Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

The Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group is one of many groups across the world which support the Zapatistas in their struggleand is part of the 'UK Zapatista Network'. Our main purpose is to raise awareness of the Zapatista struggle and to give practical help wherever possible.

We do this by organising talks, film showings, benefit gigs, street stalls and direct actions as well as publishing articles. We import Zapatista produce such as coffee, clothing and jewellery for sale with the money going directly back to the communities.

In Spring 2004 the Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group twinned with the '16 de Febrero' Zapatista autonomous municipality. The municipality is in a poor, rural community which lacked access to basic medical care and education. We have raised funding that enabled the community to build a health clinic in their area and further help is now needed to purchase medical equipment and supplies.

We welcome new people getting involved in the group, for info on our upcoming organising meetings please email us at edinchiapas@yahoo.co.uk.

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Alberto Patishtán loses his sight due to neglect by the Mexican State

Report from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center:

This Human Rights Center expresses its outrage at the inadequate performance of the Mexican state in providing medical care to the political prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gomez (hereinafter Patishtán), who for several years has been reporting his poor state of health, and the lack of interest of the Mexican State in treating him, which has resulted in Patishtán gradually losing his eyesight.

Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community

Report from the caravan of observation and documentation to the Zapatista community of Comandante Abel

From the Free Media Centre:

Thursday 20 Sep: The displacement of Comandante Abel resulted in two women and two young children missing.

Days later they were found in the cornfields of a nearby community in solidarity.

Officials and former officials, and military and former military members are driving the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia in Sabanilla.

The Zapatistas from Comandante Abel community resist the attacks from the Government counterinsurgency.

Today the caravan will meet another group of displaced people from Union Hidalgo.

"The Mexican State, repressor of justice against EZLN support bases"

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

August 23, 2012
Bulletin No 15

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), is concerned about the violations of due process against Francisco Sántiz López (hereinafter Francisco), Tzeltal indigenous support base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), who is unjustly imprisoned in the State Centre for the Social Reintegration of the Sentenced No. 5 (CERSS No. 5) in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

Peruvian campesino leader asks #YoSoy132 to support the Zapatistas

** The leader urges them to defend the “island of freedom” created by the EZLN

by: Hermann Bellinghausen
Hugo Blanco, campesino leader and director of the Peruvian publication Lucha Indígena (Indigenous Struggle), denounced from Peru “the real reasons and forces” that want to destroy what he calls the “zone liberated from neoliberalism, where the people govern themselves”, in a message of support to the communities of the Zapatista National Liberación Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish), which speaks “to those who search for a free world”. “In 1994, at the full culmination of the neoliberal system that oppresses us, a voice of rebellion arose, the Zapatista movement in Chiapas”.


We view with profound concern, and demand an immediate end to, the continued acts of intimidation and aggression and the human rights abuses being committed against members of the Zapatista support base community in San Marcos Avilés, official municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, Mexico. We also call for the immediate liberation of the Zapatista political prisoner Francisco Sántiz López, who has been jailed since December 2011 in a flagrant abuse of justice.
Responding to the numerous denouncements and calls issued by the Zapatista Good Government Junta of Oventic and the community of San Marcos Avilés, we manifest in this declaration our solidarity with our brothers and sisters there, as well as with Francisco Sántiz López.

Tzeltals fear the Displacement of Zapatista Support Bases in the Caracol of Oventic

** They identify members of the PRI and PVEM as promoters of the threats
By: Hermann Bellinghausen
According to a report from the Tzeltal community of San Marcos Avilés, belonging to the Zapatista Caracol of Oventic, a new displacement of the Zapatista support bases from the area is being planned. This could happen “within the next few days” at the hands of “local party members,” from the attack group that has tormented the rebel support bases of San Marcos Avilés since 2010. The “party members” are meeting in “extraordinary assemblies to discuss these matters,” they add.


 From the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, New York
 August 6, 2012
Greetings to you all from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, the Other Campaign New York.
In view of the seriousness of the latest acts of hostility and aggression in the community of San Marcos Avilés, the Zapatista support bases (BAZ) have urged us to share this report with you:
FIRST: We report that, at this very moment, a NEW FULL DISPLACEMENT of the BAZ community of San Marcos Avilés is being planned, to be carried out within the next few days by local party supporters, members of the ‘attack group’ that has plagued the BAZ of San Marcos Avilés since 2010. The party supporters are meeting in extraordinary assemblies to discuss these matters.

International Call for Solidarity with Zapatista Support Bases of San Marcos Aviles

Written by Jessica Davies

Published in Upside Down World
Thursday, August 2, 2012

“It is not only the task of the independent/alternative media to circulate the truth, but rather it is the responsibility of us all to do so.”
“Our compas from San Marcos Avilés are suffering this violence because they are indigenous, because they are Zapatistas, and because they have opened their own autonomous school."

Terror hangs in the air of San Marcos Avilés, a small indigenous Tzeltal-speaking community located in the highland region of the state of Chiapas, in southeastern Mexico. The women, men and children from the community have sent out an urgent call to the world for support, a call that echoes in our very heartbeat and demands our solidarity, “as if it were said in the very language of our being”.

Order for Patishtán Gómez to Return to Chiapas Prison

** A federal tribunal confirms the protective order for the indigenous professor


** In October they took him to the Sinaloa prison; he has been in prison for 12 years


By: Hermann Bellinghausen

A federal tribunal confirmed the protective order (amparo)[i] in favour of the Tzotzil Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a prisoner of conscience, to be returned to a prison in Chiapas, from which he was transferred in October to Guasave, Sinaloa, with no other motive than to punish him for his defence of human rights from prison for 12 years. The sentence was released one month ago, on June 14, and the first collegiate tribunal of the twentieth circuit in Tuxtla Gutiérrez just announced it today.

POLICE take Agua Azul toll booth

Bachajón: More info on the police eviction of the Agua Azul toll booth 

According to information we received, the eviction from the Agua Azul toll booth, occupied by ejido members from San Sebastián Bachajón adherents to the Other Campaign, was done by members of the sectorial police who arrived in 12 trucks and attacked the ejido members with violence; several of them were beaten. In response, the compañeros fled into the forest. Three hours later, they are still regrouping. At this moment, about 7 of them are still missing.

We will keep informing.


POLICE take Agua Azul toll booth

Police troops in 12 trucks took back the Agua Azul toll booth, recovered this morning by adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón. Two vehicles from the ejidatarios remained in police custody.

At this moment we are awaiting information on possible people detained or disappeared.

Bachajón: 12 police trucks on their way to Agua Azul toll booth. 

Ejido members of the other campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón inform us that 12 police trucks are on their way to Crucero Agua Azul. Right now they are detained on the highway because of a car accident with 2 fatalities. Ejido members believe that as soon as the road clears up they’ll continue to Agua Azul. Represion is feared.

We ask all friends to spread the word and stay attentive to whatever may happen.

Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón reclaim the toll booth at Agua Azul

At this moment : The ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign, have just recuperated the toll booth at Agua Azul, as part of the national and international movement for the release of the political prisoners. The taking of the booth and the blocking of the road are to demand the release of the political prisoners Alberto Patishtán, who is currently unjustly serving 12 years in prison, the compañero support base Francisco Sántiz Lopez, the three prisoners from Bachajón (Antonio Estrada Estrada, Miguel Vásquez Deara and Miguel Demeza Jimenez), as well as the other political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and those imprisoned unjustly in Chiapas. In addition, the taking [of the booth] is another chapter in the struggle for the defence of land and territory against the mega-tourism projects [planned] for the region, for the communities in resistance consider these to be projects of dispossession and death.

Information from Radio Zapatista

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Get Involved

We invite you to join our email list (sign up here) and to attend our regular organising meetings.

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group,
c/o 17 West Montgomery Place

Email: edinchiapas@yahoo.co.uk

Or click here for our Facebook page

The EdinChiapas group is part of the 'UK Zapatista Network': ukzapatistas.wordpress.com