Emergency Appeal: Stand with the Indigenous & Zapatista Communities to Stop the Paramilitary Violence

Protest in front of the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, CA (November 17, 2021) CSC Photo.

The Chiapas Support Committee is inviting you to join us in taking urgent action NOW to stand in solidarity with Indigenous and Zapatista communities in Chiapas. The Indigenous communities are being attacked by paramilitary forces in collusion with and support from the Mexican government.

Please join us in two actions you can take with a click of your mouse:

  1. Please send a message to the Mexican federal and Chiapas state governments: Tell them to stop the paramilitary attacks and to dismantle ORCAO and other paramilitary groups responsible for the violence, destruction, kidnappings, deaths and forced displacement of thousands of people in Chiapas. Send your messages to:

President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador: amlo@presidencia.gob.mx and gobmx@funcionpublica.gob.mx

Twitter: @lopezobrador_

Lic. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, Governor of the State of Chiapas: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx

Twitter: @RutilioEscando

Message to AMLO and the Chiapas Governor: It is urgent that you stop the paramilitary violence and dismantle ORCAO and all paramilitary groups. Your government must not collude with or support the paramilitaries. Every day the paramilitaries are shooting into the communities, burning down homes, stores, clinics, and schools. The paramilitary groups have kidnapped and tortured community leaders and members, wounding, maiming, and killing dozens of residents and community leaders; thousands more have been forced to flee for their lives into the mountains. Stop the paramilitary violence and dismantle all the paramilitary groups, now!

  1.  Please join the Chiapas Support Committee and her members to donate as generously as you can to support the communities facing constant violence at the hands of paramilitary groups.

Click here to donate. All funds will be sent directly to the communities that are bearing the brunt of the paramilitary violence.

Please make a note in your donation that reads: I stand with the Indigenous & Zapatista communities against the paramilitary violence.

BACKGROUND + Urgent Solidarity Action Requested

In September 2021, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, Ejército Zapatista de Liberación) issued a dire warning that Chiapas was on the brink of civil war because of the ongoing violent  attacks by organized paramilitary groups funded and supported by the Mexican government. The EZLN called on the Mexican government to stop the paramilitary attacks to prevent further bloodshed from taking place. The paramilitary groups have been carrying out a low intensity war against Indigenous and Zapatista communities that has flared up in recent months. In October 2021 alone, the paramilitaries carried out over 200 armed attacks on the indigenous communities.

On Sunday, January 9, 2022, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), based in San Cristóbal, Chiapas, issued an urgent warning that just in the last 72 hours there have been 36 armed attacks against the communities of Chivit, Stzelejpotobtik, Yeton, Xuxchen, Tabac, Juxton, Coco and the municipality or county capital of Aldama, Chiapas. At least one individual was wounded: In the early morning of Sunday, a family on their way to work their fields was shot at and the father was hit by gunfire.

Read the Frayba report of this round of paramilitary attacks and sign the Frayba letter denouncing the paramilitary violence, too, (in Spanish only at this time), click here.

And today, Monday, January 10, 2022, Frayba issued another call for urgent action after a paramilitary group attacked the community “16 de Febrero” in the autonomous municipality of Lucio Cabañas in Ocosingo, Chiapas, that supports the Zapatistas, beating members of a family with the butt of a firearm and abducted them. The paramilitaries disappeared a mother with  her three-year old baby along with her 15 year old son and a six-year and 10 year old boys. Their whereabouts are unknown. Read Frayba’s urgent action and denouncement “Forced Disappearance of 4 Zapatista Support Bases of Caracol Patria Nueva, municipality of Ocosingo,” here.

Frayba also reported that in November 2021 alone, over 3,000 residents from Aldama were forcibly displaced, suffering over 47 attacks by the paramilitaries. ORCAO (Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers) has been one of the main paramilitaries attacking Indigenous Zapatista communities, kidnapping and torturing Zapatista supporters and destroying homes and the livelihood of entire communities. The paramilitaries have forced over 5,000 people out of their towns and communities.

Tell the Mexican government:

End the paramilitary war | Disband all the paramilitary groups

The inaction and collusion of the Mexican government reinforces the paramilitary attacks and organization that have been intensifying over the last few months. The Mexican government is using the paramilitary-driven, low intensity war as part of its strategy to displace Indigenous peoples from their lands and territories and impose capitalist mega-projects that will undermine and ruin the ecology and natural world.

Chiapas is indeed on the brink of a new level of rightwing paramilitary violence that could erupt into a broader conflict that would be devastating for the region and Mexico.

We invite you to stand together with the Indigenous and Zapatista communities and push back against the state-sanctioned violence, demanding peace and justice and respect for the self-determination of the Zapatista communities building autonomous communities on their lands and territories.

Please join us by taking two actions today:

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