New military and police incursions in Las Canadas of Ocosingo
by Jesus Ramirez Cuevas, Jun 15, 1999
Mexican Army troops, and Public Security and Judicial Police forces, went into the community of San Antonio La Victoria this morning and carried out maneuvers on the outskirts of San Marcos, in the canada of Las Tazas, municipality of Ocosingo.
Representatives of the San Manuel Autonomous Municipality reported that soldiers and police, in five trucks, deployed throughout the outskirts of the communities, which are inhabited by zapatista sympathizers. The tzeltal indigenous denounced that security forces have been carrying out detentions and interrogations of campesinos sympathetic with the EZLN over the last few days, in the communities of Avellanal, Tacitas, Las Tazas, La Trinidad and San Marcos.
Residents of La Trinidad denounced that zapatista sympathizers in that community are being subjected to interrogations and harassment by soldiers and police, who set up a camp there on June 10.
Jose, a campesino from that ejido, who escaped today from one of those inquisition 'operations,' noted: "They come onto our land in order to interrogate the people. When we go to work, they ask us many questions, and they detain us for one or two hours, they ask us what we are doing, if we know Marcos, where the zapatistas are. The soldiers say they want to grab one of the zapatistas so he'll denounce his companeros."
Indigenous from that ejido also reported that "the soldiers surround the town every night, and they patrol the streets and watch over the roads and access paths to this town. They are threatening to come in, in order to give them a little check-up."
Francisco Paniagua, ejidal commissioner from La Trinidad, reported that ejiditarios protested last Saturday because the soldiers had occupied the community school, causing the soldiers to move to Jose Hernandez' land, one of the purported EZLN deserters.
In the midst of chants and slogans by the soldiers, who are training in this town, community authorities denounced "the pressure from the PGR" to sign a paper asking for the Army and the police to remain. "But I can't sign, because the majority of the ejiditarios are against it. The small group that's supporting the governor already signed an act asking for them to say."
Roberto, EZLN support base in La Trinidad, complains about the problems the soldiers have brought with them: "They say they come to lend security, but they only come to bother the people."
The zapatistas of La Trinidad deny that they are the ones responsible for the alleged cattle rustling and for the purported threats against those who say they have left the rebel group. "The government presented a group of PRI's and criminals who passed themselves off as zapatistas, but they've never been, and they've just fooled the government."
For more information, contact:
Mexico Solidarity Network
4834 N Springfield
Chicago IL 60625
773-583-7728 or e-mail
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