Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


140702_TTP_limonar_cartel

On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas against the “Proposed Hydrocarbons Law”

June 28, 2014

 

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On June 22, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society denounced another effort by the government to promote “constitutional reforms [...] not for the benefit of the Mexican people, but for a few people who are sick with ambition and greed,” expressing their opposition to the “proposed hydrocarbons law,” defining it as “a project of theft and plunder of the peoples” to “legalize the theft of our lands and the invasion of our territory,” and also a “death sentence for millions of men, women, and children who [live] from Mother Earth.”

In their latest communiqué, they stated that: “We, the women and men, or the campesinos and campesinas, who work the land, we say we CAN LIVE WITHOUT GOLD; CAN LIVE WITHOUT OIL; but we CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT WATER!, CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT CORN.” They also addressed the senators and the president of Mexico, accusing them of being “traitors to the motherland,” stressing that “what they have done is succintly called a crime and betrayal of the motherland.” They pointed out that the hydrocarbons law states that “in 90 days the campesinos who own land on which there are presumed to be hydrocarbon deposits will come to an agreement with companies such as Shell, British Petroleum … etc,” and added that “here in our country their laws and their reforms of death and dispossession have no worth. They must know that we will defend Mother Earth, just like our brothers and sisters who were massacred at Acteal defended peace and justice, at all costs.”

Las Abejas continued to denounce the neoliberal capitalist system as “a machine of terror and inhumanity which represses, imprisons, dispossesses, and massacres the peoples who resist and build their autonomy.” Therefore, they continued to demand that their brothers and sisters of the organized peoples of Mexico “unite to defend our mother earth and territory, until the laws of plunder and dispossession of the Mexican political mafia are cast down.”

Finally, they expressed their solidarity with the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez, who has received threats, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, Victor Hugo López, who has suffered harassment, and the family of David Ruiz, a member of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI), who was killed in a motor accident.

For more information (in Spanish):

Su “proyecto de ley de hidrocarburos”, significa, la sentencia de muerte (La Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de Junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)


Chiapas: Resurgence of the agrarian conflict between the neighboring municipalities of Chenalhó and Chalchihuitán

June 10, 2014

mapa-01
Recently, the territorial and agrarian conflict between the municipalities of Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó has worsened once again. It’s linked to a dispute over more than 900 hectares located in the boundaries between the two entities. It’s an old conflict that started in 1973 with the work of recognition and certification of the common lands of both villages by the former Department of Agrarian Reform–at present, the Ministry for Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU). When the measurements were made, the limits respected by both villages (the river as a natural boundary) were not taken into account. As a result, and intermittently, tensions have appeared, some that the populations attempted to resolve in court, others that led to theft, destruction of crops, land invasions, and even murder (2008).

On May 13, officials of the state government and of SEDATU decided that Chenalhó should receive a compensation of 15 million pesos in exchange for giving the lands in dispute to Chalchihuitán. On May 15, the residents of the municipality of Chenalhó rejected the payment. They entered the disputed land and destroyed several landmarks marking the boundaries. Several witnesses report that shots were heard, although no injuries were reported. Both sides accuse each other of using firearms.

On May 28, the Parish Council of Chenalhó called on the parties “to put aside every word and every action that can lead to violence and to realize that this conflict between brothers should be resolved through peaceful dialogue.” They asked the three levels of government to recognize that “this problem is due largely to their own irresponsibility.” They invited them to realize “that not everything can be fixed with money as they think. The authorities must understand what justice should be the first to respect the laws so as to set an example for the people. They should be open to respectful dialogue and should be aware that they can not solve any problem if they do not allow free and responsible participation of the people.”

On May 22, the Las Abejas Civil Society also referred to the land problem between Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó, noting: “If the called Agrarian Reform (now defunct), had not made a bad execution in defining the territorial limits, there wouldn’t be problems between the two Tzotzil peoples. We regret that this old conflict has not been resolved to date, because, sadly, political and economic interests of the same agrarian and municipal authorities and of some private individuals interfere to do so. Instead of resorting to wisdom and the ancestral mode of dialogue to solve problems between brothers, they have chosen the path of institutional dialogue that always end up manipulated politically and economically. Hopefully someday those who still believe in evil government will understand that the conflicts and political differences that have led to killings and massacres in our villages have been planned and fostered from above, by the bad government itself. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Conflicto territorial Chenalho – Chalchihuitan, retroceso de 7 años (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Iglesia llama a privilegiar el diálogo (Cuarto Poder, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la parroquia de Chenalhó (28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de mayo de 2014)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)


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

June 9, 2014
La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

On May 24, in La Realidad, Chiapas and in many parts of Mexico and the world, a tribute to the Zapatista support base José Luis Solís López, alias “Galeano,” will be performed. Galeano was killed in La Realidad on 2 May. For several weeks, statements and actions of solidarity have been organized.

This past week, Chol and Tsotsil organizations and communities of the Northern Zone and of the Highlands regions of Chiapas have joined the protests. The United People in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in the Northern Region, proclaimed in a statement that “We are all Galeano,” and that: “It is the same way and strategy that was used in the Northern region of Chiapas with the low-intensity warfare, which was operated through [the paramilitary group] Peace and Justice. There are still witnesses, survivors and victims’ families in the communities, that were victims of this counterinsurgency and extermination warfare. This strategy was designed in the 94 Plan of Campaign for Chiapas, and implemented by the Mexican government after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994. Such a strategy resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, forced displacement, sexual violence and massacres; all crimes against humanity that remain unpunished. (…) This is why we condemn the violence in autonomous regions nowadays. “

Also from the Northern zone, members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Freedom (Xinich) stressed that “We understand these events as an attack against our organized people and against all the indigenous peoples that are struggling for freedom and peace. Furthermore, these actions are performed in order to plunder the wealth that runs through the veins of our mother land and our natural resources. We have protected and taken care of what has belonged to our people for millennia.”

From the Highlands of Chiapas, on May 22, the Las Abejas Civil Society held a day of prayer and fasting in the framework of the monthly commemoration of the massacre of Acteal. In a statement, it denounced the paramilitary aggression against our Zapatista brothers and sisters and the killing of Galeano. It is very clear that this is the product of the dirty war or counterinsurgency war in Chiapas, designed since 1994. We already know the speeches or rather the lies of the the bad governments: when their paramilitaries massacre women and children, they say that “they were confrontations” due to “inter-community conflicts.” And when these liars and criminals are politically challenged and pressured by international men and women, once again they make a speech or a lie to try to convince, saying that the government “condemns the regrettable facts and will apply the full weight of the law against those responsible “etc”.’

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidades choles y tzotziles se suman a protestas por agresiones al EZLN (21 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas: También sentimos dolor y rabia por el ataque paramilitar a nuestros hermanos bases de apoyo del EZLN (22 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del Comité de Defensa de la Libertad Indígena y X’inich (20 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del PUDEE (18 de mayo de 2014)

New analytical articles on the aggression in La Realidad

La agresión de la CIOAC en La Realidad se suma a casos de hostilidad antizapatista (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2014)

El gobierno federal apoyó en 2010 a un hombre arrestado por asesinar a zapatista (La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

Chiapas: la Cioac-H y sus paramilitares (Luis Hernández Navarro, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: youth denounce rights-violations, impunity, and lack of justice in Puebla

May 3, 2014

@chiapasdenuncia

@chiapasdenuncia

On 26 April, youth from the Chenalhó parish carried out a pilgrimage in solidarity with the formerly displaced members of the Puebla Colony who recently returned to their community, these being the same ones who spent 9 months in Acteal; the mobilization was taken also to denounce the violence that is increasing in general terms.

In their communique, the youth confessed their concern for the “violence and insecurity that we experience in Mexico and in the world,” rejecting the prevailing impunity in the country.  They demanded justice for those returned from Puebla and denounced that justice “is not applied” and that those returning from the Puebla ejido continue to suffer from intimidation.

Finally, addressing themselves to the state and federal governments, the youth emphasized that they hold them responsible “for whatever might happen in the Puebla Colony if justice is not done to those who are truly responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de los jóvenes de la parroquia de San Pedro Apostol(Chiapas denuncia pública, 29 de abril del 2014)

Peregrinan contra la violencia (Diario de Chiapas, 27 de abril del 2014)

Peregrinación de jóvenes creyentes, de la parroquia de San Pedro Chenalhó, contra la violencia y la impunidad (Chiapas denuncia pública, 25 de abril del 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony an “insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society) (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)


Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community

April 26, 2014

Retorno de las familias desplazadas en Colonia Puebla. Foto (@Sipaz)

Return of the displaced families to the Puebla ejido. Photo (@Sipaz)

As they had announced in their press-conference on 12 April, the displaced from the Puebla ejido returned to their homes on 14 April, after spending nearly nine months outside of their community.

Before the mass presided over by Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, that was given on the land recently granted to the Catholics, the displaced shared their words.  They once again affirmed that their return has been performed without any sort of justice having been done, and they stressed the role of the authorities in what had passed: “if something happens, it will be their responsibility,” they told the Secretary of Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, and the Subsecretary for Religious Affairs, Víctor Hugo Sánchez Zebadúa, who were present at the event, as was the CNDH (National Commission on Human Rights).

Both the bishop and the representatives of the displaced and the parish council of Chenalhó insisted that what was most important was justice, and that the displaced must “continue struggle toward it.”  The bishop emphasized the suffering that the displaced families and Father Manuel (parishioner of Chenalhó) had experienced, and he insisted that those who had supported them “should continue doing so, not only at the material level but also toward the end of achieving peace, harmony, and reconciliation.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Retornaron 17 familias indígenas desplazadas al poblado de Puebla, municipio de Chenalhó (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2014)

Retornan desplazados al ejido Puebla en Chiapas (La Jornada, 15 de abril de 2014)

Regresan desplazados a comunidad (Cuarto Poder, 15 de abril de 2014)

Regresan a sus hogares 17 familias de tsotsiles desplazados (Proceso, 14 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony an “insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society) (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  ”This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)


Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony “an insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society)

March 30, 2014

Casa de familia desplazada quemada en Colonia Puebla (@Koman Ilel)

House of displaced family burned in the Puebla Colony (@Koman Ilel)

In observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique referring to the context in the Puebla Colony which pertains to this municipality: “although they arrested two persons as the presumed responsible [ones] for the burning of the house of our brother Macario Arias Gómez, it is very clear that it is a move to merely cover up the shame of the bad government of Manuel Velasco Coello, because those displaced from Puebla clarified that those two persons have never entered the conflict of the Catholic land in the community in mention.”

They stressed that “We members of the civil and peaceful organization qualify this type of ‘justice’ applied by the bad government of Manuel Velasco with the arrest of 2 persons as those presumed responsible for the burning of the house as being an insult to the displaced Catholics from the Puebla Colony, who since August 2013 have sought justice, compensation, and return.”

It should be recalled that since 12 March, Maximiliano Sántiz Cruz and Domingo Cruz Méndez have been held by the Special Prosecutorial Office on Indigenous Justice for the crime of arson.  Stressing their “opportune attention to the case,” the state government stressed that the ejidal authorities of Puebla “assisted with the identification and arrest of those presumed responsible.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de marzo de 2014)

Atención oportuna al ejido Puebla: ERA (Cuarto Poder, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Detienen a dos tzotziles por quemar casas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  ”This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

 


National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day

March 16, 2014

Marcha-peregrinación en Chenalhó para el Día Internacional de la Mujer (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage-march in Chenalhó for International Women’s Day (@SIPAZ)

Multiple activities were organized in Mexico on 8 March for International Women’s Day.  More than a celebration, these actions became platforms for denunciation: as Amnesty International has stressed, “on International Women’s Day, there is little to celebrate and many challenges to face.”  AI indicated that “in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, women confront a reality of discrimination and injustice every day, including the threat of death for merely belonging to the feminine sex.”  AI added that “the Mexican government should act now to arrest the epidemic of violence that women must face.”

In Chiapas, hundreds of women marched in the Teopisca and San Cristóbal de las Casas municipalities to demand a cessation of violence and discrimination against them.  The organizations and individual members of the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas asked “How many more women will die for the State to consider there to be a wave of violence against the women of Chiapas? [...] Of the 51 deaths that the State Attorney General’s Office has registered as violent, it recognized only 47 as femicides and clarified that 37 of them had led to penal action, though only 2 cases have ended in condemnatory sentences [implying incarceration].  The efficacy presumed in Chiapas is shameful, for it recognizes that in reality there has been no resolution of the more than 90% of cases of femicidal violence.”  In light of the official rejection of a request for a gender violence alert, as presented on 25 November 2013, these women declared a “POPULAR PERMANENT ALERT.”

In Chenalhó, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a pilgrimage-march.  In a communique, women from this organization emphasized that “More than 16 years since Acteal, we have not forgotten that our female comrades were murdered by the bad government.  This massacre brought us great sadness, fear, and illness; our pain has been great, but greater still are our memory and hopes.  Our massacred female comrades died organized; they died saying the truth; they died rejecting the violence sowed by the bad government in our community of Ch’enalvo´.  Now we will continue this brave and dignified example of our massacred sisters.”

In Oaxaca, Section 22 of the SNTE-CNTE and social organizations held a march; the declaration of a gender alert for the state is another demand made by civil society in the state.  In what has passed of the administration of Gabino Cué Monteagudo, there have been seen a total of at least 268 femicides and 734 cases of gender violence in Oaxaca.

In Guerrero, Rosario Herrera Ascencio, head of the Ministry for Women (SEMUJER) in the state, stressed the need to legalize the decriminalization of abortion because many women die annually performing this in a clandestine manner.  With the slogan “without memory there is no justice; they will die when we give up struggle; let us honor them,” the social organizations of Atoyac commemorated International Women’s Day, reporting that the state occupies the eighth most violent state in terms of gender in the country.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado: “!En el Día Internacional de la Mujer hay poco que celebrar y muchos retos por enfrentar(Amnistía Internacional , 8 de marzo de 2014)

Frenar epidemia de violencia contra las mujeres, exige Amnistía Internacional(La Jornada, 8 de marzo de 2014)

Nada que festejar, dicen mujeres en su día; feminicidios, violencia, partos mal atendidos(La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Campaña contra los feminicidios: “Nos declaramos en alerta popular de género (8 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de las mujeres de Las Abejas en el Día Internacional de la Mujer (8 de marzo de 2014)

Reclaman ONG que Aguirre no cumpla su promesa de lograr la igualdad de género (La Jornada de Guerrero, 8 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides (2 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Oaxaca: March of releatives of victims of feminicide and members of human rights organizations for women (22 April 2013)

Oaxaca: More feminicides under Gabino Cué than in the final years of Ulises Ruiz (24 January 2013)


Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested

March 16, 2014

Acteal (@Espoir Chiapas)

Acteal (@Espoir Chiapas)

On 12 March, the house of the family of Normelina Hernández López and Macario Arias Gómez was burned to the ground in the Puebla Colony.  The family is one of 17 others that was forcibly displaced from the community in August 2013 and now has taken refuge in the Acteal community.  The previous week there had already been burned the door of a catechismal house.  The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights indicated that “these acts took place despite the presence of approximately 30 officers from the State Preventive Police who seemed not to notice.”  For this reason, the Center expresses its “concern over the persistence of the violence climate and for the risky situation in which the forcibly displaced families find themselves.  In light of the gravity of the latest events, return looks more difficult.  For the situation we find the governmental authorities responsible by omission, for, instead of administering justice, they maintain and permit an impunity that generates tension and violence.”

Since April 2013, Catholics and Evangelicals from the Puebla Colony have been in conflict regarding land on which had been located a Catholic chapel.  On 23 February, the state government awarded the land in dispute to the San Cristóbal de las Casas diocese and for this reason, the displaced announced that they would return to their community on 14 March, a return that was cancelled after the burning of a door of the catechismal house.

Sources within the Chiapas state government reported that two people have been arrested from the Puebla ejido for the burning of the house of the family of Macario Arias and placed under the control of the State Preventive Police (PEP).

For more information (in Spanish):

Queman casa de familia desplazada del ejido Puebla (Parroquia de Chenalhó y desplazados de Colonia Puebla, 12 de marzo de 2014)

 Boletín: Persiste la violencia contra las personas desplazadas forzadamente del ejido Puebla (CDHFBC, 13 de marzo de 2014)

Pobladores del ejido Puebla, en Chenalhó, incendian vivienda de familia católica (La Jornada, 13 de marzo de 2014)

 Incendian dos casas de indígenas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)

Detiene a dos tzotziles por quemar casas en Chiapas (El Universal, 12 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression (18 March 2014)

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  ”This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)


Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony once again postpone possible return following new aggression

March 16, 2014

Mujer frente al campamento militar de Majomut, peregrinación del 8 de marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Woman before the Majomut military base during the pilgrimage of 8 March 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 8 March, during the pilgrimage-march organized for International Women’s Day, women from the Las Abejas Civil Society shared a communique in which they once again stressed that in the case of the Puebla ejido, “it would seem that the bad government of Chiapas headed by Manuel Velasco has resolved the conflict with the ‘return’ of the Catholic territory on 26 February; but if we think about it a bit, we see this only as a partial solution.  Yesterday in the Puebla Colony there was burned a house for catechism belonging to our Catholic brothers; we understand that this act is a message of hate and violence of the people allied with the commissioner and Evangelical pastor Agustín Cruz Gómez. We see that the return of our Catholic brothers and sisters is becoming more complicated.  If the government had applied justice as it should, there would be peace and tranquility in the Puebla Colony.”

This same day the parish of San Pedro Chenalhó delved into this concern, affirming that on 7 March, “the burning of the door of the entrance to the catechismal house is the consequence of the impunity enjoyed by the aggressors against our Catholic brothers and sisters from the Puebla Colony who presently live displaced in the sacred land of Acteal.  We always have insisted on the application of justice, because peace can only exist when there is also justice.  However, the state government of Chiapas and the secretary for religious affairs and commissioner Agustín Cruz Gómez have on several occasions requested that we forget about the aggressions to which we were subjected; that is to say, that we be accomplices to violence.”

The bishop for the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, confirmed in a press conference that the 17 Catholic families displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, have suspended the plans to return on 14 March.  The 98 Tsotsil persons left the Puebla ejido in August after a series of attacks from the Evangelical majority over the dispute of land for a Catholic chapel.

For more information (in Spanish):

Queman puerta del salón de catequesis,denuncian familias desplazadas de Ejido Puebla (Denuncia de la parroquia de San Pedro Chenalhó, 8 de marzo de 2014)

Comunicado de las mujeres Abejas en el Día Internacional de la Mujer (8 de marzo de 2014)

Suspenden familias tzotziles su retorno al ejido de Puebla: Arizmendi (10 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Authorities hand over land in dispute to Catholics in Puebla Colony.  “This is not the priority solution for the displaced,” note Las Abejas (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony announce return for coffee harvest (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)


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