Skip to content or view screen version

Zapatistas expelled from their land for building an autonomous school

Martin O'Neill | 04.10.2010 00:06 | Zapatista

In the early hours of the morning on Thursday 9th September 2010, 170 Zapatista supporters were expelled from their homes in the Tzeltal community of San Marcos Avilés, in the municipality of Chilón, Chiapas. They were attacked by members of the Mexican political parties PRI, PRD and PVEM (the green party), in retaliation for the construction of an autonomous school.

On Monday 13th September, Other Campaign adherents set up roadblocks in Chiapas as a protest against “the threats, robberies, evictions and attacks being made against Zapatista communities by the government, ….. paramilitaries, political parties, local leaders and businessmen”.

A march took place in Tonalá, in the coastal zone, to demand that the Zapatista supporters from San Marcos Avilés be allowed to return to their lands, and to insist that “their way of life and process of autonomy, with their schools and clinics, must be respected”. They also demanded “the expulsion of paramilitary groups from Chiapas and the punishment of the material and intellectual authors of the attacks on the communities”.

Read more here:

Please cut and paste the following and send to the Mexican Ambassodor, Eduardo Medina Mora,

Subject: We demand the immediate return of the companer@s of San Marcos to their lands

We have read the report from the Good Government Junta of Oventic, which tells of the attacks and acts of provocation that people affiliated with the PRD, PRI and the Green Party, financed by the three levels of government, have committed against our companer@ Zapatista Support Bases (BAZ) from the community of San Marcos in the official municipality of Chilon, and on the person of our companero, Manuel Vázquez, from Pamala community, located in the official municipality of Citala.

The illegal detention of Manuel Vázquez and Pedro Gómez Cruz, deprived of their liberty for being Zapatistas and for not giving in to to the pressures of the attackers to destroy a school, where Zapatista children receive an autonomous education which allows them to know and understand their own reality, as well as the national and international situation. In addition, if it were not for our Zapatistas companer@s, they would have no schools in these communities.

This barbaric action of wanting to destroy an autonomous school was followed by direct aggression and the displacement of 170 Zapatista Support Base companer@s from their homes and their dispossession from their lands, which they acquired ten years ago, and have worked continually ever since.

As stated by the Council of Good Government, these actions seek to “lead us into acts of provocation … and (stop) the advance of our struggle for the construction of autonomy”

While Sabines, whose bad government of the state of Chiapas spends millions of dollars on promoting its image and telling how it governs through dialogue and political agreement, the government’s employees and thugs through their actions demonstrate otherwise. The government uses violence, threats, ridicule, aggression, plunder and repression as a means to impose its authoritarian decisions, always made for the benefit of the rich and against the interests of communities and peoples.

Lies, deception and repression are the continual means of action of the bad state government. They are driven mad by the dignity, ethics and beliefs of the bases of support and Zapatista communities. Wrongs, crimes and robbery will not stop the march of dignity, which has successfully built their autonomy and a Mexico for those from below.

Zapatista education and autonomous communities are examples showing that another Mexico is possible, with honesty and effort a community development can be achieved, which those from above cannot understand or accept. To combat power and money with letters and knowledge is the best way to lay the foundations of a new Mexico.

We demand the immediate return of the companer@s of San Marcos to their homes and lands and the restoration of all that was stolen and plundered by the the militant aggressors from Green party, the PRD and the PRI with the complicity of local, state and federal authorities.

Long live the Zapatista Support Bases!

Freedom for Political Prisoners!

Martin O'Neill
- e-mail:
- Homepage: