July 28, 1999.
The women and children of the 3 families who are still remaining in El Portal ejido have received an ultimatum by PRI's from the community to abandon their homes prior to July 30, or they will set fire to their houses. Twelve entire families - members of FOCIS, zapatista support bases - have already abandoned El Portal following repeated threats from members of the PRI, who are being completely supported by the Municipal President of Frontera Comalapa and by the state government. The zapatistas moved on July 15.
The PGJE (State Attorney General's Office] brought 4 zapatista support bases before the authorities on July 15, when a hundred indigenous tried to reinstall water service that the PRI's had turned off 4 months previously to zapatista families. The PRI's used firearms and sticks to attack the group who were defending their rights. The police, however, only detained zapatista sympathizers.
Genaro Gutierrez Aguilar, Ramiro de Leon, Luis and Elfego Zunun Martinez were taken to Social Readaptation Center No. 5, accused of breaching the peace and attacks against the safety of state resources, assault and criminal association. In order to do this, they made up false evidence and a false gunpowder test.
The attack against zapatista sympathizers by the PRI's on July 15 was witnessed by more than 20 police officers and by several state government officials. They did not, however, arrest the attackers, but rather the zapatista sympathizers.
Saloman Hernandez Reyes was wounded in the attack, and he has had to have a leg amputated.
We demand the release of the prisoners and that the families of El Portal be able to return to their communities without being attacked or threatened.
[ Tierra y Libertad Autonomous Municipality]
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