Political violence in Chiapas, risk of famine seen

The Indigenous Rights Center (CEDIAC) in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, is demanding an investigation into the assassination of Tzeltal Maya campesino Sebastian Cruz Lopez, accused by state police of belonging to a gang which held up cars on the Palenque-Ocosingo highway, but according to witnesses killed at his home in front of his family in Chilon municipality. Another campesino was also said to be killed in the operation, and ten more imprisoned, including five minors. (La Jornada, June 3)

Meanwhile, municipal authorities in the Sierra Madre community of El Porvenir warned of the threat of famine in the region, where the local agircultural economy remains devastated by last October's Hurrican Stan. (La Jornada, May 29)

In other Chiapas news, the Federal Electrity Commission has cut power to the Tzotzil village of Nicolas Ruiz, which has since 1994 maintained a strike on utility payments in protest of high rates. Village lands were lost in the construction of giant hydro-electric projects on the Rio Grijalva. (La Jornada, June 4)

All sources online at Chiapas95.

See our last post on the crisis in Mexico, and on Chiapas.

  1. Attack on journalist
    From La Jornada, June 9 (our translation):

    San Cristobal de las Casas — The radio journalist Hugo Isaac Robles Guillen,one of the most critical and popular in this city, reported that unknown men tried to burn his automobile while he was transmitting a news broadcast to station XEWM. The reporter said the men broke one of the car’s windows and poured in gasoline. The intervention of a bystander prevented the fire… News reporters throughout Chiapas demanded that this be treated as an attack on Robles Guillen and on freedom of expression, and demanded guarantees for the free exercise of thier work.