Today the 17th november is the 27th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising.
In spirit of the international solidarity with the Zapatista movement that has been under constant paramilitary attacks, we protested at the Mexican Embassy in the Hague.
With a colorful collection of banners and Manu Chaos’s music a group of around ten people met in front of the Mexican embassy.
Our spokesperson entered the embassy with a letter, a pack of Zapatista coffee and a police officer. “What’s up with the coffee?” He inquired.
After a heated discussion with the legal adviser about the conditions in Chiapas and the political dimensions of Mexico, even the adviser had to agree that the current political hierarchy in Mexico isn’t working out. He pointed out that federal governors have too much power and are very vulnerable to corruption. Yet he said the conditions in Chiapas are slowly changing and it will take a very long time to see some progress. We pointed out that this mindset is the main issue why the problem hasn’t been solved yet. We left him with these ideas and a pack of genuine Zapatista coffee.
———– The letter to the ambassador
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
“Five centuries of horror have not been able to exterminate these communities or their 1000-year-old ways of working and living in human solidarity and in communion with nature.”
Today the 17th November of 2010 we celebrate the 27th anniversary of the EZLN. We are presenting you this letter on behalf of a community of individuals and organizations in the Netherlands concerned with recent incidents in the state of Chiapas.
The building of autonomy by the Zapatista peoples and communities in Chiapas has demonstrated that another way of organizing and governing ourselves is possible.
We support the ideas of the Zapatista peoples which signify defiance against the state and we want you to acknowledge and respect the progress of constructing autonomous communities.
Recent events in 2010 have shown that the people in Chiapas are still being oppressed and are under permanent harassment by different paramilitary groups.
Among the recent attacks that have been denounced by the Good Government Juntas are:
In La Realidad, in April 2010, there were threats of new evictions of communities in Montes Azules, under the ecological pretext of the defence of the biosphere reserve, but the Zapatista communities have stated that “We love the land, take care of it, work it and defend it. We are ready to defend it at all costs”.
In La Garrucha, in Ocosingo, in May 2010, aggressors originating from Peña Limonar arrested five Zapatista support bases: Evelio Montejo Hernández, Manuel Gutierrez Lopez, Luis Gutierrez Vazquez, Pedro Hernandez and Narciso Gutiérrez Gutiérrez Jiménez. There are also 9 people missing.
In Choles de Tumbalá, near Palenque, in the first days of June, 79 members of Xinich official,
supporting the aggressors of the area, seized the land of the Zapatista support bases, caused a fire, fabricated crimes, invaded lands and threatened the victims with death, as well as threatening to invade more land with the support of the security forces.
In the highlands, caracol of Oventik, in the community of El Pozo, on June 21, a group of
approximately 240 offenders (PRI and PRD) cut off the water and electricity supply. Armed with
machetes, hoes, and sticks, they fractured the skulls of Miguel and Manuel Hernández Pérez, damaged 5 Zapatista support bases and destroyed one. Three health promoters were detained by the police when they tried to rescue the wounded: Francisco Velasco Mendez, Sebastian Hernandez and Francisco Gómez Santiz Mendez.
At the end of August Zapatistas from Pamalá, in the municipality of Sitalá, had informed the JBG that, Manuel Vázquez had been forcibly ordered by the authorities and leaders of the political parties in San Marcos and Pamalá to dismantle the autonomous school. The authorities told him that they were then going to attack other communities which had autonomous schools. The JBG stated that “the purpose of these attacks is to prevent the education of our children and to stop the progress of construction of our autonomy.”
On September 9, 30 people from the political parties PRI, PRD and PVEM, armed with machetes and firearms, violently broke into the houses of the Zapatista families in San Marcos Avilés, forcing these families to leave their homes and abandon all their possessions. 170 men, women and children became refugees in the mountains, enduring throughout the recent torrential rains, hunger, cold, sleeplessness, mud and the fear of attacks on women and children.
Throughout Mexico, the detentions, extra judicial executions and disappearances of social activists, along with widespread repression, have gone hand in hand with militarization and the creation of paramilitary groups, particularly aimed against indigenous autonomy in Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacan and Oaxaca.
For these reasons, we will continue to denounce this counterinsurgency strategy and support the autonomous Zapatista indigenous communities.
We are ending this letter with a direct quote from our comrades in Chiapas to let their voices be heard as well: “We the Zapatistas do not bother anybody. We do not evict our compas from the political parties. We do not persecute anyone. We do not steal the land of our brother and sister farmers, nor do we take any other property from other poor people; we only defend what is ours, and our rights; we live and eat through our own work and sweat, and we want to fight for true democracy, freedom and justice for everyone. These are our crimes as Zapatistas.”