Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN)

July 3, 2015

@RadioPozol

@RadioPozol

In an Urgent Action published by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casa Center for Human Rights (Frayba) on 30 June, the Center expressed its concern “for the new attacks and death-threats against support-bases that comprise the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the communities of El Rosario, belonging to the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality (MAREZ) of San Manuel; and Nuevo Paraíso, MAREZ Francisco Villa (official municipality of Ocosingo), who pertain to the ‘Path of the Future’ Good-Government Council (JBG), located in the ‘Toward a New Dawn’ Caracol III of La Garrucha in the Tseltal Jungle Zone of Chiapas. Due to the omission of the municipal and state governments to attend to the problem and to take up their responsibilities, there exist risks to the life, integrity, and personal security of BAEZLN.”

On 10 May, according to information published by the “Path of the Future” JBG, a group of 28 persons from the Pojcol ejido, Chiquinival neighborhood (official municipality of Chilón), together with another group of 21 people from El Rosario harassed and attacked BAEZLN from this same Zapatista Autonomous Community. That same afternoon, Andrés López Vázquez fired four times at a child of 13 years of age, being the daughter of a BAEZLN. On 14 May 2015, Frayba responded by sending notice to the governments of Chiapas regarding the armed attacks.

On 24 June, members of the Pojcol and El Rosario groups who were carrying firearms and accompanied by Guadalupe Flores, the presumed ex-owner of recovered lands, and an engineer went to measure lands belonging to the BAEZLN. They fired ten times into the air, forcibly entered two BAEZLN homes, and robbed belongings as well roof of one of the domiciles, according to an EZLN communique published on 25 June.

Frayba calls for national and international solidarity to express support for the threatened BAEZLN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgos a la Vida y a la Integridad personal de BAEZLN en El Rosario y Nuevo Paraíso (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 30 de junio de 2015)

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

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

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

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: new threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel

July 2, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

In a communique published on 22 June, members of the parish of San Antonio de Padúa, Simojovel municipality, denounced that, since 16 June, death-threats have been on the rise against Father Marcelo Pérez, catechists, and members of the Parish Council and Believing People, thus putting at risk their lives and physical and psychological integrity. This increase has presented itself following the arrest of Juan Gómez Domínguez, a former PRI mayor, and two of his accomplices, given that “the PRI leaders from different communities hold the Believing People and Pérez Pérez responsible for these arrests, such that now we have entered a high-risk situation.”

Within these new aggressions, the Simojovel Catholics detail that on 16 June, PRI militants “met at the offices of the National Campesino Confederation, several of them carrying machetes, sticks, and gasoline amphoras. Even at night, they went to buy more gasoline, and during the day it was heard that they would attack the church and remove the priest forcibly to kill him.” Beyond this, on 20 June, “a parish council that has been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received strong threats against its person and family, leading them to decide to leave and seek out refuge in another municipality for some days.” Two days later, 10 people “strongly armed harassed the CIRSA offices, being a cooperative created by the Catholic Church, whose board members work in the Church, yet no valuable objects were stolen.” That same day in Bochil, close to Simojovel, four people in a parked car were overheard saying, “We are going to decapitate Father Marcelo from Simojovel. We are just finding the right time to do so, given all the fucked-up things he does.”

It should be recalled that for the past year, the Catholics from Simojovel have through pilgrimages demanded the closure of cantinas and sex-houses, and that the sale of drugs and arms in the zone be curtailed. The result is the death-threats they now confront.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo: Situación de riesgo contra defensores comunitarios del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel,

Por denunciar la corrupción y la venta de drogas, grupos priistas amenazan de muerte al sacerdote y habitantes de Simojovel, Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 25 de junio de 2015)

Prevalece en Simojovel “situación de alto riesgo” por detención de ex alcalde(La Jornada, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return

July 2, 2015

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@Koman Ilel)

Displaced families from the Primero de Agosto community (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 23 June, the residents of the Primero de Agosto community denounced the 120 days of forcible displacement experienced by the “17 Tojolabal families because of [the actions of] ejidatarios from Miguel Hidalgo who pertain to the CIOAC-Historical organization, led by Luis Hernández Cruz,” and it adds that Elvira Méndez Pérez, who just gave birth, “is suffering greatly because of the cold and the rain, as she lacks proper shelter in which her child can grow up happily.”

In their denunciation, the displaced describe “how for the last 4 months we are awakened by raindrops that penetrate the plastic tarps which we use to cover ourselves at night. We awaken with our clothes wet and cold due to the humidity of the land on which we live, as it is the time of rain, and the government has done nothing […]. Look at where we are displaced, and you will see the face of impunity and the reality of indigenous peoples.”

Despite this suffering and the conditions in which the displaced live, the families assure that they continue “to struggle for our land, because it is the only resource we have. We are not asleep in the struggle for our land, which continues, and will live on […]. We will not become tired of denouncing until the government observes its promises. We will not tire of denouncing until there is justice, because we are in favor of justice and peace. As our ancestors say, ‘ts omanotik b’a sk’ulajel jsak’aniltik.’ That is to say, together we build life.”

The Primero de Agosto community continues to demand that the three levels of government guarantee the proper conditions for return, “because there is where our happy Iives take place.” Furthermore, they call on the government to observe the accord that was signed on 25 February 2015, which stipulates that the state government commit itself to redistributing lands equally.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra compañera que acaba de dar a luz, aquí donde estamos está sufriendo mucho por el frío y la lluvia”, indígenas tojolabales desplazados en Chiapas. (Radio Pozol, 26 de junio de 2015)

120 días de desplazamiento forzado de 17 familias tojolabales (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de junio de 2015)

¿Dónde nacerá el hijo o hija de Elvira Méndez?, indígena tojolabal desplazada en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, 21 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Chiapas/National: 26 June, International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 2, 2015

IMAGEN_STOP_TORTURA_PARA_COMPARTIR_EN_RRSS

(@Amnesty International)

On 26 June was celebrated the International Day of Support for Torture Victims, which this year was focused on the right to rehabilitation. The declarations and denunciations regarding torture have not ceased after the visit to Mexico by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who in his report stressed that “torture and abuses of the incarcerated on the part of the authorities in Mexico are generalized.” Many cases are not denounced due to fear of revenge, and principally they are the committed by municipal, state, and federal police, as well as ministerial agents and the military. “Torture and abuse take place during the first 24 to 48 hours of the arrest, and generally they end after the person is arraigned: the methods that are used include threats, insults, destruction of belongings, as well as beatings (usually involving hard objects), electrocution, water-boarding, violence, and sexual abuse.” Beyond this, he added that the disparity between the number of denunciations and testimonies received and the number of condemnations is a “worrying sign of impunity.” The Rapporteur declared he had been pressured to keep his report short, leading in turn to the accusation that the report was based on a small number of cases.

On the one hand, the National Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Mexico communicated that from 2001 to May 2015 it received 10,688 complaints regarding torture and other abuses (on average 2 a day). It affirms that in just over two years of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, it has received 2,119 denunciations, with the military being the most frequently accused force. It also poinst to the fact that the country has lacked a national registry to reflect the totality of the cases of torture and other abuses. The results it has available have been compiled by the CNDH, state human-rights commissions, and the denunciations that have been brought together.

Beyond this, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) declared that despite the fact that thirty years have passed since the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Sanction Torture, this practice persists in the region. Several commissions have expressed their concerns regarding the use of rape as a method of torture against women, the attempt to justify such actions with arguments based on threats to national security or the need to obtain information in investigations, or to prevent attacks. In this way, the IACHR has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate all denunciations of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Amnesty International also pronounced itself on the question, reporting that 64% of Mexicans fear being subjected to torture after arrest; this places Mexico as the second-highest country with this fear on the global scale. Beyond this, AI adds that 7,000 denunciations of torture have been made in the past 3 years, but only 7 cases sanctioned at the federal level. AI is organizing a graphical campaign against torture.

In observance of the day, a number of denunciations appeared in the media, including the charge that 40% of those arrested for the Ayotzinapa case have been subjected to torture and other abuses during their arrest, or the hunger strike undertaken by eight prisoners from different institutions in Mexico City to demand the cessation of prison abuse. In Chiapas, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the torture of a Tzotzil couple as a means of forcing them to incriminate themselves in a murder case. The CDHFBC also organized a projection and conversation regarding torture in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where two experts on the question were present together with Silvia Domínguez, who gave testimony on the case of her brother Gabriel Domínguez, who died in police custody.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura y los malos tratos son generalizados en México, dice la ONU(CNN México, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Recibí presiones para minimizar mi informe sobre tortura’’: Méndez (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2015)

En 14 años, 10 mil 688 quejas por tortura y otros tratos crueles(ContraLínea, 28 de junio de 2015)

Se deben indagar de oficio todas las denuncias de tortura: CIDH (CIMAC Noticias, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comienzan ocho reclusos huelga de hambre indefinida para denunciar tortura y extorsión (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturados, la mitad de los procesados por caso Ayotzinapa: expertos del GIEGI (Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturan a pareja tzotzil para que se inculpe de crimen, acusa el Frayba(Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Cambiemos la historia #ALTOTORTURA (Amnistía Internacional)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission (29 June 2015)

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: a member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered

July 2, 2015

IMGP7167

(@SIPAZ)

A communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal published on 23 June 2015 reports the murder of Manuel López Pérez, a member of the organization. According to the report, Manuel was killed while returning from Pantelhó to his home of San José Bochtik, Pantelhó municipality, when the public transit in which he had been traveling was stopped by a group of seven masked men dressed ni military fatigues and carrying firearms. Manuel had been accompanied by his 11-year old son, Juan López Guzmán, who recognized the voice of one of the killers, claiming it to be that of his older brother, Alonso López Guzmán.

The municipal judge did not allow photographs to be taken of the crime scene, nor did he respect the wishes of Manuel’s wife not to remove the body until members of the Las Abejas Society were present. It is also reported that the judge and the municipal police chief had pressured Juan to declare that he had been traveling in a different car, and that he was not a witness to the murder of his father.

It should be noted that Manuel López Pérez, together with his wife and four sons, was displaced in 2013 from the San Joaquín community, Pantelhó municipality, Chiapas, on the charge of wizardry. These accusations emanated from his son Alonso, who is considered a suspect in the murder, and the present municipal judge, Pedro Giron López, who is accused of irregularities at the crime-scene. Manuel attempted to sell the land on which his family was displaced, but Alonso appropriated it and then sold it, thus violating a previous agreement between the municipal authorities and his father. Though the case was referred to the Agrarian Court and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), nothing concrete followed.

The Directive Table of the Las Abejas Civil Society added in its communique that Manuel’s family had for long been subjected to death-threats, with this being a situation that had been denounced before the authorities, though no measures were taken to avoid the murder.

In another communique published on 26 June, death-threats, surveillance, and harassment aganist Antonio López Jiménez and his family were denounced, as these were displaced in 2007 by the construction of a sewage system that proceeded without the consent of the owners of the land on which it proceeded. There were fruit trees and a space for the construction of a home on the land in question. Antonio and two members of his family were attacked during the installation of the sewage system, after they went to inform and attempt to negotiate. No authority attempted a mediation or compensation of the damages incurred. “We fear for the lives of Antonio and his family, given that the municipal authorities from Pantelhó and the mayor and judge are complicit in a series of death-threats directed against Antonio in his family, instead of respecting, guaranteeing, and protecting their physical and psychological well-being. Furthermore, the judge in question threatened Manuel and according to testimonies, told his son to prepare his weapon to kill him.”

It should also be mentioned that on 22 June was held the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, which as usual demanded justice for this crime, as for others committed in Mexico and the world.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a miembro de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denunciamos más amenazas de muerte contra miembros de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comunicado 22 de junio 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de junio de 2015)

Chiapas: Comando armado asesina a Manuel López Pérez, integrante de la organización Las Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 25 de junio de 2015)

Asesinan a sobreviviente de Acteal, lo acusaron de “brujería” (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncian ‘Las Abejas’ el homicidio de uno de sus integrantes (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)


Chiapas: Believing People of Chenalhó pronounces itself in favor of the closure of cantinas in the municipality

June 30, 2015

Iglesia de Chenalhó (@Koman Ilel)

Chenalhó church (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 23 June, Catholics from the Chenalhó parish who make up part of the Believing People pronounced themselves in favor of the closure of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries in their municipality. They stressed that “the consequences of the consumption of alcohol are disastrous, such as suicides, deaths, motor-vehicle accidents, and divorce.” There exist some 21 cantinas, three restaurants, and two grocery stores in the municipal seat.

The Catholics demanded that the agreement which previously had been organized by the 94 communities of the municipality be observed, as the owners of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries have not respected this. It must be recalled that on 13 June, an organized women’s group requested the authorities to produce a document that would demand the departure of those selling alcohol. In this way, “on 20 June, the judges went to see whether the alcohol-vendors respected the document, but they did not. Instead, they merely returned to selling.”

They claim as well that “if something bad happens, whether to the organized women, or to our priest or the believers of this parish, the immediately responsible parties will be the authorities of the Chenalhó municipality, the state government, and the federal government, and we will not remain silent, but rather we will denounce the situation before national and international civil society, and before Mexican and global human-rights defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo: Pueblo Creyente denuncia complicidad de autoridades en venta desmedida de alcohol en Chenalhó (Pueblo Creyente de Chenalhó, 23 de junio de 2015)

Atender problemas de venta de alcohol (Cuarto Poder, 24 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel to demand justice and truth amidst deaths of infants (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Rise in threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel (24 April 2015)


Chiapas: CFE cuts off 14 communities from Tila, provoking tensions

June 30, 2015

(@SIPAZ)

In a communique published on 21 June, the organization Peoples United for the Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) denounced that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) suspended service on 17 June to residents in 14 communities from the Tila municipality, northern zone of Chiapas. Some of the affected homes find themselves in a position of resistance to paying for electricity, due to high prices.

In light of these events, PUDEE has reported increased “tensions in the communities that struggle and resist to defend their rights” and that “amidst the situation and the rise in violence that could take place in the communities of the northern zone, we hold the three levels of government responsible.”

PUDEE indicated that “if it is this way that CFE will treat the communities in resistance, we will organize ourselves by means of the self-determination of our peoples. The way they are privatizing the electricity, we too will privatize our lands, and the CFE will have to pay us for the use of our lands. If this does not happen, they can take their light-posts and transformers. We will not allow them to plunder our land, which belonged to our parents and is for our children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo del PUDEE (Denuncia Pública, 21 de junio de 2015)

CFE corta el servicio a comunidades ‘en resistencia de pagos’ en Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 de junio de 2015)

CFE suspende energía a 14 comunidades indígenas de Chiapas (El Financiero, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Communique from PUDEE regarding structural reforms (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)


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