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.

Aftr 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)


Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas against the “Proposed Hydrocarbons Law”

June 28, 2014

 

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On June 22, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society denounced another effort by the government to promote “constitutional reforms [...] not for the benefit of the Mexican people, but for a few people who are sick with ambition and greed,” expressing their opposition to the “proposed hydrocarbons law,” defining it as “a project of theft and plunder of the peoples” to “legalize the theft of our lands and the invasion of our territory,” and also a “death sentence for millions of men, women, and children who [live] from Mother Earth.”

In their latest communiqué, they stated that: “We, the women and men, or the campesinos and campesinas, who work the land, we say we CAN LIVE WITHOUT GOLD; CAN LIVE WITHOUT OIL; but we CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT WATER!, CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT CORN.” They also addressed the senators and the president of Mexico, accusing them of being “traitors to the motherland,” stressing that “what they have done is succintly called a crime and betrayal of the motherland.” They pointed out that the hydrocarbons law states that “in 90 days the campesinos who own land on which there are presumed to be hydrocarbon deposits will come to an agreement with companies such as Shell, British Petroleum … etc,” and added that “here in our country their laws and their reforms of death and dispossession have no worth. They must know that we will defend Mother Earth, just like our brothers and sisters who were massacred at Acteal defended peace and justice, at all costs.”

Las Abejas continued to denounce the neoliberal capitalist system as “a machine of terror and inhumanity which represses, imprisons, dispossesses, and massacres the peoples who resist and build their autonomy.” Therefore, they continued to demand that their brothers and sisters of the organized peoples of Mexico “unite to defend our mother earth and territory, until the laws of plunder and dispossession of the Mexican political mafia are cast down.”

Finally, they expressed their solidarity with the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez, who has received threats, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, Victor Hugo López, who has suffered harassment, and the family of David Ruiz, a member of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI), who was killed in a motor accident.

For more information (in Spanish):

Su “proyecto de ley de hidrocarburos”, significa, la sentencia de muerte (La Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de Junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (June 9, 2014)

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

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)


Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN

June 9, 2014
La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

On May 24, in La Realidad, Chiapas and in many parts of Mexico and the world, a tribute to the Zapatista support base José Luis Solís López, alias “Galeano,” will be performed. Galeano was killed in La Realidad on 2 May. For several weeks, statements and actions of solidarity have been organized.

This past week, Chol and Tsotsil organizations and communities of the Northern Zone and of the Highlands regions of Chiapas have joined the protests. The United People in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in the Northern Region, proclaimed in a statement that “We are all Galeano,” and that: “It is the same way and strategy that was used in the Northern region of Chiapas with the low-intensity warfare, which was operated through [the paramilitary group] Peace and Justice. There are still witnesses, survivors and victims’ families in the communities, that were victims of this counterinsurgency and extermination warfare. This strategy was designed in the 94 Plan of Campaign for Chiapas, and implemented by the Mexican government after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994. Such a strategy resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, forced displacement, sexual violence and massacres; all crimes against humanity that remain unpunished. (…) This is why we condemn the violence in autonomous regions nowadays. “

Also from the Northern zone, members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Freedom (Xinich) stressed that “We understand these events as an attack against our organized people and against all the indigenous peoples that are struggling for freedom and peace. Furthermore, these actions are performed in order to plunder the wealth that runs through the veins of our mother land and our natural resources. We have protected and taken care of what has belonged to our people for millennia.”

From the Highlands of Chiapas, on May 22, the Las Abejas Civil Society held a day of prayer and fasting in the framework of the monthly commemoration of the massacre of Acteal. In a statement, it denounced the paramilitary aggression against our Zapatista brothers and sisters and the killing of Galeano. It is very clear that this is the product of the dirty war or counterinsurgency war in Chiapas, designed since 1994. We already know the speeches or rather the lies of the the bad governments: when their paramilitaries massacre women and children, they say that “they were confrontations” due to “inter-community conflicts.” And when these liars and criminals are politically challenged and pressured by international men and women, once again they make a speech or a lie to try to convince, saying that the government “condemns the regrettable facts and will apply the full weight of the law against those responsible “etc”.’

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidades choles y tzotziles se suman a protestas por agresiones al EZLN (21 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas: También sentimos dolor y rabia por el ataque paramilitar a nuestros hermanos bases de apoyo del EZLN (22 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del Comité de Defensa de la Libertad Indígena y X’inich (20 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del PUDEE (18 de mayo de 2014)

New analytical articles on the aggression in La Realidad

La agresión de la CIOAC en La Realidad se suma a casos de hostilidad antizapatista (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2014)

El gobierno federal apoyó en 2010 a un hombre arrestado por asesinar a zapatista (La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

Chiapas: la Cioac-H y sus paramilitares (Luis Hernández Navarro, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN announces homage to Zapatista murdered in La Realidad and announces primary results of investigation on the case (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido

April 26, 2014

Conferencia de prensa de los desplazados de Colonia Puebla. Foto (@Sipaz)

Press-conference of those displaced from the Puebla ejido. Photo (@Sipaz)

At 10am on Friday 11 April, there was held a press-conference at the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights by representatives of the 17 families of the Puebla ejido who find themselves displaced for nearly a year in Acteal due to aggressions they suffered in their community of origin.

Following a failed attempt to return on 20 August 2013 and a temporary return in January to harvest coffee crops, the displaced decided to return to their community.  In a communique, they noted that the problems have not been resolved, but that “life in a camp of displaced persons is very difficult” and that they must “work [their] milpas and coffee-crops so as to sustain our families.”

They termed their return a “return without justice,” denouncing that little to no progress has been made in these terms: “impunity continues.  The aggressors have not received any punishment.”  The representatives indicated the existence of a two-tiered justice system, given that there are problems which have yet to be resolved for years “in the cases in which there has been evident complicity on the part of the communal authorities.”  In contrast, said authorities proceeded quickly to detain three colleagues of the displaced when they were accused of having poisoned the community’s water supply and to arrest two men for the burning of the home Macario Arias Gomez a month ago–these being people who had nothing to do with the crime, according to the displaced.

The displaced Catholics clarified that “we hold the authorities responsible for applying the law as they should” and noted that they had “never attacked anyone,” believing instead that “all members of other religions are our brothers and sisters, and we await the possibility of advancing with them toward the construction of a peaceful coexistence in our community.”  Lastly, they once again stressed that “the great missing factor here is the situation of justice.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de los desplazados del ejido Puebla sobre su retorno (11 de abril de 2014)

Convocatoria a acompañar el retorno de desplazados del ejido Puebla, Chenalhó, Chiapas (11 de abril de 2014)

Retornan a su tierra desplazados del Ejido Puebla (La Jornada, 11 de abril de 2014)

Transmisión Conferencia de Prensa Desplazados del Ejido Puebla (Koman Ilel, 11 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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) (30 March 2014)

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: 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)

 


Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal

February 13, 2014

Colonia Puebla, Chenalho (@SIPAZ)

Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó (@SIPAZ)

On 7 January, the 17 families displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, returned to the Acteal community, given their conclusion that the necessary conditions which would allow for their stay in their community of origin do not exist.  Displaced in a conflict with Evangelicals over land on which they had been building a Catholic chapel, the 98 persons had been in the Puebla ejido for 20 days (since 17 January) to harvest and dry their coffee crops.

In a communique, those displaced from the Puebla Colony, the Parish Council of San Pedro Chenalhó, and the Las Abejas Civil Society explained that “the necessary conditions for us to remain in Puebla with peace and tranquility are absent.  Perhaps some believe that because some government officials have visited the community (including Governor Manuel Velasco), the problem has been solved.  The conditions for our return we have already explained to the government; these include the recognition of our property in the land on which is located the Catholic church, the recognition and reparation of damages incurred (both communal due to the destruction of the chapel and of communal houses), in addition to the personal damages we suffered due to robbery and degradation of the homes of the displaced.  We also ask that the various crimes to which we have been subjected not remain in impunity [...].  We would like to believe that the visit of the governor is a reflection of his will to resolve the problem, but, as with President Enrique Peña Nieto in Michoacán, it is not enough to take a photo and make promises to resolve problems, while they in fact desire to solve everything with promises of support but they do not make justice.  As long as this is the case, there can be no solution.”

The groups denounced verbal aggressions and stoning to which they were subjected during their 20 days in the ejido, particularly as directed against Juan López Méndez, “who they greatly dislike, since, not being Catholic, he chose not to support the attacks on Catholics.”

In conclusion, the groups noted that “we would like to have peace and reconciliation in Puebla, as in all other communities.  We are open to dialogue, but what we cannot accept is impunity and the repetition of crimes, because we have seen that it was in this way that we were displaced in 1997.  Once again this happened in 2013, and all because of the same people, precisely because they have not been punished.  If they continue not to be, there will continue to be displacements.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados de la Col. Puebla Municipio de Chenalhó, regresan a Acteal(Comunicado de los Desplazados de la Col. Puebla, el Consejo Parroquial de San Pedro Chenalhó y la Sociedad Civil de las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de febrero de 2014)

Desplazados de Chenalhó exigen justicia y reparación de los daños (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de febrero de 2014)

Regresaremos hasta ver señales reales de justicia: desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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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