Chiapas: new national and international brigade of observation in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón

March 1, 2015

FOTO: El Otro Valle de Chalko.

Photo: El Otro Valle de Chalko

On 5 February, the ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle published by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 2005, released a communique in which they denounce that they have “information that they are preparing arrest-orders to suppress our organization and displace us from the new regional headquarters in San Sebastián, where we have space to do our work and share workshops.  The bad government does not like for us to have this space of rebelliousness, as we clearly denounce its desire to plunder the people from their lands.”

From 6 to 8 February, a national and international brigade of observation and solidarity took place in San Sebastián Bachajón, as organized by the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this action, thirty-three persons participated, belonging to different collectives and organizations from Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, and Argentina, as well as free and alternative media.

In the first “sharing,” a historical account was presented of the official founding of the ejido in 1980, leading up to the decision by a large part of the ejido to adhere to the Sixth Declaration, leading subsequently to the State repression they have experienced.  In 2009, the first eight ejidatarios were arrested: in 2011 a displacement operation took place at the checkpoint at Agua Azul that had up to that point been administered by the ejido.  On that occasion, 117 persons were arrested, who later claimed to have been tortured and beaten after the violent displacement.  They were released slowly as a means of intimidation.  The work of the brigade also included documentation of the most recent conflicts.

For more information (in Spanish):

Brigada nacional e internacional visita el Ejido Bachajón (Subversiones, 11 de febrero de 2015)

#Informe brigada de observación sobre la situación en San Sebastián #Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 9 de febrero de 2015)

Comunicado de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón (10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)


Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón

February 10, 2015

índice

On 29 January, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, published a communique which reports that they will maintain their posture of defending their lands and that, toward this end, they have installed a regional headquarters for the ejido between the Agua Azul crossroads at the entrance of the waterfalls of the same name and the limits of the Tumbalá municipality.

They denounced furthermore that since the displacement operation they suffered on 9 January 2015, police presence has been constant, such that they have called on Governor Manuel Velasco Coello to immediately order the withdrawal of public security forces and to discontinue intimidation and repression.

They reported as well that the ejidal commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, together with his security advisor are organizing shock-groups that “fire into the night with high-caliber weapons,” thus frightening local residents.

They noted lastly that “private meetings are being held between the Chilón delegate Francisco Demeza Hernández and Carlos Jiménez Trujillo, a local deputy, to plan for [more] looting, such that our comrades are guarding the regional headquarters and are charging the quotas at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls.  We hold the three levels of government responsible for any type of attack or confrontation that could develop.”

For his part, the “official” ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, has told the media that “at present we are being affected by a group of approximately 100 persons, men and women who hail from different municipalities of the state of Chiapas, adherents to an organization called the Other Campaign or the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, who have violently appropriated ejidal lands […].  We demand respect for the autonomy of the ejido and for non-violence.  They must put down their arms and opt for the path of dialogue and social peace.”

The first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth who went to visit San Sebastián Bachajón ein January stresses the attempt made by the ejidal commissioner to “portray these events as an inter-communal conflict that only has to do with the internal politics of the Bachajón community rather than the interests of the government and tourist firms.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón(29 de enero de 2015; incluyendo vídeo)

Piden menos violencia y más diálogo en Bachajón (Noticias.net, 29 de enero de 2015)

Ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón continúan en la defensa de su territorio, ante la amenaza de desalojo del gobierno de Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 30 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)


Chiapas: Controversial arrest warrants in the case of the Viejo Velasco Massacre

January 29, 2015
(@ProDH)

(@ProDH)

In a bulletin issued on January 8, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC) reported that the new arrest warrants against those allegedly responsible for the Viejo Velasco Massacre, Ocosingo municipality, “violate the right to fair trial, including the presumption of innocence”.

It noted that in September 2014, the suspects, members of the Xi’Nich organization and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), obtained Court Protection. However, the District Judge of Ocosingo dictated new arrest warrants, although the prosecution has not collected sufficient elements to establish the existence of the alleged crimes nor the responsibility of those indigenous persons.

The CDHFBC complained that “the investigation of the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas has been ineffective: they have accused the victims as if they were the perpetrators”, and they have been “criminalized and judicialized “. It warned that from the beginning, the investigation “of this crime against humanity” was distorted.

Giving more context to this new facts, the CDHFB recalled that “on November 13, 2006, in Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo municipality, about 40 people from Nueva Palestina, Frontera Corozal and Lacanjá Chansayab, communities of the Lacandon Community, accompanied by 300 elements of the State Police of Chiapas, five Prosecutors of the Public Ministry, two experts, the Jungle Zone Regional Commander of the State Investigation Agency (with 7 more persons) and a representative of the Ministry of Social Development, assaulted the Viejo Velasco community. They broke into the houses, stole people’s belongings, and caused the forced displacement of 36 people, the extrajudicial killing of four persons and the forced disappearance of four others. “

The day of the incident, the alleged perpetrators were in the ejido Nuevo Tila, where actually arrived the displaced persons from Viejo Velasco. The inhabitants provided them support and organized a brigade of observation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictan nuevas órdenes de aprehensión en el caso Viejo Velasco, Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 7 de enero de 2015

Órdenes de aprehensión en masacre de Viejo Velasco, violatorios de los derechos humanos: Frayba, centroprodh, 8 de enero de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Palenque, eight years after the Viejo Velasco massacre; beginning of “Faces of looting” campaign

(December 6, 2014)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (July 27, 2014)


Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls

January 21, 2015

Cascadas de Agua Azul (@SIPAZ)

Agua Azul waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

Early in the morning on 9 January, at least 900 officers from the Chiapas state police as well as federal forces displaced the camp that indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, had installed at the entrance of the eco-tourist park, the Agua Azul waterfalls.  Though the site belongs to the Tumbalá municipality, one must traverse the Bachajón ejido to access the waterfalls.

On 21 December, more than 300 ejidatarios had retaken the lands, explaining that they “had been plundered by the bad government beginning on 2 February 2011, with the complicity of the ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón,” making reference to the control-point that had been administered by the ejidatarios since September 2009 until the day they were forcibly displaced, leaving one dead, at least two injured, and 117 arrested.

Within the context of this new displacement, initial reports had indicated the forcible displacement of eight individuals.  During the night of the displacement operation, these persons in question were found, and they explained that they had succeeded in escaping the police after they had been arrested.

In a new communique, the ejidatarios denounce that “the true interest [of the government] is to plunder our lands.  They are truly unabashed, corrupt traitors to the country.  Their bad policies will not put an end to our struggle, because we will not allow them to continue looting us as they please.  We will continue with our actions in defense of Mother Earth.”

Following the displacement, the police established surveillance in the zone and installed checkpoints to review the vehicles that pass through.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno desaloja a indígenas adherentes al EZLN, en Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de enero de 2014)

Desalojan a indígenas de Bachajón por Cascadas de Agua Azul; reportan 8 desaparecidos (SDP Noticias, 9 de enero de 2014)

Indígenas tzeltales denuncian violento operativo policiaco en las Cascadas de Agua azul (Radio Pozol, 9 de enero de 2014)

Los de abajo- Cascadas de Agua Azul (La Jornada, 10 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)


Chiapas: Close of the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

January 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

3 January 2015 marked the end of the First Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion: “Where those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.”  Organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), the Festival ended in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, after having shared spaces in four Mexican states.

The events in Chiapas began in the Caracol II of Oventik, “Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity,” where 21 years since the Zapatista uprising of 1994 was celebrated on 31 December and 1 January.  Following speeches from family-members of the 43 disappeared students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés read a communiqué and recalled that “only as organized peoples will we find the truth.  All that we want as people is what we have to build among ourselves.  It is in this way that the relatives of the murdered and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa are developing their search for justice and truth.”

Sup Moisés invited those assembled in Oventik to imagine “how a new society could be,” so that they began to struggle using “the example that the relatives of Ayotzinapa present us, that is, that it is better that we who suffer from this disease known as capitalism search each other out and meet.”  He stressed that “what is now most urgent is the truth and justice for Ayotzinapa,” given that “the most painful and indignant reality is that the 43 are not with us.”

Beyond this, Moisés individually embraced the group of relatives and students who were listening to his comments on stage: an embrace “of caring, respect, and admiration.”  Nor did he forget to name the 46 “absent” individuals, including the 3 students who were found on 27 September.

Lastly, on 2 and 3 January, the Festival ended with the sharing of conclusions, agreements, and pronunciations at the CIDECI-Unitierra.  Members of indigenous peoples of the CNI indicated that “we share this same pain that is called capitalism, [and we hope that] our path will be constant.”  One of the students from Ayotzinapa mentioned that “when we bid our farewells to Subcomandante Moisés, we told him that we also desire autonomy for our rural normal schools and […] we believe that with courage, dignity, and the determination of 43 families and thousands of people in the country and throughout the world, this and much more will be possible.  Many thanks.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Clausura del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías Contra el capitalismo, en Chiapas (Colectivo Pozol, 3 de enero de 2015)

Entrevistas al final del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y Rebeldías contra el Capitalismo (Radio Zapatista, 6 de enero de 2015)

EZLN celebra 21 aniversario del alzamiento, abrazando al movimiento de Ayotzinapa (Chiapas Paralelo, 1 de enero de 2015)

Palabras del EZLN en el 21 aniversario del inicio de la guerra contra el olvido. Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés(Enlace Zapatista, 1 de enero de 2015)

Todos debemos acompañar a los padres de Ayotzinapa: EZLN (Aristegui Noticias, 1 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2014)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN to cede its place to relatives and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa (19 December 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)


Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots”

December 30, 2014

XVII Aniversario de la MAsacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities held in this same community.  On 21 December, a forum combined testimonies with prayers.  During this event participated Franciscan monks from the “72” migrant-home from Tenosique, Tabasco; the relatives of the disappeared students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; the father of Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate; the catechist Margarita Martínez Álvarez from El Limar, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a region that also suffered murders, forcible disappearances, and massive displacements between 1995 and 2000; as well as representatives of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality.  It was stressed that all these processes should be united, not just based on shared pain, but also in terms of the search for justice and hope.

XVII Aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December, following a pilgrimage, a mass was celebrated with the presence of hundreds of persons.  The Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communique that “17 years, four presidents, and two political parties in power have passed since the bad government of Ernesto Zedillo to the [present] bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto.  Not one has had the dignity, humanity, or decency to apply justice and recognize the truth of the Acteal massacre.”  The bishop Felipe Arizmendi stressed for his part that “it is unconscionable that nearly all those imprisoned for this crime have been absolved, just because there were judicial deficiencies in their legal processing, not because they were innocent.”  It should be recalled that only two persons remain imprisoned for the crime of the Acteal massacre, and these two have had their sentences reduced from 36 to 18 years imprisonment.

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Felipe Arizmendi noted that, though “so many years [have passed] of demanding justice and being ignored, […] we will all continue to demand and ask for justice.  We cannot resign ourselves passively to silence.”  The Las Abejas Civil Society used a fragment of the Mayan book Popul Vuh to affirm the same: “They took our fruits, cut off our branches, and burned our trunk, but they could not kill our roots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

La Fraternidad, impulso y fuerza de la Resistencia. #Acteal #17Años(Koman Ilel, Cobertura del 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Es la historia de tod@s. Crónica de conmemoración diecisiete de la masacre ocurrida en el paraje de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, cobertura del 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ningún presidente ha hecho justicia a 17 años de la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

A 17 años, conmemoran con misa masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan marcha en Acteal, Chiapas (Radio Fórmula, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Llegan representantes de Ayotzinapa a Acteal para conmemorar masacre(La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)


National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion

December 30, 2014

Inauguración del Festival Mundial de las Resistencias (@Radio Zapatista)

First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (@Radio Zapatista)

On 21 December, the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion “Where those from above destroy, those from below rebuild” opened in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community, Lerma municipality, Mexico state.  At the invitation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) which provided them space, the parents of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa led the event.  Before the stage, 43 chairs were erected with the faces of the disappeared students, to demand their presentation with life.  The event was attended by more than 80 organizations that comprise the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), which represents 35 indigenous peoples of Mexico, as well as adherents to the Sixth from 32 Mexican states and 26 countries.

The EZLN members who attended the event, as had been announced in a 19 December communique, participated for their part “with their faces uncovered so that they do not identify us.  Or, better, so that they identify us as yet another one of you our comrades of the Sixth.”

During the launch of the festival, participants warned that the government would not silence their voices, “even when they disappear our sons and our identities.”  José Luis del Frente, from Indigenous Peoples in Defense of Mother Earth CNI, expressed that they would continue in their mission “to reconstruct our lands, no matter the time it would take.  The trees that have been destroyed will flower once again.”

The “sharings” of the festival will be held in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, and in Amilcingo,  Temoac municipality, Morelos, on 22 and 23 December.  From 24 to 26 December, the Grand Cultural Festival will be celebrated in Mexico City.  On 28 and 29 December the sharings will continue in Monclova, Candelaria municipality, Campeche, and from 31 December to 1 January, the Festival for Anti-Capitalist Rebellion and Resistance will take place in the Oventik caracol, located in the Chiapas highlands.  Finally, on 2 and 3 January there will be held a plenary meeting for conclusions, accords, and pronunciations at CIDECI, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del EZLN “La víspera del Festival” (EZLN, 19 de diciembre de 2014)

Confirman familiares y normalistas de Ayotzinapa participación en Festival Mundial de Resistencias (La Jornada, 20 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan festival contra el capitalismo (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Inauguración del Festival de las Resistencias y Rebeldías [Audios] (Radio Zapatista)

Comenzó el Festival Mundial de las Resistencias y las Rebeldías (Koman Inlel, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

El gobierno actúa como fiador de la impunidad, dicen padres de normalistas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN to cede its place to relatives and disappeared students of Ayotzinapa (19 December 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)


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