Displaced in Yiveljoj and Los Chorros Fear Attack

Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translated by irlandesa

Elio Henri'quez, correspondent.

October 28.

Yiveljoj, Chiapas: The International Red Cross Committee (CICR) resumed its humanitarian aid to 468 displaced indigenous who relocated on the 17th of this month from the Xoyep camp to this community There have been persistent rumors here of an alleged attack by PRI paramilitaries.

Last week the civil organization Las Abejas, of Chenalho, announced that the CICR had not been able to deliver humanitarian aid to the displaced because Roberto Albores Guillen's government, following the relocation, had been trying to "condition" [the aid delivery] on their returning to the dialogue table, which had been suspended in June.

Today, however, Agustin Vazquez, one of the leaders of Las Abejas, stated that two days ago the international body had resumed the delivery of food which had been suspended. The suspension had threatened to leave 468 internal refugees without food who had decided to relocate because of the lack of firewood, water and space in their previous camp.

He said that he did not know whether or not the government had given permission to the CICR to deliver the aid, "But the fact is that they have now brought us maize, rice, beans, sugar and other supplies which they had already been giving us every 15 days."

What concerns the displaced the most now, he added, is that "we are receiving information that the paramilitaries want to come back and attack Las Abejas again, mainly in the communities of Yiveljoj and Los Chorros, where they are saying they want to do away with the people who relocated."

He added that this situation has created much fear among the displaced. They are having to guard the entrance to the camp day and night in order to avoid being taken by surprise, despite the fact that some 15 Public Security police officers are posted 24 hours a day along the path which leads to the camp, purportedly in order to prevent attacks.

The 96 families who set up their camp in this community eleven days ago did so on seven hectares which they acquired for 128,000 pesos. Even still, they are living under deplorable conditions, since their "homes" amount to a few sticks with plastic for roofs. They say they are "less worse" here than in Xoyep, since here they at least have a reliable source of firewood and a small river which supplies them with water.

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Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
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