Chiapas: Authorities of the Tila ejido denounce negation of their right to land; their lives are threatened

video-denunciation of Tila ejidatarios @ CDHFBC

Before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) on 30 August, ejidatarios from Tila denounced the prolonged looting of 130 hectares of their ejido on the part of authorities.  They demand that they be granted justice, given that the sentence granted them in December 2008 which ordered that authorities return to them the 130 hectares was deviated by political means following the beginning of the appeal-process, a development rejected by the general assembly of the ejido.

In accordance with the denunciation, “[i]n the year 1975 a false ejidal official requested the creation of a legal fund; supported by false signatures, the request was presented before the Unity Agrarian Tribunal, together with the juridical assessor of the Tila city hall […], but they were individuals apart from the ejido because they were not recognized in the general assembly […].  [W]ith these falsified documents–that is, without basis–Governor Juan Sabines Gutiérrez released decree number 72 for the expropriation of our 130 hectares,” thus violating the rights of the ejidatarios.  The denunciation continues: “For this reason we present sentence 259/1982 before the First Judge of the district in the state of Chiapas to nullify decree 72 and the publication in the Official Daily of the State Government on 17 December 1980.  This sentence became final since 14 January 2009, but the observation of the sentence has been deviated by political means, with a payment of 40,087,044 pesos offered as compensation.  The general assembly of ejidatarios rejects all such compensation with respect to our ejidal lands, because they are not negotiable.  We demand the restitution and material presentation of the totality of 130-39-53 hectares that were expropriated unconstitutionally and that were provided […] by a presidential decree on 30 July 1934.”

On 2 September, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) published a report that assesses the actual juridical situation in the case of the restitution of the 130 hectares of the Tila ejido.  The document claims that the “agrarian judgment promoted by the Tila ejido, against several acts of the Mexican State, has been the adequate resource, in accordance with the existing internal law to combat the acts of looting of their lands.”  Regardless, the CDHFBC denounces a “total negation of justice,” which consists in acts of delaying, omission, and lack of implementation, among others, on the part of the authorities and juridical organs, respectively.

It should be mentioned that the Tila ejidatarios have received death-threats for reclaiming the restitution of their lands, according to testimony included in the CDHFBC report: “Similarly, [the ejidatarios] indicate that there exists the risk that the aggressions on the part of the armed paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice be reactivated so as to inhibited their actions in defense of the land: ‘[…] We now hear that they are returning to reorganize the paramilitary groups of peace and justice; they are beginning to meet and say that soon conflicts will begin, and that the first person they will kill will be the ejidal officer.”

For their part, several groups of different communities of the state expressed their support for the Tila ejidatarios.  Adherents to the Other Campaign from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido endorsed the demands of the Tila ejidatarios via a 2 September communiqué.  Additionally, the Human Rights Committees like the Ch’ol sub-team from the parishes of Palenque, Salto de Agua, and Playas de Catazajá released a denunciation supporting the struggle of the Tila ejidatarios, stressing the violation of Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding the rights of indigenous peoples on the part of authorities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denunciation of the Tila ejidatarios regarding attempt to loot part of their land (30 August 2010)

CDHFBC report: Mexican State attempts to dispossess part of the territory of the Ch’ol people of Tila (pdf) (2 September 2010)

Denunciation of adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the ejidatarios of Tila (2 September 2010)

Denunciation of Human Rights Committees from the parishes of Palenque, Salto de Agua, and Playas de Catazajá in support of the Tila ejidatarios (4 September 2010)

Greetings from América del Valle (FPDT, Atenco) to Tila ejidatarios and organizations in struggle in Chiapas (video)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: ejidatarios march in Tila in defense of their lands (27 April 2010)

Chiapas: Violations of the Ch’ol people’s right to land continue in Tila (4 February 2010)

One Response to Chiapas: Authorities of the Tila ejido denounce negation of their right to land; their lives are threatened

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