28 rural leaders en route to Chiapas dialogue arrested

** They arrest them in the government palace in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

** It is a betrayal; companies are behind it, accuses the leader of the Cocyp

By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, May 29, 2014

On Thursday afternoon at the government palace, with seat in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, state police arrested a 28 members of a commission of leaders of the Rural Association of Collective Interest-Independent and Democratic (ARIC-ID, its initials in Spanish) and Communal Property authorities of the Lacandón Community Zone, which had been given an appointment to dialogue around the blockages that maintain in Ocosingo and the Jungle in demand of the liberation of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, advisor of the second organization, denounced José Jacobo Femat, national leader of the Central of Campesino and Popular Organizations (Central de Organizaciones Campesinas y Populares, Cocyp).

“It is a treason of the government that gave us an appointment to dialogue and arrested the members of the negotiating commission in moments in which there are mobilizations due to the unjust arrest of Montoya Oseguera,” he accused. He asserted that: “diverse companies and private parties are behind everything, like the ex federal secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Julia Carabias.”

He explained that they met on Wednesday evening in the state capital with state officials to expose different requests, among them the liberation of Montoya Oseguera, detained on May 15 as probably responsible for the crime of attacks against the peace and the corporal and patrimonial integrity of the collectivity and of the State, for the takeover of the Altamirano municipal palace in 2001. He added that they were also treating the blockages that have been carried out in Ocosingo.

He said that at 7 pm this Thursday, they went to continue the meeting, but five minutes after having arrived at the government palace, groups of police arrived that with pushes and shoves took away 30 members of the commission.

He indicated that he and Montoya Osegura’s wife were set free, while the other 28 were transported to El Amate Prison. A state official, who asked for anonymity, said that those arrested “have besieged Ocosingo, gone into the stores and (on Sunday) kidnapped Beatriz Mijangos,” an employee of the Cultural Na Bolom Cultural Center, with headquarters in San Cristóbal.

For its part, the organization Services and Advisory for Peace (Serapaz) sent a communiqué in which it announced that the mediator Mario Ruiz was released last night; nevertheless, more than 20 remain detained from the commission of community representatives, about which they “urgently” demanded their immediate freedom.

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