Chiapas: New Call for Justice 25 Years after Acteal Massacre

On December 21st and 22nd, the 25th anniversary of the Acteal Massacre in which 45 people died was commemorated through different activities. This year also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Civil Society Las Abejas to which the victims belonged.

In a statement shared by this organization, it stressed that “25 years have passed since the massacre and to date this State crime remains unpunished, as we have denounced month after month for a quarter of a century and even though the governments are PRI, PAN or MORENA. Instead of applying justice, they have created strategies and policies of attrition.” It also denounced that “we can no longer only say that the Mexican justice system is rotten, but that it is going from bad to worse.” For Las Abejas, the intellectual authors of the massacre are clearly identifiable: Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, Emilio Chuayffet and Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, former president, former Secretary of the Interior and former Governor of Chiapas, respectively, as well as Generals Enrique Cervantes Aguirre and Mario Renan Castillo, former Secretary of National Defense and former commander of the Seventh Military Region, among others.

They also pointed out that “the other strategy of the State has been the delay of justice that has caused two divisions of our organization. The first in 2008 and the second in 2014. They have sought to weaken us so that we abandon our nonviolent struggle, but the government and its accomplices ignore and forget our stubbornness and tenacity that have become a virtue to resist and seek a dignified life.” Given the lack of response at national level, Las Abejas went to the Inter-American Commission of Justice (IACHR) for the Mexican State to recognize that it was a State crime and it is expected that the substantive report is imminent.

On another note, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), which has accompanied Las Abejas in their search for justice since 1997, stressed that “the current federal government has maintained silence and openly denied to the IACHR the involvement of Mexican authorities in counterinsurgency actions during the 1990s in Chiapas, and has consciously excluded this period from the study process of the Truth Commission for the dirty war in Mexico.” For this reason, he affirmed that “falsehood and impunity pacts are an aggression that keeps the wound open from the massacre that occurred on December 22nd, 1997, revictimizes and deepens the collective pain. They are an absolute simulation”.

However, Frayba stressed the “inspiring” character that the Civil Society of Las Abejas has had, which despite everything has managed to build on a daily basis “an island of peace and hope, a refuge from the storm that engulfs the region of the Highlands of Chiapas.”

For more information in Spanish:

El tiempo y la memoria, el nacimiento y la muerte como transfiguración nos marcan este día 22 de diciembre de 2022 (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de diciembre de Acteal)

Las Abejas de Acteal, cuidadoras de la memoria y constructoras de paz (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2022)

Comunicado de la Plataforma para la construcción de paz en México a la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal con motivo del 25 aniversario de la Masacre de Acteal (22 de diciembre de 2022)

La matanza de Acteal, Chiapas, cumple hoy un cuarto de siglo (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2022)

Masacre de Acteal causó descomposición social en Chenalhó: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2022)

A 25 años de la masacre de Acteal, víctimas mantienen exigencia de informe de fondo de la CIDH: “Queremos justicia verdadera” (Animal Político, 23 de diciembre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Members of Las Abejas de Acteal Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Chenalho (November 11, 2022)
Chiapas: Press Conference – 13th Anniversary of Release by Supreme Court of Perpetrators of Acteal Massacre (August 16, 2022)
Chiapas: Abejas de Acteal Demand Thorough Trial for Suspected Killer of Simon Pedro (April 28, 2022)
Chiapas: Las Abejas Demand Justice, Remembrance and Truth for Simon Pedro (April 5, 2022)
Chiapas: Acteal – 24 Years Sowing the Seed of the Martyrs and 29 of Struggle and Resistance (December 28, 2021)

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