Chiapas Network Against Repression
February 23, 2011
We denounce with indignation the new escalation in violence and repression against the organised communities of the Other Campaign in Chiapas. During the month of February we have witnessed with alarm assaults and attacks by the state and its paramilitary groups on adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle:
Against the ejido of San Sebastian Bachajón, on the 2nd and 3rd of February, resulting in 117 people being arrested, of whom 10 remain in prison, including a minor and a person with mental disabilities. The adherents from Bachajón are now political prisoners for demanding respect for their historical and collective rights as indigenous peoples. On the 12th February 2011, five state government officials arrived at the centre in San José en Rebeldía to offer freedom to the ten who had been kidnapped by the state in exchange for the administration of the payment booth at Agua Azul. In this way they sought to negotiate for the control of (Bachajón’s) territory when this is exercised as a non-negotiable right.
Against the organized community of Mitzitón, which has been attacked constantly since the community declared its opposition to the mega-project for the the new San Cristobal-Palenque highway in March 2009. They have experienced recurrent harassment and threats from members of the paramilitary group Army of God Eagle Wings, resulting in the death of Aurelio Díaz Hernández last year. Recently, especially on the 13th February, 2011, the aggressors returned to attack the adherents, resulting in two of the adherents being kidnapped and severely beaten. To obtain their liberty, the Army of God members opened fire on the community where Carmen Jiménez Heredia was hit by a bullet; he was hospitalized in a critical condition in the Hospital de las Culturas.
Against the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Region and the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Centre. 56 people were detained here on 22nd February 2011 when part of a roadblock undertaken in solidarity with the Other Campaign’s statewide actions demanding a halt to the repression against the adherents of San Sebastian Bachajon, against the political prisoners from the Voz del Amate who are on fast and on hunger strike, and against the organized community of Mitzitón. To date we have information that 16 people have been detained, including three human rights defenders, who are being denied visits from relatives and lawyers, which make us fear attempts to force them to sign incriminating statements through physical and psychological torture .
Given the escalating level of violence by the state, the Mexican army, security forces, paramilitary groups and the mass media, it is clear that there is an offensive against the communities, organizations, groups and individuals who struggle for a Mexico with justice for all and who oppose the implementation of neoliberal projects such as the Mesoamerica Project, a project involving the theft and privatization of indigenous territory. So we call to everyone whose heart is below and to the left to demonstrate in their own way, and in their own times and spaces, where each and every one may choose their own form of struggle, in solidarity with Bachajón, with Mitzitón, and with the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coast and the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Centre.
Stop the aggression!
Stop the harassment of communities!
Freedom for political prisoners!
If you go for one of us you go for all of us!
Chiapas Network Against Repression