Ayotzinapa Caravan meets with EZLN in Oventic
Ayotzinapa parents and EZLN agree to articulate a national movement
Zapatistas greet Ayotzinapa Caravan in Oventic. Photo: Frayba
By: Gabriela Coutiño
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Nov. 15 – In their visit to Zapatista Territory, parents of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa Guerrero, agreed with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), to articulate a national grassroots movement that would question forced disappearances and extrajudicial assassinations.
The meeting took place in the Caracol of Oventic in the [official] municipality of San Larráinzar. Subcomandante Moisés and Comandante Tacho attended. “They embraced our indignation and rage, gave us the best attention and expressed their total willingness to support us,” said Omar García, a student member of the Daniel Solís Gallardo Caravan.
In a press conference in the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), Omar García clarified that at the meeting which was public for all Zapatista support bases, and that lasted four hours, “the Zapatista compañeros did not seek us, we sought them out because we are familiar with their political position and their forms of work.
“They set forth from the beginning of the meeting that they do not seek to lead anyone; it is a position with which we are all familiar, and they told us that they do not seek to give us suggestions or orders to follow.”
What they did share with us, he explained, “is that we have to go to those who just like us have suffered forced disappearance and extrajudicial assassinations, who are not just a few people in the country, because they are the ones that can understand us and accompany us in our pain and fight, and they are the ones with whom we can articulate a movement, a bigger and more powerful nucleus with all the social organizations that want to be in solidarity.”
Omar García said that one of the objectives of the National Information Caravan is to establish dialogue and agreements with social organizations for the purpose of articulating a movement on a national level with the objective of no longer fighting only for the 43 disappeared, and those extra-judicially murdered on September 26 and 27, but also for the rest, since forced disappearances have become a national problem.
María Inés Abrajan, Adán Abrajan de la Cruz’s aunt, indicated that in view of the fact that the authorities are proven to be incompetent, they have lost confidence in them and, therefore, they feel obliged to seek support from civil society and other forms of struggle which permit them to find the whereabouts of their children.
“We have come here because the president of the republic and the federal authorities have not been able or have not wanted to locate our sons; they know where the municipal police took our children, they know where they left them and to whom they were given.” She said that the attorney general of the republic, Jesús Murillo Karam, lied when he announced that their children were murdered, incinerated and thrown into the river, “because the three individuals they presented were tortured. We also saw in a Chilpancingo newspaper that those same three individuals had already been arrested before our children were taken away.”
The parents denounced that they are being harassed and threatened by state and federal police for struggling on behalf of their disappeared children, and that those threats also include the organizations that are supporting them. “We ask Enrique Peña Nieto that if he is not competent, we ask him to resign. First he goes to other cities to sell off our country, he goes to make negotiations and he doesn’t see his own people. We ask that if he is incompetent he leave the position.”
The parents made that statement because the president of the republic Enrique Peña Nieto and the former governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero are judged politically. About the new governor of Guerrero they denounced that although he committed to finding the disappeared students he has not done it, “if he can’t handle the charge, he should resign.”
The parents and students of Ayotzinapa stated that they are not going to give up their fight. They pointed out that they are just beginning, because of which they need all the social organizations, “because this is no longer only our problem, but that of the whole country. We need the social organizations and the social organizations probably need us. What we no longer need are the State institutions that have demonstrated incompetence, corruption and impunity that covers all of the country; they are no longer useful to us and therefore we have decided to seek support in civil society and the social organizations.”
For this Sunday, the parents and students of Ayotzinapa plan to hold a demonstration in Tuxtla Gutiérrez where social organizations and students from the 19 state teachers colleges, which are on strike in protest at the disappearance of the 43 youths, would accompany them.