Chiapas: The detained of the Dialogue Commission in the conflict of Montes Azules are released

June 11, 2014
"Today they are free (@Serapaz)

“Today they are free (@Serapaz)

On May 30, the 22 Tzeltal, Chol, and Lacandon representatives of the Council of Communal Properties of the Lacandon Zone, of the organization ARIC-ID and of other organizations from Ocosingo were released “under the reserves of the law.” The released reported that they were freed after an agreement was signed in Mexico City with federal and state authorities. The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center considers that these representatives were detained “arbitrarily” last May 29 in Tuxtla Gutierrez when they went to an appointment with the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Eduardo Ramirez to “dialogue” about the regularization of three villages in the Lacandon Jungle (Rancheria Corrozal, Salvador Allende and Nuevo San Gregorio), and to demand the freedom of Gabriel Fernando Montoya Oseguera, who was originally accused of the alleged abduction of Julia Carabias.

The Indians declared that the federal government, through the Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, Jaime Martinez Veloz, signed an agreement to open a negotiation table with the undersecretary of Human Rights of the Ministry of Interior. The meeting should take place in Mexico City and should be attended by the state authorities and the defense of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, advisor to the Communal Lands of the Lacandon area. The arrest of Montoya on May 15 led to demonstrations that allegedly generated the detention of the 22 indigenous. They reported the suspension of roadblocks and demonstrations until an agreement was reached. Services and Advices for Peace (Serapaz) reported that “an agreement between the Commission for Dialogue, Peace, and Justice in the Lacandon Jungle and the representation of the Federal and State Government was signed. Both parties agree to privilege dialogue and the construction of agreements to resolve the problem that exists in the Lacandon area.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Otra oportunidad a la palabra: Los 22 compañeros de la comisión de diálogo que fueron detenidos hoy son libres (Serapaz, 30 de mayo de 2014)

Privación Arbitraria de la Libertad a indígenas y Defensor de Derechos Humanos perpetrada por el gobierno de Chiapas (CDHFBLC, 30 de mayo de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 31 de mayo de 2014)

Criminalizar a pobladores de Montes Azules y la Lacandona, una infamia (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de mayo de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas tras un acuerdo entre autoridades de Chiapas y federales (La Jornada, 1 de junio de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas lacandones en Chiapas (El Universal, 31 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Government arrest members of a commission for dialogue on the Montes Azules conflict (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle, (June 10, 2014)


Chiapas: Government arrests members of a commission for dialogue on the Montes Azules conflict

June 10, 2014

captura-de-pantalla-2014-05-29-a-las-19-07-52-600x463

On May 29, a committee comprised of leaders and representatives of the Council of Communal Properties of the Lacandon Community Zone, members of the Independent ARIC organization, and a member of the civil organization “Services and Advices for Peace (SERAPAZ), Mario Marcelino Ruiz Mendoza, who accompanied the commission as a mediator, were arrested by agents of the State Attorney General of Chiapas.

The arrest occurred near the House of Government in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where the commission was going to start a negotiation table with the Secretary of Government, Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar. The stated objective of the session was to address different issues such as the release of the legal adviser of the Lacandon community, Gabriel Montoya; the recognition and respect of the free choice of the agricultural authorities of the Communal Properties; and the resolution of the agrarian situation in the open conflict in Montes Azules.

Around midnight, the SERAPAZ mediator was released, while the other members of the commission remained detained.

The detainees are accused of riot, attacks on public roads and kidnapping, crimes supposedly committed during the demonstrations, and roadblocks that occurred in recent weeks in the Lacandon Jungle to protest against what their participants consider the interference of environmental organizations in the communities’ decision-making.

Pablo Romo, a SERAPAZ member, expressed that the government of Manuel Velasco betrayed the negotiation process and does not listen to the needs of the population: “The arrest of the 28 people is a clear expression of the government’s insensitivity. People were approaching the government to generate a discussion process to give a solution to their demands. “

For more information (in Spanish)

Accion urgente: Detención de autoridades y representantes del Consejo de Bienes Comunales de la Zona Lacandona, organizaciones sociales y un miembro del equipo de SERAPAZ (SERAPAZ, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Actualización urgente: Mediador de Serapaz libre, persiste detención arbitraria de más de 20 personas (SERAPAZ, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Gobierno de Chiapas detiene a campesinos de la lacandona y a integrante de SERAPAZ (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Detienen a 30 indígenas que iban a dialogar con autoridades sobre protesta en Ocosingo (Proceso, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Reportan detención de integrante de Serapaz en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Detienen a activistas que fueron citados por el gobierno de Chiapas (Sididh, 30 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle, (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias (June 2, 2014)

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

 


Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle

June 10, 2014

 

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

On May 27, fourteen civil organizations that work in Chiapas, either members of the Peace Network or allies, expressed their concern amidst the growing tension and social conflict that prevail in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Biosphere: “We are concerned that, in response to the public dissatisfaction manifested at this time by the CZL [Lacandon Community Zone] and ARIC ID [Rural Association of Collective Interest-Independent and Democratic], governmental actions may use strategies that violate the rights of peoples, such as the implementation of forced evictions of families and communities (like the ones that occurred between 2003 and 2012), or the arrest of local authorities and leaders of this movement.” Therefore, they urged the state and federal government to look for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules and the other six natural protected areas that exist in the Lacandon Jungle.

For almost a week, around 1,500 indigenous people have been organizing demonstrations to demand the release of the Lacandon community advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oseguera (arrested last May 14); the regularization of three villages (Rancheria Corozal, Salvador Allende and San Gregorio); and the expulsion of the environmental researcher Julia Carabias from the reserve where she currently works. Besides intermittent roadblocks, they have closed public buildings such as the city hall, courts, and the prosecutor offices in the city of Ocosingo.

The presence of environmentalists in the Lacandon jungle has continued to generate conflict. Last April, the researcher Julia Carabias was held for 48 hours. On 26 May, two members of the environmental and cultural organization Na-Bolom, Beatriz Mijangos Zenteno and Enrique Roldan Páez, were also detained and released after 22 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Red por la Paz en Chiapas denuncia clima de violencia y conflicto en Selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz y organizaciones hermanas (27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen indígenas se regularicen asentamientos en la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen libertad de líder tzeltal (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014)

Toman indígenas oficinas de gobierno y exigen la expulsión de Carabias de la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Campesinos protestan en Ocosingo, Chiapas (El Universal, 22 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias (June 2, 2014)

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias

June 2, 2014

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

The Movement of Social and Civil Organizations in Chiapas has pronounced itself with respect to the persecution using gunfire and arrest engaged in by agents of the Judicial Police on 15 May targeting professor Gabriel Montoya Oseguera.  The assessor of the communal goods of the Lacandona Community Zone has been charged, among other things, with being the intellectual author of the supposed kidnapping of Julia Carabias.  In its communique, the Movement maintains Montoya’s innocence and indicates that Carabias “for more than 20 years has carried out projects in the Chajul Station located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA).”  It denounces that the supposed kidnapping was “simulated with the objective of manipulating and confusing” within the process of change of authorities in the Lacandon Zone Community.

On 19 May, Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal indigenous individuals began an indefinite roadblock on the international border highway between Palenque and Benemérito de las Américas to demand Montoya’s release.

Montoya was arrested a day before carrying out an assembly to elect the new authorities for the communal goods.  In this assembly, in which particiapted more than 360 of the 1678 communards (Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal), Emilio Bolom Gómez was elected president, being a Tseltal individual from Nueva Palestina.  This was the first time that a non-Lacandon indigenous individual has been elected president.

Beyond this, communards from Metzabok, Nahá, and Lacanjá Chansayab denounce that former presidents of the communal goods Chankin Kimbor and Gabriel Montoya have promoted invasions into the Montes Azules reserve and have manipulated the process of designating new communal authorities.

It should be noted that in the days in which has been denounced the act against Carabias, there was had an agreement between the communal goods of the Lacandona Jungle and the ARIC Union of Independent and Democratic Unions.  This accord would allow progress in the agrarian regularization of the non-Lacandon settlements of Nuevo San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, all of which are located within the Lacandon Community Zone (CZL).

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas bloquean carretera en Chiapas; exigen liberar a Montoya Oseguera (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de Bienes Comunales de Zona Lacandona (19 de mayo de 2014)

Políticas conservacionistas y megaproyectos causan desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento-ARIC-ID-OS-CZL (15 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a Julia Carabias de simular secuestro para reventar asamblea lacandona (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)


Chiapas: Federal and state governments announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle

June 2, 2014

Población en la Selva Lacandona. Foto (@Sipaz)

Settlement in the Lacandona Jungle. Photo (@Sipaz)

The federal and Chiapas state governments have carried out an announcement expressing the priority need of proceeding with a territorial ordering of the Lacandona Jungle, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA), and protected natural areas: “The government of the Republic and the Chiapas state government express their conviction that it is priority for a TERRITORIAL ORDERING to provide the necessary conditions for the development of the Lacandona community and the neighboring ejidos to improve the quality of life of residents with an eye to the rule of law, privileging the consolidation of protected natural areas and sustainable development in these areas.  In conformity with the stipulations of the General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment (Article 46), which states that ‘in protected natural areas, new population centers cannot be authorized': the existing irregular communities located within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve cannot be regularized, nor can any future settlements so be rationalized in any other part of a natural protected area.  For this reason no process of compensation can be provided, as there are no programs or resources dedicated to this end, nor will there be.”

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, General Secretary of Governance, indicated that the federal and state governments will seek a solution of resettlement for those living in irregular communities within REBIMA.

In 1972, a presidential decision provided 614,000 hectares of the jungle to 66 Lacandon families without taking into account the thousands of other indigenous ethnicities who also resided within this territory and who have since then faced the threat of displacement from their lands.

Recently in April, an agreement was made between the Lacandon Community Zone and ARIC UU-ID (the Rural Association of Collective Interests-Union of Democratic and Independent Unions) which allows for the recognition of three populations located within and around REBIMA; in August 2013, another two were also recognized.  This agreement was the fruit of a dialogue process initiated directly by the two interested parties, and did not count with governmental participation, given the perceived lack of will of the same group to resolve the conflict, as ARIC representatives discussed in a press-conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)


Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone

May 3, 2014

@Voces Mesoamericanas

@Voces Mesoamericanas

On 23 April, a “historic” agreement was made between the Lacandona Zone Community and the ARIC UU-ID (Rural Association for Collective Interest-Union of Independent and Democratic Unions) that would permit the recognition of three communities located in the Lacandona Zone.  Through this accord, the communities of San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, which are located in the Montes Azules biosphere reserve or on its border, are to be “regularized.”  After 40 years in this process of regularization of their agrarian rights, there are five recognized communities: in August 2013, an initial accord made possible the regularization of San Caralampio and Calvario.  It should be recalled that a presidential resolution from 1976 provided the Lacandones with 614,000 hectares of lands on which were also residing thousands of “settlers” of other ethnicities.  Since that time, they and their descendants have had to live under constant threat of displacement.

This accord is the fruit of a process of dialogue that began directly between both involved parties, without the participation of the government, due to its lack of will in resolving the conflict, as ARIC representatives affirmed in a press-conference held in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerdo histórico reconoce a los poblados de la Zona Lacandona (Voces MesoAmericanas, 29 de abril de 2014)

Lacandones legitiman permanencia de poblados en la Selva (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Proyectan regularizar poblados (Cuarto Poder, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Regularizan 3 poblados de ARIC-ID en Chiapas (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)


Chiapas: Residents of the Lacandona Jungle on alert in light of advancing delimitation work

March 16, 2014

Selva Lacandona (@Koman Ilel)

Lacandona Jungle (@Koman Ilel)

Residents of the Lacandona Jungle from the communities of Benito Juárez, Galilea, Pichucalco, Amador Hernández, Plan de Guadalupe, Guanal, Ranchería Aurora, and Rancho Alegre have suspended the work of the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) to delimit territory in their region.  They denounced that this action seeks to steal the land, a situation “which generated an alert in the communities in the region.”

Media reported that the “SEDATU requires the delimitation of this land so as to finally legalize the polygon of more than 520,000 hectares for the Lacandona community zone.  This would imply suspending the rights of a dozen communities that have found themselves in the region since before the presidential decree of 1972.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de la Selva Lacandona denuncian que el gobierno les pretende arrebatar su tierra (Proceso, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncian que el gobierno pretende arrebatarles sus tierras (Diario Contra Poder en Chiapas, 11 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


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