Chiapas Schools Construction Teams Update
Saturday, June 13, 1998

1. Chiapas Summer '98

The school board at Oventic Aguascalientes II has issued a strong letter (below in Spanish and English) urging Mexicans and internationalists to continue the ongoing cultural and educational exchange designed to create the first autonomous, indigenous, junior high school in Chiapas, MEXICO. If you wish to join the first summer caravan to Chiapas, please plan to meet other tourists of conscience on Saturday, June 11, 1998 at noon in the Zocalo of Mexico City to begin the long bus ride to the highlands of Mexico's southeast. If you or someone you know is planning on joining Chiapas Summer '98, APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NOW!

2. Massive response for Oventic junior high school

The volume of applications, phone calls, FAXes, and email regarding "Chiapas Summer '98" is causing some delays as San Diego and Mexico City VOLUNTEERS sort through the flood of incoming communications! Please don't get discouraged, remember the person you're talking to is also volunteering, and keep your eye on the prize of peace with justice for the indigenous of Chiapas. However, if you do not receive a reply within four (4) working days please contact us again - your message might be lost in cyber or officespace! Our web page will answer many questions and email is generally returned within 72 hours. (http://www.igc.org/mexicopeace/)

3. Aggression against Chiapas indigenous communities

More military attacks, more humble refugees, more disappeared indigenous, more U.S. made weapons, more sadness and more horror...the resignation of Bishop Ruiz as mediator, the expulsion of foreign human rights workers, the aggressive rhetoric of the government, the hunger and disease in indigenous refugee camps. All in all news from our indigenous friends in Chiapas seems to go from bad - to worse every single day! (See article below) Congressional visits, petitions, vigils, demonstrations, teach-ins, house meetings, and so many other actions are critical at this moment. Like others around the world, we are intensifying our school construction fund raising to help the school board at Oventic Aguascalientes II offer haven and education to 100 refugee students in the junior high school - and to offer hope for a better day throughout Mexico. Please consider sending a small donation to keep the dream alive!

4. Tri-National Delegation

The Chiapas Schools Construction Teams has endorsed the Tri-National Delegation for Peace in Mexico and is urging supporters and prominent individuals to participate in this important effort from July 2 to July 9. In addition, delegates are welcome to participate in the ongoing cultural and educational exchange in Oventic Aguascalientes II after finishing their important work with the Tri-National group. For additional information about the Tri-National delegation contact the Mexico Solidarity Network, alex2051@xsite.net, Tel: 773-583-7728

5. Letter from School Board in Spanish and English

Municipality of San Andres Sacamch'en de los Pobres Oventic Aguascalientes II, Chiapas, Mexico Planeta Tierra

Estimados hermanos:

Por medio de la presente, nosotros, los patronatos de la escuela secundaria autónoma en Oventic Aguascalientes II queremos invitar a ustedes, los voluntarios de los Equipos para la Construcción de Escuelas en Chiapas, para que nos acompañen el próximo verano y continuemos el intercambio cultural y educativo que empezamos con ustedes hace dos años.

Nuestro intercambio con ustedes los voluntarios mexicanos y extranjeros "turistas con consciencia" siempre ha estado basado en el respeto mutuo. Queremos que continúen apoyándonos y recolectando dinero para la construcción de la secundaria en Oventic Aguascalientes II. Este proyecto es muy importante para todos los niños indígenas de Chiapas. Nostroso somos pobres, no tenemos dinero y no podemos construir la secundaria sin esta ayuda de ustedes nuestros hermanos mexicanos y extranjeros.

Hemos siempre tenido una relación buena con su groupo Sandiegueños por la paz en México y sus Equipos para la Construcción de Escuelas en Chiapas - Chanbjunetik ta Chiapas; Jkoltavanejetik ta Smeltzanel. Queremos agradecer el apoya y todo su trabajo para que se realice nuestro sueño de construir la primera Escuela Secundaria Autónoma en Oventic Aguascalientes II.

Sin más por el momento nos despedimos de ustedes, atenta y respetuosamente, Los partonatos de la Escuela Secundaria Autónoma en Oventic Aguascalientes II, Chiapas, México.

Isaias Hernandez Hernandez - Presidente
Fernando Ruiz Lopez - Secretario
Emiliano Ruiz Gomez - Tesorero
Armando Mendez Gomez
Moises Diaz Hernandez
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Sent to: Equipos para la Construcción de Escuelas en Chiapas -
Chanobjunetik ta Chiapas; Jkoltavanejetik ta Smeltzanel
Sandiegueños por la paz en México

c/o Craftsman's Hall AFL-CIO
3909 Centre Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 232-2841 FAX (619) 232-0500
<mexicopeace@igc.apc.org> htp://www.igc.org/mexicopeace/
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Brothers and sisters,

By means of this letter, we the school board of the autonomous junior high school in Oventic Aguascalientes II, want to invite the volunteers of the Chiapas Schools Construction Teams to join us this summer and continue the cultural and educational exchange that we began with you two years ago.

Our exchange with the Mexican and foreign "tourists of conscience" has always been based in mutual respect. We want you to continue supporting us and collecting money for school construction in Oventic Aguascalientes II. This project is very important for all the indigenous children of Chiapas. We are poor; we do not have money and could not construct the junior high school without this help from our Mexican and foreign brothers and sisters.

We have always had good relations with you group San Diegans for Peace in Mexico and your Chiapas Schools Construction Teams (Chanobjunetik ta Chiapas: Jkoltavanejetik ta Smeltzanel). We want to thank you for your support and for all your work toward realizing our dream of constructing the First Autonomous Junior High School in Oventic Aguascalientes II.

A respectful and attentive good bye for the moment,

The School Board of the Autonomous Junior High School in Oventic Aguascalientes II, Chiapas Mexico

(hand signed by)

Isaias Hernandez Hernandez - Presidente
Fernando Ruiz Lopez - Secretario
Emiliano Ruiz Gomez - Tesorero
Armando Mendez Gomez
Moises Diaz Hernandez
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Sent to: Equipos para la Construcción de Escuelas en Chiapas -
Chanobjunetik ta Chiapas; Jkoltavanejetik ta Smeltzanel
Sandiegueños por la paz en México

c/o Craftsman's Hall AFL-CIO
3909 Centre Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 232-2841 FAX (619) 232-0500
<mexicopeace@igc.apc.org> htp://www.igc.org/mexicopeace/

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PUBLISHED ORIGINALLY IN SPANISH BY LA JORNADA IN MEXICO
TRANSLATED FROM THE SPANISH FOR NUEVO AMANECER PRESS

6. LA JORNADA, June 11, 1998

Hermann Bellinghausen, correspondent, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, June 10

The scene was set. Albores couldn't even wait for the start of the first game of the World Cup Soccer championship. And he immediately took charge, as is his custom, through the bloody attack which took place today against the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan de la Libertad. The pretext - yesterday's ambush in the neighboring Los Platanos - was already rehearsed and, in a certain way, announced. Without any proof that the shootout was the work of the Zapatistas, Attorney General Rodolfo Soto Monzon took it as a given.

Regardless of the fact that the Autonomous Municipality authorities and the Zapatista bases of support immediately denied the accusation, the government and official media supported the version that they had already prepared. They weren't going to change it for lack of proof.

The "operation," one of the projects the Governor most warmly adores, began yesterday, immediately, after the second time that PRI members in Los Platanos had ambushed each other. The same thing happened on April 18, when Andres Lopez Hernandez died in a similar incident. They are divided because of problems over land and the manner in which they relate to the autonomous municipality. The PRI members in Los Platanos, one of the few communities in El Bosque, or San Juan de la Libertad, who are not with the autonomous municipality, expelled the families that were the Zapatista bases of support and established a state of siege.

The beachhead was now in place for the escalation of provocations. On April 27 there were two other deaths, of PRI members, in Los Platanos, when there were no Zapatistas in the community. For the second time, regardless, they were blamed without proof. The third time was it. The ski masks worn by the attackers who assassinated Roberto Perez Ruiz yesterday and wounded five passengers in a 3-ton truck driving towards the municipal seat, were sufficient for Soto Monzon to consider it a "demonstration that when supposedly autonomous municipalities exist within the same constitutional municipality, spite and quarrels will always be found."

Based in this conclusion, and the military decision to effect the "dismantling" of the important Autonomous Municipality, a powerful offensive was launched today against several communities. Now there are nine new deaths and 25 detainees, at least.

Located in the Tzotzil region of Los Altos towards the north zone of the state, San Juan has been governed by an autonomous municipal council for almost two and a half years. There has even been a change in authorities.

The constitutional PRI government in El Bosque doesn't even work out of the municipal offices, which are the headquarters, as in San Andres, of the autonomous council. This PRI government is administers, among the few communities and families that support them, all of the budget assigned to the municipality.

Once again there was the heralding of a helicopter, as in the attack at San Pedro Nixtalucum, in the same municipality, close to two years ago. But this time the attack against civilians included mortars and other high powered arms.

Without presenting the bodies, the State Attorney General's office stated that six of them were "guerrilleros." The clean-up operation in San Juan, La Union Progress and above all, in Chavajeval, recalls other clean-up operations at the "scene of the crimes" which happened before in the conflict zone.

Selective Protection

Today, the movement of military vehicles with troops and arms was very active in the direction of Los Altos. The Panamerican Highway was practically full with a continuous Army convoy. The State Security Police's five-ton trucks have completed their part; the squads posted there and the policewomen remain, with their tear gas, in the Autonomous Municipality, which in fact finds itself occupied by an extraordinary contingent of soldiers. All access to the hills and mountains which make up the municipality are controlled by the military and the police.

The displaced families of Los Platanos have been in the mountains for almost two months, hiding, persecuted by the PRI members with the support of the Security Police posted in the community. Today it remains hidden, in a state of siege.

During this time, the Zapatistas' houses were looted and burned, and their coffee plantations robbed or destroyed, without anyone interfering.

The zeal with which the Albores' government protects the minority PRI members who are supposedly in trouble (REMEMBER Nicolas Ruiz), is always noteworthily absent when the aggrieved are autonomous or Zapatista communities or persons.

Through this same selective inaction was plotted the exodus of Chenalho, which culminated in the Acteal massacre and the mass phenomenon that is Polho and its 8000 displaced.

They carried the suffering to the communities of San Juan de la Libertad. Children, old people, women and men are experiencing for themselves the hidden meanings of the government's slogan, which is all over Tuxtla Gutierrez: "Let peace speak."

This obviously does not refer to them, as Albores' demonstrated last night when speaking to a newsperson from TV Azteca and referring to the dead of Los Platanos as tzeltales, since in this region there are only tzotziles.

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CHIAPAS ~ Verano del 98
¡UNETE A LOS TURISTAS CON CONSCIENCIA!
Este verano ven a vivir y a trabajar en una comunidad indígena en resistencia en Los Altos de Chiapas, México. Participa como voluntario en este singular proyecto de intercambio cultural y educativo, apoyando la dignidad, la paz y la justicia. Ayuda en la creación de la primera escuela secundaria autónoma indígena en el sureste mexicano. ¡Aprende tzotzil! Los requisitos son respeto a las culturas indígenas y aceptación de los procesos colectivos .
Los programas disponibles en dos, cuatro y seis semanas tienen el costo más bajo posible, incluyendo gastos de viaje y un apoyo a la construcción de la escuela.
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Solicitudes para residentes en México: CHIAPAS ~ Verano del 98
Tel. (5) 761-4236 (5) 515 27 26 Fax (5) 515-8525 (MEXICO)
74174.1671@compuserve.com mariano@mac.com.mx

Sommer in Chiapas 1998 - Schliesse Dich den "Turisten des Gewissen" an!
Lebe und arbeite in einer Gemeinde der aufstaendigen Maja Indianer im Hochland von Chiapas, dem suedlichsten Staat von Mexico. Arbeite fuer Frieden und Gerechtigkeit in diesem einzigartigen kulturellen und bildenden Austausch. Hilf mit die erste autonome Hauptschule fuer die Eingeborenen im mexikanischen Sueden zu errichten. Voraussetzung ist die Eingeborenenkultur zu respektieren und den Gruppenprozess zu akzeptieren.
Programme fuer zwei, vier und sechs Wochen werden fuer die Monate Juli und August angeboten, zum guenstigsten Preis eines jeglichen Reiseprogrammes in Chiapas.

Chiapas--été de 1998--Prenez partie avec les turistes de conscience
Cet été, venez vivre et travailler dans une communauté indigene resistante qui habite dans les montagnes de Chiapas, Mexique. Participez comme volontaire dans un projet unique d'échange culturelle et educatif qui soutien la dignité, la paix, et la justice. Aidez dans la création de la premiere école secondaire autonome indigene dans le sudeste du Mexique. Au meme temps, profitez pour apprendre l'espagnole ou la langue indigene Tzotzil. Pour participer il ne faut que respecter les cultures indigenes et accepter le processus collectif.
Il y a plusieres formules de deux, quatre ou six semaines avec des tarifs les plus bas qui inclue frais de voyage et une contribution a la construction de l'école.

CHIAPAS - ESTATE 98 - - - UNISCITI AI TURISTI DI COSCIENZA
Quest'estate vieni a vivere e a lavorare in una comunità indigena in resistenza nel Los Altos del Chiapas, Messico. Partecipa come volontario in questo singolare progetto di interscambio culturale ed educativo, appoggiando la dignità, la pace e la giustizia. Aiutaci a creare la prima scuola secondaria autonoma indigena nel sud-est messicano. Impara espagnolo e tzotzil! I requisiti sono il rispetto della cultura indigena e l'accettazione dei processi collettivi.
I programmi disponibili in due, quattro e sei settimane hanno il costo più basso di qualsiasi altro programma analogo in Chiapas.

Chiapas Summer '98 - Join the "Tourists of Conscience"
Live and work in a rebel Maya community in the highlands of Chiapas, MEXICO. Volunteer in a unique cultural and educational exchange working for peace with justice. Help create the first autonomous, indigenous junior high school in the Mexican southeast. Learn Spanish and Tzotzil. Skills required are respect for indigenous culture and acceptance of collective process.

Two, four, and six week programs available in July and August; lowest cost of any Chiapas travel program. Special prices for students and retired people.

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Applications for people who do not live in Mexico to join Chiapas Summer '98:
(619) 232-2841
FAX (619) 232-0500 (USA)
<mexicopeace@igc.apc.org>
http://www.igc.org/mexicopeace
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A. To receive updates about the junior high school at Oventic Aguascalientes II at the rate of two three messages every month, please send the following message to mexicopeace@igc.apc.org:

subscribe Maya pen pals <your address>

B. To receive update about the junior high school at Oventic Aguascalientes II about once a month, please send the following message to mexicopeace@igc.apc.org:

subscribe mexicopeace <your address>

C. If you do now wish to receive information about schools in Chiapas, please send the following message to mexicopeace@igc.apc.org:

un subscribe mexicopeace <your address>

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Chiapas Schools Construction Teams
Chanobjunetik ta Chiapas Jkoltavanejetik ta Smeltzanel
Equipos de construcción para escuelas en Chiapas

Craftsmen's Hall AFL-CIO
3909 Centre Street
San Diego, CA 92103

(619) 232-2841 FAX (619) 232-0500
<mexicopeace@igc.apc.org> http://www.igc.org/mexicopeace