An article discussing the history of military and paramilitary violence against political organisers and communities in resistance in Mexico from the 1960s to the present day.
December 2, 2010
Translated by Scott Campbell
From the Hawks and the White Brigade to the Caravan of Death, Peace and Justice, and UBISORT
The 1960s and 70s in Mexico were full of popular uprisings, peaceful or armed, which refused to submit to the regime that emerged following the 1910 Revolution, a regime that came about by eliminating the ambitions of the masses and the indigenous, assassinating the revolutionaries who had been demanding a profound transformation in the country; Villa, Zapata, Magón, killed along with one million others, so that the triumphant “revolutionary family”(civilian and military members of the Porfiriato, the liberal bourgeoisie, landowners, and defeated revolutionaries, together with U.S. interests) could impose their authoritarianism and remain in power.
The extermination of insurgents in the mountains of Guerrero
Genaro Vásquez Rojas and Lucio Cabañas Barrientos, rural teachers, active participants in their communities’ protests, persecuted, witnesses to and survivors of massacres against their peoples, rise up in arms; their demands range from the struggle against local strongmen to the transformation of the country. Resisting from the mountains, their National Revolutionary Civic Association (ACNR) and the Party of the Poor’s (PDLP) Execution Brigade cause the Mexican army’s largest losses since the Revolution. The powerful don’t forgive their impudence.
“Fourteen military campaigns are carried out to annihilate both subversive organizations. Baloy Mayo amply documents them in his book La guerilla de Genaro y de Lucio. For the first campaign, after which Lucio goes underground as a result of the Atoyac massacre in 1967, the army carried out “peaceful” patrols in the Atoyac mountains, where, under the guise of medical or sports programs, they tried to win the confidence of the inhabitants. For the second, after the Tlatelolco Massacre, when Genaro and Lucio begin to act, the army turns to paramilitary groups organized by the strongmen’s “white guards” and start to undertake violent incursions into the mountain towns.” 1
“It was during the second campaign that the actions of the army, who accompanied the paramilitaries, took a radical turn. This occurred approximately in 1968-1969. From then on, not only would they seek out direct clashes with the rebel groups, but the most brutal persecution took place in the taking over entire towns, to raid the homes of peasants in a true ‘witch hunt,’ unjustified detentions, torture and disappearances of men and women became routine. Not giving a second thought to the type and means of persecution, the government had no problem deploying groups of gunmen to join up with the police and the army in all their military maneuvers, starting with the second anti-guerilla campaign.” 2
In the “summer of 1973 there was a shakeup at the highest levels of the military. Brigadier General Alberto Sánchez López (a participant in Operation Galeana, the Tlatelolco Massacre of 1968) became Chief of the General Staff, the ‘top technical operative body’ of the Department of National Defense; Colonel Jaime Contreras Guerrero (a graduate of the Inter-American Defense College in the United States) became head of military intelligence, and Lieutenant Colonel Mario Renán Castillo Fernández (who studied at Fort Bragg, North Carolina) became head of General Staff operations. In Guerrero, Brigadier General Eliseo Jiménez Ruiz was named commander of the 35th Military Zone, based in Chilpancingo, assisted by Lieutenant Colonel Enrique Cervantes Aguirre as his Chief of the General Staff. General Salvador Rangel Medina is posted to the 27th Military Zone based in Acapulco. The last two generals are responsible for putting into motion Operation Firefly, which sought to tighten the siege around the guerillas.”
But the persistence of the rebellious Guerrerans was enormous. Genaro and Lucio were visible actors in the rebellion, however the sustenance of the guerillas was above all found in their deep roots in the community, shown by the number of military campaigns launched against them, which they repelled, as well as the constant changes in military command:
“Military commands shift. General Eliseo Jiménez Ruiz is transferred from the command in Chilpancingo to that in Acapulco, thereby becoming the eighth army chief in the region since Lucio went into the mountains in 1969. The military operation to liberate Figueroa, called the “Atoyac Task Force,” came under the control of Lieutenant Juan López Ortiz, who had been trained in infantry and tactics at the U.S. Army Caribbean School. As a result of the surge in armed groups in the 1970s, the government had sent 16 Mexican soldiers north to be instructed in some of the U.S.’s specialties: counter-insurgency, internal defense, military intelligence, irregular warfare, counter-insurrection.” 3
The destiny of the rebel peoples of Guerrero and the history of the Copala region date back to the 1970s, when state and private investments began to flow into the region as public works projects.
“Government programs served more as means to contain violence than as motors of development for the communities. There is a reason for this: the government was worried that the hatred created in the region, especially after the bombing of the Cruz Chiquita neighborhood, would unite the political and military movements in the state of Guerrero, primarily the Party of the Poor and its Execution Brigade, led by Lucio Cabañas, and the National Revolutionary Civic Association, led by Genaro Vásquez Rojas.”
While much of the Guerreran mountainside burned, the Mexican army’s counter-insurgency offensive wiped out entire communities; tanks, planes and helicopters brought in thousands of soldiers to encircle the guerillas, while soldiers and paramilitary white guards attacked and murdered a defenseless civilian population. Hundreds of peasants, men and women, are disappeared, others are imprisoned, the brutality doesn’t cease even after Genaro Vásquez and Lucio Cabañas have been assassinated.
Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas share an unbreakable connection, rooted in their indigenous majorities and linked by their history of resistance, united through the misery and exploitation of a system which imposes death upon those who dare to defy it, united in rebellion as well as repression.
Eliseo Jiménez Ruiz, Mexican army general, head of counter-insurgency operations against Lucio Cabañas, received as a reward for his “patriotic services” the governorship of Oaxaca.
Mario Renán Castillo, a Lieutenant Colonel in 1973 combating the Guerreran guerillas, in 1994 is a General and head of operations against the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), while Enrique Cervantes Aguirre, Chief of Staff for Eliseo Jiménez Ruiz; in 1994 will be the head of the Department of National Defense when the army occupies Chiapas in order to try to do away with the EZLN.
After using paramilitaries against the insurgents in Guerrero, the Copala region erupted in conflict as a result of PRI gunmen requesting the installation of the military in the area. Eliseo Jiménez responded to the call, using as a pretext the claim to be ending violence in the region.
At the end of 1976, the Triqui region carried out local elections which ended in a shootout initiated by gunmen from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), one of the many attacks by the State against grassroots organizations, creating much anxiety in the area.
“The government had no better pretext to militarize the region and on July 31, 1978, when Governor Manuel Zarate Aquino was deposed and Eliseo Jiménez Ruiz, the general who killed Lucio Cabañas, took his place and installed a permanent military presence in San Juan Copala.” 4 During the siege on the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, the old military barracks, now abandoned, were one of the main positions the paramilitaries used to attack the people of Copala day and night.
After the massacre of students in Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968, student demonstrations disappeared from the scene in Mexico City, the official “lesson” against youth rebellion had apparently been effective. Meanwhile, the federal government under Luis Echeverría Álvarez, previously the Minister of the Interior directly responsible for the Tlatelolco Massacre, offered a “democratic opening,” while at the same time combating several guerilla movements and nonviolent social movements.
In June of 1971, Echeverría shattered his promise of a “democratic opening.” In Guerrero, the first forced disappearances were reported and on June 10, the first student march to take the streets of the capital since the bloody events of 1968 was repressed. The march in support of the demands of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) was interrupted by a large paramilitary group known as the Hawks (los Halcones), resulting in an undetermined number of dead and wounded. 5
The existence of this group dated back to the final years of the Díaz Ordaz government, which maintained it as a group of thugs and infiltrators inside the student movement, with most of the members being youth of school age.
Several of those who were part of the Hawks paramilitary group were enrolled into the Special Services of the Federal District Department, as were former members of the army, in particular those from the paratroopers division.
Former Colonel Manuel Díaz Escobar, promoted to general in retirement and who died in the Central Military Hospital on September 10, 2008, was fingered as one of the main individuals responsible for the Tlatelolco Massacre and the creation of the Hawks. From 1955 to 1971 he served under General Alfonso Corona del Rosal and in 1966 was named Deputy Director of General Services for the Federal District Department.
On June 10, 1971, Corpus Christi Thursday, the Hawks made their brutal debut, attacking on the México-Tacuba Road a march demanding the release of political prisoners, the repeal of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León’s Organic Law and the removal of paid thugs from the high school and university bodies. The attack was carried out with firearms.
“On January 14, 1972, the Federal Security Office took the statement of a hawk, who said that Díaz Escobar was the head of the group; that he had selected 40 leaders to be trained in France, the United States, England and Japan, all of them former soldiers and specifically former members of the Paratroopers Brigade, the group from which emerged General José Hernández Toledo, the military chief on October 2 in Tlatelolco, as well as Manuel Díaz Escobar, The Silver Fox or The Teacher.”
“As well, the ‘pillars’ of the Hawks were soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade, such as Víctor Manuel Flores Reyes, Rafael Delgado Reyes, Sergio San Martín Arrieta, Mario Efraín Ponce Sibaja and Candelario Madera Paz. All of them became instructors of the group, and later became criminals, as they stopped getting paid and began to rob. Their last payday was June 11, the day their boss ordered them to dismantle all their training facilities and to disappear from the Federal District.
As a result of the October 2, 1968 and June 10, 1971 massacres, the student movement radicalized, and from it emerged several armed groups, in response to which the government militarized different parts of the country and created a specialized group to “neutralize” the rebels, the White Brigade (Brigada Blanca).
Tlacochahuaya, the refuge of a former Hawk
“Several of the Hawks, including some of those mentioned previously, were detained after robbing a bank or a business, and recounted, between 1972 and 1975, their participation in the group, in the June 10 massacre and how the orders came from the highest levels of the Federal District Department, from Díaz Escobar, and that he had received this post on the orders of Luis Echeverría when he was Minister of the Interior.” 6 Even so, the links of repression again extended to Oaxaca, as one of the former members of this paramilitary group found refuge in the town of Tlacochahuaya.
The White Brigade
In June 1976, around two hundred elements of the Mexican army (federal military police and judicial military police), from the Federal Security Office, the Federal Attorney General’s Office, the Federal District Attorney General’s Office, the General Office of Police and Transit of the Federal District Department, and the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Mexico, were brought together to form the Special Anti-Guerilla Brigade (BEA), based out of Military Camp Number One. The installations of the Second Police Battalion were used as detention centers.
“According to official reports, although the White Brigade was formed in 1972 and operated in Guerrero, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Puebla and Morelos, it was not until June 1976 when the government of Luis Echeverría decided to put together a special group to take action in Mexico City, which was placed under the command of Colonel Francisco Quiroz Hermosillo, Captain Luis de la Barreda Moreno and Miguel Nazar Haro,” 7 this last individual being the right-hand man of the Central Intelligence Agency in Mexico.
“On May 11, 1998, Quirós Hermosillo, who was an aid to former Defense Minister General Marcelino García Barragán and received security training in South Korea and Israel (from the Mossad), acknowledged having been the operating commander of the White Brigade until his promotion to Chief of the General Staff of Military Zone 34, based in Chetumal. In turn, Acosta Chaparro declared on May 3, 2000, that in 1970, then-Defense Minister Hermenegildo Cuenca Díaz made him an adviser to the Federal Security Office after receiving training from the Pentagon on “subversion” and “counter-insurgency” (he was trained in parachuting in Fort Benning, Georgia, and was instructed by the Special Forces, the famous Green Berets, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.).” 8
And so began the operations of one of the bloodiest paramilitary groups in the history of Mexico, operating outside of the law, given impunity by an authoritarian regime, one of the most useful instruments of repression in the struggle against “subversion”, conducting a fierce prosecution of its objectives, carrying out systematic torture, assassinations and forced disappearances, and claiming the rights to the spoils of war.
To mention one case, there is the disappearance of Juan Chávez Hoyos, a student at the College of Sciences and Humanities, who participated in the Student Housing movement. He was twenty years old when on September 8, 1978 he was detained in Mexico City on 100 Meters Avenue by agents from the Federal Security Offices, near the Puebla Student Housing. “He was taken to Military Camp Number One where he was seen in a state of perfect health in August 1979 by Armando and Laura Gaytán Saldívar, Bertha Alicia López García, Elda Nevarez Flores, Domingo Estrada Ramírez, Humberto Zazueta Aguilar and Rufino Guzmán González, who were also in the clandestine prison in Military Camp Number One and after being freed provided written testimony to the ¡Eureka! Committee.” 9
In the White Brigade there were “three groups for the locating and neutralizing of explosive devices, each composed of five elements and a vehicle.
“Each action group comprised of ten elements with specialized weaponry.
“Interrogation groups comprised of four specialized elements.
“Air group, will operate two helicopters from the General Office of Police and Transit which will operate with one in the air and the other on ground alert, during hours of visibility.”
They received specialized training, as shown by the case of a woman who was tortured in the cells of Tlaxcoaque, belonging to the Federal Security Office, after being captured in a foiled attack on PRI Bus Drivers Hall. “The session was carried out under the guidance of two men with South American accents in front of a group of police chiefs and agents. They are trained using her defenseless body.”
She states: “I heard these two South American voices who told them where to apply the electric shocks and where to hit me to elicit the most pain.” This is not a trivial fact, remembering that at this time the militaries of the region had imposed bloody dictatorships after receiving the same training from their French and U.S. “colleagues.”
After resisting this torture, they applied another used by the Nazi troops against Jewish women. In this “session” were “present the main nucleus that would later create the anti-guerilla group know as the White Brigade.” 10
If those military and police chiefs hadn’t participated in the White Brigade, others would have taken their place. They were simply the enactors of a state policy advanced – humanly and absolutely – by Echeverría, and later by his successor, López Portillo. The existence of this unconstitutional paramilitary group, which acted with impunity for six years, was denied again and again by both governments.
Counterinsurgency in Chiapas
In the 1980s, the government declared victory in the war against subversion – tens of groups had been “neutralized,” the official, public apparatus of repression, together with the White Brigade, had achieved their aims, at least for a few years, until January 1, 1994, when from the bowels of the Chiapan jungle Indians with guns in hand emerged to declare war on the powers that be.
The old anti-subversive agents were brought together to stop this new uprising, among them Mario Renán Castillo Fernández, a “notable graduate of the Special Warfare School in Fort Bragg, commander of the Seventh Military Region in Chiapas between November 1994 and November 1997.” 11 Renán Castillo has been proven directly responsible for the training, financing and promotion of paramilitary groups such as Peace and Justice.
Meanwhile, Miguel Nazar Haro, Francisco Quirós Hermosillo and Mario Acosta Chaparro “were called upon to become part of the unconstitutional Public Security Coordination of the Nation, created via presidential decree by Carlos Salinas de Gortari on April 26, 1994.” 12
It is here that all the previously mentioned history comes together – Mexican soldiers trained at the School of the Americas, now high-ranking officers, with decades of previous experience in the war against the peoples of Guerrero and guerillas from various parts of the country in the “battle against the forces of subversion” be they armed or peaceful; the so-called Dirty War, the applied teachings of the French Doctrine, the internal enemy and U.S. counterinsurgency; creating paramilitary groups like that of Renán Castillo, combined with the brutality of official military force, as in the case of Juan López Ortiz, the crimes of the past and the present come together at this time, carried out by the same tyrants and remaining up to now blanketed in impunity.
As an organization dedicated to the closure of the School of the Americas: “SOAW reports that there are consistently more and more Mexican soldiers being trained at the school, and in fact there was a big change after the Zapatista uprising. In the first 49 years of the school, Mexico sent just 766 soldiers, but beginning in 1996 the number increased (33 in 1997, 1,177 in 1998, and almost 700 in 1999). They confirm that at least 18 high-ranking officers involved in actions against civilians in Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca are graduates of the school, including Juan López Ortiz, who was in command of the troops at the Ocosingo massacre in 1994.”
It is worth mentioning that the creation of paramilitary groups was included as part of the Mexican state’s grand counter-insurgency strategies, such as the 1994 Chiapas Campaign Plan and is in agreement with certain texts contained in documents such as the Irregular Warfare Manual: Counter-guerilla or restoring of order operations, published by the Department of National Defense (SEDENA). 13
Some of the important strategic elements contained in the aforementioned document are the following:
531. Counter-guerilla operations are part of the security measures adopted by the commander of a theater of operations in his rearguard in order to prevent regular operations from suffering from interference caused by the actions of groups of traitors and enemies, in such a way that the commander of the theater of operations will employ all organized elements and even the civilian population, to locate, harass and destroy the adversarial forces.
534. If it comes to it, the armed forces can be utilized to restore order, be it in an independent manner or in coordination with elements of other public forces. In any form, they will have to carry out one or several of the following operations. A. Formation. B. Psychological. C. Civilian matters. D. Control of the population and resources. E. Tactical restauration of order operations. F. Aid to the civil population.
The philosophy in the theater of operations is the following:
547. When Mao claimed that “The people are to the guerrilla as the water is to the fish,” undoubtedly he spoke a truth that has lasting validity, as we have seen that the guerrillas grow and gain strength from the support of the civilian population, but returning to Mao’s example, one can make life impossible for the fish in the water, by making the water rough, introducing into it elements harmful to its survival, or braver fish who attack them, chase them and forced them to disappear or run the risk of being eat by those voracious and aggressive fish who are none other than the counter-guerrillas.
The point that describes the process of militarizing the conflict is finally recognized when it is mentioned that:
553. As one can appreciate, (the operations to control the civilian population) is not a classical military operation, as it can be conducted by civilian or militarized personnel, though directed, advised and coordinated by the military commander in the area, while the tactical counter-guerrilla operations are carried out by military and militarized units.
555. The actions of the guerrilla aid the invading force, causing disorganization, confusion and harassment; these actions can be utilized employing conventional or irregular forces, utilizing tactics from irregular warfare.
According to a statement obtained by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC), a witness identified as PyJ said that he had participated at least three times in meetings between the leaders of Peace and Justice and the general, he confirmed what was already a reality: the active and strategic participation of Renán in the preparation of a counter-insurgency battle.
The witness mentioned that Castillo Fernandez told them that, we’re not going to give any opportunity to those Abu xú (an organization identified with the Zapatistas), that they were bastards, that I don’t know what, that he was going to kick them off the land…
He also identified other high-ranking members of the Mexican army deployed in Ocosingo (Military Zone 39) and San Cristóbal de las Casa (Military Zone 31) who had relationships with Peace and Justice, who ordered them to do away with the Zapatistas: Nothing more than they told us to do away with them, that they wouldn’t leave us be until we did away with them (…) as well, the statement notes that the population was obligated to monetarily support the organization in order to buy weapons:
They killed them, they jailed them, more than anything, punished, beaten, there in their jail in Miguel Alemán, just like in Tsaquil, just like in Nuevo Limar, Masojá Chico, where they have a jail (…) There was no forgiveness for anything, if you don’t do this, they’ll simply ambush you, or whatever, but no, they would blame you for Abu xú, they did this before, all the problems there, they created. 14
Relating to the paramilitary group Peace and Justice, it is important to add that it is one of the most well-trained and sizable paramilitary columns in Chiapas – but not the only one 15
– dedicated to sowing terror in the northern region of the state, through practices such as the forced displacement of population centers, torture, disappearances, executions, harassment, sexual attacks. Part of its modus operandi consisted of: installing armed blockades and controlling the roadways; accrediting communities to “authorize” their freedom of movement; creating execution committees; forbidding the entry of catechists and priests to entire municipalities. According to the document Chiapas: The On-going War, these violent actions caused, from February 1995 to October 1997, an estimated total of: 40 assassinations of Zapatista sympathizers, 4,112 people displaced from the northern jungle, 23 Zapatista sympathizers as prisoners, 21 kidnappings and 17 wounded. 16
With the support of the PRI government, Peace and Justice turned into one of the bloodiest bastions of the counter-insurgency strategy in Chiapas. Proof of this is that on July 4, 1997, then-Governor Julio César Ruiz Ferro signed an agreement with Peace and Justice, in which he promised to give this group a total of 4,600,000 pesos with the goal to “support and foment agricultural activity,” an agreement that General Mario Renán Castillo signed as a “witness of honor.” As the Peace and Justice paramilitaries received support and training from the Public Security bodies and the Mexican army, they also received assistance from state and municipal police, and in order to act with complete impunity, they knew they were protected by the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE).
Among the main individuals whom the Centro Prodh notes as sponsors of this war are:
Samuel Sánchez Sánchez, PRI representative for the VIIII District (Yajalón), leader of Socama; founder, spokesperson, “colonel and general” of Peace and Justice. Marcos Albino Torres López, former soldier from Masojá Grande, in Tila; first advisor to this municipality; identified as the one who provided training to Peace and Justice. Wulfrano Martínez, from El Crucero (Tila), identified as the one who controls the paramilitary group. 17
As was expected, General Mario Renán came out to deny the participation of the army in the creation of armed groups: In Chiapas there are no paramilitary groups as the human rights groups claim; what there are are civilian groups that are or were armed as a result of internal community conflicts which began with the emergence of the conflict in 1994. 18 This, however, contrasts with the event honoring General Renán Castillo organized by Development, Peace and Justice in November 1997, for bringing the military to the region, and in thanks for the services provided, bestowing him with an award.
Others, such Felipe Calderón, before he was a candidate for president and was part of the legislature which passed the indigenous counter-reform and who has shown himself to be an adamant opponent of autonomy, considering it outside of the law, expressed his doubts: although it would be very difficult for me to believe, it should be investigated. 19
- 1La respuesta militar, México Armado Laura Castellanos
- 2La Guerrilla de Genaro y Lucio. Análisis y resultados. Baloy Mayo.
- 3El cuarto informe México Armado, Laura Castellanos
- 4San Juan Copala: Dominación política y resistencia popular. De las rebeliones de Hilarión a la formación del Municipio Autónomo. Francisco López Bárcenas,
- 5México Armado Laura Castellanos
- 6El halconazo, historia de represión, cinismo y mentiras se mantiene impune. Gustavo Castillo García. La jornada 9 de junio de 2008
- 7El gobierno creó en 1976 brigada especial para “aplastar” a guerrilleros en el Valle de México. Gustavo Castillo García. La jornada 7 de julio de 2008
- 8Miguel Nazar Haro, la guerra sucia y la obediencia debida, Carlos Fazio, La jornada 28 de febrero de 2004
- 9Juan Chávez Hoyos Biografía. H.I.J.O.S
- 10México Armado, Laura Castellanos. entrevista bajo condición de anonimato, ciudad de México noviembre de 2001
- 11Darrin Wood La conexión de EU con la Guerra Sucia La jornada 2 de noviembre de 2002
- 12“Sólo obedecía órdenes”, escudo en el que se parapeta Miguel Nazar Haro, Carlos Fazio, La jornada, 29 de febrero de 2004
- 13Manual de guerra irregular. Operaciones de contraguerrilla o restauración de orden, SEDENA, México, 1995
- 14El Ejército organizó y apoyó a bandas para aislar al EZLN, La Jornada 9 de Febrero de 2005.
- 15 As shown in a document from Centro Prodh, in Chiapas several paramilitary groups other than Peace and Justice emerged, among those that stand out: 1) First Force (Primera Fuerza), armed PRI group, to which is attributed the August 19, 1996, murder of six youth in San Pedro Chenalhó, to whom, after shouting “they’re Zapatistas,” threw them off the peak of Chixiltón hill into a crevice 100 meters deep; 2) Red Mask (Máscara Roja), a group organized in commando units, who used weapons exclusive to the army, with which, under the slogan “We’ll do away with the Zapatista seed” carried out the Acteal massacre on December 22, 1997. They also tortured 13 indigenous Zapatistas on September 19, 1997, burned 60 houses in Miguel Utrilla and Puebla, in the municipality of Chenalhó, on September 21, 1997, they shot indigenous Tzotzils Marian Vázquez Jiménez, from Polhó and Joaquín Vázquez Pérez, from Los Chorros, in Chenalhó, among other acts. 3) The Chitterlings (Los Chinchulines), a group composed of around 250 members and organized in commando units, which used weapons exclusive to the army and Public Security uniforms. This group is responsible for murders, injuries, and then burning and robbing of possessions from indigenous populations in the municipalities of Chilón, Yajalón, Ocosingo, Venustiano Carranza, as well as causing the displacement of almost 1,500 indigenous and mestizo people from Bachajón. 4) Revolutionary Anti-Zapatista Indigenous Movement (MIRA), a PRI paramilitary group to which is attributed violent acts in Los Altos, the Lacandon Jungle, Las Cañadas, and north of La Selva. This group is responsible for the May 22, 1997 disappearance of the teacher Emilio López Gómez in Las Margaritas. On December 13, 1997, they kidnapped another teacher, Rodolfo Gómez López from the community of Francisco I. Madero in the municipality of Las Margaritas. On January 5, 1998, after the Acteal massacre, anonymous writings appeared in Oxchuc which warned of violent actions against indigenous Zapatista sympathizers and civil society in the municipalities of Oxchuc, Sitalá and Ocosingo. They threatened to “put our weapons into action for the first time.” Ibid. pp. 22-31.
- 16Chiapas. La guerra en curso. Centro de Derechos Humanos “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez”, A.C.México, Febrero de 1998 pp. 86
- 17Ibid. p.28
- 18Descartó Renán Castillo en 2000 la existencia de bandas contrainsurgentes, La Jornada 10 de Febrero de 2005
- 19Protegerá México al ex comandante de Paz y Justicia, La Jornada 10 de Febrero de 2005