Several VOM Teams traveled all the way to Ocosingo last week to visit with the pastoral coverage of the Selva (Rainforest) groups, including Avellanal, Las Tacitas and Nuevas Tacitas, inside Zapatista territory. Four families were expelled and accomodated last year, and 6 other families are waiting to hear if the authorities will also expel them. The group already displaced is very closeby, and continue to evangelize and disciple others inside the community. The situation is delicate, and every time another Catholic / Traditional religious festival comes around, the harrassment and threats begin all over again. The situation is complicated since the Zapatista groups are self declared autonomous communities which limits what the state or municipal government can accomplish. In this case there is both support from the municipal government and legal mediation through Luis Antonio Herrera of COOC-VDLM, colaboration of Coordination of Christian Organizations and Voice of the Martyrs Mexico specifically. Other state and international organizations have also managed to help with building materials and food.
Because of the blockade we weren’t able to get through, but part of the VOM team walked into Ocosingo, contacted Pastor Lorenzo, and then walked back out to a nearby home of one of Lorenzo’s friends where we could sit and share, and then hand over the food donations for the brethren.
We then could pray with Pastor Lorenzo:
- for him and his family,
- the groups affected directly,
- and those responsible for the persecution itself.