** Warnings of attempts at dispossession in this territory since April 17
** Juan Vázquez Guzmán was killed with five shots in front of his house on Wednesday night
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, April 25, 2013
The leader of the ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle in San Sebastián Bachajón, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, was murdered on Wednesday night by unidentified individuals who killed him with five shots. The incident occurred around 11:00 o’clock at night outside his home, the ejidatarios reported.
This morning, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) condemned the murder of the man who was the Secretary General of the adherents to the Sixth in San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality. Vázquez Guzmán “stood out for his active participation in defence of land and territory in the face of the governmental plunder of the Agua Azul Waterfalls and the imposition of the ticket booth at the entrances.”
Neighbours in the region, Frayba adds, “say that Juan was attacked just when he was arriving at his home, and the attackers escaped aboard a red double-cabin pickup truck, which took the highway that leads to the Sitalá municipal headquarters,” which connects with “the municipalities of Ocosingo, Cancuc and Chilón.”
Since 2007, Vázquez Guzmán participated actively in the defence of the ejido’s territory, “for which reason it carried a protective order (amparo), currently on review in the Third Collegiate Tribunal, in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, under the record number 118/2013.”
It is appropriate to remember that on April 17 the ejidatarios, who are adherents to the Sixth, denounced that their territory “is threatened by the official policy of dispossession, which is continuing under the current state government.” The previous (government) stood out for persecuting the ejidatarios resisting the dispossession, for tourism purposes, of part of their lands, with the direct participation of the then and now Secretary of Government, Noé Castañón León, according to repeated accusations from the Tzeltal ejidatarios.
At the same time, the Network against Repression in Chiapas considered it “evident that it is a political assassination, by the multiple business, political and economic interests in the zone.” And from the San Cristóbal de las Casas prison, the prisoners of the Voice of El Amate (La Voz del Amate) and Those in Solidarity with the Voice of El Amate condemned the acts and demanded that the authorities investigate and punish those responsible.
In a situation of rising tension in that part of the Chilón municipality, new harassments and threats against the adherents to the Sixth in the Jotolá ejido have also been reported in recent weeks.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, April 26, 2013