UPDATE Mar 3 '08: Two articles have been published on CAPISE's NYC presentation on repression against the zapatistas (1,2) and european groups have put forward a proposal for how they are going to respond to this repression.
Two pieces this week: First is a call out for a day of action this Friday from two German groups (our friend -Kolya 1,2- has just translated this into English) ... perhaps some of us can't pull something together by the 15th (and perhaps some can?!) but it gives us an idea of what is happening in Europe and what we could be doing! Second is an announcement for a rare educational event here in New York City with Ernesto Ledesma Arronte of CAPISE on the repression in the zapatista communities - check it out, this could be a space for us to plan our own solidarity actions!
Also, Gloria Muñoz Ramirez has begun her tour of the USA and make sure to check out El Kilombo Intergaláctico's first book, "Beyond Resistance: EVERYTHING!" and maybe even help organize their "Beyond Resistance: Everything" Book Tour: The Zapatistas, The Other Campaign and US. Now back to zap solidarity in Europe and NYC...
CALL FOR AN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION:
February 15th, 2008
SOLIDARITY WITH CHIAPAS:
RESPECT FOR INDIGENOUS AUTONOMY AND A HALT TO THE REPRESSION IN CHIAPAS
We call on all fellow adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and those struggling and resisting from below and to the left to join us on February 15th, 2008, for an international day of action against the repression in Chiapas and for the respect of indigenous autonomy.
In recent months, aggressions against the Zapatista communities have drastically worsened. The low intensity war has acquired a dimension not seen since the Acteal massacre ten years ago. At the same time, media coverage remains low. We believe that it is crucial that we make it clear to public opinion in Europe that we have not forgotten the conflict and resistance in Chiapas. We will show the Mexican government that here in Europe we are closely watching the worrying situation in Chiapas. For this reason, we are calling for an international day of action on February 15th in front of Mexican Embassies and Consulates. The date coincides with the 12th anniversary of the San Andrés Accords. (The anniversary is actually on February 16th, but this is a Saturday, so embassies will be closed on the day).
The San Andrés Accords negotiated between the EZLN and the Mexican government had as their objective to guarantee indigenous autonomy. Amongst other things, they included indigenous autonomy and self-management of natural resources by the indigenous inhabitants of the area. However, the EZLN broke off the negotiations due to the fact that the government neither fulfilled nor respected the Accords. We are in solidarity with the realization of indigenous autonomy.
The situation of the indigenous communities in resistance has worsened since the implementation of Plan Puebla Panama and other neoliberal mega projects, which require access to Chiapas’ biosphere reserves for infrastructure and tourist purposes.
In August 2007, four communities were violently displaced in the biosphere reserve of Montes Azules in the Lacandon Jungle. Over the last year, the number and intensity of paramilitary attacks carried out by OPDDIC (Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Peasant Rights) against Zapatista communities has increased in the area of Agua Azul, the most visited and well-known waterfalls in México.
Since September 2007, OPDDIC has issued several threats and carried out attacks against the Zapatista settlement Bolom Ajaw due to the fact that the people are located in the road to some waterfalls, which are currently still inaccessible to tourists. In cahoots with the state government OPDDIC is planning a new tourist project for which it intends to displace the community. Now that the community has refused voluntary resettlement, it has suffered numerous attacks and death threats, as well as threats of rape, at the hands of OPDDIC. Furthermore, some houses were burnt down in Bolom Ajaw. The perpetrators of these deeds were inhabitants of the ejido Agua Azul, nearly all of who belonged to OPDDIC. For this reason, both local and international organizations are calling for a tourism boycott until the aggressions against Zapatista communities cease.
In the community of Vetel Yo’chib, near to Agua Azul, on December 29th, 2007, on the road to his milpa [plot of land], compañero Pablo Silvano Jiménez received a bullet in the leg from two policemen and a member of OPDDIC. From then on, he has had to go into hiding and can no longer work to feed his family. In the last week of January an international observation brigade that was in Vetel received death threats and also threats of rape. On February 1, 2008 members of OPDDIC and the police shot at compañero Eliseo Silvano Jiménez and his son. Afterwards they were arrested in an OPDDIC truck. In prison they were tortured and forced to have photos taken of them holding arms. Currently they are still in prison in Palenque and there is no media attention.
1. The suspension of all forms of aggression against the Zapatistas and other communities in resistance.
2. The suspension of the counter-insurgency war against the indigenous and zapatista communities and the withdrawal of the military bases from the indigenous region of Chiapas.
3. The release of Eliseo Silvano Jiménez and Eliseo Silvano Espinoza as well as all other political prisoners.
4. A total halt to the violent evictions in the indigenous territory of Chiapas.
5. The end of cooperation between paramilitary organizations such as OPDDIC and the federal army and police, as well as the legal recognition of the crimes that this organization has committed.
6. Respect for Indigenous Autonomy.
This call was issued by Activists from the Gruppe B.A.S.T.A. (Münster, Germany) and Atenco Resiste (Berlin), who are currently in Chiapas, México
For more information see:
Movement for Justice in El Barrio…
invites you to learn more about the escalating low intensity warfare being waged by the Mexican government against the Zapatista communities: the brutal displacement, death threats and incarceration.
Currently, there are 79 permanent military bases in Chiapas and paramilitary groups are threatening Zapatista families.
Our special guest Ernesto Ledesma from the Chiapas-based Center of Political Analysis and Social and Economic Investigation (CAPISE) will share with us how the main three Mexican political parties (PAN, PRD and PRI) attempt to displace the Zapatistas from their land.
We will also present the New York Premiere of "One Big Train Called The Other Campaign", a new documentary filmed by the Zapatista communities on the Zapatista-initiated national Mexican movement.
Monday, February 18th @ 7 pm
New York University's KJC Center
53 Washington Square South, Suite 201
(Take subway A,B,C,D,E,F to West 4th St. Walk east on West 4th St. West 4th St. becomes Washington Square South)
The new book collection of Zapatista communiques "Speed of Dreams" will be also be available.
For more information, please contact Movement for Justice in El Barrio at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-sponsored by the National Congress on Latin America (NACLA)