August 11, 2002,
To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples of the World
To Human Rights Organizations
Sisters and brothers:
We are informing you of the actions of the paramilitary group from the community of San Antonio Escobar, which is continuing its acts of injustice and provocations against the zapatista support bases of this autonomous territory. They are now receiving protection and coordination from paramilitary groups in Palestina and the support of the official authorities. Yesterday, a support base companero was unjustly detained on orders of the paramilitaries from San Antonio Escobar, and now he and his family are the victims of threats and persecution. The facts are the following:
1. Yesterday, August 10, at 4:00 PM, companero Jero'nimo Go'mez Moreno, from Chamizal, was detained in Palestina while he was performing his community service work.
2. The companero was unjustly detained by the Palestina auxiliary agent, without any prior warning and without any explanation of his detention being given. Once inside the jail, our companero asked what the reason was for his detention.
3. The response he received from the Agent and the Police Commander was that he would not be given any information until the assembly decided what they were going to do with him. They told him he had been detained for being a zapatista support base and on the request of Julio Go'mez Lo'pez, the Ejidal Commissioner of San Antonio Escobar. Go'mez Lo'pez is also the leader of the paramilitary group which operates in that village and which has been causing violence and attacks over the last few days, as we have denounced.
4. Our companero, after being unjustly detained, managed to escape. Since yesterday, however, and all day today, his family in Chamizal Poblado has been receiving threats from the paramilitary leaders of San Antonio Escobar. Following the attack on our companeros in La Culebra, they have been taking refuge in Chamizal, where they are receiving official help and support from the police stationed in Palestina.
5. Our unjustly detained companero is now being persecuted by the bad government's police and by the paramilitaries, who are trying to accuse him and to invent false charges because he is a zapatista support base in the community of Chamizal, where the paramilitaries from San Antonio Escobar have taken refuge and are receiving support.
We are denouncing these incidents as one more provocation by paramilitary groups against zapatista and Autonomous Municipality support bases. We continue waiting for the bad government to take action against the paramilitary groups, but all we see is that they are receiving impunity and backing from the bad government. Quite the opposite, now we are being unjustly persecuted, detained and threatened, because of the simple fact of fighting for our rights, for making them reality and for demanding liberty, justice and democracy for all men and women.
We are, therefore, holding the state and federal governments responsible for the incidents of injustice and violence being perpetrated by paramilitaries on our lands, and they shall be solely responsible for what might take place if the paramilitary groups continue acting against us.
Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil, A.C. *********************************** Translated by irlandesa From: Enlace Civil, A.C. email@example.com Date: Monday, August 12 2002 11:34:08 -0500