Tzeltals fear the Displacement of Zapatista Support Bases in the Caracol of Oventic
** They identify members of the PRI and PVEM as promoters of the threats
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
According to a report from the Tzeltal community of San Marcos Avilés, belonging to the Zapatista Caracol of Oventic, a new displacement of the Zapatista support bases from the area is being planned. This could happen “within the next few days” at the hands of “local party members,” from the attack group that has tormented the rebel support bases of San Marcos Avilés since 2010. The “party members” are meeting in “extraordinary assemblies to discuss these matters,” they add.
These people have themselves made public their violent plan for the displacement. The threatened community reports “that these party members are trying to get more people in the Pantelhó, Corralito and La Providencia communities to help them carry out the displacement. They have boasted that they feel very capable of doing it, since the candidate Leonardo Guirao Aguilar (PVEM, or Green Party) won the recent election in Chilón municipality; his party won at the state level and the PRI at the federal level.”
The indigenous identify as the promoters of these threats Lorenzo Ruiz Gómez and Manuel Díaz Ruiz (PVEM) and PRI members Vicente Ruiz López, José Cruz Hernández, Carmelino Hernández Hernández, Ernesto López Núñez, Manuel Vázquez Gómez, Aristeo and Alejandro Núñez Ruiz.
Besides the “announcement” of the plan for displacement by the attack groups mentioned, “a worrying increase in insults, destruction of flora and crops, and thefts has recently been seen in the community” civil organisations report. “Due to the aggressive acts, there will not be sufficient food this year”, for the Zapatista families of San Marcos Avilés. In past weeks, the situation of threats and aggressions has intensified so much, “that a repetition of what occurred in August 2010, or worse, is feared. The lives of the San Marcos Avilés Zapatista support bases are at serious risk.” The persecuted indigenous in resistance, some 200 people, purchased the land 12 years ago and have the title deeds to prove it. “As throughout Zapatista territory, however, this does not stop the governments from giving the land to others in return for driving out what those from above most fear: the threat of a good example”, a call for international solidarity by Other Campaign organizations, which have shown repeated concern for the fate of this community, pointed out days ago. Soon, a civil caravan will tour some of the flashpoints in the geography of resistance and counterinsurgency.
““Particularly in the past few days, more threats against the Zapatista support base members have taken place in San Marcos Avilés. The culprits remain an attack group of political party members, who have stated that they will kidnap authorities of the Zapatista community, and in this way, forcefully displace the support base members from the ejido”. They threaten those who denounce the acts of aggression with prison if they persist. The organizations emphasize: “as a result of this a complete forced displacement of the community is feared, at the level of the one in 2010.”
The start of San Marcos Avilés’ misfortune was the establishment of the Emiliano Zapata School, part of the Zapatista Autonomous Education System, in August of that year (2010). The pro-government people unleashed an already latent hostility, and within a few weeks the Zapatista families had to take refuge in the mountains for 33 days. On their return, they found their houses and planted crops ransacked and destroyed. Two years later, spurred by the electoral victory for governor of their co-believer Manuel Velasco Coello, the attack groups seem ready to consummate the widely announced attacks and dispossessions, in the face of the passivity of the state government.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the:
International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the:
Chiapas Support Committee, California
Wellington Zapatista Support Group
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network