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)

 


Chiapas: Organizations denounce uses and customs of indigenous peoples that limit women’s rights

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de marzo en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas has denounced the discrimination exercised against a female child on 9 March in the San Juan Chamula municipality, Chiapas.  The case has to do with the sale and forced marriage of the minor on the part of her family as well as the arrest of the girl on the part of traditional authorities of the community following her abandonment of her husband.

For the Popular Campaign, this is an example of violence directed against women consented to by the State, given that the sale of women in indigenous communities is a practice that has been denounced for decades.  For this reason, different non-governmental organizations have indicated since 2012 the existence of uses and customs of indigenous peoples which limit the rights of women and result in gender inequalities that affect all aspects of life.

Experts who comprise the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) note their concern for the situation, “given that such practices perpetuate discrimination against indigenous women and children, we call on the State to draw up a general strategy to eliminate said practices, particularly through carrying out campaigns of awareness-raising directed at indigenous communities to reinforce a positive and non-stereotypical image of women, without having this serve as a pretext that would rationalize the State’s violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chamula, encarcelan a niña de 14 años por abandonar a su marido (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de marzo de 2014)

“Estuve detenida 29 horas en San Juan Chamula entre ‘basura y mierda’”: Niña tzotzil de 14 años (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2014 ¿)

Sí estuvo presa, confirma menor indígena de Mitontic, y fueron 29 horas entre la pestilencia, el frío y la basura (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Niña toztzil vendida a los 11 años, huyó de su concubino a los 14 (Sipse, 15 de marzo de 2014)

La venta de niñas y las bodas arregladas son comunes en Chiapas: ONG; el Estado le incumple a mujeres, dice (Sinembargo, 17 de marzo de 2014)

La Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas ratifica la declaratoria de Alerta Popular Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio (Campaña Popular, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Ha cambiado mentalidad de los indígenas (Es!, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Venta de niñas, práctica recurrente en comunidades de los Altos (Mirada Sur, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba”

March 30, 2014

25 Aniversario del Frayba, marzo de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

25th anniversary of Frayba, March de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 19 March, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba) celebrated 25 years since its founding.  Created in 1989 through the invitation of the then bishop of the the San Cristóbal de San Cristóbal diocese, Samuel Ruíz García, it in time passed into becoming a key reference for the defense of human rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, at the local, national, and international levels.

Part of the celebrations included the organization of an “International forum on human rights: from memory to hope,” which was attended by more than 350 persons, nationals and internationals.  On 18 March, the book The Social Evangelism of Bishop Raúl Vera was presented by the very bishop himself, who previously had worked with Samuel Ruiz in Chiapas and who now holds the presidency of the CDHFBC.

At the press-conference and ceremony which closed the events, the members of the CDHFBC recognized the difficulties and challenges implied for example by the advance of extractive industry and touristic projects in Chiapas, ina ddition to the attempts to loot territory, but they stressed that “it is the people who guide our path, in a positive feedback loop.”

For more information (in English):

Destaca obispo Raúl Vera, la creación del Frayba por don Samuel Ruiz(Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2014)

Sin traicionar el legado de Samuel Ruiz, celebra el Frayba su 25 aniversario(Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2014)

El Frayba celebra su 25 aniversario (La Jornada, 19 de marzo de 2014)

“Lo que no se vale aquí es no caminar… caminemos”: Samuel Ruiz García(Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de marzo de 2014)

Sitio Web del 25 aniversario: http://yorailmaya.wordpress.com/

Facebook: frayba.derechoshumanos

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de Marzo en San Cristóbal de las Casas. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Photo (@Sipaz)

Due to the increase in femicides and the impunity that prevails in the state of Chiapas, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, a civil organization based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, has proclaimed a permanent Gender Alert.

In November 2013, the Center started a petition to the National System to Prevent, Attend, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) calling on it to declare a gender alert in the state.  However, in January of this year, SNPASEVM rejected the petition, claiming that the murders of women does not threaten the social peace in the state, and adding that many of these deaths have not been recognized as femicides.

“How many women must die before the State considers there to exist a pattern of violence against women in Chiapas?” asks the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas.

According to Alma Padilla, director of the Center, “the Mexican State is not willing to declare a gender alert because it has instituted programs to prevent femicide and violence against women.  However, these [programs] have had no result.  On the contrary, both the numbers of femicides and cases of violence against women are on the rise.”

Official information presented by the Center shows that between January and October of last year, 84 murders of women were documented, 52 of which have been categorized as femicides.  An investigation has been requested to determine if those remaining also qualify as such.

In parallel terms to the proclamation of the permanent Gender Alert, the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas has indicated that it will continue to demand that the authorities declare an alert and combat the crime of femicide.

For more information (in Spanish):

Aumentan feminicidios en Chiapas asegura ONG (Milenio, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Mujeres de Chiapas deciden levantar su propia alerta de género por feminicidios (Animal Político, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Web del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

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)


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)


Chiapas : Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico”

March 15, 2014

foro-infancia

On 1 March, Melel Xojobal A.C., REDIM (Network of the Rights of the Child in Mexico), and REDIAS (Network for the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas) organized the first regional forum of NGOS on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico.”  The forum intended to create space for analysis and dialogue toward the end of joining together the work of civil organizations which labor in favor of the rights of children, so that there be greater efficiency and cooperation in this struggle.

Despite representing 35% of the national population (more than 40 million persons), children control only 6% of the country’s budget, with only a small portion of this going toward their protection. Juan Martín Pérez García, director of Redim, recalled that the rights of the child “are human rights and not small rights,” adding that adolescents comprise a full 50% of all femicides committed in the country.  The doctor denounced that Mexico “is not implementing conditions to observe the rights of children.”  It should be noted that, among the 176 recommendations made to Mexico by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), just 7 refer to children and adolescents.

Children make up a third of Mexico’s population and 40% of the population of Chiapas.  Lamentably, the situation of children in the latter context is very difficult: Chiapas is one of the places with the fewest legal tools enshrined into public policy, and the statistics for children in the state are among the worst in the country, always below the national average.  Chiapas has the least percentage of school attendance in Mexico and the lowest average number of years spent in formal education, but the majority of the population aged 12-17 is economically active.  Chiapas occupied third place in the number of adolescent pregnancies (15-19 years), and it is retrograde in terms of health-care access (42% of children lack such access, vs. 32% nationally); infant mortality reaches 19.5/1000 in the state, with 14.2/1000 being the national ratio.

In November, for the first time, Mexico will attend the VI Global Congress for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which will coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Mexico in 1990.  This may be an opportunity to make visible the rights of youth, and to make them a reality….

For more information (in Spanish):

Llaman a trabajar por derechos de los niños (La Jornada, 2 de marzo de 2014)

Foro regional en atención a los derechos de niños y niñas (Cuarto Poder, 1 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: denunciation of acts of “social cleansing” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)

Chiapas: XV Aniversario de Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)


Oaxaca: Request of activation of Gender Alert amidst increase in number of femicides

March 2, 2014

Día contra la violencia de género, Oaxaca. Foto (@Sipaz)Day against gender violence in Oaxaca. Photo (@Sipaz)

In light of the increasing number of femicides in the state of Oaxaca, the civil association Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca has made an urgent call for other civil organizations, the social movement, and academics in Oaxaca to join the presentation of a request for the activation of a gender alert before the three levels of governmental power in Mexico, as a means of resisting the grave situation being seen in the state in these terms.

According to data collected by Consorcio, there have been 266 women killed during the administration of Gabino Cué. In just the first two months of 2014 there have been 13 women killed in the state, a statistic that is much higher than the 4 who were murdered in the same period last year.  These data locate Oaxaca as being one of the most violent states in Mexico for women.

For the civil association, it is necessary to build legislation, budget, and public policies to guarantee the freedom, security, and lives of women: “It is evident that the generalized gender violence is a result of the omissions of the State in protecting women; it also reflects the impunity which reigns in this type of crime.”

For his part, Arturo Peimbert Calvo, head of the Defense Institute for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO), has announced that he will present an initiative before the local congress to create a domestic gender alert that would not depend upon federal criteria to be implemented.

For A. Peimbert, it was an error on the part of the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB) to have rejected the declaration of a gender violence alert in Oaxaca previously, in April 2013: “It was an error to reject the gender alert; the evidence is that in Oaxaca the cases of femicide continue with an impressive increase.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Consorcio Oaxaca ante la situación de violencia contra las mujeres (Consorcio, 21 de febrero de 2014)

Crece alarma por feminicidios en Oaxaca (El Imparcial, 23 de febrero de 2013)

Plantea DDHPO alerta de género doméstica (Noticiasnet.mx, 24 de febrero de 2014)

Video: En Oaxaca no hay políticas públicas a la altura para prevenir y sancionar la violencia de género (Oaxaca tres punto cero, 25 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

March 2, 2014

(@Radio Pozol)

(@Radio Pozol)

On 26 February 2014, there was held an act to hand over the land on which was found the chapel of the Puebla ejido, Chenalhó municipality, as performed by the ejidal commissioner, Agustín Cruz Gómez, transferring it to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, as represented in the event by bishop Enrique Díaz Díaz.  This came after the General Direction of Religious Associations of the Secretary of Governance decided that the land under dispute “is federal property in use and administered by the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese.”

It should be recalled that the dispute over this land between Catholics and Evangelical residents led by the ejidal authorities led to the displacement of 17 families (98 persons) who have taken refuge in the Acteal community since August 2013.

At the event was also present Secretary of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar and Subsecretary for Religious Affairs Víctor Hugo Sánchez Zebadúa, who considered themselves witnesses of honor.  The Secretary of Governance decalred that the Evangelicals and Catholics “are here to do good,” such that he called on the Evangelical community to respect the decision made by the Secretary of Governance.  He affirmed that the state government will continue working to resolve the pending issues.

On that same day, 26 February, the Las Abejas Civil Society (to which the majority of the displaced pertain) challenged in a communique that the government “does not speak of justice.”  It noted that “the human-rights violations began with torture, harassment, displacement, robbery of possessions, destruction of the chapel, burning of houses, fabrication of crimes regarding the poisoning of the water, accusing 3 people (Juan López Méndez, Mariano Méndez Méndez, Luciano Méndez Hernández, son of Mariano Méndez Méndez), who were transferred to the Public Ministry to be arrested without any evidence that the water had in fact been poisoned [...].  Comrades from civil national and international organizations, this is not the priority solution of the displaced.  They lack other things such as the construction of the chapel, reparation for the burned houses, and compensation for robbed possessions, in addition to the application of justice for the presumed responsible persons who committed these rights-violations.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Determinan autoridades que ejido Puebla, en Chenalhó, es propiedad federal (La Jornada, 27 de febrero de 2014)

Boletín del gobierno del estado “Entregan evangélicos predio a católicos de Puebla, Chenalhó”(ICOSO, 27 de febrero de 2014)

Entregan evangélicos de Chenalhó predio a católicos que expulsaron (Milenio, 26 de febrero de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (26 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

 


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