Re: Chiapas: ALERT

Fri, 24 Apr 1998 21:53:24 +0000

World Homeless Union wrote:
> 1. SIPAZ Urgent Action Alert
> 2. homefree: Call for Solidarity Activists in
> Chiapas
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 12:55:56 -0400
> From: Joe McIntire <>
> To:
> Subject: E; SIPAZ Urgent Action Alert
> URGENT ACTION ALERT - New attacks on the peace
> process in Chiapas SIPAZ, April 17, 1998
> With this letter, we express our preoccupation
> provoked by the events that have occurred in Chiapas
> during the last days and months: facts that point
> every time more to an open war between the Mexican
> government and the EZLN.
> (For abbreviations and technical terms please see
> below)
> On the 10th of April representatives of various
> Zapatista-sympathizing communities installed the
> autonomous municipality "Ricardo Flores Mag=F3n" in
> the community of Taniperlas, municipality of
> Ocosingo. At this event, national and international
> observers were present.
> Early morning the following day, at the request of
> the governor of Chiapas, Roberto Albores Guillen,
> close to one thousand members of the Mexican army
> and police as well as migration officials carried
> out an operation there, detaining 12 international
> observers and 9 Mexicans with the goal of
> dismantling the newly installed autonomous
> municipality.
> The international observers were presented to the
> migration officials by members of the Mexican Army.
> On the night of April 12th they were deported
> to their home countries, in application of Article
> 33 of the Mexican Constitution:"...the Mexican
> executive has the exclusive power to demand
> that abandon national territory, immediately and
> without the necessity of any previous judgment, any
> foreigner whose presence it judges to be
> inconvenient. The foreigners must not, in any way,
> interfere in internal matters of the country." The
> interior ministry informed that the charges against
> them were: "multitudinous offenses" and "supporting
> the installation of illegitimate authorities". Any
> possible penal responsibilities of the observers are
> being investigated.
> The charges against the detained Mexicans are among
> others: deprivation and damages of property,
> rebellion, usurpation of official authority
> functions and delinquent association. One day after
> their detention, they joined the association of
> political prisoners "La Voz de Cerro Hueco".
> Although the government claimed that it had
> respected the human rights of all detained, various
> human rights organizations denounced irregularities
> during the detentions and expulsions. The Mexicans
> were detained without a warrant for arrest.
> In fear of a dismantling of all autonomous
> municipalities, the Zapatista support bases joined
> together in these municipalities to "defend the
> autonomy". Moreover, the National Indigenous Council
> announced the creation of new autonomous
> municipalities in other Mexican states.
> On the 14th of April, migration officials detained
> three international observers in the municipality of
> Altamirano. These observers were present at a
> roadblock close to the community 10 de Abril.  On
> April 15th they were expelled from the country,
> again in application of Article 33 of the
> Constitution.
> During previous weeks, authorities had carried out
> another police-military operation with 1500 members
> in one of the quarters in the north of San Cristobal
> de Las Casas, searching for illegal arms and stolen
> cars.
> On March 15, the Governor of Chiapas, Roberto
> Albores Guillen, signed the "State Accord for Peace
> in Chiapas". In this document the state government
> committed itself to maintaining and strengthening
> the state of law and not accepting more illegal acts
> of any actor in the conflict. By this it refers
> to road blocks, land invasions and the installation
> of autonomous municipalities. In the case of
> Taniperlas, the governor ordered the operation to
> "break the vicious circle of impunity".  It should
> be remembered that to date the government hasn't
> succeeded in disarming the paramilitary groups which
> remain with impunity.
> Some analysts view in this action against the
> autonomous municipalities a direct attack at the
> EZLN itself. Furthermore, they believe that in this
> way the Mexican government wants to resolve the
> conflict unilaterally and by way of confrontation
> and demonstrate that the political struggle beyond
> the institutions of the ruling party PRI only leads
> to repression.
> The militarization in Chiapas continues to grow, in
> particular in the zones of Zapatista influence. Also
> the state government resorts to police operations
> with a strong military presence in an intent to
> solve problems. Although the government talks about
> distention and reconciliation, its attitudes
> generate more tension and polarization. Furthermore,
> in spite of a strong military presence, the
> paramilitary groups continue to be active in
> Chiapas.
> On the other hand, we note that the Mexican
> government is more strict in the application of
> Article 33 of the Constitution (about the expulsion
> of foreigners). It seems that now being present as
> an international observer of acts that the
> government considers illegal is equal to
> participating in them and a reason for expulsion
> without the right of defense.
> Since Labastida Ochoa assumed the Ministry of the
> Interior, we have observed a hardening in the
> attitude of the government, faced with "the silence
> of the EZLN". In March the federal government sent
> its own unilateral initiative on the Law about
> Indigenous Rights and Culture to the Congress,
> leaving to one side the EZLN, the CONAI and COCOPA.
> Moreover, representatives of the government and the
> PRI questioned the impartiality of the CONAI and the
> work of the COCOPA.
> We are very concerned about the comments government
> representatives made disdaining the EZLN. The
> Ministry of the Interior expressed in the beginning
> of April that "the EZLN doesn't represent the
> indigenous people in Mexico". On April 15, President
> Zedillo manifested that "the EZLN is the principal
> paramilitary group in Chiapas". Both declarations go
> against the spirit of the Law on Dialogue,
> Conciliation and Dignified Peace in Chiapas, that
> states in its first article: "...the EZLN will be
> considered a group of persons identified as an
> organization of Mexican citizens, in majority
> indigenous, that disagree for different reasons."
> Commission of Concord and Pacification, integrated
> by senators and delegates of all parties in the
> Congress.
> National Commission of  Mediation, integrated by
> persons of morally recognized prestige in Mexico,
> presided over by the bishop of San Cristobal de Las
> Casas, Samuel Ruiz Garc=EDa.
> Zapatista Army of National Liberation.
> Autonomous municipalities: Zapatista initiative that
> consists of the implementation of authorities and
> own systems of conflict resolution in the
> communities and regions of their influence.
> According to the Mexican government these
> municipalities violate the Constitution.
> PRI:
> Institutional Revolutionary Party. Political party
> that has dominated Mexico since the 1920s after the
> Mexican Revolution.
> Please write as soon as possible faxes and letters
> to the authorities listed below, asking them:
> - that they take into account that peace can not be
> imposed but should be negotiated between all parts
> in the conflict (on national as well as on state
> level).
> - that they stop disqualifying the other actors in
> the conflict, which only leads to a worsening of the
> situation.
> - that they order a substantial reduction in the
> militarization in Chiapas and that they do not allow
> the use of the Mexican Army in operations of a
> police and civil character. Also that they avoid
> disproportional police and military operations that
> don't contribute to distention in the state.
> - that the juridical procedures for the detained in
> Taniperlas are followed in strict compliance with
> the law.
> - that they recognize and respect the work of human
> right defenders and international observers that
> offer their help to promote the peace process.
> We hope you will respond to our petition.
> The SIPAZ team San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Addresses:
> C. Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon
> Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos
> Mexicanos Palacio Nacional
> 06067 Mexico DF, Mexico
> Fax: (int-52) (5) 271 1764 / 515  4783
> E-mail:
> Francisco Labastida Ochoa
> Secretario de Gobernaci=F3n (Minister of Interior)
> Bucareli 99, 1er piso
> Col. Juarez 06699 Mexico DF, Mexico
> Fax: (int-52) (5) 546 5350 / 546 7380
> Gobernador del estado de Chiapas
> Lic. Roberto Albores Guillen
> Fax: (int-52) (961) 209 17
> International Service for Peace (Servicio
> Internacional para la Paz or SIPAZ) is a response
> from the international community to the shared sense
> among many Mexican sectors that international
> opinion can contribute to the search for peaceful
> solutions, through dialogue, to the conflict in
> Chiapas.
> El Servicio Internacional Para la Paz o SIPAZ es una
> respuesta concreta al consenso existente entre
> muchos sectores mexicanos de que esta participacio'n
> internacional puede contribuir positivamente a
> trave's del dia'logo, para alcanzar una solucion
> paci'fica y justa en el conflicto de Chiapas.
> SIPAZ Servicio Internacional para la Paz Calle
> Dr. J. Felipe Flores, 38
> Santa Lucia, San Cristobal de las Casas
> Chiapas, 29250, Mexico
> Tel/Fax (967) 80381
> E-mail
> :-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 08:45:15 +0200
> From: homefree@127.0.01
> Reply-To:
> To:
> Subject: Call for Solidarity Activists in Chiapas
> Call to Action - They ain't called the mal gobierno
> for nothing!
> We are calling for international action in response
> to the Mexican government's recent attack on the
> Autonomous Municipality of Ricardo Flores Mag=F3n, in
> Taniperla, Chiapas, the false arrests of 17 Mexican
> citizens, the deportation of 15 foreigners and other
> massive military operations. The Mexican government
> wants us to believe that they are doing nothing more
> than enforcing the law. However, Luciano, a
> spokesperson from the community of Polh=F3, voicing
> the belief of Zapatista base communities, said that
> the government's real goal is to remove all the
> foreigners "so that we are left abandoned, and so
> that they can make another Acteal right here." The
> government has also shown that it is willing to
> silence Mexican observers through imprisonment and
> charges of serious crimes.
> It is urgent that the international community reacts
> and sends its support to Chiapas. We are urging a
> three-part response to the illegal arrests of
> Mexican citizens and the xenophobic campaign of
> expelling foreigners.
> First, we ask that you call, fax, e-mail or go in
> person to condemn the arrests and demand the
> immediate liberation of the following unjustly
> imprisoned Mexicans: Tomas S=E1nchez G=F3mez, Luis
> Men=E9ndez Medina, Nicol=E1s L=F3pez V=E1squez, Justino
> S=E1nchez L=F3pez, Sebasti=E1n Chulin Gonz=E1lez, Antonio
> L=F3pez V=E1squez, Mateo Gonz=E1lez L=F3pez, Nicol=E1s
> Mazariego P=E9rez, Sergio Vald=E9s Ruvalcalba, Tomas
> S=E1nchez L=F3pez, Miguel Hern=E1ndez P=E9rez, Antonio
> Rodr=EDguez Jim=E9nez, Fidelino Cruz Mendoza, Manuel
> Hern=E1ndez P=E9rez, Andr=E9s Guti=E9rrez Hern=E1ndez, C=E9sar
> Rodrigo Nu=F1ez, y Jos=E9 Alfredo L=F3pez M=E9ndez. (See
> Attached Sample Letter)
> As a second response, we are initiating the "Free
> Flight Home Campaign"
> to resist the Mexican government's attempts to
> remove all witnesses of the escalating repression.
> Our proposal is that for every foreigner expelled,
> human rights organizations and solidarity groups in
> each country commit to sending 10 new international
> volunteers to Chiapas to observe in the EZLN
> autonomous municipalities. These volunteers should
> be willing to be deported and not leave until they
> have their "free flight home." This campaign has a
> two-fold objective: 1) to provide a constant
> presence of international observers in the
> threatened autonomous communities 2) to show the
> government that their tactics do not scare us
> and will not impede the necessary role of
> international observers in this conflict. In fact,
> we will take advantage of their generosity in paying
> the airfare of our return flight!
> Finally, the Mexican government has publicly stated
> that international observers can easily obtain a
> visa and that they are welcome to visit Chiapas.
> Let's put it to a test! We're calling for an
> organized campaign to flood embassies and consular
> offices with applications for observer visas
> (FM-3) and an organized documentation of the
> responses. Contrary to their rhetoric, many FM-3
> applications have been denied or indefinitely
> delayed.
> The Mexican government's goal is to conceal their
> dirty war against the people of Chiapas. We must
> expose and condemn this repression on an
> international level.
> ----------------------------------------------------
> Sample Letter
> Dear_______________:
> I am writing to express my concern and outrage over
> the campaign of increasing government-sponsored
> violence against the autonomous indigenous
> municipalities in Chiapas. The number of people
> detained by the Mexican government has risen to 32
> in the past four days - 17 Mexican citizens and
> 15 international observers.  This number does not
> even take into account the 59 political prisoners
> organized into the Voz de Cerro Hueco.  Action
> must be taken now to stop this wave of repression
> and to obtain the release of all political prisoners
> in Chiapas.
> On April 11, 1998, following the inauguration of the
> Autonomous Municipality of Ricardo Flores Magon,
> members of the Mexican Army, Public Security police,
> immigration, and state and federal judicial police
> attacked the community of Taniperla, Chiapas.  Nine
> Mexican citizens were arbitrarily detained and
> charged with damage of private property, usurpation
> of authority, unlawful association and robbery. The
> commander of the police forces beat one person.  The
> detainees were held incommunicado for a number of
> hours before their transfer to San Crist=F3bal de las
> Casas. They are currently being held in Cerro Hueco,
> the state prison in Tuxtla Gutierrez.
> The following day in Taniperla, the Mexican Army and
> Public Security police fired shots and threw tear
> gas grenades into a campesino demonstration. The
> campesinos of the region were demanding the
> immediate withdrawal of the soldiers and police.
>  This attack resulted in two injuries.  Three
> community members and four human rights workers were
> also detained.
> The human rights organizations Fray Pedro de la Nada
> and Fray Bartolome de Las Casas denounce the illegal
> apprehension of the detainees.  I am joining their
> call in demanding:
> 1. The guarantee of the physical integrity and
> security of the people detained.
> 2. The immediate liberation of the prisoners: Tomas
> S=E1nchez G=F3mez, Luis Men=E9ndez Medina, Nicol=E1s L=F3pez
> V=E1squez, Justino S=E1nchez L=F3pez, Sebasti=E1n Chulin
> Gonz=E1lez, Antonio L=F3pez V=E1squez, Mateo Gonz=E1lez
> L=F3pez, Nicol=E1s Mazariego P=E9rez, Sergio Vald=E9s
> Ruvalcalba, Tomas S=E1nchez L=F3pez, Miguel Hern=E1ndez
> P=E9rez, Antonio Rodr=EDguez Jim=E9nez, Fidelino Cruz
> Mendoza, Manuel Hern=E1ndez P=E9rez, Andr=E9s Guti=E9rrez
> Hern=E1ndez, C=E9sar Rodrigo Nu=F1ez, y Jos=E9 Alfredo L=F3pez
> M=E9ndez.
> 3. An investigation into the arbitrary detention of
> the aforementioned people and the sanctioning of
> those responsible.
> 4. An end to the political, military and police
> offensive against the 38 existing and all future
> autonomous municipalities in the state of Chiapas.
> Sincerely,
> ----------------------
>  Faxes can be sent to the following numbers:
> Presidente de la Republ=EDca
> Secretaria de Gobernaci=F3n
> Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Le=F3n
> Lic. Francisco Labastida Ochoa
> Fax: (52 5) 515 17 94 or (5 25) 277 23 76
> Fax: (52 5) 546 53 50
> Procuradur=EDa General de la Rep=FAblica
> Procuradur=EDa General de Justicia del Estado
> Dr. Jorge Madrazo Cuellar
> Lic. Carlos Rodolfo Soto Monz=F3n
> Fax:  (52 5) 626 4419  or (52 5) 626 4147
> Fax: (52 961) 65373 or (52 961) 65376
> :-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-
> S.I.S.I.S.
> Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
> P.O. Box 8673, Victoria, "B.C." "Canada" V8X 3S2
> EMAIL : <>
> WWW:
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Aho Mitakuye Oyasin    For All of my Relatives,

Jennafer Waggoner
Making Change...
a community human rights newspaper empowering=20
the poor and unhoused with an income and a voice.
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