Letter from the Abejas to supporters abroad

Rosie Castellanos | 06.11.2009 18:04 | Anti-militarism | Social Struggles | World

In this letter the ‘Abejas’ send their greetings and gratitude from Chiapas, Mexico for the solidarity events happening around the world this year on All Souls Day. They also share news about search operatives in the communities and report that military/police checkpoints are back in the highlands. Also disturbing is the on-going release of paramilitaries convicted for the 1997 massacre. The abridged English version of the Abejas’ letter appears first, followed by the full text in English.

For report on the Day of the Dead altar honouring the Acteal Martyrs see
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/441327.html

All Souls altar in front of Mexican Embassy
All Souls altar in front of Mexican Embassy

side view of the altar at Mexican Embassy
side view of the altar at Mexican Embassy


The abridged English version of the Abejas’ letter:

Las Abejas Civil Society Organisation
Sacred Land of the Acteal Martyrs,
Chiapas, México

2 November 2009

To all those friends of Las Abejas who, from London, Scotland, Mexico City and other places are acting in solidarity with us on this Day of the Dead, when we remember our 45 Acteal martyrs,

Receive our warm and grateful greetings from this Sacred Land of Acteal that our martyrs visit today in a special way, since they are really always with us.

As you well know, this is a very important date for all Mexicans, and particularly so for us, the tzotzil batsi vinik and batsi antsetic.

As our ancestors have taught us, in these days those of our relatives who have died come to visit us –among them our 45 brothers and sisters who gave up their lives for peace and justice.

That is why we prepare food for them, adorned with flowers and light candles so they can see their way. We pray to them, asking them to help us going on walking with strength, so that our families are well and we live happily.

With that strength that our martyrs give us we go on facing the lies and manipulations of the bad government, from our resistance, always proclaiming the truth, with our weapons which are peaceful mobilisations, fasting and prayer.

As you know, last August the 12th The Supreme Court of Mexico liberated 20 paramilitaries because they only heard their word and never listened to the people and survivors of Acteal. They didn’t let us in the court, but did grant entrance to the paramilitaries’ relatives and lawyers.

They had said that on 28 October the Supreme Court would set free other 31 paramilitaries, including those who have already claimed themselves guilty. […] The resolution has been postponed.

We see the government playing the same game they have tried to play with the Acteal massacre from the beginning, manipulating justice for their own political ends.

[…]The truth is that neither the Federal or State Government, nor their institutions administering justice in Mexico, care about finding the truth about the Acteal case, because if they do they will have to admit it was a state crime. Their ambition and blindness only allow them to fight for the Presidency, for power and money, without caring about the suffering of the poor, much less about giving justice to the people.

[…] We want to make use of this occasion to denounce and to alert you, friends of Las Abejas, that in the Chenalhó municipality they are preparing search operatives in the communities. […] We have reasons to fear that they want to harass us even more, […] so we ask you to please stay informed about these events.

[…] Once again we thank you for your solidarity, and we thank all those who today, even if they are far away, join their hearts to ours and to the heart of our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, older and little brothers and sisters whose life was extinguised on December 22 1997, though today they are again with us. All together, joined in a single spirit, the spirit of life that resurrects from death, we continue and will continue on denouncing lies and stating the truth, until justice is done.

IN FRATERNITY
The Voice of the Civil Society of Las Abejas

Full version of the Abejas’ letter in English:

Las Abejas Civil Society Organisation
Sacred Land of the Acteal Martyrs,
Chiapas, México

2 November 2009

To all those friends of “las Abejas” who from London, Scotland, Mexico City and other places who are standing in solidarity on this day of the dead in commemoration of our 45 Martyrs of Acteal:

Receive our warm and grateful greetings from the sacred land of Acteal where today our martyrs visit us in a special way, but in reality they are always with us. As you may know these days are very important for all Mexicans and particularly for us, the Tzotziles batsi vinik and batsi antsetic.

As our ancestors have taught us during these days our deceased relatives come to visit us and among them are our 45 brothers and sisters who gave up their lives for peace and justice. That is why we prepare food for them, adorned with flowers and light candles so they can see their way. We pray to them, asking them to help us going on walking with strength, so that our families are well and we live happily.

And with the strength that our martyers give us we confront and resist the lies and manipulation of the bad Government and always declare the truth with our weapons of peaceful protest, fasting and prayer.

That is why we prepare food for them, adorned with flowers and light candles so they can see their way. We pray to them, asking them to help us going on walking with strength, so that our families are well and we live happily.

As you know, on the 12th of August the Supreme Court of Injustice [sic] of the Nation released 20 paramilitaries because they only took into account their word and never listened to the witnesses nor the survivors of Acteal. They didn’t let us us into the court room but they grant entrance to the paramilitaries’ relatives and lawyers.

It was said that on the 28th of October the ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation would have issued their judgement releasing the other 31 paramilitaries, including the ones who had already confessed, using the same argument they used before, that there were irregularities in the process. However they have postponed the decision and as we’ve learned through the press it seems there are two reasons for this. The first one is that one of the ministers was on holiday and as you know holidays are more important to them than justice. The second reason is that ‘new leads’ in the investigation have appeared and some high officials could have responsibility for the Acteal massacre. Emilio Chuayffet is mentioned in particular.

We see the Government playing the same game they have tried to play with the Acteal massacre from the beginning: manipulate justice for their own political ends. For us and those of us who know the truth about Acteal, the responsibility of Chuayffet, just like Zedillo, Ruiz Ferro and General Renan Castillo is nothing new. What’s happening now is the PRIístas (Institutional Revolutionary Party members) are fighting amongst themselves and the ones from the Beltron group want to strike at the Peña Nieto group and Chuayffet is taking advantage of the Acteal case.

The truth is that neither the Federal or State Government, nor their institution administering justice in Mexico care about finding the truth about the Acteal case because if they do, they will have to admit it was a State crime. Their ambition and blindness only allows them to pursue and fight for the presidency, power and money without any caring about the suffering of the poor, much less about giving justice to the people. With these attitudes how can we believe in the bad Government and their projects which they say are to combat poverty and their proposals to achieve a Mexico without violence. If they really want to serve the people, then they’d stop serving themselves and look below. They’d stop creating projects which they claim ‘favour progress’ but really invade the lands of the small-scale farmers and violate their rights as they’ve done with the brothers and sisters of Mitzitón and San San Sebastián Bachajón with the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway. May they free the political prisoners who have only defended their land and rights and punish the killers of the Acteal massacre. May they punish those who have attacked the people of Atenco and put a halt to police operatives repressing leaders of grassroots organisations as they are doing in Venustiano Carranaza.

We want to make use of this occasion to denounce and alert you, friends of the “Abejas”, that in the Chenalo municipality they are preparing search operatives in the communities. As the municipal president already advised his agents, let’s not pretend that these operatives are against the paramilitaries because they’ve been advised to hide their weapons. We have reason to fear that they want to harass us even more because of the lie published in some newspapers that weapons found near Yabteclum were for the “Abejas”. Although not permanent like before 2001, they have re-installed police-military checkpoints in Las Limas. We ask that you to please stay informed about these events.

Once again we thank you for your solidarity, and we thank all those who today, even if they are far away, join their hearts to ours and to the heart of our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, older and little brothers and sisters whose life was extinguised on December 22 1997, though today they are again with us. All together, joined in a single spirit, the spirit of life that resurrects from death, we continue and will continue on denouncing lies and stating the truth, until justice is done.

Once again we thank you for your solidarity and everything for this day even though you are in far away places. Your hearts join ours and the hearts of our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts and older and little brothers and sisters whose life was extinguised on the December 22 1997 though today they are again with us. All together, joined in a single spirit, the spirit of life that resurrects from death, we continue and will continue on denouncing lies and stating the truth, until justice is done.

Fraternally,

The Voice of the Civil Society Organisation “Las Abejas”
Representatives of the Governing Committee
Sebastián Pérez Vázquez-President
Mariano Gómez López-General Secretary
Pedro Jiménez Arias-Vice-president
Francisco Gómez Pérez-Treasurer
Francisco Pérez Gómez-Vice-Teasurer

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