Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018

June 4, 2019

Frayba

On May 27th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights published a bulletin warning that, “aggressions against peoples, communities and organizations have intensified as part of a strategy to contain civil and peaceful resistance in defense of territory.” Two years after the Constituent Assembly of the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym), of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

It illustrated the statement by referring to the six indigenous defenders who have been murdered so far in 2019, as well as mentioning the CNI’s own denunciations since December 2018 with situations of “dispossession, forced displacement, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances, threats, harassment, criminalization and attempts of executions.”

Frayba denounced that “this logic of war against the peoples that build autonomy, is reproduced in the increase of militarization of Zapatista territories, especially the incursions, flights and espionage of the Mexican Army to the headquarters of the Junta de Buen Government Toward Hope, in La Realidad Caracol (Official Municipality of Las Margaritas). This containment is deepened by the presence of the National Guard in the region, which increases risks to the integrity and security of the population.”

In this context, Frayba demanded that the Mexican State: “Cease the attacks against peoples, communities and organizations that make up the National Indigenous Congress; justice for the defenders and communicators murdered in the country; and high militarization in Chiapas and Mexico.”

For more information in Spanish:

Contrainsurgencia a Pueblos Originarios que construyen la vida digna (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, a 27 de mayo de 2019)

Las agresiones contra pueblos originarios se intensifican: Frayba (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Two Members of CRAC-PF and CIPOG-EZ Murdered (May 28, 2019)

Guerrero: CNI Denounces Kidnapping and Murder of Two Members (May 11, 2019)

Chiapas: denuncian dos comunidades choles de Salto de Agua amenazas, persecución y hostigamientos (El 22 de abril de 2019)

National: Third Assembly of National Indigenous Congress and Indigenous Council of Government (CNI-CIG) in Mexico City (March 14, 2019)

Chiapas : CNI denuncia amenazas y agresiones en la zona Norte (El 16 de agosto de 2018)

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Chiapas: Six Prisoners Resume Indefinite Hunger Strike in San Cristobal and Comitan Prisons

May 17, 2019

Hunger strike@SIPAZ

On May 13th, a press conference was held by the organizations The Voice of Indigenous in Resistance (La Voz de Indigenas en Resistencia), The True Voice of Amate (La Voz Verdadera del Amate) and Viniketik in Resistance (Viniketik en Resistencia), their families, the working group No Estamos Todxs and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights to announce the resumption of an indefinite hunger strike by six people “in the absence of an adequate response from the government.” Six indigenous prisoners had begun a hunger strike on March 15th this year, demanding their immediate release and denouncing the conditions of life inside the prison in terms of food, health, security and justice. Shortly after, another seven prisoners joined the strike.

In a subsequent press conference, on April 12th, they announced that their hunger strike became a partial fast while a negotiating table with the government was opened. However, this process did not prosper: “We make public that our relatives and we have been the object of mockery and object of lies on the part of the Government by named: Ismael Brito Mazariegos together with the President of the Reconciliation Table, because last April 15th they asked our relatives to lift the hunger strike in exchange for the review of our files and followed by our freedom, but we gave an “show of trust” demonstrating our trust by making the strike a fast, eating every three days, so that a period of 20 working days was given. The Reconciliation Board emphasized that it would take them ten days, but like any official they do not care about our physical health, but we have not seen satisfactory answers from them.” The prisoners added that “they have faced discrimination and have witnessed that the government did not comply with the necessary measures to guarantee access to justice” and that “they do not have an adequate defense, because they are in a situation of cultural, social and economic marginalization.”

In addition, they questioned the absence of an “in-depth investigation” of the accusations of torture and fabrication of files that is “an everyday practice” and “habitual with which it locks people up and that immediately dismantles all that discourse of ‘Rule of Law’ with which fill the mouth and bags (sic.).”” The State seeks to perpetuate torture with its denial,” they denounced.

The conference took place 18 days after the presentation of the “Alternative Report of Civil Society Organizations of Mexico” before the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) on torture in Mexico. This report confirms that “there are structural causes, scale and specific characteristics of torture committed against indigenous people and peoples.” The UNCAT will present its conclusions on May 17th.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado de regreso a la huelga de hambre ante la falta de respuesta adecuada del gobierno (Grupo de trabajo No estamos Todxs el 14 de mayo de 2019)

Inician presos huelga de hambre en Chiapas (El Universal el 13 de mayo de 2019)

Reos indígenas reinician huelga de hambre; alegan detención ilegal y tortura (El Proceso el 14 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncias por tortura no se investigan en Chiapas (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas el 13 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Little Progress 60 Days after Start of Hunger Strike in Various Sate Prisons (May 15, 2019)

Chiapas: Press Conference for Prisoners on Hunger Strike (May 7, 2019)

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

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


Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Increased Militarization in Zapatista Territories

May 10, 2019

zapatistas.png

In a bulletin published on May 2nd, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported that “since December 2018, the Mexican state increased the militarization of the territories of indigenous peoples bases of support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN in its Spanish acronym) especially in the region of the Lacandon Jungle as part of the continuation of the counterinsurgency strategy to erode autonomy projects in Chiapas.” It considered that this increase shows that “the Mexican State reaffirms its commitment to war in a region where Indigenous Peoples build a Life with Dignity.”

It indicated that the Center, through the documentation compiles by the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO in its Spanish acronym), registered that since the end of 2018, the number of incursions by the Mexican Army through the headquarters of the Good Government Council (JBG in its Spanish acronym) to La Esperanza, in La Realidad Caracol (official municipality of Las Margaritas) had doubled. It documented that there were “19 land patrols, (with soldiers armed with machine guns) and five flights by helicopters, from January to April 2019. Of concern is the regularization of flights over communities and the increase in military movements in the last month.”

It affirmed that “the military incursions constitute acts of intimidation and harassment against the Zapatista Original Peoples in resistance, they represent an aggression against their right to autonomy and represent a risk to the life, integrity and security of the entire population.” It also reported that “so far this year, Frayba recorded two acts of espionage against the BriCo, in the international observation camp located in La Realidad”, [an] action [that] violates the integrity and personal safety of those who monitor human rights violations in the region and whose work is based on the Declaration on the Right and Duty of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Human Rights and Universally Recognized Fundamental Freedoms of the United NationsOrganization”.

This complaint coincides with the one published by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) in a statement on April 10th: “In our mountains and valleys the military, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants have increased. The flights of military aircraft and helicopters have reappeared, as well as artillery vehicles.”

Finally, Frayba called for national and international solidarity “to strengthen the path of peace and respect for human rights facing the risk of a new military offensive to the Zapatista territories.”

For more information in Spanish:

Estado mexicano incrementa militarización en territorios zapatistas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncia Frayba estrategia contra pueblos originarios y EZLN (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Incrementa militarización en territorios zapatistas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Los de abajo (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncian vigilancia militar en Chicomuselo (27 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Centro de derechos humanos denuncia riesgos ante militarización de Chilón (25 de enero de 2019)


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)


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)