No4 April 2010
Boca En Boca (Word of mouth) is an independent magazine. Its objectives are: to disseminate whathappens in the organized indigenous communities of Chiapas through news summaries or excerpts from their communiqués, to denounce the government’s strategy, and to promote solidarity among the communities. In the long term, the goal is to distribute the magazine within the indigenous communities in their own language.
“Don’t discard this news, share it. Thanks”
Compañeros from Jotolá, Bachajon, denounce acts of aggression by the army and by OPDDIC.
14/03: Other Campaign adherents from Jotolá denounced the ‘bad attitudes’ of the federal army.
13/03: At 9pm they (federal soldiers) attacked and beat three young indigenous Tzeltales and a minor. “The soldiers violated some articles of the great Mexican constitution”, “we seek the urgent withdrawal of the military (….), that they return to their quarters and commit their crimes there and not in the rural Tzeltal community of Chiapas”.
24/03: Members of OPDDIC kidnapped a thirteen year old child from the same community and then another aged eighteen; the latter escaped and took refuge in the house of some compañeros from the Other Campaign. The paramilitaries came together to seize and kidnap the compas in the house, a woman and her seven brothers. “These actions (…) we think they are due to some compas arresting a member of OPDDIC”, the same day, “because the government took no action against him for his acts of violence (…) he was taken to the Prosecutor at the Department of Ocosingo, but they did not want to receive him because he was under their protection”.
Press release 14/03 http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173857
Press release 24/03 http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173737
Other Campaign adherents from Mitziton denounce an arrest, 23rd March 2010
On the 23rd March they (Other Campaign adherents from Mitziton) denounced the arrest of a man for defending his territory against the passage of the highway to Palenque.
They made the accusation: “in yet another attempt to deceive us as indigenous people, and ignore our decision not to allow violence in our lands, the three levels of the bad government have co-ordinated their actions in order to continue to repress and harass us by “detaining and mistreating” our brother Manuel Díaz Heredia.
They recalled the government’s support which “let the paramilitary group Army of God assassinate our brother Aurelio Diaz Hernandez, (…) and protected the assassin (…), freeing him so that he could continue people trafficking (…) and so he could continue harassing us”. In the same way, the government ordered the “paramilitary commander Esdras Alonso to make a penal complaint that would criminalise our protest and our struggle for our territory.” As a result he sent the Army of God to attack us on the 27th and 28th of February.
On the 18th March the state government sent the “famous” lawyer Miguel Ángel de los Santos Cruz to persuade us to dialogue with “Juan Sabines and his paramilitaries”.
On the 23rd of March, we stated that “the bad federal government, surely with the complicity of Sabines, detained our brother Manuel Díaz Heredia to force us to accept what threatens our lands.”
Because of all this, the compañeros decided to demand the liberty of their brother Manuel, and to continue to defend their lands, by blocking the Panamerican highway which goes to Comitán, and by arresting some government officials, who were freed one day later.
On the 29th March they reinforced these actions by assessing the situation of their current political prisoners, strengthening their demands: immediate freedom for the political prisoners, and investigation and punishment of those responsible for their arbitrary detention.
They later reported that the compañero Manuel Díaz Heredia had been freed on 25th March for lack of evidence, which further reinforced their demands.
The JBG of La Garrucha denounces threats of eviction in Rancheria Amaytic.
These events began with “a problem of the separation of a couple in Ranchería Amaytic, in the autonomous municipality Ricardo Flores Magón, in 2002.”
This led to two compas being murdered and “the assassins took refuge in Ejido Peña Limonar, where they were protected by priistas (members of the PRI political party) and the bad government, (….) the autonomous authorities therefore determined that they would no longer allow the murderers to live in Ranchería Amaytic.”
Then the provocations began: “the people from Ejido Pena Limonar cut the supply of light to the zapatista supporters living there, forced them to pay land tax (…) and on the 8th March they cut their water supply, stealing and destroying their water pipes and other material.”
They said “let’s get back the materials to install our water supply”, which is essential.
But the “PRI opddiques” arrived armed in Ranchería Amaytic on the 15th March, and then, on the 16th, returned with more than 200 armed people.
“They are persecuting our compañer@s, wanting to sieze them, and when the women are alone in their houses they are threatening to kill all their animals, and evict them.”
They finish by saying that “ten of these people from OPDDIC are building their houses here”. Because of this the compañer@s are afraid of problems that may occur. “We hold responsible the paramilitaries of Peña Limonar and the priista opddiques from the six communities mentioned, together with the three levels of bad government.”
The Stonil Naj transport cooperative from Toniná, Ocosingo, denounces the detention of a vehicle by the government.
On the 9th of March, representatives of the 25 communities in the Balaxthe region, near to the Toniná archaeological zone, met, at the request of the state secretary of communications and transport, (in principle to seek solutions to the problem of transport in the region), in the city of Tuxtla, with the government official the deputy secretary of transport for the state, and with the transport coordination officer for the jungle area. The only response they could obtain was that they (the government) were “going to seize the community’s cars and apply the law”, without any open attempt at promoting understanding.
The cooperative society of Maya Joint public vehicle transport, Stonil Naj, denounced the previously described actions, together with the fulfilment of the above threat by seizing, that same evening, a Nissan vehicle belonging to the cooperative society Stonil Naj.
The officials of the ministry of transport coordination are accusing the transport cooperative of being “pirates”, while they are asserting their right to free self-determination as indigenous peoples.
As a result of the seizure of vehicles continuing, and three being confiscated, on the 19th March the indigenous communities of the Balaxthe regions of Ocosingo wrote a letter to Vladimir Escobar demanding the release of the three vehicles, respect for their fundamental collective rights as indigenous peoples, respect for their decision to organise themselves, and for the free self-determination of peoples as established in international law.
They pointed out that “we hold the delegates for the coordination of transport in the jungle zone, Lic. Vladimir Escobar Flores and Lenin Fabián Castellanos, together with the rich people from Ach’Lum Ocotal and Turísticos Toniná , responsible for any physical or psychological damage suffered by the indigenous communities” of our cooperative.
The members of the Other Campaign from San Sebastian Bachajon, Agua Azul, denounce the bad attitude of the pre-candidates for the Commission of the Ejido (communal landholding).
They mention that the candidates are undertaking pre-campaigns in the ejido proposing wrongdoings against the compas of the Other Campaign, making death threats against the leaders and threatening to take over the tollbooth for the waterfalls of Agua Azul and the gravel pit.
They denounce these people’s intentions to deceive people in their own interest in order to obtain the office of commissioner, while at the same time being protected by the current government of Chilon who authorise them to have access to the economic resources.
“Enough with all these threats of death and dispossession, and the violation of the economic rights of campesinos (small farmers) in the communities.”
Autonomous communities in the coastal region of Chiapas call for attention.
The Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas requests the repair of electric grids in Tonalá and Pijijiapan, along with a fair payment tariff for the people of Chiapas; a permanent supply of medicines and medical personnel; a fair price for tortillas and beans.
LINKS TO INFORMATION PAGE #1
– 22nd March: Las Abejas commemorate Mons. Óscar A. Romero http://acteal.blogspot.com/
– Report by human rights promoters from various parishes in the northern zone
– Las Abejas denounce dam projects http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173713
– Report of harassment of members of the Emiliano Zapata Colonia in Tuxtla Gutiérrez http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2010/03/denuncia-hostigamiento-integrante-de-la.html
– MOCRI CNPA MN seizes official vehicles of CFE and related businesses
– Faced with the failure of the government of Chiapas MOCRI CNPA suspends negotiations.
FOLLOW-UP TO ARTICLES AND INFORMATION LINKS FROM THE PREVIOUS EDITION
– Medical negligence in the case of Alberto Patishtán http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173838
– Response from las Abejas to a government article in La Jornada. http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173660
– Complaint about police harassment of MOCRI in Tecpatán http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173932
REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
More than 500 people joined the march, which stopped at the military camp of Majomut, to denounce the presence of the army in Chiapas. They denounced the impunity in various cases of rape, torture etc….
OTHER CAMPAIGN: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_173623
In memory and honour of the women in Chiapas who fought and still fight for Democracy, Freedom and Justice, Comandanta Ramona, compañera Olga Isabel, the nameless, the faceless, and those who are not here but are listening to us, those who are in prisons which do not contain their rebellion and dignity.”
FRENTE COSTA CHIAPAS: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=173670
CARLOS MONTEMAYOR: “The indigenous peoples of Mexico”, 2000.
“(…) The concept of the land in indigenous culture was not the same as in the West. For the Indian peoples, the earth was a living being who should be thanked for the continuation of life, not an inert piece of property which could be considered subject to the changing needs of different owners.
Before the conquest, the land belonged communally to the ‘calpulli’ (whole population), not to individuals. Each head of a household had the right to a plot of the communal lands with an obligation to work it: if after 2 years the land had not been worked, it would return to the power of the ‘calpulli’, and could be given to another neighbour.
The working of the land was so fundamental that, not having ownership of the plot of land, and not being able to leave it as an inheritance, land would only pass from parents to their children if they continued to work it. Such concepts of communal property and of the living earth are still present in the Indian peoples of today. .” (…)
Carlos Montemayor analysed the work of the anthropologist G. Aguirre Beltran: “the communal ownership of land is more complex and important than the individual: it is a cultural system in which work, economy and the political integration of individuals and families results in a set of values which are also communal. (…) For the nineteenth century liberals, progress was only made possible by the private ownership of property; for Mexico to enter into the modern and civilised life of the advanced countries, communal ownership of property would have to disappear.”
Various processes of political development can be seen in the neighbourhood districts, through collective work in the community, and through those called ‘majordomos’, who are responsible for organising the patron saints’ festivals. Each one of these activities both strengthens and depends on other tasks and foundations; each one of these ensures the development of specific individuals in the duties and responsibilities of traditional authorities, and in the political integration of the municipalities.
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