Land Defense Repression

Insumisión: Resistance and Repression in Mexico

By Scott Campbell
Originally published on It’s Going Down

Welcome to the first edition of “Insumisión,” a new column on It’s Going Down, bringing you news and analysis from social movements and struggles in the territory referred to as Mexico. Let’s get started.

As readers of It’s Going Down might already be aware, in Mexico City last Wednesday, Yorch, a member of Okupa Che, was kidnapped by police in the latest round of repression to face the autonomous, anti-authoritarian space on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, held since the 1999-2000 student strike. Police planted a backpack full of drugs on Yorch, who is now captive in a federal prison in Sonora. The morning after the arrest, compañerxs blockaded access to UNAM with burning dumpsters, and Molotov cocktails were unleashed on the UNAM Campus Security offices and patrol cars. The clamor to evict Okupa Che has steadily grown since Yorch’s arrest. Okupa Che released a statement, calling for solidarity and for people to be on alert to respond to any eviction attempt. Anarchist political prisoner Fernando Bárcenas (who received acts of solidarity from Tijuana to Bloomington earlier this year) sent an open letter in solidarity with Yorch, which reads in part:


Universal Protest on the Day of the Dead

by Acteal justicia y memoria

Let us call together for the reopening of the investigation of the Acteal massacre case as a State crime, and let us honor the victims on the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Join those individuals and groups who care in the place you live in, in order to organize a vigil for the night of November the 1st, 2009, followed by a demonstration, sit-in or any other peaceful act the following day (the Mexican Day of the Dead).

It doesn’t matter in which country you live: those actions taking place in Mexico will be joined by those organized outside the Mexican Consulates and Embassies in other countries, so that we complete a full day’s global call for justice.


Acteal: We haven’t forgotten and we never will

Friday, August 21, Mexico City. Songs, photos and messages of a demonstration outside the federal Supreme Court building catch the attention of some passers-by.

One lady asks what the protest was about. “They just made sure justice was done in the Acteal case, didn’t they?”

“No, not really,” a protester explains. “When the Supreme Court let 20 of the shooters go last week, they put the lives of the pacifists in the Las Abejas organization in real danger. And the ones who planned the crime have never set foot in jail. They killed a baby, 14 children, 21 women and 9 men in cold blood. Do you think that’s justice?”

The meeting is held the same day that news comes out in Washington D.C. confirming the Mexican Army’s support for “anti-Zapatista armed groups” at the time of the Acteal massacre.


Breaking the Silence: The Mexican Army and the 1997 Acteal Massacre

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 283

by Kate Doyle –

Research Assistance: Susana Zavala and Emilene Martínez-Morales

Washington, D.C., August 20, 2009 – As Mexicans debate last week’s Supreme Court ruling vacating the conviction of 20 men for the Acteal massacre, newly declassified documents from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency describe the Army’s role in backing paramilitary groups in Chiapas at the time of the killings. The secret cables confirm reporting about military support for indigenous armed groups carrying out attacks on pro-Zapatista communities in the region and add important new details. They also revive a question that has lingered for almost 12 years: when will the Army come clean about its role in Acteal?

Since the brutal attack of December 22, 1997, the Mexican government has offered multiple versions of the military’s involvement in the conflictive Chiapas zone around Acteal. The problem is the accounts have been incomplete or untrue. The most important of the DIA documents directly contradicts the official story told about the massacre by the government of then-President Ernesto Zedillo.


Acteal: Statement from Las Abejas Community on the release of paramilitaries

Translated by Scott Campbell

Las Abejas [The Bees] Civil Society Organization
Sacred Land of the Acteal Martyrs, Chiapas, Mexico
August 9, 2009

To the Inter-American Human Rights Commission
To all Social and Political Organizations
To all Human Rights defenders
To all the people of Mexico and the World
To the National and International press
To the Other Campaign
To public opinion

In response to reports that have been spread by some media outlets that the Supreme Court is about to make a ruling that would allow the freedom of 40 of the paramilitaries responsible for the massacre in Acteal on December 22, 1997, we want to state the following:

We are the members of Las Abejas Civil Society, from the San Pedro Chenalhó municipality, Chiapas, and based in the Sacred Land of Acteal in the same municipality.

Our organization formed in 1992 to confront the repression that then-governor of Chiapas, Patrocinio González Garrido, launched against indigenous communities, among them our own community of Chenalhó that saw several of their founding members, among them the current President of the Board of Directors of Las Abejas, unjustly imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.