The Civil Mission for Observation in Salvador Allende, Photo @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)
From 29 April to 4 May there was held a Civil Mission of Observation and Solidarity organized by the Rural Association for Collective Interests (ARIC UU ID) which visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal, and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (RIBMA). These communities are threatened with possible eviction, despite having possessed their lands for more than 3 decades, on the charges that they are deteriorating the environment and so no longer have the right to their land.
The objectives of the Mission were to document the commitment of the three communities to caring for the land and the environment, the possible human-rights violations against these peoples before the conflict, and to express solidarity from civil society as well as to reject the prospect of their displacement.
Montes Azules @ J. Marquardt (SIPAZ)
On 9 May, members of the mission announced that they would compile a report detailing the visit, revealing that “We could expect that the drive to unjustly deprive them of their livelihoods by forcibly displacing them on ‘ecological’ grounds would violate their most basic rights to life, land, territory, conservation of communal natural resources, and their human rights in general.”
They affirmed that “As national and international observers, we observe with alarm and indignation that environmental pretexts are used to cover up the reality of so-called ‘green business’ so as to approve a new action of looting against indigenous peoples in Chiapas. It is for this reason that we will maintain ourselves attentive to whatever intent there may be of forced relocation or violent displacement against these communities.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Inicia recorrido a poblados amenazados en Montes Azules (Expreso de Chiapas, 29 de abril de 2012)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 de marzo de 2012)
Chiapas: Next hotel mega-project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (22 September 2011)