Chiapas: Violations of the Ch`ol people’s right to land continue in Tila

On January 29, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas) published a press release expressing their “deep rejection of and estrangement from the Mexican government” for continuing to violate the rights of the Ch´ol people to their territory within in the Tila ejido. The organization confirmed that the Municipal Council of Tila, along with the State Congress and Government, has persisted in the dispossession of 130 hectares within the Tila ejido. This continues despite the fact that the ejido members have already won an appeal that restores their full rights to the dispossessed lands in addition to paying reparations for damages incurred.

The press release also affirms that the state government has begun a campaign of intimidation against the ejido authorities in order to press them to accept an “agreement” regarding the land and as a result avoid having to comply with the appeal. It also mentions that an apparent “interest in provoking a social conflict between the Tila ejido members and the neighboring residents in order to create a sense of fear among the latter that they will be forcefully displaced and expelled from the ejido as a consequence of the appeal.”

The CDHFBC denounced the violation of sentences handed down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and of Article 21 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), which conclude that the rights of indigenous communities to their lands is based in the integrity and material survival of said communities, as well as the social reproduction of their customs and spiritual lives. Within this framework, the state government has the obligation to “adopt special measures to guarantee indigenous communities the full and egalitarian exercise of the rights to the territories they have traditionally utilized and occupied; as well as the obligation to adopt special measures that respect, protect and guarantee their property rights with full respect to their territory.”

For More Information:

Boletín: Continúan violaciones del derecho al territorio al Pueblo Ch´ol de Tila (CDHFBC Press Release in Spanish, 29/01/10)

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