Land Defender, Clemente Cabrera Benítez, Detained in Guerrero (Cacahuatepec, Guerrero)


Editor’s Note: This communique comes from the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Hydroelectric dam in Guerrero. It denounces the recent violent arrest of a member of the organization. Furthermore, it puts the arrest within the context of the ongoing state repression against the organization, and against other processes of self-organized territorial defense in the state of Guerrero.

To the Social Organizations that Struggle in Defense of the Commons

To the Social Activists

To the Magisterial and Union Organizations

To the Public Opinion

To the Solidarity Media

With this communique, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Hydroelectric Dam (CECOP), denounce the detention of our compañero Clemente Cabrera Benítez, who was violently abducted by heavily armed individuals identifying themselves as ministerial police.

The acts took place on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018, in the community of Tasajeras, pertaining to the communal lands of Cacahuatepec, Guerrero. There, the individuals arrived, violently beating family members of the compañero, insulting them and threatening them with death. Afterwards, they detained and transferred the compañero to the prison of Las Cruces in Acapulco.

We denounce these actions of hatred on part of the state government, led by the governor Héctor Astudillo Flores. We understand they are aimed at demobilizing our political activism in defense of our lands and territory. Furthermore, they are a violent blow from the government, once again, attacking members of our organization in order to frighten us. The attack is a direct response to our show of strength and resistance against their repressive actions, like that which occurred on January 7th, where three of our compañeros were extrajudicially assassinated at the hands of the state police.

We are sure that this new act of state terror is derived from the recent liberation of eight of our compañeros, who were acquitted of all charges against them due to the lack of evidence. Their detention was a clear act of criminalization against land defenders and social fighters.

We want to make clear that this attack against our compañero Clemente will not demobilize us, not even a bit. As campesinos and campesinas of CECOP, we are committed in our struggle in defense of our territory, which we have defended, even at the cost of our lives.

We send a message to the social organizations with the clear determination that we unite our voices and struggles, against the bad government that is on the verge of collapse.

On the other hand, we hold the Astudillo government responsible for whatever more happens to members of CECOP. We know well that these actions can repeat themselves, as the state and ministerial police have been harassing the peoples of the communal lands in pursuit of our compañeros and compañeras. Therefore, we hold the Astudillo government responsible for whatever might occur, because we believe that these acts of repression will not stop anytime soon. We thus remain alert.

We demand that the governor Héctor Astudillo take his hands out of our territory. We demand that he leave us in peace and that the La Parota hydroelectric dam is cancelled once and for all.

We demand justice for the assassination of our compañeros which took place January 7th, 2018.

Immediate freedom for the 16 remaining prisoners of CECOP and the CRAC.

From the communal lands, we state the lands pertain to us. We will never give them up, not even an inch. Justice will come to our cause.

Freedom to the political prisoners!

Out with the bad government from our territory!

Long live Zapata!

Solidarity with our compañero Clemente and his family!

Long live CECOP!!