What is really behind the attacks and evictions? Multinational plunder of course! Ecotourism in the Lacandon…………

Bolon Ajaw: PRIistas from Agua Azul (known as Aguazules, or OPDDIC) have killed one of their own people

Indymedia Chiapas, Saturday 20 February 2010

This account is based on the events that occurred during the morning of February 6th at Bolon Ajaw and in the surrounding area. These events are fully described in the report prepared and recently released by Frayba.

In the attack that took place in the community of Bolon Ajaw, the Zapatista bases of support found themselves face to face with members of OPDDIC (among them was the late Adolfo Moreno Estrada). The trajectory of the bullet (that killed him) indicates that it entered Moreno Estrada through his back and exited through his chest. The position of the body leaves no room for doubt: Adolfo Estrada Moreno died due to friendly fire from an OPDDIC bullet. This is also confirmed by the fact that only the aguazules carried firearms.

The Frayba report also contrasts the official versions of events which appeared in the press in following days, where numerous contradictions appear in the testimonies given by the Aguazules in their efforts to make themselves appear as victims of events that they had actually provoked. The report also contrasts the government accounts with their previous ones in support of their campaign to criminalise social movements.

There is a reason behind all this: this dispute over land is in an area where huge interests are at stake, linked to the CIP Palenque project  (Palenque Integrally Planned Centre) intended for the north of Chiapas, which encompasses six municipalities: Catazaja, Chilon, Ocosingo, Salto de Agua Tumbalá (the official municipality containing Bolon Ajaw) and Palenque (58 thousand hectares). 50% of the investment is borne by the State Government, while the rest comes from private investors.

Federal Government Strategies: tourist  enterprises.

The CIP tourism enterprises intend to incorporate specialized ecological and cultural tours and adventure sports, designed for luxury long-stay tourism. They will build a natural theme park at the Agua Azul waterfalls, with commercial areas and a considerable supply of housing to attract the ecotourism  and adventure sport sectors.

The CIP marks the start of the 2007-2012 Development  Plan (just at the same time that the attacks by paramilitaries against the Zapatista support bases (BAZ) at Bolon Ajaw are getting worse). Although they had had the idea for some time, the plan had not moved forward until the federal government gave its support to the construction of infrastructure projects such as the San Cristobal-Palenque highway or the expansion of Palenque airport (scheduled for this year).

In order to take this archaeo-ecological  project  forward, there are some problems that need  to be resolved: as the transnational consultants  who developed the strategic plan point out:  “to attract investment, the state must address the issues of land acquisition and access. This is the case with the Agua Azul waterfalls and Bolom Ajaw … With whom does the state intend to negotiate the purchase of the land?

Another of the tourist corridors is that of Comitan-Montes Azules, where violent evictions occurred recently and more are expected.

It is hardly surprising then, that the three levels of government are using any means possible to get rid of those who are hindering their projects, whether they are Zapatistas defending and working their reclaimed lands, or Other Campaign adherents from San Sebastian Bachajon or Mitzitón, they attack all who stand in the way of the great highway that would eventually connect  the coast with Palenque, and bring tourism closer to the beautiful waterfalls at Bolon Ajaw .

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