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: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol

June 30, 2015

DSC_1112

(@SIPAZ)

In a communique from 25 June, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) made known the facts of a new attack on Zapatistas on recuperated lands in the El Rosario community, which belongs to the autonomous municipality of San Manuel. The Subcomandante also includes the denunciation made by the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) regarding the events.

The “Path to the Future” JBG explains that 28 “paramilitaries” from the Chiquinibal neighborhood of the Pojkol ejido arrived on 24 June to El Rosario, 8 of them openly carrying firearms. According to the JBG, in this community there live 21 “paramilitaries” who occupy lands recovered by the EZLN in 1994. According to the JGB, there was a meeting between these paramilitaries with an engineer and Guadalupe Flores, the owner of the lands in question before the 1994 uprising. The JBG claims that this group carried out measurements of the lands, supposedly to plan the subsequent construction of a church and homes. It adds that 10 gunshots were fired behind the home of a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) to intimidate the population, and that the aggressors entered two other homes and destroyed yet another, robbing the belongings of its inhabitants: animals, construction materials, tools, food, and cash. The JBG concludes that the engineer and the landowner are advisors to the paramilitary group.

It should be recalled that the La Garrucha JBG had in August 2014 denounced actions taken by this same group, including the killing of a stud bull, the destruction of homes and a collective store, robbery, the defoliation with pesticides of common grazing lands, shooting of live ammunition, and the writing of “Pojkol territory” on burned-out homes. In May 2015, the JBG denounced that one of them shot at a BAEZLN girl.

The JBG affirms that these events are a provocation which form part of the government’s counter-insurgent strategy. “We say clearly that we will not remain with our arms crossed while our comrades are attacked by any of the means that the bad government uses against us. We have said clearly that we will defend our lands, because on them were we born, from them we live, and on them we will die, regardless of the costs.”

The JBG holds the federal, state, and municipal governments responsible for any acts that might follow, and it calls on the public to remain attentive.

For more information (in Spanish):

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

Denuncia EZLN un ataque de paramilitares a indígenas de Ocosingo (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Minerva, half of her life disappeared, with no justice

June 29, 2015

Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres

Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres

On 20 June 2015, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres would have had her thirty-eighth birthday. That same day in 1996, she was “headed to the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, Chiapas, to visit her ill father. On her route, in the Miguel Alemán community, she was intercepted by members of the ‘Development, Peace, and Justice’ paramilitary group, who kidnapped her, tortured her sexually and otherwise for three days, and then forcibly disappeared her. Nearly two decades after, her whereabouts are entirely unknown,” indicates the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBLC). Beyond this, a public bulletin reported that the relatives of Minerva and other forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed persons are receiving notes “to confront their aggressors, the paramilitary leaders of Development, Peace, and Justice: Diego Vázquez Pérez, Sabelino Torres Martínez, Marcos Albino, and Samuel Sánchez, who are ordered to appear before a judge or face a fine of $2,048 [Mexican pesos] if they fail to comply.”

This aforementioned group was trained and protected by the State Police and the Mexican Army in the 1990s as a counter-insurgency weapon, as demonstrated in the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94. The CDHFBLC documented that Development, Peace, and Justice carried out 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and forcibly displaced more than 4,500 people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Minerva Guadalupe: Verdad y Justicia hasta encontrarte (CDHFBLC, 23 de junio de 2015)

La indígena chiapaneca Minerva Guadalupe Pérez, lleva desaparecida más de la mitad de su vida (Desinformémonos, 23 de junio de 2015)

Desaparición forzada en Chiapas, bajo una loza de impunidad (Centro Prodh, 23 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


Chiapas: Polluted water given to prisoners at Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 29, 2015

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

Alejandro Díaz Santiz, currently held in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, who is organized in solidarity with the Voz del Amate and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, has called on the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH) to intervene within the prevailing situation of lack of potable water being consumed in the institution. He denounced that the water comes from a deteriorated cistern that contains fissures, such that sewage from the prison enter. He postulated this as being the reason for diarrheal and dermatological diseases.

The promise made by director Pascual Martínez Cervantes is that he will resolve this problem; however, this problem has existed for a long time, and we have seen an increasing trend of more ill prisoners,” he explained to Chiapas Paralelo. He added that within the prison purified water is sold, but the prisoners lack the means with which to buy it.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reos del penal de San Cristóbal consumen agua contaminada, piden intervención de CNDH (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)


Chiapas: San Sebastián Bachajón ejido denounces a death and peaceful marches against the “looting of territory”

June 10, 2015

bachajon-circulo_mesa-de-trabajo-46-spanish-round-small

Logo from the Viva Bachajón blog

Members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, Chilón municipality, reported that on 20 May Delmar Feliciano Méndez, 17 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, died by drowning when two municipal police patrols pursued him until he fell into the river. The ejidatari@s in resistance demadned justice for the death of Delmar Feliciano and expressed that his struggle for the defense of the land and territory will not stop.

Similarly, they published a note announcing that on 29 and 30 May, they would mobilize themselves peacefully to protest “the plundering of our territory and the murders committed by the bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coello,” given that “they care nothing about murdering and forcibly disappearing students like our comrades from Ayotzinapa, the teacher comrade Galeano, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano. Their idea is to sow terror in the communities to continue doing their Narco-State big business,” they added. In addition, they demand “the liberation of our prisoners in Yajalón, JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ; prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, SANTIAGO MORENO PEREZ and EMILIO JIMENEZ GOMEZ; and our prisoner in Amate, ESTEBAN GOMEZ JIMENEZ.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Bachajón denuncia la muerte de uno de sus integrantes por culpa del hostigamiento policíaco (Pozol Colectivo, 29 de mayo de 2015)

Bachajón se moviliza contra el despojo, asesinatos y por sus presos políticos (Centro de Medios Libres, 31 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Commemoration of 2 years since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán in San Sebastián Bachajón (28 April 2015)

Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón(April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 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: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections

June 9, 2015

Acteal (@Sociedad Civil Las Abejas)

Acteal (@Sociedad Civil Las Abejas)

On 22 May, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997) in which 45 people were murdered, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communique presenting its take on the present electoral context.

Las Abejas affirmed that “the people who we represent will not vote in the elections,” given that the “so-called vote” is a “farce that offers political leadership of the people, but we know that there above they know well and already have arranged who and which parties will win in the elections to come.”

Instead, they recommend “the exercise of our rights as citizens not to participate in elections, but rather in the decision-making processes we carry out in our communities, in the daily resistance we embody, in the construction of autonomy, and in our collaboration with different spaces and processes to denounce injustice and human-rights violations committed by the State against our people. In exchange for not participating in the elections, we have begun a process of building an ethical and responsible government that actually represents us and listens to our voice: one that defends our lives, lands, and territories.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de mayo de 2015)

Las Abejas” de Acteal informaron que no participarán en elecciones 2015(Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks

May 17, 2015

(@Centro de Medios Libres)

(@Centro de Medios Libres)

On 11 May, the La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) from Caracol III publicly denounced two attacks: one in the El Rosario community, on recovered lands belonging to the autonomous municipality of San Manuel, and the other in the Nuevo Paraíso community, which pertains to the Francisco Villa autonomous municipality.  According to the JBG, there are two paramilitary groups in the region: one made up of 21 people from El Rosario, and the other comprised of 28 individuals from the Chikinival neighborhood, which pertains to the Pojkol ejido, in the Chilón municipality of Chiapas state.

The acts described in the denunciation took place on 10 May, when the Chikinival group arrived to El Rosario and began to measure the recovered lands of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), where Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) also live.  Two paramilitaries entered the house of one Zapatista, and another fired on the Zapatista daughter when she tried to escape the home.  The father of the child then threw a stone at the aggressor, causing him head injuries.  The next day, the family of the injured attacker came to demand 7,000 pesos from the BAEZLN as compensation.  The JBG assures that this amount will not be provided, given that the Zapatista did not seek or initiate the violence.

It bears noting that in 2014, residents of the Pojkol ejido killed a stud bull belonging to a Zapatista, destroyed homes and a cooperative, robbed possessions, fumigated land with herbicides, opened fire intermittently, and left a written note among the burned domiciles: “Pojkol territory.”

Also on 10 May 2015, 16 people from Chikinival entered the Nuevo Paraíso community, armed with two pistols and a rifle.  “They came to leave a letter in the street which blames the Zapatista support-base comrades for having provoked these conflicts,” says the JBG.  Beyond this, the JBG adds that in this case it has initiated mediation, deciding to transfer 21 hectares to put an end to the threats, though this has not yet resolved the problem.  The authorities from the Pojkol ejido claim to oppose this group from Chikinival, given its lack of respect and obedience for the ejidal authorities.

These two incidents took place the day after the close of the seminar on “Critical Thought amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” which was organized by the EZLN and held from 3 to 9 May in CIDECI-Unitierra Las Casas, where academics and activists shared their thoughts and reflections regarding the present context and alternatives to the capitalist system.

For more information (in Spanish):

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

“Manuel Velasco no hace nada, porque es su paramilitar”, denuncian Zapatistas ante agresiones de grupos armados. (Pozol Colectivo, 12 de mayo de 2015)

Desplazamiento, riesgo de despojo y amenazas a Bases de Apoyo del EZLN(CDHFBC, 15 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


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