Faced with government indifference, communities offer solidarity to the people displaced from Primero de Agosto
From Dorset Solidarity
Las Margaritas, Chiapas, March 15. "Through our solidarity we will continue to accompany our brothers in one way or another," say more than a dozen indigenous Tojolabal communities to the 17 displaced families from the village of Primero de Agosto, in the municipality of Las Margaritas. 20 days ago they were displaced from their lands with high calibre weapons by the Independent Union of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos – Historical (CIOAC-H); the government still has not resolved the problem.
Over 500 people on this day accompany the displaced children, women, elderly and men of Primero de Agosto, at the end of a week of prayer and fasting for the return of the families to their community. Unlike the cola, sugar and biscuits brought to them a week ago by the government to "support them", neighbouring communities have brought kilos of maize, beans, coffee, chickens, among other foods that they are accustomed to consume.
Although the government had promised to solve the problem in three days, the displaced indigenous Tojolabales denounce that so far they have received no response to their request to return to their community. All this time they have been living on a nearby piece of land where they took refuge, having to endure the weather and unsanitary living conditions.
During a traditional ceremony in the camp of the refugees from Primero de Agosto, one of the messages from the communities in solidarity is "we do not want to continue in slavery, the dream of our grandparents was having their own land. Those in the Cioac-h think that only they have rights to the land, but the truth is that we all have the right to the land."
"We cannot leave them alone," said other participants in the meeting in solidarity with the displaced families from the jungle border area, and they have brought clothes, food and supportive company. "We support them because we have the confidence of years of living together," say the neighbouring communities.
"The commissioner Reinaldo López Pérez said we were displaced because he had orders to do so," explain those affected. "Power wants to finish us through differences between communities," they added.
The families of Primero de Agosto report that their abusers pass through the camp where they are sheltering now. "They mock us and laugh at us" they share. "We feel that they will hurt us again," they said.