The Good Government Council (JBG) Report Zapatista paramilitary and military intimidation Assault and filming of students at Caracol Roberto Barrios

Smashed with stones roofs of classrooms and dormitories, accuses
Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada
Monday, 16 November 2009, p. 16

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chis. Nov. 15. The Good Government Council (JBG) “new seed that will produce” from the caracol Roberto Barrios, in the north, suffers constant threats and assault against the Zapatista civilian authorities as well as students from the autonomous school set up inside the snail. “The situation is increasingly worse,” noted with alarm at the Zapatista meeting.

“In recent months the bad government has intensified its acts of intimidation and provocation by armed paramilitary groups operating in the northern area, responsible for disappearances, violence, murder, evictions against their own indigenous brothers.”

Individuals “trained by repressive institutions” cause “tension and violence within our Zapatista territory. Mainly in the “Caracol that speaks for all”. Since 1994, the government applies a “low intensity war against the peoples in resistance in order to divide us and destroy us ” says the JBG.

“The intentions of evacuation at the school are for the ecotourism project to bring business, because the school is located at the entrance to the falls of the river Basco.”

In fact, the government has promoted the creation of a SPA in the resort, which is located at beautiful set of waterfalls that have attracted tourist greed for a decade. This “planned by the companies and the same bad government”, through Luis H. Alvarez (former coordinator of the peace talks of the federal government and current holder of the National Commission for Development of Indigenous Peoples) and their subordinates Hugo Garcia and Jesus Caridad.

On October 20, Luciano Méndez and Carlos Méndez came to the caracol and threatened school students “cutting cartridge from a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol. The attackers wore federal army uniforms and always pass carrying guns on the waist. ” On the 26th, unknown persons stole from the women’s support base handicraft shop  in the community Roberto Barrios, located at the gate of the caracol.

The JBG said: “The supreme commander of the armed forces send their military to train people in the communities who have been misled and induced to create violence and disintegration of community life.”

In September, “Some nights we heard groups of people short-stepping, chanting military chants in the dark, about 50 meters from the caracol”, near where there has been “constant shooting.”

The JBG cites other precedents: January 8, 2007 “a group of radical and violent PRI took the autonomous school, dislodging and scaring children.” The assailants were armed with machetes. On 27 August 2008, the PRI took for the second time the Autonomous School, led by Jose Mendez Mendez and with the participation of three public secondary school teachers. Students, promoters and “fellow parents” must endure” endless attacks.

Since the JBG was installed,  the assault against the autonomous civil authorities began. “Students are constantly harassed during their classes when they go to shower in the river, in the hours of feeding and physical education. The roofs of classrooms and dormitories have been broken with stones.

The government “has informants equipped with video cameras and phones,” who daily go to Palenque “to leave the information and instructions to his bosses.” The person “more visible doing this dirty work” is Humberto Mendoza Balcazar, who filmed the autonomous students, staff working in the schools and JBG facilities.

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