Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination

November 24, 2017

MODEVITEAuthorities from La Candelaria, Municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @: SIPAZ

On November 20th, thousands of indigenous people grouped in the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (Modevite in its Spanish acronym) mobilized in 11 municipalities and an ejido of Chiapas in defense of Mother Earth, for a dignified life and to demand respect for the free self-determination of indigenous peoples. In a statement, they explained: “We are one people who today want to express ourselves in each of the 12 fronts where we are. We denounce the constant threat of transnational extractive megaprojects and demand our right to the self-determination of peoples, in order to change the outdated and oppressive system that governs us.”

The event was called on 107 years of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, and stressed that “the marginalization and misery of our peoples persist; violence is the daily bread and insecurity is what is breathed in the environment. Coupled with this, the colorful circus of political parties divides us, and they take advantage of our poverty” while governments at all levels “are accomplices of dispossession, abuses, violence and injustice.”

For this reason they propose “creating another system that promotes the community rather than individuality, that looks at the earth as a Mother and not as merchandise, that embraces the cultural diversity rooted in the spirituality of our ancestors to make way for the reconstruction of the fabric of social community”. They intend to promote “community governments that renew social relations among indigenous peoples, mestizos, diverse religions, adults and youth; community governments that renew politics by exercising the right to elect the authorities according to the indigenous normative systems of each people, to combat corruption and division of bad governments and thus ensure the defense of our Mother Earth and community harmony.”

More specifically, they asked the authorities to respond positively to the requests presented by the Community Government Commissions of the municipalities of Chilon and Sitala to the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC in tis Spanish acronym) of Chiapas, on November 17th for that they can govern themselves according to their own indigenous normative system.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas denuncian amenaza constante de megaproyectos y ambición de trasnacionales (Proceso 20 de noviembre de 2017)

MODEVITE se expresa en sus 12 frentes y afirma su apoyo a los municipios de Chilón y Sitalá en su búsqueda del gobierno comunitario (MODEVITE 20 de noviembre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de las Comisiones de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón y Sitalá (Boletín de prensa del MODEVITE 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Comisiones de Sitalá y Chilón exigen al IEPC respetar su derecho al Gobierno Comunitario, sin partidos políticos (Anuncio de Conferencia de prensa del MODEVITE 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas (22 de agosto de 2017)

Chiapas : Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (29 de noviembre de 2016)

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Chiapas: Coastal Civil Observation Mission Ends Two Months after the 8.2 Earthquake

November 23, 2017

QuakePhoto:@ SIPAZ

 From November 15th to 17th, six national and two international organizations carried out an observation mission of human rights on the Coast of Chiapas. They visited the municipalities of Tonala and Pijijiapan, two of the most affected by the earthquake of 8.2 on the Richter scale of September 7th. The objective of the mission was to document human rights violations against the population, assaults on human rights defenders and “provide a solidarity and observation presence in communities affected by the earthquake.”

The mission obtained “the testimony of victims and communities whose situation of humanitarian emergency has not been sufficiently visible or attended” and held meetings with the municipal presidents of Tonala and Arriaga, as well as with State Government officials.

In its main conclusions, the mission found “serious misinformation about the criteria and procedures in granting support for the reconstruction process.” It also observed “certain inequities and discriminatory elements in the granting of support”, as well as “a serious lack of coordination of the federal government with the municipal authorities and with society”.

Regarding the reconstruction process, they expressed their concern about “an attempt to channel public resources without clear bidding that wants to pass themselves off as charity and solidarity” and “a process of cultural imposition through construction prototypes that respond to a centralist logic and they are not capable of adapting to the needs of the local population, they do not meet the minimum criteria that allow an exercise of the human right to decent housing and do not even meet basic quality criteria.” They also affirmed that there are “important deficiencies in the areas of health, water, sanitation and psychosocial care for the population affected by the earthquakes, as well as worrying delays in the care and response to the effects of public health and education facilities.”

Finally, they stressed and asked for actions in response to the “worrying testimonies of assaults on defenders in the context of their work documenting human rights violations and supporting victims and communities in relation to earthquakes and aftershocks.”

For more information in Spanish:

Misión de observación de derechos humanos a la Costa de Chiapas (OSC, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Lanzan misión de observación en costa de Chiapas, a 2 meses del sismo (Contralínea, 16 de noviembre de 2017)

Recomendaciones preliminares de misión de observación a la Costa (OSC 17 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: México, sacudido por dos potentes sismos enfrenta el shock con una gran ola de solidaridad (26 de septiembre de 2017)

Nacional: sismo de 8,2 grados Richter. Fuertes afectaciones en Chiapas y Oaxaca (14 de septiembre de 2017)


National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends

November 23, 2017

UNPhoto: @frayba

From November 5th to 17th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, indigenous leader of the Philippines, made an official visit to Mexico, which included the capitals of the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. She met with more than 200 representatives of 23 indigenous peoples, civil organizations defending their rights and officials at all levels.

At the end of his visit, she declared that “the current inadequate legal recognition of indigenous peoples as holders of rights, together with structural discrimination, are at the basis of all the issues and concerns” in the areas “lands and territories; autonomy, self-determination and political participation; self-ascription of indigenous peoples; access to justice; violence and impunity; the right to determine their development priorities; consultation and free, prior and informed consent; economic, social and cultural rights, and the particular situation of specific sectors of indigenous peoples.” While acknowledging “Mexico’s support for advancing the indigenous agenda in international forums,” “this commitment must be coherent and should be reflected in the application of these standards in Mexico.”

On the controversial issue of the consultation, she said that “even in the absence of national legislation on this issue, Mexico already has the obligation to consult indigenous peoples on any activity or legislative or administrative measures that could affect them according to the standards of the ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American jurisprudence and the UN Declaration. The adoption of specific legislation is not the only mechanism to apply the right to consultation and the fact that there is no single model for consultation should also be taken into account, since each indigenous people has its own authorities and decision-making processes.”

The rapporteur also stressed that “the initiatives of indigenous peoples in the area of ​​autonomy and self-government should enjoy greater recognition, and be recognized and incorporated into the overall political structure of the country. In addition to self-government, indigenous peoples have the right to participate fully, if they so wish, in the political life of the country. I have seen some positive developments that could facilitate the political participation of indigenous peoples in this area, such as the possibility of registering independent candidacies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Relatora de la ONU constata violaciones a derechos de indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Declaración de cierre de Misión a México (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ONU, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Discriminación indígena persiste por falta de voluntad política: ONU (La Jornada, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas no son consultados sobre megaproyectos que afectan su territorio en México: ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora Especial sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU visita Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, Tlachinollan, Guerrero, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Pueblos indígenas presentan recomendaciones ante ONU (Boletín de prensa, Chiapas,15 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)


Chiapas: Agrarian Conflict between the Municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan Reignites

November 19, 2017

Chenalho

On October 18th, an individual from the community of Canalumtic, in the municipality of Chalchihuitan, was shot dead.

The following day, a group of police from the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSyPC in its Spanish acronym) and detachments from Zacatonal and Majumpepentic, from the municipality of San Pedro Chenalho, had to flee to San Cristobal following a threat of retention. This occurred after they arrived in Chalchihuitan due to the report of a shootout, according to the newspaper Cuarto Poder.

Several days later, on October 29th, Sebastian Ruiz Ruiz, originally from Chenalho, was shot dead.

In November, a new confrontation with firearms took place between residents of the two municipalities. According to Mural Chiapas, during the events “more than 300 residents of Chenalho entered the community of Pom, Chalchihuitan and burned a house made of wood and sheet iron.”

According to press sources, this confrontation caused the displacement of 670 women and 520 men from the Kanalumtic, Bejelton, Pom and Chen Mut communities, municipality of Chalchihuitan, despite the fact that the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Juan Carlos Gomez Aranda, met with the municipal presidents of these two locations to solve the problem.

The parish priest of Chenalho, Manuel Perez, in a telephone interview with Expreso Chiapas, “pointed out that it is a very old problem, but the government has not helped and on the contrary it has prolonged this situation. On this occasion,due to the upcoming elections there is no solution, they are more concerned about this and neglecting this ancestral problem, he said. At other times the parish has made complaints to address this conflict but the competent authorities have ignored them. Now, we will see what steps will be taken since it is unfortunate that they are displaced.”

These events are related to the agrarian conflict over the limits between the two municipalities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho. This conflict began in 1973, as a result of the works of recognition and titling of communal property by the extinct Secretariat of Agrarian Reform. They have resulted in a dispute over more than 900 hectares located between the two entities.

For more information in Spanish:

Gobierno Del Estado Propicia Diálogo Entre Chenalhó y  Chalchihuitán (Mega Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Ayuda, claman desplazados de Chalchichuitán (Diario de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Teme iglesia baño de sangre entre tzotziles de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (Expreso Chiapas, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Solicitan ayuda humanitaria para auto desplazados de Chalchihuitán (El Siete de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Persiste conflicto entre municipios (Cuarto Poder, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Asesinan a indígena en territorio en conflicto (La Jornada, 19 octubre de 2017)

Gobierno del Estado propicia diálogo entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (El Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 9 noviembre de 2017)

Conflicto territorial Chenalho – Chalchihuitan, retroceso de 7 años (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Iglesia llama a privilegiar el diálogo (Cuarto Poder, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la parroquia de Chenalhó (28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de mayo de 2014)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Resurgimiento del conflicto agrario entre los vecinos municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (29 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas: Bishop of Tehuacan, Next Bishop for the Diocese of San Cristobal

November 10, 2017

Bishop.pngRodrigo Aguilar (Photo@ El Sol de Puebla)

On November 3rd, Monsignor Rodrigo Aguilar was named by Pope Francis as Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The new bishop, born in Valle de Santiago, Guanajuato, was bishop of the Diocese of Tehuacan since January 30th, 2006. Prior to that diocese, he had headed the Diocese of Matehuala, Jalisco.

The new Bishop Aguilar follows in the footsteps of others, Bartolome de Las Casas (1543-1550), Samuel Ruiz Garcia (1959-2000) and his predecessor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel (2000-2017).

According to the Yucatan newspaper, “they asked in the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas that whoever arrived had episcopal experience and work in indigenous towns, since the diocese is mostly indigenous.”

In a statement on the episcopal succession, Bishop Arizmendi mentioned about his successor “that Monseñor Ruiz García fought hard with persecution, for the defense and dignity of the native peoples, so that their rights were respected. He promoted peace, always with the foundation of truth and justice. You should not lose your pastoral heritage” and also in the letter gave “thanks to God and the Catholic community for the almost 27 years of episcopal service in Chiapas: a little over nine years in Tapachula, where I arrived on March 7, 1991, and 17 and a half years in San Cristobal de Las Casas, from May 1st, 2000 to date.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Papa nombra a Rodrigo Aguilar obispo de San Cristóbal de las Casas (El Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2017)

Defensa de los indígenas debe prevalecer: Arizmendi (Cuarto Poder, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Nombran a Rodrigo Aguilar como obispo de San Cristóbal de las Casas (El Sol de Puebla, 3 de noviembre de 2017)

Se despide de Chiapas (Diario de Yucatán, 4 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El obispo Felipe Arzimendi presenta su renuncia al Papa (8 de mayo de 2015)


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)


National: Marichuy Criticizes INE Traps to her Candidacy

October 28, 2017

Marichuy.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 14th, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez, the candidate for the presidency of Mexico and spokesperson for the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG in its Spanish acronym) began a tour of the five Zapatista caracoles. During the tour, the spokesperson was accompanied by CIG councilors and a delegation from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym).

The tour was in the context of gathering the support of citizens, the collection of 866,500 signatures, to be accepted as an independent candidate.

During the tour, in the different caracoles the spokesperson Marichuy was received by thousands of Zapatistas, organizations and civil society who waited for hours to see and listen to her and the councilors. After several talks by different speakers, each caracol held for a cultural event.

During and after the Marichuy tour and the civil association that promotes the candidacy denounced “a presumed sabotage to prevent it from reaching the number of signatures necessary and thus avoid its registration.”

According to the complaint of the CNI, “On October 18th, the INE website https://apoyociudadano.INE.mx was blocked for least five hours, during which time it was impossible to carry out any type of auxiliary registration operation or review the progress of signatures During the sessions and tours, access to telephones and the internet was blocked in the municipalities of Altamirano and Ocosingo, places where these services usually work well.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO DE LA ASOCIACIÓN CIVIL “LLEGÓ LA HORA DEL FLORECIMIENTO DE LOS PUEBLOS” SOBRE SABOTAJES Y OBSTACULIZACIÓN EN LA OBTENCIÓN DEL APOYO CIUDADANO PARA MARIA DE JESÚS PATRICIO MARTÍNEZ. (Congreso Nacional Indígena, 23 de octubre de 2017)

Denuncian presunto sabotaje para impedir el registro de Marichuy como candidata independiente (Proceso, 24 de octubre de 2017)

México: Denuncian ataques para impedir candidatura de Marichuy (teleSUR tv, 25 octubre de 2017)

El sabotaje a “Marichuy” evidencia el poderoso interés para impedir que contienda en 2018: asociación (Sin Embargo, 25 de octubre de 2017)

For more information form SIPAZ:

Nacional: Marychuy se registra como candidata independiente a la Presidencia de la República (18 de octubre de 2017)

Nacional / Chiapas: El CNI conforma su Concejo Indígena de Gobierno y elige a su vocera. (SIPAZ, 31 de mayo de 2017)