JUNE 2007 CHIAPAS / ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY

1.  Hurricane Barbara - As the month began, Tropical Storm / Hurricane Barbara blew into the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, which has still not recovered from the destruction caused by Hurricane Stan in 2005.  “Barbara” hit on June 2, causing flooding, evacuations and damage to homes and crops. Damage to banana plantations along the coast was severe. No loss of life was reported.

2.  5 Civilians Killed at Checkpoint - Two women and three children whose vehicle failed to stop at an army checkpoint were allegedly shot and killed by nineteen members of the Mexican Army.  The family was traveling to a funeral when they were ordered to stop at the military checkpoint near the village of La Joya, according to local media. When they failed to stop, soldiers reportedly opened fire on the van. Police identified the dead as Alicia Esparza Parra, 17; Griselda Galaviz Barraza, 25, and Galaviz Barraza's children Joniel, 7; Griselda, 4, and Juana, 2. Three other civilians in the van were wounded, including Galaviz Barraza’s husband. All civilians were reportedly innocent of any crime and the 19 soldiers are in prison.

3.  Comandantes Return to Chiapas -  Commanders from the EZLN’s Sixth Commission concluded their work of meeting with Other Campaign adherents in northern Mexico during the second stage of that Campaign.  They returned to Chiapas while Subcomandante Marcos went on tour to present his new book “Noches de juego y desvelo.”  According to a report in Proceso, Marcos returned to Chiapas on June 18 and went directly to La Garrucha.

4. Severe Repression in Veracruz against Other Campaign Members - On June 9, forty (40) members of the campesino organization Dorados de Villa (also members of the Other Campaign) recuperated an area of land to which they had been given a presidential land grant in 1938, but which state and local authorities had never enforced.  On June 14, state and local police, together with pistoleros (hired guns) paid by the “property owners,” the Faisal family, evicted the 40 campesinos, all indigenous Nahuas. The eviction was violent. Weapons were fired and campesinos were hauled away by police. The end result seems to be: 10 campesinos in prison, one of them with an untreated bullet wound,  and 2 campesinos disappeared.  All those taken prisoner allege torture. A human rights worker was also captured, tortured and later released by tossing him out of a vehicle and into the woods.

5. Repression in Oaxaca against Other Campaign Members - A dispute over forest land erupted in violence in the state of Oaxaca. Members of the CIPO-RFM, a local campesino organization, tried to prevent PRI members from cutting trees to sell to large paper companies in a disputed section of the forest near their home town of San Isidro Aloápam.  PRI members from San Miguel Aloápam drew guns and a clash followed.  2 PRI members died from injuries suffered during the clash.  Police came and they arrested 5 CIPO-RFM members and took them to jail. Those arrested are charged with murdering the PRI members.  All are indigenous Zapotecs. Now, the Mexican Army is patrolling near San Isidro and attempting to enter the community while threats are being made against the leadership of the CIPO-RFM, an indigenous organization which belongs to the Other Campaign and the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People (APPO).  The Other Campaign and the APPO are working together with the CIPO-RFM to defend the community's rights. 

6.  EZLN Opens Registration for July Encuentro - A communique dated June 29 includes information on how to register for the Intergalactic Encuentro in Chiapas. It may be found on the web page of the Zezta Internazional: 

http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/comision-sexta/764

For an English translation, click at the top of the above page. 

There are several pieces of information to note well:  1) Registration begins on June 2. It can be done by email or via the web page and it can also be done when you arrive at one of the Zapatista Caracols; and 2) the Encuentro will take place in just 3 of the Caracols, rather than all 5 as originally planned. The 3 Caracols are: Oventik, Morelia and La Realidad. This change is due to the difficulty of travel and accommodations during the heavy summer rains.  The Chiapas Support Committee will be sending out the communique soon! 
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Compiled by Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez for the Chiapas Support Committee