ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY for JANUARY 2015
1. EZLN Issues New Years Comunicado – We received the EZLN’s comunicado: “Words on its 21st Anniversary of the Beginning of the War against Oblivion” in English the first week in January. Sup Moisés read it to those in attendance at the New Years Celebration in Oventik. The comunicado focuses on the families of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students and talks about the injustices in society and why we must rebel against and resist injustice.
2. Joint Declaration from the Festival – The National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the EZLN and adherents to the Sixth Declaration issued a Joint Declaration from the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism on January 8. Not surprisingly, it spells out the evils of capitalism and the environmental damage it causes to Mother Earth and to her Peoples. Also, it urges us to organize: “We invite you to continue walking with a small but firm step, to continue to meet, share, construct, and learn along with us, to weave the organization from below and to the left of the Sixth that we are.” A good summary of the entire Festival has just been published on Counterpunch, written by a good friend of the CSC.
3. San Sebastián Bachajón: Another Eviction and Another Recuperation – San Sebastián Bachajón (SSB) ejido owners denounced from the tourist center of the Agua Azul Cascades that at approximately 6:30 AM on January 9, more than 900 state and federal police evicted the compañer@s that were guarding the lands recuperated last December 21. The timing of these events is interesting. SSB recuperated their land as the Festival started and the government waited to strike back until it ended. On January 11 and 12, SSB launched a successful, although difficult, struggle to again recuperate the land that the government had taken away from them. It includes the ticket booth at the entrance to the Agua Azul Cascades, a large tourist attraction between Ocosingo and Palenque. It also includes a public security (state police) office and a government clinic that is not in use. At the same time, the Chiapas State Human Rights Commission asked the state government to take precautionary measures to assure that the human rights of SSB residents would be respected. Meanwhile, an International Caravan of adherents to the Sixth left Mexico City for SSB to act as observers. You can read their First Report here.
4. Mitzitón Files Legal Action Against Chiapas Superhighway Construction – On December 30, 2014, the Indigenous Tsotsil Town of Mitzitón filed a court petition for a protective order (injunction) to suspend the highway work that “the bad government seeks to construct on lands and Territories of Indigenous Peoples in our state.” Mitzitón is an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle. Its lands are located where the road from San Cristóbal to Comitán (also known as the Pan-American Highway) intersects with the road to Ocosingo and Palenque. The government plans to convert both roads into superhighways, which requires taking land away from a number of indigenous communities. Mitzitón announced the legal action in a communiqué to the Festival of Resistances and Rebellions against Capitalism.
In other parts of Mexico
1. Ayotzinapa Parents and Students Take Their Struggle to Geneva – Parents and student compañer@s of the 4 murdered and 42 disappeared Ayotzinapa students continue struggling to clarify what really happened on September 26 and 27. Several of the parents are in Geneva, Switzerland, to give testimony to the United Nations Committee Against Forced Disappearances today and tomorrow (February 2 and 3). Their legal representative from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center in Guerrero is with them. Cases of forced disappearances from other states in Mexico are also represented, as the hearing is about investigating Mexico’s record on dealing with this crime.
2. Mexico’s Attorney General Declares the Students Dead – A large 8th National and International Day of Action in support of Ayotzinapa took place on January 26 without incident. Marches took place throughout Mexico. Roadblocks continue in Guerrero, although the government has started to crack down and arrest people for taking over tollbooths on superhighways. The citizen search for the students continues, students and parents continue visiting organizations asking them to join their movement to find the truth about what happened to the 43. Meanwhile, Mexico’s attorney general announced that the investigation is closed, thereby pronouncing the students dead. The Attorney General’s position is that members of the United Warriors Cartel murdered the students and incinerated their bodies in the Cocula garbage dump, then threw their ashes into the river. The government’s position is based on testimony from the criminals it arrested and the fact that DNA found at the garbage dump matched one of the students. The University of Innsbruck could not match any other ashes or remains from the dump to the students with preliminary DNA testing, but has agreed to conduct more tests using a new method. The parents object to closing the investigation and believe there are lines of investigation still to be explored; such as, the role, if any, of the Army, the ex governor of Guerrero and other government officials.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee. The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
We encourage folks to distribute this information widely, but please do not alter the content and please include our name and contact information in the distribution. Gracias/Thanks.
Click on the Donate button at: www.chiapas-support.org to support indigenous land rights and autonomy.
Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas, P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609