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(en) Mexico, Chapas, Mexican Army Burns Down Zapatista Village

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 28 Jan 2004 23:04:26 +0100 (CET)

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From: Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group, Scotland, 27.01.2004
Mexican armed forces have attacked the Zapatista community of
Nuevo San Rafael, burning down 23 homes and violently evicting
the Chol indigenous inhabitants. The attack, reported variously as
happening on either 19 or 22 January, took place in the remote
Montes Azules jungle area of Chiapas.
Resource-rich Montes Azules has long been coveted by
multinationals. As the governments and multinationals press
forward with the Plan Puebla Panama and Free Trade Area
of the Americas, the “war of low intensity” against
the thousand-plus Zapatista autonomous communities
erupts into blatant repression. The Secretary of Government
of Chiapas, Rubén Velázquez López, promises more
evictions, declaring that land invasions will no longer be

The fate of the inhabitants of Nuevo San Rafael is unknown,
as the army is preventing reporters and human rights
observers from entering the area. Local indigenous Chol,
Josué Jiménez Cruz, has been arrested, and is
apparently imprisoned in the town of Ocosingo. International
solidarity activity is vital, declare Zapatista solidarity
groups. Protesters call to ring the Mexican Embassy in
London on 0207 499 8586 (open 9am-6pm)

Protest letter in Spanish by the Gruppe B.A.S.T.A.
Indymedia Chiapas http://chiapas.mediosindependientes.org/

According to the testimonies obtained by The Human Rights
Centre Bartolome de las Casas, 23 houses of the community
were burned and at the moment 40 Marine and Police
officers remain in Nuevo San Rafael. The inhabitants of this
community, also known as Ignacio Allende, are indigenous
Choles, refugees who had to flee from Calvario, municipality
of Sabanilla in the north of Chiapas, two years ago. See

The Human Rights Centre “wholeheartedly condemns
the way in which the communities are being held
incommunicado” and the “violation of the right to
travel freely in the Montes Azules region” by the state
authorities and the Marines.


The Chiapas State forces have also evicted hundreds of
peasants in the OPEZ organisation from 2 occupied estates
in Suchiate, near the border with Guatemala. The Mexican
daily La Jornada reports on 25 January:
“The high season for the eviction of campesinos has
begun. The government of Chiapas has resolved to persecute
land invasions, even those going back as far as 11 years, as
happened yesterday in the estates Los Cerros and Los
Cerritos in Suchiate, near the border with Guatemala. The
lands were returned to their legal owners, that is the real
estate company Las Cruces and the private persons
Guadalupe Barrios, Arturo Barrios and Roberto

“The (Chiapas)Secretary of Government, Rubén
Velázquez López, the author of this escalation, declared
yesterday that "this government will allow no more
invasions", but he pointed out, "it will excel in guaranteeing
that human rights are respected" during the evictions.”



In Montes Azules 110 Zapatista villages and settlements
are threatened with eviction. The Mexican government cites
conservation concerns in the Biosphere Reserve.

The real reason is the economic and strategic interests of
transnational corporations and the USA and Mexican
governments - the Plan Puebla Panama aims to "develop"
southern Mexico and Central America, exploiting natural
resources like biodiversity and hydro-electricity and driving
peasants off their land into sweatshops.


Meanwhile in the north of Chiapas the Zapatista committee
of good government has denounced a state of siege from the
the situation remains tense at the threatened Zapatista
caracol of Morelia and further north in the state of Morelos
repression continues against the community of Tlanepantla,
where the people declared themselves autonomous.


One thing is certain. The Zapatistas will not give up their
autonomy, won with their own blood. Br>
"A SHADOW of death is being raised in the heart of our
land, of our mother, of our forest. A cloud of soldiers,
paramilitaries, plans and projects is coming once again to
threaten us, to rob us of our dream and to evict our
indigenous communities.... But we are not going to permit
eviction, nor the relocation of our communities, we are going
to defend them with everything we have in our hands.." : so
declares the Zapatista autonomous municipality of Ricardo
Flores Magon, speaking from Montes Azules, deep in the
Lacandona jungle.
See Communities in Resistance

Ongoing coverage in English and Spanish at Chiapas
Indymedia http://chiapas.indymedia.org

e-mail: edinchiapas@yahoo.co.uk

Homepage: http://www.edinchiapas.org.uk
Coppied from infoshop.org

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