Chiapas: journalists denounce slander-campaign directed at them

July 30, 2010

Mandujano (@ Flickr)

On 23 July, journalists Isaían Mandujano and Ángeles Mariscal, correspondents in the state of Chiapas for the magazine Proceso and the daily newspaper La Jornada respectively, denounced a recent campaign of slander organized against their persons and their work; they claim this campaign to have actively involved media-sources dependent upon the state government of Chiapas.  Indeed, the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Attention to Human-Rights Defenders that pertains to the Human-Rights Commission of Mexico City (CDHDF) made public its repudiation of the campaign of defamation that has targeted Mandujano and Mariscal, for, in its analysis, the work of both journalists has led them both to be harassed and intimidated by state authorities in Chiapas.

Mandujano and Mariscal have disclosed that they recently have been covering different social organizations in Chiapas that, according to the CDHDF’s communiqué, “have differences of perception and of criteria with local authorities, [that] have expressed criticisms, value-judgments, and considerations that could bother some public servants of the state government.”  As a result, they have experienced a campaign of defamation against them by means of different media-sources, including those pertaining to the state government, for example the Chiapas Radio System.  In light of this, the CDHDF has declared authorities to have the obligation to “abstain from exercising all means, whether direct or indirect, that can limit the right of the governed to knowledge and the right of freedom of expression of people in general, and of journalists in particular.”  In its communiqué, the organization denounced that “acts like these contribute to the inhibition of journalistic exercise, freedom of expression, and the right to information, in addition to increasing the risk faced by those who engage in journalism in the state of Chiapas, as in the country generally.”  This position is shared by the Foundation for the Freedom of Expression, which on 23 July demanded “the intervention of governor Sabines so that instructions be carried out by those responsible for them, towards avoiding the use of public resrouces for the limitation of freedom of expression.”

For more information:

CDHDF repudiates campaign against correspondents (El Universal, 23 July)

CDHDF communiqué (23 July)

Fundalex rejects aggression against journalists in Chiapas (Redacción Poblanerías, 23 July)

Chiapas: several members of the VII teachers’ section arrested and subsequently subjected to house arrest

July 26, 2010

Víctor Hugo Zavaleta en una manifestacion en San Cristóbal @ Moyses Zúñiga, La Jornada

On 16 July in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez were arrested the teachers Pedro Gómez Bamaca and Carlos Misael Palma López, from the Democratic Teachers’ Block from Chiapas associated with the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) that pertains to the VII Section of the National Union of Educational Workers, as well as the doctor Víctor Hugo Zavaleta, from Section 50 of the Union of Workers of the Health Secretariat, in addition to the director of the Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization (OPEZ), Caralampio Gómez Hernández, and six other members of this organization.  In accordance with an Urgent Action released by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the arrests were made arbitrarily and result from the mobilization of the arrested in the capital of the state of Chiapas in addition to the solidarity these protests received from other organizations.

Among the demands made by the Democratic Block was the call for the release of professor Alberto Mirón Vázquez, arrested on 7 July 2010, on the charges of criminal association during a sit-in and a protest in May and June of this year.  One of the reasons for the mobilizations has been the controversial manner by which the savings account of the magisterium has been managed.  Furthermore, the Democratic Block has denounced the imposition of Rosendo Galíndez Martínez as the new secretary of the VII Section of the SNTE, according to one of its communiques.

To date, Alberto Mirón Vázquez, Pedro Gómez Bamaca, and Carlos Misael Palma López remain under house arrest, while six members of the OPEZ and Víctor Hugo Zavaleta were released.

With regard to Caralampio Gómez Hernández, the OPEZ publicy denounced his arraignment and subsequent transference to CERSS. no. 14 “El Amate,” in Cintalapa de Figueroa; due to a riot in this prison, the security of the director of OPEZ is feared for.

For more information (in Spanish):

Chiapas: the state government promotes the expansion of the cultivation of agrofuels

July 26, 2010

The 14 July conference (@ La Crónica de Hoy)

On Wednesday 14 July there was held the forum “Flight-Plan toward Sustainable Biofuels for Aviation in Mexico” in the International Center of Instruciton (CIIASA) in the Chiapas.  The meeting was arranged for by the organization Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), a group associated with the Secretary of Communication and Transportation (SCT) of the state of Chiapas.  In the conference participated Gilberto López Meyer, director general of ASA; Sandra Herrera Flores, sub-secretary of Environmental Fomentation and Normativity of the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT); and Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, president of the National Institute of Ecology (INE).  Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state, also attended and participated in the event.  The objective of the conference, according to López Meyer, was to “integrate the perspectives and talents of the participants”–members of governmental, private, and academic institutions, as well as world experts linked to aeronautical and energy firms–towards the promotion of a larger vision for the use of agrofuels in Mexico’s aviation sector.

During the event, Fernández Bremauntz claimed that replacing hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels with agrofuels for aviation would represent an opportunity to diminish the intensity of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in Mexico’s aviation sector, which is estimated to represent some 1.3 percent of the total GHG emissions of the country.  He added that the “proper path is the one that Chiapas has adopted,” given that it is the state that has most promoted the cultivation of agrofuels in Mexico: it has dedicated 50,000 hectares to the production of palm-oil and 10,000 to jatropha.  López Meyer asserted that the expansion of cultivation of agrofuels “would, if carried out, result in a better quality-of-life for the residents of this planet.” The governor, for his part, expressed his wish that the commitment of his government to producing agrofuels be replicated elsewhere; he also claimed that the example set by his government in this sense could serve to check the problems of poverty in Mexico and climate change in general. During the conference were proposed goals that envisioned agrofuels to provide for 1 percent of national demand for the year 2015 (an amount that would entail the production of 40 million liters annually) and 15 percent of such demand by 2020 (or 700 million liters).  The construction of four agro-refineries, as well as the massive expansion of the cultivation of agrofuels, would be needed to meet such targets.

This commitment to promote agrofuels clearly is not just an initiative of the governor of Chiapas.  In a meeting that Sabines Guerrero had with López Meyer at the beginning of July, he recognized that his government’s expansion of agrofuel-production followed from the vision set forth by the president of the Republic, Felipe Calderón; he asserted that the state of Chiapas will always remember President Calderón as the great promoter of agrodiesel.  Carlos Pedredo Rodríguez, president of the Junta of Political Coordination of the state congress of Chiapas and coordinator of the Parliamentary Group of the PAN in the congress, asserted in mid-July that “the experience that Chiapas is undergoing in the use of biofuels [sic] is highly positive.”

Seen from other points of view, however, the commitment of the government of Chiapas to expanding the production of agrofuels, as well as the prospect that such be replicated in other parts of the country, could bring with it serious threats to food security in general, and in particular for those already vulnerable to malnutrition, given that in many cases the cultivation of agrofuels competes with the production of crops destined for human consumption.  It is for this reason that Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur for the UN on the Right to Food between 2000 and 2008, came to declare the production of agrofuels to represent a “crime against humanity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ASA realizes forum of Sustainable Biofuels for Aviation (La Crónica de Hoy, 15 July)

The federal government seeks to incorporate the use of biofuels in aviation (SEMARNAT press release, 14 July)

Chiapas, national example in use of biofuels (Chiapas Hoy, 16 July)

The project of biofuels in Chiapas is the vision of President Calderón: Juan Sabines (La Crónica de Hoy, 3 July)

Chiapas in the vanguard of use of sources of alternative energy: Carlos Pedrero (Chiapas Hoy, 19 July)

Oaxaca: attack against the community of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas

July 26, 2010


On Wednesday 22 July, residents of Zimatlán de Lázaro Cárdenas, municipality of Putla Villa Guerrero, denounced that a group referred to as being of paramilitary origin from the neighboring town of San Sebastián Nopalera, municipality of Santa Lucía Monteverde, fired on its community, seriously wounding Jaime Jiménez Cruz, 40 years of age.  The two communities, which are located in the Mixteca region of the state of Oaxaca, have experienced conflict over agrarian issues.  Several residents of Zimatlán attempted to evacuate the zone in light of the threat of aggression, but they could not do so, given their encirclement by the aggressor group.

To facilitate the evacuation of children, women, and the elderly from the community, residents of Zimatlán requested that the Center for Human Rights and Assessment of Indigenous Peoples (CEDHAPI) organize a humanitarian caravan to leave on Saturday, 24 July.  They also requested that the state’s public security force and its General Secretary of Government guarantee the security of the displaced; furthermore, they requested that the Commissiojn for the Defense of Human Rights send a representative to the area.  For its part, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asked that the government of Oaxaca produce a report regarding the situation lived in Zimatlán; authorities responded by saying that the affected had been granted security, and that “criminal acts are being investigated.” It should be mentioned that in a recent communiqué CEDHAPI claimed that state authorities had not responded to the calls made by the residents of Zimatlán to detain the actions of the aggressor group.

For more information (in Spanish):

Paramilitary attack in the Mixteca of Oaxaca is denounced; one injured (La Jornada, 23 July)

Chiapas: military harassment of the OCEZ-RC

July 26, 2010

On Thursady 22 July, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) released an urgent action denouncing a military incursion into its region of influence in the state of Chiapas.  According to its communiqué, on 21 July a vehicle pertaining to the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico approached the barrier that OCEZ-RC had installed at the entrance of the community; the vehicle carried some 40 camouflaged soldiers led by a commandant who did not identify himself.  Upon arriving at the barrier, the truck-commander, accompanied by 4 soldiers, approached the community guard-house and asked those present how many residents, teachers, and children lived in the community, as well as how many international observers were to be found there.

After this, the military truck returned to the principal highway between Ingenio Pujilitic and the municipal center of Venustiano Carranza, where it was intercepted by an OCEZ-RC commission that inquired into its presence.  The troop-commander informed the members of the commission that he had received federal orders to patrol the region, and he indicated that constant patrols would soon be carried out, per federal orders.  The soldiers filmed the commission’s members during the exchange.

The OCEZ-RC sees in this occurrence the failure of the promises made by Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state of Chiapas, on 26 November 2009, when he met with OCEZ-RC in negotiations at which he committed himself to warn federal military and police units not to approach the OCEZ-RC’s zone of influence. The 21 July operation probably had the support of the state government, conclude those of OCEZ-RC, given that “we know well that only at the request of the state government will federal military units move around the state, above all in remote areas.” Indeed, the communiqué refers to Sabines Guerrero as being “RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTABILIZATION OF OUR MUNICIPALITY.”

In its communiqué, the OCEZ-RC demands that Felipe Calderón, president of the Republic, “order his military units to abstain from entering our territory” and call on Sabines Guerrero to “fully comply with everything he offered” in the 26 November 2009 dialogues regarding the “DEMILITARIZATION OF OUR TERRITORY,” “REPARATIONS FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY MILITARY AND POLICE OPERATIONS, SEARCHES, ARBITRARY DETENTIONS AND VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST THE OCEZ-RC,” “SOLUTION TO OUR AGRARIAN DEMANDS,” and “SOCIAL DEMANDS OF THE OCEZ-RC.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete communiqué of the OCEZ-RC, 22 July

Oaxaca: violent eviction of vendors associated with the APPO in Oaxaca de Juárez

July 22, 2010

The zócalo of Oaxaca de Juárez, following the police operation (@ Noticias de Oaxaca)

On Tuesday 19 July–one of the first days of the celebration of the traditional festival Guelaguetza in the state of Oaxaca–conflicts broke out in the zócalo and the Alameda de León in Oaxaca de Juárez between vendors and units of the municipal police.  According to witnesses, at around 11am on the 19th municipal inspectors arrived at la Alameda accompanied by police-officers; they demanded that informal vendors associated with the organization “June 14″ leave the place, a demand that the vendors refused to obey.  In response to this, a police operation to displace nearly 100 vendors from the zócalo was undertaken, as between 100 and 300 police units employed tear-gas and pepper-spray toward this end.  Witnesses say that some of the vendors responded by throwing rocks, chairs, and tables at the Terranova restaurant, property of relatives of the PRI ex-candidate for mayorship of the city, Beatriz Rodríguez Casasnova, while masked youth confronted the police.  Once the police operation ended, police-officers stationed themselves in both places to prevent the return of the vendors.  The operations as a whole resulted in two people being injured and eight being detained; among the eight were four minors.

Those who were evicted, in addition to those who were subject to the dismantling of their kiosks by the police, pertain to the social organizations Venustiano Carranza, June 14, Organization of Conscious Vendors in Support of the Magisterium, and APPO, in addition to independent vendors.  The displaced vendors had installed themselves in the zócalo and la Alameda last Friday in preparation for the festivities associated with the Guelaguetza celebration.  Alberto Quezadas Jiménez, chief of Oaxaca’s state police, stated that the deployment of the police had been requested by municipal authorities, given that the vendors in question lacked official permission to remain in the plaza.  The governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, said in an interview on Tuesday that the eviction of the vendors sought to “guarantee security for tourism and Oaxacans.”  Following the events, Ruiz Ortiz made a call for tranquility to prevail and declared that the Guelaguetza celebrations should continue without pause.

For more information (in Spanish):

Eviction in the Zócalo (El Imparcial, 20 July)

Violent Guelaguetza (El Imparcial, 20 July)

Eviction of vendors in the zócalo of Oaxaca leaves 8 arrested (La Jornada, 19 July)

Vendors are evicted in the capital of Oaxaca; 2 injured, 8 arrested (La Jornada, 19 July)

Ulises Ruiz visits the zócalo following the eviction of vendors (Noticias de Oaxaca, 19 July)

Oaxaca: update on the case of Padre Martín

July 19, 2010

Padre Martín Octavio García Ortiz (@ Ciudadanía Express)

Martín Octavio García Ortiz, a priest associated with the parish of San Pedro Apostól in the community of San José el Progreso, municipality of Ocotlán, Oaxaca, was released by the Oaxaca State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) during the morning of Wednesday, 30 June, after having been held by the PGJE following his capture by a group of militants on 19 June, the same day that a conflict left two government officials dead and 11 arrested in San José el Progreso. Padre Martín, who has been called an agitator in opposition to the operations of the mining company Cuzcatlán, was held by the PGJE for 48 hours following their initial reception of him so that “his juridical situation could be resolved”; he was released at the end of the month for lack of evidence tying him to the killings on 19 June–this, after strong efforts were made by the Catholic Church and non-governmental human-rights organizations to press for his release.

On 5 July, Padre Martín released a communiqué directed at “all the peoples of the parish of San Pedro Apostól” and “friends who have followed my case.”  In the communiqué, written from “some place in [the] exile” in which the priest finds himself, Padre Martín distances himself from the presentation of the situation of San José el Progreso that he sees being promoted by the media and the three levels of government–municipal, state, and federal.  He declares that “the parish never, in this entire process, has said or insinuated that we are the leaders in the struggle against the Cuzcatlán mining company”; referring himself “to [his] brothers of the community of San José,” he says that he “could in no way be [their] leader,” that “those who live in communities must be the principal protagonists of their organization.”  Stressing that he is not “the one who directs the organization” of United People of the Ocotlán Valley, he asks forgiveness of the members of this organization, given that he does not “want them to think that [he wanted] to take advantage of their work and efforts, considering that the media has indicated [him] always to be the sole leader of the totality of the movement that you have created.”  Padre Martín denounces the common tendency engaged in by the government as well as dominant interests of finding a “white-skinned mestizo” to be the “ideologue of everything,” who “manipulates the poor Indians [sic] who know nothing.”

In any case, the priest does admit that he has participated in the movement of opposition to mining operations in San José; he says that he is “responsible only for having brought to light the good and the bad implicated in the work of mineral extraction.”  Within this context Padre Martín emphasizes that “the ecological question is one that we have prioritized much, in light of the situation experienced in our region,” especially given “one of the greatest dangers”: mining.  He claims that the government, Cuzcatlán, and “their puppets” “fear that the people come to learn about and defend their rights, with the aid of the parish,” and that the people “become critical of reality and of the actions of the powerful of our time.”  He concludes his communiqué by calling on his readers not to participate in the buying of products of mineral origin, given that such products require that “millions of liters of water [be] polluted with cyanide or sulphur,” and that mining operations imply “the tears of mothers, husbands, fathers, men, and women who have some relative who has been imprisoned or tortured for having defended their land and territory from mining interests.”  The priest stresses that “now is the time to continue forward, not to have fear”: “Although they have hurt the shepherd, the sheep must continue being organized, walking along their path.”  He closes by saying that “[n]ow is the time in which the sword be unsheathed, to begin the serious struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Peaceful solution to community conflicts (La Jornada, 10 July)

PGJE releases Padre Martín García Ortiz (Ciudadanía Express, 30 June)

Complete communiqué of Padre Martín, 5 July (MS Word)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: arrest of cleric following killings of PRI functionaries in San José el Progreso (30 June)

Chiapas: the Peace Network expresses its concern for the possible detention of human-rights defender

July 19, 2010
Marcha del movimiento en contra de las altas tarifas en Tonalá, el 8 de marzo de 2010 @ Consejo Regional Autónomo de la Zona Costa de Chiapas

March of the movement against high electricity-prices in Tonalá, 8 March 2010 @ the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas

The Peace Network, comprised of civil and human-rights organizations in the state of Chiapas, expressed in a pronouncement its worry regarding the open judicial process against Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, director of the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center, which could result in his detention.  We here reproduce the bulletin in full:

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

13 July 2010

Pronouncement of the Peace Network

  • Concern for the criminalization of the work of human-rights defender
  • Call to respect the accompaniment of organizational processes

We, the civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network in Chiapas, manifest our profound concern for the judicial process that accuses Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, director of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center, in the city of Tonalá, Chiapas.

The accusation was presented against Hernández Nuñez for his presence as a human-rights observer in a peaceful protest carried out by the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone on 13 April 2010.  During the event, the Council, which is part of the Other Campaign, denounced the stealing of electrical cables that two communities that pertain to the Autonomous Council had suffered.  Furthermore, protestors demanded that the Federal Commission of Electricity reinstall the electrical service that had left more than 150 families–resisting high-electricity prices–without electricity for more than a week.

On 11 June 2010, the AFI arrived at Nataniel Hernández Nuñez’s home to present an order demanding his presence on 15 June at 10:00am in the city of Arriaga, Chiapas.  In this order Hernández Nuñez was informed that there exists an investigation (no. AVP/PGR/032/2010) against him, one that charges him with the crime of attacking means of communication, a situation that places him in a state of permanent vulnerability: “The procedural state in which [Nataniel Hernández Nuñez] finds himself is that of the previously mentioned investigation; pending is the arraignment and the request for the arrest-order, if the necessary elements are found to exist.”

As human-rights defenders, we are concerned by the legal punishment imposed by the state government against this human-rights defender, a case that seems to represent yet another example of the recurring criminalization of the work of defense and accompaniment realized by human-rights organizations in the case of different organizations and communities that promote civil and peaceful transformation in Chiapas.

We call on the appropriate state and federal authorities to do the following:

  1. Immediately suspend the judicial process against the director of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center, seeing as it is clearly a crime invented to criminalize and make difficult his work.
  2. Cease the vigilance and harassment of Nataniel Hernández Nuñez, as well as the rest of the members of the “Digna Ochoa” Human-Rights Center.
  3. Respect the work of human-rights defenders in all of Mexico.


Member organizations of the Peace Network

Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Políticas de Acción Comunitaria, A.C. (Ciepac)

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (Desmi)

Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (Coreco)

Enlace Capacitación y Comunicación, A.C. (Enlace CC)

Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz, A.C. (Serapaz)

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

Centro de Derechos Indígenas, A.C. (Cediac)

Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada, A.C.

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, A.C. (Frayba)

Educación para la Paz (Edupaz)

For more information (in Spanish):

Joint bulletin from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human-Rights Center and the Digna Ochoa Human-Rights Center (pdf) (16 July 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Judicial Harrassment of Human-Rights Defender (21 June 2010)

Chiapas: prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s latest communiqué and its coverage by La Jornada

July 19, 2010

On 5 July Alberto Patishtán Gómez, adherent to the Other Campaign who, imprisoned for 10 years, found himself until last week detained in the Vida Mejor Hospital in Tuxtla Gutierrez, released a public letter in which he denounced that “[t]elling the truth and defending the rights of future generations and of society in general is still considered to be a crime in Mexico.”  In this letter, Patishtán Gómez indicated that his experience has been that “institutional authorities” sentence Mexicans “for many years” and force them “to move from one location to another arbitrarily.”  He refers to his own experience in “captivity” in the hospital in which he has been held “for nearly six months, isolated from all.”  He adds that his health has deteriorated during his stay in the hospital, and he closes by requesting that he be returned to Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in addition to being granted his liberty immediately.

Significantly contrasting with this account is that proferred in an unsigned article published in La Jornada on 10 July.  Seemingly citing Patishtán’s 5 July communiqué, the article erroneously affirms that Patishtán had rejected the idea that he “is being detained in the Vida Mejor Hospital” and “assures that he has received adequate medical attention from the government of Chiapas.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alberto Patishtán’s 5 July communiqué (Chiapas Denuncia)

Alberto Patishtán claims to have received “the best medical attention” (La Jornada, 10 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: medical neglect in the case of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2010)

Chiapas: Presentation of the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor (26 January 2010)

Chiapas: mayoral and state-congress elections met with incidents

July 19, 2010
Casilla en Nachig @ Carlos Herrera (Cuarto Poder)

Election-booth in Nachig @ Carlos Herrera (Cuarto Poder)

On 4 July, the same day that elections at the municipal and state levels were held in different locations of the Mexican Republic, elections took place for the 118 mayorships and seats in the state congress of Chiapas.  On the day of the election, violent incidents and acts were observed in some municipalities, and many called for the repudiation of the election results due to allegations of irregularities.

For these elections, the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), Convergence, and New Alliance formed a coalition against the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party); this type of coalition was also seen in other Mexican states during this electoral cycle.  The coalition, called in Chiapas “United for Chiapas,” won the mayorship of the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, as well as those of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Tapachula, according to the Program for Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP) of Chiapas.  Furthermore, the coalition won the majority of the seats in the state congress.  Nonetheless, election results were challenged in several localities due to alleged irregularities that are said to have occurred during the day.  It is should be mentioned that abstentionism in the state surpassed 50 percent.

Within the context of the elections, several incidents occurred.  On election day in Tila, Juan José Díaz Solórzano, ex-mayor of the muncipality, was detained , accused of having bought votes for mayoral candidate of the Green-Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM), Sandra Luz Cruz Espinosa, as well as for the PAN-PRD candidate for the state congress, Antonio Morales Messner.  According to journalists, a group of PRI militants found him with 3.5 million pesos in cash, and they made him walk barefoot through the center of Tila before turning him over to the authorities.

On the same day in San Juan Chamula, a presumed PRI militant who was carrying 400 electoral ballots marked in favor of the PRI was also detained.  He has been held by Federal Attorney General Office’s Special Prosecutor for Electoral Crimes.  In the same municipality, residents of the community of Rancho Narváez detained officials for hours due to the fact that 8000 electoral ballots were missing; they were released once state officials produced the missing ballots.

Furthermore, in the morning of 4 July, Francisco Girón Luna, president of the National Union of Autonomous Regional Campesino Organizations (UNORCA), was killed en route to Cruz Pilar, in the municipality of Tenejapa.  Girón Luna held no political office, but he had links to the municipal authorities of the PRD.

Another homicide that could be related to 4 July occurred on 5 July in the city of Palenque, where Hugo Messner Ocaña, nephew of the PAN-PRD coalition’s local-congress candidate, Antonio Morales Messner, and ex-member of the present state administration, was killed.  Messner Ocaña had been a political operator of the state government in Yajalón, in the northern zone of the state.  Regardless, the authorities responsible for investigating this crime refused to provide information regarding the motive for the murder, claiming that they did not want to hinder ongoing investigations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Final results of the elections in Chiapas (Instituto de Elecciones y Participación Ciudadana del estado de Chiapas)

Relative calm during elections in Chiapas, Baja California, and Coahuila (La Jornada, 5 July)

UNORCA requests investigation into murder of leader in Chiapas (La Jornada, 5 July)

PRI leader is detained with 3.5 MDP; the money was for the “buying” of votes in Chiapas (Proceso, 5 July)

Investigations continue into murder (Cuarto Poder, 7 July)


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