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?Atter r, . a btfrtrb….t., tet., e a4 ,,t ,g 214c 44,114 144J./. ii ” 01, 44, -7/14,44 i.”` V k ‘t? ”74141A2As “41 Od t a 6-.-e, C44:4740.0 ,1111-1K..eCO, 71A44., aetI . l’ ,41114:1/14r1S4 44 -, Att 44.7 W0-Citi~ te A. trUAN ”711411-4144411. while laced with anger and revolutionary resonance, are very local in scope and lack the acute analysis and world vision of the communiqus with which Subcomandante Marcos galvanized the nation for years. The current muteness is not the EZLN’s first protracted silence. For ten years before their surprise January 1, 1994 uprising, silence served the comandantes to keep their movement well-hidden from the Mexican government. After breaking off negotiations with the Zedillo government in January 1997, because of the president’s veto of the Indian Rights accords that his own representatives had signed, the General Command once again went silent, severing communications for the next 18 months, the last five of which Marcos remained totally incommunicado. The prolonged quiescence was finally broken by a flood of communiqus, culminating in the fifth \(and thus far, the don jungle, in July 1998. During this vow of silence, only the massacre of 46 Tzotzil Indian EZLN supporters in the village of Acteal \(by PRI-affiliated paramili Zapatistas to hear better and decide what to do next, the rebel spokesperson has said. But he also conceded that the EZLN had lost contact with national and international support bases “when we went into our submarine.” In fact, the EZLN was never able to recover the momentum lost in their long absence from the public spotlight, and during the presidential election campaign, the insurgents virtually disappeared from the media. The current spate of silence has pushed the EZLN even further from public notice, and should negotiations on Indian Rights and other substantive issues be revived in the coming Fox administration, the Zapatistas will be hard put to muster the sort of support that was instrumental in achieving the accords in the first place. For years, Subcomandante Marcos peppered those in power with punctual commentary on the injustices of national life under the seven decade rule of a one-party state. His epistles stimulated public debate and let a blast of fresh air into the sealed political system controlled by the PRI. The Sub’s up his florid pen. “Silence is an Indian weapon,” he wrote then to justify the Zapatista mumness, insisting that native peoples have always clammed up when confronted by governments. “We had said all we needed to say,” the Subcomandante explained to La Jornada crack chronicler Hermann Bellinghausen. “We decided to let Zedillo do the talking until everyone got tired of listening to him.” Silence helped the 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 3, 2000