We deny all the accusations of May 7 ambush

Autonomous Municipality of San Pedro Polho',
May 8, 2000.

To Companeros and Companeras.
To the National and International Press.
To Human Rights Organizations.
To National and International Civil Society.
To Non-Governmental Organizations.

Those of us who preside over the Autonomous Municipal Council and those who make up the town.

We deny all the accusations concerning the illegal incidents which occurred on May 7, 2000 at 6:00 AM on the Pantelho' -Tsanebolom stretch of highway, in which a group of persons were ambushed, of whom 3 died and 2 were left wounded, all of them from Tsanebolom. One of the two wounded (Mariano Go'mez Pe'rez), who was hospitalized in San Cristo'bal de Las Casas, took it upon himself to accuse a man who resides in the Autonomous Municipality, therefore, a zapatista member. But it should be noted that the accused, despite his having been displaced and attacked since 1997 by paramilitaries and by Mariano Go'mez Pe'rez, has not acted in any way against those who displaced him from his home.

We can also state that it is a visceral calumny, since the zapatista member whom they are now accusing was inside the Autonomous Municipality, carrying out his regular religious activities (the prayers of the old ones) of each Sunday, when the incidents took place, and he was quite clearly seen here by a large number of the community's residents, making it impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime, given that the location is approximately 12 kilometers from Polho'.

It is also necessary to point out that today, at nine in the morning, the Municipal President of Chenalho', accompanied by the trustee and the PRI committee, appeared in the Autonomous Municipality, and they spoke directly with the Municipal Judge of San Pedro Polho' (Autonomous Municipality), and it was made perfectly clear during that conversation that the zapatista member they were accusing was not guilty. It should be realized that the Municipal President of Chenalho' is responsible, and he realized that the accusation made against the zapatista member was false.

For these reasons we are publicly making known our innocence, and we are demanding justice, that is, they cannot claim something against us which we did not do, and with which we have nothing to do, because we have no thought of killing anyone. This assault should not be one tool more for the government to attack us with. If justice is to be served, let them seek the truly guilty.

We similarly can deny the idea that a zapatista militant was responsible for what occurred this morning in the municipality of Chalchihuita'n. It is obviously a vile lie, since it is well known that there have been confrontations there among PRIs over land. We ask for the foundations of your accusations, since we have absolutely no problems with the people of Chalchihuita'n.

Sincerely The Municipal Council - Bartolo Gutie'rrez Va'zquez

Autonomous Municipality of San Pedro Polho', Chiapas. May 8, 2000. 9:30 AM

Latest Communique'.

We are denouncing to all the media, to national and international civil society.

At this moment the Autonomous Municipality of San Pedro Polho' finds itself on maximum alert, since it is surrounded by members of Public Security, the PGR and the Federal Army, who are at the service of Majomut and in the community of Yabteclum, a distance of less than one kilometer and 3 kilometers away, respectively.

They have also increased by air, with helicopter flights up to five times above our community, causing fear in our children and in us ourselves.

They are blaming members of our Municipality for the events which occurred on May 7 and 8 so that they can come in and dismantle this community.

We are holding the Federal government, Senor Ernesto Zedillo and the governor of the State, Roberto Albores Guille'n, responsible for any act of violence against our Municipality, or for any act of violence against our zapatista support base companeros. That is all, companeros and companeras.

Democracy, Liberty and Justice

Autonomous Municipal Council

Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil A.C. <enlacecivil@laneta.apc.org> __________________________ Translated by irlandesa

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