Civic of San José rejects eviction of Mennonites and announces the support of the population

Civic of San José rejects eviction of Mennonites and announces the support of the population

The conflict over land in the Valle Verde Mennonite colony (jurisdiction of San José de Chiquitos) may worsen in the coming hours if it is that a police contingent intends to evict the 120 families that have been settled in that region since 2010, according to their lawyers.

The president of the Civic Committee of San José, Darling Méndez, rejected the intentions to evict the Mennonites by representatives of INRA, supported by a police contingent of some 400 uniformed men. The troops arrived this Monday to Quimome (near Valle Verde) to comply with an eviction order.

“I make a call to the authorities of San José de Chiquitos, those who were elected by the vote of a Josesano, to come out and defend our territory,” Méndez stated in a video that he recorded in the same neighborhood and surrounded by some minors, who live in the area.

He proposed that to establish presence this Tuesday the Municipal Council hold an extraordinary session in Valle Verde. The Committee and residents of the population of San José are organizing to go to Valle Verde and try to stop the eviction if it is carried out.

For his part, the lawyer for those affected, Gonzalo Pedraza, in telephone contact with EL DEBER, stated this Monday night that at least 60 children will be sheltered at the school in the area to prevent them from being victims of possible attacks.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) personnel from the Ombudsman for Children are going to support the minors, organized residents of San José, along with the caciques and other people who come, even from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, to defend them. These people (Mennonites) are not fighting. They are hard-working and very peaceful,” Pedraza told EL DEBER.

On this day the presence of vans with police officers caused a stir in Quimome As far as they arrived accompanied by INRA personnel, who through a statement confirmed the eviction order, arguing that the occupants are foreigners and that they are settled on state land.

On this issue, Pedraza rejected INRA’s argument and indicated that the objective is to hand over the properties to members of the ruling party. “They say they are from a November 19 community, but they are nothing more than land traffickers. The Mennonites have bought legally and now they want to evict them”, indicated the jurist.

Conflicts over land in Santa Cruz have been a constant in recent times. More than three months ago in Las Londras properties, near Guarayos, an irregular armed group kidnapped and tortured a journalist, police officers and civilians; however, to date the case has been clarified.



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