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Join the Zapatista solidarity demo at Mexican Embassy!

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network | 26.11.2007 13:10 | Repression | Social Struggles | Zapatista | London | South Coast

The autonomous indigenous zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico are under serious threat. Several are menaced with violent eviction, either by the Mexican Army, by paramilitaries or by organisations armed and funded by the state.
To show solidarity with the embattled zapatistas, supporters will demonstrate at the Mexican Embassy in London on Monday 10th December.

Zapatistas welcome the solidarity caravan against repression to La Garrucha, Car
Zapatistas welcome the solidarity caravan against repression to La Garrucha, Car

The solidarity caravan visiting the zapatista community of Benito Juarez,Chiapas
The solidarity caravan visiting the zapatista community of Benito Juarez,Chiapas

“We must break the silence,” said Esther McDonald of the UK Zapatista Network. “We have to show that the zapatistas are not alone. We urge everyone to come to the Mexican Embassy at 16 St George St, Hanover Square for 1pm on Monday 10th. Bring things to make a noise! ”

The increase in militarisation and civil repression throughout Mexico since Felipe Calderon of the right-wing PAN party became president last year is reflected in Chiapas, in the far south of Mexico. New state governor Juan Sabines, of the supposedly left-wing PRD party, is fully supporting the federal government strategy of promoting conflicts over land as a way of attacking the zapatista communities.

In Mexico as a whole many people believe a new ‘dirty war’ is under way with detentions and disappearances, while in Chiapas acts of violence, intimidation and aggression towards indigenous Zapatista support base communities have become a daily occurrence. A zapatista village in the Lacandona jungle has been violently evicted, and zapatistas in the Morelia zone have been shot and seriously wounded.


In September 2007 the EZLN 6th Commission took the difficult decision to suspend the second phase of the Other Campaign which was to visit the South and Central parts of the country, and instead to undertake civil and peaceful actions in defence of the Zapatista communities. Their communiqué says:

“At this time, the state government of Chiapas and the federal government are waging a campaign against the Zapatista communities. ‘Official’ evictions, paramilitary attacks, invasions sponsored by officials, persecutions and threats, have become once again part of the surroundings of the indigenous communities who have set upon constructing their own destiny and improving their living conditions, always without losing their indigenous identity…..

Just like in the worst times …. the government is attacking the poor and needy, while catering to and benefiting the powerful…….. In contrast to other occasions, these aggressions have been met by the silence of those voices that before rose to protest and demand justice………… We will do what we have to do, resist.”


A solidarity caravan against repression, organised by “ The Other Campaign “ following two National Forums in solidarity with the zapatista communities, has just completed a short visit to Chiapas. On 20th November the caravan reported :

“For more than a decade, the zapatista villages have suffered a military occupation of their territory with the presence of 56 permanent Mexican Army camps in the indigenous territory of Chiapas.

“In several autonomous municipalities in the indigenous lands of Chiapas, grass-roots zapatistas are confronted with a co-ordinated strategy of harassment and eviction from their land . This strategy is being carried out by different political organisations in the three levels of government , who on occasions are linked with paramilitary groups.

“In all the documented cases the strategy follows a pattern which combines land invasions, death threats, physical and psychological harassment and aggression, and also destruction of property and natural resources. In addition the zapatistas are being threatened by legal measures to evict them, the organisations which invade zapatista land acting in co-ordination with the legal institutions and local and federal agrarian authorities.”

Esther McDonald of the UK Zapatista Network told Indymedia:
“What we see here is an underhand strategy by the government and ruling class to try and destroy the zapatistas. The all-out military attacks by the Mexican Army on the zapatistas in 1994 and 1995 failed, due to the zapatistas’ strength and widespread national and international solidarity. Now they are trying to get other organisations to do their dirty work for them – it is classic counter-insurgency.

We cannot let the Mexican government get away with this. We need to make our voices heard.”

Read on for details of the repression, or if in a hurry skip to the bottom for what you can do….


Montes Azules

In Montes Azules, in the Lacandona jungle, the communities of San Manuel (zapatista) and Buen Samaritano (non-affiliated) were violently evicted by Mexican state forces on 18th August . Their homes and belongings were destroyed, and six villagers were held prisoner for some weeks.

Other villages in Montes Azules, such as Salvador Allende and Nuevo Corozal, are now under imminent threat of eviction. The Mexican government have long been harassing the indigenous communities in Montes Azules and threatening them with eviction. They claim this is to protect the rain forest, but at the same time encourage commercial logging, bridge and road building, tourist developments, bio-prospecting and other commercial and business developments.

In reality the Mexican government sees the indigenous communities in Montes Azules as an obstacle to the US-backed Plan Puebla Panama, which aims for major capitalist development from southern Mexico to the state of Panama, this all linked to plans for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Morelia zone

On 10th August two zapatistas belonging to Olga Isabel autonomous municipality were shot in the community of Balulumash by members of the organisation OPDDIC, and are seriously ill in intensive care. OPDDIC has consistently been menacing and threatening zapatistas in Olga Isabel, including threatening to attack and evict the central village of the municipality.

Lacandona jungle

The Zapatista community of “24th December”, in autonomous municipality San Pedro Michoacan in the Tojolobal Lacandona jungle zone, is currently menaced with eviction by members of the organisation “Union of Ejidos of the Jungle.” 146 people in 31 Zapatista families are threatened with eviction from land the zapatistas reclaimed from the ex Governor of Chiapas General Absalón Castellanos Domínguez soon after the 1994 uprising.

The "Union of Ejidos of the Jungle" are working together with the Mexican armed forces, who have a military base on the reclaimed land, located near Nuevo Momon, by Las Margaritas.

The solidarity caravan has reported that other zapatista villages particularly under threat and suffering documented flagrant violations of human rights include the following :

Bolon Ajaw. Autonomous Municipality Región de la Montaña. Official Municipality Tumbalá.

Municipality Olga Isabel. Autonomous Municipality Olga Isabel. Official Municipality Chilón.

Ranchería El Nance. Autonomous Municipality Vicente Guerrero. Official Municipality Altamirano.

San Juan del Río. Autonomous Municipality San Manuel. Official Municipality Ocosingo.

Benito Juárez. Autonomous Municipality San Manuel. Official Municipality Ocosingo.

Huitepec Ecological Reserve. Caracol Oventic. Official Municipality Zinacantán.

San Andrés. Autonomous Municipality San Andrés Sak’amchen de los Pobres. Official Municipality San Andrés Larráinzar.

It is significant that these villages are not all in the same area, but are located in different zones of eastern Chiapas, proving the attacks are not isolated local occurrences but part of a systematic strategy.


1pm Monday 10th December
16 St. George Street
Hanover Square
Between Regent St and New Bond St
Nearest tube Oxford Circus (Bond St also close)
Break the silence! Bring things to make a noise!
Bring placards, banners and anything you would hope to find. This is a DIY demo!
Organised by the UK Zapatista Network



Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa
Presidente de la República
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, DISTRITO FEDERAL, México
Telephone: +52 (55) 27891100 Fax: +52 (55) 52772376
E-Mail: felipe.calderon (at)


Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México
secparticular (at)
Fax: +52 961 6188088 Telephone + 52 961 6188056


Juan José Bremer de Martino
Ambassador of Mexico in the UK
Mexican Embassy
16 St. George Street
Tel: 020 7499 8586
E mail –
Go to
and go to “Contacto”, 2nd from bottom in menu in left hand column
E mail the Ambassador via his assistants:
cmoye (at)
jlopezr (at)

Contact edinchiapas (at)


More info on currrent events in Chiapas at (in Spanish with some articles also in English)


UK Zapatista Solidarity Network
- e-mail:
- Homepage:


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  1. oh no! — Bill Posters