Chiapas: 18 años years after the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture, these continue not to be recognized by the State

March 1, 2014

Comisión del EZLN en los Acuerdos de San Andrés

On 16 February 18 years passed since the signing of the San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture between the federal government and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), within the context of the Law on Dialogue, Negotiation, and Dignified Peace in Chiapas.

The signing of the accords in the Tsotsil community of San Andrés Larráinzar or Sak´am Ch´en De Los Pobres was the result of a process of negotiations and dialogues which began in October 1995 and ended in February 1996 in which particiapted different actors from Mexican civil society, including the National Commission on Mediation (CONAI), presided over by bishop Samuel Ruíz, and the Commission for Concordance and Pacification (COCOPA), comprised of legislators from the federal and state congresses.

By signing the accords, the federal government committed itself to constitutionally recognize the indigenous peoples by means of the creation of a new juridical system that would guarantee the political representation of the indigenous at the local and national levels, the right for the indigenous to organize and rule themselves according to their own customs, their right to develop their own alternatives to economic development and production, and the right for them to preserve their own cultural identity.  In sum, the agreement recognized the indigenous peoples of Mexico as public participants with the capacity of organizing themselves autonomously.

In November 1996, the COCOPA presented the Proposal for Constitutional Reforms in terms of Indigenous Rights and Culture as a continuation of the agreements made in San Andrés. Though some of the aspects originally agreed to were missing in this new version, the EZLN accepted the proposed document.

In December 2000, the PAN government of Vicente Fox submitted the law to the federal congress.

In 2001, the federal senate approved the constitutional reform on indigenous affairs, with the majority vote from the deputies of the principal political parties (PAN, PRI, PRD), though this did not include that which was agreed to in San Andrés. The reform stressed the effective exercise of rights, defining indigenous communities as public-interest entities instead of public-right entities, with the latter being a stipulation from the San Andrés Accords.  In this way was it denied to the indigenous to participate autonomously and collectively in the decision-making structures of the political and juridical institutions of the Mexican State, thus limiting their ability to organize autonomously in accordance with their own uses and customs.

In response to the reform, both the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the EZLN rejected the approved law, considering it to be a treason from the political parties toward the indigenous, and dialogue with the government was broken off until such time as the San Andrés Accords be included within the Mexican constitution as stipulated in the COCOPA Law.

Lastly, in December 2013, Jaime Martínez Veloz, commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, announced that the Secretary of Governance would present in early 2014 a legal initiative that rescues the content of the  San Andrés Accords and would serve to reactivate the dialogue which had been suspended since 2001 between the Zapatistas and the government. For Martínez Veloz, the legislative reforms in indigenous affairs from 2001 did not resolve “the problems of the indigenous peoples in a profound way.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Los Acuerdos de San Andrés, pacto inédito entre los pueblos indios de México, cumplen 18 años de vigencia (Desinformémonos, febrero de 2014)

Acuerdos de San Andrés. A veinte años del alzamiento (Mirada Sur, febrero de 2014)

Acuerdos de San Andrés: avatares internacionales (La Jornada, 11 de febrero de 2014)

A 18 años de los Acuerdos de San Andrés (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Peña prepara ley que retoma los acuerdos de San Andrés (ADN Político, 31 de diciembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords (8 January 2013)

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 December 2012)

Chiapas: Peña Nieto inaugurates international airport in Palenque

March 1, 2014



On 12 February, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) inaugurated jointly with Governor Manuel Velasco Coello the international airport in Palenque, which according to the national leader “will create interregional communication in a positive way for society as well as for the economy, facilitating touristic flows.”  “Better airports, better roads, better iron pathways will make possible progress and development to arrive by means of connections,” declared EPN.

The new installations comprise 249 hectares located on the outskirts of Palenque, and the conditions of the soil and landing strip will allow for international flights.  At present, the zone receives 600,000 tourists annually, providing 1.4 billion pesos in income, an amount which is thought will increase with the new airport.

Hundreds of campesinos, men and women, attempted to approach the president to submit personal petitions, but all of these were collected by a member of the Presidential Mayor State who said he would hand them over to the president.  At the end of the event the campesinos found their documents strewn about the asphalt.

For more information (in Spanish):

Inaugura Peña aeropuerto de Palenque, Milenio, 12 de febrero de 2014

Inauguran aeropuerto internacional en Palenque, Chiapas, La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2014

Tira el EMP las peticiones a EPN de indígenas ayer en Palenque, Chiapasparalelo 13 de febrero 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)

Chiapas: communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society in Acteal

March 1, 2014

@ Imagen de archivo, CDHFBC

@ CDHFBC archive

On 22 February, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communique pronouncing itself on the decision of a U.S. court to dismiss the case against ex-president Ernesto Zedillo for his responsibility for the massacre: “Three days ago we learned that a U.S. court had declared that ‘Zedillo remains exempt from legal responsibility… for the deaths of 45 indigenous persons in 1997.’  The next day, President Obama was in Mexico to visit President Peña Nieto to thank him for the energy reform which will allow transnational corporations to take control of Mexico’s oil [...] so we are indignant but unsurprised that the U.S. would declare that Zedillo is innocent in terms of the Acteal massacre.  Would they really condemn him, if they are from the same mafia?”

In other news, regarding the possibility of a definitive return of those displaced from the Puebla ejido who have been resettled temporarily in Acteal since August, Las Abejas noted that “the state government, by means of the subsecretary for religious affairs, has committed itself to compensate all the damages caused by the Presbyterian brothers who provoked this violence against the Catholic brothers; the government will compensate the lost possessions, the destroyed chapel, and the burned houses.  It seems that soon the Catholics will be able to return to their homes.  But it looks as though it will be as in 2001, a return without justice, or at most, incomplete justice.  Those who provoked the displacements in 1997 and 2013 continue free.”

For more information (in Spanish):

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

Lamentan Las Abejas de Acteal que no se juzgue a Zedillo (Expreso de Chiapas, 23 de febrero de 2014)

Corte de EU desecha apelación vs Ernesto Zedillo en caso Acteal (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de febrero de 2014)

Video: Colonia Puebla: la impunidad impide el retorno de desplazados (SanCristencia, 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)


Guerrero: Agreement made to implement program to supply basic grains for storm victims in the Mountain region

March 1, 2014

Damnificados de la Montaña de Guerrero (@Tlachinollan)

On 19 February, the Council of Victim Communities from the Mountain region of Guerrero succeeded in coming to an agreement with state and federal authorities to implement a program to supply basic grains for more than 20,000 families from nearly 200 communities in 12 municipalities affected by the September 2013 storms that struck the state.

As the Council had requested, there will be used a methodology based in its proposal “So that Maize Rain” with a focus on human rights and cultural sensitivity.  In accord with a communique distributed by the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, “in accordance with the agreements, there will be generated an extraordinary and exceptional program that is culturally sensitive and will attend to the communities affected by the passing of tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel, by means of the direct distribution of basic grains to the communities without intermediaries–these are to be distributed by their communal authorities.  Furthermore, there will be established mechanisms of control with participation of beneficiaries, guaranteeing thus their participation and the transparent distribution of maize, beans, and rice.  This, as the Council has requested, will permit the communities to decide to focus their attention on other priorities linked to reconstruction, initiating the rehabilitation of their lands without facing the threat of hunger.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado Logran comunidades damnificadas de la Montaña implementación de programa extraordinario de abastecimiento de granos básicos”(Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan, 21 de febrero de 2014)

Damnificados de la Montaña, Gro recibirán granos básicos (Radio Formula, 21 de febrero de 2014)

Ofrece gobierno de Guerrero tonelada y media de maíz a damnificados (Milenio, 17 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Victims from the Mountain region carry out “Hunger Pilgrimage” due to lack of governmental support (13 February 2014)

Guerrero: Victims of storms migrate to survive (12 November 2013)

Guerrero: The situation continues to be dramatic for storm victims in Guerrero (4 October 2013)

Guerrero: Deaths and victims of tropical storm Manuel (4 October 2013)


Chiapas: Body of campesino leader of the National Organization for Popular Power is found

March 1, 2014


On Tuesday 18 February, the lifeless body of the regional leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP) was found near Teopisca, Chiapas.

The corpse, found in the municipal dump of the city, showed signs of torture, according to relatives and friends of the former leader.

Manuel de Jesús Vázquez disappeared on Saturday 15 February after leaving his home to visit his father, resident of the same community.  Due to his disappearance, relatives of the victim denounced the act before the Public Ministry,a nd the ONPP released a communique demanding to know the whereabouts of its member, and to wish him luck: “Who has kidnapped our brother Manuel?  Today we fear for his life, because he could have been kidnapped and tortured in clandestine security houses, or even murdered, with his body then appearing afterward as that of a common criminal.”

According to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, in the course of the recovery of the body of the dead, officials from the State Attorney General’s Office committed violations to individual rights, given that they failed to observe the basic standards for investigative work in the field.

ONPP-Chiapas defines Manuel as having been a key political and regional leader who defended the rights of his people and land for many years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Hallan en basurero el cadáver de líder campesino en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de febrero de 2014)

En Teopisca, hallan muerto a líder indígena desaparecido desde el sábado (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de febrero de 2014)

Encuentran cuerpo de dirigente en basurero de Chiapas (Milenio, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Hallan muerto a líder de la ONPP (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 19 de febrero de 2014)

Procuraduría de Justicia viola derecho a las garantías judiciales en el caso de la muerte sospechosa de líder de la ONPP (Frayba, 20 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: teacher Adela Gómez regains her freedom (12 November 2013)

Chiapas: AI concerned for security and health of imprisoned activist Adela Gómez (25 October 2013)

Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members (16 September 2013)

Oaxaca: Harassment and death-threats directed against members of the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC)

March 1, 2014

Denuncia púbica sobre las agresiones a integrantes de Ucidebacc. Foto (@Kaos en la Red)

On 15 February, Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz, a human-rights defender and spokesperson for the Democratic Civic Union of Neighborhoods Colonies and Communities (UCIDEBACC), received two death-threats to her cell phone after having participated in a meeting with Oaxaca state officials.

The previous day, other members of UCIDEBACC, María Dolores Merino Ortiz, Reina Clavel Tapia, Cinthia Narciso Bernal, and a minor, were injured as a result of beatings received by the State Preventive Police during a peaceful protest they were carrying out in Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca.

According to the urgent action released by Consorcio for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity Oaxaca A.C., “These acts take place within a context of constant and systematic attacks against the rights-defender Eva Lucero Rivero Ortiz and her organization,” which since June 2013 has suffered multiple acts of intimidation, death threats, defamation, harassment, and arbitrary arrest.

Though the case has been presented before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Defense Institute for the Human Rights of the Oaxacan People (DDHPO), the security of neither the defender nor the other members of the organization has been maintained.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian ataque de la Secretaría de Seguridad a organización UCIDEBACC (NSS Oaxaca, 16 de febrero de 2014)

Policía Estatal agrede a manifestantes de la Ucidebacc en Pinotepa Nacional (Diario Oaxaca, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncia pública de la represión policial contra Ucidebacc (Kaos en la Red, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Preocupación por la vida e integridad física de Defensoras de DH integrantes de la UCIDEBACC (Consorcio Oaxaca, 18 de febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Communique by Consorcio in light of multiple attacks by the State (2 July 2012)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Aggressions continue in the Chimalapas conflict

March 1, 2014


Imagen @ Página 3

The website of Noticias Net has published a note saying that the Chiapas cattle rancher Jorge Humberto Luna Salinas (Tito Luna) invaded the territory of San Miguel Chimalapas in mid-February to destroy the installations of a camp exploiting pine sap, beyond setting fire to 2500 receptacles, according to a denunciation made by communards from the congregation of San Antonio, Chimalapa. They stressed that the fire spread from the exploitation camp to the rest of hte forest of La Hondonada and still remains live.

It should be recalled that the Oaxaca state government in January published a map of Los Chimalapas recognizing Chiapas as the owner of 50% of the communal lands under dispute before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Destruye e incendia Tito Luna campo de resina de Chimalapa (Noticias Net, 17 de febrero de 2014)

Comuneros de Chimalapa denuncian otra presunta invasión de Chiapas (Quadratín, 21 de enero de 2014)

Da Oaxaca 80 mil hectáreas de Chimalapas a Chiapas “en papel” (Página 3, 25 de enero de 2014)

Oaxaca publica controvertida cartografia de Chimalapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/Chiapas: meeting among governors in Governance regarding Chimalapas case (18 May 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Possible “electoral fraud” is denounced in the Chimalapas region (3 April 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Update in the Chimalapas case (6 March 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Zoques present case before the SCJN regarding Chimalapas; Army installs base in zone of conflict (8 February 2012)



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