A “Global Day of Action for the Liberation of the Zapatista Political Prisoner” is calling for freedom for Zapatista villager Patricio Domíngez Vázquez. Patricio has been imprisoned on false charges by the authorities in Chiapas, Mexico.
On 12 April the official authorities of the Monte Redondo ejido kidnapped and detained Patricio. These authorities, affiliated to political parties, alleged that the Zapatista had cut down 8 trees on his own land, when in fact it was the political party supporters who cut down the trees, in order to frame Patricio. The authorities then tried to persuade the inhabitants of the ejido to burn down Patricio's house (an ejido is a location where people farm communal land: 600 people live at Monte Redondo). Currently Patricio is imprisoned in Motozintla jail.
This is not an isolated case but is part of a campaign by the authorities and political parties to drive the local Zapatistas off their land. For over three years now, they have falsely accused Patricio, along with many others from Monte Redondo and elsewhere, of crimes that he has not committed. The PAN (National Action Party), PRD (Democratic Revolution Party) and the so-called Green Ecology Party are all involved.
DEFENDING THE LAND
Like so many other sisters and brothers who have faced state repression, the only “crime” of the Zapatistas of Monte Redondo is that of defending their land and the natural resources, which in the eyes of the bad government and greedy capitalists, are nothing more than commodities to be exploited.
The Zapatista Council of Good Government for the Jungle-Frontier zone of Chiapas denounces the aggression against the local Zapatistas, who belong to the Autonomous Municipality “Land and Liberty”, and calls for the immediate liberation of Patricio. They make it clear they hold Juan Sabines, governor of Chiapas, and Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico, responsible.
“We are not going to tolerate these actions and we are certainly not going to give up our struggle: we are going to defend our lands...We love the land, because we live from the land, we care for the land, we work on the land and we will defend it whenever we have to.”
Throughout Chiapas the Zapatistas, who have now been creating autonomous communities of resistance for over 16 years, and also supporters of the Other Campaign, are coming under attack by the state and state-sponsored paramilitaries, as those in power try to take over the land, often for profit-motivated developments.
In this situation international solidarity is vital – hence the International day of action called by the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, of New York, for 29th April. Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group intend to continue spreading information and denouncing such injustices.
Complete statement by The Zapatista Council of Good Government for the Jungle-Frontier zone in spanish