Zapatista News Summary for September 2015
- Enlace Zapatista Launches a New Website: http://www.grieta.org.mx/. As part of the effort to raise awareness of the different resistances in Mexico, on 3rd September the Enlace Zapatista team unveils the website: “Grieta: medio para armar” (“Crack: Media to arm yourself”.) The site contains current information about the struggles in the countryside and the city for the defence of land and territory, under headings such as Megaprojects and The Mirror of Resistance – information about the organization and struggle of communities in the Indigenous National Congress (CNI). Also included are the word of the EZLN, the seminar Critical Thinking against the Capitalist Hydra and national issues.
- Death threats and attacks denounced in Tzakukum: On 9th September, Frayba denounces death threats, physical attacks and harassment against support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the community of Tzakukum, in the official municipality of Chalchihuitán, based on information provided by the Good Government Junta of Oventik, Caracol II. The aggressions include beatings, multiple death threats including threats involving attacks with machetes and burning with petrol, and cutting of water supplies. Frayba stresses that “these human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place within a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy.” As has happened in other communities, the conflict began in July 2015 over the building of a school.
- More presentations and English version of new book: Presentations continue to be made of the book based on the recent seminar El Pensamiento Crítico frente a la Hidra Capitalista 1: participaciones de la Comisión Sexta del EZLN. Much of the book exists in written form in English on the Enlace Zapatista website. Bilingual multimedia compilations are available here and here.
- Second level of Escuelita: The deadline for the submission of the six questions was 3rd October. The questions will be evaluated to decide whether a student passes and can move on to the third level. The questions will be answered collectively.
- First anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa: The EZLN issues a communiqué on 24th September: From Pain, From Rage, For Truth, For Justice, in which they announce that on 26th September thousands of Zapatistas “will mobilize in our territories in order to embrace those people who feel pain and rage because of imprisonment, disappearance, and death imposed from above” and calling on all honest persons on the planet to do the same.
- Zapatistas mobilise on 26th September: Thousands of support bases of the EZLN mobilise from an early hour in their different territories in Chiapas in solidarity with the families and compañeros of the 43 disappeared. Children, women, men and elders from the Highland zone demonstrate along the sides of the roads with banners, posters, candles, bearing the names of each of the 43 missing from the normal school of Ayotzinapa. The demonstration is held in the context of protests nationally and internationally to demand the live presentation of the rural normal school students, missing for a year.
- Chiapas in Solidarity with Ayotzinapa: Groups and communities in Chiapas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration and members of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI, its initials in Spanish), issue communiques and participate in demonstrations in solidarity with Ayotzinapa. These include the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal, adherents to the Sixth from San Sebastián Bachajón, the Autonomous Council of the Chiapas Coast, el Frente Civico Tonalteco, the Ejido Tila, Candelaria el Alto, Cruztón, and San Francisco Teopisca. Adherents and sympathizers of the Sixth also demonstrate in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
- Chiapas prisoners: Prisoners unjustly detained in Prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de las Casas denounce the forcible transfer of Alejandro Díaz Santiz and 3 other Tsotsil prisoners to a high security prison, CEFERESO de Villa Comaltitlán. This takes place in the context of a massive transfer of 400 prisoners, using 2000 police, to different prisons.
- Actions in Tila: On 16th September, ejidatarios of Tila symbolically take possession of the municipal headquarters (ayuntamiento) and denounce its presence in Chol Territory.
- Special Economic Zones: As was expected, Peña Nieto sends a proposal to Congress to approve a law creating Special Economic Zones in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Michoacán – the Inter-Oceanic Industrial Corridor, Puerto Chiapas and the Port of Lazaro Cardenas – in order to generate a "strategy of comprehensive and immediate formal development that will create well-paid jobs." This is interpreted by the indigenous peoples as another opportunity for dispossession, exploitation and plunder.
- Mario Luna is free: After a year of false imprisonment, indigenous Yaqui Leader Mario Luna, traditional secretary of the indigenous village of Vicam, commissioned by the entire tribe to defend the water of the Yaqui River, is released from the Centre for Social Readaptation [Cereso] Number 2 in Hermosillo, Sonora. He vows to continue the defence of Yaqui tribal water rights against the Independence Aqueduct.
- Semeí Verdía Zepeda of Santa Maria Ostula is indicted: A formal indictment is issued against the indigenous Nahua leader of Santa Maria Ostula, Semeí Verdía Zepeda, for the crime of first degree murder.
- Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz released: On 21st August, the spokesperson for the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, is released after having been incarcerated for fourteen months. He had been arrested on 17 June 2014 on the charge of having participated together with eight other opponents of the La Parota dam project in a shootout and attempted murder. (Apologies this was omitted from August news).
- "We are refugees too”: In light of the current European migrant crisis, immigrant rights defenders draw attention to the terrible conditions facing migrants from Central America.
- New Mexico City airport: It is announced that work will start in November. Houses are demolished in the vicinity and people evicted. Attention is drawn again to the 250 protected species of birds, in addition to mammals and reptiles, threatened by this development, which are not mentioned in the official report.
- More attacks on free media: On 8 September, the home of the journalists Elva Mendoza, Contralíneamagazine, and Flor Goche, Desinformémonos,is broken into. Computer equipment and journalistic documentation are stolen from the apartment, located in Mexico City, leaving intact valuable objects such as screens and cash. Then on 20th September, a violent attack by shock groups on the headquarters of Regeneración Radio does extensive damage and leaves several people seriously injured. 107 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000.
- Ayotzinapa: The official Mexican government account of the disappearance of the 43 students, that they were incinerated at rubbish dump, is scientifically impossible, according to a six-month investigation by independent experts assembled by the Inter-American human rights commission. They say that the official investigation has to be refocused to include the participation of State agents in the attack and their active role in preventing the search for the truth.
On the Day of Indignation, more than 100,000 people march in Mexico City, confirming Mexican civil society’s conviction to stand with the 43 students’ families as well as denounce the state’s complicity in the disappearance of more than 20,000 others. Since January 2007, there have been 26,580 forced disappearances, of which 9,384 occurred during the first 22 months of the government of Peña Nieto. In other words, 13 people have been disappeared every day. Demonstrations also take place nationally and internationally.
For more news from the organised communities, have a look at the September edition of Boca en Boca.