Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal

Colonia Puebla, Chenalho (@SIPAZ)

Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó (@SIPAZ)

On 7 January, the 17 families displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, returned to the Acteal community, given their conclusion that the necessary conditions which would allow for their stay in their community of origin do not exist.  Displaced in a conflict with Evangelicals over land on which they had been building a Catholic chapel, the 98 persons had been in the Puebla ejido for 20 days (since 17 January) to harvest and dry their coffee crops.

In a communique, those displaced from the Puebla Colony, the Parish Council of San Pedro Chenalhó, and the Las Abejas Civil Society explained that “the necessary conditions for us to remain in Puebla with peace and tranquility are absent.  Perhaps some believe that because some government officials have visited the community (including Governor Manuel Velasco), the problem has been solved.  The conditions for our return we have already explained to the government; these include the recognition of our property in the land on which is located the Catholic church, the recognition and reparation of damages incurred (both communal due to the destruction of the chapel and of communal houses), in addition to the personal damages we suffered due to robbery and degradation of the homes of the displaced.  We also ask that the various crimes to which we have been subjected not remain in impunity […].  We would like to believe that the visit of the governor is a reflection of his will to resolve the problem, but, as with President Enrique Peña Nieto in Michoacán, it is not enough to take a photo and make promises to resolve problems, while they in fact desire to solve everything with promises of support but they do not make justice.  As long as this is the case, there can be no solution.”

The groups denounced verbal aggressions and stoning to which they were subjected during their 20 days in the ejido, particularly as directed against Juan López Méndez, “who they greatly dislike, since, not being Catholic, he chose not to support the attacks on Catholics.”

In conclusion, the groups noted that “we would like to have peace and reconciliation in Puebla, as in all other communities.  We are open to dialogue, but what we cannot accept is impunity and the repetition of crimes, because we have seen that it was in this way that we were displaced in 1997.  Once again this happened in 2013, and all because of the same people, precisely because they have not been punished.  If they continue not to be, there will continue to be displacements.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados de la Col. Puebla Municipio de Chenalhó, regresan a Acteal(Comunicado de los Desplazados de la Col. Puebla, el Consejo Parroquial de San Pedro Chenalhó y la Sociedad Civil de las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de febrero de 2014)

Desplazados de Chenalhó exigen justicia y reparación de los daños (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de febrero de 2014)

Regresaremos hasta ver señales reales de justicia: desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony announce return for coffee harvest (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

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