Statement by EZLN Support Base Wounded in Moises and Gandhi Region by Paramilitary ORCAO Group Attack.
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the National and International Sexta
To the Networks of Resistances and Rebellions
To those who participated in the Caravan and Forum “The South Resists
To those who struggle and defend life.
Jobel Valley, Chiapas, May 24, 2023.
Compañerxs we have information about the recent and terrible armed attack perpetrated by the paramilitary group of the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO) against our comrades Bases of Support of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) on the night of May 22nd of this year. This attack was directed towards the Zapatista Autonomous Community of Moisés and Gandhi, Lucio Cabañas Autonomous Municipality. Caracol 10, Floreciendo la Semilla Rebelde (Ocosingo, Chiapas). An armed attack that lasted for hours and from which hundreds of bullets were fired. Our BAEZLN comrade Gilberto López Sántiz was seriously wounded.
With pain, strength and dignity we denounce once again the criminal organization ORCAO. An armed group that has not ceased to violate, intimidate, harass, kidnap, torture, steal, destroy and try to dispossess the EZLN peoples of their recovered lands.
ORCAO’s mode of operation is that of government counterinsurgency agents. Now it camouflages itself as the “Indigenous Government” to also use defamation, slander and manipulation in cowardly acts against the EZLN in order to generate confusion and disinformation.
As the Network of Resistance and Rebellion AJMAQ, along with other organizations, collectives and individuals, we have carried out caravans and observation visits since October 2020 to document, communicate, disseminate and denounce the criminal actions of this paramilitary group. We have been collecting the testimonies of men, elders, women, youth and children since 2019. These aggressions began with the siege and land seizures on the recovered lands, as well as the damage and destruction of the collective crops. At the beginning of 2020, the aggressions included theft of crops, destruction of wire fences and posts, the presence of armed people with portable radios in the community and setting up guards, verbal and written threats, intimidation and physical aggressions against compas BAEZLN, burning and fumigation of crops, theft of the autonomous communities’ stores, burning of beehives, destruction of the Autonomous High School, and gunshots.
Since August 2020, the burning and destruction of the Zapatista compañeras’ cafeteria and the Arcoiris Regional Store by ORCAO at the Cuxuljá crossroads was made public. That same place today is under the control of the paramilitary group. It is followed by attacks and gunfire of different caliber inside the autonomous communities, which put at risk the lives of men, women, boys, girls, grandmothers and grandfathers who have to seek refuge from the bullets, or throw themselves in the mud in the middle of the night, since there have been attacks for nights and days on end.
We know that these are not the only times that ORCAO directs criminal attacks against our comrades of the EZLN. Since the late 1990s, several ORCAO leaders have been co-opted by the Mexican state in its eagerness to stop the advance of autonomy and struggle. Currently, this government headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party has been no exception, as ORCAO continues to act with total impunity and to receive social programs, such as “Sembrando Vida,” as part of this sinister pact between these types of organizations and the bad government.
As the Network of Resistances and Rebellions AJMAQ we reaffirm our solidarity with the EZLN and our repudiation of what has happened. We remain attentive to the health of our comrade Gilberto López Sántiz. We call on the comrades of the National and International Sexta and people in solidarity to be vigilant and to demonstrate in the wake of what happened. We cry out loudly that our Zapatista comrades are not alone, and if they touch one of us they touch us all.
The Zapatistas are not alone!
Stop the attacks on the EZLN!
Long live autonomy!
Network of Resistances and Rebellions Ajmaq
¡Nuestra lucha es por la vida!
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