Emergency Protest Action
Friday, 12th May, 12.30pm,
corner of Willis St and Lambton Quay, Wellington
A strong presence is felt outside the Mexican Embassy
While inside we sought answers from Embassy Official Enrique Franco
:: STOP police brutality in Texcoco and Atenco!
On Wednesday morning, 3rd May, flower vendors from People in Defense of the Land Front (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra) occupying a space in the Texcoco market were brutally repressed by state police. While defending their space in the market in Mexico state, a 14 year-old boy died and hundreds of people were arrested. 217 prisoners began a hunger strike in central Mexico Friday protesting the conditions of their arrests and their treatment at the hands of local police. Reports have been filtering out from jail of rape, physical and mental abuse experienced by people who were arrested for their involvement in the defense of Texcoco and Atenco.
This happened a few days after the Zapatista initiated 'Other Campaign' visited the area. The EZLN (National Zapatista Army of Liberation) subsequently issued a new Red Alert for the autonomous communities in Chiapas.
"The municipal president wants to evict these people because he thinks their market leaves the area dirty and he wants to put a commercial center, a Wal-mart in Texcoco," Subcommandante Marcos of the EZLN (National Zapatista Army of Liberation) said before thousands of people during a public rally in Tlatelolco.
The peasant flower vendors have been resisting eviction for weeks. The area they use has been eyed by local authorities for a new commercial center. As part of the People in Defense of the Land, the flower vendors have been joined by people in struggle from Atenco, a municipal adjacent to Texcoco. In 2002, the people of Atenco successfully resisted the construction of a national airport on their land with machetes and popular organization.
America del Valle a member of People in Defense of the Land spoke before the crowd. "The reason of this aggression is something that they repeat every day; it is for the crime of reclaiming one piece of land to sell products that we produce from our land: nopales, verduras, flowers," she said.