International days for Justice for San Sebastian Bachajón are announced
The inhabitants ask for punishment for paramilitaries and a halt to the dispossession of their territory for purposes of tourism
Saturday April 19, 2014
The ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, in the municipality of Chilón in the northern zone of Chiapas, announced that international days for justice would be taking place for the struggle of their ejido, adherent to theSixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, which resists attempts by the government to dispossess them of part of their territory for tourism and road construction, without the consent of the inhabitants.
This April 24th marks the first anniversary of the cowardly political assassination of their leader Juan Vázquez Guzmán. The Tzeltal ejidatarios say that, “so that his memory may remain alive and continue to give us the strength to resist the repression and the policies of death of the bad government”, on that day the “worldwide days for justice for San Sebastian Bachajón and our fallen compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano” will begin; the latter was killed with more than 20 bullets on March 21 in the outskirts of Chilón. Both crimes remain unpunished and there is no indication that the authorities have really investigated to find those responsible. It is simply a case of two executions carried out by professionals.
The international days are convened by the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, from New York, and solidarity groups in the United Kingdom and India. On the 26th a political act will be held at the headquarters of the independent organization of ejidatarios in Cumbre Nah Choj. The days will conclude on May 8th.
“Still there is no justice. There has been no effective investigation into the murder of Vázquez Guzmán, and his killers and those who ordered his execution remain safe in impunity. Meanwhile the efforts continue to dispossess Juan’s people, the ejidatarios adherents to the Sixth,” says the convocation.
“The three levels of government, with their army, their police, their allies in transnational corporations, their locally-funded paramilitary groups and their lackeys from the political parties, do not cease their attacks and their plundering, using deceptions and lies, threats, violence, imprisonment, torture and even murder to achieve their ambition to seize the ancestral common lands of the ejido in order to construct a luxury tourist complex beside the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul.”
With respect to the death of Gómez Silvano, who “worked in the construction of autonomy in the recuperated land of the community of Virgen de Dolores,” it also remains unpunished. The organisations convoking the two weeks of worldwide action state: “The ejidatarios will not give up their common lands, which they inherited from their grandparents, so they can be used for the building of hotels and golf courses, roads and helipads. They will not allow the mother earth and her richness of nature, jungle and water, to be destroyed by the greed and rapacity of those who would be lords of all.”
Aujourd’hui 17 avril 2014, en fin de la journée, dans le cadre de la Semaine Internationale de Solidarité avec les prisonnier-e-s politiques, depuis Oaxaca nous informons de ce qui suit :
Aujourd’hui à 17h36, soit à quelques heures de la fin de la conférence de presse dans les cadre de la Semaine Internationale de Solidarité avec les prisonnier-e-s politiques, les proches d’Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez et les membres du collectif La Voz de los Zapotecos Xiches en Prisión, ont reçu un appel depuis l’intérieur de la prison centrale d’Ixcotel (Oaxaca), où le responsable de la cabine téléphonique nous a informé que notre compagnon Alvaro y était entré à 16h30. Il s’agit d’un nouveau transfert de la prison CEFERESO No.13 de Mengolí de Morelos vers la prison centrale de Santa María Ixcotel, Oaxaca, centre. Quelques minutes après nous avons reçu un appel d’un proche d’un autre prisonnier de Loxicha qui nous a dit qu’il avait reçu le même appel.
Suite à cette nouvelle, nous avons décidé d’aller en personne à la prison d’Ixcotel pour confirmer si il était vrai que nos compagnons se trouvaient là et dans quelles conditions. L’actuel directeur de la prison d’Ixcotel a reçu la compagnonne Erika Sebastian Luis, fille d’Alvaro et un proche d’un autre compagnon prisonnier Loxicha venu aussi à la prison. Le directeur leur a confirmé l’information : Six des sept prisonniers Loxicha se trouvent depuis aujourd’hui 16h20 dans la prison de Ixcotel.
Justino Hernández José, Eleuterio Hernández García, Agustín Luna Valencia, Abraham García Ramírez, Fortino Henriquez Hernández et Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez, ont été transférés à la prison d’Ixcotel ; nous ne savons pas pour l’instant où se trouve le compagnon Zacarías Pascual García López.
La compagnonne Erika a seulement pu avoir accès au bureau de la direction de la prison, et n’a pas pu vérifier de visu la condition de nos compagnons. Le directeur de la prison a assuré qu’ils sont en bonne santé, qu’ils n’ont pas subi de mauvais traitements durant le transfert, qu’actuellement ils sont à la visite médicale et que demain le 18 avril à 8h30 du matin, nous pourrons entrer dans la prison pour les visiter.
A la sortie d’Erika, accompagnée de compagnons et compagnonnes solidaires et des médias libres, nous avons conclu l’activité en lisant à nouveau le communiqué rendu public aujourd’hui, cette fois-ci en face de la prison, accompagné de slogans pour qu’ils arrivent jusqu’aux oreilles de nos compagnons prisonniers.
Que veulent les prisonniers politiques ? LA LIBERTÉ !
Les prisonniers Loxicha ne sont pas seuls !
Liberté pour Alvaro Maintenant !
Compagnons, compagnonnes, la sortie d’Alvaro et de ses compagnons du Centre d’Extermination n°13 est le résultat de l’effort collectif et de la solidarité que l’ont sent depuis différentes latitudes.
Un coup porté contre l’un-e d’entre nous est un coup porté contre tou-te-s !
La Voz de los Zapotecos Xiches en Prisión
Traduit par les trois passants
Note: Le 7 juin 2013, Álvaro ainsi qu’Abraham García Ramírez, Agustín Luna Valencia, Eleuterio Hernández García, Fortino Enríquez Hernández, Justino Hernández José, tous prisonniers de Loxicha, Oaxaca, sont transférés arbitrairement et sous torture physique et psychologique de la prison d’Ixcotel à la prison n°13 de « Mengoli de Morelos, Miahuatlán », dans l’État d’Oaxaca.
Le 20 juin 2013, les prisonniers Loxicha sont transférés de la prison n°13 de « Mengolí », vers la prison n°6 « Huimanguillo », État du Tabasco. Puis ils sont de nouveau transférés de celle-ci vers la prison de haute sécurité n°13 de « Mengolí de Morelos, Miahuatlán »
Le 17 avril 2014, Justino Hernández José, Eleuterio Hernández García, Agustín Luna Valencia, Abraham García Ramírez, Fortino Henriquez Hernández et Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez, ont été transférés à la prison d’Ixcotel. source
Voir aussi l’article : Malgré 18 ans de prison, Alvaro Sebastián Ramírez est toujours debout !
San Sebastián Bachajón invites you to join, according to your times and geographies, the worldwide days to demand for justice for our people
On April 24th, the worldwide days for justice will be launched for San Sebastian Bachajón and our fallen compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano
FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENT TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 17th APRIL 2014
To the compañer@s adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle
To the mass and alternative media
To the Good Government Juntas
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Indigenous National Congress
To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression
To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York
To national and international collectives and committees of solidarity
To national and international human rights defenders
To the people of Mexico and the world
Compañeros and compañeras in struggle, next Thursday April 24th marks a year since the cowardly political assassination of our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán; we will start this day praying with his family for the eternal rest of our compañero who is already in the arms of our mother earth, so that his memory may remain alive and continue to give us the strength to resist the repression and the policies of death of the bad government.
On this day, April 24th, the worldwide days for justice will be launched for San Sebastian Bachajón and our fallen compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, convoked by the Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York; we will join these days with a political act which we will make in honor of our compañeros Juan Vázquez and Juan Carlos Gómez on Saturday April 26th from 10am, hour of God, in the headquarters of the organization in Cumbre Nah Choj.
We invite you to join us in this political act on April 26th and to join, according to your times and geographies, the worldwide days to demand justice for our people.
From the north of Chiapas receive a combative embrace.
Never again a Mexico without us
Land and Freedom!
Hasta la victoria siempre!
Freedom for political prisoners!
Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!
Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!
No dispossession of indigenous territories!
Alejandro Díaz Sántiz fasts in demand of his freedom
** He has spent 15 years in prison “for a crime I did not commit”
** Of Tzotzil origin, he is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
On the date dedicated to political prisoners in the world, Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, an Indigenous prisoner and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, carried out a 12-hour fast this Thursday as a sign of protest over the “unjust incarceration” that he suffered 15 years ago.
“The bad governments are dedicated to incarcerating the people who defend the people,” he expressed to La Jornada via telephone in the International Day of Political and Common Prisoners. He also reiterated that the food and health conditions in prison number 5 of Chiapas have gravely deteriorated and the authorities persist in denying attention and medications to the prisoners, giving “a lack of resources” as the reason.
Besides, in a comunicado divulged today, the Tzotzil prisoner maintained: “This date commemorates all those who because of injustice are prisoners for defending the people from the bad authorities, but the voices of justice and freedom don’t keep quiet because we know very well that the brave give their lives for the people.” He cites his own case as “a clear example of injustice,” since he continues to be a prisoner “for a crime that I did not commit.” The “bad system of government,” he adds, “violated my individual rights and took advantage of me for being Indigenous and because I did not know Castellano (Spanish).”
At the same time he called on the independent organizations to undertake actions against “this outrage that I am living,” since “this coming May 11 I will have been fifteen years behind bars.” He demanded that the president of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, “urge the Governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, in favour of my freedom, since he has completely ignored this demand,” and he demanded that the Governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, fulfill the promise that made in 2013 of ensure that he be granted “unconditional freedom.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, April 18, 2014
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service
17 displaced families have returned to their homes in Ejido Puebla, Municipality of Chenalho, Chiapas
On 14 April, 104 persons belonging to the Catholic community of Ejido Puebla, returned home to work their land and return to the social dynamics of the community.
This return has taken place as a result of the unbearable suffering being experienced by the Tsotsil ejidatarios of the municipality of Chenalho. It has taken place without justice, for the perpetrators still remain unpunished by the three levels of government: The ejidal commissioner Agustín Cruz Gómez and his other compañeros remain unpunished despite being identified as the main perpetrators.
The displaced were accompanied by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, by Bishop Arizmendi Esquivel, by the pastor of Chenalhó, Manuel Perez, and by government representatives headed by Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, secretary of government.
Commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners, April 17th
In San Cristóbal de las Casas
Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Sántis, adherent to the Sixth, and in Solidarity with the Voice of El Amate, prisoner for 15 years for a crime he did not commit, announced he would undertake 12 hours of fasting and prayer in recognition of this day.
Gabriel García Márquez died on Thursday 17th April, 2014, at the age of 87.
In his memory we here publish part of his interview with Subcomandante Marcos om 25th March, 2001, after the March of the Colour of the Earth.
The Punchcard and the Hourglass
Seven years after the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) declared that one day it would enter Mexico City in triumph, you are in the capital and the Zócalo is completely full. What did you feel when you climbed the dais and saw that spectacle?
In keeping with the Zapatista tradition of anti-climax, the worst place to see a demonstration in the Zócalo is from the platform.  The sun was fierce, there was a lot of smog, we all had a headache, and got very worried as we counted the people passing out in front of us. I commented to my comrade, Commander Tacho, that we should get on with it, or by the time we began to speak no one would be left in the square. We couldn’t see all the way across it. The distance we had to keep from the crowd for security reasons was also an emotional one, and we didn’t find out what had happened in the Zócalo until we read the newspaper reports and saw the photos the next day. But yes, in our view and in the assessment of others, we do think that the meeting was the culmination of a phase, that our words on that day were appropriate and our message the right one, that we disconcerted those who expected us to seize the Palace or call for general insurrection. But also those who thought that we would be merely poetic or lyrical. I think an effective balance was struck and that, one way or another, on 11 March the EZLN could be heard speaking in the Zócalo, not so much about 2001, but about something that is yet to be completed: a conviction that the definitive defeat of racism will be turned into a State policy, an educational policy, into a feeling shared by the whole of Mexican society. As if this has already been settled, yet it still remains a short way off. As we soldiers say, the battle has been won, but a few skirmishes still remain to be fought. Finally I believe that the meeting in the Zócalo made it clear that it had been the right decision to put our weapons aside, that it was not our arms which brought us into dialogue with society, that the gamble on a peaceful mobilization was sensible and fruitful. The Mexican State has still to understand this, the government in particular.
You’ve used the expression ‘as we soldiers say’. To a Colombian, accustomed to the way our guerrillas talk, your language doesn’t sound very soldierly. How military is your movement, and how would you describe the war in which you have been fighting?
We were formed in an army, the EZLN. It has a military structure. Subcomandante Marcos is the military chief of an army. But our army is very different from others, because its proposal is to cease being an army. A soldier is an absurd person who has to resort to arms in order to convince others, and in that sense the movement has no future if its future is military. If the EZLN perpetuates itself as an armed military structure, it is headed for failure. Failure as an alternative set of ideas, an alternative attitude to the world. The worst that could happen to it, apart from that, would be to come to power and install itself there as a revolutionary army. For us it would be a failure. What would be a success for the politico-military organizations of the sixties or seventies which emerged with the national liberation movements would be a fiasco for us. We have seen that such victories proved in the end to be failures, or defeats, hidden behind the mask of success. That what always remained unresolved was the role of people, of civil society, in what became ultimately a dispute between two hegemonies. There is an oppressor power which decides on behalf of society from above, and a group of visionaries which decides to lead the country on the correct path and ousts the other group from power, seizes power and then also decides on behalf of society. For us that is a struggle between hegemonies, in which the winners are good and the losers bad, but for the rest of society things don’t basically change. The EZLN has reached a point where it has been overtaken by Zapatismo. The ‘E’ in the acronym has shrunk, its hands have been tied, so that for us it is no handicap to mobilize unarmed, but rather in a certain sense a relief. The gun-belt weighs less than before and the military paraphernalia an armed group necessarily wears when it enters dialogue with people also feels less heavy. You cannot reconstruct the world or society, nor rebuild national states now in ruins, on the basis of a quarrel over who will impose their hegemony on society. The world in general, and Mexican society in particular, is composed of different kinds of people, and the relations between them have to be founded on respect and tolerance, things which appear in none of the discourses of the politico-military organizations of the sixties and seventies. Reality, as always, presented a bill to the armed national liberation movements of those days, and the cost of settling it has been very high.
You also seem to differ from the traditional Left in the social sectors that you represent. Is that so?
Broadly speaking, there were two major gaps in the movement of the revolutionary Left in Latin America. One of them was the indigenous peoples, from whose ranks we come, and the other was the supposed minorities. Even if we all removed our balaclavas we would not be a minority in the same way that homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals are. These sectors were not simply excluded by the discourses of the Latin American Left of those decades—and still current today—but the theoretical framework of what was then Marxism–Leninism disregarded them, indeed took them to be part of the front to be eliminated. Homosexuals, for example, were suspect as potential traitors, elements harmful to the socialist movement and state. While the indigenous peoples were viewed as a backward sector preventing the forces of production . . . blah, blah, blah. So what was required was to clean out these elements, imprisoning or re-educating some, and assimilating others into the process of production, to transform them into skilled labour—proletarians, to put it in those terms.
Guerrillas normally speak in the name of majorities. It seems surprising that you speak in the name of minorities, when you could do so in the name of the poor or exploited of Mexico as a whole. Why do you do this?
Every vanguard imagines itself to be representative of the majority. We not only think that is false in our case, but that even in the best of cases it is little more than wishful thinking, and in the worst cases an outright usurpation. The moment social forces come into play, it becomes clear that the vanguard is not such a vanguard and that those it represents do not recognize themselves in it. The EZLN, in renouncing any claim to be a vanguard, is recognizing its real horizon. To believe that we can speak on behalf of those beyond ourselves is political masturbation. In some cases it is not even that, because there is no pleasure in this onanism—at most, that of pamphlets read only by those who produce them. We are trying to be honest with ourselves and some might say that this is a matter of human decency. No. We could even be cynical and say that the honest admission that we only represent the indigenous Zapatista communities of one region of the Mexican South-East has paid off. But our discourse has reached the ears of many more people than those we represent. This is the point we have reached. That’s all. In the speeches we made in the course of our march to the capital, we told people—and ourselves—that we could not and should not try to lead the struggles we encountered on our journey, or fly the flag for them. We had imagined that those below would not be slow to show themselves, with so many injustices, so many complaints, so many wounds . . . In our minds we had formed the image that our march would be a kind of plough, turning the soil so that all this could rise from the ground. We had to be honest and tell people that we had not come to lead anything of what might emerge. We came to release a demand, that could unleash others. But that’s another story.
Were the speeches you gave along the route improvised from town to town until the address in Mexico City, or did you design them from the outset as a sequence, such that the last was not necessarily the strongest?
Look, there is an official version and a real version. The official story is that we saw at each stop what we had to do. The real story is that we wove this discourse together over the course of the last seven years. A moment arrived when the Zapatismo of the EZLN was overtaken by many developments. Today we are not expressing what we were before 1994, or in the first days of 1994 when we were fighting; we are acting on a series of moral commitments we made in the last seven years. In the end we didn’t manage to plough the land, as we had hoped. But the mere act of our walking on it was enough to bring all these buried feelings to the surface. In every town square, we told people: ‘We have not come to lead you, we have not come to tell you what to do, but to ask for your help.’ Even so, we received during our march dockets of complaints going back to the time before the Mexican Revolution, given to us in the hope that finally someone might resolve the problem. If we could sum up the discourse of the Zapatista march to date, it would be: ‘No one is going to do it for us.’ The forms of organization, and the tasks of politics, need to be changed for that transformation to be possible. When we say ‘no’ to leaders, we are also saying ‘no’ to ourselves.
You and the Zapatistas are at the peak of your prestige. The PRI has just fallen in Mexico, there is a bill before Congress to create an Indigenous Statute, and the negotiations you have demanded can begin. How do you view this scene?
As a struggle between a clock operated by a punch card, which is Fox’s time, and an hourglass, which is ours. The dispute is over whether we bend to the discipline of the factory clock or Fox bends to the slipping of the sand. It will be neither the one nor the other. Both of us need to understand, we and he, that we have to assemble another clock by common agreement, that will time the rhythm of dialogue and finally of peace. We are on their terrain, the arena of power, where the political class is in its element. We are there with an organization that is perfectly ineffectual when it comes to playing politics, at least that kind of politics. We are gauche, stammering, well-intentioned. Opposite us are skilled players of a game they know well. This too will be a dispute, over whether the agenda will be dictated by the political class or shaped by our requirements. Once again, I think it will be neither one nor the other. When we waged war we had to challenge the government, and now in order to build peace we have to challenge not only the government but the entire Mexican State. There is no table at which to sit in dialogue with the government. We have to construct it. The challenge now is to convince the government that we need to make that table, that it should sit down and that it stands to gain by doing so. And that if it doesn’t, it will lose.
A todxs lxs presxs políticos en México y el mundo,