Chiapas: Governor announces new General Secretary of Governance

July 20, 2013

Velasco Coello y Ramírez Aguilar @ Twitter

On 3 July, the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced that Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar would be his new General Secretary of Governance. Ramírez Aguilar will replace Noé Castañón León in this charge, who had served in this role during the majority of the tenure of the previous governor, Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012). Eduardo Ramírez, member of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), was the mayor of Comitán de Domínguez from 2008-2010, and during the past elections of 1 July 2012 was elected as a federal deputy of this party.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Designa gobernador de Chiapas a Eduardo Ramírez como secretario general de gobierno (03/07/2013)

Proceso: Velasco Coello releva a secretario de gobierno sabinista (03/07/2013)

Chiapas: death-threats directed against lawyer who presented demands against the cabinet of former governor Juan Sabines

April 15, 2013

Horacio Culebro Borrayas (@Escrutinio Público)

The lawyer Horacio Culebro Borrayas, who on 3 April opened a legal demand before the PGR against former governor Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012) and 50 members of his cabinet, denounced that he had been the victim of anonymous phone-calls threatening him with death.  He called for a citizens’ mobilization on 12 April, toward the end of demanding the application of justice to Sabines Guerrero, and to all those implied in what he calls the “robbery of the century,” with its seizures of assets.

Culebro Borrayas has submitted before the Special Prosecutorial Office of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City a complaint involving at least 20 crimes, including delinquent association, organized crime, illicit enrichment, torture and kidnapping, crimes against dignity of persons, and procedural fraud.  Public servants and their coalitions are among those accused.

Culebro Borrayas says that “Sabines Guerrero, his former collaborators, and former local deputies must explain what happened, and why there is no money, when there is this crisis, poverty, and marginalization.  Someone must say where these state resources are, and they must be returned; the people must not remain silent, but must rather demand justice.  It is said that public and private debt is on the order of 40 billion pesos.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Insisten en que PGR investigue a Juan Sabines (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 11 de abril de 2013)

Amenazan de muerte a abogado que denunció a Sabines (Proceso, 8 de abril de 2013)

PGR acepta querella contra ex gobernador Juan Sabines (El Universal, 7 de abril de 2013)

Demandarán a ex gabinete de Juan Sabines (Milenio, 31 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Youth criticizes governor for indebting Chiapas in Comitán ceremony (15 October 2012)

Chiapas: accession of Manuel Velasco Coello to governorship

December 21, 2012

Manuel Velasco Coello (

On 8 December, Manuel Velasco Coello became governor of Chiapas, for the coming six-year term from 2012 to 2018.  Velasco Coello, 32 years old and the grandson of the former governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Suárez, won the gubernatorial elections last July with a large margin, representing the coalition made by the Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and the New Alliance Party (PANAL).  At the inaugural event were present, among others, 18 governors, both elected and current, the head of Governance in Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, the representative of President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Rosario Robles Berlanga, secretary for Social Development.  Coello’s immediate predecessor, Juan Sabines Guerrero, was not in attendance.

Velasco Coello announced that he would initiate “a profound administrative reform that will allow us a more efficient government, which can do more with less.”  He detailed that he will present a state plan of austerity, reducing wages and governmental expenses at the primary level, including for his own salary, which will be reduced by half.

Although he still has not announced the members of his cabinet, he reiterated his proposal regarding the establishment of a government of a citizens’ coalition, plural and inclusive, that count with the participation of all party affiliations and ideologies.  His press representative had previously expressed that “the heads of the institutions remain in charge until [the governor] names replacements.”It should be recalled that despite the brief nature of his speech, Velasco Coello mentioned the political and cultural contributions  made by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and its Good-Government Councils, affirming that “On my part there will be a great disposition to establish the proper communication toward the end of strengthening the peace, happiness, and development of the people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Presentará Manuel Velasco plan de austeridad en Chiapas (El Universal, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Saluda Manuel Velasco al EZLN y Juntas de Buen Gobierno al asumir como mandatario (La Jornada, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Asume Velasco Coello en Chiapas; dice que se bajará el sueldo (Proceso, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Rinde protesta Manuel Velasco como gobernador de Chiapas (Milenio, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: elections in Chiapas; PRI-Green alliance wins (10 July 2012)

Chiapas: 6 years after the Viejo Velsaco massacre, yet “another six-year term of impunity” (CDHFBC)

November 16, 2012

On 13 December 2012, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) lamented that six years following the Viejo Velasco massacre, “the coherence of the government has a constant named impunity.”  In a press-bulletin, the CDHFBC recalled that on 13 November 2006, a group of 40 persons from the Nueva Palestina community who were accompanied by 300 Sectorial police invaded Viejo Velasco (Ocosingo municipality), which is located on the border of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.  The operation left six people dead and two disappeared; it forcibly displaced 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children who survived the attack.  The CDHFBC stressed that the forced displacement of these 36 persons has continued to date, denouncing that they have been “criminalized, given that they [face] arrest-orders” and find themselves in a juridical limbo.  Beyond that, the Center reports that two other persons continue to be disappeared.

In its communique, the CDHFBC indicated that as regards events such as the Viejo Velasco massacre, “the six-year term of the government that will end its term in a few days was nothing more than one of makeup and illusion; the governor of the state, Juan Jose Sabines Guerrero, indebted the state in exchange for selling the image that some governmental organizations have perpetuated regarding his ‘support of human rights,’ when the grave rights-violations which have occurred have been marked by the constant of impunity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa completo del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 13 de noviembre de 2012)

Persiste el gobierno en inhibir movimientos de resistencia entre comunidades indígenas (La Jornada, 14 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

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

Chiapas: Viejo Velasco, a year after the unjust detention of Diego Arcos Meneses (24 November 2007)

Chiapas: Youth criticizes governor for indebting Chiapas in Comitán ceremony

October 15, 2012

Ceremony to declare Comitán a “Magical Town” (@municipal government of Comitán)

On 9 October, there was held a public event in Comitán de Dominguez with the presence of present governor Juan Sabines Guerrero and his successor Manuel Velasco to declare the city a “Magical Town.”  Juan José Vázquez, a youth identified as a member of #IAm132-Comitánwas present at the event, holding a banner expressing “Sabines you leave and you leave Chiapas impoverished: 40 million in debt; Chiapas first place in national debt.”  According to media sources, Sabines confronted him and expressed to him: “That is a lie, my friend; do not believe that; it is an invention of the media.”  Subsequently arrived the personal guards of the governor, who asked the youth to put down the banner.  They forced him to remove himself from the space where he had set himself up, and they escorted him toward this end.  In the end, he was allowed to return home, and nothing more occurred.

After the actions, social organizations, political parties, and committees of #IAm132 and Youth from the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) in Chiapas called on local and federal authorities to guarantee the security and physical integrity of the youth.

It should be mentioned that on 2 October, the local Congress approved a new credit line of 3.870 billion pesos.  In the words of the state government itself, with this the public debt ascends to 17 billion pesos, although according to reports by the Secretary for Housing and Public Credit (SCHP) and journalistic information, the state debt will be slightly more than 20.3 billion pesos.

For more information (in Spanish):

Miembro de #YoSoy132 reclama a Sabines por sobreendeudar a Chiapas (Proceso, 9 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapa de Corzo y Comitán, nuevos Pueblos Mágicos (El Universal, 10 de octubre de 2012)

Exigen garantías para joven que protestó por megadeuda de Chiapas (Proceso, 10 de octubre de 2012)

Gobernador dejará a Chiapas hundido en mega deuda de 20 MMDP (Proceso, 3 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its municipality

October 12, 2012

On 3 October, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué in which it denounces the reactivation of paramilitary groups in the Chenalhó municipality, where it has its principal presence, as well as in the northern zone of the state of Chiapas.  The group affirms that the massive ex-carcelation of prisoners held for the Acteal massacre (22 December 1997) which began in August 2009 and continues with the release of Manuel Sántiz Pérez just this September 25 “has favored greatly the regrouping of these organizations, and now they have joined forces with those who were not judged: they carry firearms on the highways and in the mountains, as well as on the path to milpas and coffee-farms.”  The Civil Society also reports that a month ago an indigenous Zapatista supporter was shot in the Yabteclum community, a happening that “reveals the paramilitary actions and the presence of said armed groups.”

The Civil Society affirmed also that “the governmental transition of Enrique Peña Nieto has unleashed a series of violent acts.  This is a strategy of threat that is exercised to arrest the social protests that denounce his imposition, though they be not just against EPN but also against social organizations that denounce injustices and human-rights violations as committed and supported by governments.  These actions are implemented within a logic of counterinsurgency that has among other ends the creation of divisions and internal conflicts within communities and organizations, even including forced displacement.  [The tendency is this way so that] this government administer these actions for its own ends, as has been done by the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero with the organizations in the northern zone of Chiapas (Tila, San Sebastián Bachajón), and other autonomous regions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Reactivación del grupo paramilitar “Máscara Roja” en Chenalhó (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 3 de octubre de 2012)

Denuncia Las Abejas la reactivación de grupos paramilitares en Chenalhó (La Jornada, 5 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: Postponement of the SCJN’s decision on the Patishtán case (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case (19 September 2012)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: meeting among governors in Governance regarding Chimalapas case

May 18, 2012

(@Chiapas state-government)

On 8 May, the governors of Chiapas (Juan Sabines Guerrero) and of Oaxaca (Gabino Cué Monteagudo) met with the Subsecretary of Government from the Ministry for Governance, Obdulio Ávila Mayo, to discuss the situation that prevails in the area between both sides.  It should be remembered that this conflict flared up once again on 2 April when the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) decided to deny the motions submitted by the state of Oaxaca and the municipalities of Santa María and San Miguel Chimalapas regarding the creation of a new municipality in Chiapas, Belisario Domínguez, in the Chimalapas region.

The Subsecretary of Government invited governors to find an amicable solution to the problem, suggesting that, if they failed to come to an agreement, they could appeal to the SCJN to resolve the issue definitively once the appropriate constitutional reforms are passed.

The governors accepted the proposal and soon will discuss the conditions to install a work table to analyze the case

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca, Chiapas y Segob acuerdan “salida amistosa” a conflicto de Chimalapas (Milenio, 8 de mayo de 2012)

Se reúne Juan Sabines y Gabino Cué en Secretaría de Gobernación(Boletín de prensa del gobierno del estado de Chiapas, 8 de Mayo de 2012 )

Los chimalapas no están en negociación: Oaxaca (El Universal, 6 de mayo)

Por la vía legal y el diálogo se defiende el territorio Chimalapa: Gabino Cué (Boletín de prensa del gobierno del estado de Oaxaca, 5 de mayo de 2012)

Pese a revés, gobernador de Oaxaca seguirá con lucha legal por bosque (Milenio, 3 de mayo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Chiapas: new denunciation by prisoners Solidarios de la Voz del Amate

January 6, 2012


On 23 December, prisoners associated with the organization Solidarios de la Voz del Amate being held in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas prison published a new denunciation affirming that “In all of Mexico and other countries in which men and women and their families are celebrating convivially and happily these days 24 and 25 December, giving and receiving love and warmth and the embrace of the father of the family, but due to the regime of the bad system that we live we are separated from our families due to unjust imprisonment and the fabrication of crimes that has caused us much suffering.  An example of this is that on Christmas in place of celebrating in harmony with our wives and children we pass this day only with sadness, a sadness that has become courage.”

They call on governor Juan Sabines Guerrero “to intervene to grant us the unconditional liberty that we deserve; we also request from the federal government the release of political prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez who finds himself held in Prison No. 8 in Guasave, Sinaloa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Audio y Comunicado de los presos Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (Radio Pozol, 23 December 2011)

Reclusos demandan libertad incondicional (Cuarto Poder, 26 December)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: End of hunger strike (14 November 2011)

Chiapas: Two more prisoners join the hunger strike; concentration of family-members at sit-in (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (26 October 2011)

Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)

Chiapas: Public day for Fasting and Prayer for Peace in the San Cristóbal prison (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: “Day of Fasting and Prayer for Memory, Resistance, and Life,” 14 years after the Acteal massacre

January 6, 2012


14 years after the massacre in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, in which died 16 children, 20 women (4 of them pregnant), and 9 men, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities to commemorate these acts and continue to denounce not only the impunity that continues to prevail in the case but also the violent situation lived in Chiapas and throughout the country.

After holding a two-day pilgrimage with flowers and religious imagery from San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Acteal, there was had a ceremony in this community in the presence of more than a thousand persons from the area, in addition to that of members of national and international organizations.Raúl Vera (@SIPAZ)

Mariano Peréz Vázquez, president of the directive table of Las Abejas, denounced that “14 years after Acteal, we see that the government of Felipe Calderón and Juan Sabines Guerrero has not done justice but rather has ridiculed our organization and our struggle.  The federal and state governments in no way want justice, liberty, peace.  Not only do they not want justice, but they also are continuing with the policies of previous governments, and even worse.”

After the reading of this communiqué, Las Abejas awarded a command baton to Bishop Vera López, bishop of Saltillo and president of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights in Chiapas, in gratitude for his support and accompaniment.  In another communiqué they noted that “Totik Raúl, your mission here in this world we do not regard as nothing more than being a simple servant of the church; you go much farther than that.  A true servant has no limits; he thinks, walks, and struggles.  You, Totik Raúl, do not know how to silence yourself in light of injustice, above all now when our country is bleeding and impunity reigns.”

Raúl Vera acknowledged the recognition and reviewed the history of the massacre to date.  He recalled that 14 years ago, victims of low-intensity warfare used in a counterinsurgent strategy against the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) were killed.  He affirmed that to date the intellectual authors of this war have not been judged, and several material authors have succeeded in being released due to the intervention of the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation (SCJN).  He added that “today as yesterday the police are complicit with those who commit crimes, murders, kidnappings, and forced disappearances.”  And now as before, “the criminals also have allies within the three levels of government; if this were not so, they would not have 98% impunity in the crimes they have committed.”  He also expressed that “in light of the panorama that we live in the country, one of an open war declared by the president, in which the principal victims come from the Mexican people, like here in Chiapas, justice does not matter.  In this so-called war against organized crime the Army is once again utilized, and it continues to violate human rights and carry out extrajudicial executions.  Its crimes too continue in impunity.”

On this 22 December, members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity also protested in front of the representation of the government of Chiapas in Mexico City to demand justice for the 45 killed in Acteal.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ni Calderón ni Sabines quieren hacer justicia por la masacre en Acteal, señala Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 December 2011)

Indígenas mantienen reclamo de justicia en Acteal (El Universal, 23 December 2011)

Acteal recuerda a sus muertos con misa (El Universal, 22 December 2011)

Prevalece impunidad a 14 años de la matanza de Acteal (Proceso, 22 December 2011)

‘Nunca más, Acteal’, pide Movimiento por la Paz (El Universal, 22 December 2011)

Comunicado de las Abejas de Acteal 22 de diciembre de 2011(Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 December 2011)

Comunicado en el marco del Reconocimiento de las Abejas de Acteal a Totik Raúl Vera (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 December 2011)


Boletín: La Memoria como construcción de dignidad e identidad (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New denunciation by Las Abejas (28 October 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal distance themselves from demand against ex-president Zedillo (27 September 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican ex-president Zedillo is denounced in US court for the Acteal massacre (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Day of Action for Justice and Truth of Las Abejas of Acteal (19 August)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre

November 26, 2011


On 13 November, 5 years passed since the Viejo Velasco massacre, which left four dead and four disappeared.  Viejo Velasco is located in the municipality of Ocosingo, close to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle.  The case has continued to date unpunished.

In these terms, there was held a pilgrimage in the city of Palenque to remember the event and commemorate the dead and disappeared and to demand justice and the avoidance of the repetition of the 2006 acts.  Civil organizations pronounced themselves in this respect, stressing “five years have passed since the Viejo Velasco massacre and the State continues to be negligent, investigations have not been effective in clarifying the events, let alone the precise location of those responsible for the event, beyond obstructing the work and process of the search for truth carried out by independent human rights organizations together with relatives who survived the massacre, working so that the crime does not go on unpunished.  For this situation has been  organized this march by communities and organizations, so as to remember the victims and demand justice.  In contrast, Juan José Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state, continues with his empty talk of promoting both internally and externally his image as a promoter and defender of human rights, signing commitments with international institutions, when in fact he systematically violates human rights, in favor of interests that do not respond to a model of life for the peoples who have resided in their territories since ancestral times.  This is a patent situation of impunity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa conjunto OSC (13 November 2011)

For more information (in Spanish):

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: Viejo Velasco, a year after the unjust detention of Diego Arcos Meneses (24 November 2007)


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