Chiapas: Campesinos intimidated after taking back their lands

February 8, 2016

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Assembly in San Isidro Los Laureles community @RadioZapatista

In a communiqué on January 21, the San Isidro Los Laureles community, Venustiano Carranza municipality, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and members of the ‘space for struggle Semilla Digna, reported intimidation “on the part of the landlords” 31 days after taking back their lands. They reported that, “On the part of the landlords, they are going around intimidating on the recovered estates, in the latest models of Ford trucks with darkened windows, with four people on the back of the truck, wearing bullet-proof vests and high-powered weapons.” They ask public opinion, human rights organizations, the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena – CNI), the alternative media, and the Councils of Good Government of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) “of everything that comes against us and against our rights, because our decision is and will be to resist and defend what legitimately corresponds to us (sic).”

 It is worth noting that on December 20, 2015, the San Isidro Laureles community decided to take back “about 165 hectares from various properties: “Tres Picos” (property of Octovín Albores, owner of 30 hectares), “Las Delicias” (property of Francisco Javier Ruíz, owner of 60 hectares), and “El Refugio’ estate (property of Rodrigo Ruíz, owner of 75 hectares).” 

For more information in Spanish:

San Isidro Los Laureles: Intimidan a campesinos con armas largas tras recuperación de tierras (Radio Zapatista, 22 de enero de 2015)

Chiapas: “Con armas de fuego de alto poder”, intimidan a campesinos tras recuperar sus tierras. (Radio Pozol, 22 de enero de 2016)

Comunidad de San Isidro Los Laureles denuncia amenaza continua de desalojo y actuación de guardias blancas (Koman Ilel, 17 de enero de 2016)

Campesinos de San Isidro los Laureles temen desalojo violento (Radio Zapatista, 17 de enero de 2015)

Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Isidro los Laureles (Radio Zapatista, 27 de enero de 2016)

Para entender la recuperación de tierras de la comunidad San Isidro Los Laureles, Carranza, Chiapas (5 de enero de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Comunidad San Isidro Los Laureles recupera las tierras que “trabajaron nuestros abuelos, abuelas, padres que eran peones acasillados” (30 de diciembre de 2015)

 


National/Guerrero: Unfavorable reports about corruption and human rights in Mexico

February 5, 2016

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Luis Raúl González Pérez, CNDH president. Photo: @CuartOscuro

Two reports on human rights in Mexico coincided in that there is little progress in the areas of human rights and combatting corruption. In one report, the president of the National Commission for Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos – CNDH), Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez, declared that Guerrero is the state with most complaints, followed by Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. According to Aristegui Noticias news outlet, forced disappearances have risen to 26 thousand since the beginning of the “war against drugs” in 2006 to the present. During the presentation of the Commission’s (CNDH) annual report to the Permanent Commission of the General Congress, Gonzalez Perez highlighted that “the problem of disappearances challenges and questions the abilities and resources of the Mexican State to respond to a situation that, we the passage of time, we have not been able to overcome.” Likewise, he added that “the Chalchihuapan, Tlatlaya, Iguala, and Apatzingán cases had altered the general and historical perception of human rights in our country, testing its institutions.” As regards the violation of human rights, Chiapas is the sixth state with the highest frequency of reports, and Oaxaca eighth.

In another report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted in its 2015 annual report that “members of the Mexican security forces have participated in numerous forced disappearances. […] Since 2006, the CNDH received approximately 9,000 complaints of abuses committed by members of the army – including 1,700 during the [term of office] of the current government.” The same organization highlighted that the executive has made little progress in sanctioning members of the military implicated in cases of human rights violations as they are under the jurisdiction of military courts. Added to this, Alejandro Salas, director of Americas of International Transparency (Americas de Transparencia Internacional), noted that ‘in countries like Mexico where the police are at the service of local ‘caciques’, or at the service of mayors, of provincial governors, the police is not doing its professional and independent work, but instead responding to the interests of certain groups, often illegal groups, such as drug traffickers.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero, Tamaulipas y Veracruz, los estados con más denuncias por desapariciones: CNDH (Eme Equis, 27 de enero de 2016)

Ni combate a la corrupción, ni avances en DDHH, coinciden dos reportes globales sobre México (Sin Embargo, 27 de enero de 2016)

Autoridades, incapaces de responder a casos de desaparición forzada: CNDH, en su informe 2015 (Animal Político, 27 de enero de 2016)

Escasos avances para castigar a militares violadores de derechos humanos en México: Human Rights Watch (Sididh, 28 de enero de 2016)

Impunidad enmarca desapariciones en México, denuncia Cadhac ante la ONU (Proceso, 27 de enero de 2016)

Informe anual de actividades 2015 (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Padres y madres de Ayotzinapa van a la Corte, a 16 meses de la desaparición de sus hijos (27 de enero de 2016)

Guerrero: ONG y expertos en derechos humanos respaldan labor del GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (25 de enero de 2016)

Guererro: Se cumplen 4 años de desaparición forzada de campesinos ecologistas de la Costa Grande (8 de diciembre de 2015)

Nacional/Internacional: Ejército y fuerzas de seguridad involucradas en asesinatos extrajudiciales, tortura, desaparición forzada: EU (10 de julio de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Meeting of those affected by dams and mining

February 4, 2016

On January 21 and 22, more than 70 delegates from 20 municipalities, representatives of 12 organizations, movements and parishes of the state met in Boca del Cielo, Tonala, Chiapas, at the seat of the Regional Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas to share experiences in the “Chiapas Meeting of the Affected by Dams and Mines.” At the meeting, called by the Mexican Movement of the Affected by Dams and in Defense of Rivers (Movimiento Mexicano de Afectados por las Presas y en Defensa de los Ríos – MAPDER) and the Mexican Network of the Affected by Mining (Red Mexicana de Afectados por la Minería – REMA), they defined a strategy of common defense in the face of the multiplication of mining projects, dams and other infrastructure projects imposed in the state “without consulting the people.”

In the declaration that the participants produced, they voiced their analysis of the “grave situation that the country and the campesino communities, fishermen and indigenous of Chiapas are passing through due to the imposition of a development model and projects that threaten land and territory.” They denounced, “the advance of mining projects, with irreversible costs to the environment and the health of the people, imposed by cheating, buying out authorities, community division, among other tactics.” On another note, they condemned “the imposition of green capitalism which is reflected in wind farm projects, projects of Reduction of Emissions caused by Deforestation and Destruction of Forests (REDD) and payment for environmental services.” They assured the strengthening of “the organization and resistance proposing alternatives to the model of commercialization of life and corporate appropriation, despite the criminalization and persecution experienced by the defenders of land, territory and human rights” of the peoples, ejidos, organizations and movements who were present.

They called on the people to participate in a state-wide campaign in defense of water, against the privatization of water and dams, and for free rivers which will be held from March 14 to 22 under the banner “Rivers for life, not for companies.” They also invited people to “continue to create local and regional organization processes to confront the imposed projects, inform about the consequences of the model, protect land and territory, and defend all those forms of life which continue to give us sustenance and permanence on Mother Earth.” According to Otros Mundos A.C., “the role which violence plays is fundamental to understanding the imposition of mining projects and the control of territory.” In an interview, Gustavo Castro, a member of Otros Mundos, explained the complexity of extensive mining in Chiapas, saying that, “violence increases in the measure that communities decide to defend their territories […] movements in defense of territory not only have to confront the state or the companies, but they also have to deal with drug traffickers. It appears that we are in an armed dispute for territory.”  

For more information in Spanish:

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 25 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectados y Afectadas por Represas y Minería (Centro de Medios Libres, 26 de enero de 2016)

“En minería, la utilidad pública es un título perverso porque esconde la utilidad privada” (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 27 de enero de 2016)

Declaratoria del Encuentro Chiapaneco de Afectad@s por Represas y Minería (MAPDER, 28 de enero de 2016)


Chiapas: Public apology from the Mexican government for El Aguaje case (2000)

January 30, 2016

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@SIPAZ

On January 28, there was an act of recognition of responsibility of the Mexican State and the signing of an agreement of amicable settlement in the El Aguaje case, a community located in Rancho Nuevo, some ten kilometers from San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a child died and two more were wounded in 2000 when a grenade exploded, which had been left by members of the 31st Military Zone, which borders the community. The event took place in the auditorium of the Faculty of Law of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) in San Cristobal.

Jose Lopez Cruz, representing his family (his children were wounded) and Cristina Reyna Cruz Lopez (mother of the deceased child), said at the event, “The authorities never recognized that we were civilians and that our case should be seen to by a civil and not a military court, as they only cared about the type of weapon that exploded but never cared for our human rights. […] The days were long, have been long, as we have sought justice during these 15 years. Up to now, we do not know who was truly guilty of causing this tragedy and even less what their punishment was.”

For their part, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), which took on the defense of this case and took it to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, pointed out that the actions of the judiciary in Mexico came “late and in partial form, mutilated, incomplete and somewhat battered.” They highlighted that no representative of the army was present at the event saying that, “Today the main character of this story is missing […] The Mexican Army is not present because it is untouchable in Mexico; it is clear to us that it is a power above civil government.”

Representing the State, Roberto Campa Cifrían, sub-secretary for the Human Rights division of the Ministry of the Interior, recognized the responsibility of the State for not having adequately taken charge of and guarded artifacts as dangerous as rifle grenades, used for practice in security institutions. He specified that the agreement that was signed during the event includes promises of transparency in the case, acts of rehabilitation, guarantees of non-repetition, and economic compensation “fair and calculated according to the highest national and international standards in this subject”, the provision of health care, productive projects, and grants among other things. He added that the clinic in the community of El Aguaje, part of the agreement, will bear the name of Angel Diaz Cruz, the child who died when the grenade exploded.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín: La justicia en México llega tarde y mutilada: Caso El Aguaje (CDHFBC, 28 de enero de 2016)

“Nuestro caso debió ser atendido por la jurisdicción civil y no la militar”, reclamo de indígenas tsotsiles al Estado mexicano. (Pozol Colectivo, 28 de enero de 2016)

El Estado mexicano cumple reparación del daño por niño muerto y dos heridos (La Jornada, 29 de enero de 2016)

Una disculpa pública sin el agresor presente. Fuerzas Armadas son un poder superior al civil, acusan (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de


Chiapas: Community of Faith pilgrimage to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of jTatic Samuel

January 30, 2016

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Foto @SIPAZ

On Monday, January 25th, some three thousand members of Community of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage to remember the struggle and path of jTatic Samuel Garcia, ex-bishop of Chiapas, who died five years ago. They reiterated their identity as Catholics and their defense of land, autonomy and social justice. In their pilgrimage they carried banners with texts rejecting structural reforms, the privatization of electricity, mining, dam building, the San Cristobal-Palenque motorway, and they recalled the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa.

Before mass, which was held outside the Cathedral of San Cristobal, some members of Community of Faith read out a letter sent to Pope Francis in which they asked him to join the project for life of the communities: “Above all we want to ask you that you continue to pray for us, for the State of Chiapas, that you do not abandon us as the indigenous people of Chiapas, that you do not tire of supporting the poor, that you continue to encourage and give hope to the community of faith, that you continue to denounce injustice, that you go forward, that you continue to drive and motivate us in the struggle for the poor, that you do not forget your indigenous brothers and sisters. We also ask that you engage in dialogue with the government so that it is aware and that it is capable of seeing the extreme poverty in which the people live and that it stops deceiving them.” Community of Faith and the priests of the diocese of San Cristobal preached and practiced the teachings that over 40 years Samuel Ruiz left, and for whom the point of evangelism was not just to announce the Gospel, “but to build a new community, a new community where we live in justice and peace.”

For more information:

Miles de indígenas integrantes del Pueblo Creyente, realizaron una peregrinación (Expreso Chiapas, 26 de enero de 2016)

Marchan en el V aniversario Luctuoso de jTatic Samuel (Prensa Libre Chiapas, 25 de enero de 2016)

VIDEO de la peregrinación (Koman Ilel, 25 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel sigue en defensa por la “vida, paz, justicia, libertad y democracia” (13 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Finaliza en Tuxtla Gutiérrez Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente después de 4 días de recorrido (27 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente en el marco del cuarto aniversario luctuoso de Don Samuel Ruíz (26 de enero de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia reports lack of food and denial of visits

January 29, 2016

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Roberto Paciencia’s letter. Photo: @Kolektivo Zero

This January, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, has reported a scarcity of food as well as denial of visits. Through his first letter he reported that the accountant of the Center for Social Reinsertion (CERESO) No. 5 “has never cared about the welfare of the prison population, we lack our blessed foods, the meals which they gave us before have been progressively reduced.” According to Paciencia’s letter, the prisoners have protested this lack to the accountant, who has promised improvements that haven’t materialized. On the same note, “He says that if we complain, it could be worse in another center, as happened to Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who was transferred to another prison for simply telling the truth.” On another note, he made it known that a commander and a guard of the prison did not allow his visitors to enter. “They didn’t take into account the time, money and the efforts of my visitors. As poor indigenous people, you totally humiliate us”, he reported. He also demanded that his case be analyzed, that the government take note of the issue of the officials named and he invites independent organizations to continue to demand freedom for persons unjustly imprisoned.  

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia Pública de Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente en el CERESO No 5 (Radio Zapatista, 14 de enero de 2016)

Denuncia pública de Roberto Paciencia Cruz preso injustamente, tras haber sido negada la entrada al penal a sus visitas (Red contra la Represión y la Solidaridad, 25 de enero de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: 11 aniversario de la fundación de La Voz del Amate (13 de enero de 2015)

Chiapas: Preso de San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denuncia que le fabricaron su delito (28 de agosto de 2015)

 


Chiapas/National: Xochicuautla community condemns highway project and expresses its solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who face eviction

January 24, 2016

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@Resistencia indígena otomí (Miguel Ángel Xenón)

On February 12 at a press conference at the offices of Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), authorities of the Otomí-Ňätho indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, located in Mexico State, and members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Front in Defense of Mother Earth condemned the “illegal imposition  of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway project by Enrique Peña Nieto and the Higga Group.” They stated that the project would destroy 3,900,000 square meters of Bosque Sagrado. Xochicuautla community, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and part of the National Indigenous Congress, also condemned the constant aggression suffered by the community “from the State: political prisoners, persecution, attacks, death threats, military encircling of the community and the continuation of works in spite of the protection orders that oblige the company to stop.”

They also expressed their solidarity with various struggles in defense of land and territory in Chiapas. They condemned “the murders of indigenous Tsotsisl and Tseltals in Bachajon”, in Chilon municipality, “with the objective of imposing a tourist complex” at Agua Azul waterfalls. Moreover, they demanded the immediate release of Santiago Moreno Pérez, Emilio Jiménez Gómez y Esteban Gómez Jiménez from San Sebastián Bachajón, “political prisoners” and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. They recalled that San Isidro Los Laureles community, in Venustiano Carranza municipality, that decided to reclaim some 165 hectares of their land “as is their right, in accordance with that stipulated” under Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of the International Labour Organization.The greeted Las Abejas de Acteal,  were recently victims of an ambush against three of its members in San Joaquin community, Pantelhó municipality, on December 29, 2015, and the attack resulted in the murder of Manuel López Pérez. “The thirst for justice of our people is a channel that waters and keeps our hearts moist”, they added. Finally, they acknowledged “the efforts for autonomy” of “our sisters and brothers in Tila”, who in their search for freedom had decided on the autonomy of their ejido and “their right to govern themselves.”

They called on “indigenous and campesino communities, students, teachers, feminist organizations, and in general, the collectives of Mexico and the world to declare themselves against the ecocide in San Francisco Xochicuautla.

 For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad de Xochicuatla se solidariza con pueblos indígenas de Chiapas que enfrentan despojo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 13 de enero de 2016)

Exigen indígenas suspender autopista Naucalpan-Toluca (La Jornada, 13 de enero de 2016)

Xochicuautla, en solidaridad con los pueblos indígenas de Chiapas (Desinformémonos, 14 de enero de 2016)

Xochicuautla, pronunciamiento por la memoria, verdad y territorio (Ke Huelga Radio, 13 de enero de 2016)

Comunidad de Xochicuautla denuncia proyecto carretero y se solidariza con las luchas en Chiapas (Radio Zapatista, 13 de enero de 2016)

 

 


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