Army Invades the Ejidal Lands of San Salvador Atenco
In the morning of April 12, while the police forces of the State of Mexico continued advancing at the other end of the state, in San Francisco Xochicuautla, a convoy of military entered the ejidal lands of the community of San Salvador Atenco to escort a group of workers of one of the private companies in charge of the construction of the new airport in Mexico City.
Community members that have resisted the expropriation of their lands for more than ten years told Desinformémonos that the day before, April 11, an official of the company had already arrived in the communal lands, at the base of Cerro Huatepec, with the intention to “carry our measurements.” Facing the intrusion, villagers moved in and responded.
“The compañerxs told them that they could not be on communal lands because we are in litigation, which does not allow them to enter the land. They said they understand that they are workers and have nothing to do with the conflict, but to stay out of the conflict, we asked them to leave, and they did.”
When they returned at noon on Tuesday, April 12, army personnel escorted them.
Does this intrusion have anything to do with the advancement of resistance in Xochicuautla?
“Yes, that is how we understand it. The highway project is part of the link that they expect gives them permission for the airport that they want to build here. They know that in Atenco we will always give a response, to an intrusion like the attack in Xochicuautla. The reaction of the people here was that they were troubled by the imposition of one of the most unpopular projects of Enrique Peña Nieto. We do not want them here.”
Like the Otomí community, el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra that gave birth to Atenco in the beginnings of the struggle, are participating in the Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth that was launched last Sunday and are a key part of the group, Fuego de la Digna Resistencia, the coordination of struggles of the state of Mexico that is resisting the recently approved “Eruviel Law” that allows the use of lethal force against public demonstrations. It furthermore allows other elements that until now were prohibited (such as the application of electric shock) whose legal use will depend on the police hierarchies in the future to carry out the operation, leaving in the shadows the political power, that always has a cost to pay when sent to suppress a popular demonstration.
In the case of Atenco, they have also won an injunction that stops the construction on the disputed land. But neither are they ignoring what is happening at the moment in Xochicuautla: the Otomí community spent two days resisting the police rage, led by the department of highway systems of the State of Mexico and members of the business HIGA, that entered into the communal lands, violating the judgment of protection filed by the indigenous community against the presidential decree of July 2015. The judgment won in March of this year ordered the retraction of the expropriation of the lands to construct part of the route of the highway between Toluca and Naucalpan, “until the underlying conflict is solved” between the community and the government.
With that violation in mind, the community of Atenco this afternoon began daily patrols, to prevent further intrusions into the ejido lands. “We call for solidarity organizations to join the actions like this and others that we will communicate further along.”
The Centre of Human Rights Zeferino Ladrillero is already present in both towns, having analyzed the situations, “it is no coincidence that these events occurred in successive days. The military presence in Atenco demonstrates that the federal government is participating in repressive coordination. This is an attempt to legitimize by means of force, the imposition of the “Eruviel Law” in the State of Mexico.”
The Mexican Commission for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights brought the incident in Xochicuautla in front of a judge who ruled the suspension of the project to seek intervention in the matter.
Meanwhile, the Zeferino Ladrillero issued an urgent notice to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights soliciting them to issue precautionary measures in favor of the indigenous population of San Francisco Xochicuautla and also, sent a reminder with the same content that had already been requested by San Salvador Atenco.
“From Zeferino Ladrillero we estimate that these attacks are a shift in the strategy of the government of the state of Mexico to bring about the imposition of the “Eruviel Law”, in the 90 days they have to do so. What they are searching for is a physical confrontation with the people and organizations of the state to gain favorable reason for the necessity of a law that violates human rights, that permits the attack with real munitions on the unarmed civil population. We warn that, just as is the situation in Xochicuautla and Atenco they are targeting the communities of Tecámex, Coyotepec and San Francisco Magú. We are alert.”
Poorly translated from the original here: http://desinformemonos.org.mx/ejercito-irrumpe-en-tierras-ejidales-de-san-salvador-atenco/