Paramilitaries kidnap a Zapatista

Frayba demands that the authorities liberate Félix López, EZLN support base [1]

Mural in Moisés Gandhi community.

By: Elio Henríquez

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) asked the Mexican State to intervene “immediately for the release of Félix López Hernández,” a support base of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish), who members of the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (Orcao) have held since last Sunday.

In an “urgent action” published Tuesday night, the Frayba also demanded from the authorities: “effective actions to stop Orcao’s armed attacks, since there is a high risk to the life and integrity of women, girls, boys and men” the Zapatista support bases of Moisés Gandhi and other localities located in Ocosingo territory.

The human rights center said it had received information from the Zapatista Good Government Junta (Junta) New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity, belonging to the Patria Nueva Caracol, that: “since November 8, at approximately 3:30 pm, Félix López Hernández, a native of the San Isidro community, an annex of (the autonomous town) of Moisés Gandhi, was arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and tortured by approximately 20 Orcao members.”

It stated that, according to testimonies, “Félix was coming back from the official municipal capital of Ocosingo and was headed to his house when they took him to an unknown location; later, it was learned that it was a few meters from where the Orcao burned and looted the cooperative store located at Cuxuljá on August 22.”

The Junta added that on Tuesday at 10:40 am “Orcao members shot, a just 150 meters away, at another inhabitant, an EZLN support base, when he was gathering fire wood.”

The Frayba demanded that: “the jurisdiction, autonomy and self-determination of the Zapatista Good Government Junta New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity be respected.”

“At the close of this urgent action (released Tuesday evening) we received the report that Orcao members continue shooting towards Moisés Gandhi community, so there is a grave risk to the life and integrity of the life and integrity of the EZLN support EZLN,” it added.

Members of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) documented an attack on the Zapatista support bases by members of the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers, committed last August 22 on a house that was used as a coffee warehouse in the autonomous community of Moisés Gandhi, Chiapas. Photo: courtesy of the Frayba

According to the Junta, Orcao members took Félix López away “and keep him tied up, locked up, without water and without food.” The Junta pointed out in a communiqué that this case was denounced, but “the bad government, instead of solving the kidnapping, justifies the paramilitaries” of the Orcao, “telling the lie that we Zapatistas went to provoke at their workplace.”

It assured that the government’s argument that the Zapatistas provoked their ORCAO neighbors “is completely false,” because “the compañero was coming back from the official municipal capital of Ocosingo” on the way to his home when he was kidnapped.

[1] The Frayba reports that the ORCAO has turned Compañero Felix López Hernández over to its staff.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Thursday, November 12, 2020

https://www.jornada.com.mx/2020/11/12/estados/028n2est

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

 

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