On lies, lucre and land rights


San Manuel Autonomous Municipality,
Chiapas, Mexico,
May 21, 2002.

To the National and International Press
To the People of Mexico
To the Peoples of the World

Brothers:

There is no limit to the provocations, just as there are no limits to the lies which divide us so that brother will be set against brother.

Today, those who have been blinded by the charity they are receiving from the bad government want to justify the intervention of the Public Security police and the federal Army, asking for aid which does nothing but cause unease and fear in our communities.

On May 17, 2002, Senor Manuel Herna'ndez Morales, auxiliary municipal agent of the San Jacinto Rancheri'a, asked Mauricio Guadarrama Gallardo, the Secretary of Public Security for the State of Chiapas, for his authorization for members of that agency to escort the residents of that rancheri'a in transporting their products which they sell in Ocosingo. The pretext for this was that the residents of the Miguel Hidalgo new town had set up a checkpoint and were charging 6000 pesos in order to allow them to transport their products. This request was delivered and received on the same day by the Department of Public Security, in the Secretary's office at 10:50 AM. It was also received by the constitutional municipal council in Ocosingo and by the state Congress, District VII, at 9:25 AM in Tuxtla Gutie'rrez, and by the state government's citizen's affairs board at 12:50 PM.

This request, which was signed by Manuel Herna'ndez Morales, contradicts itself regarding the amount that Miguel Hidalgo residents were purportedly charging, since, in another request which had been directed to the General of the 39th Infantry Battalion and received by the 39th Military Region, at the reception desk #0840 on May 14, the applicant had said that they were charging 1000 pesos, and they were therefore requesting that the General provide the use of a 3-ton truck for transporting their products.

On that same day, the 17th, Senor Manuel Herna'ndez requested a meeting in the Public Security office, with Moise's Grajales in attendance, for the same purpose, that of taking out their products.

The San Manuel Autonomous Municipality denies this gentleman's statements, and it holds that Senor Herna'ndez Morales is acting in this manner out of purely personal interests, since, given that he has no products to sell, he wants charity from the bad government, a position which this Autonomous Municipality categorically rejects, given that we are in resistance until the three signals for returning to the peace talks are carried out.

On May 15, Senor Morales made a request for 30,000 pesos to the Municipal President of Ocosingo, Omar Antonio Burguete Domi'nguez, in order to go from that city to the city of Tuxtla Gutie'rrez. On May 9, he requested a 3-ton truck from Major Pacheco of the 31st Infantry Battalion in Tonina'.

We are backing up our word - which speaks with truth and not with the weapon of the lie - with all this evidence, since Army and police officials should not be used in order to protect the interests of individuals who, in addition, utilize lies in order to bring fear to our communities and to suppress the people who feed them.

The Dirty War which is being waged against our communities has many fronts, and it seeks to put us in confrontation with other organizations. That is why we are also denouncing the death threats and the destruction of our fencing in the community of Benito Jua'rez by members of the ORCAO organization who belong to the Chavarico rancheri'a. The people from this rancheri'a have cut down the fencing of the fields on orders of their leader, Nicola's Go'mez Herna'ndez. On May 18, they threatened a companero with a machete on the camino real between the Benito Jua'rez new town and the community of Arena. Another companero was beaten by these people from the Chavarico rancheri'a, headed by one Felipe, who kicked the companero, who was not able to defend himself because he is ill, and he was left very badly injured. The people from Chavarico invaded the milpas of Benito Jua'rez, damaging their bean fields, their cane, and letting cattle into the pastures. This people allege that! they can do these bad things because they have had the land legalized since 1996, when Ruiz Ferro was governor. He, along with Deputy La'zaro Va'zquez Herna'ndez and other officials, came in 5 helicopters, four of them carrying soldiers, and one with the officials. On that occasion, and starting two days prior, 200 soldiers surrounded the place, which was being patrolled by helicopter overflights for the eight days before their arrival. Once they had landed, the governor stayed for only three hours, deceiving the people, handing over agrarian rights certificates. This land had been sold by Abel Alcazar Sa'nchez, Jose' Marti'nez and Caralampio Torres, who are friends of ex-Governor Ruiz Ferro. The state government bought them, and gave them to the people of Chavarico, without paying any attention to the fact that these lands had been recovered since 1994 by our struggle, and they belong to the Benito Jua'rez new town of the San Manuel Autonomous Municipality. The people from Chavarico rancheri'a have threatened to detain 5 or 6 zapatistas holding them responsible for all problems which might arise.

This is our word, which is not supported by lies, our Resistance continues strong, without the charity of the Vicente Fox Government.

Lastly, we are also denouncing a meeting which was held yesterday in the city of Ocosingo, which was attended by the municipal president, the state government delegate and other persons, in order to provoke the Autonomous Municipalities. The first councilperson, Flavio, threatened to bring the police and the army into the communities in order to deliver charity. He also said that he did not care about what the Governor of the State, Pablo Salazar, had said about not causing problems, since he is zapatista and he does not want the army and the police to bother the Autonomous Municipalities. These persons, the municipal president, the first councilperson, along with PRI Deputy Pedro Chuli'n, formed two organizations: SISEM and CRIPTIC, which are devoted to putting out false information. They say they are armed, and they are causing problems in several communities, since they have a presence in different places in the municipality of Ocosingo. These persons also want to cause problems, putting in a road in the Quexil-Pamala' stretch, with a budget of 325,000 pesos. They are not, however, doing the work, since there is not even any machinery is being used. It is just an excuse for the police and the army to come in, in addition to provoking division among the communities. The lies are mired in the mud.

Ex-PRIs Domingo Cruz Rodas, Manuel Cruz Jime'nez and Domingo Cruz Jime'nez, are continuing to threaten the authorities of the Autonomous Municipality and one of the truckers who works in the Santa Luci'a Valley. They are causing many problems, and we hold them responsible for any incidents of attempts on our lives.

The Resistance continues, we appreciate all the demonstrations of support for our just and dignified struggle.

We demand the fulfillment of the San Andre's Accords.

Democracy and Justice.

San Manuel Autonomous Municipality,
Chiapas, Mexico.


Originally published in Spanish by Enlace Civil, A.C. _________________________ From: Enlace Civil, A.C. enlacecivil@laneta.apc.org Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 20:26:35 -0500


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