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

December 6, 2014

DSC03801

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: 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: new communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.”  Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth.  These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.”  They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs.  All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.”  They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.”  To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighboring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.”  They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo Comunicado en rechazo de los megaproyectos en territorios de pueblos originarios y de la guerra contra el Pueblo Palestino (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de julio 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: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice

May 2, 2014

Retorno de desplazados en Colonia Puebla (@SIPAZ)

Return of the displaced to Puebla Colony (@SIPAZ)

On 22 April, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society challenged the Mexican justice system by calling into question the responsibility of the two persons arrested in the Puebla Colony on the charge of burning the home of one of the ejidal members who were at that time displaced in Acteal.  Referring to the case of the three prisoners who were recently released, they affirmed that “we think that the government is acting in the same way as with the three persons from Simojovel […].  The three were accused of fabricated charges and were tortured as though they weren’t human […].  They were unjustly punished.  Would this be because as indigenous persons they discriminate against us and insult us with all these cruel and inhuman acts, treating as though we were not human.”  They remarked that “indeed, they have not arrested those who kidnapped Father Manuel Pérez Gómez” in Puebla in August of last year.  They asked, “Would this be because this is the custom of the government, to arrest rapidly those who are innocent and do nothing to those who are in fact culpable?”

With regard to the return of the displaced from the Puebla Ejido on 14 April, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that “this was a return without justice, a return lacking the security conditions so that they could return to their homes; this return does not imply that the problem has now been resolved.  It is only because it was very difficult to live in camps that our brothers decided to return.  These 17 families now returned have experienced displacement twice,” previously in 1997.  The Las Abejas indicated that in this sense, the Secretary General of Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, warned that, if problems continued, “what will follow will not be dialogue but instead application of the law.”  The spokesperson added that Las Abejas would not accept “this climate of injustice” and would continue denouncing and seeking “true Justice and Peace.”  The Society requested that the ejidal commissioner of the Puebla ejido “build peace and unity among all members of the community without regard to religion or political organization, because we are all children of God.  Those who recognize God’s word should not be violent with their brothers or make false accusations; they should instead love all and respect their human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

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

Abejas de Acteal denuncia prefabricación de “culpables” en el caso de agresiones contra desplazados (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

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 : “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)


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