Recuperated property in Las Brisas that serves as a meeting space. Photo@SIPAZ
On October 17 the members of Las Brisas community, in the municipality of La Trinitaria, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, announced in a public statement threats of eviction they have received in recent months. “Since last June our representatives have received phone calls from Mr. Oscar Aranda, with the support and advice of Mr. Jose Alfredo Espinosa Lopez, who was part of our community, to intimidate us. Mr. Aranda is asking us to hand over the land for which we have fought for over 11 years. He tells us that if we do not hand over and negotiate the land, they will come to evict us and we will also lose our harvest.”
The current residents of the community Las Brisas, indigenous Tzeltal, are recognized “as the descendants of the indentured laborers who were exploited by the owners of La Palestina ranch, later called Esmeralda and then called La Yuria.” In 2005, they recovered the lands where their relatives were workers of local landowners for several generations. Since then they have received several threats of eviction but maintain their strong position stating that will not leave these lands nor will they give any payment to keep them – “the land is not negotiated, it is not for sale and we will keep it with us for our families.”
In their statement the community calls,to be “aware of what could happen” to their safety.
It concludes announcing they will join and support “the initiative of the V National Indigenous Congress because we believe that an indigenous woman candidate for president would have the voice needed to represent us.”
For more information in Spanish:
Comunidad Las Brisas en defensa del territorio denuncia amenazas (Chiapas denuncia, a 18 de octubre de 2016)