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)

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Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre

January 14, 2018

Acteal.pngTwentieth anniversary of Acteal Massacre (@SIPAZ)

 

On December 22nd, 20 years had passed since the massacre of 45 indigenous people in Acteal, municipality of Chenalho, which as stated by the Network All Rights for All “is still a pending account of justice by the Mexican State.” In this framework, a series of activities were organized from December 20th to 22nd.

In a statement read on the 22nd, Las Abejas Civil Society, to which the victims belonged, recalled that “the massacre committed here in Acteal, was against the Tsotsil, peaceful and organized people, the Mexican State through its paramilitaries wanted to exterminate us, to end the seed of our culture of peace and autonomy.” It stated that, “despite the pain and impunity, Acteal became Sacred Land. Acteal, is memory. Acteal, is a dignified word before the world. Acteal, is comfort and healing. Acteal, is dignity and greatness. Acteal is the path of truth, because it never thinks of revenge. Acteal, is Justice. Acteal, is conscience.” It also reaffirmed that “after twenty years of impunity, we do not tire of denouncing what happened and that justice be done”.

The Civil Society Las Abejas denounced on the other hand that, “the Mexican justice system has already expired” so “we have proposed to build a dignified and lasting justice. On the other hand, we hope that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will pronounce itself on the responsibility of the Mexican State regarding this crime against humanity.”

Finally it reaffirmed “that our struggle will continue to be peaceful and committed in defense of life and of Mother Earth, knowing that we are not alone”.

For more information in Spanish:

A veinte años de impunidad, emitimos sentencia condenatoria con la palabra “CULPABLE” a los autores intelectuales de la Masacre de Acteal. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

La masacre de Acteal, culminación de una política de Estado contra indígenas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal nuestra casa de la memoria (CDHFBC, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

La otra verdad de Acteal, a 20 años de la masacre (Animal Político, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal: el día en que México avergonzó a la humanidad (Animal Político, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal, una cuenta pendiente del Estado: Red TDT al exigir protección a las comunidades en Chiapas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

A 20 años de la masacre de Acteal, no olvidamos: Alto a la violencia de Estado en Chiapas (Red Todos los Derechos para todas y todos, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

En México no hay justicia: Acteal, herida abierta (CDHFBC, 21 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Celebran 25 años de resistencia Las Abejas de Acteal (15 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal (24 de diciembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour

July 28, 2017

Abejas.pngFirst day in Acteal.  Photo: @Sipaz

On July 18th and 19th, as part of its “Acteal, Roots, Memory and Hope Campaign”, Las Abejas de Acteal toured the communities of Acteal and Nuevo Yibeljo to publicize their path as survivors and Victims of the Acteal Massacre and as members of the organization.

“The aim of this campaign, in the framework of the 20 years of struggle against impunity in the Acteal massacre and the 25 years of organization and resistance, and the walk of Las Abejas, is to raise awareness among children, young people, men, women, the elderly, so that our people may continue to walk in the struggle to seek peace, justice and the good life of for society. And make it clear, to never surrender to the programs and projects of bad government that only brings death.”

They shared the history of the foundation of Las Abejas and testimony of some survivors about how the massacre happened on December 22nd, 1997, “implemented by the 3 levels of government, it is a state crime.”

The different working groups such as the choir of Acteal, health promoters, women artisans, communication, theater, savings bank, education, also participated where they gave their different tasks.

The next tour is scheduled for early August.

 For more information in Spanish:

Para seguir trabajando con nuestra campaña, Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza. (Las Abejas de Acteal)

 For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en el marco de la conmemoración mensual de la masacre

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Statement for Monthly Commemoration of Massacre

June 6, 2017

Abejas.pngPeaceful protest of Las Abejas Civil Society outside Majomut army barracks, Chenalho, March 2017. Photo @Sipaz

On May 22nd, 19 years and five months after the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization issued a statement to recall that impunity continues and to continue to demand justice, as it has done without stopping for almost 20 years.

They also denounced the situation of violence, “more rampant than ever,” in which Mexico is today. They also remembered journalist Javier Valdez, murdered on May 15th for criticizing and telling the truth “about dirty politics and crimes committed by bad governments and organized crime.”

They pointed out the lack of resources and supplies in hospitals in Chiapas “while with the bad government of Velasco Coello, millions of pesos are spent on advertising, on welfare programs to divide communities and buy consciences and even finance the purchase of arms for paramilitary groups. There is no money for life and health but there is money for death and lies.” They warned that paramilitarism has been reactivated in the same municipality of Chenalho.

Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization concluded its statement recalling that its almost 25-year struggle “is peaceful and non-violent against injustice and exploitation of the bad government of PRI, PAN, green ecologists, PRD and other political party followers.”

For more information in Spanish:

Tenemos que seguir denunciando este infierno en que han convertido a México Enrique Peña Nieto y los ricos y poderosos (Organización de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal (24 de diciembre 2016)


Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality

April 27, 2017

Acteal.pngMural in Acteal (Photo:@Sipaz)

On April 19, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization, municipality of Chenalho, published a communiqué in which they updated the situation of their compañer@s in Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, who were deprived of their freedom by the authorities of this community, and later released between April 11th and 12th. The problem began in this community in 2015, as Las Abejas do not accept “works and projects of the bad government and for not accepting posts related to the management of welfare programs.”

Las Abejas Civil Society reported that the Los Chorros authorities cut off the electricity and water supply to Jose Vasquez Entzin, Antonio Ramirez Perez and Juan Diego Perez Lopez, but the situation has been aggravated by the decision of those authorities “that whoever provides water and electric energy to members of the organization, will also be fined” and “threatened everyone with also cutting off drinking water if they provide water to Las Abejas.” They considered that with these actions, “it is very clear that in the colony Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, the followers of political parties and paramilitaries responsible for the previous events and material authors of the Acteal Massacre in complicity with the municipal president of Chenalho and with the state and federal governments, have initiated a direct attack on our organization to seek to weaken and demobilize us; because it occurs within the framework of our Acteal campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope.”

Las Abejas finally denounced the “lack of political will of the mayor of Chenalho of the Green Ecologist [Party], Rosa Perez Perez, not because of political inability, but she, is following the same pattern of the war of counterinsurgency designed by the then president of the republic Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, because as we tried to speak with the president of Chenalho to resolve through a dialogue the conflict in the Rio Jordan neighborhood, also months before the Massacre of Acteal we spoke with the PRI mayor of Chenalho Jacinto Arias Cross to avoid unfortunate events in our town; however, the three levels of government had already planned to send their message of terror through their paramilitaries to massacre our brothers and sisters of Acteal.

For more information in Spanish:

La situación actual de nuestras compañeras y compañeros se agrava y ya no sólo en el barrio Río Jordán (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 19 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (La Jornada, 14 de abril de 2017)

Se solidariza el CNI con Las Abejas de Acteal (CNI, 13 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal retenidos en Los Chorros (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 13 de abril de 2017)

Riesgo a la vida, seguridad e integridad de miembros de Las Abejas de Acteal (Acción Urgente, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 12 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal


Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope

March 30, 2017

Acteal.pngLaunch of the Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope. Photo@: Sipaz

 On 23 March, the Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope was launched from the offices of the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The campaign will take place within the framework of the XX anniversary of the Acteal Massacre and the 25th anniversary of the founding of Las Abejas Civil Society to “highlight our path as survivors and victims of the Acteal Massacre and as members of Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal, […] exchange and share experiences with men and women from towns and cities who also fight for the same cause as us” and to “point out the material and intellectual authors of the Acteal Massacre so that the Mexican State recognizes its responsibility that Acteal is a state crime, a crime against humanity. And denounce that the Mexican State has so far been unable to ensure the non-repetition of events such as that of Acteal” (sic). They affirmed that, “it is the path of the search for truth and true justice. But, it is also memory, because we will be remembering, reporting and denouncing.”

The campaign will last nine months with cultural, political and religious activities. It will culminate with the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the massacre on December 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2017, in Acteal, House of Memory and Hope.

During the launch, Gonzalo Ituarte, Secretary of the Board of Directors of CDHFBC and Vicar of Justice and Peace of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, shared his testimony. On the day of the massacre he reported receiving two calls from Chenalho informing him of the approach of an armed group shooting. He indicated that he had twice called the government secretary to address this situation. However, no aid was sent for which Gonzalo Ituarte denounced “the way the government had deceived us and how it had allowed, that is to say, how it had caused that massacre. The government that could stop all this did not do it and I am convinced that it did not because it was part of their plan, they wanted to kill, they wanted to destroy the heart of civil society, which sought just causes and a solution to the problem. They wanted to kill and they killed them consciously and this causes indignation and this is a crime unpunished today.”

For more information in Spanish:

En el marco de los XX años de la Masacre, realizaremos una campaña llamada, Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (Las abejas de Acteal, 23 de marzo 2017)

Abejas de Acteal y Frayba lanzan campaña para romper los muros de la impunidad y contra el olvido (Centro de Derechos Humanos fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 24 de marzo de 2017)
Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en el lanzamiento de la Campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 23 de Marzo de 2017)

 

 

 

 


Chiapas: Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

March 29, 2017

Chenalho.pngFamilies displaced due to violence in Chenalho Photo@:Quorum Informativo

In March, faced with the context of violence stemming from the post-electoral conflict in the municipality of Chenalho, several organizations and the Coordination of the Parish of San Pedro Apostol of this municipality issued statements to express their concerns, demand that the State to disarm armed groups and ensure the integrity and personal safety and life of the villagers of the municipality.

The parish of San Pedro Apostol recalled in its pronouncement how the Massacre of Acteal came about almost twenty years ago and declared with great concern “how history seems to repeat itself: acts of violence, threats, dead and wounded, displaced people, burnt houses, actions by armed groups, arms trafficking.” What most distresses the parish is that “the authorities do nothing to solve the problem (…) they abandon their responsibility to enforce justice and the law, which is the only reason for their existence as authorities.” It points out that the two sides of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are armed with weapons considered “for exclusive use by the army.” So far, the conflict has resulted in over 200 displaced persons and four deaths: “It is public and notorious that in the municipality the armed groups have bee reactivated and are acting with total freedom and impunity.” The parish called on the inhabitants of Chenalho so that “as Christians they refrain from engaging in acts of violence against their own brothers.”

In a joint statement, civil organizations blamed the State for “action and omission, in a context of violence that could continue to escalate.” They also alleged that they had been insisting on the disarmament of the paramilitary groups that perpetrated the Acteal Massacre in 1997 and that “not only have they not listened to us in terms of disarmament, but also the armed groups have been reactivated under the current administration of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.” They stated that, “the authorities cannot continue to evade their responsibility in the face of the evident and obvious consequences of the unpunished actions of armed groups and arms trafficking in the region.”

They asked if “this mode of action is a prolongation of the counterinsurgency in which the paramilitaries are the material executors of the plan drawn up by the Army? Is it connivance and active complicity of the authorities with criminal groups? Or is it simple and crass inability to govern? Or perhaps it is a question of creating a sense of ungovernability to justify the Internal Security Law that seeks to institutionalize the action of the Mexican Army in tasks that correspond by their nature to civil authority?”

 For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas imposición y violencia son la forma de gobernar: ONGs; “confrontaciones son encabezados por PRI y PVEM” (Revolución 3.0, 21 de marzo de 2017)

Pronunciamiento conjunto: Chiapas: Imposición y violencia como modo de gobierno (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 20 de marzo de 2017)

Zozobra en Chenalhó ante inminente violencia por la disputa del poder político, económico y social (Chiapas en contacto, 15 de marzo de 2017

Manifiesta parroquia preocupación por violencia (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)