Chiapas: Zoque Communities Oppose Hydrocarbon Extraction in Northern Chiapas

October 24, 2016

reservesHydrocarbon reserves. Photo @Chiapas Paralelo

According to information published by Chiapas Paralelo, on October 18, the Secretary of Energy began a consultation process with the Zoque people of the municipalities of Francisco Leon, Ixtacomitan and Pichucalco, in the north of the state to open twelve hydrocarbon (oil and gas) wells that are currently up for bid and would cover around 80,000 hectares. According to the same source, the Center for Zoque Language and Culture, the presence of observers and specialists has not been permitted. The Center reported that “first they must report so that the ejidatarios analyze and consult on the impact with trustwortyh people, so they would have a period of internal consultation. Under these conditions a free and informed consultation is not being carried out.”

A week earlier, on October 12, the Movement of Indigenous Peoples in Resistance (MOPOR) said that most communities in the municipalities of Tecpatán and León Francisco oppose such exploitation. They reported that on October 7 a forum was held in Tecpatán, in which presidents of commissions and municipal officers expressed their opposition to the process. They held that in Tecpatán 60% of the communities are against mining and in Francisco León, 90%.

Juan Guerrero Hernandez, a member of MOPOR, demanded respect for the land and the indigenous peoples of Zoque ethnicity, and stressed that they are willing to defend their territory against this new attempt at dispossession.

For more information in Spanish:

Buscan autorización de pueblos zoques para abrir pozos de hidrocarburos en norte de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de octubre de 2016)

Comunidades se oponen a extracción de petróleo (Cuarto Poder, 13 de octubre de 2016)

Pobladores de 2 municipios de Chiapas se oponen a 12 pozos petroleros (La Jornada, 12 de octubre de 2015)

Pueblos indígenas de Chiapas denuncian despojos de territorio por licitaciones para la extracción de hidrocarburos (m.x, 12 de octubre de 2016)



Chiapas: Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time

October 23, 2016

Paciencia.jpgPilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ

On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tzotzil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.

It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.

According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on strike hunger and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncian violación de derechos en penal de Chiapas (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2016)

Trabajadores del CERSS No 8 denuncian abusos del director (Grupo NVI Noticias, 24 de abril del 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Carta de Roberto Paciencia Cruz en el marco del día internacional de los presos (24 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Niegan entrada a visitas del injustamente preso, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, en el CERESO No. 5 (30 de agosto de 2016)Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, tres años preso en el Centro Estatal de Reinserción Social de Sentenciados (CERSS) número 5 (19 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia escribe a Alejandro Díaz (24 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas/National: CNI and EZLN to Hold Consultation to Appoint Female Indigenous Candidate for 2018 Presidential Elections

October 17, 2016

EZ1.pngCNI at Oventik Caracol (@SIPAZ)

From October 9 to 13, within the framework of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the “Fifth National Indigenous Congress” was held at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristobal de Las Casas. About 500 delegates from 32 nations, peoples and indigenous tribes of Mexico, as well as members and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and other guests participated. It worked in thematic working groups around the following themes: dispossession and repression; our resistances and rebellions; a review of the CNI; proposals for strengthening the CNI. On October 12, Columbus Day, a political-cultural event in Oventik Caracol was also held.

EZ2.pngZapatista militia on the arrival of the CNI at Oventik, October 12, 2016 (@SIPAZ)

On closing the event, the CNI and the EZLN published a statement entitled “May the Earth Tremble at its Core” (paraphrasing the national anthem), in which they reported 27 grievances dispossessions indigenous peoples in the country are facing. What created the biggest stir was the announcement of the start of a consultation to examine the convenience of appointing an indigenous council of government and inviting an indigenous woman to participate in the upcoming presidential elections to be held in 2018. The statement says: “Given all of the above, we declare ourselves in permanent assembly and we will consult in each of our geographies, territories and directions the agreement of the Fifth CNI to appoint an indigenous council of government whose word will be materialized by an indigenous woman, a delegate of the CNI as an independent candidate who contends on behalf of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the 2018 election for the presidency of this country.”

The statement says that “It’s time to attack, to go on the offensive” and clarified that “our struggle is not for power, we do not seek that; but we will call on indigenous peoples and civil society to organize to stop this destruction, to strengthen us in our resistance and rebellion” the Zapatistas said in a statement in which they made a call to organize “from below.”

The joint statement ends by emphasizing “It is time for rebel dignity, to build a new nation for all people, to strengthen the power from below and the anti-capitalist left, and for those who are to blame for the pain of the people of this multicolor Mexico to pay.”

For more information in Spanish:

Congreso Nacional Indígena: 20 años (La Jornada, a 11 de octubre 2016)

QUE RETIEMBLE EN SUS CENTROS LA TIERRA (Comunicado conjunto EZLN/CNI, 14 de octubre de 2016)

El EZLN postulará a una mujer indígena como candidata independiente para 2018 (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2016)

EZLN lanzará candidata indígena para la presidencia en 2018 (Regeneración, 14 de octubre de 2016)

El EZLN da un giro y apuesta a la vía electoral; postulará a mujer indígena en el 2018 (Revista Proceso, 14 de octubre de 2016)

Los zapatistas se presentarán a las elecciones (El País, 15 de octubre de 2016)

Lanzarán EZLN y CNI candidata indígena independiente para 2018 (La Jornada, 15 de octubre de 2016)

Congreso Nacional Indígena: 20 años (La Jornada, 11 de septiembre, por Luis Hernández Navarro).

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas/Nacional : Convocatoria al V aniversario del CNI en Chiapas (1ero de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Anuncia EZLN actividades para el 2016 (9 de marzo de 2016)



National: Increase in Murders of Transgender People Denounced

October 12, 2016

itzelItzel Castellanos @FacebookItzel

On October 9, Itzel Castellanos, a nineteen-year-old transgender person, was killed with a knife outside her home in Comitan, Chiapas. On September 30, Paola, a 25-year-old transgender sex worker was shot dead in Mexico City.

In the case of the Isthmus of Juchitan in Oaxaca, being muxe (homosexual or transgender) is considered a gift because parents believe that the son or daughter muxe is loyal to the family and will not be married and will look after them. However, several organizations have reported an increase in murders of transgender people in this area also, “According to the Sexual Diversity organization, from 2010 to May 2016 over 120 killings of non-heterosexual people were committed in Oaxaca. Meanwhile, the National Catholic Youth Network for the Right to Decide reported that in the last 14 months 17 hate crimes were committed; 15 in 2015 and two in 2016, in the regions of the coast, the Isthmus and the Central Valleys.”

In a broader sense, according to La Jornada newspaper, the Observatory of Murdered Trans People and the Citizens Commission Against Hate Crimes Homophobia argues that Mexico ranks second in the world with 229 such killings (ahead Brazil, with 802, and followed by the US with 132)

For more information in Spanish:

 El asesinato atroz e impune de Paola, una transexual, deja muy mal parada a la “tolerante” CdMx (Sin Embargo, 6 de octubre de 2016)

Asesinato de joven transexual indigna a la comunidad gay de Chiapas (Revista Proceso, 8 de octubre de 2016)

Itzel, transexual de 19 años, es asesinada a puñaladas, en su casa de Chiapas; van 20 en 2016 (Sin Embargo, 9 de octubre de 2016)

Crímenes por homofobia en Juchitán derrumban el mito de paraíso muxe (La Jornada, 10 de octubre de 2016)

Itzel Durán, una joven transexual de 19 años, fue asesinada en Chiapas (Animal Político, 10 de octubre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncian violencia policial en la detención de transexuales en Palenque (17 de diciembre de 2015)


National: The CNDH Presents its Report on Recommendations on Human Rights Violations

September 29, 2016

SE CNDHLuis Raul Gonzalez Perez, CNDH president, Photo@Luis Barrón, SinEmbargo

On June 8, National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) presented its report on recommendations for human rights violations in Mexico City.

According to the CNDH, the states that have received the most recommendations from 1990 to the present are Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Mexico City and Veracruz.

The commission’s report states, “that in the last 26 years 2,537 recommendations were issued to 1,102 authorities, of which 361 are still pending compliance with some of the recommended points.”

Raul Gonzalez Perez, president of the CNDH, stated “that the federal authorities with the most recommendations are the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) and the executive powers of Chiapas and Oaxaca, with 105 and 104 cases respectively.”

The report notes that, “[in] the breakdown by state, the Guerrero authorities top the list with 136, followed by Oaxaca with 134, Chiapas with 127, Mexico City with 100 and Veracruz with 93.” The 320 outstanding recommendations are related to 530 issued between 2011 and 2016, of which 60 percent have not been met in full.

The National Security Commission (CNS), IMSS, PGR, the Department of Defense and the Governor of Guerrero are the authorities that must fulfill most of the recommendations. “Some 28 of these outstanding recommendations are more than six years old, 57 between four and six, 132 three to four, 128 between one and two, and 16 less than a year.”

According to Sin Embargo, the most important points of non-compliance with these recommendations are “related to guarantees of non-repetition, attention to victims and processes to determine administrative and criminal responsibilities of public servants.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas y la CdMx, los estados que más violan los derechos humanos: CNDH (Sin Embargo, a 08 de julio 2016)


National: March for Resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto

September 28, 2016

epnCall for march for resignation of Peña Nieto

On September 15, the symbolic commemoration day of “El Grito” – the cry for the Independence of Mexico – thousands of people responded to the call launched on social networks for a march to demand the resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto.

#RenunciaYa, is the hashtag with which this non-partisan demonstration was called for on social networks since September 2, just after the publication of the Government’s fourth report. Led by parents of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa, followed by farmers from Atenco, machete in hand, about 4,000 citizens, mostly young, began the #RenunciaYa protest, according to Animal Politico. The protesters left the Angel of Independence monument with the aim of reaching the Zocalo to face the president. However, at the Palace of Fine Arts, thousands of riot police, deployed by the Ministry of Public Security of Mexico City, blocked their passage. However, in the Zocalo, a small group of protesters who had managed get through started whistling and shouting slogans against the president just as President Enrique Peña Nieto appeared. According to La Jornada, “a young man showed a poster criticizing the federal administration and was immediately surrounded by elements of the Federal and Presidential Police. Some people demanded that the police allow the youth to express himself, to which they responded “we are only following orders.” Federal Police kept the young man surrounded until the fireworks ended, he was photographed and they made video of the youth and finally two policemen said they would accompany him to the exit.”

In Chiapas, the governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, did “El Grito” from an alternative site to the square of Tuxtla Gutierrez, as it was occupied by teachers opposed to the education reform bill.

For their part, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society Organization, in their last statement, give several examples of why, according to them, “there is no longer independence.” They claim that, “this heroic and historic struggle for the independence of Mexico […] has been betrayed by the PRI governments and other political parties in Mexico who have been in power.” Because “The idea of the struggle, independence in 1810, meant that Mexico was independent, sovereign, democratic. […] However, the edge of that independence began to end with the government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari with agreements and commercial, political and military treaties with neoliberal and capitalist countries, one of them is: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.”

In addition, the Xinich’ Coordinator of Social Organizations remembered September 15 with a statement in which it demands the removal of Enrique Peña Nieto as an “incompetent” in addition to “delivering our nation into the hands of foreigners.” It also expressed support for the struggle of the teachers against the so-called educational reform and demanded “the repeal of structural reforms, justice for the people massacred at Viejo Velasco, Acteal, for the 43 disappeared student teachers of Ayotzinapa, for Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, compliance with the San Andrés agreements signed between the federal government and the EZLN…”

 In Oaxaca, in the state capital, the governor, Cué Monteagudo, did his sixth and last “Grito” from the balcony of the government palace amid shouts of “murderer” and “traitor”. According to Educa, “elements of the State Police prevented the entry of teachers from Section 22 into the square to give their alternative ‘Grito’ with teargas, sparking a confrontation”. At least 20 people sustained minor injuries.

For more information in Spanish:

En méxico ya no existe independencia, es por las mal llamadas reformas constitucionales (Las abejas de Acteal, 22 de septembre de 2016)

#Chiapas Xinich’ recordó el “15 de Septiembre” exigiendo la renuncia de EPN, la abrogación de las reformas estructurales y el cumplimientos de los “Acuerdos de San Andrés” (Koman Iles, 20 de septiembre)

Marchan para exigir la renuncia de Peña Nieto (La Jornada, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

15 de septiembre: Policías repliegan marchas en Oaxaca y Chiapas (Educa, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Miles de personas dan el Grito en el Zócalo (La Jornada, a 15 de septiembre 2016)

Renuncia ya y los acarreados: dos marchas rumbo al Zócalo (Animal político, a 16 de septiembre 2016)

Hay apertura para la crítica, dice presidencia sobre posible rechifla a Peña durante el Grito (Animal político, a 14 de septiembre 2016)

15 razones para marchar y gritar #RenunciaYA (Animal político, a 6 de septiembre 2016)

Ciudadanos convocan a marchar hoy 15 de septiembre para exigir renuncia de Peña (Animal político, a 2 de septiembre 2016)

 For more information from Sipaz:

Nacional : cuarto informe del gobierno de Peña Nieto (12 de septiembre 2016)


National: Back to School with no Sign of Resumption of Dialogue between Teachers and Government

September 27, 2016

teachersTeachers’ movement sit-in in, Tuxtla Gutierrez, September 11 @ SIPAZ

On September 19, teachers of Sections 7 and 40 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Chiapas began the 2016-2017 school year after four months of work stoppage to demand the repeal of the education reform bill, passed in 2013. Section 22 in Oaxaca had done the same since September 7. In both cases, no incidents occurred.

Now that school activities have returned to normal throughout the country, teachers’ leaders reiterated their call for the federal government to return to the national negotiating table. They told media that they maintain their three axes of struggle: “strengthen the reorganization stage, promote legislative means to respond to our demand for repeal of educational reform and continue the construction of an alternative education proposal.”

The head of the Federal Ministry of Public Education (SEP), Aurelio Nuño Mayer, has maintained his position: there will be dialogue in Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas “to be able to settle local issues in these four states; that is to say administrative problems.” He reiterated that under no circumstances will they accept tables to discuss the repeal of educational reform.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuño: pese a conflicto con la CNTE, las clases están plenamente restauradas (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2016)

CNTE insiste al gobierno que regrese a negociar (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2016)

Sección 22 de la CNTE pacta pagos y ascensos con el gobierno (Proceso, 23 de septiembre de 2016)

Regresan a clases tras 120 días de paro magisterial en Chiapas (La Jornada, 19 de septiembre de 2016)

‘‘Nos dejaron solos’’, reprochan varios docentes de Chiapas a los de Oaxaca (7 de septiembre de 2016)

En el eventual diálogo con la CNTE sólo se tratarán temas administrativos: Nuño (La Jornada, 6 de septiembre de 2016)

Los 114 días que sacudieron a México (La Jornada, 6 de septiembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : impasse en dialogo entre el Magisterio y el gobierno; parcial regreso a clases (2 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Desalojo violento hacia el plantón de maestros y maestras en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (22 de julio de 2016)

Oaxaca/ Nacional: La CNTE y la Segob acuerdan mesas de negociación (13 de julio de 2016)

Oaxaca: Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos presentan informe sobre represión en Nochixtlán (11 de julio de 2016)


Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)