Chiapas: international campaign for "Bachajón Five"
Members of local organization Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio on April 4 staged a brief occupation of the Mexican consulate in New York City as part of a global action campaign in solidarity with the Chiapas community of San Sebastián Bachajón, fellow members of the "Other Campaign" network launched by the Zapatista rebels. The "Bachajón Five" are among over 100 Tzeltal Maya Zapatista supporters from the community arrested in recent months in what the community calls a campaign of harassment. One is accused of murder, another is accused of attempted murder, and all five are accused of "crimes against the peace." The government portrays the conflict as a dispute between rival indigenous factions over control of a tollbooth that charges a fee to enter the Agua Azul waterfalls, one of Chiapas' most popular tourist attractions. The Bachajón adherents charge that the government orchestrated the confrontation at the tollbooth "as a pretext to take over the Agua Azul Waterfalls Ecotourism Center for its transnational interests and projects. (Radio Zapatista, April 4; Upside Down World, March 29)