Chiapas: Resurgence of conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in Mitzitón

July 7, 2014
Tala de árboles en los Altos de Chiapas(@cgt)

Photo @ CGT Chiapas

On 29 June, inhabitants of the community of Mitzitón, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle announced that the community assembly of this town has taken “the decision to act against the criminals who operate in Mitzitón and who will be subjected to the sanctions agreed by our assembly, which are that from this moment they lose any land or community rights and therefore they should leave our area immediately.”

They explained: “Our community is divided by external economic interests, which have been harming our forests through the excessive logging of pine trees. And even though we have filed many complaints with the General Prosecutor of Justice of the state, they have not arrested anyone for the crime.”

After a community trial, eight people were detained.  Inhabitants of Mitzitón destroyed and burned about 25 homes of evangelicals belonging to a group that is known as “The Shrimps,” who they identify as logging trees illegally. Afterwards, the group whose houses were destroyed blocked the road from San Cristóbal to Comitán to seek the intervention of the authorities.

On June 30, the police unblocked this road, displacing nearly 100 indigenous evangelicals who were demanding the release of their arrested compañeros, after the Catholics handed them over to the State Police.

It should be remembered that since October 2013, the authorities in Mitzitón who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle have not recognised the land rights of 23 families allegedly engaged in illegal logging.

The evangelical pastor Esdras Alonso González, leader of the grouping Wings of the Eagle, said in an interview with La Jornada that the families whose homes were destroyed have received more than three million pesos from the previous government since 2011 to relocate to another location, but their leaders “kept the money.”

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General of Justice of the State reported that it “issued an arrest warrant against seven” people from Mitzitón accused of kidnapping, for events that occurred on September 11, 2013 in the same area. One of the detainees was released.

For more information (In Spanish):

Denuncia del pueblo de Mitzitón, Chiapas (Enlace zapatista, 29 de junio de 2014)

Católicos retienen a 8 evangélicos en Mitzitón, Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de junio de 2014)

Desbloquean la carretera Panamericana, tomada por indígenas evangélicos de Chiapas (Proceso, 30 de junio de 2014)

Acusa pastor a líderes evangélicos de quedarse con el dinero para la reubicación de 25 familias (la Jornada, 1ero de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (In English):

Chiapas: people of Mitzitón recognize errors and name new authorities (April 3, 2012)

Chiapas: 2 prisoners who carried out hunger strike in Chiapas are released (November 26, 2011)

Chiapas: Death-threats and aggression in Mitzitón (May 31, 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (February 10, 2011)

Chiapas: violence continues in Mitzitón (October 25, 2010)


Chiapas: Week for Global Action, “Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle of Bachajón Continues!”

June 7, 2013

580177_115880828582293_318572180_nIn a 28 May press conference in Mexico City, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced that “in our community the official ejidal authorities are manipulated by the government so as to facilitate the looting of our lands,” and “they have signed documents handing over our lands to the government, without the authorization of our general assembly; instead of being punished and taken to jail, they are protected and supplied by the bad government.”  They recalled the acts which occurred on 2 February 2011, when they “entered violently to displace the comrades of our organization from the control-point that we built with much effort and for the benefit of the people; they robbed construction materials and cash, and then the next day arrested 117 of our comrades.”

The San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, Chilón municipality, resumes its legal struggle that it has maintained for over three years.  On 27 May, they sought a meeting with the Council of the Federal Judiciary (CJF) and the office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to demand the return of their lands, which had been “taken arbitrarily” by state and federal authorities on 2 February 2011.  The judge “gave his consent for the installation of a single control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls,” recommending thus that the government administer it, though the document “did not have the signatures of ejidatarios, nor had it been previously announced,” expressed Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, juridical representative of the ejidatarios.  In this way, the ejidatarios who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle sent a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington on the looting of their lands and the repression and criminalization suffered by their organization on the part of the state-government of Chiapas.

In other news, the Movement for Justice in the Barrio, the Group in Solidarity with Chiapas from Dorset, the Committee of True Words from Calcutta, India, and the Committee of the True Word of Alisal have organized a week of global action: “Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle of Bachajón Continues!” for the days 25 June to 2 July.  The organizational groups note that the initiative, “supported by the ejidatarios,” constitutes a response “to the brutal murder” of Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed by gunfire on 24 April, former leader in San Sebastián Bachajón. The organizations stressed that “the Tseltal community continue to be attacked by the forces of capitalism and the transnational firms that will leave no corner of the world untouched.”  Here “they desire the Agua Azul waterfalls, toward the end of converting it into a touristic destination for private luxury consumption,” they claim.  “The ejidatarios, who inherited these lands and care for them, represent an obstacle,” and so have been made the object of “death-threats, aggressions, arbitrary arrests, disappearances, incarceration, torture, and attacks from governmental and paramilitary forces.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastían Bachajón por las injusticias y despojos realizados por el mal gobierno (Enlace Zapatista, 28 de mayo de 2013)

Reanudan ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón la lucha jurídica en defensa de su territorio (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2013)

Noticia: Convocatoria para la Semana de Acción Mundial: “¡Juan Vázquez Guzmán Vive!” (CDHFBC, 28 de mayo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: ejidatario adherent to the Sixth Declaration murdered by gunfire in San Sebastián Bachajón (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Denial of motion to ejidatarios who adhere to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón (7 February 2013)

Chiapas: New denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón (10 July 2012)

 


Chiapas: ejidatario adherent to the Sixth Declaration murdered by gunfire in San Sebastián Bachajón

April 29, 2013

Juan Vázquez Gómez (@CDHFBC)

During the night of 24 April, Juan Vázquez Gómez, former Secretary General of the adherents to the other Campaign in the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, was murdered by unidentified persons who shot him five times just outside his house.

In an informative note released on 25 April, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights condemned the murder of Vázquez Guzmán “who was known for his active defense of the land and territory in light of the government’s looting of the Agua Azul cascades and the imposition of a control point at their entrance.”  It recalled that on 17 April the ejidatarios of San Sebastian “publicly denounced that its territory is being threatened by the official policy of territorial looting, indicating continuity under the present government of the state.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nota informativa del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 25 de abril de 2013)

Asesinan a ejidatario adherente a la Sexta declaración en Bachajón (La Jornada, 25 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity (22 April 2013)

Chiapas: Denial of motion to ejidatarios who adhere to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón (7 February 2013)

Chiapas: New denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón (10 July 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

 


Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastián Bachajón denounce looting and impunity

April 22, 2013

images

On 17 April, adherents to the Other Campaign of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle from San Sebastian Bachajón, Chilón municipality, published a new communique in which they recall their struggle and evaluate the former state administration of Juan Sabines Guerrero.  They denounce the impunity of looting and a justice system that serves the State, one that has allowed their ejido to experience “looting of territory and imposition of a control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul cascades, removed from residents.”  They reiterated their desire to resist looting and to free their prisoners Antonio Estrada Estrada, Miguel Vázquez Deara, and Miguel Demeza Jiménez, “victims of the authorities for their lack of capacity and independence to apply the law.” They greeted others, who have also been imprisoned for raising their voice.  They recognized Alberto Patishtán Gómez in particular: “With a simple heart, and humble in his words, [he is] a great comrade that they sought to silence with the walls of political prison.  He will always be present in our slogans and in the process of our struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian despojo de tierras en Agua Azul, Chiapas (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2013)

México: San Sebastián Bachajón se pronuncia en contra de la persecución estatal (Comunicado de los adherentes a la Otra Campaña de San Sebastián Bachajón, 17 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denial of motion to ejidatarios who adhere to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón (7 February 2013)

Chiapas: New denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón (10 July 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

 


Chiapas: Close of EZLN cycle of communiques “Them and Us–Looks”

February 26, 2013

(@Agenciasubversiones)

Throughout February, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) continued publishing a series of communiques united under a common title of “Them and Us: Looks.”  Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés signed a communique for the first time (part 6): he explained the role of Subcomandante Marcos (the “window”), his (the “door”), and announced that the EZLN would invite adherents to the Sixth Declaration to the Zapatista zone: “Here we will await you from this door that it is my duty to care for, so that you enter this humble school of my comrades who want to share the little that we have learned….”

In these communiques, the Zapatistas finished defining the what and with whom of their coming actions, reporting that from now on they would be in communication only with members of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, using texts with “the basic elements of the history of neo-Zapatismo.”  They announced the beginning of a “course that the Zapatista support-bases will given to comrades from the Sixth in Mexico and the world.”

For more information (in Spanish):

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VII.- L@s más pequeñ@s. (19 de febrero)

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VI.- Las Miradas. Parte 6: ÉL SOMOS. (14 de febrero de 2013)

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VI.- Las Miradas. Parte 5: Mirar la noche en que somos. (De la luna nueva al cuarto creciente) (13 de febrero de 2013)

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VI.- Las Miradas. Parte 4: Mirar y comunicar. (11 de febrero de 2013)

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VI.- Las Miradas. Parte 3: Algunas otras miradas. (8 de febrero de 2013)

Ellos y Nosotros. VI.- Miradas. Parte 2: Mirar y escuchar desde/hacia abajo. (7 de febrero de 2013)

ELLOS Y NOSOTROS. VI.- Las Miradas. 1.- Mirar para imponer o mirar para escuchar. (6 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN communiques “Them and Us,” parts II-V (29 January 2013)

Chiapas: release of new communique by the EZLN hours before the arrival of Enrique Peña Nieto to lands under its influence (22 January 2013)


Chiapas: The Voz del Amate and those in solidarity fasting and praying

February 5, 2013

Conferencia de prensa del Pueblo Creyente, 25 de enero de 2013 @ SIPAZ

Since 30 January, “political prisoners from the Voz del Amate and those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, who are being held in prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas,” in the words of the communique, undertook a day of fasting and prayer for 12 hours for 7 consecutive days so as to demand justice and release for those who are fasting.

“On the one hand this new call is made to the state government of Manuel Velasco Coello, so that he put an end to these injustices that are separating us from our families, so that we be released as soon as possible without conditions,” they noted.

It should be mentioned that in September 2011 the members of the Voz del Amate and those in solidarity with them undertook a hunger-strike and fast which lasted 39 days.

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncian Solidarios y la Voz del Amate jornada de ayuno y oración (Enlace Zapatista, 30 de enero de 2013)

Denuncia de lxs Solidarixs y la Voz del Amate (Blog No estamos todxs, 28 de enero de 2013)

Juzgado de Simojovel puede acabar injusticia de 7 años (La Jornada, 28 de enero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: End of hunger strike (14 November 2011)

Chiapas: Two more prisoners join the hunger strike; concentration of family-members at sit-in (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: National and international support for Patishtán and the prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (26 October 2011)

Chiapas: New denunciation by Las Abejas (28 October 2011)

Chiapas: 20 days into hunger strike and 11 days into sit-in of relatives, 2 prisoners are released (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: 15 days of hunger strike and  days of sit-in (17 October 2011)

Chiapas: Sit-in of relatives of relatives of prisoners on hunger strike(17 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on strike, and Zapatistas (17 October 2011)

Chiapas: 8 days of hunger strike at CERSS no. 5 (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike (4 October 2011)

Chiapas: Public day for Fasting and Prayer for Peace in the San Cristóbal prison (26 September 2011)

 


Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory

March 25, 2012

Venustiano Carranza municipality (http://www.e-local.gob.mx)

In a 19 March 2012 communiqué, residents of the community of Candelaria el Alto, Venustiano Carranza municipality, who are adherents to the Other Campaign denounced that on 15 March members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) from the San José La Grandeza neighborhood began to burn the crops and trees located on their lands.  They recalled that since 6 April 2011 the OCEZ-RC had invaded the “El Desengaño” territory.

After informing the state government, they report that on the next day “arrived a PEP [Preventive State Police] truck, asking about the Candelaria el Alto case, wanting to enter the territory, adding that if we gave permission they would start patrolling and reach the place where the invaders came, beyond promising to protect those of the OCEZ-RC [...].  Upon hearing this we told them to leave our community, because we have told the government several times now that we do not have more land to sell.  So why did they arrive and deceive us in this way, knowing that we will not sell the little we have left.  We will not permit more looting, after the 98 hectares of land that the state bought for the benefit of [OCEZ-RC].”

They demanded a solution as well as respect: “we are now in the season close to the time to sow our crops (corn and beans), so it is urgent the state resolve our problems.  If it does not, we will be exposed for another year without our basic crops, thus putting at risk the lives of the children, women, and elderly of the community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa de habitantes de la comunidad de Candelaria el Alto municipio de Venustiano Carranza adherentes a la Otra Campaña(19 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


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