Never again another Acteal!
Over 6,000 indigenous people in highland Chiapas, Mexico have been driven from their homes by paramilitaries. Many are living without shelter on the mountainsides. The displacement is the result of a 45 year-old territorial dispute generated by government land reapportioning that has boiled over into a major conflict, with paramilitaries driving people from their homes. Some of these paramilitaries are the same ones who committed the massacre in Acteal, Chenalhó in 1997.
Padre Marcelo, an indigenous priest, who has been to visit the displaced people is quoted in an article from La Jornada on Dec 1st: When I saw the children sleeping under the trees, with nothing to eat, sick many of them, I did not believe it. I never thought I was going to see so much suffering again, so much illness.
URGENT NEED FOR FOOD, MEDICINE
Cáritas, a charity in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas is accepting aid. In the U.S. aid is being collected through paypal on the WEAVING FOR JUSTICE website: www.weaving-for-justice.org coordinated by Christine Eber. Weaving for Justice will accept donations through the end of the year with money periodically transferred to Cáritas. You may also donate by check made out to “Sophia’s Circle” (a 501c3 organization, of which Weaving for Justice is the main project) and mailed to arrive before December 31st to:
Sophia’s Circle 1825 Myrtle Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001
Thank you for your support!
URGE AUTHORITIES TO SETTLE THE UNDERLYING ISSUES
Please write to Mexican federal and Chiapas state authorities demanding that they take immediate action to resolve the crisis. Demands should include: 1) urgent action to ensure the lives and safety of persons in Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó; 2) apply United Nations’ guidelines regarding protection of internally displaced persons: 3) investigate the murder which set off the violence and bring those responsible to justice; and 4) guarantee free passage and social peace in the two communities.
Address your letters to:
Lic. Miguel Ángel Osori Chong/Secretario de Gobernaciónfirstname.lastname@example.org
Manuel Velasco Coello/Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas/ email@example.com