Oaxaca/Chiapas: Tensions persist in San Miguel Chimalapa

April 25, 2011

Assembly in San Miguel Chimalapa @ comuneros of San Miguel Chimalapa

On 15 April, communal authorities of San Miguel Chimalapa, municipality of San Miguel Chimalapas (Oaxaca), denounced that individuals from the ejidos Rodulfo Figueroa and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, municipality of Cintalapa (Chiapas), invaded a thousand hectares of their communal lands, destroying resin-production projects that the comuneros of San Antonio (pertaining to San Miguel Chimalapa) were carrying out in these parts.  The authorities of San Miguel Chimalapa noted that the acts had occurred a day after the signing of a “no-aggression pact,” and they warned that the conflict is being converted into a “ticking time bomb,” in light of the illicit acts committed by the Chiapan ejidatarios.  The comuneros requested the present of the authorities to notify them of the damages caused on 14 April.

Indeed, the state governments of Oaxaca and Chiapas agreed to request that the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat, a federal agency) suspend and cancel the permits for forestal logging, given that this has generated tensions that currently grip the region.  Furthermore, they agreed to carry out a meeting in the first week of May to analyze the agrarian conflicts in the zone, including the participation of several federal agencies, including the Secretary of Governance.  It should be mentioned that recently Semarnat refused to cancel the permits for forestal exploitation to Chiapan ejidos, arguing that there was not evidence that demonstrated that the communal lands of San Miguel Chimalapa were badly affected by the logging carried out by the ejidatarios of Rodulfo Figueroa and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The La Realidad JBG denounces aggressions in Monte Redondo

April 25, 2011


In a communiqué released on 17 April 2011, the Good-Government Council (JBG) “Hacia La Esperanza,” located in the Zapatista caracol of La Realidad, denounced that Patricio Domínguez Vásquez, a supporter of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), was attacked on his ejidal property in Monte Redondo (Frontera Comalapa) by ejidal authorities, accused of false charges, kidnapped, and handed over to the Public Ministry.  The JBG demands the immediate liberation of Domínguez Vázquez, who has been incarcerated in the Motozintla jail.

For more information (in Spanish):

Communiqué in full (Enlace Zapatista, 18 April 2011)

Exigen zapatistas liberación de indígena de Monte Redondo acusado falsamente (La Jornada, 20 April 2011)

Denunciation of the La Realidad JBG, 17 April 2011 (CGT Chiapas, 19 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)

Chiapas: Montes Azules Social Forum (17 March 2010)

Chiapas: Montes Azules evictions jeopardize peace in Chiapas (9 February 2010)

Chiapas: Journalist and professor Giovanni Proiestti is deported

April 25, 2011

Giovanni Proiestti, writer for the Italian daily newspaper “Il Manifesto” and professor at the Autonomous University of Chiapas, was deprted from Mexico on Friday 15 April after 18 years of having lived in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, upon arriving at the National Institute of Migration (INM) to continue with the process of renewing his migratory document FM2.  Within the context of a deportation indicated as being irregular, given that Proiestti lacked access to a lawyer and was unable to contact his family or talk with the Italian consul, a representative from the INM declared that he was “deported for engaging in work different than that for which he was authorized,” in reference to his journalistic work.  Regardless, he wrote on a blog as a collaborator, the likely reason for which Article 33 of the Mexican Constitution was applied against him by the Secretary of Governance (Segob).

Mercedes Ozuna, a personal friend, claims that his arrest and expulsion “has to do” with the coverage Proiestti gave to the Conference of Parties (COP-16) on climate chaneg in Cancún last year, where he was identified by agents of the Presidential Guard (an elite military agglomeration) following an “incident that disturbed” Felipe Calderón.  Ozuna recalls that Gianni was part of a group of journalists who yelled at Calderón criticizing the triumph he was given by the electoral authority for the 2006 presidential race, when the leftist candidate, Andrés López Obrador accused him of having committed fraud.  Mercedes detailed that the academic of the UNACH “was one who smiled in light of the incident,” but “not one who yelled.”  In any case, “a soldier immediately called him over to investigate his journalistic accreditation and subsequently took a picture of him; later, when he sought to continue covering the event he noticed that his credential had been cancelled.”

Following Proiestti’s return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas other events occurred that could be related.  In particular, he reported that on 16 December 2010, some agents from the Chiapas courts detained him, attempted to “plant” marijuana on his person, and after nine hours was released “with an apology” with the understanding that it had all been a mistake.

For more information (in Spanish):

Mi expulsión, exceso de paranoia del gobierno (La Jornada, 20 April 2011)

México expulsa a un periodista crítico italiano de ‘Il Manifesto’ (El Mundo,16 April 2011)

Detienen a periodista y académico italiano en Chiapas, interponen amparo federal (Escrutinio Público,15 April 2011)

Censura en México: expulsado al periodista y profesor italiano Giovanni Proiestti (Periodistas en español, 20 April 2011)

Autoridades desconocen paradero de Proiettis (Cuarto Poder, 17 April 2011)

Giovanni Proiettis, periodista detenido en México y deportado(Youtube, 17 April 2011)

“Incidente” con Calderón, motivo de expulsión de periodista(Ansalatina,17 April 2011)

Deporta México, al Periodista Italiano Gianni Proiestti (Diario Zonasur, 20 April 2011)

Deportan a periodista italiano “por incidente” con Calderón (Proceso, 20 April 2011)

Oaxaca: Preliminary audits reveal anomalies of more than a billion pesos in the final year of the government of Ulises Ruiz

April 24, 2011

Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (@Oaxaca día a día)

From the 17 audits now being undertaken, the Secretary of Control and Governmental Transparency has found financial irregularities of 1.735 billion pesos during the final year of the state government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.  The secretary Perla Woolrich Fernández has said that the audits of the former administration revealed “works that were not constructed that appear to have been requested, including runways for pilots who charge without working and for vehicles that are nowhere to be found.”  In declarations to the media, she affirmed that this presumed funneling of resources was noted by different agencies that were involved that had 15 days to respond to the observations made by the commission.

The present governor, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, denied that his administration protects those responsible for the irregularities and assured that “We want to be cautious and prudent, as I have been since the beginning.  We will act if there is evidence that implies an irregular handling of administrative money–we will act.  We must be very serious.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Detectan anomalías por mil millones de pesos en el último año de gobierno de Ulises Ruiz (La Jornada, 19 April 2011)

Ven desvío de 1,735 mdp en gobierno de Ulises Ruiz (El Universal, 20 April 2011)

Oaxaca: irregularidades en gobierno de Ulises Ruiz superan los 1,000 mdp (CNN México, 19 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Amnesty International addressed a letter to the new governor, Cué Monteagudo (13 December 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation by the Voz de Amate regarding Alberto Patishtan Gómez’s state of health

April 24, 2011

On 18 April the Voz de Amate, an organization of prisoners who are adherents to the Other Campaign published a communiqué stating that “Because of the justice system in Mexico, especially in Chiapas, there have been violations of human rights that continue with massive incarcerations of those men and women who demand justice for their peoples and communities that are subsequently forced to pay unjust sentences with fabricated crimes without regard for their conditions or life-situations.”  In the specific case of Alberto Patishtan Gómez the document denounces that he “suffers the loss of sight in both eyes as a result of his condition of glaucoma; until now he has served 11 years unjustly, even though Chiapas governor Juan Sabines Guerrero has publicly committed himself to releasing him, given that he recognizes [Patishtan Gómez's] innocence.  Today no one knows about the acts, and for this reason we continue to demand that the governor and President Felipe Calderón work to soon release the political prisoner Patishtan.  In other news we  call on human-rights defenders, collectives, and organizations to intervene in this great rights-violation and at the same time we continue to demand justice and liberty for all political prisoners.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Activist who struggles against high electricity prices is detained and later released with a fine

April 24, 2011

On 12 April, Filiberto Vicente Aquino was violently detained.  Aquino is part of the movement against the commodification of electricity that has some strength in a number of populaces of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.

Aquino was arrested violently in his community, Santa María Xadani, Juchitán, by units of the state police and taken to the State Attorney General’s office in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca. He was there convicted on the charge of “stealing electricity,” which is considered a federal crime.

It should be remembered that the movement of resistance against high electricity prices charged by the Federal Commission of Electricity bases itself within the southeastern region of the country in opposition to the abusive prices charged by the parastatal firm to the residents of the area, which is the most-productive in terms of electricity generation in the country.

Following a number of mobilizations, Vicente Aquino was released on 14 April after having to pay a fine of 28000 pesos.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exigen liberación de Filiberto Vicente Aquino, integrante del Movimiento de Resistencia Civil contra las Altas Tarifas eléctricas del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Enlace Zapatista, 14 April 2011)

Detienen a activista por luchar contra cobro de tarifas de luz en Xadani(Ciudadania-express, 13 April 2011)

Oaxaca, México: Continúa preso Filiberto Vicente Aquino. Movilizaciones por su libertad (Kaosenlared, 13 April 2011)

Liberan en Oaxaca a opositor dela CFE (NSSOaxaca, 14 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Possible conflict regarding wind-energy projects in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (18 January 2011)

Chiapas: Facing police operation, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day

April 24, 2011

Police operation in San Sebastián Bachajón, photo Moisés Zúñiga

In the morning of 9 April, a police operation involving some 800 state and federal officers retook the control-point at he entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls.  In light of this, some 600 campesinos from San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, adherents to the Other Campaign who had retaken the control-point that was taken from them two months prior by officialist groups (and handed over to the latter by the state government) decided to abandon the control-point.  They stressed that they did not do so voluntarily, as claimed in the official version, but rather so as to protect themselves.

The ejidatarios of the Other Campaign noted that “With this repression the government has demonstrated its interest in developing the ecotourist center without concern for the physical integrity of people, and it has also shown the intention of the ejidal representative Francisco Guzmán to sell the land and its resources.  Regardless, the principally responsible is the state and federal government that has bought-off the leaders so that they become convinced to sell the lands.”

Death-threats have also been circulated by the official side of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido against human-rights defenders and others who visit in solidarity.

For more information (in Spanish):

A pedradas, policías desalojan a indígenas chiapanecos (La Jornada, 10 April)
Entrevista a los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (Radio Pozol, 11 April)
Amagan en Chiapas con detener a quienes apoyen a integrantes de la otra campaña (La Jornada, 12 April)
Comunicado de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (13 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: The violent legacy of the Zeferino Torreblanca administration; New Governor Ángel Aguirre to meet with La Parota opposition; Tlachinollan receives Human Rights award from Amnesty International

April 18, 2011

On April 1, Guerrero’s new governor, Ángel Aguirre Rivero took office. The previous governor, Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, was strongly criticized by various civil society actors during his term in office. In a press release on March 25, the Community Development Workshop (TADECO) and the Committee of Relatives and Friends of Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero said, “Under the agonizingly bad governance of Zeferino Torreblanca, the lack of coherent and effective policies on security and human rights was not only a result of the inefficiency and inability of his government, but rather, such crimes were being organized by the state, reaffirming the fact that the governments of Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa are ultimately responsible for this situation by action, omission or connivance. ” Similarly, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Guerrero (CODDEHUM), Juan Alarcón Hernández, said that during the term of Torreblanca, Guerrero suffered setbacks on human rights and now faces a stage that is “unfortunate and of crisis.” At least 202 abductions, more than 5,000 intentional homicides, including 11 journalists and 447 against women, and 170 missing, is the legacy left by Zeferino Torreblanca in Guerrero, according to CODDEHUM.

The new governor, Angel Aguirre, in an interview with Formula Radio on Tuesday April 5, clarified that in the case of the La Parota dam, he did not say he supported its construction and that he would consult the mayor Manuel Anorve Baños. “No, I did not say ‘yes’ to La Parota, I said that there were a number of projects to be analyzed, among which is La Parota.” He said the April 11 Council will meet with the Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), accompanied by Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos from the Diocese of Acapulco. During his campaign, Aguirre first came out against the hydroelectric project, possibly for the support of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but after a meeting with the former governor, Zeferino Torreblanca, he said he would consider it. For his part, the mayor of Acapulco, Manuel Anorve – who was a candidate for governor of the state alliance, Better Times for Guerrero – reiterated his support for the construction of the hydroelectric dam. He stated that no one can be against the development of Acapulco. He said hydroelectric power is “a new and economically important industry that will generate 10,000 jobs. I’ll be doing what corresponds to me being a mayor in order for the project to be realized.”

Finally, on 19 March, Amnesty International issued a statement that the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña and its director, Abel Barrera Hernández, will receive the VI Human Rights Award from Amnesty International. The organization wants to recognize the struggle for the human rights of the indigenous population in the state of Guerrero, parting from the work of the anthropologist Abel Barrera and the Human Rights Center of the Montaña. The awards ceremony will take place during the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International in Berlin, Germany on May 27 this year.

For more information:

Cinco mil asesinatos, 202 secuestros y 170 desaparecidos, la herencia de Torreblanca (Proceso, 29 March)

Se extingue un gobierno de pesadilla y en el horizonte no percibimos ninguna luz de justicia (TADECO and the Comittee of Relatives and Friends of Kidnapped, Disappeared and Murdered in Guerrero, 25 March)

Dice Aguirre sobre el sexenio de Zeferino que no habrá revanchismos, pero tampoco impunidad (Sur Acapulco, 7 April)

Se reunirá Ángel Aguirre con los opositores a la presa La Parota (La Jornada, 7 April)

Refrenda Añorve su apoyo a La Parota; nadie puede ir contra el desarrollo, dice (Sur Acapulco, 7 April)

Incluirá Aguirre a la Iglesia en discusión por La Parota (La Jornada, 7 April)

Con Aguirre, relación de trabajo y de respeto, dice Añorve Baños (La Jornada, 7 April)

Comunicado de Amnistía Internacional (19 March)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero – breves: Instalación de mesas de trabajo en los casos de Inés Fernández y Valentina Rosendo; Acto simbólico en el río Papagayo en contra de la presa La Parota, CRAC convoca para Foro contra la minería – 12 de abril (25 March)

Chiapas: the La Garrucha JBG denounces governmental pressure against Zapatista support-bases in Cintalapa

April 15, 2011

In a communiqué published on 9 April 2011, the “Camino del futuro” Good-Government Council (JBG) of the Zapatista caracol of La Garrucha denounced the attempt to loot the lands and ejidal rights of the Zapatista support-bases of Cintalapa, municipality of Ocosingo, if they do not renounce resistance.  It noets that “In mid-March, the PRI and PAN authorities demanded that the Zapatista support-bases present a copy of their electoral-card to request a project, pay land-taxes, and obtain an agrarian certificate.”  The JBG claims that the ejidal authorities of Cintalapa sought to force them to sign an accord with a content that contradicts autonomy and resistance.  The communiqué concludes that “We Zapatistas maintain our firmness in dignity and resistance, and we will defend our comrades even if the bad government attempts to destroy it with frauds and handouts.  We will not give up, we will no sell ourselves or abandon our project.  We are here and will continue here.  We will not allow these PRI members to harass our comrades in resistance.  We will defend their right because we know well that this is a governmental plan.  We will not pay land-taxes nor electricity tariffs; we will give nothing to the bad government because we receive nothing.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Enlace Zapatista, 9 April 2011)

Denuncia JBG presión del gobierno contra bases zapatistas de Cintalapa (La Jornada, 11 April 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives

April 15, 2011

photo: http://www.murciaconfidencial.blogspot.com

On 12 April was released the second part of a correspondence between Subcomandante Marcos and philosopher Luis Villoro.  In this latest part, Marcos reflects critically on the violence lived in the country, beginning by recognizing the poet Javier Sicilia and the struggle he is engaged in since the killing of his son Juan Francisco: “the pain and rage of Javier Sicilia (physically far away but close in ideals for some time) make echoes that reverberate in our mountains.  It is to be hoped that his legendary tenacity, as now called for by our word and actions, succeeds in bringing together the rages and pains that are being multiplied in Mexican lands.”

Beyond the reflection on the national context, Marcos also criticizes the state government of Juan José Sabines Guerrero, which “persecutes and represses those who do not conform to the false chorus that lauds his lies-made-government, which persecutes human-rights defenders in the Coast and the Highlands of Chiapas and the indigenous of San Sebastián Bachajón who refuse to prostitute their lands and encourages the actions of paramilitary groups against Zapatista indigenous communities.”

In the postscript Marcos writes on the death of Felipe Toussaint, coordinator of the Commission to Support Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO): “once again death has arrived with its unforeseen pass to a comrade.  Felipe Toussaint Loera, a Christian who believes in the necessity of terrestrial justice….  I remember him in one of the preparatory meetings of the Other Campaign in 2005, when he attempted to inscribe his individual history in the history of a collective that is reborn once and again.  We salute his life, because in it, to the questions ‘where to?’ ‘with whom?’ and ‘against what?’ Felipe responded: ‘below, with the indigenous who struggle against the system that exploits them, loots them, represses them, and disregards them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

DE LA REFLEXIÓN CRÍTICA, INDIVIDU@S Y COLECTIV@S. (Carta Segunda a Luis Villoro en el Intercambio Epistolar sobre Ética y Política), Enlace Zapatista, 11 April 2011

Reconoce ‘subcomandante Marcos’ lucha de Sicilia, La Jornada, 12 April 2011

Comunicado completo: SOBRE LAS GUERRAS. Fragmento de la carta primera del SCI Marcos a Don Luis Villoro, inicio del intercambio epistolar sobre Ética y Política. Enero-Febrero de 2011

EZLN: la guerra de Calderón dejará miles de muertos y jugosas ganancias económicas (La Jornada, 15 February 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: new communiqué by the EZLN “On the wars” (20 February 2011)

Chiapas: The EZLN laments the death of Don Samuel (31 January 2011)


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