Chiapas: MODEVITE Receives Recognition for Environmental Defense in Chiapas

December 4, 2019

MODEVITE@Proceso

On November 27th, the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Chiapas environmentalist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended the rights of nature in the municipality of Chicomuselo from the year 2007 when he saw the socio-environmental effects of the Canadian mining company BlackFire that extracts the mineral from Barita, was remembered in that same municipality. After several threats by company workers he was killed. Since then, his family has carried out a long process with the support of various organizations demanding justice and punishment for the culprits.

In commemoration of his murder, relatives of the environmentalist as well as 32 national and international organizations convened the “Mariano Abarca” Environmental Defense Forum in Chiapas, which was held on November 27th, 2019 at the Sala de Bellas Artes in San Cristobal de Laa Casas.

In the framework of this event, the “Mariano Abarca Award”, the first recognition of environmental defense in Chiapas, was also given to the indigenous organization Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) that is present in 11 municipalities of the state populated by Tseltales, Tsotsiles and Ch’oles from the area of ​​Los Altos and La Selva and which is also part of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The prize that was awarded must recognize “year after year the community, collective or organization of the State of Chiapas, Mexico, that with their struggle for the defense of the rights of nature they defend their peoples, and they defend us all, dignify life, make us not lose hope that Other Worlds are possible” as indicated in the blog dedicated to the “Justice for Mariano Abarca” campaign.

Gustavo Castro of the Other Worlds organization stressed that “the first recognition of the environmental defense in Chiapas 2019 granted to MODEVITE means that we see it, accompany it, make it visible and thank you for your struggle for the good of all peoples.”

The forum was also an important occasion to share experiences of various groups and organizations in defense of land and territory. In the first part, the Movement for the Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE), the Popular Front for the Defense of Soconusco “June 20” (FPDS in its Spanish acronym), Somos La Maya, Zoques in Defense of Life and the Territory (Zodevite), a representative of the Pascacio Gamboa Community, Ixtacomitán and the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT), an active organization in the Mountains and Costa Chica area of ​​the state of Guerrero participated.

In addition, specialists and panelists from different human rights organizations and institutions were invited. Norma Gonzalez Benitez of Amnesty International attended with an analysis on the criminalization of human rights defenders and the environment in Mexico, Edgar Cortes of the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy (IMDHD in its Spanish acronym) who spoke on the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights and Journalists and finally the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation (SweFOR) shared their experiences on the accompaniment work of human rights and environmental defenders and their situation in Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

MODEVITE recibirá Reconocimiento a la Defensa Ambiental “Mariano Abarca” (Chiapas Paralelo el 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Exigen justicia a 10 años del asesinato del activista Mariano Abarca; Modevite obtiene premio con su nombre (Proceso el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PREMIO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL (Justicia para Mariano Abarca el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Entregarán el primer “Premio Mariano Abarca” al MODEVITE (Educa el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PRIMER RECONOCIMIENTO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL EN CHIAPAS 2019 “MARIANO ABARCA” (Otros Mundos el 19 de noviembre de 2019)

La minera canadiense Blackfire en Chiapas contra defensores de los territorios y de la vida (REMA el 18 de octubre de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Megaperegrinación del Movimiento en Defensa de La Vida y del Territorio (MODEVITE) en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (21 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas : Creciente polarización en Chilón ante posible cambio de modo de elección, del sistema oficial al por usos y costumbres. (15 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019)

Chiapas: realizan foro sobre Libre determinación(10 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determinationm (November 24, 2017)

Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas (December 2, 2016)


Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage on Eighth Anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz

January 31, 2019

believing(@SIPAZ)

On January 25th, as part of the eighth jubilant anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz, the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas made a pilgrimage to this city to celebrate a mass and remember the former bishop and well-known defender of human rights worldwide, in particular those of indigenous peoples. More than three thousand people from different pastoral areas of the Diocese participated. The Mass was concelebrated by the current bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, Raul Vera Lopez, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, and some 20 other priests.

They recalled that the Believing People is an organized process within the diocesan structure: “We are indigenous peoples, we are mestizo, we are not slaves, we are builders of our history, we live and fight for a community life that seeks “Lekil kuxlejal” (good living) that proposes a culture of life for the whole ofsociety”, “seeking to give a significant boost to reconciliation, unity, peace and justice …” (Diocesan Pastoral Plan).

In its pronouncement, the members of Believing People denounced that “at first sight in our country everything is calm according to the authorities, but in reality the people are the ones who feel and suffer the situations of injustice, abuse, corruption and impunity of the authorities together with threats, violence, forced displacements of communities that are divided from outside.” In addition, “there is a lack of employment, low wages, rising prices of basic products, insecurity, recruitment of people for organized crime groups and trafficking in persons, which leads to migration from the countryside to the cities, to other states of the republic or the United States and Canada, which causes family breakup with its fatal consequences.” They also criticized the deficiencies of the education system and the health system.

They added that “there are transnational and national companies, as well as caciques that cause pollution and destruction of natural resources: cutting down trees, mining, hoarding and privatization of water and wetlands; promotion of monoculture of African palm and rubber that is affecting health. The fumigations in our crops without permission and also by the modification of our creole seeds, by Monsanto.”

They demanded among other things, the solution of the sociopolitical conflicts of Chenalho-Chalchihuitan, Santa Martha-Aldama; Chabajebal and Amatan; that they cease militarization and paramilitarization in communities that generate violence, insecurity, rape of women and unpunished deaths; the release of political prisoners; that there be no threats or aggressions against human rights defenders or ecclesial servants who fight for the common good; and that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. They also spoke out against megaprojects that “are strategies of low intensity warfare, keeping us disorganized, full of conflicts and generating dispossession (hydroelectric dams, the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining)” and against the Guard National.

They finalized their pronouncement announcing that they will continue “forward in the process of liberation of the peoples” and making “conscience in respect to Mother Earth: seeking ways and agreements within the autonomy of our peoples and family to avoid the indiscriminate felling of trees and pollution.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo: Chiapas: “No somos esclavas ni esclavos, luchamos por una vida comunitaria”, octavo aniversario de Jtatic Samuel Ruíz (Pueblo Creyente, 25 de enero de 2019)

Por Tren Maya, pueblos originarios exigen se respeten sus derechos (La Jornada, 25 de enero de 2019 )

Rechazan pobladores Tren Maya en Chiapas (El Universal, 25 de enero de 2019)

En aniversario luctuoso recuerdan legado de Tatic Samuel Ruíz García (Ultimatum, 25 de enero de 2019)

Conmemora Pueblo Creyente Octavo Aniversario Luctuoso de Tatik Samuel (NVI Noticias, 26 de enero de 2019)

Solución a problemas de límites: Creyentes (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz (February 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage (February 5th, 2017)

 


Chiapas: Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism

September 20, 2018
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@Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez


On September 8, around 400 people from 22 communities held a Zoque People’s Assembly against extractivism in the community of Linda Vista, municipality of Ixtacomitán. The priests of Amatan, Simojovel, Rayón, Tapilula and Sta. Catarina (Solosuchiapa) invited by the Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (ZODEVITE) were also present.


In the main decisions that were made are the agreements not to participate with Zoque representatives in the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples that Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) plans to create, a document to protest against the recent elected Deputy Humberto Pedrero, considering that he does not represent the Zoque people and to conduct a march against hydrocarbons on September 16 in Guayabal and on September 22, in Rayón.


For more information (in Spanish) :

Chiapas : Asamblea del pueblo zoque contra el extractivismo (Rebelión, 13 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Ejidos and Communities in the Zoque Area March against Mining Projects May 4, 2017


Chiapas / National: Twentieth National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) takes place 50 years after their creation

August 31, 2018

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From July 23 to 28, the 20th National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) was held in Chiapas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their creation. The bishop of the host diocese explained that the CEBs “are a group of people of the Catholic Church who come together to share the word of God, reflect and see how to apply it in daily life. This group, a small community, is like a family that strengthens the life of the parishes, of the dioceses. “

After the opening event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the participants from the 45 dioceses of the country were divided into groups that met in different parishes of the diocese, some located in the city and others in municipalities such as Teopisca, Tila, Venustiano Carranza and Ocosingo. Representatives of the CEBs of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras also attended.

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Photo @sipaz


At the end of the event, again in San Cristóbal, they issued a joint statement in which they proposed “to promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country”, after the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of the month. They acknowledged that “we are at a key moment in our country, because in the past electoral process, the people decided to change the direction maintained during the last six years, which led to the concentration of the economy in few hands, structural reforms, the climate of violence and corruption, the interventionist policy of the United States as also happens in various countries. All of this represents, without a doubt, a great challenge for the citizens who have decided on a change “.

Among other agreements, they decided to “renew our communities, accompany and include children, adolescents and youth; promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country and promote continuous, integral, social, political, testimonial, and shared formation that allows us to respond to the realities of today “; as well as to “deepen our historical memory as a source of life and hope; recover the role of the laity as subjects of the journey of our church and society; and resume and resignify our method: See, think, act, evaluate and celebrate “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebran 50 aniversario de las CEBs en Chiapas (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2018)

CEBs proponen “impulsar” participación civil tras triunfo de AMLO (La Jornada, 29 de julio de 2018)


Chiapas: a forum on Free Determination is held in Bachajón

August 9, 2018
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Photo @ SIPAZ


On August 8 and 9, under the premise that “the construction of autonomy is done collectively”, a forum on “Free determination and defense of the territory” was held in the Bachajón ejido, municipality of Chilón.

On the first day of the forum, which was convened by the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), more than 500 people exchanged experiences of self-determination and defense of the territory among indigenous peoples. Representatives of the Permanent Commission for Peace and Justice in Oxchuc were present; as well as of the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (Zodevite); of San Felipe de los Herreros (Michoacán) and of the Colectivo Emancipaciones.

The second day consisted of a pilgrimage and a mass in the Bachajón ejido. By means of a pronouncement the different movements and collectives demanded:

“To the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute of the State of Chiapas, to carry out all the necessary steps so that in Chilón, Sitalá and Oxchuc, our right to elect our municipal authorities according to our internal normative systems becomes effective, a right which is recognized in the second article, section A, section III of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

To the Federal Government ,to adapt the text of Article 115 of the Constitution, in such a way that the figure of the Indigenous Municipalities is contemplated, protecting and enforcing the recognition of the right to self-government on the part of indigenous peoples and communities throughout the country.

To the corresponding Authorities, to stop the process of privatization of water that puts our hydrological basins and the survival of our communities at risk. For us, water is not an economic resource, but a source of life, that is why we are willing to defend it to the ultimate consequences. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas chiapanecos realizan foro sobre Libre determinación (La Jornada Maya, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Pronunciamiento Modevite (Blog Modevite, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Indígenas de Chiapas y otros estados realizan “Foro por la libre determinación y en defensa del territorio (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Partidos políticos ¡nunca más!: Pueblos originarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de agosto de 2018)

Plantean instituir la figura del municipio indígena en México (La Jornada, 10 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The Councils of the Community Government from the Municipalities of Chilón and Sitalá are presented publicy May 30, 2018

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination November 24, 2017

Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns August 29, 2017


Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz

February 3, 2018
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Photo @SIPAZ


On January 25, the People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) organized a pilgrimage to honor jTatik Samuel Ruiz, commemorating the 7th anniversary of his death. According to the newspaper Cuarto Poder, “more than five thousand Catholics of the 57 parishes of the diocese of San Cristóbal” participated in the pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas before gathering in the Plaza Catedral to celebrate a mass officiated by the new bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, who was accompanied by the bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, Raúl Vera López. Aguilar Martinez stressed in his homily that “we learn from St. Paul and also from so many who in the history of this diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas have spent their lives preaching with their words and their works the magnificent announcement of God’s love in Christ.”

Pueblo Creyente reaffirmed that we are aware of the reality that we live in, and we are moving in many places and in many ways, we have the firm task to go on struggling for freedom, peace with justice and dignity for the benefit of the people, uniting us in a common struggle and building alternatives; and before the indiscriminate exploitation of the Gifts of Creation, today we are also an example and a proof of organization in defense and care of Mother Earth. “

The banners that they carried during their pilgrimage were painted with texts denouncing social and political conflicts. They reflected the issues presented in thier statement, where they strongly rejected the plunder of Land and Territory and the privatization of natural ressources, the effects of the so called “structural reforms”, the corruption and impunity and the fact that “throughout the country, and particularly in Chiapas, adequate consultations are not carried out when laws are drafted or projects are developed that affect the territories and rights of indigenous peoples”. The large number of pilgrims exceeded the participation of the pilgrimages in the previous years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan peregrinación en honor al obispo Ruiz García (Cuarto Poder, 26 de enero 2018)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina en el séptimo aniversario de la pascua de jTatik Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize October 28, 2017

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage February 5, 2017


International: Zodevite Movement Receives Pax Christi International Peace Prize

November 10, 2017

Zodovite.pngPhoto:@ Pax Christi International

From October 23rd to 26th, the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Land and Territory (Zodovite in its Spanish acronym), the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and Pax Christi International, met with 13 parliamentarians of the European Union.

According to Frayba, in the different meetings testimonies of violations of rights were presented, among others, of “autonomy, self-determination and land and territory, which violate communities of indigenous peoples in Chiapas.”

In Brussels, “Frayba and Zodevite demanded the cancellation of arrest warrants against caretakers of the Zoque territory; and they called for international solidarity to force the Mexican State to respect the autonomy and self-determination of the Zoque indigenous people.”

On October 29th, Chiapas poet and Zodevite representative Mikeas Sanchez received the 2017 Peace Prize, awarded by Pax Christi International, “The movement has undertaken a non-violent campaign to stop hydraulic fracturing, oil exploitation and mining in southern Mexico.”

In a speech given by Ms. Sanchez, Zodevite mentioned: “we want to share this award with other peoples of Chiapas, Mexico, Latin America and the world, who are living similar situations.”

The award was presented at a ceremony at the Maria SS Institute. Bambina (Via Paolo VI, 21) in Rome, Italy.

For more information in Spanish:

Pax Christi International honours ZODEVITE with 2017 Pax Christi International Peace Award (Pax Christi International)

Reciben zoques Premio Internacional de la Paz (NVI Noticias, 30 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Creyente Zoque evidencia proyectos de despojo ante la Unión Europea (La Jornada Guerrero, 27 de octubre de 2017)

Entregarán Premio Internacional de la Paz a movimiento indígena (Cuarto Poder, 6 de octubre de 2017)

Zoques dedican el Premio Pax Christi Internacional a otros pueblos originarios (Radio Zapatista, 31 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en resistencia contra megaproyecto recibe Premio Internacional de Paz (Europa Zapatista, 1 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Internacional: El Pueblo Creyente Zoque, recibirá el Premio Internacional de Paz 2017 (19 de octubre de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas.  (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos.  (3 de mayo de 2017)