nettime maillist on Sat, 3 Jul 1999 01:50:10 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

ricardo dominguez: Zapatistas Expel Police from Community ofNazareth + farce

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
<> is the temporary home of the nettime-l list
while rebuilds its list-serving machine.  please continue to send
messages to <> and your commands to <>.
nettime-l-temp should be active for approximately 2 weeks (11-28 Jun 99).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 11:19:55 -0400
From: ricardo dominguez <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Zapatistas Expel Police from Community of Nazareth + farce

#1 Zapatistas Expel Police from Community of Nazareth, and

#2 Suschila:  Delivery of Weapons Farce



Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) support bases expelled police
officers who had installed themselves in the center of the community of
Nazareth, in the "Estrella" region of the Selva three weeks ago. 

Hundreds of rebel sympathizers remained in this ejido, in order to prevent
the return of the police officers and soldiers. Pedro, a representative of
Nazareth, stated: "We are here in order to ask for the peaceful path, that
the authorities not send any more Army or Public Security." 

"They do not have anything to do here, we do not want them, they come to
teach something else to the people, they are on drugs almost every day,
with prostitutes and that is not right." 

"If the federales come, we are going to withdraw, because we do not want a
confrontation.  But the people are going to review the situation, in order
to see what to do," he said. 

On the morning of June 26, two helicopters (one from the PGR, and another
from Public Security) flew low over the community, while one army convoy
with four vehicles approached from Campo Alegre, and another, with six
vehicles, approached by the Polco road, a few kilometers from here.  The
men and women of Nazareth discussed their concern about what was
happening. In the afternoon, the military vehicles withdrew and the people
relaxed a bit. 

Close to the Nazareth community school, a throng of men and women with
scarves and ski-masks covering their faces were waiting patiently for the
arrival of the forces of order, whom "we are not going to let pass by." 
In front of them, Regino tells what happened the day before: 

"We entered peacefully at 9 in the morning in order to remove Public
Security, because they are doing much damage to the town." "We came in
yelling," Regino continues, "from the entrance to Nazareth with the sound
equipment, and the police pointed their weapons at us and cocked them. 
They threatened to fire on us.  The people began arriving from where they
had been camped, they began shoving and hitting the women, smacking them
with their weapons. But the people defended themselves from that as well,
but with their hands.  We didn't hit them with stones or with sticks.
There was shoving and yelling, nothing more.  It's not true that we took
their weapons, or injured anyone, like the Attorney General of the state
is saying." 

"Some women remained sitting in the mud and others were beaten.  That's
why we're asking that they not return, they only come to sow division and
to go with prostitutes.  Because we know how to sow and to cultivate, and
we do not need other ideas. We are asking that neither the Army nor the
public force come back to the indigenous communities." 

Don Arnulfo, for his part, recounted:  "There were no confrontations nor
injured policemen, one hurt himself when he fell.  I believe they forgot
two weapons when they went, but the PRI's recovered them and took them to
Ocosingo. We don't want any more patrols because they frighten the people.
The children run out of the school when they arrive in their cars, because
the teachers flee.  That is a great danger.  We asked the authorities and
the municipal president that they not come anymore with their provocations
to these lands that are ours." 

The trigger for the protest by the zapatistas had been an incursion by the
federal army the previous day.  Some 50 soldiers spread out and surrounded
El Paraiso, where 300 displaced had been encamped for 20 days.  The
displaced had left Nazareth when the police entered. 

"We do not like that now, and that is why the demonstration was organized.
We will not put up with the provocations any longer.  If we do not
protest, they are going to continue bothering us," said Emiliano, a young
displaced person. 

"The day before yesterday (June 24)," Emiliano said, "we had a meeting, a
little fiesta of San Juan. We don't know if the PRI's informed the
authorities falsely that we were going to go into Nazareth. We were
enjoying ourselves a bit, in order to take our minds off the pain, but
after a little while two columns of soldiers came and surrounded the town. 
They took up positions in the mountain and aimed at us.  Since we didn't
have anywhere to run to, we got close together. The children and the women
were weeping out of fear.  Why do they persecute us so much? What crime
are we committing? they said. The soldiers were there for two hours, and
they left." 

The representative of the 300 Nazareth displaced denounced that, because
of the police presence, they have not been able to plant, nor to go to
their houses, because they are patrolling with a list of zapatistas they
are trying to detain.  Since they cannot leave in order to go to Ocosingo,
the refugees lack the most basic things:  food, medicines, soap, clothing. 
"We are suffering here, and they still come to bother us more," they

"The problem began on June 4, when some one thousand soldiers and police
came and stayed in Nazareth ever since that day.  After a little while,
the soldiers left the town, with just a Public Security detachment
remaining.  But we cannot work, the field is going to waste.  We are going
to lose the harvest, and then what are we going to eat?" 

Regino warned:  "We do not want any more division or provocations.  We do
not want the Army to come, because that does not solve any problems."
Pedro denounced that Juan Villafuerte (who presents himself as
Inter-Institutional Coordinator in the Canadas of Ocosingo, and who is the
substitute Federal Deputy for Norberto Santiz Lopez, noted as a promoter
of the Anti-Zapatista Indigenous Revolutionary Movement paramilitary
group) "is causing unrest among the PRI's and he is helping them arm
themselves.  He is waiting for orders from the government to send police
and soldiers. The PRI group has weapons, they have accused us to the
government.  We have not hurt anyone or robbed anything.  The SP police
back the PRI's up who go about armed.  Some of the paramilitaries are
going around dressed as Public Security and the police are giving them



In Suschila, as in other regions of the state, Robero Albores' government
this week "fabricated" new zapatista "deserters," who criticized the armed
movement in a public act "for not supporting them." The state Secretary of
Government, Luis Alfonso Utrilla, visited Suschila on June 22 and
delivered aid to a group of criminals passing as purported zapatistas. 
Meanwhile, 14 families - headed by Jose Hernandez Lopez - who belong to
the ARIC-I (Rural Association of Collective Interests-Independent)
alsopresented themselves as purported zapatista bases. The state
government official gave the "new PRI's" a tractor, chickens, some cows,
de-pulpers, seeds and cement, in exchange for their public withdrawal from
the armed movement. 

During this act, an alleged Second Lieutenant "Alfredo" and 8 so-called
zapatistas were presented who "turned in their weapons." None of them had
been a zapatista, says Miguel, an elderly campesino from Suschila:  "They
are all criminals, led by Porfirio Jimenez Flores (the purported "Second
Lieutenant Alfredo"), and for years they have been stealing cattle, horses
and money in the neighboring communities, attacking public transportation
vans on the roads.  The government pardoned them for the crimes they
committed because they passed themselves off as zapatistas, but in
Ocosingo they know very well who they are, because they have several
arrest warrants out against them for robberies they've committed over the

In Suschila, a group of zapatista campesinos denounced the unease provoked
by the presence of the Public Security police, and they demanded their
departure from the town. "We do not want them here.  We do not need them
to look after us.  There are no problems here except for those they are
inventing.  The women are afraid to go down to the river to collect water,
because the police are there, and they are bothering them." 

They reported that PRI's from the community presented a document with all
the ejiditarios' signatures, asking for the presence of the police, but
that is a lie, because those from the ARIC-Independent and the zapatistas
are not in agreement.  "The people from the government are coming to
divide us and to buy weapons in order to dress up criminals like
zapatistas. That indeed is a crime." 



Calle Ignacio Allende 4
29200 San Cristobal de Las Casas
Chiapas, Mexico
Telephone and Fax: 52-967-82104