Oaxaca: Threats from the mayor of Santa María Chimalapa denounced

December 16, 2014

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Miguel Ángel García Aguirre, regional coordinator of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, accused Silaín Hernández, mayor of Santa María Chimalapa, of being responsible for the threats he has received if he does not abandon the Zoque zone.  He explained in mid-November that he received phonecalls from at least two numbers from Oaxaca threatening him to leave the community.  He said he had received the call of a person who had refused to identify himself, “but to me it seemed like it was Silaín […] threatening me to leave Chimalapas […] this all in a threatening tone.”  He assured that, though the mayor be responsible for this behavior, he would continue to work in defense of the land in Chimalapa.

For his part, Silaín Hernández accused Miguel Ángel García and Luis Bustamante, also a member of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, as well as the ex-secretary of governance Jesús Martínez Álvarez of causing a social destabilization after having released media communiques.  The mayor referred to a case from about two weeks ago, when a document that was firmed by the National Committee was released assuring that its membership along with the ejidal commissioner had not wanted to hold assemblies that would address questions of accountability and the prospect of a dam that would be installed on Zoque territory.

The communique in question distanced itself from the president of the ejidal commission, Ildeberto Mendoza, “for not having demonstrated interest in defending the interests of the people” amidst the permanent aggressions and invasions promoted by corporations and the Chiapas state government.  The document expresses that this decision was taken after the mayor manipulated Ilderberto Mendoza to suspend the general assembly on two occasions during which it had been planned to discuss the constitutional motion that had been interposed by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) regarding the invasion of more than 160,000 hectares of land by people from Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian amenazas de Silaín Hernández (Noticias Net, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Alcalde de Chimalapas acusa al Comité Nacional para la Defensa de los Chimalapas de desestabilización social (Página 3, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Desconocen a autoridad comunal por no defender a Chimalapas de invasiones y megaproyectos (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2o14)


Mexico: At least 170,000 displaced in Mexico

December 15, 2014

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On 26 November in Mexico City, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights presents its book Internal Displacement Induced by Violence: A Global Experience, a Mexican Reality, as written by Laura Rubio Díaz-Leal, an investigator and member of said organization.

The aim of the book is to make visible the victims of displacement and to call on the State to create an assistance program and to take into account this now-ignored phenomenon.

The author of the work commented during her presentation that, in the majority of the country, it was quite impossible to document how many Mexicans have left their homes due to violence, but a very conservative calculation estimates at least 170,000.

In this sense, Esperanza Hernández, the spokesperson for at least 600 families from 40 communities in Sinaloa state that have been displaced by the violence of organized crime in the state, noted that “They [the cartels] patrolled as though they were the government; they threatened us and told us that if we didn’t leave, they would conscript us into their service.  On 10 January 2012, they killed a neighbor of Ocurague and the next day during the night, they killed an entire family.  Maddened by fear, we decided to flee and leave everything behind.”

Ramón Cossío, justice for the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), noted for his part that “this involves not only the act of leaving the place where one would desire to stay, but also it is a question of leaving due to finding oneself in a situation of extraordinary complexity.  The phenomenon of the displaced continues without name in Mexico, and for this reason it is not attended to by the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desdeña el gobierno desplazamientos forzados por la inseguridad: expertos,  La Jornada 30 de noviembre de 2014

Al menos 170 mil personas desplazadas por violencia en México, Diariopresente, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados por violencia en México, un fenómeno ignorado que afecta al menos a 170 mil personas, Animal Politico, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados en México son víctimas y requieren tratamiento, CNN, 26 de julio de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released

December 6, 2014

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Abejas of Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

Nearly 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Supreme Court ofr Justice int he Nation (SCJN) decided to release three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned in the Amate prison for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

The massacre took place on 22 December 1997, when 45 members of the Las Abejas of Acteal organization were killed, the majority being women and children.

The three who have been released had requested an official recognition of innocence, which was granted to them based on criteria stipulated by the SCJN in 2008, when it ordered the release of dozens of prisoners for the first time, having decided that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) used illegal evidence in its investigation, thus violating the right of the accused to due process.  For their part, Las Abejas expressed that “if for the SCJN there are no guilty ones, if all the paramilitaries who have been sentenced are in fact innocent, then we demand that they give us back the lives of our martyrs, and that they present our children and parents who were shot to death on 22 December 1997 with life.”  They added that “other than for the government, it will be the SCJN that will be responsible for any conflict that results from the release of these paramilitaries, because the social fabric has been degraded and destroyed.  It has not been repaired, such that there are no conditions that would guarantee the non-repetition of the acts.”

In sum, 102 indigenous persons were processed for the killing of 45 members of the Las Abejas community, in addition to 4 unborn children, and they began to be released in 2008, after having advanced legal motions before the federal authorities.  Now, only two people remain imprisoned for the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia en México es un teatro: Sobrevivientes de Acteal, Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la Corte liberar a tres tzotziles vinculados con la masacre de Acteal, Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la SCJN la liberación de tres sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

Acteal: consagración de la impunidad, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido

October 26, 2014

© SIPAZ

© SIPAZ

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH Center) has reported on a denunciation of the recent acts of harassment targeting ejidatari@s of Tila which “could affect the personal integrity and […] collectively affect the ejidal autonomy of the Ch’ol indigenous people.”

On 16 October,1500 ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) marched to commemorate the creation of their ejido 80 years ago.  During the march, “the commander of the municipal police filmed protestors from the balcony of the police office,” noted the PRODH Center.  PRODH also indicated that “a day later, an ejidataria was assaulted by unknown persons, though witnesses could observe that one of the assailants was wearing a municipal police uniform.”

PRODH has manifested its concern for the harassment against the ejidal authorities of Tila, given that the ejidal commissioner has been followed and surveilled in the wake of the mobilization.  PRODH noted as well that “unknown persons have surrounded his home and asked local residents if that is where the ejidal president lives; as a consequence, indigenous ejidal authorities have found themselves displaced, amidst the threat of suffering new attacks.”

For this reason, PRODH has demanded the cessation of all harassment and attacks on members of the Tila ejido; that the necessary, sufficient, and effective measures be implemented to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the members of the ejidal commission of Tila; and that those responsible for these threats and acts of harassment be investigated and punished forthright.

It is critical to note that in 2008, the Tila ejido won a motion it has advanced against one of the several attempts at plundering its lands it has suffered since 1964 due to the actions of Tila City Hall, the Chiapas state government, and the local congress.  This motion ordered the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands; however, using the false argument that said sentence would be impossible to observe, City Hall has failed to observe it.  This is the reason the Tila ejidatari@s have advanced the case of the violation of sentence 1302/20130 before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Centro Prodh denuncia nuevos ataques contra ejido Tila en Chiapas, Centro Prodh, 20 de octubre de 2014

Denuncian hostigamiento a ejidatarios y ejidatarias del ejido Tila, Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de octubre de 2014

Marcha mitín por 80 aniversario de nuestro ejido, laotraejidotila, 17 de octubre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: March and rally in Tila to commemorate the founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones decision on case of the Tila ejidatario(16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios march in Tila and Mexico City (16 August 2012)


Chiapas: SCJN calls on Chiapas state congress to modify electoral reforms to respect gender equity

October 11, 2014

Congreso de Chiapas (@Chiapas Paralelo)

On 2 October, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) released a sentence regarding electoral reform in Chiapas state that requested that the local deputies of the congress eliminate a clause so as to respect gender equity among candidates.  Last June, the Chiapas state congress approved a reform that included an exception to gender equity in the case that a candidate would leave an electoral campaign through a democratic way as determined internally to the party in question.  The Party for Democratic Revolution (PRD) had submitted a motion regarding the constitutionality of this clause, considering it to function to the detriment of women’s political participation.

Beyond this, and for the first time, the SCJN declared that the electoral laws that mandate affirmative action for women are constitutional.  Another article of the electoral code of Chiapas that calls for women to lead the lists of candidates to multiple positions and for the wages for candidates to be represented proportionately had been challenged by the Labor Party (PT), though the Court has decided against this challenge now.

For more information (in Spanish):

Obliga la SCJN al Congreso de Chiapas a respetar paridad de género en candidaturas (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de octubre de 2014)

SCJN invalida reformas electorales de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de octubre de 2014)

Avala Suprema Corte trato preferente no igualitario a mujeres candidatas (Noticias.net, 3 de octubre de 2014)


Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

September 2, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 August, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué to commemorate the five years since the beginning of the release of the formerly imprisoned persons who had been considered responsible for the Acteal massacre of December 1997. Since August 2009, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has allowed 54 of the 70 who were sentenced to be released in this sense. Some of those who have been released were allowed to go freely without warning the public about this, as in the case of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, a “paramilitary commander and confessed patricipant in the Acteal massacre.” Amidst this tendency, members of Los Abejas declared that “our memory tells us that this Supreme Court has been converted for us into the ‘Supreme Court for the rich and criminals of the Nation'; this court is the expression of the justice system in Mexico, which is rotten.”

The Acteal massacre and the impunity that prevails in the case to date, stressed Las Abejas, form part of the low-intensity warfare being promoted in the region by the “bad government.” Las Abejas indicated furthermore that the repression, murders, and massacres are a consequence fo the “commercial traties” which Mexico has signed with rich countries, toward the end of “exterminating the Zapatista people and other organized peoples,” given that “if the indigenous peoples had control of their land, NAFTA would not be able to function in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada, for this way they could not extract and steal all the wealth possessed by our Mother Earth.”

In light of this “death culture,” Las Abejas declare that “We are aware that justice will not come from above,” and for this reason “our search for justice for the Acteal massacre we call the construction of ‘Another Justice,’ one that is conceptualized and constructed from the organized peoples, women and men of Mexico who also seek a dignified and true justice, as we do. This other justice, this dignified and true justice, is now being built in the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), in meetings and fora of organized peoples and communities in Mexico […]. We in the Las Abejas Civil Society will not resign ourselves but will instead continue building our ties with brothers and sisters who struggle each and every day against this oppressive capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años de la excarcelación de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2014)

Libres, 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2014)

La “Suprema Corte de ricos y criminales de la Nación” ha liberado a 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada de Oriente, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Guerrero: Indigenous community requests that the SCJN review the Mining Law

July 14, 2014

Conferencia de prensa en el Centro Prodh Foto (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

Press conference at the Prodh Center
Photo (@Alina Vallejo, Sididh)

On 29 June in Mexico City, representatives of the Me’phaa indigenous community of San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín (Malinaltepec municipality), organized a press conference together with the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights at which they requested that the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) “analyze for the first time if the Mining Law which exists is compatible with the Constitution and international human-rights treaties.”  It is important to recall that on 12 February 2014, the community was granted a court case against two mining concessions that had been awarded to transnational firms without any sort of prior informed consent within at least 84% of the affected territory.  The victory represented a historical moment for the rights of indigenous peoples.

At the conference, the San Miguel del Progreso-Júba Wajiín community recalled that on 13 March 2014, the Economy Minister presented the Resource for Review through which the federal government has tried to overturn said sentence by appealing to the existing mining law to claim that the human rights of the community have in no case been violated, given that the legislation does not demand free prior and informed consent in the case of mining concessions.

Lastly, the representatives of the Me’phaa community stressed the need for and importance of reviewing the Mining Law, not only for their own community, but also for all the communities that have been affected by the awarding of mining concessions on their lands.  In this way, they indicated that it could provide the Supreme Court another chance to limit the looting of land by clearly establishing the rights of peoples and of indigenous communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidad me’phaa llama a SCJN a revisar Ley Minera (Sididh, 30 de junio de 2014)

Obtiene comunidad indígena Me’phaa amparo inédito contra concesión minera (NAR, 29 de junio de 2014)

Indígenas Me’phaa de Guerrero ganan histórico amparo contra mineras(Entresemana, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/Mexico/Latin America: Grave challenges to Goldcorp and other Canadian mining firms (May 3, 2014)

Guerrero: Ejidatarios from Carrizalillo to sue mining company before the Agrarian Tribunal (29 April 2014)

Guerrero: ejidatarios of Los Filos close gold mine in Carrizalillo (10 April 2014)

In Focus: The unsustainability of the Extractive Mineral Model (May 2013)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)


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