Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle

June 10, 2014

 

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

On May 27, fourteen civil organizations that work in Chiapas, either members of the Peace Network or allies, expressed their concern amidst the growing tension and social conflict that prevail in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Biosphere: “We are concerned that, in response to the public dissatisfaction manifested at this time by the CZL [Lacandon Community Zone] and ARIC ID [Rural Association of Collective Interest-Independent and Democratic], governmental actions may use strategies that violate the rights of peoples, such as the implementation of forced evictions of families and communities (like the ones that occurred between 2003 and 2012), or the arrest of local authorities and leaders of this movement.” Therefore, they urged the state and federal government to look for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules and the other six natural protected areas that exist in the Lacandon Jungle.

For almost a week, around 1,500 indigenous people have been organizing demonstrations to demand the release of the Lacandon community advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oseguera (arrested last May 14); the regularization of three villages (Rancheria Corozal, Salvador Allende and San Gregorio); and the expulsion of the environmental researcher Julia Carabias from the reserve where she currently works. Besides intermittent roadblocks, they have closed public buildings such as the city hall, courts, and the prosecutor offices in the city of Ocosingo.

The presence of environmentalists in the Lacandon jungle has continued to generate conflict. Last April, the researcher Julia Carabias was held for 48 hours. On 26 May, two members of the environmental and cultural organization Na-Bolom, Beatriz Mijangos Zenteno and Enrique Roldan Páez, were also detained and released after 22 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Red por la Paz en Chiapas denuncia clima de violencia y conflicto en Selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz y organizaciones hermanas (27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen indígenas se regularicen asentamientos en la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen libertad de líder tzeltal (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014)

Toman indígenas oficinas de gobierno y exigen la expulsión de Carabias de la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Campesinos protestan en Ocosingo, Chiapas (El Universal, 22 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias (June 2, 2014)

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre

December 7, 2013

índice

Lacandona Jungle, photo @ http://www.nadir.org

On 13 November, several civil organizations released communiques commemorating the 2006 massacre in the Viejo Velasco community in the Lacandona Jungle, which resulted in the death of seven persons, two disappearances, and 36 displaced.  The organizations emphasized that the crimes remain unpunished to date.  The civil organization People’s Wood, for example, mentioned that “Seven years since the Viejo Velasco massacre [...] the Mexican State still has not clarified the events nor punished those intellectually and materially responsible for the brutal attack on the Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Ch’ol indigenous community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, Chiapas, which was perpetrated by a group of approximately 40 individuals from the neighboring community of New Palestine who were accompanied and supported by 300 units from the Chiapas Sector Police.”  The communique adds that “It should be noted that this bloody event took place within the context of intense struggle and resistance for the right to land and the management of the natural resources of the indigenous communities settled within the heart of the Lacandona Jungle.  This resistance confronted an aggressive policy of territorial displacement, social looting, and privatization of nature on the part of the Mexican State, as exercised over more than 40 communities located within the limits of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, one of the regions with the greatest biodiversity, water, forest cover, and scenic and touristic attractiveness in our country.”

The communique from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) notes that “seven years after these events [...] 36 persons [...] continue to be forcibly displaced [...and] Mariano Pérez Guzmán and Juan Antonio Peñate López continue to be disappeared, and police investigations have stagnated.  At the same time, state authorities in Chiapas still have yet to arrest those responsible for this paramilitary action.  The undersigned organizations [including the Committee for teh Defense of Indigenous Freedoms {CDLI}, Xi'nich, the Center for Indigenous Rights A.C. {Cediac}, Communal Health and Development A.C. {SADEC}, and Services and Assessment for peace, A.C. {SERAPAZ}] indicate that such crimes against humanity should never remain unpunished.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 7 años de la masacre de Viejo Velasco (Madres del Pueblos, 13 de noviembre de 2013)

Comunicado Frayba – Viejo Velasco (13 de noviembre de 2013)

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 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)


Chiapas: civil organizations criticize the programs of compensation for carbon emissions

September 28, 2012

@Santiago Armengod

From 25 to 28 September there will be held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas a meeting of governments from six countries to negotiate the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation program (REDD+).

In parallel terms, several civil organizations will hold event, workshops, and forums to raise consciousness and express criticism of this program.  In a press conference on 24 September, Jeff Conant (U.S.) from Friends of the Earth said that “the compensations do not work to reduce emissions.  Instead, the REDD programs in general seem to serve large economic interests without addressing the root of the problem of climate change and the supposed protection of forests, if it is implemented without consideration for the rights and perspectives of the indigenous peoples, causing conflict, looting, and even violence.”

The representative of the communities settled in the region of Amador Hernández, in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, expressed his rejection of the program as implemented by the Chiapas state-government for the past two years in the zone: “Speaking of climate change, for us it is clear that the principally responsible parties are capitalist firms and their governments, such as those led by President Felipe Calderón and governor Juan Sabines Guerrero, who have made agreements with rich countries so that their greenhouse-gas emissions be mitigated in the forests of our peoples.”

The organizations of Reddeldia (comprised of a hundred local, national, and international organizations) concluded for their part that the mechanism “promotes urbanization,” is “antidemocratic,” a “robbery of the nation,” and a “climatic imposition that seeks to transnationalize the biodiversity of the Mexico’s tropical rainforests.”  Creating bases for speculation in carbon trading, this approach impacts the land “with new privatization regimes,” they noted.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidades rechazan el programa REDD, Cuarto Poder, 25 de septiembre de 2012

Confrontarán especialistas y comunidades de América políticas ambientales oficialistas, La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2012

Greenpeace cuestiona REDD, Cuarto Poder 24 de septiembre de 2012

Declaración”Chiapas en Reddeldia”, ¡Basta Reddplus y de economía verde!, 24 de septiembre de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

México: Disadvantages for native peoples in REDD+ mechanism (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: Forest programs threaten indigenous peoples (2 June 2011)

México: COP-16 in Cancún (27 December 2010)


Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules

June 25, 2012

Photo @SIPAZ

On 21 June, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, there was held a press-conference regarding the conclusions of a Civil Mission of Observation and Solidarity organized by the Rural Association of Collective Interest-Union of Independent and Democratic Unions (ARIC UU ID), which visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal, and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas, in May.  In solidarity with the communities threatened with possible displacement on the part of the Mexican State using the argument that they are degrading the environment, the Mission documented the commitment of local residents to care for the land and the environment, in addition to numerous human-rights violations.  The member-organizations of the Mission, among others, included the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, Services and Assessments for Peace (SERAPAZ), Economic and Social Development for Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI), the International Service for Peace, and Maderasdel Pueblo del Sureste, which all demand that the three settlements which have existed for more than 30 years be afforded regular status.

For more information (in  Spanish):

Informe Misión de Observación Montes Azules

Realizan una misión civil de observación (Cuarto Poder, 22 de junio)

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


Chiapas: Invitation to a press-conference regarding an Observation Mission in Montes Azules

June 25, 2012

Members of the Mission interviewing residents of the community Rancherá Corozal. Photo @Misión Civil de Observación y Solidaridad

On Thursday 21 June at 11am, there will be held a press-conference regarding the conclusions of a Civil Mission of Observation and Solidarity, organized by the Rural Association of Collective Interest Union of Independent and Democratic Unions (ARIC UU ID), which has visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal, and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas.  In solidarity with the communities threatened with possible displacement on the part of the Mexican State using the argument that they are degrading the environment, the Mission documented the commitment of local residents to care for the land and the environment, in addition to numerous human-rights violations.  The press-conference will take place at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, Calle Brasil 14, Barrio Mexicanos, San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

For more inforrmation (in Spanish):

Invitación Informe Mision Civil Montes Azules

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (11 de mayo de 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Mission for Observation to communities threatened with displacement from the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve

May 18, 2012

La Misión Civil de Obersación en Salvador Allende Foto @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)

The Civil Mission for Observation in Salvador Allende, Photo @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)

From 29 April to 4 May there was held a Civil Mission of Observation and Solidarity organized by the Rural Association for Collective Interests (ARIC UU ID) which visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal, and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (RIBMA).   These communities are threatened with possible eviction, despite having possessed their lands for more than 3 decades, on the charges that they are deteriorating the environment and so no longer have the right to their land.

The objectives of the Mission were to document the commitment of the three communities to caring for the land and the environment, the possible human-rights violations against these peoples before the conflict, and to express solidarity from civil society as well as to reject the prospect of their displacement.

Montes Azules @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)

Montes Azules @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)

On 9 May, members of the mission announced that they would compile a report detailing the visit, revealing that “We could expect that the drive to unjustly deprive them of their livelihoods by forcibly displacing them on ‘ecological’ grounds would violate their most basic rights to life, land, territory, conservation of communal natural resources, and their human rights in general.”

They affirmed that “As national and international observers, we observe with alarm and indignation that environmental pretexts are used to cover up the reality of so-called ‘green business’ so as to approve a new action of looting against indigenous peoples in Chiapas.  It is for this reason that we will maintain ourselves attentive to whatever intent there may be of forced relocation or violent displacement against these communities.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento conjunto de los integrantes de la Misión Civil de Observación a la RIBMA (9 de mayo de 2012)

Inicia recorrido a poblados  amenazados en Montes Azules (Expreso de Chiapas, 29 de abril de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 de marzo de 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


Chiapas: Displacement from Montes Azules is clarified, and a Civil Mission of Observation is called for

April 13, 2012

Map @ Solidaridad con México

Francisco Javier Jiménez González, regional director for the Southern Border, Isthmus, and Pacific South of the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), has denied that his office has been promoting the displacement of three communities settled within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (RIBMA) since 12 March of this year, as the Rural Association for Collective Interest of Independent and Democratic Unions (ARIC UU ID) has denounced.

“That option never existed, nor was it ever spoken of.  There is a table of negotiations that we are organizing; there is now an impasse, reason for which we said that they could not remain there but that is due to norms, because the legislation is clear,” affirmed Jiménez González in interview.

In 2011, ARIC UU ID together with representatives from the three communities and those of the communal lands of the Lacandon Zone came to an agreement to request that the three communities be regularized.  Regardless, on 28 February, after a prolonged period of dialogue with governmental authorities, there was released the decision that found the regularization of the communities not to be possible, with the argument that this would conflict with the end of conserving the natural ecology of the biosphere.

In this way, ARIC UU ID made an invitation for a Civil Mission of Observation for 29 April to 4 May in the three communities in question which have been settled now for more than 3 decades, given that they affirm that they have been living together and respecting nature by means of using agroecological practices.  “The three communities manifest their rejection to the idea of relocation and compensation offered by the government, since the land is the basis of their lives and autonomy.  A forced displacement would violent their rights to the land, territory, and their human rights,” noted ARIC in a communiqué.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rechazan autoridades ultimátum a poblaciones de Montes Azules (La Jornada de Jalisco, 24 de marzo de 2012)

Observación para la “zona en conflicto” (Cuarto Poder, 4 de abril de 2012)

Reserva (Cuarto Poder, 4 de abril de 2012)

Montes Azules-MISIÓN DE OBSERVACIÓN Y SOLIDARIDAD‏ (Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, 31 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 de marzo de 2012)

Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)

Chiapas: a large hotel complex to begin to be constructed in Montes Azules (Laguna Miramar) (1 July 2011)

Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories (5 May 2010)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers