La Sexta Bachajón: Press conference October 27, 2016 in El Paliacate Cultural Centre
FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO 11 OCTOBER 2016
To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Councils of Good Government
To the National Indigenous Congress
To all compañer@s in Mexico and the World, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle
To the mass and alternative media
To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity
To Movement for Justice in el Barrio, New York
To national and international human rights defenders
To the people of Mexico and the world.
Compañeros and compañeras, members of the communications media present at this press conference, receive militant greetings from the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the ejido San Sebastian Bachajón, and our thanks for accepting our invitation to this press conference in which we want to let you know the word of our organization about the latest developments of dispossession and violence in our territory, occasioned by the bad government and the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro.
We share our outrage at the recent acts of the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, elected at the General Assembly of ejidatarios on 18th April this year. Before the election he presented himself to our organization and we listened to him because we are pueblo and brothers and sisters and this is our custom and the way of working of our organization which is struggling and seeking for the unity of our people. This was how we heard the word of the then candidate for Commissioner, who at that time was speaking of wanting to struggle and to defend the land of the ejido; he said he was aware of how previous Comissioners had not respected the autonomy and rights of the people of San Sebastian Bachajón and said that he would defend the land and respect the organization of la Sexta. But so far he has not fulfilled and respected his word, because his actions are completely contrary to what he said.
On 23rd September 2016 the officialist ejidal Commissioner C. Manuel Guzmán Álvaro entered the area of ejidal endowment where the access to the waterfalls of Agua Azul is located with a group of landowners, to evict the group of ejidatarios who were in a confrontation with them, concerning questions about the election of the Commissioner, led by CC. Manuel Jiménez Moreno, Juan Álvaro Moreno, Daniel Moreno Gómez, Carmen Aguilar and others who were claiming the access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, located at the site of the headquarters of our organization, which was burned down on 21st March 2015. Immediately after the arrival of the Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, the State Preventive Police took over our headquarters.
On 30th September, 2016, the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro and his supervisory board issued a communiqué through the website “Chiapas
denuncia pública” (http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.mx/2016/09/ejido-san-sabastian-bachajon-exige.html) ) trying to pretend that their struggle is for the defence of the land and demanding that the government recognise them as an authority, but not explaining the background of their true intentions to hand over the land to the bad government.
On 18th October, 2016, the officialist commissioner organised roadblocks in different parts of the ejido to request the intervention of the bad government to supposedly resolve internal problems in the ejido, but actually designed to hand over our natural resources, to ratify the agreement made in 2011 and signed by Francisco Guzmán Jiménez alias Goyito with Juan Sabines Guerrero, all this for the future benefit of transnational corporations. On that day, people who are supporters of the Commissioner detained, beat and stole belongings from the compañero Domingo Pérez Álvaro.
On 20th October, 2016, the authorities of the ejido la sexta Bachajón again received threats, these were threats of arrest or kidnapping by the people who are supporters of the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro. Members of the group of the ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro said they have a list of those threatened from la Sexta Bachajón. They verbally warned our compañero Domingo Pérez Álvaro that they would finish him off, as they did to the compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, executed at his home on the night of 24th April, 2013.
At the request and insistence of the ejidal Commissioner, the bad government gladly took the opportunity to send police troops to protect the area of Agua Azul, the police requested by the Commissioner changed places, 50% of them went to Xanil village, to the home of C. Carlos Jiménez Gómez, father of the two members of the state police: Carlos Jiménez Hernández y Rafael Jiménez Hernández, belonging to the state police, who are also involved in this harassment.
The bad government celebrates again the police presence in the area of Agua Azul, all with the continual manipulation and co-optation of the ejidal authorities who have been bought. Here is the word of the bad government that you can consult directly on their website: http://www.icosochiapas.gob.mx/2016/10/21/gobierno-del-estado-restablece-orden-en-agua-azul/.
This permanent presence of the bad government in our territory completely violates the rights of our people to autonomy and self-determination, which is why we repudiate the subservience of the Ejidal Commissioner and his Supervisory Board who continue to allow this policy of dispossession, obtaining the backing of civil human rights bodies and pretending that their movement is a struggle for the defence of territory when it is the opposite and also intends to hand over the land to the government, and commit violent acts against social activists.
We clarify as members of la Sexta Ejido Bachajón, that we deny all connection with all acts committed and organized by the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro towards civil society, because they have put trees onto the roads and have burned a patrol of the municipal police at the height of jolamaltzak, on the section of the road Ocosingo-Palenque, these acts were committed by the officialist ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro and his group, this was the manner in which they requested intervention from the state authorities; and we are making you aware that the sole responsibility for any detention and deprivation of liberty of the authorities and members of the sixth Declaration of the ejido Bachajón lies with the ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro.
We thank for their national and international solidarity all the compañeros and compañeras who remain alert as to what happens in San Sebastián Bachajón. We salute and express our solidarity to the Yaqui Tribe who are going through difficult times in their struggle and resistance, which is also ours.
From the northern state of Chiapas we send combative greetings from the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón.
Never again a Mexico without us
Land and Freedom
Hasta la victoria siempre!
Freedom for Political Prisoners!
Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!
Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!
No to the Dispossession of Indigenous Lands!
State Police Out of Our Indigenous Territory!
Immediate return of our disappeared and murdered compañeros from the Teachers School – Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!
Long live the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the Ejido Tila’s dignified struggle!
Long live the compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla’s dignified struggle!
Long live the communities that fight for autonomy and freedom!
Justice for our compañero JUAN VAZQUEZ GUZMAN, AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!