Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve

In a 13 March bulletin, the Rural Association of Collective Interest Union of Democratic and Independent Unions (ARIC UU ID) denounced that the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) had given a six-day warning to the residents of San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, communities located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, to accept payment and abandon their lands.  If they refused, they would be displaced by means of the public forces.  In light of these threats, the ARIC UU ID affirmed that “We will not allow one more displacement.  Our rights and reason help us as indigenous peoples and shows our rights-claims.  Furthermore, we remind our audience that we are descendants of the Mayan people, who lived on these lands since before colonization.”

ARIC UU ID notes that “following more than 35 years of agrarian conflict, the three communities that are located on the terrain of Communal Lands Lacandon Region (BCZL) have come to an agreement of conciliation that ended in agrarian conflict and the recognition among interested parties regarding the possession of these three places.”  It stressed regardless that this agreement “to date has been met only with omission and threats of displacement against the three communities.”  On 28 February, representatives of Conanp and Ricardo Frías, delegate of the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat, reported that the agreement among the three communities had not been accepted.

Since the beginning of March, residents of the three threatened communities have stressed that they will not abandon the region in which they have resided for more than 30 years, noting that they will not accept the proposal, the relocation, or the reparation payment, because they do not consider these to be solutions, in accordance with the experience that other communities have had that have been displaced from Montes Azules.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín completo de la ARIC UU ID (12 de marzo de 2012)

Dan ultimátum a tres pueblos a salir de Montes Azules o “serán desalojados”(La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2012)

Piden habitantes solidaridad… Se niegan a abandonar sus poblados en Montes Azules (Expreso de Chiapas, 4 de marzo de 2012)

Amenazan con desalojar tres poblados indígenas ubicados en la selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

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

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