Posted by rdom on December 30, 1997 at 09:58:31:
The following is a translation of a document obtained and published
by the Mexican daily La Jornada on it's edition of
Sunday,December21,1997 on the suplement Masiosare, by journalist
Jaime Aviles. It is the agreement between the State government of
Chiapas, represented by one of it's highest ranking authorities, and
the Paramilitary group Paz y Justicia, showing a payment of 4 million
pesos. As witness on this document, we read the signature of the
comander of the VII Military Region. (Note by NAP).
Text of Agreement with Paramilitaries:
AGREEMENT ON PRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT
Agreement on productive development between the government of the State
of Chiapas and the farmers of the organization "Desarrollo, Paz y
Justicia", in the municipalities of Tumbala, Sabanilla, Tila, Salto de Agua
and Yajalon, with the object of supporting and promoting productive
agricultural activity through the program of reactivation in agriculture
and cattle-rearing established according to the following clauses:
First: This agreement aims at establishing the general conditions
governing the program of reactivation in agriculture and cattle-rearing,
in the municipalities of Tumbala, Sabanilla, Tila, Salto de Agua and
Yajalon, in favor of the farmers of the organization "Desarrollo, Paz y
Justicia A. C.", with the object of supporting the agricultural and
Second: The government of the State, through the Secretary of Government,
will support the organization "Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia" with economic
resources to the sum of 4 million 600 thousand pesos, administered over the
course of one year according to the investment structure detailed in the
program presented by this organization.
The resources will be delivered to the legal representatives of the
organization"Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia", according to the constraints and
conditions agreed for the execution of the program in the period from
July 1997 to June 1998.
The payments will be made according to the following schedule:
1. 4th August 1997.
2. 4th December 1997.
3. 4th May 1998.
Third: The farmers of the organization "Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia" commit
themselves to implementing the constraints and conditions of the above
program, established by joint accord, in order to guarantee the
attainment of the aims and objectives outlined in the program. The
parties commit themselves to revising and, where the need arises, modifying
and adapting by joint accord the specific criteria for the administration
and operation of the program.
Fourth: Prior to an assessment of the aims, objectives and results of the
execution of the program of reactivation in agriculture and
cattle-breeding, the state government commits itself to assigning an annual
budget for the encouragement of infrastructural work and productive
projects for rural development, for the communities comprised in the
Concluded in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, on the fourth day of
the month of July, 1997. Signed by those party to the agreement:
For the State Government
Homero Tovilla Cristiani, Secretary of Government.
Uriel Jarquin Galvez, General Secretary of Government.
For the Delegation of Representatives of the organization "Desarrollo, Paz
y Justicia A.C." in the Municipalities of Tumbala, Sabanilla, Tila, Salto
de Agua and Yajalon
64 illegible signatures.
General D E M Mario Hernan Castillo, Commander VII Military Region
Letter from Danielle Mitterand to the European MP's, Prime Ministers and
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, December 19th 1997:
On the 8th of December, while our European governments were signing the
clause on democracy included in the commercial agreements between Europe
and Mexico, I was in Chiapas listening to the testimonies of NGO's and the
victims of a particularly pernicious low intensity war (harassment,
destruction of crops, villages burnt down, terror and lies). As a witness
to this suffering, I would like to describe what I saw. I have appended
documents referring to this strategy of elimination.
For those who have not been following events in Mexico, a brief summary:
over the years, an indigenous population which had been driven from its
lands into the most inhospitable regions found itself excluded from modern
society, with no escape from poverty. Five centuries of asphyxiation did
not defeat the vitality of their culture: on the contrary, recent decades
have seen its rebirth in many countries of Latin America.
The last few years in Chiapas have brought attention to the new way of
living made manifest by the Zapatistas in their discourses and in everyday
life. Obviously, this new way of thinking does not suit official policy,
which aims at the silent elimination of the "non-viable" indigenous. Does
their voice, heard by other peoples equally condemned as "non-viable",
announce the creation of a new alternative?
In this month of December 1997 I am returning from Chiapas. the region is
completely occupied and controlled by the army. The difficulties involved
in entering the region, and the numbers of roadblocks preventing access to
the communities, are such that the NGO's have to show great
singlemindedness and physical courage in order to carry out their mission.
In Chiapas I heard many testimonies. The one which follows is
representative of them all:
At five in the morning, men armed with AK47's and US equipment,dressed in
black, entered the village of Los Chorros. they broke into houses, smashed
everything, sowed terror and forced the families to flee.The people fled
half-naked, without even being able to take a little food. who were the
attackers? Paramilitaries, recruited from the army, some from the
indigenous supporters of the official Institutional Revolutionary Party,
others terrified indigenous people who hope to save their lives and gain
enough to eat. The peasants who had been driven from their homes in the
middle of the night, sought shelter in hiding places in the mountains,
under dreadful conditions: the unending rain, cold, hunger, and the traumas
provoke numerous illnesses that cannot be cured because of the complete
lack of medicine. Six thousand people live thus, with only banana leaves
for a roof, sleeping in the mud.
Other peasants were detained by the paramilitary groups, p[ushed into
trucks and taken to another community controlled by the PRI supporters.
They were held captive here. Some, a very few, managed to escape (thanks to
an international mission whose report I have appended) and I personally
heard their testimony.
President Zedillo, to whom I have just recounted the testimonies from a
meeting with 25 Mexican NGO's, advised me to listen to other versions of
the situation: the one I had learnt, he told me, should not "confuse me".
In fact I read the Mexican Press. I spoke to well-known figures who offered
me lukewarm arguments in which even they did not seem to believe. The voice
of the victims, confirmed by filmed evidence which was given to me, seemed
much more incontrovertible.
I am writing to you today because I do not believe Europe has the right to
neglect its mission.
In the coming months the commercial treaty between Mexico and the European
Union has to be ratified. Remember the repeated appeals many of us made for
the voice of the Kurds to be heard. The members of parliament listened
then, to our joy. Please take the trouble to read these documents now. You
will find similarities: a people under threat of genocide on the eve of the
signing of a trade agreement whose clause on democracy is not respected.
What will you do to persuade the Mexican Government that it must respect
Convention 169 on indigenous and tribal peoples, of the International
Labour Organisation 1989, signed and ratified by Mexico?
This is the only legal framework by which you can ask the Mexican President
to implement the San Andres agreements on indigenous rights and culture.
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