Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Wellington group takes part in Week of Worldwide Action


Grace Leung and Paul Bruce outside the Mexican Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington group takes part in the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

By Julie Webb-Pullman

At lunchtime today members of the Wellington Zapatista Support held a candlelight vigil outside the Mexican Embassy in Wellington as part of the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!”

After constructing a small shrine with flowers and candles in remembrance of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, an indigenous community leader assassinated in April, the group hand-delivered a letter to the Mexican Ambassador to New Zealand, demanding that Guzman’s killers be brought to justice, and an end to the blatant abuses of rights of the Tzeltal communities of San Sebastián Bachajón.

The text of the letter is as follows:

Her Excellency Ms Rosaura Leonora Rueda Gutierrez
Ambassador
Embassy of Mexico
Wellington
NEW ZEALAND

27 June 2013

Dear Madam

We, the Wellington Zapatista Support Group, have been following with concern Mexican Federal, State and Municipal responses to the civil resistance in defence of their land by the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to The Other Campaign in the Agua Azul region of Chiapas.

Since 2007, the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón have suffered violence and repression at the hands of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)-backed authorities and paramilitary organizations. Their resistance to the take-over of Tzeltal traditional lands for transnational projects, particularly the site of the Agua Azul waterfalls which the ejidatarios have been responsibly and sustainably managing for many years, has placed them squarely in the firing line of those who seek to dispossess them of their lands for commercial gain.

Concerted attempts to break up the community and its resistance began in 2009, with the detention of eight ejidatarios and adherents to the Other Campaign by state and federal police, and the arrest and vicious assault of Ricardo Lagunes at a PRI paramilitary checkpoint after he left a meeting in Bachajón. Two years later in 2011, 117 ejidatarios were arbitrarily detained by police during an eviction attempt at the toll booth at the entrance to the Agua Azul area. Ten, including Pérez Álvaro, remained political prisoners for an extended period of time.

Physical violence and repression have been coupled with legal and judicial abuses, including court decisions denying the rights of ejidatarios, and their arrests and eviction in 2011 enabling authorities to take control of the collectively-owned lands.

The ongoing assaults on Bachajón autonomy culminated on the night of April 24, 2013 in the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in the doorway of his home.

Guzmán, Secretary General of the three centres of the ejido since April 2010, was riddled with six bullets after answering his door – the assailant fled the scene in a red pick-up, and no-one has yet been charged with his murder.

Hugo Blanco, director of Peruvian magazine Lucha Indígena, this week noted the participation of the rogue state of Israel, notorious for its impunity for 65 years of crimes against humanity and human rights abuses of Palestinians, in assisting the Mexican state to repress its indigenous peoples in Chiapas. “So far there has been no progress in the investigations into the perpetrators of the crime; on the contrary, harassment and persecution are constant. A few days after the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Secretary of Security and Civil Protection in the State of Chiapas, announced the training that the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Mexico will provide for the local police,” he wrote.
This does not augur well, either for the bringing before justice of the killers of Juan Guzmán, or for the protection of the collectively-owned lands of the indigenous Tzeltal from the ‘tourarism’ being practised by transnational business interests.

In this, the “Week of Worldwide Action: Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!” the Wellington Zapatista Support Group adds its voice to the international chorus demanding justice for Juan Vázquez Guzmán, and in support of the struggle of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón for their rights.

We demand:

1. a full investigation into the assassination of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in the doorway of his home on the evening of April 24, 2013, and punishment of those responsible;

2. The release of ejidatarios Antonio Estrada Estrada (prisoner in CERSS 17, Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas), Miguel Vázquez Deara (prisoner in CERSS 16, Ocosingo, Chiapas) and Miguel Demeza Jiménez (prisoner in CERSS 14, El Amate);

3. Respect for the right of the Tzeltal people of San Sebastián Bachajón to self-determination and to exercise their autonomy as stipulated in Agreement No. 169 regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the San Andrés Accords, Document 1, 3. 1. Document 2, II, IV (2. 3.); Document 3.1 (c, d); Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 5;

4. Respect for their right to use and enjoy their natural resources, which as indigenous peoples they have protected for centuries, as referenced in Agreement No. 169 regarding indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries, pursuant to article 13.2 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and San Andrés Accords 1.4 B. 2.; Document 1, Principle of the New Relationship 2; and

5. The immediate withdrawal of all military, paramilitary, and police forces from the entire region, such that the natural and national treasure of Agua Azul is returned to the common ownership from which it has been wrested, and the rights of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón are upheld.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news