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