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)


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)


Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

September 2, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 August, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué to commemorate the five years since the beginning of the release of the formerly imprisoned persons who had been considered responsible for the Acteal massacre of December 1997. Since August 2009, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has allowed 54 of the 70 who were sentenced to be released in this sense. Some of those who have been released were allowed to go freely without warning the public about this, as in the case of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, a “paramilitary commander and confessed patricipant in the Acteal massacre.” Amidst this tendency, members of Los Abejas declared that “our memory tells us that this Supreme Court has been converted for us into the ‘Supreme Court for the rich and criminals of the Nation'; this court is the expression of the justice system in Mexico, which is rotten.”

The Acteal massacre and the impunity that prevails in the case to date, stressed Las Abejas, form part of the low-intensity warfare being promoted in the region by the “bad government.” Las Abejas indicated furthermore that the repression, murders, and massacres are a consequence fo the “commercial traties” which Mexico has signed with rich countries, toward the end of “exterminating the Zapatista people and other organized peoples,” given that “if the indigenous peoples had control of their land, NAFTA would not be able to function in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada, for this way they could not extract and steal all the wealth possessed by our Mother Earth.”

In light of this “death culture,” Las Abejas declare that “We are aware that justice will not come from above,” and for this reason “our search for justice for the Acteal massacre we call the construction of ‘Another Justice,’ one that is conceptualized and constructed from the organized peoples, women and men of Mexico who also seek a dignified and true justice, as we do. This other justice, this dignified and true justice, is now being built in the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), in meetings and fora of organized peoples and communities in Mexico […]. We in the Las Abejas Civil Society will not resign ourselves but will instead continue building our ties with brothers and sisters who struggle each and every day against this oppressive capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años de la excarcelación de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2014)

Libres, 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2014)

La “Suprema Corte de ricos y criminales de la Nación” ha liberado a 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada de Oriente, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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


National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants

September 2, 2014

Albergue "La 72", Tenosique (@SIPAZ)Migrant Home “La 72″, Tenosique (@SIPAZ)

At the end of August, there was a commemoration held of the four years since the San Fernando massacre (August 2010), which took place in Tamaulipas. A group of armed persons belonging to the Zetas cartel kidnapped and murdered 72 migrants (58 men and 14 women), most of them originally from Central or South America. It is suppsoed that the kidnapped migrants were executed because they did not pay extortion fees and refused to join the criminal group. In Tenosique, Tabasco, the following year, to commemorate the 72 who were murdered, the “La 72” Migrant Home was established, being a center that offers hospitality and rest to migrants en route to the United States.

Members of “La 72” denounced that on 12 August, the National Institute on Migration (INM) and the federal police carried out an operation at the Tenosique station against migrants who had crossed into Mexico through the Tabasco border. Once the train arrived, “72” staff report that approximately 20 federal police and 10 INM agents “attacked many verbally and others were followed on the train tracks,” adding that that a half hour later, they saw INM patrols full of “arrested” migrants in the cabs. In light of this incident, the staff of “La 72” declared that “we newly repudiate the return by the INM and federal police to these sorts of detention operations, since rather than provide security to migrants, they expose fleeing migrants to risk of mutilation and death by passing trains. The so-called ‘rescues’ of migrants that the INM likes to say it carried out are in reality bold persecutions in which there is extreme verbal and psychological violence.” Furthermore, they stressed that in the INM operations the Beta group had also participated, having changed from its previous role of “protector of migrants […] into a type of intelligence [agency] for the INM delegation in Tabasco.”

On 15 August, Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of “La 72,” declared that a permanent operation had been activated in Tenosique, and he denounced the attempt by the INM (with assistance from the federal police) to dismantle the refuge by means of “comfort” operations in the migrants’ home and in the city, instead of targeting areas in which criminal groups act. These operations are “comfortable,” says Fray Tomás, because “the INM does not carry out its operations in rural areas, there where the human-traffickers are capturing migrants. These are practically the bases on which the groups work with impunity to ‘cross’ Central Americans from Guatemala to Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alerta urgente: Operativos INM y PF en Tenosique (“La 72″, 13 de agosto de 2014)

Federales y Migración aniquilarán refugio La 72 (Proyecto Ambulante, 18 de agosto de 2014)

De la fosa clandestina a la fosa común (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de agosto de 2014)

Impunidad, a cuatro años de la masacre de San Fernando (Red Política, 25 de agosto 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: Migrant pilgrimage arrives in Mexico City (2 May 2014)

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


Chiapas: beginning of first meeting of Indigenous Peoples of Mexico with Zapatista Peoples

September 2, 2014

la “Primera Compartición de los Pueblos Zapatistas y los Pueblos Originarios de México” (EZLN) 

The “First Meeting of the Zapatista Peoples with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico” (EZLN)

In a 3 August communique, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), reported that between 2 and 3 August, 312 members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) arrived at La Realidad, representing the Nahua, Purépecha, Peninsula Maya, Mazahua, Zoque, Wixarika, migrant, Tepehuan, Coca, Hñahñu, Pame, Triqui, Mixtec, Binni zaa, Chinanteco, Ikoot, Afro-Mexican, Popoluca, Tsotsil, Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Totonaco, Kumiai, Amuzgo, mestizo, Huarijío, Mixe, Ñhato, and Chontal peoples. On the part of the EZLN, some 1300 support-bases were reported as present, including representatives who would share their experiences.

On 4 August, the CNI meeting proceeded, being named “Comrade David Ruiz García,” in honor of the CNI youth who died in an accident while returning home after visiting La Realidad to render homage to José Luis López (Galeano), who was murdered in May.

The event will be held until 8 August, named the “First Meeting of the Zapatista Peoples with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico.” As the EZLN has stated, participation during these days will be exclusively between Zapatistas and adherents who are accredited by the CNI, such that no external patry will be allowed entry.

The resolutions and accords of the meeting will be announced on Saturday 9 August, in an “open space for the press.” Subcomandante Moisés indicated that, beyond the members of the National and International Sixth, members of autonomous, alternative, and free media are invited to attend the meeting; they are allowed to arrive on Friday the 8th. Subcomandante Moisés invited members of the “free, autonomous, alternative, or whatever-you-call-them media” to find a way to stay an additional day after the end of the press-conference: based on the proposal of Subcomandante Galeano (formerly Marcos), the proposal was for members of free media to remain so that they could be interviewed for a special issue of the Rebeldía magazine that will dedicated to them.

For more information (in Spanish):

Palabras de bienvenida del Comandante Tacho al Encuentro (3 de agosto de 2014)

“Llegaron bien” (comunicado del Subcomandante Moíses, 2 de agosto de 2014)

Arranca Congreso de Pueblos Zapatistas y Pueblos Originarios de México (Proceso, 4 de agosto de 2014)

EZLN se solidariza con Palestina tras conflicto en Gaza (El Universal, 4 de agosto de 2014)

Israel está librando “una guerra de exterminio en contra del pueblo palestino”: EZLN (La Jornada, 4 de agosto de 2014)

Inicia encuentro entre EZLN y pueblos indígenas de México (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN and members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) united against the plundering of their peoples (29 August 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)


Chiapas: new communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.”  Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth.  These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.”  They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs.  All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.”  They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.”  To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighboring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.”  They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo Comunicado en rechazo de los megaproyectos en territorios de pueblos originarios y de la guerra contra el Pueblo Palestino (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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


Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel

July 20, 2014

Foto (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

On Saturday 12 July, the Believing People of Simojovel carried out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace.”  Thousands of persons marched to highlight the increase in violence in the municipality due to alcoholism, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and arms trading, and to denounce the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua.  On the same occasion, they accused municipal authorities of being corrupt and of favoring this situation which undermines peace and security for the people of Simojovel.  In a communique, the Believing People declared that “Amidst these death-threats, we cannot be silent or be indifferent; we cannot simply cross our arms while seeing so much suffering caused by the corruption of the authorities.”

Furthermore, they publicly demanded that the corresponding authorities re-establish peace and tranquility for the people by closing places for drug and alcohol sales, prostitution centers, and repressing the traffic in weapons.  In this way, they specified that “We demand security for our people; enough of violating our rights.  We demand liberty and justice.”  They added: “This is our action so that peace be restored in this community.  We will not tire; if we see that there is no result, we will take other measures in the coming days and months.  The people must continue raising their voice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ante amenazas de muerte no podemos callar: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de julio de 2014)

En Chiapas el Pueblo Creyente peregrina por la Paz (Frayba, 12 de julio de 2014)

Peregrinan por la paz en Simojovel (Cuarto Poder, 13 de julio de 2014)

En Simojovel, Chiapas la delincuencia manda, controla y amenaza(Proceso, 12 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (October 26, 2013)


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