Grain Emergency in Chiapas
June 24, 2000
Translated by irlandesa

Among the multiple consequences of the application of the military techniques and practices of counterinsurgency in the State of Chiapas, the lack of food is one of the most serious. The impossibility of planting and working the land has placed the indigenous in a difficult situation, in an attempt to force them to accept counterinsurgency social aid. The land, which had been previously used for production, remains unplowed now, or, in some cases, it is being used by the army or the PRIs. Those communities against the indigenous resistance are rewarded with aid for agricultural work, which translates into greater social differentiation and leaves the communities in resistance at a disadvantage.

To this must be added the direct intervention by the Armed Forces of the Mexican Army and security forces inside the communities (Montes Azules, Polho', Northern region): searching and interrogating residents and impeding freedom of movement. In addition, patrols are being carried out along the highways, and they are scouring the paths and fields. At the same time, there are constant calls from the communities in resistance denouncing interventions by the Federal Preventive Police (PFP), with threats of dislocation and pressure from paramilitary groups, who are broadening their areas of influence and intervention in the ca~adas of the Selva.

The proximity of the federal elections, on July 2, and the state elections, on August 20, with their unforeseeable consequences and repercussions for the indigenous communities in resistance, is provoking more fear and tension in the communities. All of these circumstances are creating a food crisis, which has deepened the poverty and hunger which already exists in the area. The government is trying in this way to break the resistance and social fabric of the communities in resistance.

Currently, in order to supply each of the five Aguascalientes - regions which encompass the 1111 communities in resistance - 20 tons of maize and 5 tons of beans are needed every week. The monthly total per Aguascalientes is 80 tons of maize and 20 of beans. This represents an expense (including transportation) of 1,592,400 pesos (USD $169,404). The transportation costs vary according to the area to which the grain is sent, and it varies from 2500 pesos to the most distant places, to 700 pesos for the nearest locations.

GRAINS FOR THE FIVE AGUASCALIENTES

Item
Quantity per Month
Total Cost in Dollars

Maize (including transportation)
80 tons X 5 Aguascalientes 400 tons
Total Monthly Cost 930,000 pesos
USD $99,000

Beans (including transportation)
20 tons X 5 Aguascalientes 100 tons
Total Monthly Cost 662,400 pesos
USD $70,500

Donations may be made to the following bank account:

Bank: Bancomer
Branch: 437
Account #: 50014227
Account Holder: Maria Gloria Benavides

We ask you to please let us know of any deposits you make, either by email or fax, making sure to note your deposit slip information, the date of the deposit and the purpose of the deposit.

Email: Enlace Civil <enlacecivil@laneta.apc.org> Fax: (967) 88465
We very much appreciate your help in solidarity.
Fraternally,
Enlace Civil, A.C.

READ MORE ABOUT IT
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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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