On April 8th, around 400 residents of different communities in the municipality of Chilon and belonging to the Believing People of the Jet Ha’ Pastoral Center gathered at the church of San Pedro in the community of Pamal-Navil to make a pilgrimage for life , justice, unity and dignity for Mother Earth and the peoples.
Due to the climatic conditions, the Stations of the Cross took place inside the church, where, through prayers and songs, the demands of the Tseltal people were made known: respect for Mother Earth, defense of their territory and the full freedom for community defenders Cesar Hernandez and Jose Luis Gutierrez, Tseltal indigenous people prosecuted for the crime of mutiny in 2020 after demonstrating against the construction of a National Guard barracks in their territory.
Later they continued with the celebration and the reading of the statement from the Believing People, as well as greeting national and international organizations that, from a distance, showed their solidarity with Cesar and Jose Luis.
For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced irregularities in the trial of the two prisoners and the “constant uncertainty” regarding their safety, as well as the fact that they have been victims of threats because they have continued to raise their voices and organize themselves to defend life and territory together with their community.
For more information in Spanish:
Comunicado: Pueblo tsetal de Chilón: estamos defendiendo nuestra Madre Tierra y nuestros territorios (Frayba, 8 de abril de 2022)
Pueblo de Chilón se moviliza por la libertad de César y José Luis, contra la militarización y por la autodeterminación (Frayba, 8 de abril de 2022)
Con Viacrucis por la Vida, tseltales exigen libertad para presos políticos de Chilón (Desinformémonos, 8 de abril de 2022)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: ONG´s internacionales expresan preocupación por la ola de violencia contra indígenas (18 de enero de 2022)
Chiapas: defensores comunitarios tseltales de Chilón exigen el cese a la criminalización que enfrentan por defender su territorio contra la militarización (14 de octubre de 2021)
Nacional: Se profundiza la militarización en México, Centro ProDH (1 de julio de 2021)