Caravan heads out to deliver support to Zapatista communities

Aspect of one of the murals on the side of the coffee warehous in Cuxuljá that was burned by truck drivers affiliated with ORCAO. Photo Hermann Bellinghausen/Archive

By Elio Henriquez, correspondent

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas — Members of organizations, collectives, and individuals, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, traveled this Thursday to the communities of Moíses Gandhi and Nuevo San Gregorio in the autonomous municipality of Lucio Cabañas, in order to bring humanitarian aid, conduct human rights observation activities and “document the recent aggressions, threats and harrassment perpetrated by armed groups opposing the support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).”

The caravan made up of various vehicles left at 6 AM, with various products suchs as  corn, beans, salt, sugar, coffee, oil, pasta, and soap, among others.

The participating groups stated in a communique that “since the previous year, these autonomous communities, located in the official municipality of Ocosingo — a couple of hours in vehicle from San Cristóbal — “have suffered constant attacks on their lands, crops, houses and workers.”

They added that what happened previously “is added to by the events that took place the 22nd of August, 2020 when autonomous facilities were burned, like the Arcoiris (Rainbow) store, the Compañera Lucha cafeteria, and the coffee warehouses1, that represent a guarantee of their food and sustenance, as well as attacks against the community with firearms.”

They reiterated that their position “is in favor of peace,” while demanding respect for the right to Zapatista autonomy and self-determination where the recuperated lands are located, which are part of their territory, as well as respect for and guarantee of the integrity, security and life of the bases of support of the EZLN.”

They said that they asked the International Service for Peace (Sipaz) to accompany the caravan to conduct international observation activities during the tour, work that the Fray Bartolomé Center of Human Rights (Frayba) will also do.

The caravan was made up of member of the Chiapas Center for the Rights of Women; Civil Association for the Economic and Social Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI); Space of Struggle Against Neglect and Repression (ELCOR); Doctors of the World, Switzerland-Mexico; Living Memory, ProMedios Community Communications; Ajmaq Network of Rebellion and Resistance; Community Health and Development; Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights; and other collectives, organizations, and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.

This press release was originally published in Spanish by La Jornada on October 29th, 2020. This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.

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  1. See previous translation Chiapas Burns
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