Chiapas: Increase in conflicts?

January 13, 2009

Caracol of Morelia

During the days before, during, and after the Festival of Justified Rage which was celebrated in the caracol of Oventik and later in CIDECI- University of the Earth in San Cristtobal de las Casas, a number of disturbing conflicts have arisen between various social organizations and support bases of the EZLN. According to a communiqué (on Jan. 7) from the Good Government Council of the Caracol of Morelia, there have recently been a number of problems with members of ORCAO (Regional Organization of Coffee-growers of Ocosingo) regarding a piece of land near the community of Bosque Bonito close to Cuxuljá. On January 9, 2009 more than 300 members of ORCAO gathered in the caracol of Morelia to discuss the possession of the land Chijtal, which was retaken by Zapatista members in 1994 in the autonomous region Che Guevara in the municipality Lucio Cabañas, but was also claimed by members of ORCAO. The problem was not resolved because of the tension between the two groups and the ORCAO was denounced for threatening to invade the caracol of Morelia. The group of the ORCAO left after the arrival of hundreds of Zapatista support bases from nearby communities.

The good government council also denounced the alleged evictions of Zapatista support bases from the hot springs of Agua Clara in the Autonomous Municipality Comandanta Ramona (communiqué on Jan. 8). A number of days earlier, on January 1, in communiqué from the caracol of Roberto Barrios, the good government council denied a supposed confrontation between Zapatista support bases and members of the CUT (Central Collective of Workers) in the ejido EL Desierto, close to Palanque. According the communiqué, in that region there are no support bases.

On the other hand, state and national newspapers have reported frequent confrontations between support bases and other organizations and individuals, which we have not been able to confirm or prove. One of the these reports is of a confrontation between support bases and members of the ARIC Independent (Rural Association of Collective Interests) which left 15 people wounded. Another report suggests the kidnapping on the part of Zapatista support bases of 2 construction workers who were working on paving a planned highway from San José El Contento to San Marcos, part of a statewide highway project being carried out in Chiapas. In the communiqué on January 8 from the good government council of Morelia, it was mentioned that there had been disagreement with the company that is carrying out the construction of the new highway which passes by the entrance to Patria Nueva and San Marcos, but it does not mention the kidnapping.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Morelia sobre el conflicto con ORCAO y desalojo en el balneario en Agua Clara (07/01/2009)

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Morelia sobre el conflicto con ORCAO en Bosque Bonito (08/01/2009)

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Roberto Barrios desmintiendo conflicto con CUT (01/01/2009)

Por terrenos, se enfrentan zapatistas y cafeticultores, El Proceso (05/01/2009)

Tensión en caracol por arribo de 220 integrantes de la Orcao, La Jornada (09/01/2009)

Enfrentamiento entre zapatistas y campesinos deja 15 heridos, El Proceso (09/01/2009)

Secuestra EZ a trabajadores, Cuarto Poder (10/01/2009)

Coordinación para el dialogo y la negociación en Chiapas – Chiapas en los medios (10/01/2009)

Priístas chiapanecos atizan el conflicto contra los simpatizantes del EZLN, La Jornada (11/01/2009)