Tzeltales Displaced from Tenejapa Demand the Government’s Attention
** They have spent a year and a half in San Cristóbal; PRI members expelled them
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
Pro-Zapatista families who have been displaced since December 4th, 2011 from the Tzeltal community of Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, Chiapas, denounced that, after living displaced in precarious conditions for one year and seven months in San Cristóbal de las Casas, “the government pays no attention to us.” Their expulsion stemmed from an armed attack by PRI members from this [Banavil] as well as other communities; it also involved the disappearance of the López Girón family patriarch, Alonso López Luna, who everything indicates was murdered at that time. One of the aggressors, Pedro Méndez López, died there. In relation to this deed, and under false accusations, Francisco Santiz López, an EZLN support base, was incarcerated for one year.
“We demand that the government of Manuel Velasco Coello and President Enrique Peña Nieto resolve our problems as soon as possible; How long will it be before they take us into account?” the expelled indigenous stated this Tuesday.
“We also demand justice (for) those responsible for the disappearance of our father Alonso López Luna, and that they tell us where they hid his remains. Those responsible are free. Cristóbal Hernández López, prosecutor for the Public Ministry is their accomplice, and therefore has not done justice,” Lorenzo, Miguel, Petrona and Amita López Girón maintain. Finally, they demand: “that they free Compañero Alberto Patishtán Gómez as soon as possible.”
On December 4th,2011, around fifty members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) attacked four families who sympathized with the EZLN with firearms and threw them out of their homes and out of the village. Six people were injured. Initially, one of their members, Lorenzo, was jailed. He also had a bullet wound and was accused of causing bodily injuries. A little later, Santiz López, EZLN support base, was arrested in the municipal headquarters, even though he was not at the scene of the crime, so that “someone” would pay for the death of Méndez López, because everything indicates that this was due to a shot fired by his own compañeros.
López Luna did not appear but 20 days later, in the Mercedes ejido, which borders on Banavil, an arm was found. The family identified a scar on one finger, which corresponded to their father. State police, the municipal judge and the Public Ministry (district attorney’s office) let several days pass by before going to the location of the find; they did not yet find anything.
In January 2012, Frayba reported the following facts: “the false accusations and violence generated by the group of PRI caciques from the Banavil, Mercedes and Santa Rosa ejidos, in Tenejapa, have caused the forced displacement of four families who sympathize with the EZLN, and the death of a PRI member.”
The organisation then highlighted: “the continuous and systematic attacks on Zapatista bases and EZLN sympathizers,” and demanded that the Chiapas government locate López Luna, clarify the death of Méndez López, take precautionary measures for the return of the displaced, undertake a real investigation of the facts, and disarm the cacique group. None of this has happened.
Harassment against the Zapatista sympathizers who are opposed to the caciques’ arbitrary acts dated back to 2009: land grabs, illegal cutting of wood, charging of unfounded taxes and payments, break-ins, physical attacks and the denial of the right to education. As of this date the authorities have not even attempted to do justice.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network