Martin O'Neill | 05.10.2009 19:53 | Zapatista
The Fr. San Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre, which has been accompanying the community, and denouncing the ongoing harassment against them, documented the threatening presence of about 250 state troops, some at the turning for Agua Azul and some at the village of Xhanil, in five Torton type trucks and 12 patrol cars, together with agents of the Ministerial Police.
The human rights centre says that the reclamation of the booth was decided in a “consultation process in assemblies in the three centers of the community : Ch’ich, Centro Alan Sacjun and Centro Bachajon. With this action Tseltal residents asserted their rights over the use of their natural resources, which are recognized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169, which the Mexican government has pledged to respect.
But the Chiapas government cares little for international conventions which do not involve foreign investment and the plundering of natural resources. There are innumerable examples to prove this : in this same community, on April 17, the payment booth was dismantled through an operation involving state and federal police, violating the territorial rights of the indigenous people, and attacking the personal integrity of the brothers Antonio and Jerome Gomez Saragosa through torture and arbitrary imprisonment.
Now, before the possible eviction of the community and due to the pressure and clear acts of harassment committed, a protest letter is circulating on the Internet which demands respect for the rights of the Tseltal people of San Sebastian Bachajon , removal of the police and the release of Geronimo and Antonio Gomez Saragosa.
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