Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Pilgrimage-March to Demand True and Dignified Justice

August 19, 2019

Las AbejasBanner “Las Abejas Civil Society Demand True and Dignified Justice” Photo @ Sipaz

On August 12th, survivors of the Acteal Massacre and members of the Civil Society Organization of Las Abejas de Acteal, joined in solidarity by the Believing People of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and several organizations in Chiapas and Mexico, held a Pilgrimage to remember that the “Acteal Massacre continues to go unpunished for almost twenty-two years and, because the material and intellectual authors of the crime enjoy impunity.”

They recalled that on August 12th, 2009 “the misnamed “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation” (SCJN), in the first court, protected and released 20 paramilitary prisoners, perpetrators of the Acteal massacre” as a “political strategy to avoid investigation of the main intellectual authors of said massacre.”

In the pilgrimage-march “true and dignified justice was demanded for the Acteal Massacre” and the IACHR was asked to “issue the report for case 12,790 of Manuel Santiz Culebra and others of “Acteal Massacre”, where it held the Mexican State responsible for serious violations of human rights and guarantee the non-repetition of events such as Acteal.”

For more information in Spanish:

Marcha-Peregrinación por justicia a la Masacre de Acteal y que la CIDH emita ya el informe de fondo por el caso 12.790 Manuel Sántiz Culebra y otros “Masacre de Acteal” (Sitio web de la sociedad civil Las Abejas, a 12 de agosto de 2019)

Parroquia de San Pedro y San Pablo, chicomuselo,Chiapas; se solidariza con la organización las abejas de Acteal (Sitio web de la sociedad civil Las Abejas, a 12 de agosto de 2019)

Las Abejas exige a CIDH informe de fondo sobre matanza de Acteal (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2019)

Las Abejas de Acteal, Chiapas: ¿Acaso Escandón va a reproducir lo que hizo Ruiz Ferro (Desinformémonos, 14 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Forced Displacement of Four Families of Las Abejas Civil Society Denounced (August 18, 2019)

Chiapas: Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal rechaza solución amistosa en el caso de la masacre de Acteal presentado ante la CIDH (March 7, 2019)

Chiapas: A 21 años de la Masacre de Acteal (December 26, 2018)

Chiapas : Las Abejas recuerdan el inicio de la liberación de los perpetradores de la masacre de Acteal con una « Fiesta de la resistencia no violenta » (August 17, 2018).

Chiapas: Agresión armada a la sede de las Abejas de Acteal (April 26th, 2018).

Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality(April 27, 2017)


Chiapas: Forced Displacement of Four Families of Las Abejas Civil Society Denounced

August 18, 2019


On August 10th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported that four families of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal, an organization which is part of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym), were attacked and forcibly displaced from Colonia Miguel Utrilla, Los Chorros, municipality of Chenalho. It explained that on the same day, in the afternoon, “authorities of the Colony (…) in the company of around 200 supporters of the Green Environmental Party, violently attacked four families of Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society, as well as their material goods.”

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights recalled that “the Miguel Ultrilla Los Chorros colony of the municipality of Chenalho, is where the armed groups proliferated in the 90’s and where violent learning structures persist, hence the material authors who perpetrated the Acteal Massacre. In addition, since 2015 the situation has been recurrent, the aggressions towards members of Las Abejas de Acteal are increasingly involving more violent acts.”

Likewise, it warned about the fact that these new displacements occur “in a regional context of spirals of generalized violence, with more than seven thousand victims of forced displacement, where the actions of the state and federal governments are deficient”, with which “the risk to the population deepens.”Frayba demanded that the Mexican State guarantee the life, security and personal integrity of the members of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal and, more broadly, “address the conflict at the root, to stop acts of aggression, destruction, harassment and other human rights violations towards members of the Organization.”

For its part, Las Abejas denounced that “these violent events were orchestrated and overlapped by paramilitary supporters who trained since the 1990s in Los Chorros, who planned the Acteal Massacre and have continued to operate in Los Chorros and other communities, with more force since their release from prison ten years ago.” They pointed out the “strategy of persecution and harassment of the Chorros Abejas that are still in resistance to the bad government, seeking the construction of our autonomy”, emphasizing that this last aggression occurred “in retaliation for the refusal of one of our companions to accept a position in the Committee of the Official Clinic of their neighborhood.” They reported that “ten men, old men and young men of Las Abejas had to flee displaced to Acteal, to safeguard our life and freedom; while 25 women their wives and children have been resisting in their community, since they are not willing to be stripped of their lands, as has happened on other occasions when we have been forced to leave displaced by violence.”

For more information in Spanish:

Desplazamiento forzado de integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 10 de agosto de 2019)

Denuncia de la Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal por agresiones en el Barrio Río Jordán, Los Chorros, Chiapas. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de agosto de 2019)

Atacan a las Abejas de Acteal, la víspera de la protesta que realizarán por liberación de paramilitares (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de agosto de 2019)

Denuncian ataque de simpatizantes del PVEM a líderes de Las Abejas de Acteal (Proceso, 12 de agosto de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal rechaza solución amistosa en el caso de la masacre de Acteal presentado ante la CIDH (March 7, 2019)

Chiapas: A 21 años de la Masacre de Acteal (December 26, 2018)

Chiapas : Las Abejas recuerdan el inicio de la liberación de los perpetradores de la masacre de Acteal con una « Fiesta de la resistencia no violenta » (August 17, 2018).

Chiapas: Agresión armada a la sede de las Abejas de Acteal (April 26th, 2018).

Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality (April 27, 2017)

National: Saltillo Diocese Denounces Intimidation of Fray Jose Raul Vera Lopez

July 20, 2019

SaltilloPhoto @ Proceso

On July 12th, the Diocese of Saltillo denounced in a communiqué an alleged intimidation directed at Friar Jose Raul Vera Lopez by elements of the Mexican Army at Monterrey airport.

According to different sources, the events occurred on July 11th “at Terminal 2 of Monterrey Airport, when Vera was returning from a flight from Mexico City, the military personnel proceeded to question the prelate on his position and hierarchy, the place of destination and the registration plates of the automobile in which he would travel and took note of the registration number of the vehicle in the notebook they carried.”

Vera Lopez, who has a long career in the defense of human rights, received the answer “that it was only about his safety” when he asked the military “what all these questions were about.”

After the events, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection of the Federal Government Alfonso Durazo apologized to Monsignor Vera for what he called an “error” and told him not to worry.

The Bishop received support from different organizations, among them, the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, an international organization that “urged the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to put an end to the acts of intimidation against Monsignor Jose Raul Vera Lopez.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncian presuntos actos intimidatorios contra el obispo Raúl Vera (El Proceso, 16 de julio de 2019)

Jtotik Raúl Vera y a la Diócesis de Saltillo y así mismo a todas las personas que luchan también como nosotros en contra de la impunidad y de las injusticias. (Las Abejas de Acteal, 13 de julio de 2019)

Diócesis de Saltillo denuncia intimidación a Obispo Raúl Vera López (Milenio, 12 de julio de 2019)

Raúl Vera es intimidado por elementos del ejército en el Aeropuerto de Monterrey, denuncia la Diócesis de Saltillo (Vanguardia, 12 de julio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Ciudadanos y organizaciones civiles acusan al gobierno de Coahulia de persecución política y criminalización del Obispo de Saltillo Raúl Vera (August 31, 2017)

Chiapas: “Day of Fasting and Prayer for Memory, Resistance, and Life,” 14 years after the Acteal massacre (January 6, 2012)

Chiapas: The CDHFBC presents Don Raul Vera as new president (January 31, 2011)

Chiapas: Obispo José Raúl López Vera recibe el Premio Rafto 2010 (September 28, 2010)

Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).

Chiapas: New Arrests of Members of Las Abejas in Rio Jordan, Chenalho

August 15, 2018

AbejasArrested in Rio Jordan (@Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society)

The Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal denounced the arrest of two of its members, Manuel Jimenez Santiz and Alonso Jimenez Mendez, from the community of Rio Jordan, municipality of San Pedro Chenalho, on August 6th.

The arrest came after Manuel Santiz Vazquez, a municipal agent of Chenalho, called an assembly in which it was reported that Manuel and Alonso did not do community work in a local clinic, so “people from the political parties” agreed to punish them with 72 hours of prison, according to the Las Abejas statement, “without letting them eat or letting them go to the bathroom.” It explained that “this problem in Rio Jordan arose in the year 2015, but, both the community party authority and the municipal authority of the municipality of Chenalho, never showed interest and respect when, on several occasions, we looked for them to build a path of true dialogue. On the other hand, they have only defamed our colleagues for “breach of community services””. It recalled that in January of this year there was a similar case in which nine members of Las Abejas were detained, but, according to the statement, “they did not have the political will to resolve this conflict at the root, and what they did was to cover up their injustice and their inability to negotiate.”

In a later communiqué, Las Abejas clarified again: “the root is because of their decision [of Las Abejas] not to accept government programs that do not benefit them and not accept positions that are not community, such as the clinic, that those who benefit from this service are the women who receive the PROSPERA assistance program and the compañeras of Las Abejas from Rio Jordan do not accept this governmental program. We want to make it clear that our compañeros who on other occasions have been arbitrarily detained, by the people of the political parties of Rio Jordan, are not for “noncompliance with community positions”, as the agent and the local people are saying, but rather, that it is a punishment for our compañeros for criticizing the policies of bad government and for rejecting dispensable public works that damage Mother Earth.”

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestros dos compañeros llevan más de 50 horas en la cárcel, pedimos condenar y denunciar este grave atropello a los derechos humanos (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Detienen a integrantes de las Abejas de Acteal (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Retienen a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Denunciamos detención arbitraria de dos compañeros nuestros del barrio Río Jordán (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 7 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Las Abejas desmienten versión gubernamental de lo sucedido en Los Chorros (18 de enero de 2018)

Chiapas: detención arbitraria y riesgo de desplazamiento forzado en Río Jordan, Chenalhó (10 de enero de 2018)

Chiapas : a 20 años de la masacre de Acteal (26 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas : Se mantienen amenazas contra Abejas de Los Chorros, municipio de Chenalhó (21 de abril de 2017)

National/International: Actions for International Day against Dams and in Defense of Rivers and Water

March 28, 2018

Dam.pngAction in Chenalho for International Day against Dams (@Otros Mundos)

Since 1997, in the framework of the first International Meeting of People Affected by Dams held in Curitiba (Brazil), representatives of 20 countries declared March 14th as the Day of Action against Dams to denounce water management projects and demand equitable and sustainable management of rivers.

On March 14th and in this context, Intercultural Dialogue Days for the Territory and in Defense of the Rio Verde in the community of Paso de la Reyna, Jamiltepec, were held. There, a regional territorial organization process has been established since 2006 that brings together Peoples and Communities in the United Peoples Council for the Defense of the Rio Verde (COPUDEVER in its Spanish acronym) to face the Paso de la Reina Multiple Use Hydroelectric Project.

In Chiapas, the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal carried out an action within the municipality of Chenalho, making flyers, painting on light poles and on walls along the roads “with the aim of informing and making the population aware of the projects of death that bad governments and capitalist companies introduce without consent in our territories.” In a statement, they ratified “before all the threats of the death projects that the big national and foreign capitalists want to introduce into our lands and territories, we tell them that they will not happen and hope their brain has the capacity to reflect that their ambitions and extractive dreams are mere projects of destruction and that have caused massacres and genocides, in order to forcefully impose their projects, hiring assassins such as: paramilitaries, gunmen, assassins and even soldiers themselves.”

Several organizations in Chiapas and Mexican and Latin American networks also spoke out against “the unlimited multiplication of dams of all sizes, from large scale works to so-called ‘mini-hydroelectric’ [dams], driven by the policies of the World Bank and other alleged “cooperation” and “development” international financial institutions, by the neoliberal structural reforms of the corporatized states, the discourse of “sustainable energy” and the creation of “clean development mechanisms.”” They spoke out against the almost 100 dam projects that exist in the state of Chiapas, including, among others, the expansion of the Chicoasen II and Angostura projects in the Zoque area, 19 mini-hydroelectric projects and the reactivation of the Itzantun project. They also spoke against the new draft General Water Law that “deepens the inequality between the population and the private sector in terms of access to water in the country, by putting the State at the service of [private] companies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de Las Abejas de Acteal en Día Internacional de Acción contra las Presas y por los Ríos, el Agua y la Vida (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 14 de marzo de 2018)

Día Internacional de Acción Contra las Represas: Celebramos los ríos de Chiapas y del mundo (OCS de Chiapas y redes mexicanas y latinoamericanas, 14 de marzo de 2018)

Celebran 14 comunidades la vida y la riqueza biocultural del Río Verde en Oaxaca (Vínculo informativo, 15 de marzo de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : CEMDA publica informe 2017 que indica incremento de la vulnerabilidad de defensores ambientalistas (7 de marzo de 2018)

Oaxaca: Amenazan a la entidad 67 proyectos hidroeléctricos (12 de septiembre de 2016)