Open letter for San Sebastían Bachajón

 

 

Eduardo Medina Mora, Ambassador of Mexico in the UK

CC. Lic. Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa

Presidente de la República

CC. Lic. Juan José Sabines Guerrero

Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas

CC. Dr. Noé Castañón León

Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

CC. Dr. Juan Gabriel Coutiño Gómez

Magistrado Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia del Estado de Chiapas

 

The recent arrest of common landholders (ejidatarios) from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas along with the threats and harassment that they received from the state police and prosecutors, as documented by the Human Rights Centre Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, shows once again that the Mexican Government is prepared to use State force in order to implement its development projects when the people from the communities directly affected by such projects do not agree with them.

It is undeniable that what is at stake is the transformation of Agua Azul into a high revenue tourist complex that will economically benefit those in power and some private investors.  However, in order to achieve this, the ejidatarios of Bachajón, who are defending their land and their territory, are in the way. 

Oblivious to the reports and news wires that portray Mexico as a country devastated by a Drug War (“2010 was the bloodiest year so far, with 15,273 drug-related murders” according to the BBC News Website[1]), the Mexican Government still wants to go ahead with projects that will promote the country as a tourist paradise, even if this means the implementation of policies that violate human rights or the use of violence in order to ease social tension. 

European tourists visiting the area will have to know that their sightseeing has been constructed through dispossession, harassment and intimidation. Furthermore, a modern democracy cannot afford to have political prisoners and the ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajón can certainly be described as such.

We, in London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bradford, Glasgow and Leeds, will be following this case closely, and we expect the Mexican Government to guarantee that the Human Rights of the detainees are respected as well as their immediate release.

Sincerely,

UK Zapatista Network

[1]  In Q&A: Mexico's drug-related violence available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ world-latin-america-10681249 (accessed on 09 Feb 2011)