Using the church bell to gather together and plan paramilitary actions


March 23, 2002.

To the National and International Press
To Public Opinion

Brothers and Sisters.

We are denouncing the incidents which have taken place, such as the harassment and attacks against us by paramilitaries and PRIs from the community of Morelia from March 16 through March 22.

As is already known, nationally and internationally, the community of Morelia is the site of Aguascalientes IV. There is a paramilitary gang present there, equipped and armed by the military base and by Public Security police located in Altamirano, Chiapas.

We have seen them armed with weapons, with cameras, with radio communications equipment. They are filming us at every event we have, they are taking our photographs, and they are keeping us under surveillance, communicating with their instructors.

One of the threats they have made is that they will fill the community and Aguascalientes with Public Security police, soldiers and PRIs. This has been continuous.

It has come to robbery, to attacks with rocks being thrown into some of our companeros' homes.

For a long time they have been using the church bell in order to gather together and to plan their paramilitary actions, thus violating the accords and the value that the bell has for us.

The most serious thing is their dealings in the planting and use of marijuana.

The counterinsurgency plan and the governments' policy destroyed our community. The division, the damage, are already done.

These manipulated, bought people, have already lost the respect of the community, and they have never respected our autonomous authorities.

They have never respected our ecological reserve plan, they have amassed recovered lands at their whim, without permission from the Autonomous Municipality, from our land and territory committee, without valuing or respecting our struggle, the resistance and blood, the lives that it cost, so that all of this could happen.

We have been putting up with harassment and attacks for several years. They are eating and living off the recovered land. But what made us make the decision to protect the land is that the PRI paramilitaries, out of an ambition to make easy money, are getting involved in the cultivation of marijuana, the cutting down of wood, which has already brought them much money, in addition to the charity the government gives them and to their counterinsurgency work.

The 17 de Noviembre Autonomous Municipality has taken the decision to protect the land against woodcutting, against the cultivation of marijuana and against those persons who are allowing themselves to become paramilitaries. This direction leads to prostitution, to drink, to the use of marijuana, to violence, to loss of respect and to ruin.

The economic policies of the governments are behind all of this, the soldiers as well as the Public Security police.

In response to the Autonomous Municipality's decision, more attacks came, more threats. They threatened us with confrontations, even a big Acteal. These threats against us by the paramilitaries came after they had talked with their military chiefs and with officials from the President's Office in Altamirano.

On March 17, they mixed sand into the salt for our cows, they destroyed the canoes (where the salt for the cows is kept). They destroyed the barbed wire fencing, and our animals ran loose until one cow suffered a fracture.

The idea of throwing rocks was theirs, and since they didn't have good judgment and they couldn't aim well, they injured themselves. They did not have any nerve, they acted drunk and drugged.

After they went to complain to their chiefs and their municipal president, they returned to the community with Public Security police, but their way was blocked by our compa~eras from the Autonomous Municipality. The PRI paramilitaries responded with rocks, and they injured one of the companeras.

The threats are continuing, and they are drunk and armed, they have beaten up a compa~ero and threatened him with a firearm.

In response to this situation, we are making it clear:

We want the bell to toll once more only to call the people for religious purposes. We do not want it for the use of the paramilitaries.

We shall respond intelligently to the threats of confrontations and of another Acteal which the PRI paramilitaries, the military chiefs and the governments are making against us.

We shall defend our land from the destruction of woodcutting, from the cultivation of marijuana, and from the people who want to become paramilitaries.

Let the paramilitaries go and live in the military barracks.

We are holding responsible for anything that might happen: the current economic policies being implemented by the governments, and the counterinsurgency plan which the military and the Public Security police are continuing to implement.

Fraternally,

Authorities of the Morelia Ejido


Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil, A.C. ********************************** Translated by irlandesa   From: Enlace Civil, A.C.enlacecivil@laneta.apc.org Date: Thursday, March 28, 2002


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