In Tlapa de Comofort, Guerrero, on 25 and 26 July, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights celebrated its XX anniversary, with these twenty years being characterized by struggle besides indigenous peoples in defense of their rights. More than 400 representatives from 85 communities of the Mountain region, together with different organizations and social movements from various states and representatives of international institutions, arrived to attend the forum “From the communal heart of resistance.” On this occasion Abel Barrera Hernández, director of Tlachinollan, declared that “the criminalization of indigenous peoples has risen, and so has the threats against their lands. There are attempts to loot [these lands] by means of mining concessions and attempts to build hydroelectric dams. The situation of life in these communities is worsening due to abuse, looting, and the complacence of the authorities in the face of organized crime.” Furthermore, he stressed the inequity and lack of attention from the government for indigenous peoples in the region.
At the end of the forum, a march was held toward the city center to demand the release of representatives of the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) and of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota (CECOP), including Nestora Salgado García, Arturo Campos, Gonzalo Molina, and Marco Antonio Suástegui. Furthermore, members of the Council of Victims of the Mountain of Guerrero demanded that the state government observe its promises to support communities that were affected by the storms that destroyed crops and homes last September.
During the event itself, the importance of collective work was recognized as fundamental for the defense of human rights in the Mountain region, and Abel Barrera Hernández expressed his gratitude to indigenous peoples: “They gave us tortilla, coffee, petate, and shade, and they showed us how to sow communal justice. For this reason, these twenty years have no sense without you, because you are the fathers, mothers, and founders of Tlachinollan.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Festeja Tlachinollan sus 20 años con una marcha en Guerrero (La Jornada, 27 de julio de 2014)
Reconocen 20 años de Tlachinollan, trabajo que busca justicia social para las comunidades (Sididh, 28 de julio de 2014)
Tlachinollan, 20 años de defensa de los derechos humanos en la Montaña(Sin Embargo, 28 de julio de 2014)
OPINIÓN: 20 años por los derechos humanos (Tlachinollan, 23 de julio de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):