Oaxaca/Chiapas: reinitiation of historical disputes over land leave 10 injured

Ejido Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (@Maderas del Pueblo)

On 4 November, the historical conflict between entitities in Oaxaca and Chiapas for the possession of 4,975 hectares in the region of Los Chimalapas ended in two confrontations, which left 10 injured and 2 disappeared, as has been confirmed by state authorities and sources in the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA).  Following the two confrontations, more than a hundred police in Oaxaca and Chiapas as well as a hundred soldiers have been installed to surveil the zone so as to avert new confrontations.

The roots of the conflict between the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz ejido which eprtains to Cintalapa, Chiapas, and the communities of Benito Juárez and San Antonio which pertain to San Miguel Chimalapas, Oaxaca, go back more than 40 years.  In accordance with Oaxacan communities, since then those from Chiapas have invaded the lands of San Miguel and Santa María Chimalapa.  Among exacerbating factors has been the awarding by the federal government of a permit to exploit the forest to the ejidatarios of the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz community.

In light of these new confrontations, Jesús Martínez Álvarez, secretary general of governance in Oaxaca, explained that the conflict was exacerbated since 2009, when a truck of wood originating in Chiapas was held up by Oaxacan communards, in light of considerations that the product came from their forests.  Regardless, the conflict was escalated on 20 October, when communards from Chimalapas blocked a truck of residents from the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz ejido.  On 22 October representatives from Oaxaca and Chiapas agreed tot he installation of a mixed base of operations (BOM) with police from both states and the military.

On 30 October, some 150 Zoque communards from San Miguel Chimalapa and from the populace of San Antonio and Benito Juárez were in the Ordaz ejido saying: “We come peacefully to propose that you recognize our communal authority and we in turn will allow you to continue working the land and living in peace.”  They have given them until December to decide.  That same day, the Zoque leader Alberto Cruz Gutiérrez accused the governments of Oaxaca and Chiapas as well as the federal government of refusing to resolve the conflict due to their political interests and the economic interests of the loggers.

For more information (in Spanish):

Disputas en Los Chimalapas dejan 10 heridos (Milenio, 5 November 2011)

Van dos desaparecidos por conflicto de tierras entre Oaxaca y Chiapas(Milenio, 4 November 2011)

Pugna en Chimalapas deja dos desaparecidos y 10 heridos: Sedena(Proceso, 4 November 2011)

Comunidad de Díaz Ordaz Chimalapas piden intervención de Calderón(Denuncia de las autoridades del ejido Díaz Ordaz, 4 November, Ciudadania Express) Denuncian campesinos agresiones en Chiapas (El Universal, 4 November 2011)

Zoques dan “ultimátum” a chiapanecos en conflicto (El Universal, 31 October 2011 )

Acusan a zoques de “paramilitares” (El Universal, 1 November 2011)

Mantienen bloqueo en zona Chimalapa‎ (El Universal, 24 October 2011)

Toma de Díaz Ordáz: crónica, fotos y audio (Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Tensions persist in San Miguel Chimalapa (25 April 2011)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: latent conflict in Chimalapas, with risk of confrontation (7 April 2011)

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