Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities

June 10, 2014
Bases de Apoyo Zapatistas en el homenaje a Galeano. Foto (@Sipaz)

Support-bases of the Zapatista Army in Galeano’s homage (@Sipaz)

Subcomandante Moisés, spokesperson of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), announced in a communiqué upcoming activities scheduled by the organization.

Among these are the announcement of upcoming sessions of the Escuelita “both the first degree for those who have not yet arrived, and the second degree for those who have been approved.” There are no specified dates for those activities yet.

Other news include the installation, at the initiative of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, of a Civil Peace Camp in the community of La Realidad, and a new meeting with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

Finally, the EZLN also called for the provision of materials for the rebuilding of the autonomous schools and clinic destroyed by “paramilitaries at the service of the bad governments [...] This is so that the bad governments understand that no matter how much they destroy, we will always build more.

In the final part of the communiqué, a review is made to the paid media, which were not invited to the homage to the Galeano which took place on May 24: “I want to say that I have been seeing what the paid media has been saying happened in reality in La Realidad. And I see that what the now defunct Supmarcos said was right: they neither listened nor understood. Those above don’t understand that we didn’t lose anything; on the contrary, we recovered a compañero. And those on the outside don’t understand that they in fact did lose something, because now they don’t have a window through which to see us, much less a door through which to enter.”

For more information:

Escuelita, Camp of Peace, Sharing and Reconstruction (Enlace Zapatista, May 29, 2014)

For more information (in Spanish):

Instalarán Campamento Civil por la Paz en La Realidad: Sub Moisés (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

El EZLN anuncia la reanudación de las “Escuelitas Zapatistas” (Proceso, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Escuela de La Realidad dañada por agresores será reconstruida: subcomandante Moisés (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2014)

EZLN retoma diálogo con Congreso Nacional Indígena (El Universal, 29 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (June 9, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces homage to Zapatista murdered in La Realidad and announces primary results of investigation on the case (May 18, 2014)


Chiapas: “Las Abejas” present the event “Voices that sow the seeds of peace”

December 14, 2010

Las Abejas Press Conference (December 13st, @SIPAZ)

“In the Maya cosmology the number 13 means: The marriage of heaven and earth.
There are 13 levels to go to heaven
And with 13 candles pray the Elders
13 years of the Acteal Massacre
13 years of impunity … …

Our struggle is constant as the wind blows us life, and it continues daily such as the cycle of planting corn. “

During a press conference held in San Cristobal de Las Casas on December 13, “Las Abejas” invited to various activities to be performed in observance of the 13th anniversary of the massacre of Acteal. On December 16, there will be a cultural event in San Cristobal de las Casas with the presentation of the documentary “Acteal 10 years of impunity; how many more?” and a concert by the Choir of Acteal and the Rock group in Tzotzil Sak Tzevul. The Acteal Choir consists of 28 young people from different communities in the municipality of Chenalho. It was born in 1996 with the translation of the Bible into Tsotsil, and nowadays, in addition to religious music, it also sing about Las Abejas’ struggles, justice and peace.

On December 20, 21 and 22, activities are planned in Acteal. On Monday, December 20 cultural events will be held, including the presentation of the book Batik Tajimol ta! By Maruca Hernández and music of the choir with Sak Tzevul group.

On Tuesday 21, a Regional Meeting “Weaving the Resistance in favor of Autonomy and against Dependence and Counterinsurgency” will be held. Part of the goal is “to know one another and exchange experience and wisdom to continue building the autonomy of our people. To know that we are not alone, each organization walking side by side, we need to forge alliances between our peoples. “

December 22 will mark the anniversary of the Acteal Massacre (in which 45 Tsotsiles Indians were killed, mostly women and children) with a Mass at 10:00 am.

For more information (in Spanish):

Invitación al concierto 16 de diciembre

Conferencia de prensa 13 de diciembre de 2010 (video)

Invitación a los eventos en Acteal 20-22 de diciembre

Acteal 10 años de impunidad ¿y cuántos mas?

Sak Tzevul


Chiapas: Announcement of International Accompaniment for the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center on the part of the International Service for Peace

December 10, 2010

San Cristóbal de Las Casas
December 6, 2010

To the members of the SIPAZ international coalition
To national and international human rights organizations
To the national and international press
To the public

Announcement of International Accompaniment for the
Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center
on the part of the International Service for Peace

The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), an international NGO that with nearly 15 years of experience working for peace in Chiapas, is announcing the commencement of physical ac-companiment of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) due to recent death threats the organization has received and the more general risk present in their work.

Facts

In San Cristóbal de las Casas on November 24, 2010, Margarita Martínez Martínez was harassed and threatened with death by to unidentified men. In an Urgent Action made public on November 26, 2010, SIPAZ denounced these events expressing their strong concern for the life, security and physical integrity of Margarita Martínez and her family. Her agressors also used Margarita Martínez as an intermediary in delivering death threats (both written and oral) to the CDHFBC team.

One of the men gave her a piece of paper told her the following: “you will take this to Frayba and you will tell Diegao [Diego Cardenas, the CDHFBC director] that we know that they work with subversive groups and that we have identified the Frayba staff and we are going to finish them off one by one because they are fucking assholes that just go around destabilizing the State. They even justify their actions by saying they work in favor of those most in need, in favor of justice. What justice? Justice my ass.” A fearful Margarita Martínez followed her aggressors’ instructions to drive through the city in a taxi until she was able to lose them in the José Castillo Tielemans market. She then went to the CDHFBC and handed over the piece of paper given to her with a message spelled out in letters cut out of a newspaper that read: “Diego, the life of this family is in your hands. You will face charges. Fucking [human rights] defenders.”

Context

SIPAZ recognizes that the current sociopolitical context in Chiapas presents a high level of risk for human rights defenders due to the growing criminialization of their work since 2009 as well as the prevalence of impunity in cases of harassment and aggression against them.

Antecedents

It is important to remember that the death threats that t CDHFBC received on November 24 were not part of an isolated incident. They are just the latest in a series of harassments against this Center and the State’s reaction to these events has proven to be insufficient. Since mid-2009, the CDHFBC team has been victim to slanderous media campaigns, acts of defamation, surveillane, harassment, threats and even physical aggression against one of its members.

SIPAZ Accompaniment

The mission at the International Service for Peace is to accompany and protect the work of local actors in favor of peace and human rights to promote the development of positive peace in Chiapas. We at SIPAZ value the work done at the CDHFBC in defense of human rights and the rights of the people and we reiterate our strong concern for the lives and both physical and psychological integrity of their members.

As such, in addition to the urgent action we at SIPAZ published on November 26, 2010, distribution of information on the case and advocacy meetings with officials at the national and international levels, we have decided to accompany the CDHFBC through daily visits to their offices for a period to be decided on based on the need and responses to such accompaniment from both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Mexican State.

It is important to remember that the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders states the following: “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with other, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights…”

We ask that the members of the SIPAZ international coalition, both national and international human rights organizations, the national and international press and the general public remain alert to possible incidents in the future with regard to the CDHFBC team and their safety in addition to requesting measures be put in place to protect the work, lives, security, physical and psychological integrity as well as the families of all of the Center’s members.

Sincerely,

The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ)


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


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.

Regards

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)


Oaxaca: the Peace Network’s Communiqué on the Caravan to San Juan Copala

June 9, 2010

The caravan en route to San Juan Copala ©La Jornada

The Peace Network, comprised of civil human-rights organizations in Chiapas, and of which SIPAZ is a part, demands security-guarantees for the members of the “National and International Humanitarian Caravana Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola” as well as for the population of the region to which the caravan is headed.  Below, we share the communiqué in full.

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

7 June 2010

* We demand security-guarantees for the caravan headed to San Juan Copala

* Solidarity group from Chiapas joins the caravan

The Peace Network, comprised of civil human-rights organizations in the state of Chiapas, calls on Felipe Calderón, president of Mexico, and on Ulises Ruíz Ortiz, governor of the state of Oaxaca, to guarantee the security of human-rights defenders, observers, and residents of the community of San Juan Copala.

We are alarmed at the current situation in San Juan Copala, given the violence seen on 27 April, when members of a caravan–human-rights defenders, both national and international, together with journalists–were ambushed in La Sabana by UBISORT (Union of Social Welfare for the Triqui Region) while en route to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala.

The Peace Network is aware that, on 8 June, a new caravan will embark to take aid and basic necessities to the population that has been isolated, that has received no attention, that lacks basic services from local authorities.  We are also aware that a solidarity group from Chiapas will join the caravan to San Juan Copala.

We organizations that make up the Network call on state and federal authorities to guarantee the protection of the members of the caravan, as well as the men, women, and children of the Triqui region of Oaxaca.

It is important to stress that the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) has recognized the importanceof the work of human-rights defenders, indicating that “respect for human rights in a democratic State depends in large part on the effective and adequate guarantees enjoyed by human-rights defenders, so that they can freedly engage in their activities.  Special attention should be paid to actions that limit or constitute obstacles for the work of human-rights defenders.”

Member-organizations of the Peace Network

Educación para la Paz (Edupaz)

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

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

The International Service for Peace (Sipaz)

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

Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación 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)

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: MRPS announces the creation of a Human Rights committee and march

April 12, 2010

On April 9, 2010 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico,  The MRPS – Popular Resistance Movement of the Southwest – announced the creation of the “Digna Ochoa Human Rights Committee of Chiapas” with presence in the municipalities of Petalcingo and Tumbalá in the northern zone of Chiapas.

They denounced “a climate of persecution and criminalization of priests, social justice workers and human rights defenders” as well as strategies of “persecution, repression and provocation” promoted both by the state government of Chiapas and the federal government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa with whom they charged “the de facto suspension of constitutional guarantees and human rights of our people and the establishment of a state of emergency“.  Given this panorama of “structural human rights violations” and the urgent need to “strengthen the organizational processes of our communities“, this committee “through community monitors, will be an instrument for documenting and systematizing the violations of our human rights committed by the various state bodies.

In the same press conference, the MRPS announced a march that took place the following day, April 10, 2010, in the township of Tila, with three motives:  “publicly demonstrate [their] rejection of the Support Fund for Agricultural Entities without Regularization” (FANAR in spanish, which they said is the new face of PROCEDE, Program for Ceritification of Ejidal Rights and Titles to Urban Plots) vindicating the rights of the ejidatarios; “claim a fair rate of electricity for Chiapas and maintenance and repair of CFE electrical energy lines in the municipalities of the Northern zone, and the termination of criminalization and persecution of human rights defenders in Chiapas.


Chiapas: 5 indigenous tseltales of the village of San Sebastián Bachajón are released

July 21, 2009

adherentes_bachajon

On Monday 6th of July five of the seven indigenous tseltales, who are members of ‘La Otra Campaña’ from the village of San Sebastián Bachajón, were liberated due to the waiver of court action. The issue revolves around the existence of a legal body, which has the authority to remove charges attributed to those detained, as well as the ability to grant partial amnesty of the penalty charge. Gerónimo Moreno Deara, Alfredo Gómez Moreno, Miguel Demeza Jiménez, Sebastián Demeza Deara and Pedro Demeza Deara were imprisoned for three months, because of ‘actions in defense of the land’, according to the Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC or Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de las Casas). Furthermore, the brothers Gerónimo and Antonio Gómez Saragos, continue to be imprisoned in the CERSS number 14 in the “El Amate” prison in Cintalapa, ‘accused of violent robbery and organized crime’.

On Thursday 9th July at 11.30am there will be a press conference in the offices of CDFBC to ‘inform about the conditions of release and about the current situation of the two members of the cooperative who continue to be imprisoned’.


Mexico: The Mexican Republic rejects recommendations made by UPR

July 16, 2009
Universal Periodic Review: Mexico is reviewed - A country without human rights is not democratic

Universal Periodic Review (UPR): A country without human rights... is not a democracy

On February 2009, during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), Mexico received various recommendations to advance human rights work. On June 11th of this year, Mexico responded to the recommendations during the sessions at the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This new report has been widely criticized by various Human Rights organizations in Mexico: in one communique on July 12th, organizations stated that Mexico has flagrantly rejected recommendations relative to military justice, the impunity and past crimes, the definition of organized delinquency, and the judicial figure of the pre-trial detention. The communique states other issues in which Mexico has shown impotence or lack of interest to comply as a Republic of justice: violence against women, femicide, and legislative justice.

In its defense, Mexico exposed a series of facts that were considered as advances. One of these was the constitutional reform in matter of human rights. Nevertheless, the so called reform does not give constitutional priority to human rights, and as a consequence it misses the opportunity to give international human rights treaties constitutional ranking.

With concern, the organizations signing the press release including the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco Victoria, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, and the Human Rights Center de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, conclude that “the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) has given us an opportunity so the international and national communities can become aware that a great deficit in the topic of human rights exists. The recommendations made by the UPR are added to the great number of recommendations that the Mexican State has recieved in last eleven years. What we now need is political will and effective actions by the federal government and from the state governments to implement them in their entirety.”

For more information (spanish only):

More information from SIPAZ:


Chiapas: Las Abejas announce the release of a paramilitary linked to the massacre of Acteal

July 13, 2009

In its monthly report, on the 22nd June, the Civil Society of Las Abejas announced that on the 6th June of this year, Lorenzo Perez Vasquez, a paramilitary from the community of La Esperanza, was released. Within their report, Las Abejas stated that all of the institutions linked to the administration of justice in Mexico, as well as all political agents, governors and the Mexican president will be held accountable for any act of crime committed against their lives. “Because instead of creating the necessary conditions for peace, they are causing situations that lead to massacre and violence in our region”, said the report.

Ahead of the awaited response of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice regarding the possible freedom of 14 members of the armed group, Red Mask, which operated in the area of Chenalho in 1997 (includes various members who been sentenced, accused of violent acts in the massacre of Acteal) members of Las Abejas took part in a Day of Hunger Strikes and Denouncement to demonstrate their indignation and inconformity.  They walked to the City of Mexico on the 10th June, with the aim of demanding that justice be granted, as well as to place pressure on governors not to liberate these individuals.

For more information:


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