September 17, 1999 Chiapas, Mexico.
To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples of the World
To Human Rights Organizations
Sisters and brothers:
Once again we are raising our voices to you in order to denounce the violence, militarization and persecution waged against us by the bad government, because they are not satisfied with the 5000 soldiers in their 12 permanent camps that they are maintaining on our lands, along with hundreds of public security and judicial troops in two detachments, as we have denounced. Not satisfied with that, and with the violence, paramilitarization and harassment in which they have kept us since February 9, 1995, between the 15th and 16th of this month, they sent more than two hundred federal army troops, who took the community of San Jacinto Lacanjá by assault with dozens of artillery tanks. Today the federal soldiers are still in this community, and they are continuing to add military reinforcements.
We do not know what it is they want here, aside from increasing the military encirclement, continuing the low intensity war and preparing the ground for the open war. We fear that they will set up a new military camp in this community, that they will then not leave from here, and that they will destroy and affect everything they themselves do, since they are already doing their awful things in this community, such as going by and patrolling all day long with their weapons, insulting us to our faces, acting as if they are going to shoot us with their machine guns. In our roads, our rivers and our fields, they search us, insult us and ask questions, they go down to the river in order to insult and frighten our women who are bathing and washing their clothes, and also the federales are going about dirtying our springs in order to bathe along with the prostitutes, leaving their trash, going into and dirtying the water we take. We also fear that they are going to provoke a dislocation from the community, and a confrontation will then be created.
Other violence and threats could be caused by the MIRA paramilitaries, headed by councilpersons Pedro Chulín Jiménez and Omero Hernández González, who, along with Juan Chambor'yuc, have organized and promoted a series of accusations and steps with the PRIs from Nueva Palestina, Busiljá and the Lacandona community in order to dislocate the ejidos of Ojo de Agua Tzotzil, San Jacinto Lacanjá Tzeltal, Nuevo Tumbalá, Velasco Suárez II, Nueva Jerusalén, Mariscal and Flor de Cacao, under the pretext of the montes azules biosphere reserve, as we have previously denounced.
These ejidos have been here for a long time, working their lands, some even from before the opening was declared, many were violently forced to relocate in '82 and '83 and forced to sign accords granting them lands, but the government never carried them out, and they never will be carried out because of the reforms made to [Article] 27 of the Constitution and the neoliberal policies, which have no concern whatsoever for the campesinos and indigenous. Today, on these lands they inhabit, they have their coffee plantations, pastures and fields, there they have their lives' efforts and heritages, which they have only been able to build through the sweat of their work, since we have received nothing from the government, and, as it is known today, we do not want their crumbs.
For this, we demand the immediate withdrawal of the federal army from San Jacinto Lacanjá, from all our indigenous communities, the departure of the 5000 temporary federal army troops on our lands, as well as the dismantling of the illegal barracks in the communities of the Municipality, of the state, of all the campesino and indigenous communities throughout the country, we do not want them in our indigenous communities, we do not want them on our autonomous lands, because they only bring death, destruction, illness, terror, rape, prostitutes and garbage, they do not respect our rights, our people, our peoples, they make threats and they are a shame for our culture. Because they are only carrying out the government's wishes, of the powerful, and that is against the people. We ask: who deserves this?
We are saying it well and clearly, we are no longer going to permit more takeovers of communities by the army or security police so that they can cause more displacements, destruction and violence in our communities. We are going to mobilize peacefully in order to remove the army from here, and, if the government responds with more repression and violence, it will be they, once again, who will be spilling indigenous blood.
That is all.
Ricardo Flores Magón Autonomous Council
Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil A.C.
}Translated by irlandesa