Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike

April 8, 2019

Presos

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike in different prisons in Chiapas have now entered their fourth week on this protest. Their health situation is deteriorating: “German Lopez Montejo, a prisoner on hunger strike, is suffering from fainting due to low blood glucose levels. The Working Group No Estamos Todxs claims that in the CERSS # 14 (Amate Prison) the prisoners are not ingesting the minimum amount of honey for survival because the prison authorities have retained it [their supply].”

On April 4th, SIPAZ visited the inmates of The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia) and Supporters of the Voice of Amate (Solidarios de La Voz de Amate). Both are located in CERRS # 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The reasons for their protest are that they declare themselves innocent of the crimes of which they are accused, and that they were forced to plead guilty under torture. They began their hunger strike to demand their freedom.

Furthermore, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a document on March 22nd denouncing that “the 13 people deprived of their liberty began a hunger strike inside prisons to denounce human rights violations they live daily in the penitentiary centers where they are held, as well as to proclaim their innocence given the unfair trials in which they are being prosecuted. It is important to point out that they have denounced torture and cruel inhuman and/or degrading treatment since the moment of their arrest, 12 of them are indigenous Tsotsiles.

The 13 prisoners on hunger strike have indicated that they constantly receive threats and harassment from the prison authorities to give up their protest.

We request that the personal integrity of the 13 persons deprived of their liberty who are on hunger strike be respected and that they be treated in accordance with their dignity and that due respect for fundamental rights be respected.

We urge the authorities of the state of Chiapas to immediately cease acts of threats and intimidation, as well as acts of punishment that constitute torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment. “

The people who are on hunger strike are: Abraham Lopez Montejo and German Lopez Montejo, in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Sentences No. 14 El Amate (CERSS No. 14 El Amate), in Cintalapa; Adrian Gomez Jimenez, Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Mariano Gomez Lopez, Marcos Gomez Lopez, Martin Gomez Lopez, Mariano Perez Velasco, Mario Diaz Rodriguez, Felipe Diaz Mendez and Juan Castellanos Gomez in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas; as well as Marcelino Ruiz Gomez and Baldemar Gomez Hernandez in CERSS No. 10 in Comitan de Dominguez.

For more information in Spanish:

Presos indígenas, 18 días en huelga de hambre, 2 de abril de 2019, Chiapasparalelo

Riesgo grave a la salud de nuestros compañeros en huelga de hambre en el CERSS#14, noestamostodxs.tk, 4 de abril de 2019

Reos indígenas de Chiapas se cosen los labios para exigir su libertad,  Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2019

Cese de amenazas y hostigamientos a presos en huelga de hambre en Chiapas, CDHFBLC, 22 de marzo de 2019

Trece presos indígenas cumplen 18 días en huelga en Chiapas; acusan tortura y exigen su liberación, Sinembargo 2 de abril de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike  (March 24, 2019)

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate (March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

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Chiapas: Thirteen Prisoners on Hunger Strike

March 24, 2019

Presos.png(@Chiapas Paralelo)

A group of seven indigenous prisoners, held in three prisons in Chiapas, joined the hunger strike that began on March 15th with another group of six prisoners. All of them demand their freedom, better prison conditions, and justice for acts of torture committed against them. Some have been imprisoned for 15 years, without receiving a sentence.

The lawyer of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights Center (Frayba), Gilberto Hernandez, explained that they have reviewed the files of dozens of inmates, and in at least 60 cases there is evidence of arbitrary detention and torture as a method to obtain a guilty plea to crimes that they may not have been committed. Even so, he stressed that in the majority of cases, judges issue condemnatory sentences, violating due process. The most vulnerable to this type of situation are the indigenous, since in many cases they are monolingual and have few economic resources, he stressed. For this reason, Frayba requested that “the right to protest, meeting and expression of indigenous people on hunger strike is respected, investigation is initiated for possible acts of torture within the prisons, and adequate conditions are guaranteed for the people on strike, taking allowing for physical space, medical review and visits of relatives and advisors.”

However, Alberto Patishtan Gomez, founder of the Prisoners and Ex- Prisoners of Solidatity of the Voice of El Amate of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym), denounced that the prisoners who are on hunger strike in the Center for Social Reintegration for Sentenced Persons (Cerss in its Spanish acronym) No. 5 have not been able to receive any visits.

He held the director of Cerss 5, Juan Jose Trujillo Cruz, responsible as he remembered months ago when other compañeros were in the same situation, he sent a group of shock troops to break up the peaceful movement, “it is not worth a thing that we are supposedly living in a state of the fourth transformation, we are seeing the opposite.” For the same reason, he and other former prisoners demanded the dismissal of the director of Cerss No. 5 as well as the intervention of the president of the Republic.

For more information in Spanish:

Ex presos solicitan destitución de director del Cerss número 5 (Reporte Ciudadano, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Suman 13 los reos indígenas en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Siete indígenas chiapanecos realizan huelga de hambre; hay un preso sin sentencia tras 15 años (Video, Aristegui Noticias, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Niegan visitas a presos en huelga de hambre (Chiapas Minuto a minuto, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Presos indígenas, sobrevivientes de tortura, en huelga de hambre en el Cereso de Comitán (comunicado, 19 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : seis presos indígenas inician huelga de hambre (16 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Diego Lopez Mendez Freed, Prisoner and Member of Solidarios de la Voz del Amate

(March 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Luego de 10 años de Encarcelamiento es liberado Alfredo Goméz Lopez, Víctima de Tortura (21 de febrero de 2019)

Chiapas: Indígenas presos en San Cristóbal de Las Casas exigen revisión de sus expedientes (4 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristóbal carry out fast to demand respect for their rights (January 4, 2019)


Chiapas: 30th Anniversary of “Frayba”

March 24, 2019

Frayba.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On March 19th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym, better known as Frayba) presented on its 30th anniversary the report “Facing Violence, the Spiral of Struggles and esistance”. The report gives a historical perspective of the journey of Frayba and the panorama of struggle of the peoples in Chiapas in defense of their human rights. It details among other topics the serious situation of violence against women, the process of defending the Zoque territory and the municipality of Chicomuselo, and a systematization on the subject of torture.

“To the women and men who, with their path, have flooded life with dignity, and given meaning of the path of Frayba, that next to/beside you, pulsates the earth, with its resistances that make the light and the rebellions that summon us not to desist from the new world that is emerging,” Frayba recalled.

Frayba was created in 1989, at the invitation of the then bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García, and with the passage of time became an indespensable reference for the defense of human rights, in particular indigenous peoples, not only locally, but nationally and internationally.

On the 27th and 28th of this month, as part of the anniversary, a “Festival of Human Rights” will also take place in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

For more information in Spanish:

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas cumple 30 años en defensa de pueblos y comunidades indígenas (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Frente a la violencia, la espiral de luchas y resistencias: Informe Frayba (Frayba, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Festejan en Chiapas los 30 años del Frayba; clérigos resaltan legado de Samuel Ruiz García (Proceso, 19 de marzo de 2019)

Frayba entrega informe de derechos humanos (Cuarto Poder, 20 de marzo de 2019)

Crisis de derechos humanos, legado de Peña y Velasco en Chiapas: Frayba (La Jornada, 20 de marzo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Presents its Annual Report “Paths of Resistance” (December 28, 2016)

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (March 30, 2014)


Chiapas: One Dead and Two Wounded in Latest Confrontation in Aldama – Chenalho Conflict

January 29, 2019

aldama

In the early hours of January 22nd, an attack by residents of Santa Martha, municipality of Chenalho, against their neighbors from Aldama who were going to their plots to work left one person dead and two wounded by bullets, as a result of the old conflict over the dispute of 60 hectares between the two municipalities, government sources reported.

As a consequence of this conflict, at least 2,036 people from communities bordering Santa Martha (Xuxch’en, Coco, Tabak and San Pedro Cotzilnam) are displaced in camps far from the disputed area.

According to the inhabitants of Aldama, in 2009, Santa Marta and Aldama signed an agreement to end the conflict, by which the inhabitants of the first community received from the state government one 1,300,000 thousand pesos. However, this agreement has been broken and the situation has been growing ever more violent since 2016.

In view of the most recent events, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican State to “adopt effective measures to guarantee the life and personal integrity of the population of Aldama, especially of the communities located in the territorial limits with Manuel Utrilla , Chenalho, as well as the municipal seat; investigate, sanction, disarm and dismantle the armed groups of Santa Martha, Manuel Utrilla, Chenalho; address the humanitarian emergency of the displaced population in the Chiapas Highlands region, Mexico; and cancel arrest warrants that criminalize representatives of displaced families.”

For more information in Spanish:

Un muerto y dos heridos, saldo de agresión entre Chenalhó y Aldama (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2019)

Nuevo ataque paramilitar en Aldama, Chiapas, un muerto y dos heridos (Regeneración, 22 de enero de 2019)

Un muerto y dos heridos deja añeja disputa de tierra entre tsotsiles de Aldama y Chenalhó (Alerta Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2019)

Acción Urgente : Persiste riesgo a la vida en comunidades desplazadas, en Aldama, Chiapas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Se necesita atención al Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en Chenalhó y Aldama, ataque armado deja dos jóvenes heridos (14 de enero de 2019)

Chiapas: Sigue la violencia entre Aldama y Chenalhó (5 de enero de 2019)

AMLO sobre el caso de Desplazamiento Forzado Interno en el Municipio de Aldama, Chiapas. (18 de diciembre de 2018)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence
(November 19th, 2018)

Chiapas :Se mantienen amenazas y desplazamiento forzado en Aldama ; Frayba lanza acción urgente (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (April 26th, 2018)

Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama (May 10th, 2018)

 


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: Mass Forced Displacement in Chabajeval, Municipality El Bosque

November 26, 2018

Displaced.png(@Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights)

The crisis of internal forced displacement in the highlands of Chiapas reached a new peak on November 7th when, according to the parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, in the community of Chavajeval, municipality of El Bosque, almost all of the inhabitants of the town (about a thousand people according to the first estimates) fled from there after a conflict in which a 65-year-old man died. On the same day, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights reported that, “while a community assembly was held, there was an explosion and shots were later heard.”

Since that date, displaced people have sought refuge in various places, including in nearby mountains or in the town of El Bosque and in the municipalities of Chenalho, Chalchihuitan and San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Given the rumor that more displaced people were kidnapped in the community of Tierra Caliente, Father Marcelo confirmed that although there were 400 displaced people in this place, they were not kidnapped.

The root of the displacement derives from a conflict between the residents of the community whic “on October 24th, Miguel Perez Lopez, ejido commissioner of Chavajeval, and Carmelino de Jesus Ruiz Álvarez was ambushed and shot at, two more people they were injured,” Chiapas Paralelo states. The investigation of the case by the community authorities has generated tension and accusations among the different groups present in the community.

While it is unclear if there are conditions for a return for the coffee harvest given the risk of losing it, the situation of displacement (which affects all groups) remains critical: “Food corn, beans and medicine are needed. I invite you in your parishes and organizations to show solidarity in prayer and gathering food,” said Father Marcelo Perez.

Civil Protection of Chiapas informed through its Facebook page that it has delivered food and blankets to those affected.

Support can also be provided through CARITAS DE LA DIOCESIS DE SAN CRISTOBAL.

Bank details:

BANORTE

Account number: 0642624985

IBAN: 072130006426249855

ACCOUNT NAME: CARITAS DE SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS A.C.

For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican government to “guarantee the conditions to stop the escalation of violence in the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; to “favor dialogue and conciliation between the parties for the resolution of the conflict”; to “impartially and efficiently investigate the facts that led to the forced displacement of almost 2,000 people from the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; and to “address the humanitarian crisis situation in accordance with the Guiding Principles of the Forced Internal Displacement of the United Nations Organization and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in a situation of vulnerability”.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas: Se profundiza la crisis humanitaria de los Altos de Chiapas (13 de noviembre de 2018)

Párroco de Simojovel clama por ayuda para desplazados de Chavajeval, Chiapas (El Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Suman tres muertos y casi mil personas desplazadas en Chavajebal (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Unos mil habitantes huyeron al monte en Chavajeval, Chiapas; la iglesia dice que hay hambruna (Sin Embargo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Habitantes de Chavajeval, Chiapas, enfrentan desplazamiento forzado (Proceso, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

Urge atención a desplazamiento en Chabajeval: Martín Ramírez (NVI, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

Detienen presuntos zapatistas involucrados en asesinato de autoridades de Chavajeval (Ultimatum, 7 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence (November 19th, 2018)

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30th, 2018)

Chiapas: Oportunidad de profundizar el tema del desplazamiento forzado en el Congreso del estado (October 24th, 2018)


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence

November 19, 2018

AldamaDisplaced in Aldama (@Rompeviento)

In an urgent action notice published on November 9th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced new attacks perpetrated by an armed group of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla, in the municipality of Chenalho, endangering the lives of the inhabitants of the neighboring municipality of Aldama.

It explained that on November 7th, a group of about 20 people arrived at the plots in the community of Xuxch’en, in Aldama, to cut their coffee and that, at approximately 11 am, armed individuals of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla began to shoot at them. It added that a similar event occurred on October 19th, when indigenous people from the communities of Tulantic, Cotzilnam, Tabac, Coco and the capital of Aldama went to take in the harvest at their farms and an armed group of Santa Martha shot at them. Two people were injured, it said.

Faced with the most recent events that stem from an unresolved agrarian conflict since 1977, the Center demanded that the authorities intervene “urgently” and guarantee the life, integrity and personal security of the inhabitants of Aldama. It also urged them to deal with the displacement of 12 families of Xuxch’en and other communities in conditions of forced displacement in Aldama, immediately applying “the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement of the United Nations, as well as how to carry out preventive actions in order to prevent forced displacements from the Aldama communities from continuing due to the armed aggressions in the region.” It also asked “to implement an effective strategy of dismantling, disarming, arresting and punishing the armed civilian groups of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla and thoroughly investigate the authorities responsible for the organization and action of these groups. We again call for a ceasefire.” The Center asked the Governor Manuel Velasco Coello to assume his responsibility as representative and to see to in a comprehensive manner “and in depth the spiral of violence” that exists in the region, human rights violations and the emergency in which Aldama residents find themselves.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente: En riesgo la vida de indígenas tsotsiles de Aldama (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

El Frayba exige frenar ataques contra indígenas de Aldama, Chiapas(Proceso, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Dos heridos y en riesgo comunidades tsotsiles de Aldama tras nuevas agresiones de grupos armados (Rompeviento, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Solución definitiva a Chenalhó y Aldama (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 9 de noviembre de 2018)

Frayba denuncia ataques de grupo armado en la comunidad indígena de Aldama (Desinformémonos, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

El Frayba exige frenar ataques contra indígenas de Aldama, Chiapas (Diario Contrapaoder, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

For more inofrmation from SIPAZ:

Chiapas :Se mantienen amenazas y desplazamiento forzado en Aldama ; Frayba lanza acción urgente (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : Persiste riesgo a la vida de indígenas tsotsiles en Aldama, denuncia el Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (April 26th, 2018)

Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama
(May 10th, 2018)

Chiapas: Otro conflicto agrario en los límites de Chenalhó provoca desplazados en el municipio de Aldama [blog incluye antecedentes] (27 de marzo de 2018)