Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Women Liberate Cruzton Detainees

Police, Armed Civilians Choked, Threatened to Shoot the Women

Contrary to preliminary reports, six men were detained during the April 27 police invasion of the Cruzton community. However, women from the community faced down police threats and liberated the detainees. The Cruzton community sent the following communique explaining the situation.


Cruzton Community, V. Carranza Municipality, Chiapas

To National and International Civil Society
To independent media
To human rights organizations
To the leadership of the EZLN

Being that at 5am on Sunday April 27, 2008, the inhabitants of the Cruzton community in V. Carranza Municipality were attacked by approximately 500 state preventive police with small arms who were transported in pickup trucks in a convoy of about 30-50 vehicles. They entered the community at multiple points, threatening boys, girls, and young people so that they would confess where their parents could be found. They entered houses without showing any form of legal authorization, causing damage to ten houses, knocking down doors, stealing money (exactly $11,500 pesos in cash and jewelry), destroying our harvests and vegetables that we use to sustain our families. They threatened to return to finish off the community. In this operation they detained six people: Tiburcio López hidalgo, Santos Díaz Calvo, Gildardo López, Roberto López López, Manuel Gómez López, and José Lázaro López López. These people were taken by force from their homes and given severe beatings causing injuries on various parts of their bodies. The operation stood out due to the excessive threats with weapons and the verbal mistreatment of defenseless members of the community. The aggressors were guided in the operation by the following armed civilians whose faces were masked with white t-shirts and red bandanas, but who were easily identified by their voices, eyes, and bodies: Fidel Gómez González who was identified by a limp in his right leg, Valentín González Jiménez, Pedro González Severino, Francisco Vázquez Jiménez, Marcelino Gonzáles Pilicastro, Álvaro González Mazariego and Juan Ruiz García.

The majority of the women in the community organized themselves and rescued the detained compañeros despite the police's strong threats that they would shoot them. As a result, Josefa Gómez Álvarez was grabbed by the neck by Mr. Fidel Gómez González, an armed civilian who lead the operation while the police and armed civilians threatened to come back and destroy houses and carry us off, and that they would fuck shit up even more. This is why the Cruzton community is infuriated by the bad government's treason--it's already violated the agreements of the negotiations which were in effect until now. With this action, we make it clear that we will never trust its empty promises. For this reason the Cruzton community demands that the state government respect our land rights because the land is ours. We aren't invading; this is a right we've had for many years. Our land is made up of 308 hectares and we'll continue defending it. We demand that they respect our struggle, our resistance, and that they resolve the situation of the invading people from Teopisca and Nuevo León. We also demand the cancelation of the unjust arrest warrants, and that the integrity of the boys, girls, young people, women, senior citizens, and all Cruzton community members be respected. We say "no" to the criminalization of poverty, and we demand that our resistance and defense of the land be respected. We ask that the organizations to whom we sent this communique support us and back us up by spreading the word and demanding that the government meet our demands and stop the repression against us.

Finally, we remind you of our invitation to the celebration of the first anniversary of our struggle on May 5 at 8am.

THE LAND ISN'T FOR SALE. IT IS WORKED AND DEFENDED.

SINCERELY,

The Cruzton community.
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