Guerrero – Briefs: PGJE denigrates the killing of Lorenzo Fernandez; NGOs continue to pressure for the release of Raul Hernández

July 12, 2010

Two years and five months after the murder of Lorenzo Fernández Ortega, brother of Inés Fernández Ortega, who was raped by soldiers in 2002, the Attorney General of the State of Guerrero (PGJE) has presented a homicide suspect. The PGJE has concluded that the killing resulted from a conflict that arose during a drinking binge.

The defense has argued that on February 9, 2008, Lorenzo was subject to enforced disappearance.  A day later, he was found dead – with his body showing visible signs of torture – in the river that runs through the city of Ayutla. Lorenzo was a member of the Organization of the Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM) and played an important role in defending human rights of indigenous people from their region. He actively campaigned to denounce the acts carried out against his sister, Inés Fernández, and supported the denunciations in the case brought before the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDEHUM) concerning the 14 indigenous women of El Camalote who were forcibly sterilized by the Ministry of Health in 1998.

In a July 5th communiqué, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, the Guerrero Network of Human-Rights Organizations (Red Guerrerense), and OPIM denounced that Tlachinollan, as collaborator in the case, only had a limited access to the advances of the investigation and that the conclusion that the homocide had been the result of a drinking binge denigrates Lorenzo Fernandez as a defender of human rights.

On the same day, Amnesty International (AI) released an Urgent Action demanding the immediate release of political prisoner Raúl Hernández, a member of OPIM.  He was detained on April 17, 2008 and accused of the murder of Alejandro Feliciano García, committed on January 1, 2008. On June 30, 2010, the judge presiding over the trial of this defender of human rights and indigenous peoples closed the evidentiary phase of his trial for murder. The crime-scene investigation conducted by the judge confirmed that the statements of witnesses who claimed that Raul Hernandez was present at the time of the murder were unreliable. AI called on civil society to demand the release of Hernandez from the PGJE in a letter to be sent before August 14, 2010. (See Urgent Action below).

Finally, on July 6th, the Solicitor’s International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) published a report regarding the situation of Raúl Hernández. In the report, the organization emphasized that the incarceration of Hernández was based on lies and that there exists no evidence of his participation in the criminal acts for which he has been accused. The SIHRG expressed profound worry over the case of Hernández and claimed it to be willing to take further measures to protect the human-rights defender.

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint communiqué by Tlachinollan, the Guerrero Network, and OPIM (5 July)

Amnesty International campaign for the release of Raúl Hernández

Amnesty International Urgent Action: Key moment in the trial for murder of activist (5 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Briefs–CECOP receive precautionary measures; Report on human rights; Civil society organizations continue asking for the liberation of Raúl Hernández (5 July 2010)

Chiapas: Mitzitón ejidatarios demand relocation of members of the “Army of God”

July 12, 2010

For five days, ejidatarios (collective land holders) of Mitzitón adhering to the Other Campaign blocked the Pan American Highway in the section that connects  San Cristóbal de Las Casas with Comitán, demanding the relocation of a group of “non-cooperatives” from the group “Army of God” who are connected with the evangelical church “Eagle Wings” outside of the community. The blockade was lifted on the night of July 5 after a meeting with representatives of the state government who committed themselves to resolve the demands of the ejiditarios from the Other Campaign.

The ejidatarios stated: “For 13 years we have denounced the criminal acts of these people and we are no longer willing to continue waiting. These neighbors of ours came to live in our community and now they want to take advantage of our forests and our land, but they do not cooperate or comply with community agreements; they do not participate in collective works or meet in our assemblies. Instead, they traffic in people and harass and threaten. They are armed and they killed our compañero Aurelio, kidnapped our agent and police along with another compañero, the three were tortured severely, and threatened with being burnt. “ Finally, an agreement was reached on July 5, in which the state government promised to resettle members of the Army of God; subsequently, the blockade was lifted. However, the next day, adherents to the Other Campaign publicly expressed their discontent, given that the time-table of one month, a condition granted to the ejidatarios orally, does not appear in the written agreement.

The blockade of the Pan American Highway had begun on July 1st and recently, the group of “non-cooperatives” had cut down trees without permission from the authorities of the ejido and had also made threats against the adherents to the Other Campaign. Faced with the demands of the Mitzitón ejidatarios, state administrators proposed a meeting at the negotiating table in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, a proposal rejected by adherents to the Other Campaign, who suggested that an eventual negotiation should take place in the community itself so that all voices could be heard in assembly. Then the state government proposed the relocation of the entire community and the concurrent transformation of the land into a forest reserve while also threatening to forcibly remove the blockade. In response, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de Las Casas issued an Urgent Action on that day. Different media sources indicated that the the general secretary of Government, Noe Castañón, insisted that the ejidatarios lift the blockade and denied that the state government was aware of the aformentioned allegations.  Finally, on July 4, the ejidatarios accepted the proposal for negotiations, under the conditions that representatives of various bodies of state administration be present and that they be held in the community of Mitzitón.

According to previous public denunciations of the ejidatarios, the alleged “non-cooperatives” have in previous years engaged in the smuggling of undocumented persons, with the result that several occasions, the group now belonging to the Other Campaign had made these traffickers available to the authorities, though these cases were never pursued.  The conflict worsened in 2009 when ejidatarios publicly rallied against the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway project that would, if carried out, affect their community. There were on several occasions thereafter situations of confrontation; during one of them, a group of “non-cooperatives” killed Aurelio Díaz Hernández, this on July 21, 2009. The most recent conflict regarded the felling of trees without permission of the ejido authorities, which last February 28 resulted in both groups detaining three of the opposing group, respectively, who were all released the following day.

Communiques of the Mitzitón ejidatarios (in Spanish):

We give the Chiapas government a month to comply with the Mitzitón ejidatarios (6/07/2010)

Second response of ejidatarios of Mitzitón to the state government (4/07/2010)

Response of Mitzitón ejidatarios to the governor of Chiapas (2/07/2010)

Urgent Action (in Spanish):

Urgent Action: Imminent risk of repression against the indigenous of Mitzitón (Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, 1/07/2010)

For more information (in Spanish):

Mitzitón Tzotziles who demand withdrawal of paramilitaries lift road-block (La Jornada, 7/07/2010)

Chiapan indigenous individuals lift road-block (El Milenio, 6/07/2010)

Dialogue between ejidal assembly of Mitzitón and government of Chiapas begins (La Jornada, 6/07/2010)

Ejidal assembly of Mitziton accepts dialogue with Chiapas government (La Jornada, 5/07/2010)

Chiapas government offers dialogue, not the investigation of denunciations, to Tzotzil group (La Jornada, 4/07/2010)

Chiapas: indigenous of Mitzitón continue road-block on the Pan-American Highway (La Jornada, 3/07/2010)

Tzotziles of Mitzitón denounce aggression and abuse by part of evangelicals from Army of God (La Jornada, 3/07/2010)

Indigenous block road in Chiapas (El Universal, 3/07/2010)

Indigenous block road in Chiapas, request relocation of Protestants (La Jornada, 1/07/2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: road-block lifted and prisoners released in Mitzitón (26 March 2010)

Chiapas: Risk of confrontation in Mitzitón following arrest of ejidatario (25 March 2010)

Chiapas: Another confrontation in Mitzitón (9 March 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of Attempted Kidnapping in Mitzitón (26 February 2010)

Chiapas: Indigenous Communities demand a stop to repression for defending their territory (28 August 2009)

Chiapas: Person dead after brutal attacks in Mitzitón (29 July 2009)

Oaxaca: Coalition “United for Peace and Progress” defeats PRI in state elections

July 12, 2010

Eviel Pérez Magaña (@ La Jornada)

On Sunday 4 July, state elections for executive and legislative offices were held in Oaxaca, as in 12 states of the Mexican Republic.  In the case of Oaxaca, the coalition “United for Peace and Progress,” comprised of the PAN, PRD, PT, and Convergencia parties, defeated the PRI-Verde Ecologista alliance, winning the office of governor as well as the mayorship of the capital and the majority of representatives in the state Congress.  The governor-candidate of this unusual coalition (including parties of left and right), Gabino Cué Monteagudo, beat the PRI candidate Eviel Pérez Magaña by a margin of 8 percentage points, putting an end to 80 years of PRI rule in Oaxaca.  The State Electoral Institute estimated participation to have reached 56% in the elections.

Although  many observers feared conflicts related to election results in Oaxaca, Pérez Magaña accepted his defeat the following day, though he stressed in his concessionary speech that the PRI continues being the most single popular party in Oaxaca, given that it received 550,000 votes in these elections, or 250,000 more than did the PAN.  He emphasized the need for reconciliation between the representatives and electors of both alliances, indicating that it is “now the moment” to “contribute to the unity of the people.”  Similarly, Cué Monteagudo declared last Monday that “[w]e are promoters of peace, and so we will always call for reconciliation.”  The same day as his victory Monteagudo declared that “we have attained a historical dream” in defeating the PRI but also called on PRI members not to “have fear” of the new administration.  This position was also adopted by the leader of the PT, Daniel Juárez, who claimed that the conflicts that were seen during the six-year term of present governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in 2006 should be left to the past.

Some came to question that this call for reconciliation, meant to maintain the stability of the state, could mean impunity for the exiting regime.  Cué has declared that the next Oaxaca government “will obey the law” and that it will “be intolerant against corruption.”  He has also called for a transparency law “that will actually allow people to be sure of where it is that public resources are being spent,” but regarding the question of the exiting governor Ulises Ruiz, Cué has limited himself to stating the following:  “If there is a crime that must be investigated, let it be investigated; if there is a crime for which to punish, let us punish.”

In the northwestern Triqui region of the state, which has suffered high levels of violence in recent months, there had been seeing until 4 July itself if there existed conditions for the installation of electoral booths.  Rufino Juárez Hernández, director of the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), declared that there was a need for the Secretary of Public Security (SSP) to engage in a special operation to promote the installation of such booths in Tierra Blanca, Cerro Pájaro, and San Juan Copala.  Juárez Hernández added that UBISORT members would do everything possible to ensure that Triqui citizens be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Before the elections the SSP indicated that the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá represented a “red alert” in electoral terms.  To date authorities of the municipality have not expressed their views on the election results other than to denounce in general terms the “electoral apparatus” for having given birth to “despicable authorities like Ulises Ruiz Ortiz” and others.

For his part, Felipe Calderón received the election results gratefully, asserting that “[t]hat of last Sunday was a vote for the institutions; it was a vote for legality; it was a vote for democracy; it was a vote for peace.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Electoral participation reaches 56%: IEE (El Imparcial, 5 July)

Opposition coalition wins majority in Oaxaca Congress (La Jornada, 5 July)

Leading with 8.35 points, Cué removes PRI from Oaxaca after 80 years (La Jornada, 6 July)

I accept the will of Oaxacans: Eviel Pérez after conceding defeat (La Jornada, 6 July)

Cué calls for reconciliation in Oaxaca (El Universal, 5 July)

Cué requests that PRI recognize election result to allow for the reconstruction of Oaxaca (La Jornada, 4 July)

PAN, PRD, PT y PCD call for reconciliación (El Imparcial, 5 July)

Oaxaca: If Ulises committed crimes, we will go for him: Cué (El Universal, 6 July)

Calderón: the elections constituted a message of the rejection of violence (La Jornada, 6 July)

If there is security we will install election-booths: UBISORT leader (Diario Despertar, 3 July)

UBISORT will look into installation of election-booths for 4 July (Diario Despertar, 25 June)

Authorities identify ’20 red alerts’ before Oaxaca elections (La Jornada, 3 July)

UBISORT paramilitaries shoot two women and a girl in San Juan Copala (28 June)

PRI experienced ‘de-Penó’-ization in Oaxaca, Sinaloa, and Puebla, assures the PAN’s Santiago Creel” (La Jornada, 6 July)

Mexico: Atenco prisoners released

July 12, 2010

On June 30th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ordered the immediate release of  the 12 members of the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, who faced sentences of 31 to 112 years in prison, and had been taken into custody by police in May of 2006 during the protests against the displacement of flower vendors in the state of Mexico.

The decision of the court was made finding that the Attorney General of the State of Mexico (PGJEM) brought charges against the detainees stemming from shaky and false premises. Prosecutors also used illegal evidence to impute the crime of kidnapping. Additionally, the minister Juan Silva Meza affirmed that the sentences could have been “a form of institutional makeup to criminalize social protest, a way to punish the opposition”.

In the case of nine of the people from Atenco held in the Molino de Las Flores state prison, with lesser penalties, the release was immediate. On the other hand, in the case of the three leaders held in the federal prison of Altiplano, by the 1st of July, the federal Secretary of Public Security (SSP) stated that Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez y Héctor Galindo, will remain in prison facing still four more criminal proceedings for the crimes of aggravated robbery, injury and damage to public property, looting, and attacks on roads and transportation.

Finally they were liberated and arrived in Atenco on July 2nd, where some 500 people were awaiting their arrival, accompanied by the other newly released members of the FPDT who had been liberated on the 30th. The daughter of Ignacio del Valle, América del Valle – who just last June 24 left for the Embassy of Venezuela to seek political asylum from the two arrest warrants against her for the same offense in 2006 –  did not attend.

The Governor, Enrique Peña Nieto, said that his administration will have “absolute respect” for the resolution of the court to liberate the prisoners of Atenco. In an interview afterward, he rejected that it was a setback for his government and added that the interest “was none other than the restoration of order and peace… and therefore, the sanctions against those who participated in terms of the law and in conformity with the law acted, and under the law was passed.”

Furthermore, Amnesty International (AI) demanded a thorough investigation into the officials involved in the investigations related to the Atenco case, to be in accordance with the decision of the Court, who improperly used the justice system and thus caused the violation of due process for the 12 detainees at those events.

For more information (in Spanish):

12 Atenco prisoners released (La Jornada, 1 July)

Court orders liberty for Atenco prisoners (El Universal, 2 July)

SSP: three Atenco leaders will continue imprisoned (Proceso, 1 July)

AI demands punishment of functionaries for Atenco case (Proceso, 1 July)

Released leaders of the FPDT are received in Atenco (La Jornada, 2 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico City: Second Phase of Our Prisoners First campaign launched (13 May 2010)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)

Chiapas: Intimidation and polluting project in the municipality of Tila are denounced

July 9, 2010
Placas del PUDEE en Jolnixtie @ SIPAZ

Placas del PUDEE en Jolnixtie @ SIPAZ

On 24 June, there was released a public communiqué written by representatives of the organization Kichán Kichañob regarding the high electricity-prices that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) charges, as well as the CFE’s threats to cut off services.  For their part, representatives of the organization People United in Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) and ejidal authorities of the community Jolnixtie Section 1 warn in a communiqué released on 30 June about a drain-and-capture project for polluted water, one of the results of which would be that other waters in the area could be rendered no longer fit for human consumption.

According to the communiqué released by Kichán Kichañob’s representatives, the CFE is charging prices that do not correspond to consumption-levels on the part of the populaces of the communities of Limar, Nuevo Limar, Usipá, Cruz Palenque, and Jol-Ako, all of which find themselves in the zone below Tila.  The communiqué states that the CFE “intimidates us if we don’t pay” by means of use of the police and threatening mass electricity-cuts.  The representatives demand respect for their “right to resist by not paying these high prices.”

In Jolnixtie section 1, another community in the zone below Tila, representatives of PUDEE and ejidal authorities have denounced the proposed construction-project of an open-air drainage system in the neighboring community of Libertad Jolnixtie section 2 that would pollute the stream that passes through Jolnixtie section 1, “affecting kilometers of rivers, streams, springs, and aquifers, polluting the environment, and affecting the diverse plant and animal species that already threatened with extinction.  At the same time, we will [if the project proceeds] stop using our waters to prepare food, wash clothes, and bathe ourselves.  This development would affect more than a thousand families as well as pre-schools and primary schools.”  They explain that this project, promoted by the mayor of Tila, Limber Gutiérrez Gómez, is supported by the ejidal authorities of Libertad Jolnixtie section 2, along with people who identify themselves as part of the paramilitary group “Peace and Justice,” which is tied to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), and Green-Ecologist Party (PVEM).  “This construction will affect a hectare of land cultivated by Mr. Francisco García Hernández, who was approached by paramilitary groups that uprooted fruit- and wood-trees that [Hernández] had had planted.  They insulted him and threatened to expel him from the community if he did not cease construction on his land.”  The ejidatarios have called on the appropriate authorities to cancel the project; they allege that they were never consulted about the project to begin with, in violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete communiqué of representatives of Kichán Kichañob

Complete communiqué of representatives of PUDEE and ejidal authorities from Jolnixtie section 1

Cuarto Poder: CFE intimidations are denounced; Chols “resist”

Cuarto Poder: Drainage system hurts the environment, it is claimed

Guerrero: Briefs – CECOP receive precautionary measures; Report on human rights; Civil society organizations continue asking for the liberation of Raúl Hernández

July 5, 2010

On the 1st of July, the first nullification hearing was held before the Agrarian Court (TUA) by the members of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP). They asked for an annulment of the assembly held on April 28 of this year that approved the expropriation of 300 thousand hectares for the construction work on the La Parota dam. The TUA granted injunctions that would prevent the undertaking of work related to the hydroelectric project.

On the same day, a report about the situation of human rights in Guerrero was presented publicly in Chilpancingo. Civil society organizations denounced new threats against human rights defenders before international organisms such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico (OACNUDH). The president of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, Abel Barrera Hernández, mentioned that in Guerrero 178 human rights defenders have received precautionary warnings, reflecting the critical situation in which they find themselves. Various organizations were present, including the Network of Guerrerense Civil Organizations for Human Rights, the Collective Against Torture and Impunity  and the Regional Center for the Defense of Human Rights José María Morelos y Pavón. In turn, government officials who were invited did not attend the event. Abel Barrera lamented missed opportunity for dialogue between the state government and civil society organizations. Within this context, they continued to demand the immediate release of Raúl Hernández, who remains imprisoned in the jail Ayutla despite having already proved his innocence.

In fact, on the 30th of June, Tlachinollan and the Organization of Me’phaa Indgenous People (OPIM) released a communique together, asking the state Attorney General to present no accusatory conclusions in the case against Raul Hernandez. The document included an Urgent Action in which the two organizations asked people to send letters to the state Attorney General of Guerrero to push for a decision favorable to Hernandez.

For more information (in Spanish):

The TUA grants precautionary measures to impede the CFE’s construction of La Parota (La Jornada, 2 July)

Organizations: threats against rights-defenders persist (La Jornada, 2 July)

Joint communiqué from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and OPIM: Demand that the State Attorney General’s Office present non-accusatory conclusions (1 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero – Briefs: Detention of FODEG member, Raúl Hernández receives threats and announcement of the commemoration of the massacre of Aguas Blancas (30 June)

Chiapas: Pre-election conflict in Nachig, Zinacantán leaves two dead

July 5, 2010

On June 26th, in the community of Nachig, municipality of  Zinacantán, near San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the Chiapas highlands, violent events resulted in the deaths of two people, two dozen injured, as well as 15 houses and 30 vehicles burnt. Behind the conflict lies a dispute over the municipal presidency with elections scheduled for July 4th. To date, Zinacantán is governed by the PRD and Nachig is the largest community of this municipality.

On the morning of Saturday the 26th, an act of proselytizing for PRD mayoral candidate Domingo Hernández Pérez led to a confrontation involving various weapons (presumably on the part of the PRI) before resulting in a shooting (allegedly by the PRD). The events left two people dead: Martín López Sanchez (PRI) and Antonio Pérez López (PRD). After these events, around 5000 sympathizers of the PRI burnt at least 12 houses and 30 vehicles, and cordoned off a house containing some 57 supporters of the PRD who had been threatened with lynching. One hundred police intervened to rescue them. The Attorney General of Chiapas initiated a preliminary investigation of the crimes of homicide and injury. 61 people were arrested, including Jose Perez Conde, cousin and aide Zinacantán PRD mayor, Antonio Conde Vázquez.

Two days later, the PRD released a communique assuring that the events were provoked by the PRI supporters and that the previous night, the candidate for the municipal presidency of thier party had announced that he was preparing for an attack against him. The PRI supporters, for their part, reiterated that it was the PRD who led the provocation “because they know that they will lose the elections on July 4.”

On July 1st, PRD supporters of  Zinacantán succeeded in freeing 5 of their sympathizers, who were imprisoned for alleged involvement in the fighting of Nachig. They also requested that the authorities provide safe conditions for the return of more than 400 PRD supporters, who after the clashes, were forced to leave Nachig community, and have allegedly received threats from supporters of the PRI.

For more information (in Spanish):

After attack, 61 arrested (Cuarto Poder, 27 June)

Electoral climate ignited in Nachig (La Jornada, 28 June)

PRD members demand release of imprisoned comrades (Cuarto Poder, 2 July)

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by paramilitaries of Paz y Justicia

July 5, 2010

On June 20, 1996, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres became a victim of forced disappearance. While she was originally from Masojá Shucjá in the municipality of Tila, the offense was carried out by 30 members of the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia in the community of German Miguel. 14 years later, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC)  has recalled this and other disappearances, noting that the State has not complied with the obligation to handle these as crimes against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court.

According to a bulletin from CDHFBC, “despite its obligations, the state has not complied and continues to deny the existence of paramilitary groups in Chiapas, which contradicts the contents of the report on Criminal and Subversive Groups in Chiapas, headed by General of Chiapas state government, dated May 27, 2009, where there appears a  descriptive file on the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia, their links to the state through the Mexican army, and their financing via public resources from Campo and Desarrollo Social de Chiapas. The report shows why it is believed that these groups had relationships with state political operatives who have participated in and continue to participate with this policy against the indigenous peoples ¹.”

¹Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, Derechos Humanos en Chiapas, Frayba, Balance Anual 2009, véase en:

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete CDHFBC bulletin (pdf) (23/06/2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: memorial in Masojá Shucjá for the victims of the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group (07/09/2009)

Chiapas: San Juan Cancuc clash leaves 1 dead

July 5, 2010

On June 21st,  indigenous people of the community El Pozo,  of the municipality San Juan Cancuc in the Chiapas highlands, clashed in a shootout that left one dead and 9 others injured (4 by gunshot wounds). The confrontation occurred when inhabitants of El Pozo tried to suspend the supply of potable water and electricity to Zapatista sympathizers, who are in resistance and refuse to pay for these services. Amidst the aggression 28 year-old Sebastián Hernández Pérez was killed.

On the 23rd of June, the Good Government Council (JBG) Central Heart of the Zapatistas Before the World of the caracol of Oventic published a comunique explaining that “it was not a clash as the media manipulations have made it out to be. Nor was it an agression provoked by Zapatista support bases, as the media has also accused. In response to the aggressions, the compañeros had to defend themselves somehow, utilizing last resort measures in their legitimate defense”.

They explained that on June 21st at about 10:30 am, PRI and PRD supporters “organized themselves into four groups, each one of 60 people with aggressive attitudes and armed with machetes, stones, sticks, hoes, pickaxes, shovels and clippers for cutting the service of light and water to nine Zapatista support base families. “ They recognized: “in this aggression, one of the aggressors who was leading the assault was left dead.  Our support bases had to defend themselves”. They also commented: “How is it possible that the bad government acts in this way, detaining our compañeros while our support bases were attacked, beaten and several were seriously wounded and injured.

On June 23rd, the Attorney General of Chiapas stated that there were detentions of three people involved in the clash. On the same day, the municipal president of San Juan Cancuc, Cirilo Vázquez Cruz (of the PRD), who allegedly spoke for fear of being assaulted, said that 25 support base families fled their homes in the community of El Pozo. He said the situation in El Pozo is calm, but there remain some 15 agents of the State Preventative Police (PEP) whose presence is supplemented by Municipal Police as well.

He denied that the bloody events  June 21 will affect the elections of July 4th, while still affirming, “the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) wants to use them, saying that the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) is supporting the Zapatistas, but the community has rejected them because they know that the compañeros of the Zapatista National Liberation Army have nothing to do with the election and they are not a political party. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Two dead in reported confrontation in Zapatista zone (La Jornada, 21 June)

Commotion in Chiapas leaves one dead (El Universal, 21 June)

Chiapas Attorney General’s Office investigates conflict between groups of San Juan Cancuc (Milenio, 21 June)

Attorney General’s Office finds three responsible for homicide in “El Pozo”, San Juan Cancuc (PGJE statement, 23 June)

Complete communiqué of the Junta de Buen Gobierno de Oventic (23 June)

JBG repudiates El Pozo attack (Cuarto Poder, 23 June)

In El Pozo we were only defending ourselves, claim Zapatistas (La Jornada, 24 June)

Zapatista communities flee for fear of violence (La Jornada, 24 June)


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