Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre

March 27, 2013

(@actealblogspot.com, foto de archivo)

During the religious celebration performed in the most recent monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society lamented that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has released another indigenous person who had been incarcerated on the charge of having participated in the 22 December 1997 massacre in Acteal.  Las Abejas affirmed that “What we are now living here in Mexico confirms what we Abejas have always said: the organisms of the Mexican justice system do not serve justice but rather the interests of the powerful.”

“As in the case of the paramilitaries released previously, we are told that the reason for his release had to do with failures and violations to ‘due process.’  We think and denounce that this is nothing more than a pretext on the part of the authorities to twist justice in the way that is most convenient to them.”  Demonstrating this claim, Las Abejas indicated that the SCJN had denied review of the case of Alberto Patishtán, given that that case is marked by irregularities; moreover, the SCJN attended to the case of Florence Cassez, who had claimed failures to due process and was so released.  Another example that was mentioned was the “‘false Abejas’ who are playing with Salinas de Gortari so as to avenge Ernesto Zedillo, and a collegiate court immediately grants the motion to permit the continuation of the case against Zedillo in the U.S.”

Las Abejas assert that “the lack of justice and the means in which the authorities use law only for their benefit have resulted in the fact that throughout Mexico, some communities organize themselves for armed self-defense, as in the case of our friends from the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities of the Mountain and Costa Chica of Guerrero.”  Distinguishing their perspective from that of many authorities and media, Las Abejas noted that “One thing is that people amidst total impunity organize themselves to apply justice according to their own methods, and another very different thing is seen when the government, unsatisfied with using its own repressive apparatus, resorts to using a part of the people who are tricked into repressing their own brothers.”

Finally, Las Abejas closed with saying that they are “seeking other means to obtain the justice that is denied us by the government, such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  But for now we will say that we reject the ‘friendly’ calls made by the Mexican government through the IACHR to our brothers and sisters in Atenco, who have rejected these proposals with the same dignity we shall employ.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de marzo de 2013)

Los grupos de autodefensa, resultado de la impunidad en el país, aseguran Las Abejas (La Jornada, 26 de marzo de 2013)

Confían en nuevo Papa (Cuarto Poder, 23 de marzo de 2013)

Abejas lamentan más liberaciones por Acteal (Noticiasnet.mx, 25 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas de Acteal (24 January 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)

 


Mexico: Atenco five years on, raped women continue demanding justice

May 6, 2011

Photo: Centro-Prodh

Five years after the police incursion in Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco on 3 and 4 May 2006, women who have denounced their sexual torture firmly maintain their demands for justice.  Civil organizations indicate that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the State Attorney General’s Office of Mexico have impeded advances in the path toward justice for these women, and that due to the inefficacy of the internal institutions the case of 11 women finds itself presently before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

The police operative implemented in the state of Mexico in 2006 against the Popular Front in Defense of the Land (FPDT) in its struggle against the construction of an airport in Texcoco left two youth dead and 207 detained, of whom 47 were women.  Of the 47 women who were attacked, the National Commission on Human rights (CNDH) noted rape in 26 cases.  On this the fifth anniversary of the Atenco events, the Movement of Peoples in Defense of the Land, Amnesty International, and SME protested in front of the offices of the PGR to demand justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Atenco, cinco años de resistencia frente a la tortura sexual, Cencos, 3 May 2011)

Atenco, a 5 años no se olvidan los excesos en el uso de la fuerza pública, El Universal, 3 May 2011

Víctimas de violación en Atenco se resisten a quedar en el olvido, cimacnoticas, 3 May

En Atenco prevalecen 5 años de impunidad, todotexcoco, 3 May 2011

A un lustro de hechos en Atenco, activistas exigen justicia frente a PGR, La Jornada, 2 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples Build Justice and Truth” (25 March 2011)


Chiapas: Meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth”

March 25, 2011

Forum “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” (@SIPAZ)

On 16 and 17 March, in observation of the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), there was held the meeting “With Memory, the Peoples build Justice and Truth” at the Indigenous Center for Integral Traning (CIDECI-Unitierra) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Some 150 women and men attended the event, hailing from different social and civil organizations from several states of the country, including Chiapas, Guerrero, Chihuahua, and Mexico City. The common thread of the event was the subject of the construction of memory, a process that according to those who participated should be carried out in a collective fashion so as to counter the false versions of history propagated by the economic and political elite of the country. “The construction of memory helps us to understand our journey from the past, to locate our presen tasks, and to define as to where we would like to go in the future,” explained one participant.

On the first day were held several panels dealing with different questions: impunity and new forms of constructing justice (Communal Police of Guerrero and the Civil Society Las Bejas of Acteal, from the highlands of Chiapas); the defense of Mother Earth (ejidatar@sfrom Atenco, state of Mexico; ejidatar@s from San Sebastián Bachajón, Northern Zone of Chiapas); concrete experience in the work of historical memory (community of Masojá Shucjá, Northern Zone of Chiapas); defenders of the right to expression (Center for the Rights of Women, state of Chihuahua and members of the Coordination of Women in Resistance in Jotolá, Chiapas).

There was also read a communiqué by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, in which he greeted in the CDHFBC for its 22nd anniversary and manifested his indignation as regards the behavior of “some idiots” (government functionaries) with regard to the burial of Samuel Ruiz García in January. Moreover he expressed his concern for the integrity and life of human-rights defenders in Mexico as well as respect for the members of the CDHFBC, who despite the risks implied by their work, nonetheless continue: “You could have been others, but you chose to be that which now brings you together.”

The final pronouncement, signed by the organizations and movements present, stresses the importance of memory in light of the tasks handed down by the past so as to maintain hope for the future: “Memory helps us to remember, brings to the present the disappeared, those who have been murdered, imprisoned, exiled. We do not forget the dirty war, State terrorism, or the counter-insurgency war; nor do we forget who it is that is responsible for impunity. Regardless, also in our memory are those individuals, peoples, and organizations who never give up, and it is this memory that converts itself into hope for future generations.” The organizations that signed the pronouncement proposed the following, among other things: “In light of the generalized violence imposed by the State, let us generate movements for peace and against war, and let us expand and recognize the participation of women, children, youth, and the elderly in the decisions governing collective life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del encuentro “CON LA MEMORIA, LOS PUEBLOS CONSTRUIMOS JUSTICIA Y VERDAD” (17 March 2011)

Hermann Bellinghausen: “Empezó en Chiapas encuentro de activistas y defensores de derechos de todo el país” (17 March)

Palabras del EZLN a la XLI Asamblea Nacional de la Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles “ Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos” (March 2011)


Mexico: National Meeting of members of The Other Campaign in Atenco

November 29, 2010

@FTDP

Between the 12th and 14th of November 2010, a National Meeting of Organizations and Struggles of the Other Campaign took place in San Salvador Atenco (Mexico State), convoked by the Movement for Justice en El Barrio, United States and the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, the latter being the host organization.

The invitation to the meeting noted: “While in the Other Campaign we have strengthened ourselves, we have extended more and have gone deeper in the way we work, the reaction from the capitalist system and from the ‘bad government’ has been to try and crush us where our roots are deep and our resistance is fierce. From the other side of the border, in New York, the movement for Justice in El Barrio strongly felt the chill first and then the anger that emerged from the repression that swept the country during the first phase of the Other Campaign. “ They argue: ” We hope to raise all our differences as flags and walk together to defend our lands, our cultures, our identities, our loves, our autonomy. “

According to press reports, the event was attended by over 70 organizations and groups. During the three days of the meeting there were different workshops, addressing issues such as repression, political prisoners, the defense of land and autonomy, among others, as well as an open forum on “The worthy struggles of Women , Indigenous Peoples, Lesbian, Gay and Transgender. ” In addition, there were screenings of documentaries on different actors and stages of the Other Campaign, as well as on the Zapatista struggle in Chiapas.

For more information (in Sanish):


Mexico: Atenco prisoners released

July 12, 2010

On June 30th, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ordered the immediate release of  the 12 members of the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land of Atenco, who faced sentences of 31 to 112 years in prison, and had been taken into custody by police in May of 2006 during the protests against the displacement of flower vendors in the state of Mexico.

The decision of the court was made finding that the Attorney General of the State of Mexico (PGJEM) brought charges against the detainees stemming from shaky and false premises. Prosecutors also used illegal evidence to impute the crime of kidnapping. Additionally, the minister Juan Silva Meza affirmed that the sentences could have been “a form of institutional makeup to criminalize social protest, a way to punish the opposition”.

In the case of nine of the people from Atenco held in the Molino de Las Flores state prison, with lesser penalties, the release was immediate. On the other hand, in the case of the three leaders held in the federal prison of Altiplano, by the 1st of July, the federal Secretary of Public Security (SSP) stated that Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Álvarez y Héctor Galindo, will remain in prison facing still four more criminal proceedings for the crimes of aggravated robbery, injury and damage to public property, looting, and attacks on roads and transportation.

Finally they were liberated and arrived in Atenco on July 2nd, where some 500 people were awaiting their arrival, accompanied by the other newly released members of the FPDT who had been liberated on the 30th. The daughter of Ignacio del Valle, América del Valle – who just last June 24 left for the Embassy of Venezuela to seek political asylum from the two arrest warrants against her for the same offense in 2006 -  did not attend.

The Governor, Enrique Peña Nieto, said that his administration will have “absolute respect” for the resolution of the court to liberate the prisoners of Atenco. In an interview afterward, he rejected that it was a setback for his government and added that the interest “was none other than the restoration of order and peace… and therefore, the sanctions against those who participated in terms of the law and in conformity with the law acted, and under the law was passed.”

Furthermore, Amnesty International (AI) demanded a thorough investigation into the officials involved in the investigations related to the Atenco case, to be in accordance with the decision of the Court, who improperly used the justice system and thus caused the violation of due process for the 12 detainees at those events.

For more information (in Spanish):

12 Atenco prisoners released (La Jornada, 1 July)

Court orders liberty for Atenco prisoners (El Universal, 2 July)

SSP: three Atenco leaders will continue imprisoned (Proceso, 1 July)

AI demands punishment of functionaries for Atenco case (Proceso, 1 July)

Released leaders of the FPDT are received in Atenco (La Jornada, 2 July)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico City: Second Phase of Our Prisoners First campaign launched (13 May 2010)

Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on (11 May 2010)


Mexico City: Second phase of Our Prisoners First campaign launched in Mexico City

May 13, 2010

On the 3rd and 4th of May, people from organizations and groups adhering to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle gathered in Mexico City’s Zócalo to  demand the “immediate freedom” of political prisoners across the country, thus launching the second phase of the Other Campaign’s Our Prisoners First project.

This stage of the campaign’s protest and educational actions commenced on May 3rd, a date selected to coincide with the fourth anniversary of violent state repression in San Salvador Atenco. Regarding the significant date, Our Prisoners First stated in a communique that they sought to bring attention to “the crimes of physical, psychological and sexual torture committed against our compañeros in Atenco in 2006″ and repeated “every day” against those who are “unjustly imprisoned.”

On their list of political prisoners from the Other Campaign, Our Prisoners First identified a total of 32 people from Campeche, Mexico City, Mexico state, Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Chiapas – including Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who is a member of the Chiapas-based Voice of Amate (La Voz de Amate in Spanish).

Participants in the Mexico City actions included people from Mitzitón, The Bees, San Sebastian Bachajon, Molino de los Arcos, Voces Inocentes and Costa in Chiapas.

In a statement issued by the Bees (Las Abejas in Spanish) from Mexico City’s  Zocalo on the 3rd of May, the group said they “reaffirmed” that “here in Mexico there are two types of justice: one for the rich and one for the poor and below. When politicians, the powerful, public officials and policies that serve the bad government and commit crimes against humanity, they never set foot in jail. Instead they are rewarded with houses and everything they need…However when we raise our voices against any injustice, violation of human rights, in defense of Mother Earth, and so on., The consequences are serious, we are repressed, imprisoned and even  killed.”

In a message from Altiplano, political prisoner Felipe Alvarez thanked the campaign for their solidarity and commented on the struggle of political prisoners in Mexico stating, “Compañeros, we need to do many things. We all know that the task is not easy” because “the enemy is big, but we also know that however big, it is not invincible … The dignity of our fighting spirit is stronger than the blows that the enemy deals us. We must not let up in jail. We must not let up in the streets or any place in our country. We can not keep quiet about what is happening in our country.”

Other actions in the Zócalo during the two days included movies, music and conferences.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración política del 3 y 4 de mayo (Colectivos, Organizaciones e Individuos de la Otra Campaña en el marco de la Campaña Primero Nuestrxs Presxs; Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad)

Blog de la Campaña Primero Nuestros Presxs

Comunicado de las Abejas sumándose a la Campaña

Albertowhatish


Atenco: repression in San Salvador Atenco, 4 years on

May 11, 2010

On 3 May, four years passed since the police operations against residents of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, in the state of Mexico, which took place on 3 and 4 May 2006.  The Supreme Court of Justice for the Nation (SCJN) recognized in February 2009 that grave violations of the basic liberties of the residents of the region had been committed during these acts.  It should be remembered that the police arrested more than 200 people, of whom 12 still remain imprisoned. Indeed, just as the anniversary approached, the three principal leaders of the Popular Front for the Defense of the Land of Atenco (FPDT)–Ignacio del Valle Medina, Felipe Álvarez, and Héctor Galindo, who are being held in the Altiplano prison under 112-year (Del Valle) and 67-year (Álvarez and Galindo) sentences, were notified of new arrest orders filed against them.

On the other hand, the SCJN ruling recognized that police had utilized public force in excessive and brutal fashion in many ways, such as the sexual torture of 28 women.  Accompanied by the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (Centro Prodh), 11 women have denounced their being-subjected to sexual torture by means of a petition since April 2008 to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  On 10 December 2009, the IACHR presented the petition to the Mexican government, granting them 2 months to present their observations.  To date, the state has failed to produce any sort of response.

During an event held in Mexico City on 3 May, Alberto Herrera, director of Amnesty International-Mexico, claimed that “After four years since the events that took place in San Salvador Atenco, where 240 people were arrested and 28 women raped by police, we are here so as not to forget, to declare that the only way forward is through the realization of justice.” Since 2 May, activities in commemoration of the repression in San Salvador Atenco have been held.  A sit-in was maintained during 3 and 4 May, while other actions took place in Mexico City and other Mexican cities.

Finally, the third phase of the Campaign for Liberty and Justice for Atenco was launched.  The communiqué announcing this initiative emphasizes that “Our 12 prisoners, together with all Mexican political prisoners, are hurt.  Atenco represents an emblematic national case.  It represents the application and creation of new crimes, such as kidnapping, an arbitrary offense that can be employed against social struggle as a tool of control and repression.  The repressive operations in Atenco symbolize, moreover, impunity, tyranny through violence, and illegality practiced by the State.  Atenco represents an open wound for the entirety of the country, all civil society, and all those who sturggle for liberty and justice.”

Beyond demanding that the SCJN rule in favor of the immediate annulment of the sentences of the 12 prisoners, the communiqué calls for actions of information-distribution, mobilization, and non-violent protest as part of a campaign to be held during May and June.  For its part, the organizing community announced multiple activities and called for July 7 to be celebrated as “a global day of action for the liberty of the political prisoners of Atenco.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amnesty International and other NGOs demand justice and punishment of those responsible for the events in Atenco (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

New arrest orders for Del Valle, Álvarez, and Galidno are announced (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

Without justification, three imprisoned from Atenco held in a maximum-security prison (La Jornada, 3 de mayo)

Atenco leaders claimed to be responsible for more crimes (El Universal, 3 de mayo)

Incomplete, an IAHCR petition regarding rape and torture of women of Atenco (La Jornada, 4 de mayo)

Bishop Vera calls on SCJN to free Atenco prisoners (El Universal, 4 de mayo)

Declaration 4 years after the repressive acts in San Salvador Atenco.  Announcement of the third phase of the Campaign for Liberty and Justice for Atenco (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, Comité Libertad y Justicia para Atenco)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Atenco: the Campaign “Liberty and Justice for Atenco” begins (24 February 2009)


Chiapas: Organizations and social movements descend on San Cristobal to call for justice

October 31, 2009

On Monday October 26th, 2009, the Cathedral Square in San Cristobal de Las Casas was the scene of much activity and mobilization as three organizations and social movements arrived in the center of town, one after another. The three groups – the “community of Faith (Pueblo Creyente)–Tzotzil Region, The Other Campaign, and the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) – each had distinct demands that came down to the same basic message: there is no justice in Chiapas. Some demanded that “paramilitaries” charged in the Acteal Massacre remain in jail, while others asked for the release of social leaders who have been “arbitrarily detained.”

DSC02433

The Community of Faith–Tzotzil Region had organized a “Pilgrimage for Peace and real Justice” in solidarity with the Acteal Abejas. Together they called on the Supreme Court of Mexico to refrain from freeing any more of the prisonners accused as material perpetrators of the Acteal massacre of 1997. Five hundred people from the Highlands of Chiapas participated. At the end of the pilgrimage, mass was celebrated in the Cathedral by the Bishop of San Cristobal, Father Enrique Diaz Diaz, along with parish priests from the area.

According to journalists’ sources the Supreme Court of Mexico is expected to make a decision in the cases of 31 prisoners in jail for their participation in the Acteal Massacre of December 22nd, 1997. The media has reported that some of the prisoners could be released for violations to their human rights during the court process, despite the fact that Abejas members have identified them as material perpetrators of the crime. If the prisoners are released, they would add to the 20 persons who were already released August 12th as a result of another Supreme Court decision.

DSC02438

During the morning of October 26th about 200 Other Campaign followers – the majority indigenous – gathered at the San Cristobal bus terminal to begin a march into the city. They demanded the release of political prisoners, referring in particular to prisoners from the Front for the People in Defense of the Land (FPDT) in San Salvador Atenco (Estado de Mexico), the Civil Resistance Movement of non-payment for electric energy from Candelaria (Campeche), two tseltal members of the Other Campaign from San Sebastian Bachajon (Chiapas) and Alberto Patishtan, from the Voice of El Amate (Chiapas). The march, which was carried out as part of a national mobilization organized by the Other Campaign, came to an end in the Cathedral Square after the mass of the Community of Faith. Residents of the communities of San Sebastian Bachajon and Jotola, among others, also took the opportunity to speak to those gathered.

DSC02457

While Other Campaign followers were still carrying out their meeting, 100 members of the Campesina Organization Emiliano Zapata – Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) arrived at the Cathedral. They demanded the release of three of their “compañeros” who are presently jailed, as well as a stop to all harassment by the state government toward their organization. They announced the beginning of a sit-in in the Cathedral Square as a pressure tactic to resolve their demands, beginning October 26th for an indefinite period of time.

OCEZ said that ever since the arrest of one of their leaders, Jose Manuel Hernandez Martinez, on September 30th, the harassment in their communities has been relentless. At dawn on October 24th the Attorney General of State Justice (PGJE) arrested other members of their group: Roselio de la Cruz Gonzalez and Jose Manuel de la Torre Hernandez were arrested without being served arrest warrants. On October 25th a joint military and police search for drugs and firearms was carried out in Laguna Verde. Laguna Verde, along with neighbouring community 28 de Junio, are communities where members of OCEZ-RC live. Out of fear for their lives the residents had asked for the presence of human rights observers who were witnesses during the raid and concluded that no illicit objects were found.

For more information:

On the Pilgrimage of the Community of Faith and ‘Las Abejas’

Comunicado de Las Abejas de la conferencia de prensa del 22 de octubre 2009

La SCJN resolverá este miércoles sobre los recursos pendientes del caso Acteal (La Jornada 27/10/09)

Se manifiestan contra la SCJN… (Expreso de Chiapas 27/10/09)

On the Other Campaign March

ONG exigen la liberación de los presos políticos en el país (La Jornada (27/10/09)

On OCEZ-RC

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC: En la madrugada detienen a dos miembros de la OCEZ Carranza la policía

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas

Exige la OCEZ libertad para 3 de sus dirigentes (La Jornada 27/10/09)

For more information from SIPAZ

Journey of the “Community of faith”: Reflection and action on a changing reality (August 2009)

Special Report on the Case of Acteal (August 30, 2009) – The Supreme Court (SCJN) Ruling: an irreproachable ruling judicially, a highly questioned decision based in the historical and actual context

Chiapas: The Abejas Denounce the Harassment of the Chiapas Government (october 2009)

Chiapas: Prisoner forced to transfer to maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit (october 2009)

Chiapas: OCEZ leader from the Venustiano Carranza Region captured(october 2009)




Chiapas Forum: “Women’s Perspectives on Militarization”

October 20, 2009

foro mujeres y militarizacion

On October 2nd and 3rd, various organizations, among them SIPAZ, convened a forum on Women’s Perspectives on Militarization, which was held at CIDECI-Unitierra, in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. About 160 women from Guatemala, Honduras, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Guerrero, and elsewhere participated along with those from the communities of Chiapas. Between lectures and table discussions, the women shared their ideas, sorrow, bravery, resistance, struggles, complaints, and injustices that their organizations and communities are enduring.

In the final declaration of the event, they stated:

“The increase, in the last decade, of militarization, para-militarization, and drug-militarization in Latin America has worsened violations of human rights, the most recent examples of which being the coup in Honduras and the installation of seven United States military bases in Colombia which signify, on the one hand, the weakening development of the fledgling democracies in Latin America, and, on the other, the strengthening of militarization as a means of control through the use of weapons, protests and proposals of social improvement through the neoliberal capitalist system in which poverty, corruption and violence are its principal expressions.

In this context, women will continue being used as the plunders of war, hostages, shields, forced to take place in activities that violate our dignity. The militarization seeks to appropriate our thoughts, spirits, families and territories. Today, we live in a militarized society in which power, coercion and violence are reproduced as a way of life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa del 2 de octubre

Pronunciamiento del Foro Perspectivas de las Mujeres ante la Militarización

Audios (in Spanish):

ponencias 2 de octubre

ponencias 3 de octubre

participaciones

capsúla radiofónica


Chiapas: Second phase of Freedom and Justice Campaign begins in Acteal

September 23, 2009

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The second phase of the Atenco Freedom and Justice Campaign officially began on September 11th in Chiapas, where the People for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) chose to announce the beginning of their journey through 12 states. The purpose of the campaign is not only to educate people about Atenco, but also to get to know other struggles and the suffering of the people.

On September 11th the Abejas invited the FPDT to Acteal where they were welcomed with a banner that read “Welcome to the sacred land of Acteal, brothers and sisters of Atenco.” In response the FPDT walked down the stairs chanting, “Acteal, Atenco is here for you.” The FPDT went on to declare “the Supreme Court decision in the case of Acteal caused the same effect” as in many other cases, including Atenco, and “shows that institutions who are in charge of providing justice on all levels fill the role of guaranteeing protection and impunity to the ruling party and its repressive policies instead.”

The words exchanged spoke as much of the determination to keep up the fight as of the warmth between friends. There was dancing, speechmaking, and singing. Damian Camacho of FPDT said, “They want to get rid of this history because it’s not part of the official history… the history of the downtrodden people and their struggles.” The president of the Abejas, Sebastian, said it was a great honor for his organization to have the FPDT starting their campaign in Acteal. Damian replied that the honor was mutual, “You’ve opened paths and roads for us to follow and that’s what we’re doing… After awhile more roads had to be opened so that others could wake up and join us.” As expressed by Trinidad, the wife of Ignacio Del Valle, many agreed, “words are not enough to say thank you for your example of struggle, resistance and dignity. It strengthens us.”  After reading a letter to the Abejas from Ignacio del Valle as well as press releases from both organizations, symbolic gifts were exchanged: a machete to symbolize protecting the land was given to the Abejas by the FPDT, and a white flag symbolizing peace was given to the FPDT by the Abejas.

Within the context of this campaign, the FPDT are demanding “the impartial review of the cases of the nine prisoners in Molino de las Flores, as well as their immediate release for being political prisoners in Mexico; the immediate transfer of Ignacio del Valle, Felipe Alvarez and Hector Galindo to a jail close to their homes; the cancellation of Adan Espinoza’s arrest warrant, the release of 12 political prisoners, the revocation of their sentences; the unrestricted respect for the human rights of those detained and persecuted; the punishment of those materially and intellectually responsible for the repression and violation of human rights; a stop to the political persecution of Adan Espinoza; a stop to the criminalization of social movements in Mexico.” (FPDT press release)

Later the same day the FPDT delegation took part in a forum in San Cristobal de Las Casas where they were able to exchange with local individuals. They met with family members of the Ocosingo prisoners, the daughter of Alberto Patishtan (who is being held in prison CERSS #5), representatives from Innocent Voices, and the public. They also spoke with followers of the Other Campaign from Mitziton, who are presently mounting a campaign of resistance to the government highway project from San Cristobal to Palenque. The FPDT delegation explained their demands and denounced the worsening of prison conditions, contrary to the respect of human rights. They also denounced the degrading treatment of family members who visit their loved ones in prison.

On September 12th the FPDT delegation met with the Good Government Junta in Oventic, where the Zapatistas greeted them with expressions of solidarity. They finished off their tour through Chiapas by taking part in a march to mark the third anniversary of the Northern Region Autonomous Council.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del FPDT

Comenzó en Acteal segunda etapa de Libertad y Justicia para Atenco (La Jornada 12/09/09)

Atenquenses en campaña para la liberación de sus presos se reúnen con la JBG de los Altos (La Jornada 13/09/09)

Abreva el FPDT en la vida zapatista en intenso encuentro en el caracol de Oventic (La Jornada 14/09/09)

El Tercer aniversario del Consejo Autónomo de la Zona Costa participa el Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra de San Salvador Atenco. (Indymedia, 17/09/09)


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