MILITARY INVASION BEGINS IN CHIAPAS

1998-06-12

Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998
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From: David Briars <•••@••.•••>
Subject: MILITARY INVASION BEGINS IN CHIAPAS
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Subject: MILITARY INVASION BEGINS IN CHIAPAS
Date: 12 Jun 1998
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*Summary*: Since the early morning of the 10th of June, hundreds of
soldiers, policemen and paramilitaries have entered San Juan de la Libertad
and other communities in Chiapas, to attack the support basis of the
Zapatista army (EZLN). They have bombed the communities, massacred the
population, burned the houses, arrested and tortured large groups of people,
etc. The army shows intentions to extend its operations to other
communities. This could be the last straw that would ignite an open war in
Chiapas, in the anniversary of the student massacre done by the army in
Mexico DF on the 10th of June 1971. Only a quick and effective intervention
from the international civil society (occupying Mexican embassies, writing
protest letters, organising demonstrations, etc) can stop this criminal
assault of the army, which is aimed at forcing the EZLN to defend the
Zapatista communities, giving the army a pretext to launch a generalised
military attack against all the Zapatistas.

**************************************

URGENT: STOP THE WAR!
Mexico City, June 10, 1998

To the committees, collectives, groups, political parties and social
organizations in solidarity with the zapatista communities:
To the national and international press:

The serious events which occurred today, June 10, in the municipality of San
Juan de la Libertad, demonstrate that the federal government has embarked,
openly, on the road to war and repression.

This event represents the attack of the greatest magnitude that the
government has carried out against the indigenous communities in Chiapas
since the Acteal massacre, and announces a new phase in the escalation of
the war on the part of the government. It also represents the cynical
response of the Mexican government to the Conai's decision to dissolve
itself, at the same time it deepens its attacks against the zapatista bases
of support, instead of seeking new paths to dialogue and to the installation
of the mediators necessary for that.

The police-military incursion which, seemingly, produced a confrontation of
unknown dimensions, is an act of provocation which tries to force EZLN
compañeros to defend the zapatista communities. In this way they hope to
find a pretext for declaring that the EZLN has attacked the government, and
to launch a military offensive against them.

Because of this, we call on international civil society, on political and
social organizations, on committees and collectives in solidarity with
Chiapas, to realize that the incidents in San Juan de la Libertad are not
just one more incident, but rather the spark that can burn down the country.

The International Commission of the Zapatista Front of National Liberation


(We include the communiques of the autonomous municipality of San Juan de la
Libertad, and statements of NGOs in San Cristobal de las Casas.)
-------------------------------------------------------------


SAN JUAN DE LA LIBERTAD (previously, EL BOSQUE)
CHIAPAS, June 10, 1998

TO PUBLIC OPINION
TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PRESS
TO THE PEOPLE OF MEXICO
TO ALL HUMAN RIGHTS' ORGANIZATIONS
TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY

We, the representatives of the communities of the Municipality of San Juan
de Libertad, denounce in front of public opinion, in front of the Nation and
in front of the world, the wave of violence and oppression in which we are
living in our municipality at this moment, ordered by the Government of
Roberto Albores Guillén and Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León. As of yesterday
and last night, hundreds of public security forces, federal and judicial
soldiers, and even paramilitary groups, have entered into the municipal
seat, and into several communities, to attack the support bases of the EZLN
and the Autonomous Municipal Council.

Since last night many public security forces and federal and judicial
soldiers have entered the community of Unión Progreso, at this moment they
have occupied the town and are destroying houses, all belongings and are
persecuting the residents . . .

In the community of Chabajebal, many public security forces and federal
soldiers entered, firing weapons, and now there are several dead and wounded
zapatista bases of support.

At this moment , many soldiers and public security forces are mobilizing by
land and air, to continue entering the communities and capture the EZLN
bases of support.

We are living at this moment in a situation of terror and persecution in our
municipality, but there is also a great military threat to other
municipalities in the highlands of Chiapas; what we are seeing here at this
moment is going to make it difficult to avoid a clash or some confrontation
with the zapatistas.

Because of all of this, we urgently request the intervention of human
rights' organizations, national and international, and the presence of the
International Red Cross, the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las
Casas, and national and international civil society, to intervene in order
to stop this war and persecution, unleashed and provoked by the Government
of Chiapas, by Roberto Albores Guillén, and by the federal government of
Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León against the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, who
are fighting for their rights and to defend their dignity as a people.

We ask the media to come to these places we mentioned in order to bear
witness and to speak the truth of these events.

SINCERELY

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMMUNITIES AND AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF SAN
JUAN DE LA LIBERTAD (previously, EL BOSQUE), CHIAPAS, MEXICO

____________________________________________

DENUNCIATION BY THE ZAPATISTA BASES OF SUPPORT OF THE AUTONOMOUS
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN DE LA LIBERTAD

June 10, 1998

TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PRESS
TO NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS' ORGANIZATIONS
TO STATE, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION

The support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) are
broadcasting through radio station XEWM, with headquarters in the city of
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in order to transmit before public
opinion the following terrible events that occurred on June 10, 1998, and
which are the following:

a) At 3 AM on the morning of June 10, 1998, forces from the State Public
Security, State and Federal Judicial Police, together with PRI militants
from the municipal seat, took over the office of the President of the
Autonomous Municipality of San Juan de la Libertad, all of those who were
standing guard at that office were intimidated, beaten, tortured and then
they were taken to the Cerro Hueco jail.

b) At 4 AM on the morning of June 10, 1998, elements of State Public
Security, State and Federal Judicial Police and federal soldiers attacked
the community of Chabajeval, municipality of San Juan de la Libertad,
massacring innocent families, and, in addition, helicopters were
participating in the massacre from the air, dropping bombs in order to
destroy the houses in that community.

c) At 4:30 AM, on June 10 of this year, elements of State Public Security,
State and Federal Judicial Police surrounded and attacked the community of
Unión Progreso, municipality of San Juan de la Libertad, Chiapas; as of this
moment there are deaths and many disappeared, and two helicopters were
participating in this repression.

d) At almost the same time on the morning of June 10 of this year, elements
of State Public Security, State and Federal judicial police, attempted to
enter the community of Obregón, municipality of San Juan de la Libertad,
with the intention of attacking the community, but the people were able to
block the road in a peaceful manner so that the repressors could not gain
access. Upon seeing that they could not enter, the repressors warned that
they would return to attack the community.

THE SUPPORT BASES OF THE ZAPATISTA ARMY OF NATIONAL LIBERATION (EZLN), ON
JUNE 10, 1998

_____________________________________

DECLARATION OF SOCIAL AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS OF SAN CRISTOBAL DE
LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS

CHIAPAS, June 10, 1998

TO PUBLIC OPINION
TO THE GENERAL PRESS
TO CIVIL SOCIETY

Today, June 10, 1998, we remember that only civil society, that is to say,
we, can stop the Federal government's strategy of war and achieve profound
changes in Chiapas and in the nation.

We remember the young students who, on June 10, 1971, were assassinated in
Mexico City by the paramilitary group "The Falcons," for the sole crime of
defending their rights.

Today we also remember the call made by the EZLN at the first National
Democratic Convention for dialogue with civil society and to stop the
incipient attacks of the Federal government against the indigenous
communities of Chiapas.

Today, June 10, 1998, the Federal and State governments are again carrying
out a police and military operation against the mountain communities and the
autonomous municipal center of San Juan de la Libertad.

We call to all social and political organizations, and to civil society in
general, so that we may stop this new wave of violence that the Federal and
State governments are carrying out.

SINCERELY

BACOSAM
CIAM
ENLACE CIVIL, AC
FOCA
FZLN
KINL ANTZETIK

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