Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias

June 2, 2014

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

The Movement of Social and Civil Organizations in Chiapas has pronounced itself with respect to the persecution using gunfire and arrest engaged in by agents of the Judicial Police on 15 May targeting professor Gabriel Montoya Oseguera.  The assessor of the communal goods of the Lacandona Community Zone has been charged, among other things, with being the intellectual author of the supposed kidnapping of Julia Carabias.  In its communique, the Movement maintains Montoya’s innocence and indicates that Carabias “for more than 20 years has carried out projects in the Chajul Station located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA).”  It denounces that the supposed kidnapping was “simulated with the objective of manipulating and confusing” within the process of change of authorities in the Lacandon Zone Community.

On 19 May, Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal indigenous individuals began an indefinite roadblock on the international border highway between Palenque and Benemérito de las Américas to demand Montoya’s release.

Montoya was arrested a day before carrying out an assembly to elect the new authorities for the communal goods.  In this assembly, in which particiapted more than 360 of the 1678 communards (Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal), Emilio Bolom Gómez was elected president, being a Tseltal individual from Nueva Palestina.  This was the first time that a non-Lacandon indigenous individual has been elected president.

Beyond this, communards from Metzabok, Nahá, and Lacanjá Chansayab denounce that former presidents of the communal goods Chankin Kimbor and Gabriel Montoya have promoted invasions into the Montes Azules reserve and have manipulated the process of designating new communal authorities.

It should be noted that in the days in which has been denounced the act against Carabias, there was had an agreement between the communal goods of the Lacandona Jungle and the ARIC Union of Independent and Democratic Unions.  This accord would allow progress in the agrarian regularization of the non-Lacandon settlements of Nuevo San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, all of which are located within the Lacandon Community Zone (CZL).

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas bloquean carretera en Chiapas; exigen liberar a Montoya Oseguera (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de Bienes Comunales de Zona Lacandona (19 de mayo de 2014)

Políticas conservacionistas y megaproyectos causan desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento-ARIC-ID-OS-CZL (15 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a Julia Carabias de simular secuestro para reventar asamblea lacandona (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

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


Chiapas: Federal and state governments announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle

June 2, 2014

Población en la Selva Lacandona. Foto (@Sipaz)

Settlement in the Lacandona Jungle. Photo (@Sipaz)

The federal and Chiapas state governments have carried out an announcement expressing the priority need of proceeding with a territorial ordering of the Lacandona Jungle, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA), and protected natural areas: “The government of the Republic and the Chiapas state government express their conviction that it is priority for a TERRITORIAL ORDERING to provide the necessary conditions for the development of the Lacandona community and the neighboring ejidos to improve the quality of life of residents with an eye to the rule of law, privileging the consolidation of protected natural areas and sustainable development in these areas.  In conformity with the stipulations of the General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment (Article 46), which states that ‘in protected natural areas, new population centers cannot be authorized': the existing irregular communities located within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve cannot be regularized, nor can any future settlements so be rationalized in any other part of a natural protected area.  For this reason no process of compensation can be provided, as there are no programs or resources dedicated to this end, nor will there be.”

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, General Secretary of Governance, indicated that the federal and state governments will seek a solution of resettlement for those living in irregular communities within REBIMA.

In 1972, a presidential decision provided 614,000 hectares of the jungle to 66 Lacandon families without taking into account the thousands of other indigenous ethnicities who also resided within this territory and who have since then faced the threat of displacement from their lands.

Recently in April, an agreement was made between the Lacandon Community Zone and ARIC UU-ID (the Rural Association of Collective Interests-Union of Democratic and Independent Unions) which allows for the recognition of three populations located within and around REBIMA; in August 2013, another two were also recognized.  This agreement was the fruit of a dialogue process initiated directly by the two interested parties, and did not count with governmental participation, given the perceived lack of will of the same group to resolve the conflict, as ARIC representatives discussed in a press-conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

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


Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone

May 3, 2014

@Voces Mesoamericanas

@Voces Mesoamericanas

On 23 April, a “historic” agreement was made between the Lacandona Zone Community and the ARIC UU-ID (Rural Association for Collective Interest-Union of Independent and Democratic Unions) that would permit the recognition of three communities located in the Lacandona Zone.  Through this accord, the communities of San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, which are located in the Montes Azules biosphere reserve or on its border, are to be “regularized.”  After 40 years in this process of regularization of their agrarian rights, there are five recognized communities: in August 2013, an initial accord made possible the regularization of San Caralampio and Calvario.  It should be recalled that a presidential resolution from 1976 provided the Lacandones with 614,000 hectares of lands on which were also residing thousands of “settlers” of other ethnicities.  Since that time, they and their descendants have had to live under constant threat of displacement.

This accord is the fruit of a process of dialogue that began directly between both involved parties, without the participation of the government, due to its lack of will in resolving the conflict, as ARIC representatives affirmed in a press-conference held in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerdo histórico reconoce a los poblados de la Zona Lacandona (Voces MesoAmericanas, 29 de abril de 2014)

Lacandones legitiman permanencia de poblados en la Selva (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Proyectan regularizar poblados (Cuarto Poder, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Regularizan 3 poblados de ARIC-ID en Chiapas (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

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: Residents of the Lacandona Jungle on alert in light of advancing delimitation work

March 16, 2014

Selva Lacandona (@Koman Ilel)

Lacandona Jungle (@Koman Ilel)

Residents of the Lacandona Jungle from the communities of Benito Juárez, Galilea, Pichucalco, Amador Hernández, Plan de Guadalupe, Guanal, Ranchería Aurora, and Rancho Alegre have suspended the work of the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) to delimit territory in their region.  They denounced that this action seeks to steal the land, a situation “which generated an alert in the communities in the region.”

Media reported that the “SEDATU requires the delimitation of this land so as to finally legalize the polygon of more than 520,000 hectares for the Lacandona community zone.  This would imply suspending the rights of a dozen communities that have found themselves in the region since before the presidential decree of 1972.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pobladores de la Selva Lacandona denuncian que el gobierno les pretende arrebatar su tierra (Proceso, 11 de marzo de 2014)

Denuncian que el gobierno pretende arrebatarles sus tierras (Diario Contra Poder en Chiapas, 11 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

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: Road-blocks and denunciations of relocated community of Nuevo Montes Azules

March 25, 2011

On 21 March, residents of the new population center “Montes Azules,” municipality of Palenque, carried out a road-block on the federal highway that goes from Benemérito de las Américas to Palenque to demand that their rights be respected and that the commitments made by the state government during the community’s relocation in 2005 be observed.

As noted by the civil organization Enlace, Capacitación y Comunicación in a call to support the struggle of the community: “On 4 February 2005, seven communities that were located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA) of the Lacandon Jungle were relocated to a location in the municipality of Palenque. The communities accepted the relocation on the condition that, during the negotiation-process, the federal and state governments promised them that the lands to which they would be moved would be in a perfect state, that they would be regularized, that the houses were well-made, that electricity would be subsidized, that they would have quality educational and health services, potable water, as well as a modern system of drainage and treatement of waste. They were offered a dream, but they were given a nightmare. During the relocation to the new center of population, the persons left under the threat that if they returned to the jungle they would be incarcerated. Those who decided to stay were removed forcibly.”

The demands of the community Nuevo Montes Azules include being attended by the three levels of government to assure its deed to the land on which it finds itself, something that has yet to be done, in addition to the “immediate cessation of the threats on the part of the Federal Commission of Electricity to suspend services to the population,” a controlled price for the community, and the cancellation of accumulated debts, together with the construction of the classrooms for the high school and of a clinic and pharmacy. The community has denounced in particular that “in the three months of this year 48 persons have come down with malaria, and people have died. The majority of the sick have to buy our medicine. When Agrarian Reform brought us here it promised us a clinic and a permanent doctor. These promises were false. We are 117 families who are affected. We ask the National Commission on Human Rights to intervene soon, and we request that the three levels of government engage in a dialogue with officials, given that the functionaries have not exhibited the capacity to solve these problems during the past seven years.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento público de las y los reubicad@s de Nuevo Montes Azules (21 March)

Llamamiento al apoyo en la lucha del poblado de reubicados Nuevo Montes Azules-1 (Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, 21 March)

Bloquean vía; piden acuerdos (Cuarto Poder, 22 March)

 

 

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

 

 

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

Chiapas: Montes Azules Social Forum (17 March 2010)

Chiapas: Montes Azules evictions jeopardize peace in Chiapas (9 February 2010)

Chiapas: New evictions in Montes Azules (3 February 2010)


Chiapas: La Realidad JBG claims more evictions to come in Zapatista territories

May 5, 2010

The Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) “Towards Hope,” located in the jungle border zone of Chiapas, of the caracol La Realidad denounced in an April 30 communiqué that “Calderón is planning new evictions in Zapatista communities, thus opening a breach that would enclose the Montes Azules biosphere; these are the plans of the three types of bad government: municipal, state, and federal.” The JBG added, “We love the Earth; we work it, care for it, and defend it.  For these reasons, we are ready to defend it all costs.”

In an article in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, Hermann Belinghausen referred to the context referred to by the JBG communiqué, explaining: “On April 28th, the state delegate of the Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa), Ricardo Alonso Frías, announced that an ‘inter-institutional commission’ was working with ‘seven settlements to achieve their relocation, through dialogue–to leave the Lacandon Jungle Community and the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.”  Profepa told the press-agency Notimex that these villages “constitute less than 3000 hectares and are made up of the settlements Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal, San Gregorio, Nuevo Limar, Agua Dulce, Ojo de Agua La Pimienta and Nuevo Villaflores.”  “Among other offers or proposals” was mentioned a “counter-offer–namely, the granting of financial assistance for their departure from the site.”

In their communique, the JBG states that “for us, the land is for s/he who works it; therefore, this JBG publicly condemns the events that are taking place.  In light of this situation, we announce that, as the EZLN, we will not allow a single other eviction; we will not tolerate these actions, much less stop.  We will defend our land whatever happens because for us, the land is not for rent, let alone to be made an object of sale.”

Evictions involving both police and military units took place earlier this year, in January. During the forced evictions of the communities of Laguna El Suspiro (also known as El Semental) y Laguna San Pedro (known as San Pedro Guanil), both located in the municipality of Ocosingo, several violations of basic rights were committed against the children, women and men who have occupied this area since ancient times.

For more information:

La Realidad JBG communiqué

It is claimed that more evictions will take place in Zapatista areas (La Jornada 3 de mayo)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas:  New evictions in Montes Azules (3 February 2010)


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