OCTOBER 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Alberto Patishtán To Be Free Soon! – The big news this month regarding Alberto Patishtán is that both chambers of the Mexican Congress wrote and moved through the legislative process legislation to expand the criminal law concerning presidential pardons. After Mexico’s Supreme Court denied Alberto Patishtán’s appeal for a recognition of innocence and sent it to a federal appeals court in Chiapas, which also denied his appeal, legislators went to work on an amendment to the current penal code. The amendment permits the president, upon a request from the legislature, to grant pardon to a person who has been sentenced to prison and whose human rights have been seriously violated by the criminal proceedings. Several days ago Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that he would grant the pardon and that Patishtán would be released from prison on October 31. Alberto Patishtán is an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. There are three other Sexta adherents, also unjustly imprisoned: Antonio Estrada Estrada, Miguel Demeza Jiménez and Alejandro Diaz Sántiz. You can read the recent La Jornada interview with Patishtán here.
2. Mitzitón Announces Community Ecology Police – The Mitzitón Ejido, an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, announced that the ejido has created Community Ecology Police to protect their forests from illegal logging. The ejido assembly agreed to create the ecology police because “the government has done nothing to avoid the illegal logging that the group led by Carmen Díaz López, Gregorio Gómez Jiménez and Francisco Gómez Díaz has been carrying out since 2009, despite denunciations presented to the a government agent.” The announcement also reported that the ejido rights of those same illegal loggers and the 23 families that follow them were terminated. Moreover, the ejido assembly agreed to re-admit 40 Evangelical families that left the ejido 14 years ago. It appears that the government was involved in brokering these agreements as a means to end the on-going violence in Mitzitón. The state government provided money for the construction of new homes to the 23 families whose rights were terminated. Part of the agreement made with the 40 returning Evangelical families involved each family paying one thousand pesos to the assembly for the time that they were absent and agreeing to follow the rules set by the assembly. The Protestants, members of the Wings of the Eagle Church that Pastor Esdras Alonso González heads. He is the leader of the so-called Army of God. Mitzitón is an ejido located in the municipality (county) of San Cristóbal de las Casas. (For those familiar with the area, Mitzitón is situated on land near the junction of the road to Comitán and the road to Ocosingo/Palenque, near the big Army base.) Mitzitón consists of 300 families and 4,479.9 acres (1,813 hectares). The ecology reserve is composed of 3,953.6 acres(1,600 hectares) of pine forest.
3. The New Community of Che Guevara Faces Eviction Attempts – Che Guevara is a Zapatista community on recuperated land in the official municipality of Motozintla, located in the Sierras of Western Chiapas, bordering on Guatemala. It is part of the autonomous Zapatista municipality of Tierra y Libertad, which runs along the border with Guatemala. The Good Government Junta in La Realidad denounced the fact that various local government officials have been trying to drive away the Zapatistas that live in Che Guevara with numerous provocations, and that on October 26 these same provocateurs started to construct a house on Che Guevara’s recuperated land. Building a house on land recuperated by the Zapatistas has often been the start of dividing a community and the eventual eviction of the Zapatistas. It is one of the government’s counterinsurgency tools.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
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Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
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