Mexican army harasses Zapatista peace camps

Army harassment is reported at both of the ecological reserves recently declared by the Zapatista rebels at opposite ends of Mexico—one at Cerro Huitepec in the southern Chiapas Highlands; the other at El Mayor, Baja California, just south of the US border. In both cases, Mexican and international volunteers have established “peace camps” in support of the local indigenous peoples seeking to reclaim their rights to sustainable use of the lands. In Chiapas, the local Fray Bartoleme de Las Casas Human Rights Center issued a statement protesting incursions into the Cerro Huitepec reserve by army vehicles. (La Jornada, April 7)

In Baja California, volunteers at El Mayor report that an army helicopter has been circulating above the encampment. Some people were able to videotape an overflight, revealing masked men aboard the chopper filming the encampment. They also report men in civilian dress entering the camp in the very early morning to write down the plate numbers of volunteers’ vehicles. (Peace camp statement via Watsonville Brown Berets, March 31)

See our last posts on Mexico and Chiapas, Baja California and the peace camps.