At a press conference in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas today two peace groups condemned recent threats against international observers in Zapatista communities and produced video evidence of some of the threats.
The groups CAPISE (Centro de Analisis Politico e Investigaciones Sociales y Economicas) and SERPAJ (Servicio Paz y Justicia en America Latina) presented a video showing paramilitaries threatening the observers and preventing their vehicle from leaving. The observers were part of a brigade of observers sent by CAPISE to the Zapatista community of Bolon Ajaw, which has been attacked by paramilitaries and is under threat of eviction.
In the video from December 30th 2007 members of paramilitary organisation OPDDIC (Organisation por Defenso de Derecho de Indigenos y Campesinos) can be seen verbally abusing the observers, and threatening the women with rape. The video can be found with Spanish subtitles at :
The two organisations will be presenting the video evidence and statements to the police with a view to securing the arrest of the aggressors who have been identified and have committed the crimes under Mexican law of using threatening language and deprivation of liberty (the blocking of the observers' vehicle).
In addition to the threats documented in the video international observers in the nearby community of Betel Yochip have been threatened by paramilitaries in the last week. This is where two Zapatistas were beaten, tortured and imprisoned a week ago:
The two were released from prison today after the intervention of several human rights groups.
For more on the press conference and CAPISE (in Spanish) visit: