Death threats,unprovoked attacks and army movements

BOriginally published in Spanish by the EZLN
Translated by irlandesa

[Three denuncias from the Autonomous communities]


[#1]

San Pedro Polho' Autonomous Municipality Chiapas
February 15, 2001.


Se~ores and Se~oras.
To the National and International Press. To National and International Human Rights Organizations. To Non-Governmental Organizations.
To National and International Civil Society.

The purpose of this document is to clarify the report about the meeting in the SEPI on February 13, 2001, where the following issue was addressed: The displacement of BAZ from the Usithucum predio, Municipality of Chenalho', during which the following were present: the CNDH, the CEDH, the Assistant Prosecutor's Office for Indigenous Affairs, the Agrarian Prosecutor's Office, the INI, Ada'n Herna'ndez Pe'rez, from the municipality of Chenalho' and members of the OCOPECH, CDHFBLC and SEPI organizations.

In the statement by Ada'n Herna'ndez Pe'rez, where he indicated that people "began leaving" when the predio was fenced in, we would like to clarify that they left due to threats he made to two ladies and their children. When the 4 persons from Belisario Domi'nguez left, only 5 persons remained in the predio. Later they saw that Ada'n Herna'ndez Pe'rez' group was organizing a series of attacks with weapons and machetes against the people who had remained. All of this took place around one o'clock at night. The women left immediately, with only the men left behind, in hiding in order to protect themselves. They then saw the Ada'n Herna'ndez Pe'rez group heading towards the house belonging to Se~or Antonio Gutie'rrez Me'ndez, voicing regret that they hadn't found him and been able to kill him. They shouted in very loud voices: "Where are they?", if you're a man, come out, we're going to kill you right now. Seeing the gravity of the situation, they fled under cover, headed towards the community of Tsabalo at around four in the morning. They are still living in fear there today, because of the threats they overheard.

We hope it is understood that the people left for that reason alone. If anyone were to feel themselves threatened with death, they would be apt to protect their lives, without worrying about leaving their belongings behind. We are holding Ada'n Herna'ndez Pe'rez' group responsible if this problem is dragged out and those affected lose their tomato, pumpkin and bean harvests and other assets.

Sincerely,

Polho' Autonomous Municipal Council

Bartolo Gutie'rrez Va'zquez

________________________________

[#2]


In the community of San Francisco Ko'notik, municipality of San Juan del Bosque, state of Chiapas, February 15, 2001.

DENUNCIA

The residents of the community of San Francisco Ko'notik in this municipality are vigorously denouncing to the national and international public the public security police of the State of Chiapas, for everything which took place on February 14, 2001. At 6:30 PM, Zapatista Army of National Liberation sympathizers from that municipality received death threats, and residents of that community were beaten by public security police when they had gone to attend to their business in the municipality. While taking a detour along a path, making their way to their communities, they were overtaken by three public security vehicles and mistreated. That is why we are letting the bad actions of the security forces and government be known. Instead of celebrating the day of love and friendship, instead of embracing and best wishes, they smacked us and hit us, instead of a kiss and an embrace, they gave us wounds and threats. That is why the residents of that community are making their inconsistencies public.

Thank you for your kindness in granting us the service of transmitting these messages to the public.

Sincerely,

Local Authorities.

Assistant Municipal Agent.
C. Miguel Me'ndez Pe'rez.

__________________________

[#3]


Ricardo Flores Mago'n
Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion


February 16, 2001.

To the People of Mexico.
To the Peoples of the World.

Sisters and brothers:

Once more we find ourselves in the position of having to denounce the actions of the federal army in our lands. Movements and actions which are once again at odds with what the government is stating publicly in the media. Movements which are increasing the tension in our communities. That is why we are denouncing that military movements have been on the increase, with patrols and overflights, since the beginning of this month, and especially over the last few days, throughout the territory of Flores Mago'n.

We will mention here some of the movements and actions taken by the federal army over the last few days:

1). It has been stated that the federal army has withdrawn all its checkpoints in the state of Chiapas. However, in all those positions where the checkpoints had been located, the federal army has established positions at the sides of the roads where it has its barracks. From there, they are attentively supervising all movement along the roads. In some instances, the army has taken over more lands in order to move their positions closer to the roads.

2). In the Pe~a Limonar ejido, a public security checkpoint is continuing to operate, and in the community of Chocolja' and at the Chancala' crossroads, intermittent checkpoints are being operated by the federal army.

3). When the federal army withdrew from the community of Roberto Barrios, the federal army military camp in the community of San Jero'nimo Tulija' (Municipality of Chilo'n) was reinforced, with the doubling of the number of troops and military vehicles.

4). In the same community, on February 8, approximately 30 federal soldiers, who were being transported in three artillery vehicles, positioned themselves in the center of the town, and went to the place where the people in the community have their church and meeting place. There the soldiers turned off their vehicles and were given orders to get out, armed. The women and children, however, prevented the soldiers from entering the church property. The federales returned to the town center, where they remained for more than an hour.

5). On February 15, approximately 15 military vehicles with machine guns on top arrived in this community in order to reinforce the military camp which is illegally occupying the ejido's school property. There was a troop replacement that day. However, of the 15 vehicles which entered, only 7 left. During that time, there were also military patrols from the Pi~al crossroads to the communities of Santo Domingo and Cintalapa, where the federal army maintains another position.

6). These vehicle and troop movements have been accompanied by federal army helicopter movements and surveillance. They even made two low overflights above the community of Pi~al. The plane and helicopter overflights began once again one week ago throughout the lands of this Autonomous Municipality. They have taken place with the greatest frequency in the Sierras of Cruz de Plata, Infiernillo, Granizo, Ca~ada del Ri'o Perla and Tumbo.

7). Today, February 16, there was a new movement of federal soldiers from the San Jero'nimo Tulija' camp to the town center, where they carried out a patrol. Today the helicopter and airplane overflights are continuing throughout the Autonomous lands.

Brothers and sisters, for these reasons we have decided to inform you of the increase in military movements, which, according to the statements by the government itself, are suspended.

Autonomous Council.

READ MORE ABOUT IT
Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World
by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer)
$16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader
by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
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