Ernesto Che Guevara Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion denounces military helicopter overflights

November 11, 2000.

To the National Press
To the International Press
To Public Opinion
To Human Rights Organizations

The Ernesto Che Guevara Autonomous Municipality in Rebellion denounces the incidents which took place:

On November 9, at 10 in the morning, a military helicopter flew low over the community of Moise's Gandhi and surrounding communities. There were soldiers inside the helicopter aiming their weapons, and a civilian was with them, pointing places out. One of the soldiers was taking photographs of all the places in our community.

Our communities feel very offended by these incidents. After this overflight, which lasted more than 30 minutes, well-armed, uniformed soldiers appeared at the entrance to the community. They had come from the mountain, and they surrounded a woman who had come from another community. They took photographs. They did the same thing with other gentlemen who were working in their banana fields. They surrounded them, took their photographs. They patrolled the mountain by helicopter.

Our people are feeling badly now, because their workers are close to the military facility at Cuxulja', they are not working in peace.

A few days before that, they came to the entrance to the community. They asked what they wanted, and the soldiers did not answer them. They stayed about 30 minutes and they left.

Now they come every day to run close to the community, and close to another neighboring community by way of a highway detour. They come to run without respecting our communal lands, they are violating our Human Rights and our Rights as a Community. They are violating our security.

We are dedicated to our work and to our life, and we are concerned that they come inside our land to commit assaults, as happened on November 4 close to Cuxulja', at one side of the military barracks. This began happening when these soldiers arrived. They are people with no respect. We ask ourselves: How is it possible for an attack to take place next to a military barracks, where women are being raped and passengers are being robbed of their money? (La Jornada report, November 9). Only heartless people could be doing this.

We shall not tire of denouncing the attitude which the soldiers are displaying and what is happening to us.

We are also denouncing that they take photographs of the people who visit our municipality and they do not show them respect, especially to the women.

We are making this denuncia so that you will know what we are continuing to suffer, only because we are struggling, working and organizing ourselves for a better life for everyone.

Ernesto Che Guevara Autonomous
Rebel Municipal Council Chiapas.

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

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