<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Zapatista Support Bases Threatened with Displacement in “Choles de Tumbala”

Indigenous Farmers on Reclaimed Communal Lands Face Government Threats Two Months After a Violent Attack on their Community


By La Otra Jovel
The Other Mexico

October 13, 2006

With the modification of Article 27 of the constitution by the neoliberal governments, the original people of these lands were condemned to disappear. In 2001 the House of Representatives, Senate, and the Federal Supreme Court refused to recognize the San Andrés Accords, leaving indigenous people with no choice but to exercise their autonomy and their collective rights, including their right to land and territory, by the following: the recuperation of lands that have historically been worked collectively and that represent the seat of Mayan culture today.

In their just struggle for land, and after being ignored by agrarian reform authorities, EZLN support bases recovered the lands “Choles de Tumbala”, in the Autonomous Municipality of Work, Caracol V, Roberto Barrios, in September of 1999. Comrade Gregorio Alvaro Cruz was detained in 2005, falsely accused of cattle rustling, looting and kidnapping, among others, for defending his people’s right to the land. On August 3rd, 2006, 11 families from EZLN support bases, who had been living there for 7 years, were violently displaced by Public Security Forces, Municipal Police, and a group of people dressed as civilians. During the displacement, their houses were destroyed, along with fruit trees and animals in the corral, and they themselves were forced off their lands. In October of 2006, the lands were recovered once again by EZLN support bases. Since then the comrades have been harassed and threatened with another violent displacement, indicated by the presence of Sectoral Police, flyovers by helicopters, and pressures from local ranchers.

Those of us from the Other Campaign are concerned that this situation could further deteriorate the prevailing political conflict in the region and the country. We reiterate that if they attack one of our comrades, they are attacking all of us. We hold the state and federal governments responsible for the harassment of our comrades in EZLN support base “Choles de Tumbala” and with any aggression that they may suffer. We demand that indigenous autonomy be respected, as expressed by the Autonomous Municipalities and Zapatista Good Government Councils in the state of Chiapas, and their legitimate right to their land and territory.

We are calling for national and international solidarity to stop the imminent displacement of our Zapatista comrades. We ask all of you to circulate this Urgent Action widely through solidarity networks, and to send letters of protest to the following authorities, speaking out and making seen the vast scope of dignity and solidarity.

Lic. Vicente Fox Quezada,
Presidente Constitucional de México.
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos – Casa Miguel Alemán Col. San Miguel Chapultepec 11850, Distrito Federal México Teléfono: (+52) 55 50911100 Fax: (+52) 55 52772376
Correo electrónico: vicente.fox.quesada@presidencia.gob.mx

Lic. Carlos M. Abascal Carranza
Secretario de Gobernación
Bucareli No. 99 1er. Piso Col. Juárez México D.F.
Tel: (+52) 55 51280000, Fax: (+52) 55 50933414 e-mail: cabascal@segob.gob.mx

Lic. Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía
Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas
Palacio de Gobierno, 1er Piso, C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, MEXICO.
Conmutador +52 (961) 6129047, 6129048, 6121093, 6123352 y 6120528 (pedir tono de fax) Correo electrónico: secpart@prodigy.net.mx

We are calling for solidarity with the families of Zapatista support bases that were displaced by bringing provisions (corn, beans, sugar, rice, oil, salt), cooking utensils and any tools to the following donation centers:

  • La Escuela del Cacao. Calle 1 de marzo # 32.
    Barrio de La Merced. San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • Fac. Ciencias Sociales, UNACH ( Monday 16 October )
    Alvaro Obregón s/n. Col. Revolución. San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
    From 9:00 to 14:00.
    From 18:00 to 20:00
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