On 9 September, some 170 Zapatista support-bases were expelled from the community of San Marcos Avilés in the official municipality of Chilón by members of the PRI, PRD, and PVEM parties, according to the public denunciation released by the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic. This denunciation claims that the aggressors “arrived with machetes, sticks, and firearms; they entered two homes and attempted to rape two women. So as not to respond to the provocation, the Zapatistas left their houses and possessions. Men, women, and children find themselves at this moment residing in the mountains: they are suffering from hunger, cold, lack of sleep, and fear.”
The JBG discloses that Zapatista support-bases from Pamalá and Guadalupe el Kaptetaj, municipality of Sitalá, reported that Manuel Vázquez, from San Marcos, was forced to meet with authorities and leaders of the political parties of San Marcos and Pamalá at the end of August. These persons demanded that the autonomous Zapatista school be dismantled, and they affirmed that they would continue doing the same with other communities that also have autonomous schools.
As claimed in the JBG’s communiqué, the objective of these actions, favored by the three levels of government, is to inhibit the education of children and progress toward the construction of autonomy. Manuel Vázquez was imprisoned on 21 August, together with a comrade from Guadalupe Kaptetaj. Once released, the two’s captors told them to abandon the EZLN, not to report to the JBG, in addition to warning them that they would take from the lands they had bought over 10 years ago.
According to the communiqué, these individuals followed through with their threat in the following days: “On 24 and 25 August of the present year authorities and persons associated with different political parties took away the land that our support-base comrades had bought more than 10 years ago. The total amount of land that the party-people took is 29 and one-fourth hectares, located in different locations of the same ejido, where each family of comrades had come to work year after year. On these lands are found 5850 coffee-plants, 10 hectares of milpa on which are cultivated beans, in addition to 7 cows, 6 horses, and 3 houses, all of which belong to our support-base comrades.”
“On 8 September the invaders had already removed the 7 cattle that had been there, and surely went somewhere to sell them. The same day, they stole the fences our comrades had used. There were several gun-shots.”
For more information (in Spanish):
170 Zapatista support-bases from Chilón are expelled (La Jornada, 9 September)
Public denunciation by the Oventic JBG