Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released

December 6, 2014

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Abejas of Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

Nearly 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Supreme Court ofr Justice int he Nation (SCJN) decided to release three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned in the Amate prison for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

The massacre took place on 22 December 1997, when 45 members of the Las Abejas of Acteal organization were killed, the majority being women and children.

The three who have been released had requested an official recognition of innocence, which was granted to them based on criteria stipulated by the SCJN in 2008, when it ordered the release of dozens of prisoners for the first time, having decided that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) used illegal evidence in its investigation, thus violating the right of the accused to due process.  For their part, Las Abejas expressed that “if for the SCJN there are no guilty ones, if all the paramilitaries who have been sentenced are in fact innocent, then we demand that they give us back the lives of our martyrs, and that they present our children and parents who were shot to death on 22 December 1997 with life.”  They added that “other than for the government, it will be the SCJN that will be responsible for any conflict that results from the release of these paramilitaries, because the social fabric has been degraded and destroyed.  It has not been repaired, such that there are no conditions that would guarantee the non-repetition of the acts.”

In sum, 102 indigenous persons were processed for the killing of 45 members of the Las Abejas community, in addition to 4 unborn children, and they began to be released in 2008, after having advanced legal motions before the federal authorities.  Now, only two people remain imprisoned for the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia en México es un teatro: Sobrevivientes de Acteal, Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la Corte liberar a tres tzotziles vinculados con la masacre de Acteal, Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la SCJN la liberación de tres sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

Acteal: consagración de la impunidad, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre 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: 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: the Las Abejas Civil Society demands justice for Ayotzinapa

November 3, 2014

(@CDHFBC)

(@CDHFBC)

On 22 October, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997 that left 45 dead, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique condemning the events in Ayotzinapa, highlighting that “to our list of murderers we now add the names of Enrique Peña Nieto, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, José Luis Abarca, and all others involved in the disappearance and murder of the normalist students.” Las Abejas affirmed that it is “a crime of State and a crime against humanity, like what was committed here in Acteal.”

Las Abejas expressed their solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students, expressing that “We know the pain–we have lived it, because we also lost our children, parents, and siblings.  We know how the parents and relatives of the students of Ayotzinapa feel.  Humbly, and with much respect, we embrace you with our hearts, from Acteal, taking into account our own capacities.  We support you and demand together with you that your children reappear and return home.”

Las Abejas also mentioned in their communique other violent and unjust situations, such as the incarceration in Sonora of Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui people, and the plundering represented by the highway and mining megaprojects that operate on the lands of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Justicia por Ayotzinapa, !Vivos los llevaron, Vivos los queremos!(Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de octubre de 2014)

Sobrevivientes de Acteal: exigimos al Estado no permitir otra masacre, y no le importó (SinEmargo, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Realizan paro en 14 normales de Chiapas en apoyo a Ayotzinapa(Proceso, 23 de octubre 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: 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 (2 May 2014)


Chiapas: Presentation of annual report from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, “Between official cynicism and popular dignity”

October 12, 2014


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On 8 October, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report, entitled “Human Rights under Debate: Between official cynicism and popular dignity,” which corresponds to the period between January 2013 and July 2014, as based in information compiled in Chiapas.  Those who spoke on the panel to present the report were Dolores González Saravia, director of Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ); Fray Gonzalo Ituarte, member of the directive council of the CDHFBC; and  José Javier Avilés Arreola, vicar for justice and peace from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese.

The report is comprised of four chapters.  First, “Faces of plunder,” describes how “the governments seek to commodify the Earth and land”; second, a discourse on the defense of human rights, and third, the impacts of the armed internal conflict in Chiapas on the national system.  In the fourth chapter, it is written that “life, death, and rebirth is resignified by those who survived the Acteal massacre , those who testify about the terror of the crimes against humanity committed in the northern zone of Chiapas, the continued impunity in the case of the Viejo Velasco massacre, and the invisibilization of our disappeared, among other stories that have lacerated humanity.  Despite this, the spirit of searching for truth and justice is the path that illuminates our path amidst the war standing,” as the CDHFBC indicated in its press-bulletin.

On 20 October, the report will also be presented at the Lamm Cultural Center in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: Los derechos humanos a debate “Entre el cinismo oficial y la Dignidad de los Pueblos”

Presenta Frayba su Informe Anual: Los Derechos Humanos a Debate(Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 5 de octubre de 2014)

Audio – Video:Informe Frayba 2014 – Presentación (Ustream.tv)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity

July 27, 2014


Foto (@SIPAZ)

Photo (@SIPAZ)

On 18 July in El Limonar, Ocosingo municipality, there was held the pre-audience for the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), “With Justice and Peace We Shall Find Truth.”  As part of the work on “Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice” covered by the Mexican chapter of the TPP,  the Viejo Velasco massacre was addressed.  This atrocity, which took place on 13 November 2006, resulted in the execution of four persons and the disappearance of four others.  Two of the disappeared were found dead some months later.  Furthermore, 37 residents of the community were forcibly displace, seeking refuge in the neighboring community of Nuevo Tila.

After having reviewed the relevant documents and the declarations of victims and witnesses, the judges declared that the “The fact that these acts of violence from the State did not solely target combatants but also the civilian, non-combatant population–including boys and girls–shows that the only common factor among the victims was that they pertained to certain ethnic groups and social organizations.  It also shows that said acts were committed ‘with the intention of destroying’ these groups ‘totally or in part,’ thus qualifying these as crimes against humanity.”  For this reason, they judged the Mexican State to be culpable of having violated the rights to life and personal integrity as well as the right not to experience forced disappearance in the cases of Viejo Velasco and Acteal in the Northern Zone of Chiapas.

In conclusion, the tribunal declared that “the State must use the appropriate means to observe its obligation to investigate the acts that have been denouned, as well as to identify, judge, and sanction those responsible and the beneficiaries of these crimes.”  It stressed that “the Mexican State is obliged to comprehensively compensate the damages caused by these crimes against humanity.”  Lastly, it recalled that the cycle of the Mexican chapter of the TPP will end in November 2014, a time in which the “grave human-rights violations committed by the Mexican State that to date enjoy impunity” will be denounced and made visible before the national and international public.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictamen Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (TPP blogspot capítulo México, 19 de julio de 2014)

Estado mexicano, culpable en masacre de Viejo Velasco: TPP (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de julio de 2014)

BOLETIN DE PRENSA “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad”(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

Ante la falta de justicia del Estado familiares de víctimas de la masacre de Viejo Velasco exigen verdad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


140702_TTP_limonar_cartel

On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


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