Paraje La Mendoza, Municipio de Chanal, Chis. 7.2.99
To the people of Mexico to international civil society To the Commission for Concordance and Pacification (COCOPA) To national and international human rights centres
The inhabitants of La Mendoza hereby make known the following events which occurred on the 6th of February, 1999:
At aproximately 10.30am, Daniel Go'mez Velasco and Jose' Angel Go'mez Velasco were stopped at an army checkpoint near the community of Las Tazas and accused of transporting arms and bullets. The soldiers tore open their packs and threw the contents on the ground. They started to interrogate them and blindfolded both the two men and the driver of the truck they were travelling in. They stripped the two and ordered them to lie face down on the ground. they then began to torture them and to beat them with their rifle butts on the head, back, and other parts of their bodies. At this moment the driver was made to withdraw.
Daniel Go'mez Velasco and Jose' Angel Go'mez Velasco are both inhabitants of La Mendoza. Due to the lack of land in our community, they left in search of new land, bringing with them roofing sheets, boards, tools, etc., with which to build their new houses and cultivate the land.
We denounce this violence on the part of the Federal Army. We see that faced with our just demands for land and peace in our communities, the government only responds with torture and ill treatment.
Given these events, the inhabitants of La Mendoza demand the following:
1. Immediate release of Daniel Go'mez Velasco and Jose' Angel Go'mez Velasco.
2. Full investigation of the events and the punishment of those who are materially and intellectually responsible for them.
3. Compensation for the property taken and destroyed.
4. An end to the repression of indigenous communities.
5. Respect for the rights of indigenous communities.
6. Return of the Federal Army to its barracks.
7. Full implementation of the San Andres Accords.
Signed by the authorities of La Mendoza.