Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés

October 18, 2010

On 12 October, Zapatista support-bases, forcibly displaced on 9 September by what the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic referred to in September as “death-threats and aggressions [carried out by] people from political parties in the ejido,” returned to their community of origin, San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón.  The return was accompanied by a commission of support-bases from the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) hailing from municipalities close to San Marcos Avilés.

The communiqué, released from Oventic on 13 October, explains that “our comrades now are back in their humble abodes, though pillaged and some even semi-destroyed by the aggressors.  Our support-bases will be there because our comrades have hte right to live in their community and work their lands; they will not bother anyone: they only want to live in their community and work to survive, as they won’t be requesting welfare from the bad government.  Our comrades will live and eat from their own work and sweat […].  If something happens to our comrades that are now there in the community, those responsible will be the municipal, state, and federal governments that advise, finance, and arm paramilitary groups and manipulate the impoverished.  We Zapatistas bother no one: we do not evict our brothers from political parties, we do not persecute anyone, we do not loot the lands of our peasant brothers or any other poor brother.   We only defend what is ours, which is our rights: we live and eat from our proper work and sweat, but we also want ot struggle for true democracy, liberty, and justice for all.  These are our crimes as Zapatistas […].  The autonomy of peoples is not something that is wanted by the mad governments, because they want to continue having under their control indigenous communities; they are frustrated when we indigenous peoples learn how to organize and govern our own selves.  In any case, the struggle we today carry out cannot be detained by no one.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapatista support-bases return to San Marcos Avilés following a month of being displaced (La Jornada, 14 October 2010)

Communiqué of the Oventic JBG: The Oventic JBG reports on the situation of the displaced support-bases and denounces the repression of the bad government (13 October 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

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Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos and Pamala

September 14, 2010

On 9 September, some 170 Zapatista support-bases were expelled from the community of San Marcos Avilés in the official municipality of Chilón by members of the PRI, PRD, and PVEM parties, according to the public denunciation released by the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic.  This denunciation claims that the aggressors “arrived with machetes, sticks, and firearms; they entered two homes and attempted to rape two women.  So as not to respond to the provocation, the Zapatistas left their houses and possessions.  Men, women, and children find themselves at this moment residing in the mountains: they are suffering from hunger, cold, lack of sleep, and fear.”

The JBG discloses that Zapatista support-bases from Pamalá and Guadalupe el Kaptetaj, municipality of Sitalá, reported that Manuel Vázquez, from San Marcos, was forced to meet with authorities and leaders of the political parties of San Marcos and Pamalá at the end of August.  These persons demanded that the autonomous Zapatista school be dismantled, and they affirmed that they would continue doing the same with other communities that also have autonomous schools.

As claimed in the JBG’s communiqué, the objective of these actions, favored by the three levels of government, is to inhibit the education of children and progress toward the construction of autonomy.  Manuel Vázquez was imprisoned on 21 August, together with a comrade from Guadalupe Kaptetaj.  Once released, the two’s captors told them to abandon the EZLN, not to report to the JBG, in addition to warning them that they would take from the lands they had bought over 10 years ago.

According to the communiqué, these individuals followed through with their threat in the following days:  “On 24 and 25 August of the present year authorities and persons associated with different political parties took away the land that our support-base comrades had bought more than 10 years ago.  The total amount of land that the party-people took is 29 and one-fourth hectares, located in different locations of the same ejido, where each family of comrades had come to work year after year.  On these lands are found 5850 coffee-plants, 10 hectares of milpa on which are cultivated beans, in addition to 7 cows, 6 horses, and 3 houses, all of which belong to our support-base comrades.”

“On 8 September the invaders had already removed the 7 cattle that had been there, and surely went somewhere to sell them.  The same day, they stole the fences our comrades had used.  There were several gun-shots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

170 Zapatista support-bases from Chilón are expelled (La Jornada, 9 September)

Public denunciation by the Oventic JBG