National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores

February 25, 2020

samir1@Enlace zapatista

On February 20th and 21st, the Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN) and organizations that are members of or close to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) carried out dispersed actions in 20 states of Mexico and in at least seven other countries, one year after the murder by Samir Flores Soberanes, from Morelos, and within the framework of the “Day in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth”.

In Chiapas, thousands of indigenous support bases of the Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN) mobilized to remember it and vindicate their struggle against extractive megaprojects in 11 caracoles, placing candles, offerings, banners and posters in rejection of said megaprojects and to demand justice in the murder of Samir and other land defenders in the country.

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) said that, one year after the murder of the defender, “the risk to life, security and integrity of the defenders oh territory was increased, in Mexico (…) criminalization has also intensified against communities of indigenous peoples opposed to government projects, specifically those who belong to the National Indigenous Congress.”

On February 21st, the “March for Justice for Our Brother Samir Flores Soberanes”, for the dead, missing, prisoners and in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth was also held in Mexico City.

For more information in Spanish:

Pueblos y colectivos recordarán a Samir Flores con marchas, conversatorios y actividades culturales a un año de su asesinato (Desinformémonos, 18 de febrero de 2020)

Imágenes de la movilización zapatista iniciada la madrugada de este 20 de febrero en Defensa del Territorio y la Madre Tierra, por justicia para nuestr@s muert@s, nuestr@s desaparecid@s, nuestr@s pres@s y en contra de los megaproyectos de muerte. “SAMIR S (EZLN, 20 de febrero de 2020)

“Todos somos Samir”, proclama el EZLN en jornada de resistencia (Proceso, 20 de febrero de 2020)

Aumenta criminalización contra defensores de territorio: Frayba (La Jornada, 20 de febrero de 2020)

EZLN realiza concentraciones (Cuarto Poder, 20 de febrero de 2020)

EZLN se suma a manifestaciones a un año del asesinato del activista Samir Flores (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de febrero de 2020)

A un año del asesinato de Samir: ni justicia ni obras (Pie de Página 21 de febrero de 2020)

Abejas de Acteal exigen justicia para Samir Flores y todos los defensores asesinados en México (Desinformémonos, 21 de febrero de 2020)

Exigen justicia para Samir, con mural, altar y bloqueo en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 21 de febrero de 2020)

A un año del asesinato de Samir Flores, exigen justicia (La Jornada, 22 de febrero de 2020)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas/Nacional : CNI- CIG “vivimos la guerra del capital contra los pueblos del mundo”, convocatoria a la cuarta Asamblea Nacional (November 8, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: EZLN Invitation to “Celebration of Life: December of Resistance and Rebellion” (November 10, 2019)

National/International: CNI Mobilizations for Global Day of Struggle in Defense of Life and our Territories – “SAMIR FLORES LIVES” (October 17, 2019)


Chiapas: Protesting Prisoners Begin Three-day Hunger Strike

February 9, 2020

On February 5th, it was announced at a press conference held at the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights that four indigenous prisoners from Chiapas began a hunger strike for three days on that day.

With this action they demand to speed up the review of their cases that are currently on the so-called Reconciliation Table and in the Mixed Court of Bochil, and then their release.

“They also demanded that their space of struggle be respected inside both prisons until their freedom is obtained; that the “psychological reprisals and threats of the prison director of San Cristobal, Jose Javier Sanchez Rios and Judge Maria Guadalupe Flores Rocha stop, as well as the provision of medicines and medical care in the corresponding área.”

The prisoners who started the three-day fast this morning are, Adrian Gomez Jimenez, and the brothers German and Abraham Lopez Montejo, who are imprisoned in San Cristobal prison and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez, interned in Comitan prison.

For more information in Spanish:

Con ayuno, presos tzotziles en Chiapas piden revisión de su expediente, La Jornada, 5 de febrero de 2020

Presos indígenas torturados inician huelga de hambre, chiapas paralelo, 5 de febrero de 2020

Denuncias de los presos: Chiapasdenuncia, 5 de febrero de 2020

video de la conferencia de presnsa https://www.facebook.com/CdhFrayba/videos/493698384679288/UzpfSTM3MjYxNDE5NjQ1NTM0ODoxMDIxNjAwNzE4MjIzMzU2/ 5 de febrero de 2020

audio de palabras de los presos, https://soundcloud.com/chiapas-denuncia-p-blica/presos-reiniciaran-huelga-de-hambre-en-chiapas 5 de febrero de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Prisoners in San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounce Theats and Negligence from Prison Authorities (January 28, 2020)

Chiapas: Death Threats against FRAYBA and Relatives of Prisoners (December 11, 2019)

Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America (December 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (September 6, 2019)


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Celebrate 27th Anniversary

January 4, 2020

CD548C81-6DFF-475B-BD18-036EEDCEB6F3@Las Abejas de Acteal

On December 10th, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization held an event in Chenalho to celebrate the 27th anniversary of its founding in 1992.

The event began in the morning with a ceremony remembering the 45 people who were killed in the 1997 massacre in Acteal. Then, there was a choir, a play and a presentation that recalled the story of the birth of the organization.

Several members of Las Abejas shared their experiences linked to the events that led to the foundation of the organization. Five compañeros had been imprisoned for acts they did not commit. In the process to free them from jail (which was achieved on January 7th, 1993), they chose to come together as a civil society.

At the event, representatives of several organizations attended, including Services and Advice for Peace A.C. (Serapaz), the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), Otros Mundos A.C and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). The event was also broadcast via Las Abejas radio station.

On their 27 years of work, Las Abejas stressed that “the path of the organization has been thorny and tiring, but, with fasting and prayer and our conviction we have always found alternatives to overcome them. The path we have chosen is not a game, nor is it temporary, but it will continue with our young people, with our children, because we must always defend life and work for peace.”

Regarding the continuation of their work, they said that: “In the social and political context in which our organization was born, there was a lot of injustice, racist mestizos treated us like animals, political parties and bad governments treated us as objects. Currently we continue as native peoples in discrimination and social inequality, with injustice and impunity. Bad governments have not evolved, they have not improved their conscience, because the prisons are full of political prisoners, innocent people, poor people, people who do not speak Spanish, and are illegally locked up.”

On December 22nd, the 22nd anniversary of the 45 victims of the Acteal massacre will also be commemorated.

For more information in Spanish:

Un día como hoy, pero, hace 27 años, en el año de 1992, nació nuestra organización la que actualmente es conocida: Organización de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal, Las Abejas de Acteal, 10 de diciembre de 2019.

La Abejas de Acteal celebrarán 27 años de fundación Prensa Libre Chiapas, 9 de diciembre de 2019.

Concejo de las Abejas de Acteal: indígenas no pedimos Tren Maya Político, 9 de diciembre de 2019.

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Sociedad Civil Las Abejas denuncia allanamieno de su clínica en Acteal; Concejo Pacifista declara que es un “asunto entre particulares”; Sociedad Civil Las Abejas ratifica “por eso hemos rechazado la solución amistosa, porque traería división” . 23 de septiembre de 2019.

Chiapas: Marcha-peregrinacion de las Abejas de Acteal para exigir justicia verdadera y digna 14 de agosto de 2019.

Chiapas: Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal rechaza solución amistosa en el caso de la masacre de Acteal presentado ante la CIDH 7 de marzo de 2019.


Chiapas: Death Threats against FRAYBA and Relatives of Prisoners

December 11, 2019

Juan

On December 9th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) denounced at a press conference death threats against its staff and those who make up the Collective of Relatives of Prisoners in Struggle “who received in November and so far in December death threats, surveillance, harassment and intimidation, in the context of the struggle for the freedom of native prisoners, particularly Juan de la Cruz Ruiz.”

It explained that the threats began to appear from November 12th, 2019, when “approximately at 10 pm, a black car with tinted windows left an envelope inside the home of a defender of the Family of Prisoners in Struggle. The envelope contained a message with newspaper clippings that said: Faro: catastrophic warning, call for help (the defender’s name is omitted) is in danger of death, life is very short, death is inevitable, one more, November, take care of her, try to save her life. It is worth mentioning that Faro is the last name of the Director of Frayba.”

Another incident occurred on November 19th when a new message was discovered at the domicile of the same defender where they wrote the name apparently in blood. That same night, at 9:00 p.m., an advertisement related to a funeral home was found in the house of a member of FRAYBA. “It is possible to say that in none of the neighboring houses they left this announcement”, it emphasized.

FRAYBA also reported that “as a result of these threats we have documented greater vigilance and harassment of both the families of the prisoners and the organizations and groups that accompany them.” It denounced that “to date, an adequate protection response has not been obtained from the mechanisms of the Mexican State” although “the defender filed a complaint with the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas for the threats and FRAYBA has made several written interventions before state and federal authorities.” It said that “the guarantee and protection is not made effective by the Mexican State, minimizing the risk situation that due to the circumstances we value coming from agents of the State itself.”

“After one year after Rutilio Escandon’s government, neglect, indifference and no response to the human rights situation persist; resulting in the obstruction towards the demand for justice and discrimination for indigenous peoples,” it claimed.

It urged the authorities to cease the death threats, vigilance, intimidation and harassment towards those who make up the Collective of Families of Prisoners in Struggle and Frayba, as well as their solidarity networks; to guarantee the life, security and personal integrity of the defenders mentioned, as well as the prisoners organized in La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia, La Verdadera Voz del Amate and Viniketik in Resistencia; and that immediate measures are implemented to obtain the freedom of Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, Adrian Gómez Jimenez, Abraham Lopez Montejo, Germán Lopez Montejo and Marcelino Ruiz Gomez “who are arbitrarily deprived of their freedom and whose human rights have been violated by the Mexican State.”

For more information in Spanish:

Amenazas de muerte a defensora y al Frayba (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

Denuncian amenazas de muerte contra activistas y defensores del Frayba y familiares de presos (Proceso, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

Frayba pide a CIDH medidas cautelares para indígenas amenazados (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: Solidarios de la Voz del Amate Seeks Alliances with Other Processes in Latin America (December 6, 2019)

Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz (December 5, 2019)

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

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


Chiapas: Freedom for Juan de la Cruz Ruiz

December 5, 2019

juanPhoto @Frayba

On December 3rd, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (also known as Frayba) announced through a press conference that it had presented an indirect injunction for the freedom of the torture survivor, victim of violations of due legal process and currently in arbitrary deprivation of his freedom, Juan de la Cruz.

The indigenous Tsotsil Juan de la Cruz Ruiz, a prisoner for more than 12 years accused of the crime of homicide, filed the injunction to request the protection of federal justice as since February 2016 there is a recommendation for freedom with suspended sentence issued by the Reconciliation Bureau, La Jornada reported.

At the conference Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, reported that the request for indirect injunction was delivered in the District Court of Injunction and Federal Trials in the State of Chiapas, of the Twentieth Circuit, based in the capital.

“In the aforementioned document, it is claimed that even when there is a recommendation for freedom with a suspended sentence, dated February 11th, 2016, Juan de la Cruz remains in unjust prison at the Center for Social Reinsertion for the Sentenced No. 5, in San Cristobal de Las Casas,” he added.

He also noted that the recommendation “was sent for specific processing before the Undersecretary of Executions of Criminal Penalties and Security Measures, which since February 12th, 2016 received and had to issue the freedom ruling.”

He said that Juan’s family and those “who accompany him in the defense of his rights” face harassment, threats, vigilance and intimidation, facts that were already denounced before the State Attorney General’s Office.

Frayba urged “the highest Court to grant the injunction and protection of federal justice and that the authorities responsible for resolving this case comply with the recommendation they have issued so that Juan is released immediately.”

For more information in Spanish:

Para más información vea esta conferencia de prensa, en el Museo de la Ciudad de Tuxtla. (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de diciembre de 2019)

Tras 12 años preso, indígena tzotzil solicita protección de la justicia (La Jornada, 3 de diciembre de 2019)

Indígena preso en Chiapas pide protección de la justicia federal (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 4 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas:Presos del Cerss 5 son amenazados de ser reubicados si no detienen su protesta (6 de septiembre de 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: After over 100 Days on Hunger Strike, Prisoners Need Appropriate Medical Attention and Continue to Demand Freedom (June 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Indigenous Prisoner Released after 16 Years Awaiting Sentencing and 60 Days Hunger Strike (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: Chiapas Prisoners Enter Fourth Week of Hunger Strike (April 8, 2019)

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


Chiapas: Civil Organizations Report on Observation Mission in Tapachula

November 24, 2019

Tapachula@Frayba

On November 21st, members of the Observation Mission of the Humanitarian Crisis of Migrants and Refugees in southeastern Mexico convened a press conference at the facilities of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) in San Cristobal de Las Casas to report on the impacts of Mexico’s migration policy at the southern border.

They pointed out that “the asylum system in Mexico faces a growing collapse” because the immigration authorities fail to give a quick response to all applicants.

“The office of the Mexican Commission for Assistance to Refugees (COMAR in its Spanish acronym), based in Tapachula, has collapsed, which has caused migrants seeking asylum to have to stay longer in that place without work and in conditions of helplessness.”

According to Brenda Ochoa, director of the Fray Matias de Cordova Human Rights Center, immigration policy is a social criminalization policy. In Tapachula, migrants are subject to detention by the National Guard because they do not have the possibility of leaving the city. They reported abuse and arbitrary detention of both families and minors.

They also mentioned that while they were at the immigration station in Tapachula they experienced harassment from security agents who took the photos and names of members of the Mission.

Another aspect discussed at the press conference is the change in the profile of migrants due to the arrival of many people from several countries in Africa. Angeles Mariscal, also a member of the Mission, highlighted the vulnerability of around 1600 African migrants. “They had their passports confiscated, they have a hard time understanding Spanish,” said the journalist. He said his situation is much more difficult because “they had no way of communicating, they were not allowed to leave.”

The representatives of the Mission reported a very tense climate in the migratory station due on the one hand to temperatures of up to 40 degrees causing dehydration, and on the other, due to the lack of restroom and food services. Another aspect that plays a very harmful role in the context is the participation of media that send xenophobic, racist and discriminatory messages against the migrant population, for example accusing them of being carriers of diseases such as Ebola.

A woman from Nicaragua who was forced to flee her country because of political persecution also attended the press conference. She said that she arrived in Mexico on June 9th together with her husband and 15-year-old son and that she was detained at an immigration checkpoint in Tuxtla Gutierrez. Although COMAR approved her refuge request, she has not received a response to date. “We are unemployed, renting a house and my son without access to education. […], If you don’t have the conditions to house the migrants, don’t stop us and let us continue”, she also asked the Mexican government.

For more information in Spanish:

Sistema de asilo enfrenta colapso (Cuartopoder el 22 de noviembre de 2019)

Conferencia de prensa en vivo (Frayba el 21 de noviembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Autoridades migratorias frenan a caravana de migrantes en Tapachula (14 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Migrantes africanos chocan con Guardia Nacional en Tapachula (4 de octubre de 2019)

Internacional/Nacional: El Alto Comisionado de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) termina gira en México, mientras protestan migrantes africanos en Tapachula (1 de octubre de 2019)

Chiapas: Elementos de la Policía Federal Agreden a Migrantes y Periodistas en una Estación Migratoria en Tapachula (28 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Organizaciones de DDHH piden alto a las detenciones de niños, niñas y adolescentes migrantes (23 de mayo de 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: CNDH solicita medidas a favor de personas migrantes (16 de abril de 2019)


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

August 18, 2019

Abejas

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)