As members of the EMILIANO ZAPATA COMMUNITY, we ask that all the men and women of the public press support us in making known to the entire world the evil deeds of the governor of the State of Chiapas and of the Federal Army and the public security police.
On May 3 we abandoned our community, our homes, and our work because of the repression the army had been directing at us day and night on behalf of the Priistas. We know that they are going to make their barracks in our town and that if we let them they are going to burn our houses. Today we are suffering from hunger, hopelessness, and sickness among the young children of our community, and food shortages. We do not have money because we cannot work the land we have been forced to abandon. Priista landowners adjoining our community are taking over everything we have. They already have taken the animals from our pastures and are destroying our cornfields, houses, and everything we own. They stole the our chickens and the things we left behind in our houses.
As women we ask ourselves why the rich want to be even richer than they are, since the government already gives them so much support and for us, the poor, there is nothing.
We ask that the government call back its soldiers and complete its military work where it is needed, and that it not send forces into villages to terrorize children and elderly, because we see that they are armed they go from house to house asking for food that we do not have. They have better wages and eat better then us. They only go ask for food to harass us. We know that the army is our defense, but now we see that they are violators of human rights and do not respect human rights.
Roberto Albores says that he will work for peace in Chiapas, but he continues traveling the road to war because he always is leaving us, the poor, to one side. Thus the government believes we are going to construct a Mexico of equality. For the government it shouldn't be difficult to comply with the San Andres accords because it has a lot of money that it has stolen from our products through our suffering. All of us, men and women, are struggling, and we trust that Enlace Civil and the press will make known to all the world our suffering as poor people.
We ask that you take account of the damages that have occurred in our village since the autonomous municipality was dismantled on May 1, 1998. Our husbands, 58 innocent peasants, were taken to the Cerro Hueco jail. They were going to work when government forces grabbed them, one after the other. They were held in Cerro Hueco. After three days, some were released, the others remaining prisoner.
On March 4, the governor came to install a commissioner by the name of Elias Mendez in office. He proposed many things, such as housing, water, light, roads, land, public works, work for young people, and he came to seek peace. Nonetheless, the commissioner is Roberto Lopez. We believe that it is not fair that commissioners are elected and removed at the whim of the PRI. These people point their finger at those they are going to take away, and they set free the people belonging to their own party. They also jailed Guatemalans without charge and have done unjust things to us, surrounding us with army troops and public security police.
As of today, the public security police moves everywhere by night, shooting high-caliber weapons and shouting threats within the community and on the road. The government calls it peace when we are intimidated by their weapons. If this is the "peace" of the government of Roberto Albores Guillen, we ask that the entire world condemn it. If he doesn't believe that this is "peace," we ask that he free the prisoners, stop ordering the arrest of our /companeros/, cancel outstanding arrest warrants, and remove the public security police from our village.
We ask that the press publish this message throughout the world, and that it comes to see what we are going through in Amparo Aguatinta, Chiapas. The women of Amparo Aguatinta ask the Enlace Civil caravan that human rights [observers] help us resolve the problem of our /companeros/ who are in the Cerro Hueco prison. And we know that arrest warrants are being issued for our /companeros/ who are still here. We ask that the public security police be withdrawn from our community, because in the place they are guarding they threaten us with truncheons, get drunk, come here by night. They emptied out one store on May 1 when they dismantled the autonomous municipality, and they took our husbands to jail.
We do not agree with this, because we know that we are free. We had peace here, but the government, instead of seeking peace, came to endanger our husbands, our children, and ourselves. It is for this reason that we want the Public Security police to leave now, and the government to stop its intimidation.
SINCERELY: THE WOMEN
ENLACE CIVIL A.C. Calle Ignacio Allende 4 San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas, Mexico tel and fax: 52-967-82104 TRASNLATION FROM THE SPANISH BY MICHAEL WERNER FOR NUEVO AMANECER PRESS. THIS IS A COMMUNIQUE FROM ENLACE CIVIL, SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS. <email@example.com>