Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto

April 21, 2015

DSC_0744

Photo @komanilel.org

“Today we have suffered 30 days of displacement, illness, and having to live under trees covered by a piece of plastic, in inhuman conditions.  These have been 30 difficult days in which we have demanded the government’s response, but it has not done anything.  We have suffered threats and pain,” said the 57 people who have been displaced for a month in the border jungle region in Chiapas.

In a communiqué released on 23 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced new threats of attack and forcible displacement against residents of the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality.  A month after their forced displacement by members of the Independent Historical Campesino and Agricultural Worker Organization (CIOAC-H), the Tojolabal families still “find themselves vulnerable, under threat, and at risk of new attacks […].  The government of Manuel Velasco has not taken up its responsibility and commitments to the displaced families.  Instead, it has provided State protection to CIOAC-H members, as can be seen in the impunity in which all the legal denunciations made by the displaced find themselves […].  The events of 23 February 2015 led to a forcible displacement, even when State officials knew about the attacks and threats of displacement.  To date, the authorities charged with making justice have not clarified the events or arrested anyone for the aforementioned crimes.

The CDHFBC indicated as well that it has information that “there exists a new threat against the life of Antonio Roman López, whom CIOAC-H leaders have indicated as having been in the presence of Frayba members and State authorities, and thus as the leader of the residents.  Similarly, they threat the families from Primero de Agosto with a new displacement from where they actually find themselves.”  Due to all this, the CDHFBC denounced “the failure of the governments to provide protection and to guarantee human rights, as is stipulated in the Law for the Prevention of and Attention to Internal Displacement in Chiapas State, which lacks reality and is in fact quite dead.  Its content recognizes the fundamental rights of displaced peoples in the state, which have not been applied since its entry into law in February 2012.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa del CDHFBC (23 de marzo de 2015)

#Chiapas Denuncia publica de la comunidad Primero de Agosto a un mes del #DesplazamientoForzado (Koman Ilel, 23 de marzo de 2015)

“Hoy cumplimos 30 días desplazados, viviendo bajo los árboles, cubiertos por un pedazo de plástico”, indígenas tojolabales (Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists are attacked

April 10, 2015

Foto @ Pozol Colectivo

Photo @ Pozol Colectivo

On 21 March, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced that more than 600 state security forces burned down the regional headquarters of San Sebastián, with the participation of the ejidal commission and the security council.  They explaiend that “after the violent displacement of 9 January 2015, we founded a regional headquarters for San Sebastián to continue caring for the lands and demand the withdrawal of the bad government.  We will continue, as we are indigenous to these lands, and we will not allow the bad government come to rule over the people.”  They also indicated that the group from the ejidal commission “has blockaded the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque at the Agua Azul crossing in an attempt to blame us for the blockade.  Also, these stooges from the bad government are cutting down trees, and we know that they seek to fabricate crimes of ecocide with which to imprison the autonomous authorities of our organization.”

They demanded “the withdrawal of public forces from our lands, which have been plundered since February 2011, and of the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas,” besides the “release of our political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, and of the unjustly imprisoned comrades Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

Beyond this, two members of autonomous-media collectives denounced having been attacked by the ejidal commissioner’s group of San Sebastián Bachajón. They reported that they were surrounded, arrested, beaten, and threatened with machetes, so that they would hand over a Canon 70D camera and a tripod on 21 March, when they sought to document the displacement and arson of the regional headquarters.  Beyond this, they indicated that, upon passing the control-point and continuing toward the regional autonomous headquarters of San Sebastián, they found four state police trucks and more than 200 “officialists armed with machetes, some of them inebriated.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Comunicado San Sebastián Bachajon: Fuerzas públicas incendian sede regional (Blog Viva Bachajón, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Bachajón, Chiapas, 600 policías incendian sede ejidal (Regeneración Radio, 21 de marzo de 2015)

“Más de 600 elementos de las fuerzas públicas incendiaron nuestra sede regional San Sebastián”, denuncia ejido Bachajón (Pozol Colectivo, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Ataque y robo a medios libres por grupos oficialistas en Agua Azul, ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón (Radio Zapatista, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communique from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

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: Misopá ejido denounces unauthorized exploratory work by CONAFOR

March 22, 2015

Municipio de Tila, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Tila municipality, archive photo @ SIPAZ

On 3 March, a denunciation was made public by the Misopa Chinal ejido, Tila municipality, which pertains to the People United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, which accuses the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR) of having entered “to our ejidal lands” to carry out studies and explorations: “they seek to apply the badly named agrarian reforms in our lands and territories.”

The denunciation mentions that on 27 February, several people arrived representing “the AMAREF S.A. de C.V. firm […] to work in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.”   The ejido declared that said firm has been contracted by CONAFOR and “has as its proposal to extract information regarding the conditions of trees, foliage, and soils” to carry out a reforestation in the area.  On 28 February, the ejidatarios of the 7 annexes of Misopa Chinal ejido expressed their disagreement with the “foreign persons in our ejido” doing this type of work, and they added that “the ejidatarios can plant trees from the region that are desired to manage their lands and territories.”  They also asked the authorities not to enter with their equipment “which have been taken by the ejidal assembly.”  The communique indicates that “we will hold the bad government of EPN responsible for any type of demand made against the ejidatarios and the ejidal authorities.  We never requested the presence of these people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de marzo de 2015)

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, 3 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: Denunciation of military harassment of the Zapatista Good-Government Council in La Realidad

March 21, 2015

Homanaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad.  May 2014 (@SIPAZ)

In a communiqué released on 12 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced harassment by the Mexican Army against the Zapatista Good-Government Council of La Realidad, where a new school and clinic were recently inaugurated.  It should be recalled that on 2 May 2014, members of the Independent Historical Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) attacked support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), leading to the death of José Luis Solís López, “Galeano.”  The attack also caused the destruction of the installations that have just been rebuilt.

The CDHFBC reported that members of the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO), made up of activists in solidarity who find themselves in the community, have reported “incursions using convoys of trucks, Hummers, Jeeps, and other motorized equipment containing between 4 and 30 Mexican soldiers each.  There have also been continuous overflights by planes and helicopters that capture images and film the BriCO members, the EZLN support bases, and the JBG offices.  Since July 2014, these actions have been on the rise, both in terms of total number of soldiers involved, as well as in the frequency of events.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its concern, “given that these constitute acts of provocation and assault that violate the rights to autonomy and self-determination as stipulated in the Mexican Constitution, the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the San Andrés Sacamchem de los Pobres Accords.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín: Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (CDHFBC, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian zapatistas incursión militar en una junta de buen gobierno(Proceso, 12 de marzo de 2015)

Denuncian bases de apoyo zapatistas hostigamiento del Ejército Mexicano (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)


Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN

March 21, 2015

Homenaje a Galeano, La Realidad, agosto de 2015 (@SIPAZ archivo)

Homage to Galeano, La Realidad, August 2014 (@SIPAZ archive)

In a communique published on 4 March entitled “On the Bulletin Board,” the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities it has programmed for the remainder of 2015.  On 2 May, there will in the Oventik caracol be held an homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo  and the Zapatista support-base José Luis Solís López (Galeano), who was murdered in May 2014 in La Realidad, Las Margaritas municipality.  The EZLN announced the event as having special guests, including the relatives of Villoro Toranzo and of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, as well as members of the Sixth International.  It also noted that, from 3 to 9 May, the seminar on “Critical Thought in light of the Capitalist Hidra” will be hosted at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

The news also announces the second “grade” of the Zapatista Escuelita (31 July-2 August), the anniversary of the caracoles on 8-9 August, and the third level of the Escuelita in November and December 2015.

The EZLN added that, from 5 March onwards, being the anniversary of the death of Villoro Toranzo, there will be “many words regarding critical thinking, beginning with the report on the inauguration of the School and Clinic in La Realidad.”  Starting on 5 March, indeed, three more communiques appeared, entitled “Thank You I, II, III.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EN EL TABLÓN DE AVISOS. El Conserje (Comunicado del EZLN, 4 de marzo de 2015)

El EZLN realizará un homenaje a Luis Villoro y al zapatista José Luis Solís(La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)

‘Toda la clase política vive de la actuación’, dice el líder del EZLN (CNN México, 5 de marzo de 2015)

Gracias I, Gracias II y Gracias III (Comunicados del EZLN, marzo de 2015)

La vida de un zapatista vale más que la casa blanca de Peña: EZLN (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN (29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)


Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions”

March 21, 2015

Familias desplazadas del Poblado Primero de Agosto (@CDHFBC)

Displaced families from the Primero de Agosto community (@CDHFBC)

In an Urgent Action published on 6 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that the families displaced from the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality, find themselves “in precarious conditions” while the “state government fails to observe its obligations.”

After documenting the forcible displacement of 57 individuals, “a situation caused by the events which took place on 23 February 2015, due to the actions of members of the Independent Historical Campesino-Agricultural Worker Center (CIOAC-H), who are protected in the region by the municipal government of Las Margaritas and authorities from the Chiapas state government,”  the CDHFBC indicated that the Tojolabal indigenous individuals find themselves in “precarious conditions in terms of food, water, and health.  They are protecting themselves from the elements only using plastic, and there are several families living together in one space.”

The CDHFBC also noted that “despite the denunciation of the acts that occurred, to date the authorities have not carried out judicial inspections and have not verified the conditions of the forcible displacement.  Beyond this, the government of Manuel Velasco Coello has made no response, despite the fact that there exists a formal commitment to do so, in accordance with the agreement made in terms of the property of the lands from which the Tojolabal indigenous were expelled by the CIOAC-H.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC requested the following: the adoption of measures that guarantee the human rights of the displaced, the investigation and punishment of those responsible for their displacement and the damages committed against the goods of the residents of the Primero de Agosto community, as well as a comprehensive treatment of the victims, in accordance with the laws governing internal displacement, humanitarian aid, and compensation for damages, violated rights, and the return of the displaced families under secure conditions.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del CDHFBC: Familias del Poblado Primero de Agosto en condiciones precarias (CDHFBC, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Familias indígenas desplazadas en Chiapas, presentan problemas de salud (Animal Político, 7 de marzo de 2015)

Poblado Primero de Agosto denuncia desplazamiento forzado sincondiciones de seguridad (7 de marzo de 2015)

Mujeres del Poblado Primero de Agosto exigen retorno a su comunidad (8 de marzo de 2015)

La expulsión violenta y el desplazamiento forzado, una constante en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces upcoming activities (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communique “Pain and Rage” (18 May 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


National/Oaxaca/Chiapas: National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico

March 10, 2015

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Press-conference, 2 March.  Photo@Sipaz

On 2 and 3 March, in observance of the “National tour on forcible disappearance in Mexico: the case of Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, a crime against humanity,” as organized by the National Front for the Struggle toward Socialism (FNLS) and the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until We Find Them,” a press-conference was organized together with a teacher’ meeting in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The relatives in question, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez, as well as the lawyer César Augusto Sandino Rivero Espinosa, presented the case of the two social activists, who were detained and disappeared in 2007.  They denounced that “the Mexican State continues insists on maintaining the military on the margins of consideration.  Of the four lines of investigation in the case, at least three mention the participation of federal forces.  However, those reaches of federal power must remain in impunity, and so they blame local officials.”

Furthermore, Nadin Reyes Maldonado and Margarita Cruz Sánchez denounced the criminalization of the search for the relatives and their struggle for a broad investigation.  Their lawyer indicated the gravity of the impact of a case like this, being a “direct repression against a social struggle.”  The organizations calling for the tour indicate as well in their communique the national dimensions of this crime: “The forcible disappearances of people are a reality that hurt increasingly more people, including millions of Mexicans like Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, […] as well as the Triqui indigenous women Daniela and Virginia Ortiz Ramírez, the Chatino indigenous man Lauro Juárez, and the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.”  They call for the Mexican State to “be judged before international courts for State terror and crimes against humanity.  In this same way, State authorities must be held accountable for their participation or omission in the commission of multiple human-rights violations.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa (FNLS, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Los desaparecidos, “en manos de militares” y policías federales (La Jornada, 9 de julio de 2007)

Invitación de Hasta Encontrarlos (10 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Internacional: Actions taken on the International Day of the Detained and Disappeared (6 September 2014)

National: International Week of the Detained and Disappeared concludes in Mexico (10 June 10 2014)

National: 30 August, International Day for Victims of Forced Disappearance (16 September 2013)


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