State officials break off dialogue with arrest of David Venegas. Call for a new caravan.

This morning, Sunday January 29, 2012, we started out marching from Yosoyuxi towards San Juan Copala, and were stopped once again by more than 200 state riot police after we had gone about 3 kilometers.

Government functionaries showed up with the proposal that a representative of the displaced people join in the assembly to be held by the people now occupying San Juan Copala, in which a decision would be made about the question of the return.

The functionaries proposed a commission of 10 people, while the displaced people said there should be 20 people, with the guarantee that they would only be people from the town and that no armed members of MULT-PUP, UBISORT-PRI would be present.

We were discussing this issue when David Venegas “Alebrije” was suddenly arrested at about 2 pm by the police in a surprise action against the march which by then had gone on past the police squadron, walking on either side of it.

They beat Venegas despite the fact that the women of the Autonomous Municipality tried to defend him by throwing stones at the police. The functionaries tried to blackmail them into accepting the conditions proposed by the state government.

The functionaries have cut off all communication and withdrew the police squadron. The caravan/march is about 4 kilometers away from San Juan Copala, near the UBISORT stronghold, La Sabana, where people will stay for the night before resuming the march to San Juan Copala.

We hold the state government responsible for the physical and mental integrity of all the participants in the caravan/march. We demand that David Venegas, whose whereabouts are unknown at this time, be immediately and unconditionally released.

We call on all of you to organize a solidarity caravan from Mexico City that will leave on Wednesday night from the camp of the Autonomous Municipality located at one side of the metropolitan cathedral in the zócalo.

Committee of Defense and Justice for the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala and solidarity organizations with the displaced people of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala