National/International: Organizations and Defenders Take Urgent Action

June 14, 2017

UN.pngPhoto: https://contactohoy.com.mx/onu-mexico-rechaza-reforma-por-derecho-a-la-vida-desde-concepcion-en-veracruz/

Civil society organizations and environmental advocates called for urgent action to be taken by companies and the State following the report presented by the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations.

The organizations recalled that “companies do not report what they do to detect and prevent the negative consequences of their actions on human rights” and the Government “has not yet set clear guidelines nor set definite expectations for companies in relation to their responsibility to respect human rights in all their activities.” This is exemplified, among others, in the case of Rio Santiago River, which, according to the organizations, the companies “throw whatever they want and in whatever quantities they want” with impunity, complicity and protection of the authorities; they recalled that in the area of ​​Rio Santiago, where around 300 industries operate, more than 600 people have died from industrial pollution.

The UN report demands that the right to prior, free, informed and culturally appropriate consultation, in accordance with ILO Convention 169, be respected, stating that “consultations should be carried out as early as possible in the process of designing the projects and should leave open the possibility that some projects are not viable.” Against this, Civil Society reported that 32 of the 68 documented cases of abuse by companies violated the right to land and territory and in 28 cases, access to information.

The UN Working Group also denounced that, “too often attacks on human rights defenders go unpunished, without investigations or effective sanctions being applied.” From the civil society they denounced that the existence of hired assassins and paramilitary forces on the payroll of companies that harass and fracture communities were ignored. Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui community of Sonora and opponent to the Independencia aqueduct, explained that, “we, in the exercise of our rights, have been criminalized, demonized.” Facing this, defenders and civil society demanded that both the State and the companies carry out the recommendations of the UN Working Group and that “the highest government officials and CEOs should make it very clear that intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

CSO members and defenders pointed out that the UN report addressed very few cases and that it could talk more about how companies and authorities relate, labor rights, tourism projects, environmental impacts and the rights of indigenous peoples, in most cases defenders and guarantors of the environment.

For more information in Spanish:

Urge que Estado y empresas acaten informe sobre derechos humanos realizado por ONU: OSC (CentroProdh, a 13 de junio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Visita oficial del Grupo de Trabajo de la ONU sobre empresas y derechos humanos a México

 

 

 


International/National: Over 100 Guatemalan Campesina Families Take Refuge at Mexican Border

June 11, 2017

GuateDisplaced from Laguna Larga, Guatemala in Campeche (Photo @Radio Pozol)

Since June 2nd, some 120 families of Guatemalan campesinos (between 500 and 700 people) have fled the Laguna Larga community in the Peten area of ​​Guatemala to the Mexican border, where they set up an improvised camp near the El Desengano ejido, Municipality of Candelaria, Campeche on the border line between Guatemala and Mexico. Their forced displacement occurred after the announcement of a massive eviction and the mobilization of more than a thousand members of the National Civil Police (PNC in its Spanish acronym) and the Guatemalan army.

On the Government of Guatemala’s part, according to a Prensa Libre article, the eviction is based on “an eviction order issued by a court in Peten, (where) the National Council of Protected Areas CONAP argues for the conservation of Biosphere as a pretext, but denies and hinders any process or alternative that resolves the recognition of the population that lives within Laguna Larga, Sierra Lacandona and Laguna del Tigre. “

On June 7th, civil organizations conducted an observation and documentation visit and reported “the critical conditions of the camp and the nearly 100 families housed there, and that a preliminary census counts about 450 people. They are conditions that allow us to speak of a humanitarian emergency, which endangers the lives and integrity of children and, in general, of women and all the people settled there.”

They denounced “the grave breaches of the Guatemalan and Mexican governments in the face of a situation of forced displacement and the evident violation of human rights committed by the Guatemalan Army and its government against the population of Laguna Larga, evicted and besieged by security forces of both countries.” They also questioned that “the Mexican government is not responding to the gravity of the situation. Certain food and medical aid, which has been provided by the civilian population rather than by the government, is far from addressing the emergency, to overcome the risk conditions for the vulnerable population under their responsibility.”

For more information in Spanish:

Cientos de campesinos guatemaltecos se instalan en municipio de Campeche (La Jornada,5 de junio de 2017)

Activistas reportan éxodo de 700 guatemaltecos a México (Proceso, 5 de junio de 2017)

Desplazados guatemaltecos quedan varados en línea fronteriza de Campeche (Desinformémonos, 5 de junio de 2017)

Alarma y preocupación ante condiciones de la comunidad Laguna Larga, Petén desplazada forzadamente en la frontera con México (Red TdT, 8 de junio de 2017)

Organizaciones documentan negativa del gobierno a brindar recursos a los desplazados de Guatemala (Desinformémonos, 9 de junio de 2017)


Chiapas: Meeting of Peoples to Exchange Experiences of Threats of Territorial Dispossession from Megaprojects

May 15, 2017

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From 4 to 6 May, the Peoples’ Meeting was held to exchange experiences facing threats of plunder of our territories by megaprojects in the municipal seat of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, which was co-convened by the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Digna Ochoa Human Rights Center, the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) and the Samuel Ruiz Committee for the Promotion and Defense of Life, under a joint project of Pax Christi International.

In a final statement, participants from Chiapas and Oaxaca denounced that the processes of defense of the Earth and Territory of which they are a part have brought them the “consequence of repression, intimidation, threat, persecution, Imprisonment and the murder of community human rights defenders. Those who have decided to defend life and Mother Earth are at constant risk under the threats of businessmen, organized crime and the State in its three levels of government that only favor the paths of impunity, injustice, inequality, plunder, exploitation, contempt for our native peoples, communities and ejidos.”

As a result they demanded:

  • “Respect for the autonomy and self-determination of peoples in Chiapas and Oaxaca based on Article 2 of the Constitution and international conventions, as well as guaranteeing the physical integrity of those who defend life, Mother Earth and nature.
  • The cancellation of death projects in our territories that only bring destruction, plunder, poverty, disease, community conflicts and divisions.
  • The cancellation of arrest warrants, criminal charges, legal proceedings against defenders of the Earth and the Territory, as is the case of compañeros from Acacoyagua, Chicoasen and Tecpatan.”

Finally, they invited “the peoples, communities, ejidos, grassroots organizations, the men and women of this country, to maintain their struggle, their resistance and to organize, not to surrender, not to sell out, and not to let themselves be cheated. It is important to join together our struggles in any geography against this capitalist system and the system of death. Land is an inheritance of our ancestors, and we must guard it and defend it. Our peoples and organizations have firmly decided to defend life, territory and the environment, because the future of our country is at risk. “

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento completo (Chicomuselo, 6 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Pronunciamiento de participantes en Taller/Encuentro sobre la Transformación No-violenta de Conflictos en Defensa de Nuestros Territorios (19 de abril de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality

April 27, 2017

Acteal.pngMural in Acteal (Photo:@Sipaz)

On April 19, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization, municipality of Chenalho, published a communiqué in which they updated the situation of their compañer@s in Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, who were deprived of their freedom by the authorities of this community, and later released between April 11th and 12th. The problem began in this community in 2015, as Las Abejas do not accept “works and projects of the bad government and for not accepting posts related to the management of welfare programs.”

Las Abejas Civil Society reported that the Los Chorros authorities cut off the electricity and water supply to Jose Vasquez Entzin, Antonio Ramirez Perez and Juan Diego Perez Lopez, but the situation has been aggravated by the decision of those authorities “that whoever provides water and electric energy to members of the organization, will also be fined” and “threatened everyone with also cutting off drinking water if they provide water to Las Abejas.” They considered that with these actions, “it is very clear that in the colony Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, the followers of political parties and paramilitaries responsible for the previous events and material authors of the Acteal Massacre in complicity with the municipal president of Chenalho and with the state and federal governments, have initiated a direct attack on our organization to seek to weaken and demobilize us; because it occurs within the framework of our Acteal campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope.”

Las Abejas finally denounced the “lack of political will of the mayor of Chenalho of the Green Ecologist [Party], Rosa Perez Perez, not because of political inability, but she, is following the same pattern of the war of counterinsurgency designed by the then president of the republic Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, because as we tried to speak with the president of Chenalho to resolve through a dialogue the conflict in the Rio Jordan neighborhood, also months before the Massacre of Acteal we spoke with the PRI mayor of Chenalho Jacinto Arias Cross to avoid unfortunate events in our town; however, the three levels of government had already planned to send their message of terror through their paramilitaries to massacre our brothers and sisters of Acteal.

For more information in Spanish:

La situación actual de nuestras compañeras y compañeros se agrava y ya no sólo en el barrio Río Jordán (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 19 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (La Jornada, 14 de abril de 2017)

Se solidariza el CNI con Las Abejas de Acteal (CNI, 13 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal retenidos en Los Chorros (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 13 de abril de 2017)

Riesgo a la vida, seguridad e integridad de miembros de Las Abejas de Acteal (Acción Urgente, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 12 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal


Chiapas: Second Forum in Defense of Mother Earth and Territory

April 27, 2017

Forum.png

On April 10th and 11th, the Second Forum in Defense of Mother Earth and Territory was held in the community of Santa Lucia, municipality of Ocosingo, which included people from 20 communities and ranches, from the regions of Santa Lucia and Amador, in the Lacandon Jungle, as well as members of other processes organized in defense of community territories and natural resources in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Yucatan, Mexico State and Mexico City.

During the Forum,“experiences, processes and strategies of struggle whereby we participate, both men and women, in the social and environmental impact that we are experiencing through death projects that are implemented without the consent of the people in our territories” were analyzed.

They agreed to continue and renew their struggle and also to “strengthen unity and articulation for this process by inviting more communities, social and civil organizations, and the various expressions of the independent, nonpartisan social movement of different regions of Chiapas and different states of the country.” They recognized that “transformations need to come from the community, not from bad government, or from political parties, much less from national companies or from other countries. We need to strengthen ourselves internally with the knowledge of men and women in the community. We can and must govern ourselves, respecting our differences, diversity, with equal participation of men and women, respecting our customs and traditions. We can build community governments.” They also reaffirmed their rejection of the presence of the environmental police force on their territories, as well as companies, to “take their wealth.” Finally, they reaffirmed “we will not allow evictions, no project imposed on the interest and decision of the communities.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento del II Foro en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio (11 de abril de 2017)

Activistas y ambientalistas se organizan en defensa de territorioscomunitarios (Noticias MVS, 12 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: “ForosobreDefensa de la Tierra, Vida y Territorio” se pronuncia contra la presencia de la Gendarmeríaambiental en la Selva Lacandona (10 de diciembre de 2016)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chiapas: Violent Eviction of Road Block Protest by Chenalho Displaced

March 31, 2017

Chenalho.pngProtest by displaced families Colonia Puebla (@Kuuntik)

On the morning of March 28, a hundred state police evicted more than 200 displaced indigenous people from the municipality of Chenalho when they blocked the toll road between San Cristobal and Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand that the government guarantee the return of some 80 families. The operation left 14 civilians injured and, according to the authorities, 13 policemen.

 Javier Lopez Santiz, representative of the 241 people from Puebla Ejido who have been displaced since May 27, 2016 due to the post-electoral conflict in Chenalho, reported that “we were the 241 displaced, among men, children and women, some pregnant, and they launche tear gas at us; we have four injured: Pedro Lopez Mendez, Alberto Hernandez Mendez, Uvencio Arias Gomez and a girl, plus ten others beaten.”

After the eviction, the displaced people went to the offices of the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH in its Spanish acronym), based in San Cristobal de Las Casas. After the last violent events in main town of Chenalho at the beginning of the month, the families moved to this city until they obtained the necessary conditions for their return.

For more information in Spanish:

Policía desaloja bloqueo de desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2017)

Desalojan a indígenas desplazados que exigían con bloqueo el retorno a su comunidad (Proceso, 28 de marzo de 2017)

Desalojan a desplazados de Chenalhó que se manifestaban en la carretera de SCLC (Chiapas Paralelo, 28 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: conflicto partidista desata violencia en el municipio de Chenalhó (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)


Chiapas: Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

March 29, 2017

Chenalho.pngFamilies displaced due to violence in Chenalho Photo@:Quorum Informativo

In March, faced with the context of violence stemming from the post-electoral conflict in the municipality of Chenalho, several organizations and the Coordination of the Parish of San Pedro Apostol of this municipality issued statements to express their concerns, demand that the State to disarm armed groups and ensure the integrity and personal safety and life of the villagers of the municipality.

The parish of San Pedro Apostol recalled in its pronouncement how the Massacre of Acteal came about almost twenty years ago and declared with great concern “how history seems to repeat itself: acts of violence, threats, dead and wounded, displaced people, burnt houses, actions by armed groups, arms trafficking.” What most distresses the parish is that “the authorities do nothing to solve the problem (…) they abandon their responsibility to enforce justice and the law, which is the only reason for their existence as authorities.” It points out that the two sides of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are armed with weapons considered “for exclusive use by the army.” So far, the conflict has resulted in over 200 displaced persons and four deaths: “It is public and notorious that in the municipality the armed groups have bee reactivated and are acting with total freedom and impunity.” The parish called on the inhabitants of Chenalho so that “as Christians they refrain from engaging in acts of violence against their own brothers.”

In a joint statement, civil organizations blamed the State for “action and omission, in a context of violence that could continue to escalate.” They also alleged that they had been insisting on the disarmament of the paramilitary groups that perpetrated the Acteal Massacre in 1997 and that “not only have they not listened to us in terms of disarmament, but also the armed groups have been reactivated under the current administration of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.” They stated that, “the authorities cannot continue to evade their responsibility in the face of the evident and obvious consequences of the unpunished actions of armed groups and arms trafficking in the region.”

They asked if “this mode of action is a prolongation of the counterinsurgency in which the paramilitaries are the material executors of the plan drawn up by the Army? Is it connivance and active complicity of the authorities with criminal groups? Or is it simple and crass inability to govern? Or perhaps it is a question of creating a sense of ungovernability to justify the Internal Security Law that seeks to institutionalize the action of the Mexican Army in tasks that correspond by their nature to civil authority?”

 For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas imposición y violencia son la forma de gobernar: ONGs; “confrontaciones son encabezados por PRI y PVEM” (Revolución 3.0, 21 de marzo de 2017)

Pronunciamiento conjunto: Chiapas: Imposición y violencia como modo de gobierno (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 20 de marzo de 2017)

Zozobra en Chenalhó ante inminente violencia por la disputa del poder político, económico y social (Chiapas en contacto, 15 de marzo de 2017

Manifiesta parroquia preocupación por violencia (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)