The Irish Mexico Group and the Zapatista community of

Diez de Abril

'10th of April' the date in 1919 when Zapata was assassinated

The collective shop in Diez de April

The Irish Mexico Group built links with the Zapatista community of Diez de Abril. From January of 1997 to 2000 we had for the most part had someone staying in Diez or resting in San Cristobel. Diez is on land occupied in 1995. These letters from Irish observers are a personal reflection of live in this Zapatista community, periods where there are few letters normally represent quiet times or observers who didn't send much back. [Note: As of 2001 we are unable to maintain a semi-permanent presence in Diez, mostly becuause the core Irish people had to move on with their lives. For now though we are still regular visits to the community whenever we have members in Chiapas]

International Solidarity In The Light of Global Resistance [June 2002]
Chiapas has been a good training ground for anti-globalization activists, and an inspiration for organizing and strategic thinking. Ramor Ryan argues that it is time to renovate existing models of solidarity.

Autonomy and a Song (Feb 2002)
An article by a member of the Irish Mexico Group on the significance of the Zapatista movement in Mexico, includes recent details of Diez de Abril

A first hand report on life in Chiapas on the Irish Mexico Group(IMG) Solidarity Project is a detailed account from one of our members about how we started off in Diez de Abril and some of the hopes and fears associated with our presence.

On Feburary 6th 1999 two men from the community of La Mendoza only about 10 minutes walk from Diez were seized by the army at a checkpoint, tortured and disappeared. They turned up in jail after a couple of days where they have been ever since (still the case as of Aug '99). La Mendoza was one of the communities from which the people who founded Diez came from so many of the people are friends or even relatives of the two men (Daniel Gomez Velazco and Jose Angel Velazco ). Below are documents relating to their arrest.

[As of late September 1999 both men were released, more details when we have them]

On the 15th of April 1998 the Mexican 'security' forces raided Diez de Abril, arresting three Norwegian peace observers and deporting them. A 17 year old local José Alfredo López Méndez was also seized by the army, tortured and imprisoned. Thanks in part to international pressure he was later released. They also stole or destroyed 264 755 pesos of money and goods belonging to the community. In the panic a five year old boy fell off a bridge into the river and is missing, presumed drowned. Below are statements from the community and from the deported Norwegians describing these events

Articles about Diez in other publications

Diez de April marks Zapatas assassination

10th April 1998 - Diez de April marks the anniversary of Zapta's assassination
(the coloured object (pinata) at the right is full of sweets,
blindfolded children will hit it with sticks until it breaks open)

Additional photographs from Diez de Abril

Other articles about the Zapatista rising by Irish writers (a very incomplete list)

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