Zapatista Kidnapped, Tortured by Government-Protected Paramilitaries

Zapatista in La Realidad, Chiapas Mexico, headquarters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Photolangelle.org (1996)

Note: GJEP’s co-founders Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann have supported the uprising of Indigenous Peoples in the Southeastern state of Chiapas, Mexico since the Zapatistas first rose up on New Year’s Day in 1994, against NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.  The Zapatistas called NAFTA “a death sentence for the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico” due to its socially and ecologically disastrous provisions, including eliminating the hard-won Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution which guaranteed the right to communal lands.

A long struggle resulted in Zapatistas building autonomous communities called Caricoles (snail shells) that were self governed and rejected any support or intervention by the Mexican government, which they called el mal gobierno (the bad government).  The communities continue to be targeted by paramilitary groups acting in support of those who wish to exploit the rich resources of the Lacandon Jungle, base of the Zapatistas. The “Mayan Train” is the newest version of this scheme, threatening the rich cultural and ecological treasures of not just Chiapas but the entire region of southeastern Mexico with a massive influx of tourists and tourist infrastructure. The Zapatistas have vowed to fight it due to its negative impacts on Indigenous Peoples. For more on the “Mayan Train, see post below.

For more on the history of resistance of the Zapatistas, click here: https://globaljusticeecology.org/?s=Zapatista

[apologies for the all-caps format, this is how we received it] – GJEP


Statement from the Zapatista Good Government Board Denouncing Attacks on communities in the Lacandon Jungle

From: OWS Zapatista <owszapatista@gmail.com>

Date: November 11, 2020 at 9:30:29 AM EST

As part of the push to build the ecocidal/genocidal “Mayan Train” (Tren Maya) resorts in the Lacandona Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico, paramilitaries, supported by the Mexican government, are attacking Zapatista communities, and the paramilitary group Orcao has just kidnapped and is torturing Zapatista Félix López Hernández.

The Mayan Train is an emporium of resorts with organized crime, exploitation and destruction of Mother Earth.

Below please find the entire statement. Please spread the word! Thank you for your solidarity.

From the Caracol Patria Nueva, Zapatista Chiapas.


DENUNCIATION FROM THE ZAPATISTA GOOD GOVERNMENT BOARD “NEW DAWN IN RESISTANCE AND REBELLION FOR LIFE AND HUMANITY,”

NOVEMBER 10, 2020.

TO THE ORGANIZATIONS DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS:

TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDONA JUNGLE:

TO THE NETWORKS IN RESISTANCE AND REBELLION:

WE INFORM YOU TODAY OF THE KIDNAPPING AND TORTURE OF A COMRADE, PART OF THE BASE OF ZAPATISTA SUPPORT FROM THE SAN ISIDRO COMMUNITY, ANNEX OF MOISÉS GANDHI COMMUNITY, BY THE PARAMILITAR ORGANIZATION CALLED ORCAO, WHICH TOOK PLACE ON NOVEMBER 8, 2020.

FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, THE ORCAISTAS GROUP HAVE BEEN CAUSING DAMAGE TO OUR HOUSES. DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS SUCH AS FRAYBA, CORECO, SERAPAZ AND OTHERS HAVE WITNESSED THE DAMAGES THAT THESE PARAMILITARY GROUP MEMBERS DO.

DAY AND NIGHT, THESE ORCAISTAS MEMBERS ATTACK WITH FIREARMS SHOOTING AGAINST THE COMMUNITY OF MOISÉS GANDHI, AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT KNOWS IT AND DOES NOTHING TO CONTROL THEIR MURDERERS. ON THE CONTRARY, THEY PROTECT AND HELP THEM.

ALL THESE AGGRESSIONS ARE KNOWN AT ALL THE THREE LEVELS OF THE BAD GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE KNOWN BY THEIR EMPLOYEES LIKE JOSEFINA BRAVO AND RAMÓN MARTÍNEZ, AND THESE ERRAND BOYS OF THE BAD GOVERNMENTS CHANGE THE NARRATIVE AND SAY THAT US ZAPATISTAS ARE THE ONES WHO PROVOKE TO “POOR LITTLE PARAMILITARIES” OF THE ORCAO GROUP.

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THESE FACTS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, BUT THEY ARE MADE ACCOMPLICES BECAUSE THIS GOVERNMENT IS THE SAME AS THE PREVIOUS ONES. NOTHING CHANGES IN THE FACTS. IT’S ALL BLAH BLAH, BUT THE ATTACKS ARE THE SAME. IT’S THE SAME LIES FROM BEFORE BY THESE LYING OFFICIALS WHO ARE JUST SITTING IN THEIR OFFICES AND GETTING THEIR GOOD PAY FOR DOING NOTHING.

THE LATEST OCCURRENCE FROM THIS CRIMINAL ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE PARAMILITARIES OF ORCAO AND THE GOVERNMENT AT ALL LEVELS: LÓPEZ OBRADOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, RUTILIO ESCANDÓN STATE GOVERNMENT AND MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS FROM OCOSINGO AND ALTAMIRANO, IS WHAT THEY DID ON NOVEMBER 8, 2020, JUST A FEW METERS FROM WHERE OUR COOPERATIVE STORE IN CUXULJÁ WAS BURNED AND LOOTED BEFORE (AS IT WAS SEEN AT THE TIME BUT THE BAD GOVERNMENT HAS DONE NOTHING ABOUT).

THIS NOVEMBER 8, 2020, AROUND 1530 HOURS, 20 PARAMILITARIES FROM THE ORCAO GROUP, KIDNAPPED AND HIT OUR COMRADE FELIX LÓPEZ HERNÁNDEZ. THE ORCAÍSTAS TOOK HIM TO AN UNKNOWN PLACE AND TO DATE THEY KEEP HIM MOORED, LOCKED UP, WITHOUT WATER AND WITHOUT FOOD.

THIS WAS REPORTED THE SAME DAY AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT, INSTEAD OF RESOLVING THIS KIDNAP CASE, JUSTIFIES THE ORCAO PARAMILITARIES TELLING THE LIE THAT THE ZAPATISTAS WERE TO PROVOKE THE ORCAO MEMBERS WHILE THEY WERE WORKING.

THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. OUR COMRADE WAS COMING BACK FROM THE OFFICIAL MUNICIPAL HEAD OF OCOSINGO AND WAS GOING HOME WITH HIS FAMILY.

AMONG THE ORCAO GROUP KIDNAPERS THE FOLLOWING WERE IDENTIFIED: Andrés Santis López, Nicolás Santis López, Santiago Sánchez López and Oscar Santis López. They are people from the San Antonio community.

INSTEAD OF REPAIRING THEIR KIDNAPPING, THE ORCAO MEMBERS (“ORCAISTAS”) DEMAND TO STOP THE FLOODS FROM THE RAINS THAT DISABLED THE PIPES, AND THAT THE LIGHT THAT THEY, THE ORCAISTAS, CUT IN ORDER TO DAMAGE THE COMMUNITY OF MOISÉS OUDON GANDHI, BY WHICH THEY ALSO DAMAGED OTHER COMMUNITIES.

OUR COMRADE FELIX HAS NOT MISTREATED ANYONE; HE DOESN’T OWE ANYTHING TO ANYONE, NOR IS HE STEALING OR SHOOTING PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES. AND IF ONLY OUR COMRADE IS GOD TO GIVE THE ORDER TO STOP RAINING OR TO GIVE A LITTLE BRAIN TO THESE DUM ORCAISTAS WHO CUT OUT THE LIGHT AND HAPPENED TO HURT OTHER COMMUNITIES THAT ARE NOT EVEN ZAPATISTAS OR ORCAISTAS, THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE AND NOW THESE ORCAISTAS PRETEND TO BE THE VICTIMS TO COVER THEIR CRIME.

WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT THE ORCAISTAS OF THE SAN ANTONIO COMMUNITY RECEIVED PAYMENT FROM THE BAD GOVERNMENT WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, BUT THE 300 THOUSAND PESOS WERE USED TO PURCHASE HIGH CALIBER WEAPONS. IS THIS WHAT THE BAD GOVERNMENT OF THE “FOURTH TRANSFORMATION” (4T) IS DOING, THAT IS, REPORTING ITS BUILDING SCHOOLS WHILE IN REALITY FINANCING THE PARAMILITARY ARMAMENT? IS THIS YOUR COUNTERINSURGENT PLAN?

FINALLY, WE TELL DOM LÓPEZ [Obrador], DOM [Rutilio] ESCANDÓN AND THEIR OFFICIALS, THAT WE HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT MAY HAPPEN TO THE MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ELDERLY ZAPATISTAS OF THE COMMUNITIES OF MOISÉS GANDHI.

THEIR PAIN, THEIR BLOOD, THEIR SUFFERINGS ARE ON YOUR ACCOUNT. AND WHAT IT MIGHT HAPPEN IS ALSO ON YOUR ACCOUNT.

COMRADE FELIX MUST BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY, THE ORCAO KIDNAPPERS MUST BE DETAINED AND JUDGED, THE ORCAO GROUP MUST REPLACE WHAT THEY STOLE AND DESTROYED IN OUR COOPERATIVE STORE, THE ORCAO MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THOSE WHO PLAY WITH FIRED END UP BURNED SOONER OR LATER. AND THE BAD GOVERNMENTS SHOULD STOP PLAYING COUNTERINSURGENCY, AND REMEMBER THAT EVERYTHING ENDS, NO MATTER HOW BIGMOUTHED AND BOSSY THEY ARE. IF THEY DON’T BELIEVE SO, THEN ASK TRUMP.

FOR THE GOOD GOVERNMENT BOARD “NEW DAWN IN RESISTANCE AND REBELLION FOR LIFE AND HUMANITY”

Caracol Floreciendo la semilla rebelde, Patria Nueva. Chiapas,

México, November 10, 2020.

Original source: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2020/11/10/los-zapatistas-denuncian-el-secuestro-de-un-base-de-apoyo-por-paramilitares-de-la-orcao/

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