JULY 2010 CHIAPAS/ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY
1. Mitziton Protest Blocks Pan-Am Highway - On July 1, Other Campaign members in Mitziton put up a roadblock on the Pan-American Highway adjacent to their ejido lands, demanding that the Chiapas government relocate the paramilitaries belonging to the "Army of God," an armed evangelical group to which a minority of Mitziton's residents belong. After meeting with state government officials, Mitziton negotiators gave the government 30 days to relocate the evangelicals.
2. Mitziton Denounces Torture of 2 Other Campaign Members - On July 18, two Other Campaign members who live in Agua Escondida were stopped by a group from the Army of God after visiting relatives in Mitziton. Both Other Campaign members were beaten and tortured. They were released the next day after being forced to sign a document regarding speed in the village.
3. Virgin of Dolores Ranch Denounces Provocations - On July 7, ex PRI members, now registered with the Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) and belonging to a group called "Fundacion Colosio" (Colosio Foundation), attempted to take possession of the land occupied by Other Campaign adherents on the Virgin of Dolores Ranch. The property is in Chilon Municipality. A delegate from one of the state government's departments was with the invaders. The denunciation states that the invaders used violence and demanded that they abandon the land. These are the same people who shot at a resident of the Ranch in February. Virgin of Dolores Ranch is close to San Sebastián Bachajón and the Agua Azul Cascades.
4. Other Campaign Members Denounce Drainage Plan - Other Campaign adherents in Jolnixtie, First Section, belonging to the Peoples United for the Defense of Electric Energy (Pudee), denounced that Tila Municipality's plans for a drainage system affect one member's land. It would store sewer water in the open air and would empty it into streams that run through the community and eventually into the Paso Chinal River. They demand cancellation and an end to threats and provocations by members of political parties. Pudee is an adherent to the EZLN's Other Campaign.
5. Eurpoean Brigade Visits Zapatista Caracols - During the first part of July, a brigade of European activists in solidarity with the Zapatista communities toured the five Zapatista centers of resistance, known as Caracoles. They published reports from their visits that were carried on Mexican blogs and also reported on by La Jornada.
6. Oventik Junta Updates Brigade on El Pozo - On June 21, the Good Government Junta in Oventik denounced an attack on Zapatistas in El Pozo by PRI and PRD members. Two of the attackers died from injuries suffered during the attack. The European Solidarity Brigade visited Oventik and received an update on the incident's aftermath. Two Zapatistas were gravely injured and are in the hospital with skull fractures. One of them is guarded by police, indicating that if and when he recovers, he may be arrested. Local police detained health promoters who were taking the injured out and took them to the DA's office in San Cristóbal. They are now in the San Cristobal Prison. All of the Zapatista support bases from El Pozo are displaced as a result of the attack. El Pozo is located in San Juan Apostol Cancuc autonomous municipality in the Chiapas Highlands.
7. Morelia Junta Denounces Provocations by the CIOAC-I - On July 29, a large group of people belonging to the local CIOAC-I, a campesino organization connected to the PRD political party in Chiapas, invaded lands recuperated by the Zapatistas after the 1994 Uprising. The CIOAC-I members began constructing houses on part of the collective pastureland, including the natural spring. The Junta blames the state and federal governments and asks them to remove the CIOAC-I members from their land, saying that they will defend it.
In Other Parts of Mexico
1. State Elections - Some Mexican states held elections for governor on July 4. The PRI was expected to score a big victory, but results were not exactly what the politicians expected. The PRD, considered by some a center-left party, allied with the PAN, definitely a party of right, and 2 smaller parties, in the hope of weakening the PRI. This alliance worked in 3 states and the PRI lost the governorships of 3 states where it had ruled for 8 decades: Oaxaca, Puebla and Sinaloa. Oaxaca voters got rid of Ulises Ruiz and the PRI. However, the PRI hung on to win the governorship in 9 other states. Chiapas did not have an election for governor, but it held local elections for municipal presidents and local deputies to the state congress. The PRD-PAN alliance threw out the PRI mayor of San Cristobal de las Casas and elected a woman PRD member.
2. Atenco: America del Valle Leaves the Venezuela Embassy and Returns to San Salvador Atenco - On July 18, America del Valle Ramirez, daughter of Atenco leader Ignacio del Valle and Trinidad Ramirez, left the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico City after the Mexican government withdrew all arrest warrants against her.The government also withdrew arrest warrants pending against all others involved in the police riot on May 3 and 4, 2006. All are back in Atenco now and the Peoples Front in Defense of Land (FPDT), an important part of the Other Campaign, is all together again, celebrating with the many new allies it has organized over the last 4 years. This is a long-awaited victory for the FPDT and the Other Campaign.
3. Oaxaca: Police Raid San Juan Copala - This story is breaking as the month ends, so the results of the July 30-31 police and paramilitary raid may change. Nevertheless, what we know now is that the Oaxaca state police entered San Juan Copala in large numbers. Ubisort paramilitaries accompanied them. The pretext was to investigate the murder of Anastasio Juarez Ramirez, brother of Ubisort's leader. Apparently, Anastasio was killed in another town and his body placed in his house in San Juan Copala, although he did not live there. It appears that the real motive was to take control of the autonomous headquarters and "dismantle" (to use a term from Chiapas) the autonomous council and municipality. Two young Triqui women are reported seriously injured.
The US-Mexico Border
Judge Blocks Controversial Parts of Arizona Law SB 2010 - On July 28, the day before SB 2010 was to take effect, a federal judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against the Arizona Law's most controversial provisions, those that could lead to racial profiling. This is not the end of the case filed by the Obama Administration. It is preliminary to a decision by the federal federal district court. The state of Arizona appealed the ruling.
Compiled monthly by the Chiapas Support Committee.
The primary sources for our information are: La Jornada, Enlace Zapatista and the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba).
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Chiapas Support Committee/Comité de Apoyo a Chiapas
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