Lee Cuesta

Lee Cuesta

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So will Mexico's northern states; and so will even Mexico's Mexicans Abroad.

On May 28, 9:53 am, "johnny@." wrote:
> May 28, 2007 US Hispanic News
> (PRLEAP.COM) Congressman Tom Tancredo, 2008 Republican presidential > candidate, calls the book "Great read!" in a handwritten note to its > author, Lee Cuesta. As the rising tide of "illegal immigrants" in the > United States demands amnesty, Cuesta's book relates the self-autonomy > movement in the Mexican state of Chiapas, to a similar movement > occurring in the American Southwest.
This "self-autonomy" concurs somewhat with what, from time to time, I have described on this NG, alt.politics.immigration, for years though attacked vehemently by Mexico City's lapdogs.
Again, Mexico is one of the few, if not the only, countries in the world which is named for its capital. It is Mexico City, even prior to the arrival of the Conquistadors, from where Mexico's Comandantes Maximos de Patrulias (such as Santa Anna) sally forth to sack and subjugate all within their grasp.
Even prior to the arrival of the Conquistadors, secession has always been a major current in Mexican affairs.
After the Californianos revolted against Mexico City and its tribute (still legal in Mexico) collectors sixteen times in the decade just prior to the declaration of Califorinia's independence as the Bear State, and the Texian's the same, everywhere eighty miles from Mexico City, there was revolt. The Yucatan had even achieved independence too.
Then Mexico City's subjected did know the absolute disingenuity of Mexico City including and especially its propagandizing of its very Mexican Constitution (that Santa Anna had nevertheless usurped to become yet another dictator): that by merely stating slavery to be illegal did not then or even still make it so.
The Mexican Government had even refused to fund Santa Anna's punitive expeditions into Texas forcing Santa Anna to procure the funds for his (not Mexico's) army from his own ill-gotten wealth, the treasury of his native state of Veracruz and the Catholic Church: funds he then used to purchase Mayans enslaved by the Yucatan's "Ladinos,"---Mayans who would then have to be brought, by their Creolle officers and masters, to the very battlefields themselves in ball-and-chain--- Mayans who, after the battle of San Jacinto, would then have to walk from Texas to their homes in the Yucatan to their rise themselves up in revolt in one of the most vicious wars in the history of the New Word: 'The War of the Castes (Races)'.
Upon General Winfield Scott's eventual arrival to Mexico City, Mexico's (liberal) central government even offered him, and the U.S. Army under his command, the very funds they had refused Santa Anna to accept as pay for his governance and ultimate establishment of a real democracy---hopefully free, once and for all, of their such perennial slavers and tyrants as Santa Anna---in Mexico.
Even now, as Chiapas seeks self-autonomy (secession) from Mexico City, so, most essentially, are the States of Oaxaca, Tabasco, the Yucatan and Guerrero also.
So will Mexico's northern states; and so will even Mexico's Mexicans Abroad.
(This is the link to the original comment above: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.impeach.bush/browse_thread/thread/06b79ee63a929069.)

Lee Cuesta exposes religious intolerance in southern Mexico

Issues like amnesty and immigration overshadow the truth about religious intolerance and persecution against evangelicals in southern Mexico, which remains unknown by most Americans. Lee Cuesta has written extensively on this human rights topic, while the Zapatista movement in Chiapas captures headlines instead.

While Cuesta and his family worked and lived outside of Mexico City, he became aware of the religious intolerance in the southern state of Chiapas. Cuesta traveled to Chiapas to observe the conditions, and to meet with pastor and lawyer Abdías Tovilla Jaime. He is director, legal consultant and founder of CEDECH, the State Committee of Chiapas for Evangelical Defense, located in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico.

Tovilla began this ministry as a volunteer in response to the needs of persecuted believers. “Christian brothers arrived (in San Cristóbal) who’d been beaten,” he recalls. “They’d say, ‘Pastor, help us;’ so I had to do something, even though how to defend human rights was not something I learned in seminary.” In 1992, the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico made CEDECH one of its official ministries, with the slogan “For an integral, Christian liberty” (“Por una libertad cristiana integral”).

As a result of this experience, Cuesta’s three-part series exposing the religious persecution against evangelicals in Chiapas was first published by World Pulse. This series, including photographs, was subsequently reprinted in Indian Life, an international newspaper based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In turn, this series – along with his other articles that preceded it – formed the foundation for his book. The Canadian publication that reprinted his series, Indian Life, said of his book: “Like a story lifted off the page of today’s newspaper.”

Cuesta’s first article on the troubling situation in Chiapas reported two events in which approximately 350 evangelical Christians of the Tzotzil ethnic group “were brutally beaten, put in jail and expelled from their communities of origin, taking away all their belongings and burning some of the houses,” quoting one Mexican leader. All this occurred in spite of a religious freedom law, adopted in 1992, which ostensibly guaranteed that each individual shall “not be the object of discrimination, compulsion or hostility as a result of his religious beliefs.”

In his second article about this issue, Cuesta pointed out that “Mexico’s preoccupation with the Zapatista guerrilla army, both by politicians and the media, has overshadowed the other side of the Chiapas crisis: the 20,000 to 30,000 believers in Chiapas exiled ‘for professing the Protestant religion.’ ”

As a result of the persecution in the Chiapas highlands, several refugee settlements have sprung up around the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Cuesta acquired firsthand experience by traveling to both San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, where he conducted on-site investigation and interviews, including a trip to San Juan Chamula, the renowned “headquarters” of such persecution.

Cuesta’s book is entitled Once: Once, with ISBN 0-7414-0650-0. It constitutes excellent material for reading groups in local churches, as well as a significant addition to church libraries. In addition, he is available to speak at churches – including reading groups – concerning the up-to-date situation in Chiapas, among other topics. He may be contacted via e-mail at info@leecuesta.com.

Besides the reports described above, Cuesta wrote many articles in Spanish that were published in Prisma, Desafío Transcultural, and the Mexican Presbyterian magazine, El Faro. One of these articles – “Las Seis Marcas Distintivas del Discipulado Verdadero y Práctico” – was subsequently adapted for the international magazine Apuntes Pastorales, and then reprinted again in Consejero Bíblico.

About Me

My photo
LEE CUESTA, a journalist who worked in Mexico City, has written about the complexities in Chiapas for a decade, acquiring firsthand experience in both Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas. As a fully bilingual writer, the author has been published in periodicals such as Northwest, Eternity, World Pulse, Indian Life, Interlit, Prisma, El Faro and Apuntes Pastorales. The articles receive international response. In addition, Cuesta is the author of the novel entitled Once: Once, about religious intolerance and an independence movement in Chiapas, along with a conspiracy to recapture territory that once belonged to Mexico. In it, he combines the skills of a storyteller and investigative reporter to penetrate the historical, social and spiritual dimensions of this convincing tale. It provides a rare and stunning glimpse into the elements that render neighboring cultures so incompatible.

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