Agua Azul – Indigenous Zapatista Supporters Jailed in Chiapas for Opposing Ecotourism Project

John and I spent several weeks in Chiapas, so I wanted to share this story on our blog. I learned about it via Kristen Bricker’s blog, My Word is My Weapon.

The article reports on the Bachajón 5, five men who are in prison after a dispute over who controls the tollbooth to Agua Azul waterfalls in Chiapas. It’s pretty complicated with all the parties involved, including: supporters of the Other Campaign (Zapatistas), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Agua Azul Tzeltal Indigenous Ecotourism Cooperative (Ecoturismo Indígena Tzeltal de Cascadas de Agua Azul S.C. de R.L.), Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Peasant Rights (OPDDIC).

The government claims that state police intervention and occupation is now necessary to keep the peace, but other groups claim that the conflict between indigenous groups was actually manufactured by the government to make acquisition and control of the area easier for the plans to build a highway and a multi-million dollar ecotourism hotel on indigenous land.

Read the full article here.