Chiapas, Mexico: Picnic in the Park
Dec. 15, 1998
Chiapas: Picnic in the Park
The United States says that its military aid to Mexico is being used to stem
the flow of drugs from Mexico to the United States. Where does the military
equipment and money go that is sent by the United States to fight this drug
war ? On a Sunday outing just south of San Cristobal, members of CPT Mexico,
found some of that equipment
As we walked along the road, we met a group of people descending from the back
of a tarp covered stake truck that bore signs, "Por La Paz" and another about
Guatemala and Chiapas. We asked what they were doing. They explained that
they were going to Guatemala City to receive a torch of
peace. They would run back in relays bringing the torch to San Cristobal.
Relays are part of the ancient Mayan culture. These Catholic ancestors of the
Mayans have dedicated their run to the Virgin of Guadalupe who instructs us to
pray and fast for peace. They will arrive back on the feast day of Our Lady
Further down the road was Rancho Nuevo, a military base, that surrounds a
national park featuring caves, horse back riding and picnic areas. We had
read in two books and it was confirmed by two thirty-year residents of San
Cristobal that a joint United States/ Mexico radar tower was on a mountain
in this military base.
We approached the base and asked if there was a radar tower on the mountain.
The guard on duty affirmed that there was , but said we could not enter
because there was military training in that area and it was dangerous. He
indicated that the base ended not much further down the road and there was a
perimeter fence. We followed his directions and the perimeter
fence back off the road for approximately one mile up a mountain, but even
from that high perch we were unable to see that radar tower.
We returned to the guard post and talked about the orchids we had seen and
asked when they bloomed. The soldier said May was the month for blooms.
Heading down the road back toward town, we were surprised to see a caravan of
military vehicles, 7 humvees and 9 small troop carriers with 10 soldiers each,
passing on an interior road.
"Mexico's National Institute To Combat Drugs ( INCD) issued a report covering
the period, Nov. 16, 1995 - April 30, 1996 , in which the Institute identified
the 10 Mexican states in which the most drugs had been found and destroyed.
The southern state of conflict -ridden Chiapas was not mentioned." (The
Slippery Slope/ U.S. Military Moves Into Mexico, S. Brian Willson, Updated,
Why are United States tax dollars being used for a radar installation and for
military equipment in a Mexican state that apparently has little if any
connection to drug production or activity? Is this equipment being used to
intimidate Mexican citizens who are seeking a role in the democratic processes
of their government?