rdom on Wed, 28 Aug 2002 12:59:34 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> massive troop buildup and killing of zapatistas

 Originally published in Spanish by La Jornada 
 Translated by irlandesa 

 Two articles: 

 1.  Paramilitaries Execute Two Zapatistas 
 2.  Hundreds of Army Troops Enter Ocosingo Ca~adas 

 La Jornada 
 Tuesday, August 27, 2002. 

 Paramilitaries Execute Two Zapatistas 

 Hermann Bellinghausen, correspondent 

 San Cristo'bal de las Casas, Chiapas. 
 August 26. 

Two campesinos, EZLN support bases, were shot to death yesterday morning in the 
Amaytik ranch by PRI paramilitaries from that community and neighboring Pe~a 
Limonar, a few kilometers from Cintalapa, an Army base of operations. 

 This afternoon, Ricardo Flores Mago'n Autonomous Municipal authorities denounced 
that PRIs and paramilitaries from
 the Amaytik ranch killed Lorenzo Marti'nez Espinosa, of the Nueva Esperanza 
Ejido and spokesperson for the autonomous
 council, and Jacinto Herna'ndez Gutie'rrez, autonomous agent for the ranch. 

 The autonomistas added that Lorenzo Marti'nez Espinosa's body "disappeared last 
night, with no knowledge of who
 removed it and where they took it in order to conceal the crime, which was 
organized by PRI paramilitaries from the
 Pe~a Limonar area who are operating in this ca~ada, as we have previously 
denounced.  We demand that they immediately
 return our compa~ero's body to us," the rebel council said. 

 "We are holding the bad government directly responsible for these incidents 
which have taken place.  And, because of
 all of this, we are calling on national and international civil society to 
mobilize to demand that the bad government
 stop the killings and to investigate, to see that justice is done, those who are 
truly guilty of the assassination of
 our compa~eros." 

 The autonomistas stated that, with this criminal ambush, "the bad government, 
along with their paramilitaries, are
 carrying out their death threats against our peoples who are in dignified 

 "Despite all these threats and assassinations, our peoples shall continue 
resisting and fighting for Democracy,
 Liberty and Justice." 

 The State Prosecutor's Office Version 

 The State Prosecutor's Office [PGJE] reported on the incidents last night with 
an essentially different version of
 the events.  According to the official communique', it was an "inter-family 
fight, which took place in the Amaitic
 [sic] community, in the municipality of Ocosingo, where a male person lost his 
life and seven others were wounded."
  Based on this, the Prosecutor's Office announced that an investigation would be 
opened.  According to the first
 ministerial proceedings, the PGJE stated that the incident took place owing to 
the fact that a few days ago Manuel
 Gutie'rrez Herna'ndez had "abducted Juana Herna'ndez Cruz, and, according to 
uses and customs, the boyfriend should
 have paid 5000 pesos as a dowry and provided liquor and food to the fiance'e's 
family.  However, Manuel Herna'ndez
 refused to comply with the community's traditions, which started a fight between 
the two families." 

 This version by the PGJE, which was still being maintained today by official 
sources in the chiapaneco government,
 was met with a deluge of unconfirmed rumors and information about alleged 
confrontations between campesinos in the
 northern region of the Selva Lacandona. 

 Meanwhile, the Fray Pedro de la Nada Human Rights Committee [CDHFPLN], in 
Ocosingo, reported significant Army
 movements at the barracks of the military region located in the Tonina' predio. 

 The same civil organization informed that "tension has increased to such a 
degree in the area that, according to
 information the Department of Indian Peoples (SEPI) provided to the Fray 
Bartolome' de las Casas Human Rights Center,
 there was a subsequent confrontation on Monday morning in the Arroyo Granizo 
ejido, which is on the border of the
 Ricardo Flores Mago'n Autonomous Municipality, close to the military detachment 
at Cintalapa."  Neither this
 confrontation, nor other alleged ones, have been confirmed as of tonight, since 
it would appear that they did not
 take place. 

 Nonetheless, the CDHFPLN itself documented that "a military convoy of more than 
30 vehicles, among them several
 artillery and tanks, left this Monday morning from the 39th military region 
facilities, in Ocosingo, headed towards
 the ca~adas, passing by the Quexil crossroads, where zapatista support bases 
from 3 Autonomous Municipalities are
 maintaining a checkpoint in order to prevent trafficking in alcohol, precious 
woods and stolen cars, and where more
 than 200 PRIs from OPDIC attacked them last week with rocks, clubs, machetes and 

 According to the CDHFPLN, "in contrast with the tension that is now present in 
the communities in the ca~adas, calm
 and tranquility seem to be prevailing among residents in the municipal seat of 
Ocosingo.  However, for the second
 time this week, the municipal police were working without their brand new 
uniforms which make them look like soldiers
 in action [camouflage].  Like last week, when state Deputy Pedro Chuli'n 
gathered together the PRIs from OPDIC who
 attacked the zapatistas at Quexil, the police were in civilian clothing today." 

 The human rights committee believes that the rumors of possible actions by 
paramilitary groups against the
 communities bordering Montes Azules would appear to be materializing, and the 
risk of more violence is increasing
 dangerously.  Consequently, and in the name of various civil organizations, it 

 "The human rights centers are urging the federal government to distance itself 
from armed PRI and/or paramilitary
 groups which are operating in the region;  the Supreme Court of Justice to 
present its ruling on the constitutional
 objections presented against the Indigenous Law which was irresponsibly approved 
by the Deputies and Senators;  and
 the Legislative branch to promote the urgent reform of said Law in order to 
incorporate the San Andre's Accords,
 which were signed by the federal government and the Zapatista Army of National 

 Human rights civil organizations from San Cristo'bal de las Casas, Ocosingo and 
Chilo'n mobilized at least three
 observation brigades this afternoon to the area where yesterday's assassinations 
took place. 

 Tonight, thousands of Mexican Army soldiers who entered in the direction of 
Palenque, Monte Li'bano and Montes Azules
 had practically taken over the roads, and they were constantly patrolling the 
autonomous communities in the region. 


 La Jornada 
 Tuesday, August 27, 2002. 

 Hundreds of Army Troops Enter Ocosingo Ca~adas 

 Hermann Bellinghausen, correspondent 

 San Cristo'bal de las Casas, Chiapas 
 August 26. 

 Hundreds of Army troops entered the ca~adas of the Selva Lacandona today, in the 
direction of Palenque in the extreme
 north of the Selva.  Dozens of trucks transported contingents of armed and 
equipped soldiers.  Tanks and artillery
 vehicles were also mobilized, which have dispersed in several directions inside 
the Ocosingo ca~adas in the
 Autonomous Municipalities of Ricardo Flores Mago'n, San Manuel and Francisco 

 Creating a sudden climate of tension and fear, which has been being prepared 
throughout the previous week, the Army
 entered the ca~adas in pursuit of rumors.  At the present time, the reasons for 
this large deployment are unknown.
  Meanwhile, state judicial officials have had a body 'disappeared,' and their 
investigations are yielding
 disappointing results. 

 The Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada Human Rights Committee told La Jornada tonight 
that "this is the first mobilization
 of such great magnitude since President Vicente Fox announced the withdrawal of 
the military from the camps at Amador
 Herna'ndez, La Garrucha, Guadalupe Tepeyac, Cuxulja', Roberto Barrios, Oventic 
and La Realidad in December of 2000,
 when he took office." 

 Since 1995 there has not, however, been any withdrawal of troops from the 
conflict zone. 

 Reports from the Autonomous Municipalities which surround the city of Ocosingo, 
as well as various reports from civil
 observation groups, confirm that the Army operation began yesterday at 5 PM, 
when the first ten trucks arrived with
 troops from the 39th Military Region general barracks.  At 6 PM, 20 more 
vehicles.  An hour later, 30.  Forty arrived
 at 8 PM, and fifteen more at 9 PM. 

 Added to these are the troops which are already in the military barracks at the 
Tonina' predio, one of the largest in
 Chiapas, and the barracks for the 39th Army Military Region.  Over recent days, 
there has been a visible increase in
 the troops' activity inside the barracks. 

 This Army which gathered together in Tonina' was carrying out combat practice 
between 8PM and 10 PM.  The soldiers
 did not sleep all light long, as they were constantly shouting slogans and every 
so often starting the engines of
 their vehicles. 

 At 5 AM today, the first 10 vehicles left Tonina', headed towards the city of 
Ocosingo.  At 7 AM, another twenty, as
 well as 42 towards Monte Li'bano and Taniperla.  There were artillery vehicles, 
and they were preceded by tanks. 

 According to the San Manuel Autonomous Municipality, civilians were also 
traveling in these trucks.  It was thought
 that they were OPDIC paramilitaries who had remained in Ocosingo since the 19th, 
when their leader and PRI Deputy
 Pedro Chuli'n Jimenez, had gathered them together. 

 The San Manuel municipality today denounced that deputy Chuli'n Jime'nez was one 
of the persons who opened fire on
 the EZLN support bases last Monday, during the paramilitary attack at the Quexil 
crossroads.  According to autonomous
 authorities, about 300 federal Army trucks, tanks and assault vehicles were 
gathered at Tonina' last night. 

 At 5 PM today, even more trucks carrying troops left in the direction of Monte 

 In addition, the Primero de Enero Autonomous Municipality reported the 
mobilization today of a long and intermittent
 convoy of 2000 soldiers heading towards Palenque on the international highway. 

 There were also significant army movements, of unspecified number, all along the 
border highway which runs along the
 north of the Montes Azules on the Tabasco and Guatemala international borders. 

 >From the city of Ocosingo, the CDHFPLN confirmed that hundreds of Army troops 
were seen arriving at the Ocosingo
 military region on Sunday night.  "They were seen leaving their barracks since 
this Monday morning, and they were
 subsequently seen already dispersed in different points in the ca~adas:  4 
trucks full of armed troops close to the
 Nuevo Morelia ejido (at the entrance to the Patihuitz ca~ada, where the 
Francisco Go'mez Autonomous Municipality is
 located);  approximately 10 vehicles, some artillery and with a tank in front, 
in the Agua Dulce ranch (between the
 rebel municipalities San Manuel and Ricardo Flores Mago'n); approximately 10 
vehicles patrolling between the Monte
 Li'bano crossroads and the military detachment at El Ocotalito, also with tanks 
and artillery vehicles.  The Army was
 also seen moving, heading towards the community of Taniperla and towards Pe~a 

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