History of Indigenous Peoples

The National Democratic Convention in Chiapas

CHIAPAS

In Aguascalientes, Chiapas the EZLN and a coordinating committee
are preparing the National Democratic Convention which will be held
from August 6-9 in the Lacandon jungle. 6,000 participants are
expected, including representatives from non-profit and grassroots
organizations, campesinos and indigenous people.

In an interview published this week in the national weekly Proceso,
Marcos stated that the main objective of the convention is to "stop
electoral fraud" and assure that the voting process is respected.
The convention is meant to create a peaceful civil movement, and if
successful, will aid in preventing a civil war and providing
options in the transition to democracy. Marcos commented that the
PRI's lack of credibility is such that even if the PRI wins through
clean elections it will be difficult to believe that there was no
fraud. A spokesperson for the commission organizing the convention
stated that if there is electoral fraud the Zapatistas may choose
to break the cease-fire treaty (however, their response will also
depend on the results of the convention). The EZLN claims to be in
contact with four other armed groups who will also rise up if the
elections are not clean and transparent.

Convention participants will meet in San Cristobal on the 6th where
they will split into five round-table discussion groups. Some of
the themes that will be covered are the transition to democracy,
peaceful means to democracy, elections and civil disobedience, the
formation of a national agenda that will respond to the needs of
the people and the possible characteristics of a transitional
government and a new constitution. There will no zapatista
participation on this day. On the 7th, delegates will travel into
the Lacandon jungle to meet with EZLN members and present the
results of the round-table discussions. The convention will end on
August 9 with resolutions.

PRD Candidate for Governor Injured in Mysterious Car Accident

Amado Avenda$o Figueroa, PRD candidate for governor in Chiapas, is
in stable condition after a head on collision with a trailer. At
approximately 5:30 am on July 25th the white Suburban, in which
Avenda$o and five others were driving on the Chiapas highway, was
hit head on by a speeding trailer with no license plates. Three
were killed. One of the survivors of the accident told reporters
that it was impossible to avoid the trailer due to the incredibly
fast speed at which it was moving.

The Attorney General's office in Chiapas reported that an
investigation had shown that the incident was the result of lack of
caution and excessive speed on the part of the driver of the
trailer and the case has been officially closed.

Avenda$o's supporters are outraged with the official claim that the
incident was an accident and uphold that it was an attempt on his
life. Marcos questioned the fact that a vehicle with no license
plates was able to get through a highly militarized zone, and there
is some confusion as the truck came from the far away state of
Chihuahua. A spokesperson for the convention's organizing committee
stated that the incident is part of a "dirty war of cover-ups" by
people who refuse to give up their privileges. Critics also claim
that the assault was an effort to disrupt the peace process and the
National Convention and create a violent atmosphere in order to
deter voters.

500 people from four municipalities marched in San Cristobal de las
Casas protesting the attempt on Avenda$o's life.

gwelker@mail2.lmi.org Tue, 9 Aug 1994 09:39:51 EST

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