Vicente Fox's Government Allows San Diego Teacher to Return

Dec. 25, 2000

The Mexican government has unconditionally overturned the 1998 expulsion of San Diego teacher Peter Brown and granted him a visa to spend the holidays in the southeastern state of Chiapas.

"I look forward to spending New Years with my friends among the indigenous students, teachers and parents of Chiapas, Mexico," exclaimed San Diego teacher Peter Brown. "I want to respectfully thank the thousands of grassroots supporters, the journalists, the lawyers, and the many Mexican and U.S. NGO's and officials who have worked so hard to reverse the festering injustice of my expulsion."

In a strongly worded statements faxed to San Diego Congressman Bob Filner and other comments published in the Mexican media, high ranking Mexican government officials underscored their total reversal of Mr. Brown's expulsion.† Brown was charged in 1998 with supporting indigenous schools described as "unconstitutional" and deported by the previous administration of Ernesto Zedillo.

"I am happy to communicate that the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in agreement with the Ministry of the Interior, has instructed the San Diego consulate to inform Professor Brown that he has authorization to enter national territory," stated a letter from the current administration published by the Mexican daily La Jornada.

"To finally be vindicated and allowed to travel in Mexico is wonderful!î exclaimed Brown who was clearly in a joyful mood. "I am also greatly encouraged at hints that other expelled foreigners might be granted visas and that the Zapatista prisoners could be allowed to join their children for New Years!

"Let's hope Leonard Peltier is with his people for New Years," added Brown while commenting on the case of an indigenous prisoner in the United States being considered for amnesty. "I sincerely wish Bill Clinton will match Vicente Fox' openness by freeing Leonard Peltier, a Sioux Indian who has spent over 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit!"

Finally, Brown mentioned that Schools for Chiapas, the cultural and education program he directs, is continuing its support for indigenous schools by organizing several teams of Mexican and international volunteers to live and learn in indigenous Maya communities of Chiapas over New Years.

For additional information:
Peter Brown, Oventic, Aguascalientes II
Lic. Amado AvendaÒo, San CristÛbal de las Casas 967-890-62

Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World
by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer)
$16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader
by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
©Copyright 1997-2000 Jeeni Criscenzo