Dear sisters and brothers,
It seems that once more we must
prepare our selves to help support what
little freedom remains in La Selva.
Therefore we ask each of you as you
keep your eyes on the War in the East,
that you turn one eye to the South.
But, remember to close yours eyes
for a few minutes each day to rest
them....you donīt want to end up
Do send a note to President Zedillo:
I am sure he will be most happy to hear
from each you.
Tuesday, June 8, 1999.
The Army is Trying to Close Military Encirclement of Zapatistas
New Operations and Incursions Reported
Jesus Ramirez Cuevas
Special for La Jornada
At the entrance to the Taniperla canada, a written warning
can be seen: "The selva belongs to us: Mendoza Group of
the Mexican Army." Next to it there is a picture painted of
a tiger with a helmet.
A military helicopter set down in the Nueva Esperanza
community a few days ago. The soldiers warned the
indigenous who live there: "Get out of the selva, look for
another place to live, because the Army is going to go into
the Montes Azules reserve," noted Manuel Lopez, human
rights promoter in this region. "We know the government
wants to dislocate us, but we are never going to leave the
land that belongs to us," the residents responded, according
to the activist.
Another resident from Las Canadas region reported:
"Many people are coming to La Garrucha
[seat of the Francisco Gomez Autonomous Municipality]
which is why the Army wants to come in."
Military troops, meanwhile, were continuing to assemble
this afternoon at the barracks established at the entrance
to that town.
The new military and police operations seem to be heading
towards the Montes Azules, heart of the Selva Lacandona,
geographic rear guard of the guerrillas. According to the
Fray Lorenzo de la Nada Human Rights Center, the objective
would be "to close the military encirclement of the zapatista
positions, and to make the towns that are supporting the armed
group move out of the selva."
During a trip through the Taniperla canada, La Jornada
was able to confirm that soldiers and police had made
incursions into, or carried out operations, in the towns
of San Jose, El Censo and Taniperla. Zapatista
representatives from Zapotal, which belongs to the
Ricardo FLores Magon Autonomous Municipality,
also mentioned attacks against the communities of
Nazareth and Francisco Villa.
Rumors are circulating that other incursions are being
planned into Guanal, Dolores Hidalgo, Zapotal and
San Jeronimo, and that, if the military operations continue,
there could be confrontations between zapatistas and
Zapatista representatives from various communities
of the River Perla and San Miguel canadas denied that
they are blockading or maintaining checkpoints on the roads.
"There is normal traffic, itīs not true that weīre preventing it,
those are the excuses the government is using in order
to attack the towns that are supporting the EZLN struggle."
In various communities of the Autonomous Municipalities
visited by La Jornada, such as Francisco Gomez, San Manuel
and Ricardo Flores Magon, zapatistas denied the existence of
100 Soldiers Entered San Jose on Sunday
This Sunday, some 100 soldiers entered the ejido of San Jose,
in the Amador Hernandez region. They deployed throughout
the town and searched several houses, while the campesinos,
zapatista sympathizers, withdrew to nearby mountains in order
to avoid a confrontation.
"They were there for several hours and they returned in the
afternoon to El Calvario, where they have a military camp
with 300 troops. We donīt want them here, we donīt know
whatīs going to happen if they come back, because weīre not
going to leave," noted Jose Raul, zapatista representative
interviewed in Zapotal, a community that is a three-hour
walk from San Jose.
The ejidal commissioner of Zapotal, a member of
the Independent-ARIC, noted: "Despite the rumors
that the army also wants to enter our town, we will not
abandon our homes. We are going to resist, because
we donīt want the soldiers setting up here. We reached
an agreement in Assembly with the entire community that,
if they enter, we are going to resist peacefully."
The Army made an incursion into Francisco Villa several
days ago and has been patrolling the town of Las Tazas:
the EZLN has a strong presence in both towns. Located
in the Amador Hernandez region, San Jose is a
community surrounded by the military camp of El
Calvario on one side, and by San Caralampio on
the other. In the Taniperla canada, there are
military camps in Monte Libano and Taniperla.
The Patihuitz and La Soledad canadas have military
camps in San Quintin, La Soledad, La Sultana and
La Garrucha. In the region of Las Tazas, there are
three camps. Every 20 kilometers there is a barracks
and several Army control points.
Translated by irlandesa
Monday, June 7, 1999.
Six Communities Now Occupied by Army:
NGO Denounces Military Incursion in San Jose,
in La Canada of Taniperla
Juan Balboa, correspondent
The Army entered the town of San Jose, located in La Canada
of Taniperla this morning, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas
Human Rights Center confirmed today, as did the Fray Pedro
de la Nada Human Rights Committee.
The town became the sixth community virtually seized
by the military and Public Security, having done the same
in Nazareth, El Censo, Betania, Francisco Villa and
Santa Lucia. This has led to the displacement of thousands
of EZLN sympathizers to other communities and to the
mountains of Las Canadas.
Three other communities - among them La Garrucha,
seat of the Francisco Gomez Autonomous Municipality
- are being threatened with seizure by Army
troops and state police forces, since hundreds of
those forces are concentrating on the outskirts of the towns.
The NGO confirms the incursions by the soldiers into the
conflict zone, and they made an urgent call to federal
officials to stop these actions.
They noted that, in Nazareth alone, 50 families fled from
their homes after asking the Army for an explanation of their
presence and being met with ten shots fired into the air.
The displaced lack clothing, food, cover and
conditions of security.
Representatives of the Francisco Villa community today
denounced the Armyīs entrance into their community:
"We are opposed to the opening of more roads, because
they serve for the entrance of more soldiers and for the
installation of more camps, once more violating the
San Andres Accords and provoking more division."
Two days ago, some 400 Army and Public Security
Police troops also entered the community of Santa Lucia,
where "they provoked a confrontation between
us and the PRIīs."
Meanwhile, the communities of the Autonomous
Municipalities of Ricardo Flores Magon, San Manuel,
Miguel Hidalgo and Francisco Gomez set up īsporadicī
checkpoints in Ocosingo, Chilon and Palenque, to
prevent PRIīs from receiving "crumbs" sent by the
Federation or by Albores Guillenīs government.
Translated by irlandesa
Albores [Governor of Chiapas] Building Highways in
the Selva For Army
June 5, 1999
To civil society and the national and international media:
We publicly denounce the intervention of the Federal Army
in the defense of highway projects being promoted by Albores
Guillen, and which go against the will of the communities, if
we do indeed believe that roads are very necessary, we are
opposed to the opening of more roads, because they will
serve for the entry of more military forces and for the
establishment of more military camps within the zone,
making from them an encirclement, and once more violating
the San Andres Accords, in addition to the fact that
these projects are provoking inter-community problems.
We denounce: The events that occurred this May in
the Francisco Villa community, when progress on the
road was prevented, the entry by the Federal Army
and Public Security, who have remained in the community
since then, provoking problems, such as blocking the
passage of women in order to embrace them.
The events which occurred on June 4 in the Santa
Lucia Community, where the planning of another
road was prevented, the Federal Army guarded the
engineers in charge and set about confronting us
with PRIīs, in order to make the public believe that
the conflict is between campesinos or between
communities, and is no longer with the bad government.
Through these actions, the Federal Army is distorting
its true duties, and it is setting about helping and
protecting the different programs promoted
by Albores Guillen.
We also denounce the actions taken by the government
of Albores Guillen of taking to the communities - through
brigades that come from Tuxtla Gutierrez - offering cattle,
highway diversions, housing improvements and organizing
groups to dress up like zapatistas, and with that to make
people believe that we are surrendering, but from here,
we are saying to them: WE WILL NOT SURRENDER,
NOR WILL WE WILL SELL OURSELVES, WE ARE HERE
AND WEWILL CONTINUE RESISTING.
The Support Bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
of the Selva Region