Yesterday may have been the end of a four-century cycle for the Mayas but the Mayas of Mexico have more dramatic events to commemorate today: the massacre of 45 citizens, members of the nonviolent Zapatista group Las Abejas (The Bees) or in many cases their children, at the hands of a death squad in 1997. The massacre, which took place during a Catholic mass, is known as the Acteal Massacre.
In memory of that heinous act some 40,000 people, nearly all wearing the usual Zapatista black mask, indicating their affiliation, gathered yesterday in silence in the five major towns of Chiapas: Ocosingo, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Palenque, Altamirano and Las Margaritas. Besides a few spontaneous applauses and chants of "vivan los Zapatistas!" or "you are the pride of Mexico!" the protests were made in laconic silence with risen fists.
Meanwhile the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (known as Frayba) denounced the impunity given to the criminals who executed the killing. 50 of the 87 participants have been formally set free, while the rest remain at large.