Ferro's Army?

New Mexican appointee in Washington tied to paramilitary massacre

Despite repeated pleas for help from surrounding villagers and fleeing witnesses— some made directly to Ruiz Ferro's office— no government forces intervened. A police garrison within earshot of the massacre did nothing. Army forces nearby stood down. While a "white paper" issued by the Mexican federal attorney general's office chose to attribute the massacre to local tribal tensions, it nonetheless held Ruiz Ferro's administration responsible for allowing the massacre to occur. While a handful of punishments have been meted out, and the Clinton administration has publicly supported the Mexican govern-ment's actions, privately some State Department officials express consternation at the handling of the Acteal investigation, as well as the general situation in Chiapas.

"Maybe," says Womack, on the appropriateness of Ruiz Ferro's new agricultural billet, "blood is good fertilizer."

Research: Ginger Otis

Chiapas Conference"Demystifying Chiapas,' a day-long multidisciplinary conference, will be held on Thursday, April 8, at NYU Law School and the New School for Social Research. Participants will include John Womack Jr., author ofRebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader, and Nettie Wild, director of the documentary filmA Place Called Chiapas.

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