(en) Tension in La Realidad, Chiapas

Mark Connolly (mark_c@geocities.com)
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 14:21:17 +0000

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Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 17:16:56 +0000 From: NUEVO AMANECER PRESS <amanecer@aa.net> Subject: translation: Tension in La Realidad



"30 years ago the Commander of Ame'rica, Che, died". In all rebel territory in Chiapas, the zapatistas commemorated the anniversary of Ernesto Guevara's death.

For the EZLN, October 8th is the Day of the Guerrilla fighter. The towns get together and organize a party to celebrate the insurgents, those young people of both sexes who live in the mountains and who are their army.

And that way, after the march of the 1,111 peasants bases of support of the EZLN to the nation's capital, the towns gathered together to give thanks to the armed sector of their revolution, that is the part that is made possible for them to be heard, that their voices and indigenous steps arrived in Mexico City and even in other continents.

That same day, in La Realidad, the marimba was still sounding and the dance was going on, when about 500 people, men, women and children, started to walk on the dirt road that cuts through town in direction to the jungle.

It had been 4 days since the Mexican Federal Army had installed a new camp only 7 kilometers from this Aguascalientes. This community is also the place where subcommander Marcos was seen for the last time on September 8th, when he sent off the tojolabal contingent that parted towards Mexico City.

The zapatista bases were going to, one more time, to risk their lives, as it had been done in San Cayetano, and to ask the soldiers to leave. Immediately the overflights started with helicopters and military planes that went on all night and the following days, alarming the people and creating great tension.

The new military installation has the supposed objective of "protecting" the construction projects on the road that will unite Las Margaritas and Ocosingo, going through the canyons of the Lacandon jungle. Once the road is done and the bridge over the river Euseba completed, San Quintin will be united with Las Margaritas, passing through La Realidad and through the huge military barracks of Guadalupe Tepeyac.

They came from honoring Che'. The tojolabal indigenous, with ski masks, bandannas and a sound system, walked through what is still an unusable muddy airstrip until they got to the Euseba river, that in dry season can be crossed with no problems but that now is an abundant water border with the other side of the canyon. The zapatistas crossed it via a fabulous hanging bridge and entered the military installations, (the military) took combat positions.

The only speaker on the part of the rebels requested the army to leave "You have this night to lift your camp, otherwise, we will evict the construction company from our lands". The protesters were in the military barracks just ten minutes,amongst tanks and high powered weapons. Some peasants had sticks because they were afraid the soldiers would release the dogs.

They surrounded a military tank armed with a machine gun and later they advanced through the installations until they reached the parked vehicles yelling "army out" and 'soldier, if you have dignity, do not occupy the lands of our community". The man with a ski mask read a message directed to "fraternally to the federal soldiers" that said, " Why don't you tell your supreme commander to come relieve you, or to send the great and the money powerful who are the ones who purchase your lives to defend their multimillion economic profits and well being...?".

The soldiers listened in shock, with their faces paled, obviously nervous;"...Let them come to the positions that you occupy, let them come to make the trenches or remove the water every morning, or to be on guard at night, to patrol kilometers of dirt and dangerous road, let them come to take pictures and film in order to detect the leaders of the movement, let them come to control the data to localize the rebels...., let them come to risk their lives. Why you?, If you too are exploited and worse because you have to die for money?." In the name ot the "towns in the struggle", he added. "Do not follow the road of an unjust death. If you decide to follow the dignify way of the people's struggle, time and the people will make room for you in history as the defenders of the Country" and not, "as traitors to the Country".

The indigenous children, women and men that were before the soldiers made their exit towards La Realidad and abandoned peacefully the construction company on the road. The workers on the construction road, the trucks and the towing trucks abandoned the area and went to Las Margaritas, the work is at a stand still from the Euseba river to the main part of this municipality, one of the most important one in this "conflict zone".

Text by: Enlacivil Distributed by: "Col.lectiu de Solidaritatamb la Rebel.lio' Sapatista" Translation to English by: Susana Saravia Ugarte, Nuevo Amanecer Press. _______________

Nuevo Amanecer Press is a volunteer non profit organization of civil society in Mexico, USA and Spain.


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