JULY 2010 CHIAPAS/ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY

1. Mitziton Protest Blocks Pan-Am Highway – On July 1, Other Campaign members in Mitziton put up a roadblock on the Pan-American Highway adjacent to their ejido lands, demanding that the Chiapas government relocate the paramilitaries belonging to the “Army of God,” an armed evangelical group to which a minority of Mitziton’s residents belong. After meeting with state government officials, Mitziton negotiators gave the government 30 days to relocate the evangelicals.

2. Mitziton Denounces Torture of 2 Other Campaign Members – On July 18, two Other Campaign members who live in Agua Escondida were stopped by a group from the Army of God after visiting relatives in Mitziton. Both Other Campaign members were beaten and tortured. They were released the next day after being forced to sign a document regarding speed in the village.

3. Virgin of Dolores Ranch Denounces Provocations – On July 7, ex PRI members, now registered with the Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) and belonging to a group called “Fundacion Colosio” (Colosio Foundation), attempted to take possession of the land occupied by Other Campaign adherents on the Virgin of Dolores Ranch. The property is in Chilon Municipality. A delegate from one of the state government’s departments was with the invaders. The denuncia states that the invaders used violence and demanded that they abandon the land. These are the same people who shot at a resident of the Ranch in February. Virgin of Dolores Ranch is close to San Sebastián Bachajón and the Agua Azul Cascades.

4. Other Campaign Members Denounce Drainage Plan – Other Campaign adherents in Jolnixtie, First Section, belonging to the Peoples United for the Defense of Electric Energy (Pudee), denounced that Tila Municipality’s plans for a drainage system affect one member’s land. It would store sewer water in the open air and would empty it into streams that run through the community and eventually into the Paso Chinal River. They demand cancellation and an end to threats and provocations by members of political parties. Pudee is an adherent to the EZLN’s Other Campaign.

5. European Brigade Visits Zapatista Caracoles – During the first part of July, a brigade of European activists in solidarity with the Zapatista communities toured the five Zapatista centres of resistance, known as Caracoles. They published reports from their visits that were carried on Mexican blogs and also reported on by La Jornada.

6. Oventik Junta Updates Brigade on El Pozo – On June 21, the Good Government Junta in Oventik denounced an attack on Zapatistas in El Pozo by PRI and PRD members. Two of the attackers died from injuries suffered during the attack. The European Solidarity Brigade visited Oventik and received an update on the incident’s aftermath. Two Zapatistas were gravely injured and are in the hospital with skull fractures. One of them is guarded by police, indicating that if and when he recovers, he may be arrested. Local police detained health promoters who were taking the injured out and took them to the DA’s office in San Cristóbal. They are now in the San Cristobal Prison. All of the Zapatista support bases from El Pozo are displaced as a result of the attack. El Pozo is located in San Juan Apostol Cancuc autonomous municipality in the Chiapas Highlands.

7. Morelia Junta Denounces Provocations by the CIOAC-I – On July 29, a large group of people belonging to the local CIOAC-I, a campesino organization connected to the PRD political party in Chiapas, invaded lands recuperated by the Zapatistas after the 1994 Uprising. The CIOAC-I members began constructing houses on part of the collective pastureland, including the natural spring. The Junta blames the state and federal governments and asks them to remove the CIOAC-I members from their land, saying that they will defend it.

8. State Elections – Some Mexican states held elections for governor on July 4. The PRI was expected to score a big victory, but results were not exactly what the politicians expected.  Chiapas did not have an election for governor, but it held local elections for municipal presidents and local deputies to the state congress. The PRD-PAN alliance threw out the PRI mayor of San Cristobal de las Casas and elected a woman PRD member.

From the blog of the Zapatista Support Group Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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