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)


Oaxaca/National: Efforts to avert imprisonment of human-rights defender Bettina Cruz

October 1, 2014

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archivo)

Bettina Cruz (@SIPAZ archive)

In a press conference held on 23 September, federal legislators called on the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to stop the looming incarceration of Oaxacan rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who presently free faces accusations of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and national wealth.

It bears mentioning that on 22 February 2012, the defender was detained and incarcerated, accused of kidnapping and crimes against consumption and the national wealth, though she only participated in a protest a year previous opposing high electricity prices in Oaxaca.  On 24 February 2012 she posted bail and was released, but the legal process against her continues.

The legislators in question affirm that they “consider that the moves and process against Bettina represent acts of criminalization of social protest, illustrating the risky situations faced by persons who work to defend human rights.  Through this process, it has become clear that the justice system has deviated greatly against them, particularly those who work in defense of the land amidst the imposition of megaprojects.”

Beyond this, in a communique published on 25 September, Amnesty International (AI) warned that, if the judiciary power decided to imprison the rights-defender, it would “consider nominating her as a prisoner of conscience.”  AI stressed that the obligation of the Mexican authorities “is to guarantee that the justice system does not work in favor of the persecution of those who defend human rights, as revenge against their legitimate actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden legisladores a PGR evitar encarcelamiento de activista (Cimac Noticias, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Carta completa de los legisladores (23 de septiembre de 2014)

No a la persecución judicial de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos (Amnistía Internacional, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Campaña en twitter: etiqueta #JusticiaparaBettina

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Denunciation of harassment and death-threats against human-rights defenders in the Tehuantepec Isthmus (9 December 2013)

Oaxaca: Detention and subsequent release of rights-defender Bettina Cruz Velázquez (March 7, 2012)

Oaxaca: Death-threats against human-rights defenders (4 November 2011)


National: political trial sought against head of the National Commission on Human Rights

October 1, 2014

Raúl Plascencia Villanueva (@CNDH)

Raúl Plascencia Villanueva (@CNDH)

On 24 September, close to 85 persons and civil organizations formed the Citizens’ Committee to attempt to rescue the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), calling on the federal congress to begin a political trial of its present director, Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, whom they accuse of having “failed in his mandate of defending victims of human-rights violations.”  They provided two arguments to support this claim: “1. The extremely grave omissions of the CNDH amidst the innumerable human-rights violations in Mexico. 2. The utilization of the institution as ‘a fashion’ and toward ends that are separate from the defense of human rights.”

The accusers accompanied their request with situations and cases that “are very well documented in the attached denunciation, which comes close to 100 pages of evidence showing that the CNDH president has omitted acting in an opportune, comprehensive, and independent manner in affairs that would make it imperative that he act in accordance with the constitutional mandate he received upon being named head of the CNDH.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Juicio político contra Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, presidente de la CNDH (Comunicado presentado ante la Cámara de Diputados, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Piden a diputados iniciar juicio político contra titular de la CNDH(Proceso, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Defensores de DH de todo México exigen juicio político contra el ombudsman nacional (Animal Político, 25 de septiembre de 2014)

Plascencia no tiene estatura moral para avalar derechos humanos: grupos civiles (Sin Embargo, 25 de septiembre de 2014)


Oaxaca: Law on indigenous and Afromexican peoples “tied up” in the state congress

October 1, 2014

Evento de organizaciones Civiles sobre la Ley Indígena y Afromestiza (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Event with civil organizations regarding the Indigenous and Afromestizo Law (@Noticiasnet.mx)

Six months after Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo sent the bill regarding Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples to the state congress, it still has yet to be approved.  It bears mentioning that the project of this initiative was submitted to the state congress on 21 March 2014, following two years of preparation via a series of forums and consultations.

On 22 September, the Consultative Council of Indigenous and Afromexican Peoples of Oaxaca called on the congress to approve this reform during the current period of meetings, “taking into consideration that today, in New York, the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples has begun, with this being a high-level plenary session of the sixty-ninth period of sessions of the UN General Assembly, which seems to promote the implementation of the rights of indigenous peoples.”  Indeed, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended said meeting.

The secretary for Indigenous Affairs, Adelfo Regino Montes, has assured that, were the Decree Project to be approved as a reform, it would add and require a number of changes to the Oaxacan state constitution in terms of indigenous and Afromexican affairs, and thus would constitute an “unprecedented and historic” change.

Civil-society organizations have denounced that the initiative finds itself tied up in the congress due to “fear, prejudice, and ignorance.”  They have expressed that, if the initiative in question were not to be approved, social organizations and indigenous movements would take other means.  In a press-conference, Gustavo Esteva from Unitierra affirmed that Oaxaca could come to be a global model of legislative harmonization of this dimension and thus help bring about a more inclusive, democratic, and just society, precisely through attending comprehensively to the rights of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ley sobre Pueblos Indígenas: vanguardista pero ‘atorada’ en el Congreso(Noticiasnet.mx, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Por doble ignorancia Congreso local no aprueba reforma constitucional indígena (E-Oaxaca, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo e ignorancia impiden ley indígena (Noticiasnet.mx, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Miedo, prejuicio e ignorancia, frenan Ley Indígena (Adiario, 23 de septiembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Consejo Consultivo de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afromexicano de Oaxaca


Oaxaca: New attack on members of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec

October 1, 2014

Foto @ Albergue Hermanos en el Camino

On 18 September, agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the Mexican Army physically and verbally assaulted members and human-rights defenders associated with the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home in Ixtepec, as the latter were carrying out their work in the Chivela community, located in the northern zone of the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  The attacks took place as the workers were traveling in the train that leaves Ixtepec for Medias Aguas, Veracruz.  In response to the attacks, the workers submitted a penal denunciation before the Ixtepec Prosecutorial Office on Migrants against the INM and also submitted complaints to the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH).  They indicated that while they were documenting attacks against migrant persons, they observed the presence of three INM vehicles and three Army convoys.

It should be noted that, following the federal government’s implementation of the Southern Border Plan (PFS) two months ago, 57 persons have been victims of grave crimes, such as robbery, extortion, rape, and assault, according to the findings of the “Brothers on the Path” migrant home.  Attacks on migrants have increased 90% during this period.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Albergue Hermanos en el Camino (19 de septiembre de 2014)

INM y Ejército agreden a defensores de migrantes; les decomisan material documentado (Centro ProDH, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Agrede INM a defensores de Derechos Humanos (Noticias Net, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

Testimonio narra agresiones de agentes del INM a activistas en Oaxaca(Animal Político, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

El Plan Frontera Sur: violencia institucionalizada (Más de 131, 21 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders (3 May 2014)

National: “La 72″ migrant home denounces kidnapping, robbery, and threats against migrants by INM (30 March 2014)

National: Collaborators of the “72″ migrant home abandon work due to threats (24 June 2013)

Chiapas: March from Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)


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