The San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido: 6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land
6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle
THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017
To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Councils of Good Government
To the National Indigenous Congress
To Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world
To the media
To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity
To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York
To national and international human rights defenders
To the people of Mexico and the world
Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.
Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.
In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.
This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.
This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.
The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.
Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.
We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.
Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.
Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.
Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.
Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.
From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.
Never again a Mexico without us
Land and freedom
Long live Zapata!
¡Hasta la victoria siempre!
Freedom for political prisoners!
Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!
Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!
No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!
State police, Out of indigenous lands!
Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!
Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!