Las Abejas Press Release - 11 years after the massacre
By Keegan Smith at Apr 20, 2009
From the sacred land of the martyrs of Acteal Chenalhó,
México 20 de abril del año 2009
To all social and political organizations
To all human rights defenders
To the national and international press
To the civilian population in general
To the “otra campaña” and
To public opinion
To begin we want to make it very clear that we, the directors council of the civil society “Las Abejas”, are the true and only authorized voice for the victims and survivors of the massacre of Acteal, because there is a group of comrades that continue to use improperly the name of “Las Abejas” and although many of them actually were displaced they have now abandoned the memory of the martyrs and to denounce impunity, in exchange for asking for support from the government.
We have received information that worries us greatly, that the National ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice are preparing a resolution which will free 12 of the paramilitaries who were the actual perpetrators of the massacre in Acteal in 1997. This brutal aggression resulted in the death of 45 indigenous Tzotziles: 21 women, 9 men, 15 children and 4 unborn children, there were also 26 people injured, the vast majority minors.
The paramilitaries that could be freed, are currently being sheltered. With lies they assure that they have no responsibility for the killings and allege that during the legal process some of their rights were violated.There names are Alonzo Jiménez Entzin, Elías Luna Vázquez, Florentino Pérez Jiménez, Julio Entzin Guzmán, Rafael Luna Vázquez, Sebastián Méndez Arias, Pablo Girón Méndez, Alonzo López Arias, Andrés Méndez Vázquez, Lorenzo Ruiz Vázquez, Mariano Pucuj Luna y Antonio Pucuj Luna.
Moreover, since the 26th of may 1999 the paramilitaries began to change their version of events in their decelerations. In this version, the same manipulated version as that of Héctor Aguilar Camín, (the defence for the paramilitaries, working under the direction of Javier Angulo and the “CIDE)” they say that only 9 people participated in the killing and they give a list of those supposedly responsible: Lorenzo Pérez Vázquez, Mariano Luna Ruiz Segundo, Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, Felipe Luna Pérez, Alfredo o Agustín Hernández Ruiz, Agustín Sántiz Gómez, José Mucio Vázquez Luna, Antonio López Hernández y Julio López Hernández. We would like to make it clear that Antonio López Hernández is a member of our organization “Las Abejas” and that he is a key witness to how the arms were distributed between the paramilitaries, it's for this reason they accuse him for being one of those responsible. In the same way, to defend themselves, they are trying to involve some of the survivors by accusing them of having arms. In these attempts to slander the survivors and confuse public opinion they don't care about contradicting themselves. On a few occasions they have alluded to members of “Las Abejas” as if they were Zapatistas and on other occasions they have been so absurd as to accuse these same people of participating in the planning and execution of the massacre of their own families. They also accuse the police for public security of having actively participated in the massacre. We ask why is it that Aguilar Camín and the CIDE have decided to create these new versions of events while the paramilitaries remain silent about these accusations.
Remember that to this day there are 27 orders of apprehension that still haven't been executed and that the intellectual authors haven't been investigated, much less punished. We say to the bad government, to it's officials and to Javier Angulo, lawyer for the CIDE and defence for the paramilitaries, that the laws and lawyers exist to defend the people and apply justice not to be part of the impunity. Also to those who wish to present the Massacre of Acteal as a religious conflict we say that they shouldn't use religion to justify their politics; the massacre of Acteal was the application of a strategy of counter insurgency, not for religious problems. Finally we say to Pastor Manuel Pérez Arias that he should stop defending the lies and crimes of the paramilitaries.
For some time now we have denounced the governments implementation of a campaign of lies that to this day continues twisting our words in order to avoid accepting it's own responsibility. But today we reaffirm that our voice is one of truth, that Acteal was a crime against humanity committed by the Mexican State. We as “Las Abejas” continue with strength and will not sell our conscience, our suffering or our organization. And us the survivors are here to counteract the lies and tell the truth about what happened. And the truth, for which we have a lot of witnesses, is that the 12 paramilitaries they are trying to protect were those that participated in the Massacre of Acteal.
For us it's clear that we aren't going to get justice from the government, but that justice has to come from the people themselves, not forgetting, remembering how the events occurred, about how the government itself planned them and it's our responsibility as a people to announce who was responsible for ordering the massacre, who coordinated it, who executed it and those that have since attempted to cover it up: Federal officials: Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León,President of the Republic of Mexico. Emilio Chuayfet Chemor, Secretary for the government. General Enrique Cervantes, Secretary of defence. Mario Renán Castillo, Commander of the task force “Arcoiris” (rainbow). State officials: Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, Govenor for the State of Chiapas. Homero Tovilla Cristiani, Secretary general for the state government. Uriel Jarquín Gálvez, Subsecretary general for the state government. Marco Antonio Besares Escobar, Attorney General for state justice. David Gómez Hernández, Assistant Attorney for indigenous justice Antonio Hernández. Ministor for Indigenous people. Municipal officials: Jacinto Arias Cruz, Municipal President, Chenalhó.
With this information we feel it necessary to call out to the people of Mexico an the world so that together we can demand that these ministers for justice don't convert themselves into accomplices with the perpetrators of the massacre. To free the perpetrators would shelter these assassins and deny justice to the martyrs, survivors, families of the victims, Abejas and humanity because this massacre was a massive offensive.
And if the ministers of the SCJN free these paramilitaries that massacred our people, then they too will be added to the list of accomplices to impunity. We wish to alert the public and popular organizations and those in solidarity that these are the names of the people who will shortly decide which side they are on:
Presidential minister Guillermo I. Ortiz Mayagoitia, Minister Mariano Azuela Gí¼itrón, Ministro Sergio Salvador Aguirre Anguiano, Ministro José Ramón Cossío Díaz, Ministro José Fernando Franco González Salas, Ministro Genaro David Góngora Pimentel, Minister José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, Minister Margarita Beatriz Luna Ramos, Minister Olga María del Carmen Sánchez Cordero de García Villegas, Minister Juan N. Silva Meza, Minister Sergio Armando Valls Hernández.
We call on the people of the world to mobilize and demand punishment for those responsible and that also as a people we pass the word from generation to generation about what happened in Acteal, because if we wait for justice to come from the government, we will also be accomplices to impunity. Â¡
We don't want vengance,we just want justice!
We will defend the truth and oppose lies!
We won't tire in raising our voice to construct justice and peace, not being violent isn't staying passive against injustice.
S I N C E R E L Y
The voice of the Civil Society Las Abejas.
From the directors council: Sebastián Pérez Vázquez -President Mariano Gómez López -Secretary General Pedro Jiménez Arias -Vicepresident Francisco Gómez Pérez -Treasurer Francisco Pérez Gómez -Sub Treasurer