April 17, 2000. Chiapas.
To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples of the World
To Human Rights Organizations
Sisters and Brothers:
We are continuing to raise our voices in order to continue denouncing the provocation by the government with the dislocation from the so called Lacandona region and Montes Azules reserve, and the threats they have created with the paramilitary groups. Now it is in order to inform you of a specific case of dislocation where there is great risk that something regrettable might occur.
The federal government, along with the state government, has armed the paramilitary groups, to whom they are giving weapons, training and protection, in order to carry forward one of their strategies of low intensity warfare, creating problems and division inside the communities, in order to persecute, harass and displace our zapatista support bases. They are trying to end our just struggle and the dignity of our people, reducing the conflict so that it is seen to be strictly internal problems, and not as a conflict of national proportions. However, these paramilitary groups which the government is creating occasionally do not respect the government's strategy, and they no longer respect anything, creating profound conflicts which could become like Acteal. This does not absolve the bad government from responsibility, because it created them and protected them. It gave them the ideas and gave them weapons, some officials are even continuing to protect them in order to secure personal benefits. This is now the case with the PRIs from Busilja', who are taking advantage of the violence and tension that the bad government is causing with their policies of dislocation.
In June of 1997 this PRI group stole a shop from itself in the community, so that they could blame support bases there, in order to take away their lands from them, persecute them and harass them, so the government could strike against them and wage their low intensity war. The violence began over the excuse of this shop, and did not stop until the companero Simo'n Sa'nchez Lo'pez, only 13 years old, was assassinated on June 13, and 64 zapatista families were displaced from the community, their belongings stolen and burned, dispossessing them of their lands and their ejidal rights. Since then, those families, who were displaced to the neighboring village of 30 de Marzo, continue to be harassed. They are able to support themselves there thanks to our laws concerning recovered lands and aid to the displaced.
Since this year began, the situation of these companeros has become even more complicated with the bad government's offensive, in order to provoke a confrontation and to undermine the struggle over the dislocation of the communities from the reserve. Violence which has found no response on our side, because we continue to be committed to society, and we are responding with our best weapons, which are the word, truth, history and right.
The PRIs of Busilja', accompanied by the bad government's agrarian officials, in violation of their own statutes which betrayed Zapata, introduced PROCEDE into the ejido, without the consent of the majority of the ejiditarios, since the displaced are ejiditarios. With PROCEDE, they have taken our companeros' ejidal rights away, and they began the looting of precious woods from their lands, which they have reserved as mountain. They began cutting down and selling the caoba trees in January, with the help of the agrarian prosecutor's office.
Such is the lie of the bad government, which says, on the one hand, that they are going to dislocate the communities who do not have papers, because they are damaging the environment and the reserve with their work, which is barely enough for them to survive on. And, on the other hand, they help in the looting of the natural wealth of the region, causing much greater devastation and stripping the people of their wealth. We believe that this is one more reason behind the dislocation of the communities, in order to be able to loot the wood, the oil and the natural wealth without any more obstacles, for the benefit of just a few, taking advantage of the ignorance of the PRIs. But we are indeed defending our land and its riches. We want them to be exploited in a rational manner, and for the benefit of everyone, so that the families can achieve a dignified life.
This paramilitary group has even solicited, on several occasions, the intervention of the federal army and security police in order to dislocate the displaced and companeros and companeras from the 30 de Marzo community. During their interventions, the army and police have been aware that they have already lost all control, and they no longer even want to help those whom they helped and trained in the beginning. Because of that, the paramilitaries have attacked the army and public security in the road, wanting to blame the zapatistas, but those security forces have been aware that they were PRIs from Busilja', and so, up until now, they have done nothing. Today, alongside the unjust project of dislocation, these paramilitaries are gaining new strength, and they are coordinating the dislocation, along with Palestina, and they are intensifying their threats against those families and the 30 de Marzo village.
We are, therefore, informing you of the lies and violence the bad government is causing with the paramilitaries and dislocations. We are informing you of this specific case, because it is one of the issues which is having the biggest impact on the tension, and the risk that the violence may grow out of control, because of the irrationality of this paramilitary group. They could even attack the army and police, blaming the zapatistas. And we are stating clearly that the government is responsible for this, because it was they who promoted, armed and organized them. They have allowed them to go unpunished, and, even though they are out of control today, it is the government itself which is causing the tension, promoting the policies of dislocation, in search of confrontation, and increasing the low intensity war to which they have condemned us because of our being honorable and of fighting for:
Liberty, Justice and Democracy
Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil A.C. <firstname.lastname@example.org> _________________________ Translated by irlandesa