Photo by Anthony Guerra
On Monday February 1st, a group of people invaded the land where support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), belonging to the community of Nuevo San Gregorio, were planting beans and corn. The invasion forced the suspension of planting activities.
The Solidarity Caravan denounced this hostility in a communiqué released on Wednesday February 3rd, where they pointed out that this action is another aggression and part of the counterinsurgency escalation in recent years.
“We consider this action to be an aggression against food autonomy and the right to land. These are the same mechanisms of invasion that have been used since November 2019 by the invading group, and it is one of the reasons for the presence of the Solidarity Caravan,” they detailed in the document. They also drew attention to the fact that the BAEZLN can’t feed their animals and families can’t return to their homes since the aggressors are occupying the road toward the community.
The Solidarity Caravan, made up of organizations, collectives, and individuals who are adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, is carrying out accompaniment and observation in lands that “…are of vital importance for the self-sustainability of the community as they exercise their right to free self-determination as autonomous peoples.”
That’s why the caravan departed on Monday from San Cristóbal de las Casas toward the community of Nuevo San Gregorio, Autonomous Zapatista Rebel Municipality (MAREZ) of Lucio Cabañas, to accompany the BAEZLN in their work in the field. The planting activities have now been suspended due to the invasion.
A communiqué shared by the Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion pointed out that “The residents of the community of Nuevo San Gregorio, Autonomous Municipality of Lucio Cabañas, identified the following people among the invading group: from the town of San Gregorio Las Casas, Nicolás Pérez Pérez, Sebastián Bolom Ara, Pedro Hernández Gómez, Alejandro Pérez Huet, Nicolás Moshán Huet, and Sebastián Ara Moshán; from Duraznal, Javier Gómez Pérez, Manuela Moshán Huacash, Miguel Gómez Méndez, and Pedro Pérez Pérez; from Rancho Alegre, Felípe Enríquez Gómez; and from San Andrés Puerto Rico, Miguel Moshán Huey, and Manuel Moshán Moshán.”
This attack adds to the violence carried out by armed groups affiliated with the Regional Coffee Growers’ Organization of Ocosingo (ORCAO), who have threatened the Zapatista communities of the Moises Ghandi region, and the Autonomous Zapatista Rebel Municipality of Lucio Cabañas with firearms.
For now, the caravan continues its presence in the region. In addition to documenting counterinsurgency strategies against the BAEZLN, they are also working to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of the people of the community against possible aggression as well as documenting violence that has occurred where Zapatista girls, boys, and women are the most vulnerable.