On February 1st two Zapatistas from the community Betel Yochip near the tourist resort Agua Azul, left their home early to work on a house on a house being built for human rights observers.Travelling by motorbike they had almost reached their destination when they were stopped by two armed paramilitaries travelling in a red Tsuru car without number plates and protected by two police patrol vehicles with registration 052 and 053 containing two officers.
One of the Zapatistas, Eliseo Silvano Espinosa, was shot in the foot, whilst both him and his father Eliseo Silvano Jiménez were beaten severely before being transferred to a police station in Palenque. There they were tortured for seven hours, between eight in the morning and three in the afternoon. They were then forced to pose for photos wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons.
Only then was the son was transferred to hospital with multiple injuries to his face and arms as well as a shot right foot. He was then transferred back to prison where he remains with his father. The two are to appear before a judge tomorrow (Thursday) where the police will request their continued detention in custody.
On the night of February 1st after the events Zapatistas from betel Yochip saw other non-Zapatista members of the community meet with the police, revealing the complicity of federal, state and municipal forces in the violence against Zapatistas. The Zapatista Junta de Buen Gobierno accuses supposed President Calderon and State Governor Juan Sabines of direct involvement in this latest violence.The Junta asks supporters in Mexico and the world to be alert to the continue oppression and arrests faced by Zapatistas who vow to stand up for their rights. For more on recent attacks and harrasment of Zapatista communites (in Spanish) visit-
translation of extracts from an article in 'La Jornada', Mexico's left-leaning daily-
Hermann Bellinghausen, Monday 4th February
Two Zapatista farmers were brutally arrested by two state police officers and two armed strangers in the community Betel Yochip' in the northern zone (of Chiapas).Eliseo Silvano Espinosa was shot in the leg and brutally beaten. Then Eliseo and his father of the same name were taken to a Palenque police station where they were tortured for seven hours. They were then forced to wear balaclavas and carry weapons whilst having their photos taken. The youth was hospitalised in a serious condition and guarded by over 20 police officers.
The events occured on February 1st. The 'Junta de Buen Gobierno (JBG) Corazón del arcoiris de la esperanza, en el caracol de Morelia' (one of the Zapatistas' civil automonous governing bodies) declared that in Betal Yochip "two compañeros left this community to work on a house for the human rights observers who come to show solidarity with us in the face of governement aggression.
The indigenous Zapatistas were travelling by motorbike.They had almost reached their destination when they were stopped by two armed paramilitaries travelling in a red Tsuru car without number plates and protected by two police patrol vehicles with registration 052 and 053 containing two officers."
One of those detained was injured in his right leg. "The damaged state of the woodland site where the beating and torture took place bears witness to these events."
The JBG sent a commission to the area, which found one used and one unused cartridge of a Luger Win 9mm. The Eliseos were taken into detention in Palenque where they were "tortured for 7 hours between 8 and 3".