This communiqué comes from the Indigenous Chol community of San José El Bascan, Chiapas, and denounces the ongoing threats of territorial dispossession. The original in Spanish was published by the National Indigenous Congress and can be found here.
San José El Bascan
Municipality of Salto de Agua, Chiapas
To the Indigenous Governing Council
To the National Indigenous Congress
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Independent and Free Media
To the Independent and Free Human Rights Centers
Just three months ago, women and men of the Indigenous Chol community of San José El Bascan, in the municipality of Salto de Agua, Chiapas, members of the organization Ikoltyañtyel Lak Lumal and also of the National Indigenous Congress, denounced the threats of the dispossession of our lands. These lands were recuperated in 1994 as a result of the armed uprising of our brothers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. We have lived and worked on these lands and it is these lands upon which we depend for the sustenance of our families. The threat of dispossession was made by the supposed landowner of these lands, Artemio Álvaro Vásquez. Now, Vásquez has with money coopted and convinced the ex-commissioner Cristóbal Arcos Díaz and the current commissioner Elías Arcos Álvaro of the community of Tioquipan el Bascan who have promised to give up a half hectare so together with another 86 people, they can invade the community of San José El Bascan. They have already programmed for April the 25th and 25th of this year, the arrival of an engineer to enter the lands of the community to make measurements, and with them make lots out of our lands as a means to begin the process of sale and dispossession.
We therefore denounce whatever provocation the supposed landowner wants to cause, passing it off as a problem between communities, when in reality these are individual interests of those that seek to initiate the base of aggressions with them our displacement. They want to dispossess the organized families of the National Indigenous Congress, those who have declared to defend the lands that we inhabit in San José El Bascan, Enough of attacking our physical, moral, familial and community wellbeing by wanting to confront us with our own brothers! We reaffirm that we are in defense of our territory, of our lands. This is the legitimate defense of life. Therefore we ask you to be attentive to any aggression carried out against us.
For the integral restitution of our peoples!
Never more a Mexico without us!
The land belongs to those who work it!
Representative of the community for the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Governing Council
Salto de Agua Region, Northern Chol Zone, Chiapas