To National and International Civil Society
To Non-Governmental Organizations
To the National and International Press
To Human Rights Organizations
We are denouncing the illicit incidents committed in the community of Yibeljoj, municipality of Chenalho', Chiapas.
Today, May 25, at six in the morning, there appeared two Judicial Police vans, two from the PGR, a Mexican Army truck and a three-ton van carrying Chenalho' officials, who were wearing Public Security uniforms. They went directly to the Ic'alteil barrio, where there was a group of companeros who belong to the EZLN organization of the SAN PEDRO POLHO' AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY, Chiapas. In detaining the companero Antonio Santiz Gutie'rrez - accused of having stolen an AK-47, which went missing on May 10, and which belonged to Sr. Roberto Pe'rez Arias - one of the paramilitaries who is "protecting" the above mentioned community, along with his brother, Professor Antonio Pe'rez Arias, who was carrying a 38 caliber pistol. They were also accompanied by Agusti'n Pe'rez Arias, Miguel Pe'rez Arias, Benjamin Go'mez Pe'rez, Antonio Pe'rez Arias 2', Alonso Pe'rez Pe'rez and Felipe Go'mez Pe'rez, who were carrying knives.
The companeros are denouncing that this is not the first time this group has shown up in order to intimidate the town. It is also known that they are the ones who were directly responsible for the Acteal massacre, and that they have an agreement with the Municipal President of Chenalho', Antonio Pe'rez Arias and with the community agent of Yibeljoj, Mariano Ruiz Pe'rez. The detention was made violently, since the companero was tied up and beaten, on orders of Professor Antonio Pe'rez Arias.
Following the companero's detention, a group of women organized themselves in order to stop the vehicles, closing off the road with human fences and tree trunks, and they were able to rescue the companero. At this point, the paramilitaries withdrew, but not without hurling threats that they would be returning shortly in order to do away with his entire group. The companeros from the organization immediately went to the Autonomous Municipality in order to report what had happened. They were able to observe that there were still very many people in the road, shouting that they would be waiting there for them to return, in order to do away with all of them.
This is why we are publicly denouncing and making an urgent call for intervention in the matter, and for the incidents, and the people participating in the harassment, to be investigated.
Liberty, Democracy and Justice
Autonomous Council Bartolo Gutie'rrez Va'zquez
Originally published by Enlace Civil A.C.
Translated by irlandesa Date: Thursday, May 25 2000 19:01:04 -0500