On 22 February 2011, members of the Autonomous Council of the Coast, adherents to the Other Campaign, organized partial blockades of the Tonalá-Pijijiapan road that connects the coastal zone with Tuxtla Gutiérrez, capital of the state, as well as a campaign of information and denunciation as a part of an action of solidarity demanding that repression directed against adherents of San Sebastián Bachajón be halted together with repression targeting the political prisoners of the Voz of Amate, those in a solidarity hunger-strike, and the organized peoples of Mitzitón. According to the demonstrators, hours after their action ended there arrived approximately 300 federal and state police who arrested more than 50 people, among them women and minors.
During the morning of the following day the women and minors were released, leaving 19 detained. Among them is found Nataniel Hernández, director of the “Digna Ochoa” Center for Human Rights, a civil association created in 2009 that works to defend and promote human rights in the coastal zone of the state, and two lawyers from this organization. On 23 February, the Public Minister of Tonalá confirmed that the detained found themselves offering their declarations; as of mid-day, their juridical situation had not been clearly defined.
A communiqué of the State Attorney General’s Office indicated that the operation to dismantle the roadblock was carried out “in observation of the eviction-protocols that respect human rights, obeying the state of alert released by users of the road who reported that the blockaders were charging 100 pesos for pedestrians to cross, which affected hundreds of people, personal automobiles and private and public transport.”
Collective-members of the Other Campaign denounced for their part a new escalation of violence and repression against the communities organized as a part of the Other Campaign, indicating the aggressions and attacks in Bachajón, Mitzitón, and now the coast as part of the same strategy.
For more information (in Spanish):
Federal police detain 19 adherents of the Other Campaign of the EZLN (CNN Mexico, 23 February 2011)
The release of 19 campesinos and fisherfolk of Chiapas is demanded (Proceso, 23 February 2011)
19 activists arrested in Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 February 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)
Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)
Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)
Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)
Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)