Each hairpin turn on the winding mountain road to the Lacandon jungle in Chiapas revealed peaceful panoramic views of pine-covered forests and incredible vistas of cascading sheer drops to the canyons below. Our small Global Exchange delegation was on its way to an overnight stay with the Las Abejas nonviolent sympathizers of the Zapatistas.
Earlier in the week, we had met with experts who spoke about the region’s unique biodiversity, comparable to none save the Amazon. We also heard about an impending neo-liberal plan on the drawing boards of the Fox government and transnational corporations. The plan — Puebla Panama Project (PPP) — would be a major enterprise stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that could trigger a volcanic eruption of armed protest. Although it has so far slipped by the media without making a ripple, the communities we visited in April were clearly aware of its potential harsh impact upon their culture.