|Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada|
Mexico City, Thursday, February 15, 2007
US Denies that Chiapas Volunteers are Counterinsurgents
Garza meets with groups financed by his country
by Angeles Mariscal, Correspondent.
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, February 14, 2007.
The U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Tony Garza, and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy of that same nation, Karen Hughes, reported about the investment of their government in different projects in Chiapas, like the Peace Corps and environmental conservation groups, that long term “project benefits because of oxygen and carbon fixation.”
For two days, the United States officials met in this city with organizations of coffee growers, small financers, conservationists and of tourist services, where their government has million dollar investments and an interest in their development, reported the diplomats.
In their first day of the tour, Hughes and Garza met in private with their compatriot members of the so-called Peace Corps. The ambassador held that the “volunteers” will help indigenous communities of the Lacandón Jungle in ecotourism projects to develop marketing campaigns to sell their crafts.
Press people from the embassy of the neighbor country insisted that the members of the Peace Corps are volunteer experts who work to strengthen the on-site activities where they collaborate, and they have nothing to do with policy functions, besides the fact that they do not participate in counterin-surgency or “ideologization,” as members of the Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur), who are opposed to the presence of the “volunteers” in their organization denounced to La Jornada.
In its official we page (www.usafreedomcorps.gov) it is explained that the Coordinating Council of the Peace Corps is presided over by George W. Bush, and his headquarters is in the White House.
The web page refers to the fact that on April 8, 2002, in the context of a visit to the Knoxville Civic Center, in Tennessee, Bush eulogized these programs and invited United States citizens to join them, “as a way of making a front against war, in a strategy that assures the United States may be better prepared.”
In his visit to the state, Tony Garza held that since five years ago, the United States government also supports the Tourism in Nature program, through the Na-Balom Foundation and the Conservation International (CI) grouping. The diplomat also met with representatives of CI, Starbucks Coffee, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, coffee growers and state officials.
Ricardo Hernández, state representative of CI, explained that 1,200 producers are ascribed to the Conservation Coffee program, who receive direct financing from the United States government.
Translation De Tod@s Para Tod@s
Publicado por Radio Zapatista