On the morning of Tuesday 1st September about 150 members of the paramilitary groups Aric Official, Aric Historical and OPDDIC from Santo Tomas attacked a group of Zapatista support bases who were working in the White House predio, in a community recently established on lands they have been working for the last 12 years, within the autonomous municipality of San Manuel, Caracol La Garrucha. In the clash a member of Aric-Union of Unions was killed, and more than 20 people were wounded, most Zapatistas. Seven Zapatistas were captured, imprisoned and tortured in Santo Tomas. During their detention they were forced to sign documents of indictment, and were savagely tortured. One man was suspended from a tree with the aim of hanging him, and another had his testicles cut off.
The lands were reclaimed by the Zapatistas in 1994. The support bases who live there have been harassed by members of these organisations since July. They have established a civil peace camp there to monitor and prevent these attacks. This is the first time that they have been attacked by such a large number of people, bearing machetes, sticks and firearms. Evicting people from their land, injuring, stealing, or killing livestock, and kidnapping, beating and torturing Zapatista support bases are practices whose sole intention is to provoke and create sources of conflict and remove them from their lands.
A statement by the Council of Good Governement of La Garrucha, Carocole III about this incident can be found at http://chiapas.indymedia.org/
A report by the US based Chiapas Support Committee with background information can be found at http://glasgowchiapassolidaritygroup.wordpress.com