Ejidatarios from Bachajón, Chiapas, report upsurge in attacks by Opddic

Campesinos accuse paramilitaries of wanting to take over the toll booth and their gravel bank

They also note growing strategy of slander by the bad government

Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada
Thursday November 18, 2010, p. 20

The ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajón (Chilon municipality, Chiapas), adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced a growing strategy of “slander, injustice and provocation” on the part of the authorities of the bad government over the last five months, as well as an upsurge in attacks and harassment by members of the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (Opddic), considered by the ejidatarios to be paramilitaries.

Members of Opddic, official group, “want to cause the disintegration of our society and organization, threatening to take over the toll booth and the gravel bank”, which were recovered recently by the ejidatarios. “Now there are new threats with the same interests: neoliberalism and transnational projects.” In response, civil society “is increasingly being organized to resist and defend the natural resources of our ejidos.”

The Tzeltal campesinos, neighbors of Agua Azul bathing place, said the official ejidal commission “has not been able to win the confidence of the people nor had they understood what was going on.” They held responsible for this the government delegate in Chilon, Ledin Mendez, the deputy Yari del Carmen Gebrardt Garduza , and the indigenous Carmen Aguilar Gómez and his son, along with Francisco Guzmán Jiménez. “All these people have been meeting in Chilon, Ocosingo and other places with leaders of Opddic, agreeing to seize the toll booth and the gravel bank.”

Ejido members say that “these ambitious have earned them the confidence of the Secretary of Government, Noe Castanon, who received them on the 8th of November,” with the doors open and the table laden with a special menu, and with ideas and transnational projects and plans to destroy our organization.” The ejidatarios state that “it would clearly be in the government’s interests to start a conflict in different communities of the ejido, organising paramilitary groups to intimidate our society”.

The ejidatarios warn: “We will defend our natural resources to the end, we will show the government that we are not alone. For any attack on our compañeros, we directly blame the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero, the government delegate, the deputy Gebrardt Garduza (based in Palenque), and the Opddic leadership. ”

They announced that as of this date they would have “no dialogue or meeting with any official authority, and not negotiate or have any dealings with the bad government, as they have clearly shown their interest in stripping us of our lands and taking over our resources.”

Other recent incidents:

As reported in BoCa En BoCa: On October 22, 2 men began to shout death threats at Zapatistas who were working at the El Salvador bathing area, near to Agua Clara Ejido, Comandanta Ramona autonomous municipality. When the 2 men pulled out their machetes while making death threats, the Zapatistas decided to detain them. One was able to escape and, from a distance, fired 50 shots at the Zapatistas. The other man was detained. Both men are known as assailants who rob tourists on the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque. In fact, the man detained is none other than Manuel Perez Gomez, who had been detained previously by Zapatistas after the 2009 incident in Bachajon. In that incident, police detained 7 Other Campaign adherents and 1 Zapatista after anti-Zapatistas accused them of being the ones who were robbing tourists. The Zapatistas then detained the “real robbers” and announced their detention. After that announcement, the Zapatista was quickly released and the Other Campaign members were eventually all released.

On 2 November, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, denounced the illegal detention and torture of Miguel Demeza Jiménez, adherent of the Other Campaign, who was deprived of his liberty with no arrest-order against his person; it is said that charges were fabricated against him to expedite his arrest.The indigenous ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, held the state government of Juan Sabines Guerrero responsible for the arbitrary detention of their comrade: “It is clearly seen that injustice is not the word but rather the acts of this corrupt bad government. They are the truly culpable ones. For this reason we hold the state government responsible for the health and security of our imprisoned comrade. We as organizations declare that he is not a criminal, as the government is forcing him to say; he is totally innocent of all crimes being fabricated against him. We demand his immediate and unconditional release.”


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