International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican

November 12, 2014

Internacional: Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares en el Vaticano (@Via Campesina)

International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican (@Via Campesina)

From 27 to 29 October, more than 150 leaders from different labor, migrant, campesino, and indigenous organizations and processes participated in the “International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements” that was held at the Vatican.  Among the participants present were the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Center for Human Rights, and the Mexican Electricians’ Union.

Pope Francis (an Argentinian) noted that “[t]his meeting responds to a very concrete desire […] that should be accessible to all, because today we see with sadness that land, shelter, and work is evermore out of grasp for the majority.  It is strange, but if I speak of this, for some it means that the Pope is a communist.”

The Pope recognized the struggle of grassroots movements that “do not rest content with illusory promises, excuses, or alibies.”  “The scandal of poverty cannot be addressed through the promotion of contention strategies that only tranquilize the poor, converting them into domesticated and neutral beings,” he warned.

He stressed that “the poor do not simply wait with their arms crossed for the solutions that never arrive; now, the poor seek to be protagonists to find their own solutions to their problems.”  The poor, in this sense, “are not resigned, but rather they protest,” and this protest “bothers” those in power.  He expressed in addition that he hopes that “the wind of protest becomes a gale of hope.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Discurso del Papa Francisco a los Participantes en el Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares

Resumen del Encuentro Mundial de Movimientos Populares (Minga Informativa)

Impresiones de una jornada histórica (Ignacio Ramonet, Rebelión, 30 de octubre de 2014)

El papa Francisco rinde homenaje a los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Papa pide “tierra, techo y trabajo ” para los pobres (Milenio, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Discuten en el Vaticano sobre marginación (El Universal, 28 de octubre de 2014)

Movimientos populares del mundo, con el Papa (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2014)


Chiapas: “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event in Masoja Shucjá, Tila

November 12, 2014

“Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio”, octubre de 2014 (@CDHFBC)

“Heart of memory, sown on our lands.” October 2014 (@CDHFBC)

On 24 October, the “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event was held in the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, to remember the victims of execution, forcible disappearance, and forced displacement in this region between the years 1995 and 1999.  Those present demanded justice in these cases and expressed their solidarity with the families of the normalist students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, present at this event, stressed that “in the zone below Tila, [the paramilitary group] Paz y Justicia committed at least 37 forcible disappearances, 85 executions, and displaced more than 4500 persons, who also suffered harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, torture, sexual abuse, and arbitrary arrests, among other human-rights violations […].  Lamentably, these great human-right violations have continued to enjoy impunity, given that the material and intellectual authors have not been truly investigated or sanctioned in accordance with their involvement in these crimes against humanity.  This situation has been broadly denounced, and it has been taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  There have been eight cases that reflect the atrocities experienced in the region.  There are 122 cases documented by this Center of Human Rights in the northern zone.  They are examples of the counter-insurgent strategy that has been implemented by the federal and state authorities, following the Plan for the Chiapas Campaign […].  Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Boletín del CDHFBC Ni perdón, ni olvido (CDHFBC, 28 de octubre de 2014)

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Radio Pozol, 25 de octubre de 2014)

Castigo a autores de ejecuciones, desapariciones y desplazamientos forzados en Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil (Comunicado de las y los desplazados de Banavil en el evento de Masoja Shucjá, 24 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


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: 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: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border

September 2, 2014

(@fronterasurmx.wordpress.com)On 19 August, organizations from southeastern Mexico decided to “launch coordinated actions for monitoring, so as to demand the observance of responsibilities amidst the possible increase in human-rights violations” due to the “Southern Border Program” which was announced by the federal government on 7 July. These organizations foresee the program as including “the construction of more border infrastructure. Beyond this, there will be greater border control due to increased coordination among authorities of different State agencies, in addition to a greater presence of Army and Navy units. There will also be founded Centers for Comprehensive Attention to Border Transit.”

The organizations denounced that “this plan contains numerous ambiguities and retains a vision of natural security, prioritizing the control and flow of migration above human security” as well as the “lack of a Mexican migratory policy based in human rights that promotes the non-discrimination and multiculturalism implied by migratory flows.”

These organizations affirm that “since 2013 there have been observed numerous movements along the southern border which seek to increase its militarization, augment the presence of federal police, and re-enforce customs and biometrical controls. This militarization continues apace today, whether with the Southern Border Program or not, as we see in the constant and violent operations suffered by migrants in Tabasco and the coastal region of Chiapas.”

The organizations which are participating in this initiative include the following: the Migrant Home “la 72” in Tenosique, Tabasco; the San Francisco de Asís Migrant Home in Huixtla, Chiapas; the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas; the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights in Tapachula, Chiapas; and Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación in Comitán de Domínguez, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Instalan mecanismo de observación con visión de derechos humanos ante la militarización de la Frontera Sur (boletín del Observatorio, 19 de agosto de 2014)

Estas son las principales acciones del Programa Frontera Sur para proteger a migrantes (Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2014)

Critican Plan Frontera Sur; ven riesgos para migrantes (El Universal, 26 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Four years after the San Fernando massacre, “La 72” denounces new operations against migrants (26 de agosto de 2014)

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: bulletin from Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights denounces that “counterinsurgency continue to operate in Chiapas”

September 2, 2014

https://sipaz.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/c3adndice1.jpeg?w=450

On 18 August, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced in a bulletin entitled “Counterinsurgency continues to operate in Chiapas” that “in recent months, the unresolved armed internal conflict in Chiapas has been characterized by a continuous aggression against Support-Bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), with the action of some social and regional organizations being used for State purposes, given their years-long disputes regarding tenure of lands recuperated [by the EZLN]. Several of these social organizations have encouraged their leaders to become officials and public servants, thus in many cases contradicting the founding principles of these grounds through submission of their plans for struggle to governmental interests and budgetary priorities. In Chiapas, the comprehensive war of attrition continues against peoples who struggle and resist by means of media tactics that include the utilization of concepts like human rights, multiculturalism, collective rights of indigenous peoples, and so on—all of these empty of meaning.”

The CDHFBC recalled within this recent wave of attacks the events that took place in La Realidad on 2 May 2014, in addition to the more recent cases of the Egipto and El Rosario communities which “confirms the climate of constant aggression and provocation that is exacerbated each time that dialogue is celebrated, as in the conference of the National Indigenous Congress from 4 to 9 August in La Realidad.”

The CDHFBC noted that it has “carried out constant interventions amidst the gravity of the attacks against BAEZLN and the [official] response has been governmental parsimony and unwillingness to act. This attitude of indifference maintains and provokes conflicts that are labeled ‘inter-communal’ as a means of hiding the counter-insurgent aspects. The objective is to exhaust the people who resist, struggle, and transform society through their cultures and rights.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC assured that “we will continue to document the attacks against the Zapatistas, denounce human-rights violations, and accompany the peoples who demand their rights to what pertains to them and who for nefarious reasons seek to plunder. We reiterate our call for national and international solidarity to manifest support for the threatened BAEZLN.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín completo: La contrainsurgencia sigue operando en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Nueva agresión armada contra zapatistas de Ocosingo, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to the La Garrucha caraocol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)

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

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


Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol

September 2, 2014

índiceIn a new Urgent Action published on 15 August, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the persistence of attacks against support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in communities of Ocosingo, as prosecuted by members of the Regional Organization of Coffee-Cultivators of Ocosingo (ORCAO). The events began in “recuperated” lands that are collectively worked in the San Manuel autonomous rebel Zapatista municipality (MAREZ), which pertains to the La Garrucha caracol: on 13 August, nine Zapatista families founded the Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto on said lands, which adjoin the Egipto and El Rosario communities.

The bulletin noted that on 14 August, an armed group of 18 ORCAO members for the Pojcol community (Chilón municipality) surrounded the land and began to shoot into the air for 40 minutes and warning the BAEZLN that they had 6 hours to withdraw definitively. The 9 families (40 persons in total) and the 250 BAEZLN who were supporting them “decided to withdraw to a different place.” After this, the ORCAO members destroyed the houses, robbed store merchandise and cash from the homes, among other crimes.

The bulletin details that on 14 August, the women and children of the El Rosario community who belong to ORCAO abandoned the community, leaving only the men, while witnesses claim that these men were threatening the BAEZLN with immediate displacement. The female and children BAEZLN, for their part, also decided to leave amidst the risk of a possible confrontation. The CDHFBC reported that the threats of the ORCAO against BAEZLN in El Rosario “were intensifying to the point of indicating a possible forcible displacement” in the late hours.

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its “concern for the imminent risk to life, security, and physical integrity to which the BAEZLN” of the El Rosario, Kexil, Egipto, and Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto communities face. The Center held the Chiapas state government responsible “for being absent during the initial denunciations, thus allowing the perpetration of increasingly flagrant violations of human rights.” It called on State and federal authorities to cease the death-threats and attacks that have served as the basis for the displacement of BAEZLN from three communities, in addition to the adoption of measures to protect the life, integrity,a nd security of the BAEZLN from the San Manuel autonomous municipality.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 15 de agosto de 2014)

Denuncia Centro Frayba agresiones contra bases de apoyo zapatistas en Ocosingo (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


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