The Government of Mexico foments counterinsurgency against EZLN territories

Different caliber bullets used in attacks on EZLN communities. Photo: Red Ajmaq

Sent by ajmaq on May 5, 2022
Jovel, Chiapas, México
May 5, 2022

To the National Indigenous Congress
To the national and international Sixth
To the Networks of Resistances and Rebellions
To the signers of the Declaration for Life
To people who sow Dignity and Organization

Compañeros and compañeras, the persistence of the bad government of Mexico in fomenting War continues / Counterinsurgency against EZLN territories.

This time, the paramilitary group of the ORCAO (Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers) forcibly displaced 83 EZLN support bases (BAEZLN) from the town of Emiliano Zapata and La Resistencia, belonging to the Good Government Junta of the Patria Nueva region.

The Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion has been documenting, denouncing and accompanying the support base communities of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) in the territory, where they have been carrying out observation and documentation caravans and have been denouncing the situations in Moisés Gandhi and Nuevo San Gregorio.

Yesterday, May 4, and today, May 5, we received information from the Good Government Junta “New Dawn in Resistance for Life and Humanity” Caracol 10 “Flowering the Rebel Seed” related to yet another escalation of violence by the ORCAO that has been attacking our BAEZLN compañeras and compañeros in an armed manner, consisting of a series of armed attacks by said paramilitary group. The armed aggressions began on May 2, 2022, around 8:00 p.m. towards Town Emiliano Zapata; the BAEZLN withdrew towards the autonomous school, protecting themselves from the shots: first approximately 300 meters away, then 50 meters away, and later 30 meters away. since the paramilitary group was getting closer and closer. Given the life-threatening circumstances, the BAEZLN chose to displace 11 families, 54 people (among women, men, youth, girls, boys, elderly women and the elderly) due to this violence that has persisted for three years now and has increased in recent months.

The violence continues, we have testimonies that the armed actions of the ORCAO’s paramilitary group continue because today, May 5 at 12:59 am, the ORCAO of San Felipe fired about 32 22 caliber shots towards the Zapatista town of La Resistencia. At 1:30 am the aggressions by the ORCAO of San Felipe continued when a group of them came to burn down the small autonomous Zapatista school and the garage of one of the BAEZLN in the town of La Resistencia; the houses of the BAEZLN are 10 meters from where they burned the autonomous school building. In this context of the burning of the school, they continue to hear shots. Due to this situation 29 people (women, men, young men and women, girls, boys, old women and old men) displaced most of the community of La Resistencia. As of the moment, in the latest report it’s says that they see the houses of the BAEZLN are open, without knowing now exactly the damages that this ORCAO paramilitary group caused.

Regarding the events of May 2, testimonies refer to the following:

“The ORCAO attacked Emiliano Zapata community; it came from 300 meters of distance, so when they were 50 meters away the families had to leave. They were attacked by the group from San Felipe; those who come to attack are from seven communities belonging to the ORCAO.

We won’t fall into provocation. We told the compañeros and compañeras that they attacked us with different caliber weapons. The ORCAO started shooting on February 7; we told the men and women of Moisés y Gandhi that they have to leave when they came within 30 meters, that’s when the families had to displace.

Another group from San Antonio attacked the community of Moisés y Gandhi with different caliber weapons, coming close to the school, withdrawing at 5 o’clock in the morning.”

According to the information received, the ORCAO has been attacking Zapatista communities for three years. These communities have resisted and are going to continue resisting despite the fact that they are armed attacks, theft of crops, destruction of BAEZLN property, the fruit of their labor.

Other testimonies say that:

  • “It gives us great sadness because we are suffering with the children. Yesterday, at 3 in the afternoon we left, suffering, walking, enduring hunger, because since the day before yesterday they started to attack around 8 o’clock at night. We went out to hide, with suffering. The children were trembling because we were going out to hide. They began to fire high-caliber bullets, nearby they fired bullets, it calmed down a little and we advanced until reaching the school; we stayed there, we were surrounded, but they saw us because there is no bush. They started to shoot bullets, we laid down on the ground so that the bullets didn’t touch us. We were surrounded until 3 in the morning. They came to tell us to withdraw and we did because we didn’t want to confront and be converted into dead people, so we left yesterday, walking we came withstanding hunger and thirst with this heat.”
  • “It’s not the first time, it’s been going on for 3 years and we have always been living with bullets. We go out to work our milpa and we’re always afraid because they’re running us out with bullets. They have been going on like this for 4 years and it continues, and who is going to resolve the problem. The damn government does nothing, or it wants that we die or, you go tell them. We are accustomed to working, to planting out corn and beans; we don’t want to be here for a long time, because we also suffer here; the children are accustomed to being in their homes and also to working, and that the fault of that damned ORCAO…”.
  • “It’s been years since they let the BAEZLN work in peace, that increased with the arrival in government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his sowing life program that is only causing division and conflict, “they don’t let us work… it’s promoted by its leaders: José Pérez who is the first councilor in the Ocosingo municipal government and Tomas Santiz Gómez,  plus Antonio Juárez, Marcos López Gómez and Juan Gómez who are the leaders, who encourage the communities to attack us, the latter done when the seven communities attacked us. They were shooting all night, they also burn milpa and steal corn.”
  • “The compañeras have courage and sadness, because they leave their things and animals, because from there they resist and struggle’ There is a compañera who is injured from running into wire; they have to get out as best they can. There is also a compañero who was recently operated on; he had to leave. There is a compañera who is six months pregnant. Those from the ORCAO don’t understand their parents, they are the ones from the government who give them money. AMLO only brought problems between communities, now with his sowing life, they want us to kill each other, that is what the 4T wants.”

From the Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion, we repudiate the armed actions and aggressions of the ORCAO’s criminal group towards the Zapatista communities of Emiliano Zapata and La Resistencia, we denounce the Mexican government for being part of these counterinsurgency actions and for not stopping the harassment and attacks against the EZLN territories, we call on the compañeros of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, the Networks of Resistance and Rebellion and all the compañer@s of the struggle for Life and the defense of Mother Earth to demonstrate with denunciations and solidarity actions to demand that these people who are members of the  ORCAO and are committing criminal acts against our EZLN compañeros and compañeras in struggle, we demand that the violence against Zapatista territory be stopped.

Solidarity with the Zapatista peoples!
Stop the counterinsurgency actions against the Zapatista peoples!

Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion


Originally Published in Spanish by Red Ajmaq, Thursday, May 5, 2022, and Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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