Communique of the Frentes Unidos en Defensa de Tepoztlán


By: Frentes Unidos en Defenda de Tepoztlán

Today, November 2nd at 9:30 in the morning, we were threatened by members of the town council.  The acts of aggression took place in the encampment we have maintained for more than five months, in peaceful protest and resistance against ecological and cultural devastation brought by the highway expansion in our territory.  

The workers, utilizing resources of the municipal government, such as official vehicles, stole all the supplies we had collected to help victims of the earthquake of September 19th.  They also stole chairs, speakers and other belongings of the activists.  When the workers took shelter with what they had robbed in the offices of the town council, the police protected them.

They also destroyed our altar in remembrance of the dead, an action that represents a very serious offense against our cultural and traditional practices.

Later on, a commission of ten people entered into dialogue with the municipal president, Lauro Salazar, who refused to allow the meeting to be recorded and refused to sign a draft of agreements.

In the meeting, the municipal president said that he had not given any order to evict but perhaps that the councilors had done so.  The councilwoman Abril Cuevas said that she had not given any such order.  The councilman Esteban Rivera made no such declaration.  None of the other councilors were present in the meeting.  We solicited a statement from them since the municipal president had accused them of the act and it is very important to clarify who is responsible.   

These actions demonstrate the lack of governability and the lack of authority inside the municipal government although it is clear and well known that all of these actions are supported by Lauro Salazar.

The agreements to which we arrived were:

  1. The encampment to be immediately reinstalled in the corridor of the municipal presidency
  2. The municipal government will return all of the stolen belongings (at the moment of writing this they have not done so and said that perhaps tomorrow they will do so)
  3. The encampment will be kept clean and ordered and our banners will not be posted with paste
  4. The INE can be installed in the corridor for credentialization

We report to the public these intimidating acts encouraged by the municipal government without any official taking responsibility for the actions against our rights.

We also denounce Andrés Mesina (director of land registry) and Antonio Barragán (director of agricultural development), who lead the aggression.  It is necessary to know from whom they received the order of eviction of the encampment.

We reiterate our disposition for dialogue.  We remember that the state and federal government signed commitments to dialogue that they have not fulfilled.

Frentes Unidos en Defensa de Tepoztlán

Translated from the original here: