Zapatista teacher dead, 15 seriously wounded in deadly Chiapas ambush

Jose Luis Solís López, a teacher in the Zapatista’s “Little School” (La Escuelita) was targeted and murdered, and at least 15 Zapatistas seriously injured, in an ambush in which the leaderships of the paramilitary group called CIOAC-Histórica, the Green Ecological Party, the National Action Party [PAN] and the Revolutionary Institutional Party [PRI] are all implicated in directing on Friday, May 2, 2014.  The same attackers damaged or destroyed both the autonomous Mayan school and the local health clinic at the Zapatista caracol of La Realidad.

Four things you can do to respond to this deadly attack on the Zapatistas

Zapatista teacher killed, school and health center attacked in La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico.
Autonomous Zapatista elementary school in La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico.

1.  Get the facts. Almost all of the mainstream media are grossly distorting the facts about this violent ambush; however the Zapatistas have published a detailed description in Spanish of the attack (click here to see the document) and Sub Commander Insurgent Marcos has written en emotionally charged description of the events (click here to read Marcos in English).  In addition, mediators from the independent human rights organization Fray Bartolome de las Casas AC have published an eye-witness account (click here to read) which supports the Zapatista version of events. There’s also a detailed Spanish language article in the Mexican daily La Jornada…and here’s an English translation of that same article.  We will share additional information as it becomes available.

Some key points to know and remember about the ambush in La Realidad include:

  • Unarmed Zapatistas were  ambushed on the evening of May 2, 2014 near the caracol of La Realidad. Mainstream media are falsely reporting the incident as a “confrontation” between Zapatistas and others while publishing 20 year old photos of armed Zapatistas.  This was not a confrontation; it was a unilateral attack against unarmed bases of support of the EZLN.
  • Those directly responsible for the attack are members of the organization CIOAC-H.  The most recent Zapatista communication states that “The paramilitaries (…) are paid, organized, directed, and trained by the three levels of bad government in order to divide and provoke us (…).”
  • Immediately preceding this ambush, the Zapatistas and local community members began a peaceful mediation process, supervised by the Chiapas-based human rights organization Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, designed to address increasing aggressions against the Zapatistas (including the cutting off of their water supply and the retention of a vehicle delivering medical supplies).
  • Zapatista Good Governance Council in La Realidad has turned this issue over to the General Command of the EZLN so that it is “investigated and justice is done.”
Zapatista teacher murdered in Caracol I, La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico.
Solidarity ~ The Zapatista communities are not alone!

2. Speak out. Share the facts.

(Poster reads: “Solidarity: Zapatista communities are not alone!”)

Share the facts of this attack on the Zapatistas with family, co-workers, and within your communities. Let the Mexican government know that the whole world is watching and that the Zapatistas are not alone.  By clicking on the Facebook and/or the Twitter flag directly to the right you can easily share this important blog on your social media.  Do it!


3. Dig deeper. Understand the facts

The Zapatistas believe this attack in La Realidad is part of a broader strategy of counterinsurgency war against indigenous Mayan peoples of Chiapas, Mexico. Learn more about the history of the Zapatista movement and share their stories in your world by staying connected with organizations and independent media that tell the truth about events in Chiapas.

Zapatista women leaders in Chiapas, Mexico.
Zapatista women authorities under sign reading “Another world is possible”.

Browse the new and rapidly expanding Schools for Chiapas online library where you will find, maps, books, articles, links to additional organizations, and a timeline of the Zapatista movement.



4. Stay involved. Help build a new and better world.

In the days and weeks to come, stay tuned for more ways support for the Zapatistas as they begin the process of responding to this this new aggression while recovering and rebuilding in La Realidad.  Schools for Chiapas is committed to following these events closely; therefore one way to “stay tuned” is to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our online newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

NOTE:  Teachers, parents, & students:

You can find and share lesson plans to teach and learn about Chiapas and the Zapatistas.  Click here.

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