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Reporters on the Job

Rebel Tourism: Staff writer Danna Harman admits that by going to the closest Zapatista village of Oventic (about two hours from San Cristobal), rather than the furthest (about seven hours by bus) definitely colored her perspective of the rebel group (page 1).

"The first sign that this was no usual rebel stronghold was that at least half the minibus was filled with gringos like me: a nurse from Colorado who had volunteered to work at a rebel clinic, and her high school age son; three people from Global Exchange, the antiglobalization group; a German who said he was spending his gap year discovering the rebels. You get the picture."

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Upon arrival, Danna and the Zapatista tourists were ordered to surrender their passports. "Everyone's in black ski masks. It seems like a rebel base until you scratch the surface. You notice things like the posters advertising "Zapatista Summer 05" opportunities," she says.

Danna made several requests for interviews with the Zapatista leader or any of his upper-level commanders through the Zapatista office in Mexico City, via their website, and through some European connections who know Subcommandante Marcos. No response. "The man has not given a proper interview since 2001. But if he wants to talk to me, I am available."

David Clark Scott
World editor