Denuncia from Caracol V, Roberto Barrios, Chiapas
Caracol V which speaks for all, Roberto Barrios, Chiapas, Mexico
29 October 2012
To national and International civil society organizations
To members of the Other Campaign
To the Sixth International
To alternative media
To independent human rights organizations
To national and international media
Compañeras and compañeros
Brothers and sisters from Mexico and the world
[From the] Council of Good Government, New Seed Which Will Grow, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, Mexico. We publish this fourth denunciation of threats, enforced displacement, theft and intimidation by public security forces suffered by our communities, including the Comandante Abel and Unión Hidalgo villages and by men, women and children of Zapatista supporting communities.
1. The lands of our compañeros occupied by paramilitaries from Union Hidalgo on the 6 September have already been shared out among the invaders, who started to measure them on the 25 September, and finished the work on 21 October, in order to hand out a part to each.
- As mentioned in previous denunciations, 11 hectares of maize belonging to the compañeros were taken over in their entirety by the invaders who stole everything they could harvest, leaving nothing; they have now taken everything from the 11 hectares and are re-sowing it with beans.
- On October 24 at 8 o´clock at night the invaders who were occupying the lands recovered by our compañeros were reinforced with others from Union Hidalgo
2. This conflict continues to affect our Zapatista compañeros who live in Union Hidalgo who remain guarding their houses and belongings to prevent their families being evicted to other communities in the face of the severe threats made to them by the paramilitaries from the area, as reported in our second denunciation on 11 September.
In the early hours 16 October, at 1am, paramilitaries from the Union Hidalgo community let off five shots in one go with heavy calibre weapons, repeating this action every 15 minutes until 3 in the morning. In total they fired on 13 occasions; the last of these being at a distance of 150 metres from the house of Zapatista compañero. At 10 o’clock on the night of the same day they let off two rounds at once, continuing this until midnight. In order to continue the threats and intimidation, 15 police arrived in Union Hidalgo on 17 October.
On October 25 at 5.30 in the afternoon the paramilitaries, armed with heavy calibre weapons, carried out military style manoeuvres in three groups of 6 people in the invaded area. This included sending a commission of 4 people from the occupiers forces towards the police encampments. Later on, at 6 in the evening the police also moved towards the river close to where the invaders had taken up position. At 8 at night, the police let off three shots in the place they had stationed themselves.
The public security police undertake daily patrols during the day from Sabanilla to San Patricio, and in the afternoons and nights move from San Patricio towards the area occupied by the invaders, and to Union Hidalgo. When the invaders move around, the police do the same: it can be clearly seen that the police and the paramilitaries are a single force and are under a single command, which directs them to carry out warlike and criminal actions. The principal objective of the police is to follow the orders of their bosses, Felipe Calderon, Juan Sabines, Artemio Gomez Sanchez (the municipal president of Sabanilla) and Limber Gutierrez Gomez, the municipal president of Tila, to prepare and train the invaders so that they feel free to make threats, to rob, intimidate and harass.
The bad government says, in its proclamation dated 9 October 2012, that the communities of San Patricio and Union Hidalgo were in common agreement in asking for the state government to establish a police presence, with the aim of bringing order and peaceful coexistence to the inhabitants of the area. They also indicated that they would respect the rights of the EZLN supporters.
What need does this paramilitary group have of the police when they themselves have invaded the lands of the Zapatista compañeros?
What need does this paramilitary group have when they themselves have driven out women and children with the continual shots that they let off?
What need of a police presence does this paramilitary group have in a place where they are driving out, invading, robbing and sacking the belongings of our compañeros right in front of their eyes?
What need of a police presence is there in a place where the paramilitaries, in the very company of the police, carry out acts of intimidation, threats and warlike provocations?
What type of danger does this paramilitary group face that the bad government needs to provide a police presence and listen to the [paramilitaries'] requests?
What type of aggressions, robbery, threats and intimidation are the Zapatista supporters carrying out that the paramilitaries respond by “providing them with security”?
What need of the police does a paramilitary group have, when it is armed and ready to carry out evictions, threats or intimidatory acts against a group of men, women and children who live by working and cultivating their lands in order to sustain their families and children, which they do without responding to the aggression of these violent and criminal actions, including robbery, enforced displacement and evictions?
The bad government should hold its head in shame to claim that its police are there to safeguard order and social peace, when right in front of them robbery, threats, movement of paramilitaries and the firing of heavy calibre weapons is carried out. This is the kind of thing that mentally ill, drunk or drugged-up people might say. What they should state clearly is that the police have been sent to protect the paramilitaries, so the latter can evict, pillage and steal the harvest of our Zapatista compañeros.
History makes no mistake: the bad government has always sent its police and paramilitaries to rob, kill, disappear, evict and despoil poor and innocent people who struggle to live. We have kept this history in the heart of our peoples, that they did just this in 1995, 1996 and 1997, in the municipalities of Sabanilla, in the lowland zone of Tila, carrying out robberies, assassinations, disappearances, evictions, and the burning out of innocent families from their homes. And until now none of those responsible has been punished, on the contrary the bad government has protected them, that is to say no justice has been done, in just the same way as what happened at Acteal and El Bosque municipality in Chiapas, at Atenco, in Oaxaca, and further back, in the 1968 [massacre] of students, and with many other killings in our country.
The bad government of Felipe Calderon and Juan Sabines have done nothing to resolve the conflict or the crimes committed by paramilitary groups. On the contrary, they send police reinforcements for the invaders instead of removing that group from the lands recovered by our compañeros, promoting violence in order to impose their project.
We have said before, and continue to maintain, that we are not going to allow the lands recovered in 1994 to be taken from us. The claim that they will be legalised in our favour is rubbish, and it's not what we are demanding. This land has already been allocated to those who work it and live on it. On 29 April we, the Council of Good Government went in good faith to the community, bringing together the two sides, that is the Zapatista supporters and the officialistas, without taking account of political affiliation, without cheating and without using funds to buy the authorities or representatives behind the backs of the community in order to screw the people. We went and met with the authorities as well as members of the community, taking into account those who have lived and worked on the land for many years to support their families and children.
We proposed that the villages of San Patricio and Los Angeles remain with the oficialistas, so that they can live and work it to support their families and children, because we know that they have a total right to it because of the time they have lived and worked it. To our own Zapatistas, we proposed they remain in the La Lampara area. This was accepted by both the officialista and autonomous sides, and even though we had to bear the costs of relocation, we did it with good will and in the good faith we have as Zapatistas, to avoid confrontations that arise through ideological differences, and so that each group can live in harmony, enjoying its agrarian rights and leading their lives and organizing themselves in the way that each group sees fit. A agreement was made to separate the two sides of the community, signed and sealed by both parties, autonomous and oficialistas.
In constructing our autonomy and in the exercise of our own self-government, we decline to recognise the term land regularization, which the bad government uses as an instrument to manipulate the people who can be fooled with the ruse that with legal papers they will live in peace and be the masters of their own lands and will live better Later on, this is used to justify legal despoilment, because the lands have become a good that can be bought and sold through legal paperwork.
We ask ourselves: what remains of the rights of the Indian peoples, the first inhabitants of Mexican lands, the right to self-government and to free self-determination, as set out in international agreements and the San Andres Accords?
For this reason we say that the bad governments should recall their criminal gangs, or if not we will eject them ourselves. If anyone gets killed the government will be guilty and responsible for the spilled blood: it will add another charge to the more than 70,000 dead, killed on the orders of the government at national level.
We sustain our case with our [previous] three denunciations: if you have not read them you can do so now.
You should know that this is not the first time that they have sent paramilitary assassins to invade, with the support of the government. The first time was the 10 September 2011 when they took all our compañeros' belongings. The most recent time was the 6 September 2012 when they stole the whole harvest. It isn't just that our Zapatista compañeros continue working just to feed the mouths and backsides of the paramilitaries along with their wives, and along with those who have robbed the economy of the Mexican people and who go on enjoying life with their wives and children on the backs of poor people who work with sweat on their brows to survive even while you [the government] get fat like farm pigs who have no mothers.
We ask you [the government]: what do you want to achieve through these acts? Say what you want, speak clearly as we have, better to say that you want to kill, despoil, assassinate, rob. Such a shame that in Mexico there is a bad government that instead of having intelligence in its head has shit for brains.
Compañeros and Compañeras, Brothers and Sisters, we ask you to be aware of this very difficult situation that our people in resistance are living.
To rule by obeying
This document has the seal of the Council of Good Government, New Seed Which Will Grow, and is signed by its representatives in turn:
Paulina López Trujillo, José Martínez Flores, Angélica López Mondejos and
Juventino Jiménez Pérez