JULY 2007 CHIAPAS / ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY

1.  EPR Blows Up Pemex Pipelines - The month of July began with a bang. Three bombs exploded on July 5, blowing up a steel pipeline which supplies natural gas from Mexico City to the state of Guanajuato. A fourth bomb exploded on July 10, severing another pipeline supplying natural gas to Querétaro. Both pipelines belonged to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-owned national oil company. Also on July 10 the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR, its Spanish initials) issued a communiqué taking responsibility for the bombings and demanding that 2 of its detained/disappeared members be presented alive. In Chiapas, on July 28, the EPR shot up and spray painted walls of  a federal prison under construction in Chiapa de Corzo with the same demand: present the detainees/disappeared alive! 

2.  Veracruz Campesinos Free! - On July 5, the 10 campesinos of the Dorados de Villa organization, who had been detained and tortured last month, were released from prison. State and local police had evicted 40 campesinos, all indigenous Nahuas, belonging to the Dorados de Villa organization on June 14 during the recuperation of land in the possession of the Faisal family. The Dorados de Villa organization is an adherent to the Other Campaign. The eviction had ben violent. The end result was: 10 campesinos in prison and 2 disappeared.  All those taken prisoner were released on July 5. In a rather unusual turn of events, one of the “disappeared” was reported to have released a video in which he claimed to be safe and well. (This is unconfirmed.)

3.  Human Remains Found Near Viejo Velasco - On July 6, human remains were located near the now-abandoned village of Viejo Velasco, scene of a bloody attack last November 13 (2006) in the Lacandón Jungle. 4 people were killed at the time of the attack and four more were reported “disappeared.”  The remains are believed to be from 2 of the disappeared, according to human rights groups working with the families, who were able to identify the clothing found with the remains. DNA tests are being conducted on the bones. 

4.  Zapatistas Win A Round Against the OPDDIC - On July 11, it was publicly announced for the first time that a federal agrarian tribunal ruled in favor of the Zapatista support bases of El Nantze (Nance) and against the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (Opddic) in a land dispute taken to the tribunal by the Opddic. The Opddic, an organization with paramilitary characteristics, had tried to take the land away from the Zapatistas with underhanded legal maneuvers.  

5. Repression in Oaxaca against the APPO - On July 16, protests began again in Oaxaca City, organized by the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), in anticipation of the Guelaguetza, a cultural celebration that is typically the largest tourist attraction of the year. In spite of police repression and efforts by Governor Ulises Ruiz to control people, more than 10,000 demonstrators turned out to protest the “official” Guelaguetza. Police responded with violence, severely injuring at least 40 people and arresting at least 60.  Authorities set bail at $ 2 million pesos per person. Protesters responded to police violence by torching six city buses. Afterwards, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission issued an unprecedented statement expressing its “grave concern” for the Governor’s abuse of police powers and widespread violations of fundamental human rights. A public trial will be held on August 3 and 4 in Mexico City. 
International supporters are encouraged to send messages of support to: 
Codep (codep_cnpp_oax@yahoo.com.mx) and 
Global Women’s Strike (philly@crossroadswomen.net)

6.  2nd  Zapatista Encuentro - From July 20 to July 28, adherents to the EZLN’s 6th Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle gathered in the Caracols of Oventik, Morelia and La Realidad for the 2nd Encuentro of the Zapatista Peoples with the Peoples of the World. The Zapatista support bases were once again front and center, explaining how their autonomous government and health and education systems work. Campesinos from around the world belonging to Vía Campesina attended the Gathering and played a prominent role. The next Encuentro might be just for women, possibly in La Garrucha, in December!
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Compiled by Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez for the Chiapas Support Committee