EZLN Bases Denounce Attacks by the ORCAO
para leer en español:
** They are paramilitaries and have the support of police, assure the Zapatistas
** The aggressors come from the Guadalupe Victoria, Las Conchitas and Pojcol Ejidos
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
The Good Government Junta, Path of the Future, of the Zapatista Caracol of La Garrucha, Chiapas, denounced armed attacks by groups from the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (Orcao, its initials in Spanish)), who it describes as paramilitary that has the backup of state and municipal police. The aggressors come from the Guadalupe Victoria and Las Conchitas ejidos (Ocosingo), as well as from Pojcol (Chilón), where they have attempted to invade lands of the EZLN’s support bases in Francisco Villa autonomous municipality.
On August 12, organized and armed groups of Orcao members shot at Tzeltal campesinos that were driving to carry out collective work on recuperated lands. “Men and women, Orcao members from Guadalupe Victoria, impeded the pass of our compañeros, threatening to burn the vehicle with all the belongings that they were carrying,” the Junta reported.
“One of our compañeros wanted to film” it added, and his camera was snatched away from him by the Orcao members. “At the moment our other compañeros are arriving and the Orcao member José Alfredo Peñate Gómez takes out a 22 caliber pistol and begins to shoot, and a bullet touches Manuel Hernández López.” The Zapatistas opted to withdraw. A little later, another vehicle from the autonomous municipio was transporting more Zapatistas in the direction of their work, and “one thousand meter from the road an armed group from Pojcol” shot weapons, with two 22 caliber impacts reaching the vehicle.
According to the Junta, “the bad government has organized them as paramilitaries because at those moments people from Las Conchitas are arriving that are taking our recuperated land,” and after them came people from Pojcol “like wanting to surround our compañeros,” and upon them rejecting the circle, another Zapatista was injured by a stone thrown in the forehead, “and the aggressor touched him with a cudgel blow.”
Those from Pojcol, that “it is known are paramilitaries,” positioned themselves in the woods to shoot with high caliber weapons, together with the people from Las Conchitas, “that also have large weapons.” All the attackers “are equipped with radios for communication delivered by the three levels of government, because they know that the Army cannot use them. They prepare indigenous paramilitary groups for attacking the EZLN’s bases.”
Before that, the Zapatistas proceeded “to destroy the little huts that the invaders had put there.” On August 13, the people from Pojcol, “once again entered armed cutting down trees, protected by the paramilitaries,” and shot 18 bullets “of high caliber.” On the day of August 14, the shots continued.
The Junta placed responsibility on President Felipe Calderón, on Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero and Mayor Arturo Zúñiga, and remembered its previous denunciation, of July 7, about other aggressions. “It is seen clearly that (these actions) are prepared, directed and supported by the bad governments, because a police car arrived in Guadalupe Victoria that night with two ambulances. We believe that they were to leave more bullets and to pay well for them.”
The Junta points out that this “is one of the thousand ways of waging counterinsurgency campaigns against the Zapatistas” because the rulers “are experts at manipulating the leaders that let them,” and it asks: “Why does it please them so much that there are widows and orphans?”
Everything indicates that the Orcao is out of control. It’s important to remember that on July 27, according to official sources, some 200 members of said organization caused damage to Ocosingo’s Municipal Palace and to a neighboring hotel, protesting because the municipal president, Arturo Zúñiga, “has not fulfilled his campaign promises.”
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, August 16, 2011