32 people from the Autonomous Community Egipto, belonging to the Caracol of La Garrucha, are forcibly displaced
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, 4 August, 2014
Press Release No. 22
Displacement of Zapatista Bases due to the risk of attack
- 32 people from the Autonomous Community Egipto (Egypt), belonging to the Caracol of La Garrucha, have been forcibly displaced
- Residents of the Ejido Pojcol invaded the recuperated lands of the Bases of Support of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN)
The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) documented the forced displacement of 32 people from Egipto Community, Rebel Autonomous Municipality Zapatista (MAREZ) San Manuel, belonging to the Good Government Junta “Path of the Future,” Caracol III, La Garrucha, Tseltal Jungle Zone, in Chiapas, (official municipality of Ocosingo).
The incident occurred on August 1, at 11.30 pm, when a group of armed people, coming from the Ejido Pojcol, municipality of Chilón, went into the land for regional collective work in the San Manuel Autonomous Municipality, which was recuperated by the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). In this territory, adjacent to the Autonomous Communities El Rosario and Egipto, the armed individuals killed a bullock and fired gunshots.
While the group from Ejido Pojcol were carrying out acts of occupation and armed harassment, members of the Egipto Autonomous Community realised that several individuals, with lamps in their hands, were heading towards their village. For this reason, and to avoid a possible attack, on 2nd August, at 12.30 am, 32 people (women, children, and old people) were forcibly displaced, walking throughout the early hours of the morning to reach another Zapatista village where they are currently taking refuge.
These new acts of harassment, territorial dispossession and aggressions are taking place in the context of the meeting of the Indigenous National Congress the First Exchange of the Zapatista Peoples and the Original Peoples of Mexico “Compañero David Ruiz García”, which began on Monday, 4th August in the Autonomous Community of La Realidad.
Faced with the imminent risk and the severity of the acts which occurred in the MAREZ of San Manuel, belonging to the JBG “Path of the Future,” Caracol III of La Garrucha, we ask National and International Civil Society to remain alert so that the acts of violence against the Zapatista support bases do not continue to escalate.
On Friday, 25th July, at 6 am, 19 armed people entered the land for regional collective work of the San Manuel Autonomous Municipality for the first time. They constructed roofs; they destroyed, burned and used as firewood signs that the BAEZLN had installed in protest after the murder of Teacher Galeano. At the same time, during the morning and afternoon, the aggressors fired 3 gunshots into the air with .22-calibre weapons; they left the community at 1.30 am on 26th July. During the time they were there, they threatened to dispossess the BAEZLN from El Rosario and Egipto autonomous communities of their lands.
On Wednesday, 30th July, the aggressor group again entered to clear one part of the land, they sprayed 3 hectares of pasture, wounded a young zebu bull with a knife, and wrote the words “Pojcol Territory” on the land. (1)
Because of these incidents, this Human Rights Centre conducted specific interventions, addressing documents to the Chiapas state government so that the necessary measures can be taken to avoid consequences difficult or impossible to repair.
Frayba has documented other aggressions against the BAEZLN, among the recent ones: the murder of Señor José Luis Solís López “Teacher Galeano” and the destruction of the autonomous Zapatista clinic and school on 2nd May in the Autonomous Community of La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas. These acts were perpetrated by Members of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), the National Action Party (PAN) and the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historic (CIOAC-H), prior to the announced meeting of the National Indigenous Congress and the Homage that the EZLN was going to hold in memory of Don Luis Villoro. (2)