Cafe de la Selva Boycott

On the 16th of February 2008 boycott actions in several Café de la Selva franchises occurred in Mexico.

Diverse organisations and collectives took action against the politics of this international coffee shop chain, using performance, video, stickers, paste-ups and stencils to put out a clear message from diverse social sectors against the participation of this Café de la Selva´s financing of the organization: Union de Ejidos de la Selva.

The Union de Ejidos de la Selva is an indigenous farmers organization in the southern mexican state of Chiapas, it was founded in 1979 by Arturo Jiménez Hernandez, presently its members are business associates and central coffee distributors for Café de la Selva franchises outlets in Mexico.

On the 17th of June 2007 65 men from the Union de Ejidos de la Selva invaded lands of the Zapatista autonomous community 24 de Diciembre, in the autonomous district San Pedro de Michoacán, officially known as las Margaritas. These lands were taken back in 1994 by the EZLN. Army General Absalon Castellanos Domínguez. an
ex-governor of Chiapas state, who was also owner of extensive homesteads including this area prior to the Zapatista uprising.

The method, tactic and strategy used by members of Union de Ejidos de la Selva against Zapatista Support Bases forms part a new wave of new attacks that the Mexican Government is launching against the EZLN. The Mexican State’s prime target and enemy continues clearly to be the zapatistas, their autonomous authorities and the EZLN. Through use of the Mexican army, President Felipe Calderon and the Supreme Commandant of the Mexican Armed forces aim to restructure an offensive against the Zapatistas that seeks to forcibly displace them from their lands.

Union de Ejidos de la Selva´s invaders from the communities Nuevo Momon and Cruz del Rosario coordinate and articulate an aggressive strategy together with the Military Base close to 24 de Diciembre. The military base was set up in February 1995 and occupies 24 hectares that is actually on part of the land that the EZLN had taken back. This base stands out for having 2 units, 91st Infantry Battalion and the 20th Infantry Battalion are both based there. These infantry units are also part of the Special Airforce Group and their general base is the military airport in Copalar, on the outskirts of Comitan. The 20th Infantry Battalion has bases in 2 military zones.

The community 24 de Diciembre not only shares one boundary with this military base but also with another in El Eden close by.

Meanwhile, various institutions, including the army and the Chiapas State government (PRD) are responsible for crafting the anti EZLN strategy. (The PRD calls itself leftwing and was defeated in last year’s federal elections through electoral fraud).

Café de la Selva was awarded the 2002 New Ventures prize given out by the Resources Institute. The media was cynically silent on this. This recognition of Café de la Selva as being a socially and ecologically responsible business hides from the public eye the true crimes in which this business and its associates Union de Ejidos de la Selva are involved in.

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