The bridges are for the paramilitaries

August 13, 1999
San Manuel Autonomous Municipality

To national and international civil society:
To the national and international press:

On July 28, the Under Secretary of Government, Juan Villafuerte Monterroso and Jose Alfredo Jimenez Hernandez came to confirm with the paramilitaries who are in La Trinidad (their leader, Vicente Perez Castellano), that, yes, they are going to repave the Nuevo Real road.

The cleaning of the road will begin on August 9, by people from the PRI and paramilitaries, the patrols have been continuous from that date until the present moment.

That same day, July 28, they agreed that the Army, the paramilitaries and the Judicial Police were going to watch over that work, this at the request of Vicente Perez Castellano.

For the bridge construction, they are not paying for materials, they are not paying for the gravel, they are taking what is in the communities.

In addition t o the repaving of the road, are the projects to make branch lines and bridges without the authorization of the communities.

They want to build:

1. A concrete bridge from Jatate to the Sajulja ranch.
2. Another, a suspension bridge at the Santo Domingo ranch.
3. Another bridge in Brazil, where there is a military outpost.
4. Another in the Tazas ejido.

The people from the town do not agree with the construction project of bridges and branch lines. The group that asked for it is the MIRA [Anti-Zapatista Indigenous Revolutionary Movement], a paramilitary group.

The idea behind this project of the paramilitaries is to have greater mobility, and thus be better able to control the town of La Trinidad and other nearby communities.

The Judicial Police, who have been at La Trinidad ejido since the end of July, have brought many prostitutes; the zapatistas and the independents do not agree with this.

The prostitutes, Judicial Police and the federal Army bathe nude in the river, and they do things that the people of the towns do not agree with, in their behavior.

They throw garbage in the river, they contaminate it, they throw cans, papers. The community complained, but the federal Army Commander who is in La Trinidad pays no attention to the community's complaints, they only pay attention to the paramilitaries, like Vicente Perez Castellanos.

In the community of La Trinidad, the people can not freely hold meetings with the community, because there are always police listening. On Sundays, they no longer hear the word of God because of pressures from the police, so they say.

What does the bell ring for, who is the catechist, why are they going to do that?

The police do not let people go about inside the ejido after 8 PM, they stop everyone who passes by and ask them: Where are you going? What is your name? What were you doing? Who were you with?

Between 8 PM and 5 AM they detain them from between an hour and an hour and a half.

The paramilitaries are asking for payment for their road work. Vicente Perez and Rafael Jimenez Hernandez of Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto received 60,000 pesos to clean the road between Nuevo Real and Tacitas again.

We are asking for the withdrawal of the Police, the federal Army and the paramilitaries from the area, who are only causing problems in our communities, and also that they not build anything that the communities do not agree with. We are asking for respect for our customs and for everyone in the area.




Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil A.C.
Translated by irlandesa

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