January 05, 2006

Zapatistas Take the City of Palenque for the First Time

After Visiting an Ancient Mayan Royal City, Marcos Will Visit a Notorious Indigenous Shantytown

By Concepción Villafuerte, Reporting from Chiapas with the Amado Avendaño Figueroa Brigade

Marcos left San Cristóbal at 8 a.m. His 20-vehicle convoy, which also carries a dozen masked indigenous men and women, stopped for a few moments at the Ocosingo gas station so that the Zapatistas could use the bathroom, then continued on without incident.

As the vehicles passed, closely monitored by the police from each of the towns they traveled through, groups of indigenous Zapatistas and sympathizers saluted and shouted “viva!”

The tourists who came to Palenque today, “realized, perhaps with surprise, that they came to see the ruins and instead found people that live, walk, talk, and especially shout, ‘Ya Basta!’” said Subcomandante Marcos in the central plaza, before some five thousand indigenous from the area.

In his third day touring Chiapas, the so-called “Delegate Zero” kept his motorcycle stashed in San Cristóbal and instead rode in a closed white truck to Palenque, which he claimed as “the symbol of Mayan culture, of its splendor and its progress.”


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