STATEMENT ABOUT THE BAZ OF EJIDO GUADALUPE LOS ALTOS
From Movement for Justice in El Barrio, the Other Campaign New York
Sisters and brothers:
The recent public denunciation from the Good Government Junta “Towards Hope” of La Realidad Trinidad is deeply disturbing while, at the same time, indicative.
These words of our Zapatista sisters and brothers arrived on the evening before the second stage of the “Worldwide Echo”, when dignified rebel hearts from more than 22 countries were preparing to undertake protest actions against the bad government of Mexico, the main “mastermind” – explains the Junta – of this prolonged violence.
With these acts of provocation, in search of even more violence and aggression, the bad government and its local coyotes reveal the depth of their cruel shared stupidity.
From this denunciation we learn, and we repeat, the following facts:
1. As we write these words, six compañeros BAZ have spent weeks in prison on absurd charges made by the ejidal authorities of Guadalupe los Altos, together with the local organization CIOAC HISTORIC: Five of these compañeros were detained on September 30, the last on 4 October.
2. After several attempts in good faith on the part of the Good Government Junta “Towards Hope” to resolve the situation peacefully, the ejidal authorities and leading members of the group CIOAC HISTORIC continue to deprive of their liberty and, at the same time, violate the human rights of our prisoner compañeros: Cesar Aguilar Jiménez, Armando Aguilar Santis, Genaro Aguilar Santis, Delmar Aguilar Santis, Misael Aguilar Vásquez, y Hipólito Aguilar Vásquez.
3. This unjust imprisonment – along with the physical attacks faced by other BAZ communities – is part of the plan of “divide and conquer”, with which the three levels of bad government of Mexico, through provocations and conflicts between communities, continue writing and articulating repression against the Zapatista movement.
This also reveals the true nature of the counterinsurgency war of the bad government, and reminds us that what perhaps may seem like isolated or hostile acts should in reality be seen as a matrix of continual violence directed against the Zapatista resistance and their progress in the construction of autonomy based on dignity, justice, self-determination, and indigenous knowledge. Power always looks after itself.
From El Barrio, New York, we strongly denounce all past, present, and future acts of aggression, violence, provocation and repression against the EZLN support base communities (BAZ). Since the second stage of the International Campaign “Worldwide Echo in Support of the Zapatistas” begins today, we commit ourselves once more to continue to struggle through concrete forms of solidarity to stop this repression and support our Zapatista compañer@s. We invite all other dignified rebel hearts who have been, and will be, born in our Mother Earth, to add their voices and strength to continue building this mirror of dignity for ourselves, others, and everyone, which is called “solidarity.”
The rage that burns our veins is the force that is given to us to keep fighting. We share a piece of ours with every one of you.
Long live Indigenous Resistance!
Long live the EZLN!
MOVEMENT FOR JUSTICE IN EL BARRIO
THE OTHER CAMPAIGN NEW YORK
Denuncia issued: 6 Zapatista Support Bases remain in prison
** Their families are threatened with expulsion if they do not pay “co-operation” money
** The Good Government Junta “Towards Hope” demands the release of the detainees
Members of the Junta de Buen Gobierno in La Garrucha
Photo: Víctor Camacho
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, October12, 2012
The Good Government Junta “Towards Hope” of the Jungle Border region, with its headquarters in La Realidad Trinidad, denounced that six Zapatista support bases from the Tojolabal community of Guadalupe Los Altos (Las Margaritas municipality) remain imprisoned after 12 days for being Zapatistas, and their captors threaten to expel their families. The autonomous government holds responsible for these attacks the leaders of the CIOAC “Historic”: the former PRD deputies Luis Hernández Cruz and José Antonio Vásquez Hernández.
Repeated provocations are made against the EZLN’s support bases by the authorities and inhabitants of Guadalupe Los Altos ejido, who also belong to “the official PRD and PAN parties,” the Junta points out. The Zapatista bases have been harassed for years, and some have been imprisoned a few times. The first time was in April 2000, and the second in April 2010. In both cases, for refusing to participate in actions that did not seem right to them or which were not involved with the ejido.
On December 20, 2011, the officialists [political party members] took plots of land away from two ejido members. The community decided to relocate an official school on one of these plots. The Zapatistas disagreed once again, “they do not get involved in anything that has to do with the bad government and besides, they have their own autonomous school.” One part of the community “analyzed that it would be unfair for our compañeros to participate.” But the following day they invaded their land. They found the brother of the owner of the land and his wife there; they tied him to a tree. On December 23, they detained three more.
Now the officialists have again argued that the autonomous (Zapatistas) must participate in the government’s public works (school, roads). They even “charge” them for the days that the community “lost” through taking care of them as prisoners; including the proceedings against them in the official municipal headquarters. Faced with a new cooperation (fee) “for something in which they are not involved,” the Zapatistas refused. Five were imprisoned last September 30, and one more on October 4. Authorities and CIOAC members are keeping César Aguilar Jiménez, Armando, Genaro and Delmar Aguilar Santis, Misael and Hipólito Aguilar Vásquez deprived of their freedom.
The La Realidad Junta points out that: “in co-operations for the benefit of the community, our compañeros have been involved”, when they are not projects from the “bad government.” They have [committed] no crime, it maintains, “but they provoke us for being Zapatistas in resistance, since this is what the three levels of government teach them and ask them to execute.”
The rebel authorities maintain that they have sought a peaceful solution “by all means.” On October 2, the Junta sent an official letter to the community and its authorities, demanding the release of those detained, “which they ignored.” Instead, “they demanded the presence of the Junta, and, on October 4, it [the Junta] went to the community” and investigated “what was the crime” of their compañeros. The captors exhibited an official record “that they had already elaborated, which said that it was because of an accumulation of co-operations [to an amount] of 430 pesos for each of our compañeros,” but “refused to tell us what they were for.” What the CIOAC members did say to the Junta was that: “our compañeros will be evicted if they don’t comply.” The threat, the Zapatistas warn, if carried out “would lead to new problems.” The officialists insisted that if they do not sign their agreements, the detainees would not be released, “so we can think about where we are going to relocate them, because if we don’t they will continue in jail like any criminals.”
The Junta regrets that “these brothers” do not understand that the government “is taking advantage of their innocence to create problems among the indigenous, and it controls and influences them with its insignificant projects in exchange for committing these acts of injustice and provocation. Unfortunately they don’t realize what these acts can unleash.” And it adds: “We do not want problems. They are not our enemies. We are clear that right will win in the end, and it is not through fear that we do not come to free our compañeros. We understand that is not the way, fighting and beating each other. We do not in any way want to violate human rights, like they do.”
The Junta expresses concern for the health of the detainees. Given the unhealthy conditions of their confinement, four of them “are in very poor health.” And it admits: “We are clear that in that community there are brothers who realize that what they are doing is not just, but through pressure and threats from those that organize these unlawful acts they are made accomplices.”
The ejidal authorities involved are Ranulfo Hernández Aguilar, Ruperto Vásquez Santis, Gerardo Aguilar Jiménez, Ciro Vásquez Rodríguez, Margarito Aguilar López and Lucio Vásquez Aguilar, as well as Carmelino Rodríguez Aguilar and Alejandro Vásquez López, who organize these acts.
The Junta demands the immediate release of its compañeros “so that we do not see ourselves obliged to take other more serious measures. Those people know that our compañeros are not alone, we are going to defend them at all costs.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The Council of Good Government “Towards Hope” publicly denounces aggressions and provocations by the organization CIOAC Histórica, and demands the freeing of 6 Zapatista civilian supporters who have been unjustly imprisoned.
La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, Thursday 11 October 2012
To civil society at national and international level
To supporters of the Other Campaign at national and international level
To supporters of the Sixth International
To independent human rights organizations
To alternative media
To the national and international press
To brothers and sisters in Mexico and the world
The Council of Good Government “Towards Hope” in this frontier forest region, based in La Realidad-Trinidad, in the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality of San Pedro de Michoacán, denounces publicly: repeated provocations against civilian supporters of the EZLN, by authorities and inhabitants of the Guadalupe Los Altos ejido (official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas, Mexico), who form part of the organization CIOAC Historica, and are members of the PRD and PAN political parties.
This ejido [Guadalupe Los Altos] inhabitants includes civilian supporters of the EZLN. Because they are Zapatistas those inhabitants and authorities who are not Zapatistas have been intimidating and provoking them, to the extent of imprisoning some on two occasions. The first occasion was on the 30 April 2000, in retaliation for the refusal of the Zapatista supporters in the ejido to take part in the fencing in of a part of the ejido lands which provide a source of river gravel, which is at the source of the conflict. The second occasion was on 7 April 2010, owing to the refusal of the Zapatistas to take part in defending a ranch that in any case was not part of the ejido and which had its own history of conflict.
Our Zapatista compañeros again suffered harassment and provocation on 20 December 2011, when it became known that by an act of the Guadalupe Los Altos ejido that the lands of two ejido members who had left to work outside the community had been confiscated, owing to their being away from the ejido for more than the allowed period.
The community decided that one of these plots should provide a space for the re-location of an official school (of the bad government), a judgement which our compañeros did not support, and would have nothing to do with, owing to the fact that civilian supporters of the EZLN will not have anything to do with the bad government. In addition, our compañeros have their own autonomous school.
A part of the ejido community decided that it would be unjust for our compañeros to participate in the school project, owing to the fact that the school would not be for their benefit, and as a result did not insist that our compañeros be involved. Nonetheless, on 21 December 2011, when the ejido inhabitants gathered to take over the plot of land for the relocation of the school, they were confronted by the brother of the plot’s owner and his wife, who were there to prevent the land being seized. As a result, the brother was seized and tied to a tree that same day.
Once this had happened, [the other ejido members] demanded that our compañeros get involved, arguing that it was an issue for the whole ejido, even if the 6 compañeros had said from the start that they were not, and would not get involved. They therefore demanded that our 6 compañeros provide 8 days of road-building work, on the assumption that the community had lost those days of work while guarding the prisoners.
While our compañeros were not then (and are not now) in agreement with this, on the basis that as Zapatistas they cannot get involved in work which is not related to the ejido, they have at no moment rejected work which is in fact for this purpose, such as clearing roads, delimiting the boundaries of the ejido or clearing areas for houses. In fact they have always accepted the need to participate in collective work which is for the benefit of the community as long as it has nothing to do with orders or projects originating from the bad government.
However, on the 11th September of this year in an assembly of the ejido the authorities explained that owing to the problem of the land plots, several members of the ejido had been denounced in the Las Margaritas municipality, and that in order to investigate this denunciation the authorities asked that everyone pay 50 pesos, with the money to be collected on 30th September of this year. However, when the day arrived, the authorities changed their story, saying that the 50 pesos would be used to buy hooks and wire to build a rope bridge, and that the rest would be used to investigate the denunciation.
Our compañeros, realising that the money was destined for a purpose that they had nothing to do with, decided not to contribute, and on that basis were detained that same day 30th September, when five EZLN supporters were imprisoned at around 8.30am. On the 4th October a sixth compañero was imprisoned, and since then until today that group from the Guadalupe Los Altos ejido along with officials from the CIOAC Historica organization have kept our 6 compañeros prisoner, namely:
1. Cesar Aguilar Jiménez.
2. Armando Aguilar Santis.
3. Genaro Aguilar Santis.
4. Misael Aguilar Vásquez.
5. Delmar Aguilar Santis.
6. Hipólito Aguilar Vásquez.
Until now our 6 compañeros remain deprived of their freedom, an act of injustice which we PUBLICLY DENOUNCE, as our compañeros have committed no crime and done no harm to anyone. Instead, it is only for being Zapatistas, for being in resistance to the bad government which provokes us, with the three levels of government wrong-footing us and taking measures against those who oppose the capitalist system.
Unfortunately the other groups in the community do not understand that the bad government is only using them and taking advantage of their innocence to create problems among the campesinos and among indigenous communities, controlling them and obtaining their conformance with insignificant projects and crumbs in return for the injustices and provocations that the members of the Guadalupe Los Altos community have committed.
It is unfortunate that our Brothers and Sisters do not realise the things those actions can unleash or their consequences, if they don’t stop provoking us, if they don’t free our six compañeros. Besides, they, you, ourselves, in fact any person has a family that needs them.
We, as Zapatistas, don’t want to have problems with those persons, nor with anyone who is not our enemy, because we as Zapatistas are clear and are convinced that whoever has right on their side will come out winning. It’s not for fear that we haven’t gone to free our compañeros, it’s because we know that that isn’t the way to do things, to go and fight and to beat them. [If we don't do that], it’s because in no way do we want to violate their human rights, because the things that they themselves are doing isn’t our our way of doing things.
Brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world, in our rebel words we say publicly that we have sought every way to resolve this problem so that the issue is dealt with peacefully. On the 2nd October the Council of Good Government sent a delegate to the community and to its group of leaders, demanding the freeing of our compañeros. They were paid no attention, and instead a message was sent to us asking for the attendance of our Council so that everything could be sorted out peacefully. On the 4th October the Council of Good Government came to the community to speak with them as well as with its leaders. In that conversation it was asked what crime our compañeros might have committed that they remain imprisoned. The reply of the leaders was to show us an act [of the community] that they had drawn up which said that their imprisonment was for:
- An accumulation of community charges of 430 pesos for each of our compañeros. They wouldn’t say what those charges were for.
- 10 days of delayed work, 8 of which days were those that had been lost when they were looking after the prisoners seized in the occupation of the land plot.
- 8 days of delayed work for the road works (which was a government project) and 180 pesos of charges related to these works. [This is included in the act] despite knowing that our compañeros do not get involved in any government project.
- If they do not agree with what is set out in the act, our compañeros will be expelled from the community. This threat that will lead to new problems, as the act specifies things that our compañeros cannot comply with, such as the proposals and projects of the bad government.
We said that these points should be analysed and discussed, owing to the fact that as Zapatistas we don’t get involved in anything coming from the bad government. However, their reply was that if we want our compañeros to be freed we should tell them to sign the document, imposing these conditions on our compañeros, as the act could not be modified. At the same time they argued that by the agreement of their community, if we want our compañeros to be freed, we should think about where they could live, because if we didn’t they would stay in the gaol (which is what has in fact happened, as if they were criminals).
We are worried about the health of our compañeros, owing to the bad conditions in the gaol which are the same as those in a toilet. Four of our compañeros are very ill, and besides have spent 11 days in prison without being able to wash. Our compañeros have not received any medical attention, which constitutes a violation of their human rights.
In light of all that might happen to our compañeros, and all the things that those acts of injustice might lead to, [we say] that under no circumstances will we give up, or allow those things to happen, and in spite of anything that might happen, we hold the authorities of Guadalupe Los altos and the leaders of CIOAC Historica (the organisation which the ejido belongs to) responsible on the basis that they are the main organisers promoting these unjust and provocative acts in the community. We understand clearly that not all of the community agrees with what they are doing, and know that within the community there are brothers and sisters who on thinking these things through know that they are unjust. Nonetheless because of threats and pressure by the authors of these criminal acts they too have become complicit and are acting like pimps.
AUTHORITIES OF THE EJIDO:
1. Ranulfo Hernández Aguilar, Commissioner
2. Ruperto Vásquez Santis, Commission secretary,
3. Gerardo Aguilar Jiménez, Treasurer
4. Ciro Vásquez Rodríguez, Municipal Agent
5. Margarito Aguilar López, Agent’s Deputy
6. Lucio Vásquez Aguilar, Security Council
In addition, Carmelino Rodríguez Aguilar and Alejandro Vásquez López, who are working with the authorities to perpetrate these acts of injustice, without thinking through or measuring up the consequences that they might lead to.
LEADERS OF CIOAC HISTORICA
1. Luís Hernández Cruz.
2. José Antonio Vásquez Hernández.
In the same way we also hold the three levels of government immediately responsible, as well as being the intellectual authors of the events: the municipal president of Las Margaritas, the governor of the state Juan Sabines Guerrero, and the president of the republic Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. These people do nothing about this problem, because they support acts of injustice and promote violence. When they make their public announcements they stand up straight saying that they are fighting against violence and injustice, but they are hypocrites because it’s just talk, and what Juan Sabines says is a big lie, “words, not deeds” [this inverts the slogan of Sabines' government], and one could say of the work that they do that in fact it involves: robbing the country, robbing the people, working to create problems among communities.
Sisters and brothers, we make public these actions so that what the corrupt bad governments are doing becomes known, that they do nothing good, and that they do not control their people and instead allow them to go unpunished. We don’t want trouble, but if those people don’t respect us, we will take serious steps, because we’re not going to give up, and are going to do whatever it takes to obtain the liberty of our compañeros, come what may.
We demand the demand the immediate freeing of our six compañeros, so that we are not obliged to take more serious measures. Those people should know that our compañeros are not alone and that we’re not going to leave them on their own, and that we are going to defend them come what may.
Enough of these provocations, of this injustice that they are committing.
We will be closely following what happens to our compañeros and to all that might happen from now on.
Council of Good Government “Towards Hope”
Frontier Forest Zone
This document has been certified by the Council of Good Government “Towards Hope”, La Realidad, and signed by the following representatives of the Council in turn:
Abel, Anahi and Marin