Los de Abajo: Chablekal Resists!

Yucatán police in Chablekal.

Yucatán police in Chablekal.

By: Gloria Muñoz Ramírez

Behind the police attack on the town of Chablekal, Yucatán, is found the savage dispossession that real estate and tourism investors have done in this peninsular community, and the putting into effect of Yucatán Shield, a security strategy at the service of the owners of capital, analyzes the team of Indignación A.C. human rights defenders, whose members were also attacked and detained.

Chablekal is territory under siege, a paradise for speculators since two decades ago, because its privileged location, just some 20 kilometers from Merida, makes it perfect for wealthy families that don’t want to live in the city, but close to it.

It was in this small community of barely 4,000 inhabitants, in which last May 3 between 30 to 40 patrols saturated with Yucatán police agents, two fire trucks and ambulances irrupted, for the purpose of executing an eviction order on a piece of land belonging to an elderly gentleman that faces a legal dispute with a relative that attempted to sell his property.

Chablekal is a tranquil town pueblo in which apparently nothing happens. But the violent irruption and disproportionate number of police woke up its inhabitants and made them confront them, because they were attacked with everything, firing tear gas against men, women, children and elders.

The arbitrariness and outrages, the detentions and violence, also convoked the solidarity and accompaniment of organizations throughout the country, including the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), who jointly denounced this act as: “an attempt at intimidation of the human rights defenders as well as the in habitants of the community of Chablekal, which has organized in the Union of Chablekal Inhabitants for the Right to Tenancy of the Land, Territory and Natural Resources, in order to defend what remains of their territory from the theft and dispossession that they have been suffering in recent years from speculators and new land owners.”

The four detained during the operation were released 48 hours later, but the Indignación Center specifies that multiple political, administrative and/or criminal responsibilities derived from the operation are pending. “This experience evidences that a police state cannot be the basis for combatting the situation of insecurity and social conflict that exists in Yucatán,” the team emphasizes.

The final result is a community more united and organized that proved to itself that it can defend its residents and that they are not alone.

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Originally Published   in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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