campaign, we have not been giving interviews to anybody. We had another idea, to confront the mediocrity up above. We decided to give preferential treatment to the alternative media.”

“But that is about to change,” he said. “If our word is broadcast uncut and unedited… but first you will have to present one of these cartridges to your bosses.”

Returning to the priority of the day — freedom for the Atenco 400 – Marcos concluded his remarks, saying, “We are going to mobilize all over this country. And if the government doesn’t want problems it will have to free all the political prisoners today, or tomorrow at the very latest.”

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America