Orcao Paramilitary Group Intensifies Attacks Against Zapatista Territory

Photo by Santiago Navarro F

By Avispa Midia

According to the Ajmaq Network of Resistance and Rebellion, the Ocosingo Regional Coffee Growers Association (ORCAO, Organización Regional de Cafeticultores de Ocosingo) initiated armed hostilities against civilian supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in the autonomous community of Moisés y Gandhi, Chiapas at 8:30 pm October 13.

Ajmaq, which is made up of organizations, collectives, and individuals adhering to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle and located in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, learned of the attack from the “New Dawn in Resistance and Rebellion for Life and Humanity” Good Government Council from Caracol 10, Floreciendo la Semilla Rebelde. The attack comes just over a month after the same paramilitary group kidnapped Zapatista autonomous leaders José Antonio Sánchez Juárez and Sebastián Núñez Pérez.

At 1:25 am October 14, the gunfire intensified, reaching the autonomous high school. At 2:20 am the heavily armed group stood only 30 meters from the houses of the EZLN-supporting families, who were forced to flee to find safe refuge.

The attack ended around 3:30 am according to the Good Government Council. “We demand respect for Zapatista land and territory, autonomy, and free determination,” Ajmaq said in its communique.

After the September kidnapping, the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command (CCRI-CG) of the EZLN published a communique warning that Chiapas is on the brink of civil war and calling for national and international solidarity. Despite insistent calls on all three levels of government to put a stop to paramilitary activity against these self-organized communities, ORCAO continues to enjoy complete impunity for its actions.

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