Chiapas: Acteal, 16 years in search of justice

January 1, 2014

22 de diciembre de 2013 @ SIPAZ

22 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 22 December 16 years passed since the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, an act that killed 45 indigenous Tsotsil persons (14 girls, 4 boys, 8 men, 19 women, 4 of whom were pregnant) as they were praying in the Acteal chapel.  During the massacre, units of the Police of Public Security were located 200 meters from the site.  Members of the Las Abejas Civil Society once again commemorated the anniversary of the massacre this year, beginning on 21 December by sharing their experiences of struggle and ending with a pilgrimage and mass on 22 December.  Hundreds attended the commemoration.

“This sixteenth anniversary of the Acteal massacre we recall as being illuminated by a light that emerges from the Sacred Land of Acteal, but this light shines also through the darkness which covers our country in threatening clouds,” noted Las Abejas in their communique.  “Today counterinsurgency is for all, not just the indigenous of Chiapas.  It is made up of two parts: trickery and repression–or, as some say, the carrot and the stick.  Or, as Abejas have said at times: balls of sugar and bullets [...].  It is precisely what the bad governments are doing, whether run by Manuel Velasco or Peña Nieto and their programs such as the National Crusade against Hunger.  They have created programs of assistance by taking advantage of the needs of the people in communities; their objective is to ease their conscience to cover over the looting and handing-over of our country to neoliberal foreigners.  The worst thing is that, so that the people don’t lose the ‘spell,’ they do propaganda, promoting the idea that the government brings good things and supports the people.”

Las Abejas also recalled the 98 persons displaced from the Puebla Colony “over a problem that has been going on for 8 months without resolution.  Now the government says that it wants to resolve the problem so that the displaced return to their homes, but it wants to impose conditions in exchange for such a resolution.  The conditions are that paramilitaries not be mentioned, that justice not be demanded, and that we silence ourselves [...].  And now after leaving the side of justice and truth, the government says that the problems will be resolved with productive support and communal programs.”

Las Abejas ended by saying that “the people now are walking on the construction of another justice, and one of those paths is with the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP); we must meet more often.  We want nothing more than justice for Acteal, other massacres, and cases of human-rights violations throughout Mexico.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) read a communique at the commemoration which indicates that “Amidst impunity, the people save their memory, reflect, and find alternatives based on truth for the construction of justice.  In this way, relatives, witnesses, and victims of State crimes perpetrated in the Northern Zone, the Jungle, and Highlands of Chiapas met on 6 and 7 December in the Susuclumil community of Tila for the pre-audience of the work-group on Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice with the People’s Permanent Tribunal.  The session was called ‘Meeting for justice and truth,’ in which the judges declared: ‘It is not to the institutions of the Mexican State that we are looking for justice, but rather to alternative spaces for the construction and defense of our own justice, in addition to aiding with the convergence and union of the indigenous.’”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas a 16 años de la Masacre de Acteal (22 de diciembre de 2013)

Boletín de CDHFBC: La memoria histórica: un instrumento para la verdad y la construcción de justicia (22 de diciembre de 2013)

El sistema de justicia, podrido: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (27 December 2012)

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)


Chiapas/National: EZLN communique, “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1)”

January 1, 2014


On 28 December, mere days before the anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos released a new communique entitled “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1).”  In this essay, he notes that “rebelliousness is not the exclusive patrimony of the neo-Zapatistas.  It belongs to humanity, and  so is something to celebrate everywhere, at all times.  Rebellion itself is a celebration.”

Marcos challenges the truthfulness of biographies and denounces that, given the Internet and social media, “biographical myths revolve their fallacies around, and voilá, the history of one’s life (or part of it) is reconstructed, having little to nothing to do with actual history.  But this does not matter, because the biography is published, printed, circulated, read, re-read… just as lies are.”  As illustration of his point, Marcos recalled the things which could be read about ex-presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, and current president Enrique Peña Nieto.  He stressed that the “criminals of the Mexican political class who have so badly governed these lands will continue to be criminals who enjoy impunity for those who have suffered their outrages.”  He concluded by saying that “with all this and what is coming, am I saying that one should not write or read biographies?  No, because that which drives the old wheel of history are collectives, not individuals, whether male or female.  Historiography develops through individuals; history learns from the people.”

In a large post-script, Marcos challenged the commercial media and a number of articles which have been published in anticipation of the anniversary of the armed uprising: “if the conditions of the Zapatista indigenous communities are the same as they were 20 years ago and no living conditions have improved, why is the EZLN opening its escuelita so that people from below see it and come to know it directly, without intermediaries? [...] You ask what the EZLN has done for indigenous communities.  And we are responding with the direct testimony of tens of thousands of our comrades.”  It should be recalled that, just earlier, Subcomandante Moisés announced that the press will not be invited to the Zapatista celebrations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rebobinar 1: Cuando los muertos callan en voz alta (Subcomandante Marcos, 28 de diciembre de 2013)

La rebeldía, patrimonio de la humanidad; hay que celebrarlo siempre: vocero del EZLN (La Jornada, 30 de diciembre de 2013)

Lanza EZLN comunicado “hace frío como hace 20 años” (El Universal, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

“Hace frío como hace 20 años”: ‘Subcomandante Marcos’ (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN denounces nocturnal military overflights above Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles(21 August 2013)

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On death and other excuses”

January 1, 2014

(@archivos SIPAZ)

(@SIPAZ archive)

On 22 December there appeared a new communique from Subcomandante Marcos, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), entitled “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses,” which criticizes the recently approved structural changes in Mexico, particularly with regards to energy and education.  He assured that the “modern golden liquid, water and petroleum, have been stolen without a mention from the massive media.”  Marcos challenged the energy reform, indicating it as being “dressed up looting” and “treason to the Nation.”

Furthermore, in a PS, he criticized the wastefulness of promotional media campaigns spent by the present Chiapas state governor (more than $10 million) by calling it “ridiculous” and “illegal”; Marcos sees it as an attempt to hide “misery, the paramilitaries, and the crime rates in the main Chiapas cities” from tourists: “the so-called governor of Chiapas, Mexico, has solemnly declared that his administration ‘has tightened its belt’ by means of austerity programs.  As an illustration of this decision, more than $10 million have been spent on a national publicity campaign that… is ridiculous and illegal.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Rebobinar 2: de la muerte y otras coartadas (Subcomandante Marcos, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

El despojo se cubre con mentiras como las mal llamadas reformas (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2013)

La reforma energética es un “despojo disfrazado”: Marcos (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2013)

Subcomandante Marcos publica comunicado a 20 años del alzamiento en Chiapas (BBC Mundo, 23 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN denounces nocturnal military overflights above Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles(21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Release of Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

January 1, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 24 diciembre 2013 @ SIPAZ

Press conference, 24 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 21 December was released Miguel Demeza Jiménez, an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and a resident of the Tseltal ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality.  Demeza Jiménez was released for lack of evidence, as a judge declared at the Amate prison in Cintalapa de Figueroa, where he had spent three years incarcerated.  Similarly, on 24 December was also released Antonio Estrada Estrada, previously held in Prison No. 17 in Playas de Catazjá, northern Chiapas.

The releases of “two Tseltal indigenous adherents to the Sixth Declaration unjustly incarcerated in Chiapas prisons” were announced by means of a communique from the Chiapas state government.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberan en Chiapas a Miguel Demeza, adherente a la Sexta (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

Fue liberado el martes Antonio Estrada (La Jornada, 26 de diciembre de 2013)

Anuncia MVC la liberación de Antonio Estrada Estrada y Miguel Demeza Jiménez, indígenas tzeltales “Adherentes a la Sexta” (Icoso, 24 de diciembre de 2013)


Conferencia de Prensa Libertad de Miguel Demeza (24 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: release of Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sixth Declaration from the San Sebastián Bachajóm ejido (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón recall Juan Vázquez, murdered in April (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Preaudience of the Permanent Tribunal of the People in Susuclumil, Tila

December 17, 2013

Conferencia de prensa donde leyeron el Dictamen del TPP

On 6 and 7 December 2013 in the community of Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas, there was held a pre-audience for the Mexico chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), part of the “Focus on Dirty War – violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice.”  Relatives of victims, survivors, and those displaced from the Northern Zone and Highlands of Chiapas presented their word regarding the “victims of the counter-insurgent and extermination strategies contemplated in the Plan for Chiapas Campaign 94 which was implemented by the Mexican government following the insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994, which resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, force displacements, rapes, and massacres; all of these are crimes against humanity which continue to go unpunished.”

In the event, there were presented testimonies regarding the extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances committed during the second half of the 1990s in the zone below Tila, in addition to the forced displacements of the communities of Chuctiejá, Miguel Alemán, Jolnixtié I Sección, Masojá Shuchá, El Limar, and Masojá Grande. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights has documented 85 extrajudicial executions, 35 forced disappearances, and at least 3500 displaced persons during this time in the northern zone of Chiapas.

The ruling of the TPP, also presented in a press-conference in San Cristobal de las Casas on 9 December, stresses that “We have heard the pain, fear, and injustice of the looting experienced and suffered by the survivors of extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, forced displacement, rape, looting of resources and land as a consequence of the actions taken by the Mexican government [...].  The Mexican State is responsible at the three levels of government, as originating in the security forces at the state, municipal, and Army levels, for they gave support and economic aid to paramilitary groups, particularly the grouping named ‘Development, Peace, and Justice’ [...].  From the evidence which speak to these human-rights violations, crimes against humanity and genocide can be seen in the policies exercised against the indigenous Ch’ol, Tzotzil, and Tseltal peoples.  These actions continue to the present day, when we celebrate this pre-audience.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La guerra contra el EZLN, las otras víctimas (Parte 1), Chiapas paralelo, 10 de diciembre de 2013

Siguen impunes crímenes en Chiapas (El Universal, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Inicia preaudiencia del Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos en Tila, Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Dictamen de la preaudiencia en Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to attend the preaudience “Meeting for justice and truth” in Susuclumil, Tila municipality (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (11 de abril de 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: in Masojá Shucjá, memory and demand for justice for the victims of paramilitaries in 1995 and 1996 (7 October 2010)

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by Paz y Justicia paramilitaries (30 June 2010)

Chiapas: “Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC

December 9, 2013

Conferencia de prensa Caso Banavil(@CDHFBC)

Press-conference in the Banavil case(@CDHFBC)

In a press conference held on 5 December, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that “two years after the armed attack which took place in Banavil, Tenejapa, as perpetrated by a group of members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which resulted in death, a forced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, and forced displacements, the situation continues without resolution.”  The CDHFBC noted that “the four families (14 persons) who sympathize with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) continue to be displaced, living in inhuman conditions in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.”

The displaced and the CDHFBC demanded among other things that the conditions be provided which would facilitate the return of the four displaced families to their community, in addition to the release of arrest-orders against the 13 persons accused of forcibly disappearing Alonso López Luna and injuring Lorenzo López Girón.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: A dos años de la agresión en Banavil, continúa el desplazamiento y la desaparición forzada (CDHFBC, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

Indígenas desplazados de Banavil, simpatizantes del EZLN, exigen condiciones para su retorno (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de diciembre de 2013)

Denuncian a fiscal especializado indígena de Chiapas por incumplir aprehensiones (La Jornada, 7 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: CDHFBC published more information on the Banavil case, Tenejapa (9 February 2012)

National: Patishtán requests that Peña Nieto release all prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned

December 9, 2013

Reunión de Patishtán con Peña Nieto. Foto @Chiapas Paralelo

Meeting between Patishtán and Peña Nieto. Photo @Chiapas Paralelo

A month after having received a presidential pardon which put an end to the thirteen years he spent imprisoned, Tsotsil Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez met with President Enrique Peña Nieto in the National Palace.

At the meeting, which also included Secretary of Governance Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Subscretary Luis Enrique Miranda Nava, relatives of Patishtán, and representatives from civil organizations, Patishtán requested the review of cases of other indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners who have been unjustly incarcerated.  “You should consider that there are many indigenous and non-indigenous prisoners and pay attention to their rights; as in my case, they were violations of human rights.  I wish that the cases of other comrades be analyzed,” said the Tsotsil professor.

Among others, Patishtán stressed the cases of the Tsotsil indigenous person Alejandro Díaz Santís, who has been imprisoned for 15 years in San Cristóbal de las Casas with a sentence of 30 years, in addition to the cases of Antonio Estrada and Miguel Demeza, from Bachajón, Chiapas, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.

Following the meeting, the president’s office released a communique expressing that Peña Nieto would commit himself to remaining vigilant with regard to the cases mentioned by Patishtán and consider awarding other pardons.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto indultar a “presos políticos” (Proceso, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Pide Patishtán a Peña Nieto revisar casos de indígenas presos injustamente (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Peña Nieto se reúne con Patishtán en Los Pinos (Excelsior, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Patishtán interviene por presos injustamente detenidos (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de diciembre de 2013)

Video: Patishtán se reúne con Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of death threats in Prison No. 5  of San Cristóbal (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán (13 November 2013)

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Federal court resolves motion in favor of ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón

December 8, 2013


Agua Azul waterfals. Photo

A federal court in Tuxtla Gutiérrez has resolved a motion in favor of the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón against the occupation of a part of the ejidal territory by the federal and state governments since February 2011, toward the end of “imposing a world-class touristic project,” as the affected indigenous persons have indicated.  In the sentence published on Monday 25 November, the federal tribunal “revoked the sentence of 22 July 2013 as illegal [...] which had struck down the constitutional motion interposed by the Tseltal campesinos, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in defense of their lands,” noted Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, the legal counsel for the indigenous grouping.  The tribunal “gave reason to the indigenous of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido [...] who defend their lands from the federal and state governments’ looting, as perpetrated since 2 February 2011, toward the end of controlling the territory to impose a tourist project.”  The lands whose devolution the campesinos desire include also the road access to the Agua Azul waterfalls, a natural lagoon that is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of tourists.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tribunal federal resuelve amparo a favor de ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 29 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Threat to displace residents of Bachajón (14 November 2013)

Chiapas: Close of Global Campaign “Juan Vázquez Lives, the Struggle Continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios recall Juan Vázquez Guzmán, murdered in April (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Denunciation of death threats in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal

December 8, 2013

Imagen @ CGT Chiapas

Image @ CGT Chiapas

Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, prisoner in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, who continues to be held in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, made public a denunciation on 28 November regarding the situation of the prisoner Miguel Antonio López Santiago, who on 19 November initiated a hunger strike to demand justice and freedom.  “During the 10 days he has been [on hunger strike], he has only received death-threats and psychological torture from the Lobo group [Wolf], the chief of security Juan Gabriel Soberano Pimentel, saying that they will force him to eat if he does not cancel his protest.”  He continues: “with this we ask that his rights be respected, because each prisoner has the right to protest insofar as that be peaceful.”

For his part, Alejandro Díaz called on state governor Manuel Velasco Coello to observe his commitment to find a means of connecting with the authorities of Veracruz to obtain freedom for Díaz Sántiz, “but to date no response has been had.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de Alejandro, Solidario de la Voz del Amate (CGT Chiapas, 28 de noviembre de 2013)

Chiapas: Professor Patishtán returns to his community

December 8, 2013

Alberto Patishtán en El Bosque, 1 de diciembre 2013 @ SIPAZ

Alberto Patishtán in El Bosque, 1 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez arrived on 30 November to Chiapas, after spending several weeks in radiotherapy at the National Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery “Manuel Velasco Suárez” in Mexico City to treat a brain tumor which appeared in 2012.  Dozens of indigenous persons from the Believing People organization of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese arrived at the Tuxtla Gutiérrez airport to greet Professor Patishtán, but the authorities prevented them from passing to the waiting hall, arguing that there was no space.  Some of those present felt it unacceptable to be blocked access to Patishtán, as they did not even count a hundred among them.

From the airport the entourage traveled to the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where Alberto visited the tomb of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García and celebrated mass.  During the event, a communique written by the Believing People was read, saying: “Welcome, brother Alberto.  The call for justice grew among the people, the voices of men and women with just and generous hearts were raised throughout Chiapas and many places in Mexico and, indeed, the whole world; the decisions and denigration of the courts did not silence us; they made themselves blind and deaf to our humble voices, and so indignation and the desire for justice grew within us for you and for all the people, for the indigenous, for the non-indigenous, for the sick, the persecuted, the incarcerated, the disappeared, and the poor.”  It ended by noting “the truth of your unjust sentence and unjust incarceration; now we are here together, you and we, and we are all a bit freer for it.”

The next day, 1 December, Alberto reached his home in the community of San Juan El Bosque. The Tsotsil people of El Bosque welcomed him with the presence of hundreds.  The professor said that he was “not only content but also happy.” Professor Martín Ramírez expressed in the name of the Movement of El Bosque in Defense of the People: “we all won, and we will celebrate another victory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Después de 13 años, el profesor Patishtán regresa a El Bosque (La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2013)

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente (30 de noviembre de 2013)

Impiden paso a indígenas al aeropuerto en Chiapas; querían recibir a Patishtán (La Jornada, 30 de noviembre de 2013)

“Feliz, contento y sin rencores”, regresa Patishtán a Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: After 13 years of unjust incarceration, freedom for Patishtán (13 November 2013)

Legal initiative for Amnesty for Alberto Patishtán (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Rejection of recognition of Patishtán’s innocence. “There is a look of denigration toward the indigenous sector,” says lawyer (4 October 2013)


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