Caravan of human rights observation attacked and threatened. Human rights violations include: attacks against the autonomous families: seizure of land, robbery of crops and animals, sacking of coffee fields, death threats, false accusations, suspension of electric service and attacks with arms and rocks.
Zapatistas Denounce Aggressions from PRI and PVEM Supporters
** They threaten the civil mission from the Chiapas Network for Peace
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, April 23, 2013
The Good Government Junta (JBG) of Los Altos, based in the Zapatista Caracol of Oventic, has denounced the numerous aggressions that the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in the San Marcos Avilés ejido (Chilón) have been suffering, particularly this year. The aggressors are identified as “party members” of the PRI and PVEM.
The context in which the communiqué was released is that the civilian mission of the Chiapas Network for Peace was threatened last Sunday, during its visit to the Tzeltal community to document the constant violations of the rights of the Zapatista bases. Frayba, one of the 10 participating organizations, denounced that: “the party members threatened the ‘Civil Observation Caravan’ with taking away its vehicles,” and warned that if they did not give them up (the vehicles) “the good” would become “the bad, and if blood flows, it is going to flow.” The threats did not materialize, but they give an idea of the climate in San Marcos Avilés. The caravan concluded without further incidents, and announced [it will present] a report in the next few days.
Meanwhile, the Junta recalls that “it has been denouncing all the shameful acts of these party supporters” who provoke problems among the indigenous of the same community. They are “organized by the governors Juan Sabines Guerrero and, now, Manuel Velasco Coello.” The three levels of government “have done nothing to stop the injustices that they are committing against our compañeros.” And he points out: “The response to our denunciations has been swearing, jokes and more threats.”
The communiqué details more than 20 attacks against the Zapatista families from July 2011 until last week, when a Zapatista was dispossessed from a plot of land by the mayor of Chilón, who, on April 17, “sent a tractor to level a 32 by 25 meter plot owned by Javier Ruiz Cruz, which started to work, guarded by 120 people from the different political parties.” “Our compañero was not able to do anything to defend his property.”
The next day “the tractor continued working in the plot, surrounded by the same number of party supporters and seven dumper trucks to carry gravel.” Earlier, last January 29, Ruiz Cruz had reported to the Junta that the land, on the banks of a lagoon, “was circled by the aggressors,” among “rumors that we are dealing with the construction of a military camp.”
The threats and harassment “have not stopped” since 2011, usually headed by the municipal police and the PVEM member Lorenzo Ruiz Gómez. The Junta describes various attacks against the autonomous families: seizure of land, robbery of crops and animals, sacking of coffee fields, death threats, false accusations, suspension of electric service and attacks with arms and with rocks, together with the arbitrary actions of Chilón’s municipal officials, openly colluding with the PRI and PVEM aggressors in San Marcos Avilés.
Already, in March 2012, the PRI member Ernesto López Núñez boasted: “that those in his party have a new plan” to evict the Zapatistas, and that there would be a “second phase of taking away their rights.”
On March 3, “aggressors and authorities of the PVEM met with the principal ringleader” (the above-mentioned Ruiz Gómez), who would have said: “that there is no other way than to murder the children of our compañeros,” and then asked his accomplices “to murder Juan Velasco Aguilar and the rest of the Zapatistas.” His fellow believers, according to the Junta, said they were “ready” to do it and that they have “sufficient weapons”.
The Oventic Junta “blames” the above-mentioned Ruiz Gómez and López Núñez “directly,” as well as the former’s sons, Socrates and Ismael Ruiz Núñez. It adds the PRI members José Cruz Hernández, Santiago Cruz Díaz, Vicente Ruiz López, Manuel Vázquez Gómez and José Hernández Méndez, besides the Greens Rubén Martínez Vásquez, Manuel Díaz Ruiz, Victor Núñez Martínez, Victor Díaz Sánchez and another 30 individuals. These aggressors do not allow the Zapatista bases, who were already temporarily evicted in 2010, to live in peace.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network