Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@Koman Ilel)

Displaced families from the Primero de Agosto community (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 23 June, the residents of the Primero de Agosto community denounced the 120 days of forcible displacement experienced by the “17 Tojolabal families because of [the actions of] ejidatarios from Miguel Hidalgo who pertain to the CIOAC-Historical organization, led by Luis Hernández Cruz,” and it adds that Elvira Méndez Pérez, who just gave birth, “is suffering greatly because of the cold and the rain, as she lacks proper shelter in which her child can grow up happily.”

In their denunciation, the displaced describe “how for the last 4 months we are awakened by raindrops that penetrate the plastic tarps which we use to cover ourselves at night. We awaken with our clothes wet and cold due to the humidity of the land on which we live, as it is the time of rain, and the government has done nothing […]. Look at where we are displaced, and you will see the face of impunity and the reality of indigenous peoples.”

Despite this suffering and the conditions in which the displaced live, the families assure that they continue “to struggle for our land, because it is the only resource we have. We are not asleep in the struggle for our land, which continues, and will live on […]. We will not become tired of denouncing until the government observes its promises. We will not tire of denouncing until there is justice, because we are in favor of justice and peace. As our ancestors say, ‘ts omanotik b’a sk’ulajel jsak’aniltik.’ That is to say, together we build life.”

The Primero de Agosto community continues to demand that the three levels of government guarantee the proper conditions for return, “because there is where our happy Iives take place.” Furthermore, they call on the government to observe the accord that was signed on 25 February 2015, which stipulates that the state government commit itself to redistributing lands equally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra compañera que acaba de dar a luz, aquí donde estamos está sufriendo mucho por el frío y la lluvia”, indígenas tojolabales desplazados en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 26 de junio de 2015)

120 días de desplazamiento forzado de 17 familias tojolabales (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de junio de 2015)

¿Dónde nacerá el hijo o hija de Elvira Méndez?, indígena tojolabal desplazada en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, 21 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)

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