On 21 September, in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, indigenous individuals of the Emiliano Zapata Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) and members of the community Candelaria El Alto who are adherents to the Other Campaign had a confrontation regarding possession of 185 hectares of land. Both groups blamed the other for having begun the violence.
OCEZ-RC denounced that eight of its members were injured during the confrontation. It affirms that the conflict began when a group of men armed with machetes reached the stretch of land in question and began to insult members of OCEZ-RC and throw rocks at them. In light of this, the organization installed an indefinite plantation in front of the municipal palace to demand that the municipal government of Venustiano Carranza punish the aggressors.
The communiqué of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights writes this on the question: “We indicate that the aggression committed today by a paramilitary shock-group that hides behind the label of the Other Campaign in Chiapas shows the contradiction between its word and coherence, given that today it launched an action to denounce the aggressions taken by paramilitary groups such as Paz y Justicia against communities that pertain to the EZLN, as in the case of the community of San Patricio in the municipality of Sabanilla; this at the same time that groups of adherents in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza carry out paramilitary-type aggressions against members of the OCEZ-RC. Not to support the practice of these groups that say they are part of the Other Campaign in Chiapas means that it is an opportune time to put distance between the two and to clarify one’s position.”
The adherents of the Other Campaign in Candelaria El Alto have blamed campesinos of the community Nuevo San José la Grandeza who pertain to the OCEZ-RC for the aggression. In a communiqué, they reported that on 21 September they were meeting where they do guard-shifts, given the situation in the community following the land-occupation by OCEZ-RC of Nuevo San José la Grandeza, who took the land El Desengaño in April of this year. There was had an accord of not allowing three persons who come to work it. Soon, they affirmed that 10 persons arrived “provoking and insulting.” They denounce that “after the confrontation the members of the OCEZ-RC communicate with persons who are positioned in our lands and who pertain to the colony San José la Grandeza, who are from the same organization. 60 persons arrive, dressed in black with their faces hidden, armed and firing their high-caliber weapons. The firefight lasted some two hours, and subsequently they returned to their camp. We would also like to mention that this same day at about 9:30am they cut the electricity to the community so that we could not have communication. Since yesterday we have been receiving threats regarding their desire to enter our homes to attack us. We also understand that this form of threatening and attacking us is done so that we abandon our lands, so that they can have them.” They ended their communiqué by expressing that “we would like to say to the OCEZ-RC that it is not possible that you take from us our bread, as we are campesinos who are conscious that it is the bad government that benefits [from this]. We demand that the state-government immediately take responsibility on the matter, given the situation of danger that our families are experiencing.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Organizaciones de nuevo en conflicto (Cuarto Poder, 24 September)
Miembros de la OCEZ y zapatistas chocan por control de un predio de 185 hectáreas (Proceso, 23 September)
Un enfrentamiento deja a ochos heridos (Cuarto Poder, 23 September)
Agresión paramilitar en contra de la OCEZ-RC, 8 heridos con machetes y palos (Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base Digna Ochoa, 22 September)
Denuncia pública de los adherentes a la Otra Campaña de Candelaria(Comunidad organizada Candelaria el Alto adherentes a la Otra Campaña, 22 September)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):