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  • The EZLN and CNI as Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez is elected spokeswoman, Mexico, May 2017.

    The EZLN and CNI as Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez is elected spokeswoman, Mexico, May 2017. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 January 2019

The Ikoltyañtyel Lak Lumal organization is a member of the Zapatista-backed National Indigenous Congress.

Indigenous Mayan Chol people of San Jose el Bascan in Chiapas, southern Mexico, are denouncing a threat of eviction from their recovered territories by landowners hoping to sell the lands.

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Members of the Ikoltyañtyel Lak Lumal organization, which participates in the Zapatista-backed National Indigenous Congress (CNI) representing the northern Chol region, warn that Artemio Alvaro Vazquez, “the supposed owner of the lands,” hired an engineer to divide them into lots for sale.

“They are threatening to evict us from our lands where we live, work, and on which the livelihoods of our families depend,” says a communique published by the CNI and signed by the community representatives.

The community recovered the lands in the municipality of Salto de Agua in 1994, in light of the uprising by the National Liberation Zapatista Army (EZLN) that took several cities and towns in Chiapas. Since then, the Chol people have “worked and taken care” of the land.

“This threatens our right to the possession of the land, which we have had for 25 years. In the same way, it threatens our physical, familial and communal well being, with the attempt to confront us with our own brothers,” reads the communique.

The communique also denounces arrest warrants against members of the community, although it doesn’t specify their nature.

At the end, the signing representatives hold responsible the “three levels of the bad government” for whatever happens in their community.

“We reaffirm the defense of our lands against whatever threat, being an attempt to divide it in lots or any project that puts at risk our community life.”

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