With these words, a few moments ago, we received information that an armed confrontation is taking place at this time in Bachajon, Chiapas, between the paramilitary group locally knownas "The Chinchulines" and formally known as "Youth Group" with ties to the PRI, and indigenous from the Ejido San Jeronimo.
This paramilitary group assaulted about 300 indigenous men and women last night, as they made their way home after a communal assembly in San Jeronimo where the paramilitary group lost communal elections. This paramilitary group took over the municipality of Chilon a few miles from Bachajon) about 14 days ago and has kept the civilians and human rights workers under constant verbal abuse and threats of violence. Neither the State nor Federal authorities have intervened in stopping the violent actions of this paramilitary group.
At the present time, we have the confirmation of at least one person dead and many injured. Heavily armed men have been seen traveling by pick up truck from Chilon to Bachajon. There is an unconfirmed report that the Church in Bachajon belonging to the Jesuit Mission has been set on fire, we are presently trying to confirm this but are unable to reach anyone to do so. This is but one more sign of the decomposition of the system and the growing activity of the paramilitary groups in Chiapas. If this local conflict does not have a quick political solution it can place the Peace Dialogue in jeopardy. This would mean a new threat of a violent confrontation at a larger scale. On the other hand, the Mexican Press reports today that a vehicle belonging to MIlitary Intelligence and the Public Security, has been following Bishop Ruiz all week very closely and remains outside his residence.
We ask ourselves what are really the intentions of the Mexican government? We encourage you to send faxes to President Zedillo asking him to intervene BRINGING ABOUT A POLITICAL SOLUTION THAT FAVORS THE CONTINUITY OF THE PEACE TALKS.
From USA: 011-52-5-271-1764 from Mexico:(915)271-1764 We suggest copies to: CONAI from USA:011-52-967-83136 and CEDIAC 011-52-967-102-07 and in the US you may send them to
us at:(206)383-2672 Thank you,