Chiapas: “A Public Apology Isn’t Enough, It Is not a True Act of Justice”, Las Abejas Civil Society

@Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society

On September 22nd, in the framework of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), Las Abejas Civil Society published a statement in which it referred to the Act of Recognition of the Responsibility of the Mexican State in the case of the massacre. A few weeks earlier, an Act in which a group of victims who decided to sign a Friendly Settlement Agreement within the framework of the lawsuit filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2005 participated.

For its part, Las Abejas Civil Society continues to fight for the IACHR to issue the merits report on the case as soon as possible since they consider that, “a public apology is not enough, it is not a true act of justice. And the punishment of those responsible? The Federal Army must be investigated and all the senior commanders responsible for directing the Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan must be brought to trial. For this reason, we think that the friendly settlement signed on September 3rd was a hoax so that you can wash your hands in this case and pretend that the Lopez Obrador government is different. If you were really so interested in peace and equality, why do you continue to guarantee impunity to the paramilitaries? Why are there still deaths and injuries from high caliber bullets in Aldama and Tila, why does the number of displaced persons continue to increase in Aldama and Chalchihuitan, why are the paramilitary groups that destroy houses of those who seek their lives autonomously, collectively, without accepting government support, such as our Abejas brothers from Los Chorros who have already been displaced here in Acteal for more than a year, or the Zapatista brothers who saw their community coffee warehouses burn in Moises-Gandhi allowed to act freely and without punishment?”

They also questioned “Little do they realize that if there is no punishment, if they do not see negative consequences for the crimes they commit, the paramilitaries will continue to be emboldened, unleashing uncontrolled violence in their wake? Is that precisely what you want, chaos and terror to make independent government organization more difficult? Do they need the votes and political influence that the paramilitaries can give them? Why haven’t they stopped them?”

They also denounced that “we know that this government, although it uses other names and other masks, is doing the same thing that all previous bad governments did: militarizing our land, supporting its own paramilitaries, administering terror, covering up the violation of human rights. when it suits them, keeping innocent people in jail, negotiating with drug traffickers, guaranteeing the interests of big capital at the cost of dispossession of lands and natural resources, causing the death of indigenous peoples, without respecting their rights.”

Finally they confirmed that “fatigue did not overcome us. Wear and tear did not bend us. The blows have not knocked us down. Hopelessness has not seized our hearts. No promise of financial compensation has been enough to settle for a public apology that does not get to the root of the truth, that leaves all those responsible in impunity and therefore does not guarantee that an Acteal cannot happen again in our lands. We have not settled for crumbs of justice. Nor have they succeeded in making us hate our brothers who left the organization.”

For more information in Spanish:

Licenciado Encinas, una disculpa pública no basta, no es un verdadero acto de justicia (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de septiembre de 2020)

Audio de la lectura del comunicado:

Acuerdo de solución amistosa no es justicia: Abejas de Acteal (Pie de Pàgina 18 de septiembre de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Act of Recognition of State Responsibility in Acteal Case with Some Victims; Others Demand IACHR Report (September 7, 2020)
Chiapas/National: Two Opposing Stances in Chenalho on the Friendly Settlement for the Acteal Massacre (August 15, 2020)
Chiapas: Agreement with Mexican State “Causes More Division between Survivors” – Abejas de Acteal (July 23, 2020)

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