The ecosystem, along with the rights to land, territory, the word and to have autonomous education are four of the basic and incontrovertible principles underpinning the Zapatista rebellion. And these are precisely the principles that paramilitary groups, political parties and the government of Chiapas have sought to undermine in the communities of Mitzitón, San Marcos Avilés and Pamala (Caracol of Oventik). Attacking the basic principles of the construction of political autonomy in the Zapatista communities is not only outrageous and unacceptable, it is also a war crime for which there is no statute of limitations.
After waiting all summer, on the 1st September our companer@s, adherents to the Other Campaign from the organized community of Mitzitón denounced the fact that paramilitaries from ‘The Army of God – Wings of the Eagle’ “are continuing to attack us and destroy our forests, trying to burn our houses, stealing and hitting our women and children, as well as making death threats”. Two months had passed since, on July 1st, the community decided to set up a roadblock on the San Cristobal – Comitan highway, to demand that the paramilitaries leave their community. The government of Juan Sabines Guerrero, trying to polish up his image as a puppet at the service of whichever multinational would pay most, offered to step in and assume responsibility for relocating the paramilitaries, so as to resolve the conflict. Time has shown that the word of Sabines, from the left of above, is treacherous, corrupt and poisonous.
The Good Government Junta of Oventik denounced, on September 9th, some very serious incidents such as the summoning of companero Manuel Vásquez Álvarez by the authorities of Ejido San Marcos Avilés, official municipality of Chilon, and the community authorities of Pamala, official municipality of Citala, and the forced eviction and displacement of 170 Zapatista support base (BAZ) companer@s from their homes, and their dispossession from their land, which was acquired 10 years ago, and which they have since worked day by day.
On the other hand, companero Manuel had to endure all manner of intimidation, threats, teasing, interrogation and also hours of suffering and imprisonment in the community jail, with the aim of forcing him to renounce the promotion of autonomous education. It is also important to note the report of the JBG concerning what happened when another companero, Pedro Cruz Gomez, came to assist Manuel Vasquez, when an attempt was made to frame him for the crime of murder by inserting a penknife into his trousers. With regard to the displacements, the denuncia tells that 30 people from the political parties, PRD, PRI and Mexico’s Green party, led by Lorenzo Ruiz Ruiz Gómez and Vicente López, arrived at the homes of the companer@s BAZ in an aggressive and violent manner, armed with machetes, sticks and firing their weapons, and they tried to rape two women. In order not to be provoked into responding to these attacks, the BAZ decided to abandon their homes and lands.
In Mexico, the three levels of government and the political class as a whole are well aware of the energising, liberating and rebellious potential of the organized people of ‘below and to the left’. Networks of solidarity and mutual support are in operation, in response to the conflict in Mitzitón, adherents to the Other Campaign from across the country have agreed to concentrate there by means of delegations from various organizations, groups and communities to show solidarity, through their presence, with the dignified struggle of our sisters and brothers. In response to the attack on autonomous education and the displacement of 170 companer@s, actions that inevitably recall the events of Acteal, we also mobilized to condemn the brutal arrogance and demand reparation for both attacks.
We hold Felipe Calderon and Juan Sabines Guerrero responsible for the systematic and criminal provocations which they are inflicting on the Zapatista organisation, as well as their complete and suicidal contempt for the ecosystem, the true sister soul of indigenous peoples and of all living things that inhabit the earth. Both governments continue to seek a justification for a definitive military intervention in the Zapatista communities and to exhaust the land and territory by handing it over to multinational corporations. They will only encounter resistance, international solidarity and dignified rage.
Respect Mitzitón’s trees!
Immediate and safe return of the 170 Zapatista support bases!
Long Live Autonomous education!
NO TO WAR IN CHIAPAS
FREEDOM FOR POLITICAL PRISONERS
11th September 2010
Confederacion General de Trabajo (CGT)