Over 100 People Gather in Support of Displaced Families

Over 100 people from all over the world gathered in Acteal in solidarity of the families who have been displaced as a result of threats and violence in the community of Puebla.


Press Release in Support of our Displaced Brothers and Sisters

Facing the circulation of misinformation surrounding the displacement of families from the community of Puelbla and the local authorities failure to intervene; more than 60 groups from over 12 countries and 100 individuals gathered in Acetal in solidarity with our displaced brothers and sisters.  We demand the immediate arrest of the evangelist group responsible for the kidnapping of Father Manuel and the community leaders Agustin Cruz Gomez, and Jacinto Arias Cruz who have been complicit in the threats and violence and the safe return of the 100 displaced people to their community of Puebla.

A Civil Society Las Abejas

A Zapatista support bases

In the Good Government Oventik

To our Brothers and Sisters of Cologne Puebla, Chenalhó

A Civil Society

A free media and rebels

We, as individuals, European, Domestic and Global Collectives are once again mobilized.  We say ENOUGH to the recent events in community of Puebla. Our hearts are hurting to know and to see that again in Chiapas families are being forcibly displaced from their community. We share the pain of the comrades who had to leave their home, their belongings and their field to save their life from dangers and threats from a group of 1000 people in the community of Puebla.

Not only do these events remind us of 1997 where all the violence and militarization of Chenalhó started after conflicts in Puebla but it makes us look at the strategies that the government have reinstated.

We were equally as concerned about the reactivation of paramilitary groups in the region. Equally we recognise the link between the release from prison of the paramilitary perpetrators of the 1997 massacre in Acteal and the acts that are currently taking place in Puebla.

The conflict began from a conflict around a group of evangelist families in Puebla rejecting the construction of a Catholic chapel in the community. It quickly escalated and lead to a group of evangelists kidnapping and accusing 3 comrades of poisoning the community water supply. On Tuesday the three men returned to the community and were met with a group of young people accompanied by representatives from the military court.  The young people began throwing rocks at the men and later that night they burned down the houses of two of the catholic families.

On Wednesday, August 21, a group of young evangelists kidnapped Father Manuel the parish priest Chenalhó for more than eight hours. They beat the priest and left him in the community latrines but were never charged for their crimes.  On Thursday, after days of threats and violence many of the catholic families decided to pack up and leave the community along a dangerous path at night in the rain. Taking a highly dangerous and difficult road at night with rain, the next morning over 40 people followed them to seek refuge in Acteal.

We demand the immediate arrest of those responsible for the kidnapping of Father Manuel. We demand the immediate arrest of the community leaders Agustin Cruz Gomez and Jacinto Arias Cruz, former paramilitary, former mayor of Chenalhó who have all played a role in the threats and violence experienced by the Catholic families of Puebla.

We demand that the safety of the families is ensured and allows for their prompt return to their community.

Solidarity to our brothers and sisters Abejas who with the Zapatista movement organise solidarity from below on the left. We join in the urgent call for support from all corners of the globe.