Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks

May 17, 2015

(@Centro de Medios Libres)

(@Centro de Medios Libres)

On 11 May, the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) from Caracol III publicly denounced two attacks: one in the El Rosario community, on recovered lands belonging to the autonomous municipality of San Manuel, and the other in the Nuevo Paraíso community, which pertains to the Francisco Villa autonomous municipality.  According to the JBG, there are two paramilitary groups in the region: one made up of 21 people from El Rosario, and the other comprised of 28 individuals from the Chikinival neighborhood, which pertains to the Pojkol ejido, in the Chilón municipality of Chiapas state.

The acts described in the denunciation took place on 10 May, when the Chikinival group arrived to El Rosario and began to measure the recovered lands of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), where Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) also live.  Two paramilitaries entered the house of one Zapatista, and another fired on the Zapatista daughter when she tried to escape the home.  The father of the child then threw a stone at the aggressor, causing him head injuries.  The next day, the family of the injured attacker came to demand 7,000 pesos from the BAEZLN as compensation.  The JBG assures that this amount will not be provided, given that the Zapatista did not seek or initiate the violence.

It bears noting that in 2014, residents of the Pojkol ejido killed a stud bull belonging to a Zapatista, destroyed homes and a cooperative, robbed possessions, fumigated land with herbicides, opened fire intermittently, and left a written note among the burned domiciles: “Pojkol territory.”

Also on 10 May 2015, 16 people from Chikinival entered the Nuevo Paraíso community, armed with two pistols and a rifle.  “They came to leave a letter in the street which blames the Zapatista support-base comrades for having provoked these conflicts,” says the JBG.  Beyond this, the JBG adds that in this case it has initiated mediation, deciding to transfer 21 hectares to put an end to the threats, though this has not yet resolved the problem.  The authorities from the Pojkol ejido claim to oppose this group from Chikinival, given its lack of respect and obedience for the ejidal authorities.

These two incidents took place the day after the close of the seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” which was organized by the EZLN and held from 3 to 9 May in CIDECI-Unitierra Las Casas, where academics and activists shared their thoughts and reflections regarding the present context and alternatives to the capitalist system.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la JBG El Camino del Futuro Caracol III. La Garrucha (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo de 2015)

“Manuel Velasco no hace nada, porque es su paramilitar”, denuncian Zapatistas ante agresiones de grupos armados. (Pozol Colectivo, 12 de mayo de 2015)

Desplazamiento, riesgo de despojo y amenazas a Bases de Apoyo del EZLN(CDHFBC, 15 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)


Chiapas: 2 children perished and 6 gravely injured following immunizations in Simojovel

May 17, 2015

images

Following the application of an immunization campaign to 52 indigenous children from the Simojovel municipality, 29 of them had adverse reactions and had to be hospitalized.  Two have died, and six others have been seriously injured.  The perished neonates, Yadira (30 days of age) and Emmanuel Francisco (28 days), had not yet been officially registered.

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) announced on 9 May that it would suspend only the application of Hepatitis B immunizations within the Simojovel municipality, thus overturning the previous order to suspend the BCG (tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, and Quadrivalent immunizations at the national level, and to contain the Hepatitis B lots as the suspected cause of the adverse reactions.

The Chiapas state governor, Manuel Velasco, and the director general of the IMSS, José Antonio González Anaya, visited those affected and their relatives in the Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where they have been admitted.

Civil-society organizations have demanded that the State authorities investigate the incident in  a profound and impartial way, and they called on the appropriate authorities to determine the chain of culpability among those responsible, as well as to provide the necessary support for families, in addition to access to justice.  They expressed their “concern for the situation of newborns in the State, particularly those who subsist in conditions of extreme material poverty.  Data from the National Council on the Evaluation of the Politics of Social Development (CONEVAL) indicate that, in 2012, 74.7% of the Chiapas population finds itself in extreme poverty, with 24.9% reporting lack of access to health services.  It is notable that this outcome, which has to do with immunizations, takes place in one of the states with greatest material need in the country, where the percentage of unvaccinated children is 18%, and the mortality rate of infants is 13.5 deaths higher than the national average of 13.2 (2010), in accordance with the official data that are presented in the report Infancy Counts in Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El IMSS suspende la aplicación de vacunas de Hepatitis B en Simojovel (CNN México, 11 de mayo de 2015)

La muerte de los niños de Simojovel Chiapas, evidencia de la marginación(Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de mayo de 2015

Exigen OSC investigación profunda e imparcial frente a los casos de muerte infantil por vacunas en IMSS – Chiapas (Comunicado de OSC, 11 de mayo de 2015)

Se encuentran graves seis niños por vacunas en Chiapas: IMSS (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2015)

Mueren dos niños por reacciones alérgicas a vacuna en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2015)

Investiga CNDH caso de vacuna a niños en Chiapas (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2015)


Chiapas/National: Caravan from Yaqui Nation in defense of water arrives in San Cristóbal

May 17, 2015

(@SiPaz)

(@SiPaz)

On 12 May the National Caravan for the Defense of Water, Land, Work, and Life arrived in San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas, having been organized by the Yaqui people of Sonora, Mexico.  Via three different routes (northern, northwestern, and southern), Yaquis have been touring the country to raise awareness about their struggle against megaprojects.

About 50 members of the Southern Caravan marched in San Cristóbal de las Casas, together with constituent members of other social processes in favor of the right to water, neighbors from Cuxtitali, defenders of wetlands, and female members of the Movement in Defense of Land and Territory, which struggles for the participation of women and their recognition within decision-making processes, among other goals.

It should be stressed that the indigenous Yaqui people, who have for 3 centuries striven to defend their autonomy, territory, and right to water, have two of its members politically imprisoned: Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, both of whom are charged with kidnapping and robbery during the protests against the Independence Aqueduct, which transfers water from the Yaqui River to Hermosillo.  This outcome was based on the violation of the indigenous peoples’ right to prior consultation.

The three routes of the caravan will continue their paths toward the Mexican capital, where they plan to arrive on 22 May in a joint concluding action.

For more information (in Spanish):

En defensa de nuestros territorios: Pronunciamiento de la Caravana Yaqui en San Cristóbal (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de mayo de 2015)

http://caravanaporlavidamx.blogspot.mx/

Continúan caravanas de yaquis en defensa del agua, el territorio el trabajo y la vida (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: CNI and EZLN express solidarity with Yaquis of Sonora against the looting of water (21 July 2013)


Chiapas/National/International: Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” ends

May 16, 2015

Seminario "Pensamiento Crítico frente a la Hidra Capitalista", mayo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” May 2015 (@SIPAZ)

From 3 to 9 May, the seminar entitled “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra” was held at the Center for Comprehensive Indigenous Training (CIDECI) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) had called for.  Over the course of the week, more than 1,500 people from Mexico and other countries participated in the event.  Many interventions were made physically, by writing, or audiovisual means, produced both by intellectuals and activists.  The work sessions were facilitated and closed by the Zapatistas present at the event, including Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, Comandanta Miriam, and Commanders David and Tacho, among others.

At the conclusion of the event, Subcomandante Moisés noted that “Our tasks, obligations, and thoughts are grand, so our comrades will leave with much to think about and to imagine.  Go forth and speak to the rest of your comrades wherever you live, as we will have to find new ways of working together in the future to come.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cobertura audios, fotos y primeros escritos (Radio zapatista, mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN renders homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano (14 May 2015)

Chiapas: New communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN(29 December 2014)


National/International: International organizations call Mechanism for Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists into question

May 16, 2015

Mecanismo

In a communique published on 29 April, international human-rights organizations expressed their concern that the National Mechanism for the Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico is “leaderless,” putting at risk its beneficiaries and applicants.  This acephalous situation has to do with the resignations in February and March of 2015 of Víctor Manuel Serrato, former director of human rights, and Lía Limón, subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights at the Governance Ministry (SEGOB).

The groups warn that, “though Roberto Campa Cifraín has been named as the new subsecretary for juridical affairs and human rights, nearly two months have passed since the departure of the director on human rights, and there is little clarity regarding when this position will be covered once again in a permanent fashion.  The absence of management within the institution puts the Mechanism under a great deal of pressure and makes difficult the function for which it was established, thus increasing risk to human-rights defenders and journalists (both beneficiaries and applicants).”

The International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Jass  (Associates for Justice), the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Peace Brigades International (PBI), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), and the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) have similarly expressed consternation amidst the serious lack of implementation of the Mechanism due to reduced budgets (according to members from the Consultative Council, the analysts within the Mechanism have themselves had to cover their travel expenses since October 2014), the lack of a physical space within the institute’s office to attend to beneficiaries and applications, the lack of follow-up training provided to the members of the Mechanism who work on temporary contracts.  They have also pointed to the lack of clarity in terms of criteria for review of cases, the lack of preventative measures, and the impunity in the cases of attacks on human-rights defenders and journalists.

To address these problems, the organizations make the following recommendations: to find a replacement director on human rights, to guarantee greater transparency within the operations of the Mechanism, in terms of the criteria that are used to accept or reject cases, and considering the follow-up that is done when precautionary measures are provided, as well as to improve the means by which the analyses of risk are carried out, to respond in a timely fashion to applications, and to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of all human-rights defenders and journalists “who are at risk as a result of their legitimate work, and who find themselves in high-risk situations during this latest crisis of leadership and the other problems that have been identified in terms of the implementation of the Mechanism for Protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Acéfalo” el mecanismo de protección a activistas y comunicadores, denuncian ONG (Proceso, 30 de abril de 2015

Mecanismo de protección acéfalo pone en alto riesgo a defensores y periodistas: Brigadas de Paz (Página3, 30 de abril de 2015)

Comunicado conjunto: Organizaciones internacionales identifican fallas preocupantes en la implementación del Mecanismo Nacional de Protección a Personas Defensoras y Periodistas en México (OSC, 29 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: PBI and WOLA publish report on Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists in Mexico (10 February 2015)

National: A delicate moment for the Mechanism for the Protection of Rights Defenders and Journalists (30 March 2014)


Chiapas: EZLN renders homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano

May 14, 2015

(@La Jornada)

(@La Jornada)

On Saturday 2 May in the Oventik caracol in the Chiapas highlands, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) rendered homage to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo, who died on 5 March 2014, and to José Luis Solís López, the teacher “Galeano,” who was murdered on 2 May 2014 by members of the CIOAC-Historical.

Present at the event were relatives and close friends of Don Luis, including the intellectual Adolfo Gilly, his comrade Fernanda Navarro, his son Juan Villoro, and members of the Zapatista General Command, including Comandante Guillermo, who presided over the ceremony, as well Comandante David, who read a message from Pablo González Casanova, and the Subcomandantes Insurgentes Moisés and Galeano.

Those who spoke stressed the academic accomplishments of Luis Villoro and his relationship with the Zapatista movement, and they shared memories of him, including living anecdotes.  It should be stressed that Sup Galeano in his comments revealed that Don Luis, having uttered the words “I wish to become a Zapatista,” requested to join the movement.  He was assigned armed work.  The ashes of the fallen thinker were distributed under a tree in Caracol II in Oventik, thus expressing the philosopher’s profound connection to the movement.

In a parallel sense, relatives and friends of the Zapatista teacher Galeano also attended, including his comrade Luz, his daughter Lizbeth, his son Mariano, and comrades Selena and Manolo, from Nueva Victoria, where Galeano had lived.  Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano read some notes rom the personal diary kept by José Luis Solís López in which he relates how he and his family joined the Zapatista movement, participated in the guerrilla struggle, and speaks of his personal relationships with commanders such as Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro, who died during the takeover of Las Margaritas on 1 January 1994.  Sup Galeano, who changed his name from Subcomandante Marcos to give life once again to the murdered comrade Galeano, revealed that the nom de guerre was in fact not inspired by the radical journalist Eduardo Galeano, as some media had claimed, but rather had to do with the historical struggle of the guerrilla fighter Hermenegildo Galeana, who was associated with José María Morelos during the Independence War of Mexico.

The homage, which emphasized the continuing struggle of keeping alive the efforts of murdered comrades, closed with the words of Sup Moisés, calling on those in attendance to organize themselves to construct alternatives to the capitalist system.

For more information (in Spanish):

Palabras de la Comandancia General del EZLN en el homenaje a los compañeros Luis Villoro Toranzo y al Maestro Zapatista Galeano (Enlace Zapatista, 2 de mayo de 2015)

Homenaje a Luis Villoro Toranzo y al maestro zapatista Galeano (Radio Zapatista, 3 de mayo de 2015)

El filósofo y el maestro zapatistas (SubVersiones, 4 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: Bishop Felipe Arizmendi presents his resignation to the Pope

May 14, 2015

Don Felipe Arizmendi (@CEM)

Don Felipe Arizmendi (@CEM)

On 1 May, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, reported that he has sent in his letter of resignation to Pope Francis, now that he has reached 75 years of age.

During the homily of the mass he celebrated on his birthday, the bishop announced that the Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico, Christope Pierre, has told him that “Rome has indicated its desire for me to continue at this pastoral ministry, but it has not specified how long this extension would be.  We leave this up to divine providence.”

The bishop added that he has “no problem with accepting this request that is made of me,” insofar asGod, by means of the Pope, does not tell me to stop my service in this diocese, we will continue working together toward the consolidation of the Church’s project, which was well-expressed in the Third Diocene Synod: following the example of the beloved Tatik Samuel Ruiz García, we must be oppositional, liberatory, evangelizing, communal, and service-oriented, under the guidance of the holy spirit.”

Since 15 May 2014, the Pope had accepted the bishop’s proposal to designate Monseñor Enrique Díaz Díaz as a joint bishop, such that he will be next in the succession.  Felipe Arizmendi expressed that his desire is to return to his original diocese, Toluca, once his resignation has in fact been accepted.

For more information (in Spanish):

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi presenta su renuncia al Papa (la Jornada, 1ero de mayo de 2015)

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi envía renuncia al papa (El Universal, 1ero de mayo de 2015)

Obispo de San Cristóbal anuncia su retiro (Proceso, 1ero de mayo de 2015)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 923 other followers