Chiapas: Presentation of annual report from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, “Between official cynicism and popular dignity”

October 12, 2014


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On 8 October, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report, entitled “Human Rights under Debate: Between official cynicism and popular dignity,” which corresponds to the period between January 2013 and July 2014, as based in information compiled in Chiapas.  Those who spoke on the panel to present the report were Dolores González Saravia, director of Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ); Fray Gonzalo Ituarte, member of the directive council of the CDHFBC; and  José Javier Avilés Arreola, vicar for justice and peace from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese.

The report is comprised of four chapters.  First, “Faces of plunder,” describes how “the governments seek to commodify the Earth and land”; second, a discourse on the defense of human rights, and third, the impacts of the armed internal conflict in Chiapas on the national system.  In the fourth chapter, it is written that “life, death, and rebirth is resignified by those who survived the Acteal massacre , those who testify about the terror of the crimes against humanity committed in the northern zone of Chiapas, the continued impunity in the case of the Viejo Velasco massacre, and the invisibilization of our disappeared, among other stories that have lacerated humanity.  Despite this, the spirit of searching for truth and justice is the path that illuminates our path amidst the war standing,” as the CDHFBC indicated in its press-bulletin.

On 20 October, the report will also be presented at the Lamm Cultural Center in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: Los derechos humanos a debate “Entre el cinismo oficial y la Dignidad de los Pueblos”

Presenta Frayba su Informe Anual: Los Derechos Humanos a Debate(Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 5 de octubre de 2014)

Audio – Video:Informe Frayba 2014 – Presentación (Ustream.tv)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/International: US Supreme Court rejects appeal in case against former president Zedillo over Acteal masascre

October 12, 2014

Acteal (@SIPAZ archivo)

Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

On 6 October, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rejected an appeal that had been submitted by 10 individuals against the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (1994-2000) for his responsibility in the Acteal massacre (December 1997), which left 45 dead in Chiapas state.  SCOTUS did not justify its decision; instead it simply upheld the decision made in February 2013 by a federal judge in Connecticut, holding that Zedillo has political immunity as a former head of state.

The initial demand had been presented in 2011 in Hartford, Connecticut, accusing Ernesto Zedillo of having covered up the events of the massacre.  The case was submitted in Connecticut because that is where he resides, being a professor at Yale University.  Plaintiffs had demanded compensation of $50 million for relatives of the victims of the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tribunal Supremo de EU rechaza oír la apelación contra Zedillo por Acteal (CNN México, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Desechan en EU demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema en EU desecha demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Animal Político, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema de EU bloquea demanda contra Zedillo por Acteal (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 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)


The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal condemns Mexican State for crimes against humanity

October 11, 2014

IMG_4528

Testimony from a survivor of the Viejo Velasco massacre during the TPP in El Limonar, Chiapas, July 2014. Photo@Sipaz

From 25 to 27 September in the indigenous community of Santa Fe de la Laguna, Quiroga municipality, Michoacán state, there was held the final audience on “The right to life, against violence and State terrorism” contained within the “Dirty War” Axis of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), Mexico Chapter.  16 cases were presented, covering the year 1960 to present, “by means of which was shown the systematic violation of human rights as a policy of the Mexican State against social movements, the defense of human rights, and the people in general.”  The international jury was lead by Alberto León Gómez Zuluaga (Colombia) and comprised of Marcelo Ferreira (Argentina), Marusia López Cruz (JASS Mexico), Beatriz Torres Abelaira (CaMeNA-UACM), Soila Luna Pineda (Don Sergio Méndez Arceo Foundation), Jtatic Juan Méndez Gutiérrez (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas), and Carlos Núñez Ruiz (Center for Indigenous Rights, CEDIAC AC-Chiapas).

In its ruling, the TPP condemned the Mexican State “for its direct and indirect participation, for action and omission, in the commission of crimes against humanity, as seen in the following: murder; extermination; deportation or forcible transfer of population; incarceration or other grave deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental international human rights law; torture and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; rape and sexual abuse; persecution of groups and collectives for political and ethnic motives; forcible disappearance of persons and attacks against human-rights and environmental defenders.”

Beyond this, the TPP formulated recommendations to the Mexican United States, international organizations, social communication media, Mexican society, social organizations, and victims.  The tribunal closed its ruling by expressing its solidarity with the people’s struggles.

For more information (in Spanish):

Fallo del TPP Audiencia Guerra sucia (29 de septiembre de 2014)

Guerra Sucia como violencia, impunidad y falta de acceso a la justicia(Subversiones – Agencia Autónoma de Comunicación, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Englsih):

Chiapas: TPP preaudience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)


Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died

October 11, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Archive photo @ SIPAZ

On 26 and 27 September, municipal police from Iguala, Guerrero, together with an armed commando group that has yet to be identified, opened fire at several coordinated events against students, athletes, and other civilians, leaving six dead, 25 injured, and more than 50 students disappeared.

Since the morning of Friday 26 September, close to 150 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa had arrived to Iguala to carry out a fundraising activity: they had planned to raise money to finance a march on 2 October, which was the forty-sixth anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre.  Police intercepted the caravan comprised of three buses and two SUVs, demanding that the vehicles stop, but the youth resisted arrested.  On Saturday 27 September, the students from Ayotzinapa organized a press-conference at the location of the first police attack.  There, they secured the zone using stones to prevent the loss of evidence, particularly the bullet casings left behind by police.  The students were speaking with journalists from different media groups when an unknown group suddenly appeared, opening fire with weapons of different calibers.

The State Attorney General’s Office of Guerrero has arrested 22 members of the State Preventive Police of Iguala who have been indicated as prime suspects in the crime.  On 1 October, though the statistics varied according to the source in question, there were more than 30 persons who continued to be disappeared.  At the same time, it was reported that the PRD mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, had also disappeared after having received authorization to investigate the crimes.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfrentamientos entre policías y normalistas dejan 6 muertos (Milenio, 27 de septiembre de 2014)

ACCIÓN URGENTE | Permanecen desaparecidos 55 normalistas agredidos en Iguala (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 28 de septiembre de 2014)

Violaciones de DH cometidas en contra de estudiantes de la normal rural Raúl Isidro burgos, en Iguala, Guerrero (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos”, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Solicita licencia el alcalde de Iguala por el caso de los asesinados el fin de semana (la Jornada de Guerrero, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

Iguala evidencia que policía municipal está infiltrada por la delincuencia, acusa gobernador (Animal Político, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

Localizan a 19 normalistas (El SUr de Acapulco, 1ero de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Impunity continues in the Ayotzinapa case (17 May 2013)

Guerrero: Release of police charged for the murder of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (29 April 2013)

Guerrero: CNDH confirms serious rights-violations against students of Ayotzinapa (16 January 2012)

Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (21 December 2011)


Chiapas: Families from Banavil, two years and ten months following their forcible displacement

October 11, 2014

Niña desplazada de Banavil (@CDHFBC)

Girl displaced from Banavil (@ Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 3 October, two years and 10 months after their forced displacement, sympathizers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, called on the state government and the State Attorney General’s Office to investigate and punish those responsible for the firearm attack that led to their displacement as well as the forcible disappearance of Alonso López Luna.

They denounced that the state and federal governments “have done nothing,” nor has the Special Prosecutorial Office for Indigenous Justice.  They indicated furthermore that the federal judge of the Fifth Circuit in Tuxtla Gutiérrez had allowed for the release of Alonso Gusmán López, whom they consider to have been responsible for the death of Alonso López Luna.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias desplazadas de Banavil a dos años y diez meses exigiendo justicia (3 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (9 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido(10 April 2014)

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

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: Denunciation of torture for 3 arrested members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

October 1, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 24 septiembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press conference, 24 September 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 16 September, three indigenous persons from the Virgen de Dolores community located within the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido were arrested by municipal police of Chilón, being adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.  Those arrested denounced having suffered torture and cruel and inhumane treatment toward the end of having them confess under compulsion to the crimes with which they had been charged.

The indigenous persons of Bachajón indicated that the operation was a revenge attack, given that one of the police who arrested the three Tseltales is a close friend of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who is imprisoned in the El Amate jail for having participated in the murder of the indigenous man Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  On this occasion, the residents of Virgen de Dolores captured the murderous police officer and handed him over to the authorities, such that they claim that this fabrication of crimes (torture and kidnapping) is in reality vengeance from the municipal police.  Beyond this, one of the arrested is a brother to Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

In the end, a judge from Ocosingo assigned a bail of 300,000 pesos to each of the detainees.  This is an amount that is impossible to cover, given the economic situation of those arrested.

For more information (in Spanish):

Información urgente de Comunidad Virgen de Dolores‏ (Blog Viva Bachajón, 20 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón (Enlace Zapatista, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Boletín: Tortura a indígenas tseltales Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian tortura tres prozapatistas presos en Chilón (Proceso, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian captura y desaparición de tres tseltales en Chilón (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Fijan fianza de $300mil pesos a detenidos de La Sexta Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian agresión de policías a tres ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Torturan a los tres indígenas tzeltales reportados como desaparecidos en Chilón, Chiapas (Somos el Medio, 20 de septiembre de 2014)


Chiapas: Communique from Las Abejas in commemoration of the Acteal massacre

October 1, 2014

Capilla de Acteal (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Acteal chapel (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 September 2014, in commemoration of the anniversary of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique entitled “For neoliberal capitalism to die, this depends on us organized peoples.”  In the essay, Las Abejas assure that “for this monstrous beast neoliberal capitalism to die, it does not depend on the bad governments, the rich, or the powerful, but instead on us the people.  We only need to say to them, ‘your hour has come!'”

Las Abejas denounced that “the death-projects that have been imposed by Manuel Velasco, Enríque Peña Nieto, and others in our lands are developments and rackets for the powerful countries and a few [individuals] who are ill with ambition and greed [...].  Manuel Velasco Cuello [sic] y Enríque Peña Nieto, the respective lackeys of neoliberal capital, have deepended their policies of persecution, criminalization, and killing of social protest.”  Las Abejas cited as examples the incarceration of their comrade Mario Luna Romero, secretary of the traditional authority of the Yaqui people.  They stressed however that people resist, such as “our brothers and sisters” in the Front of Peoples in Defense of the Land (FPDT), the Otomí San Francisco Xochicuautla community, and all those who oppose the construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque.  They also acknowledged similar processes of struggle in other countries, such as in Testet, Tarn, France.

Las Abejas called in the end for “the unification of our struggles, and never to give up, regardless of where we find ourselves, from whichever corner of the planet Earth.  We must not be afraid to denounce and protest.  Though the police, the military, the judges, the murderers of neoliberal capital would like to sow terror among us and create psychological fear, we know that we are an overwhelming majority.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Para que se muera el capitalismo-neoliberal; depende de nosotros los pueblos organizados (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas. 22 de septiembre de 2014)

“A pesar de la persecusión y la muerte, está claro y decidido que hay que resistir y defender la Madre Tierra”, mensaje de las Abejas de Acteal(Pozol Colectivo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: nuevo comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal (25 de julio de 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

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

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


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