On the eve of January 1, the date that the new municipal authorities take power after the elections in October 2004, demonstrations are held, highways blocked, and confrontations take place in Oxchuc, Tila and Sabanilla.
First two weeks of January
During his visit to Chiapas, in the Selva Lacandona, President Vicente Fox claims that the EZLN “essentially remains in the past while everyone else is looking forward.” The COCOPA expresses “bewilderment“, although not on an official level, due to the lack of a quorum at the emergency session called because of these declarations. On another hand, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, Governor of Chiapas says: “I share his point of view that Zapatismo as an armed strategy is a thing of the past. We are speaking about the new expressions of Zapatismo, which are civilian in nature, and are efforts within their own territory to create for themselves new forms of coexistence.”
In the municipality of Palenque, 160 Tzeltal families are displaced from the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve to the community of Nuevo Montes Azules.
In Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, both the PRI and the Alianza PRD-PT claim victory following the municipal elections of 2004. The Electoral Tribunal of Judicial Power of the Federation finally declares the PRI victorious. Those who oppose this decision hold a sit-in in front of the municipal palace until they are violently evicted on February 15th. 54 people are arrested, according to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre. Six houses are burned, three cars destroyed, and highway blockades are set up intermittently. More than 800 armed municipal police officers and State Investigation Agency officials participate in the conflict.
The federal Chamber of Deputies decides to remove the immunity of the head of government of the Federal District of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and remove him from his political post, so that he can be tried for alleged contempt of court.
End of April
In the face of popular pressure expressed in large scale demonstrations it is decided not to continue with legal proceedings against Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Enlace Civil, an organization in charge of supporting projects in the autonomous Zapatista municipalities, receives notice from the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya- Bancomer that its nine bank accounts will be closed within 31 days, because of accusations of “illegal money laundering.”
The EZLN declares a red alert, leading to:
The Defence Minister states his ministry (SEDENA) has carried out an operation in which it found and destroyed 44 marijuana plantations within Zapatista territory. It soon emerges that the operation took place outside of the so-called “conflict zone,” in municipalities that have no Zapatista presence. As a result, the Ministry has to retract its allegations about the Zapatistas.
The EZLN publishes a series of communiqués:
June 29th– July 1st
In three communiqués, the EZLN presents the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Forest (Selva Lacandona). The Sixth Declaration sums up and evaluates the history and struggle of the Zapatistas during the last eleven years: “a new step in the indigenous struggle is only possible… if the indigenous join together with the workers of the city and the countryside.” This document proposes the creation of a “new front” that will construct a “national plan of action, that is clearly leftist, which is to say, anti capitalist” and to move towards the creation of a new Constitution. On the international level, it proposes the organization of an “intergalactic meeting”, like the one held in La Realidad in 1996.
The red alert is lifted. The Zapatistas invite national and international civil society to re-initiate contact with civilian Zapatista structures. They announce the creation of Information Commissions within the offices of the Good Government Councils.
A series of meeting are organized between civil society and the EZLN in various communities of the Selva Lacandona to prepare for the Zapatista delegations’ tour of the nation. In the plenary session in mid September, 2,069 people arrive at the Caracol of La Garrucha.
There is a confrontation between members of the Zapatista support bases and the rest of the population in the community of Belisario Domínguez in the municipality of Salto de Agua.
The EZLN announces that Subcomandante Marcos will lead the first phase of the Other Campaign, which will begin on January 1st, 2006 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and end on June 24th.
In the first week of October, Hurricane Stan severely affects Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In the southern region of Chiapas it is estimated that more than 18,000 houses and 174 schools were destroyed. The hurricane leaves more than 88 communities isolated, destroys more than twenty bridges and damages many highways.
It is reported that members of the Organisation for the Defence of Indigenous and Peasant Rights (OPDDIC) are planning to dismantle the autonomous municipality of Olga Isabel, and detain the local officials.
October 28th – November 2nd
An initiative proposed by the EZLN in the plenary sessions for the Other Campaign, the “Week for the Dead, Disappeared, and Imprisoned” is carried out in various parts of Mexico.
In El Limar, in the municipality of Tila in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, over 200 people from eleven communities meet to commemorate the more than 120 individuals who were murdered or disappeared from the region between 1994 and 2000.
In a communiqué released by the EZLN, the dissolution of the FZLN (Zapatista Front for National Liberation) is announced.
The EZLN announces the creation of the Intergalactic Commission, which will be led by Lieutenant Colonel Moisés.