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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