Chiapas: operations against marijuana culitivation denounced as part of a counterinsurgency strategy

March 2, 2009

On February 26, the Good Government Council of the Highlands, “Corazón Céntrico de Los Zapatistas Delante del Mundo” (Oventik) denounced a number of new military incursions that have taken place in Zapatista communities since the beginning of the year in the autonomous municipality of San Andrés Sakam Ch’en de los Pobres. Since February 21, flyovers of airplanes and helicopters, the movement of soldiers, and operations looking for marijuana have increased significantly. The EZLN has been clear in its prohibition of the use and the growing of drugs in its communities and therefore, according to the communiqué from the Good Government Council, the recent events show “a provocation and a pretext to send soldiers into our communities”. The communiqué continues by stating “It is clear that this is a strategy by the government to fight us” and to “enter in Zapatista communities in order to control, provoke, and threaten us”. At the same time, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Frayba) stated that it had recently received information of flyovers in the “Zapatista Community Ecological Reserve El Huitepec”.

Frayba also stated in their bulletin on February 27 that they had heard rumors in the region of the Caracol “Torbellino de nuestras palabras” (Morelia), that on Saturday, February 28 forced evictions of Zapatista support bases will take place at the waterfalls of Agua Clara in the municipality of Chilón. According to Frayba, these new rumors and hostilities against Zapatista communities are evidence of the implementation of a counterinsurgency strategy against organized indigenous communities, and for the most part against Zapatistas. At the same time, Frayba is warning that the realization of forced evictions by the Mexican Army in Agua Clara would be a direct strike “to the delicate social peace that exists in he state” and a step towards “the beginning of a conventional war”.

For More Information (In Spanish):

La JBG de Oventik denuncia sobrevuelos e incursiones militares, disfrazados de operativos antidrogas en comunidades de San Andrés Sakam Ch’en de Los Pobres, comunicado (26/02/2009)

Nuevos actos de hostigamientos contra comunidades Zapatistas, boletín de prensa, Frayba (27/02/2009)

Denuncian incursión militar en comunidad rebelde de Chiapas, La Jornada (27/02/2009)