On May 27, América del Valle, leader of the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land, in hiding since the May 3 violence at San Salvador Atenco, spoke to the international Telesur TV network from a clandestine location. She said the human rights violations against the people of Atenco demonstrate that Mexican President Vicente Fox wants to show he “maintains a firm and strong hand over those at the bottom,” before he steps down from power. She said the police violence at her village was an attempt to “intimidate” Mexicans who stand up for their rights.
“In this country, when someone stands up for their rights, when they fight for the rights of their people, the system feels attacked and responds by persecuting those people and their causes. It wants to annihilate them,” added del Valle.
Del Valle’s father has been in custody since the protests on May 3. “Right now, there is an arrest warrant over my head, which could mean prison time for me,” she said.
On May 25, Amnesty International released a report denouncing the “countless cases of human rights violations” that remain unresolved in Mexico, while Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission is moving ahead with an investigation into the events at Atenco. Ironically, the controversy comes just as Mexico has been nominated to the presidency of the UN Human Rights Council. (Telesur, May 27)
On May 28, thousands gathered at Mexico City’s Angel of Independence plaza for a rally led by Zapatista Subcommander Marcos to demand freedom for the Atenco prisoners, 27 of whom remain on hunger strike. (La Jornada, May 29)
The facetiously-acronymed Coordinadora Insurreccional Anarquista (Anarchist Insurrectional Coordinating Body, or CIA) was among the many Mexican activist groups which have released statements in solidarity with Atenco.
The daily La Jornada reports mobilizations in solidarity with Atenco from Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala and elsewhere around the Americas. (La Jornada, May 25)
All sources online at Chiapas95.
See our last post on the Mexico crisis.