Chiapas: Humanitarian Aid for Displaced Demanded

December 4, 2017

Chenalho.png(@ Chiapas Paralelo)

On November 27th, Civil Society organizations, including SIPAZ, issued an Urgent Action for the risk to life, security and integrity of communities in the Altos region due to an agrarian conflict between the municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan, which has been going on for more than 40 years without a solution.

The document reports that there are more than 5000 displaced people today. It details that the displaced communities of Chalchihuitan are: a) Ch’en Mut 700 people, 120 families, 8 pregnant women; b) Pom more than 2000 people, 436 families, 100 pregnant women; c) Tzomolton 800 people, 107 families, 6 pregnant women; d) C’analumtic 600 people, 191 families; e) Bejelton 150 people, 30 families; f) Tulantic 350 people, 50 families; g) Vololch’ojon. 150 people, 40 families; e) Cruz c’ac’al nam 200 people; f) Cruzton 73 people, 20 displaced families. Also affected by the situation of violence are the communities of Balunac’o, Cotolchij, Lobolaltic, Pacanam, Pat C’anteal, Chiquin xulum, Saclum.

From Chenalho, 300 people from Majompepentik and Fraccion Polho moved, in addition to Las Limas and other communities that sleep outside their homes such as Yabteclum, Campo Los Toros, Tsabalho, among others.

In the communique, the organizations urge the Mexican State to respond promptly and expeditiously to this situation of violence that may lead to greater violations of human rights. They request:

“First – The necessary and pertinent precautionary measures are urgently implemented in order to respect, guarantee and protect the life and integrity of the families of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho.

 Second – The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the United Nations Organization will be applied to protect the hundreds of families who have fled from the generalized violence and who are in total vulnerability, as well as the affected families who are living in a situation of terror due to the armed actions in the region that are also at risk of increasing the number of forced displacements.

 Third – Free transit and social peace in the communities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho municipalities are guaranteed, prioritizing the dialogue between the parties under the essential respect of human rights.

Fourth – The murder of Samuel Perez Luna is investigated, those responsible are punished, and armed groups that act with impunity under the permissiveness of the government of Chiapas are disarmed.

 Fifth – In the face of the humanitarian crisis, international and national solidarity is necessary, due to the inefficiency and inability to address this emergency situation on the part of the federal and state governments. Humanitarian aid is urgent for the displaced communities: Food, medicines, blankets, cold clothes, doctors. Contact Caritas de La Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas at the telephone number: 9671203722.”

For its part, the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas issued a statement on November 28 where it expressed its surprise “at the impunity with which the armed groups act to the extent that neither the police nor the Army have been able to be present to prevent the violence, nor to disarm those who impose their control oon the territory and the population through fear.” It also requested actions from the State and called for solidarity to address the humanitarian crisis in which the displaced are.

For more infoemation in Spanish:

Alto al Fuego: Organizaciones urgen ayuda humanitaria para personas desplazadas (CDHFBC, 27 de noviembre de 2017)

Acción Urgente: Violencia generalizada en los municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (CDHFBC, 21 de noviembre de 2017)

Acusan a Velasco de encubrir a alcaldesa de Chenalhó y proteger a grupo armado que provocó desplazamiento (Proceso, 28 de noviembre de 2017)

Escalan violencia y desplazados por conflicto agrario en Chiapas (Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2017)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas (28 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Otra vez resurgió el conflicto agrario entre los municipios de Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (14 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Resurgimiento del conflicto agrario entre los vecinos municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (29 de mayo de 2014)

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Chiapas: Agrarian Conflict between the Municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan Reignites

November 19, 2017

Chenalho

On October 18th, an individual from the community of Canalumtic, in the municipality of Chalchihuitan, was shot dead.

The following day, a group of police from the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSyPC in its Spanish acronym) and detachments from Zacatonal and Majumpepentic, from the municipality of San Pedro Chenalho, had to flee to San Cristobal following a threat of retention. This occurred after they arrived in Chalchihuitan due to the report of a shootout, according to the newspaper Cuarto Poder.

Several days later, on October 29th, Sebastian Ruiz Ruiz, originally from Chenalho, was shot dead.

In November, a new confrontation with firearms took place between residents of the two municipalities. According to Mural Chiapas, during the events “more than 300 residents of Chenalho entered the community of Pom, Chalchihuitan and burned a house made of wood and sheet iron.”

According to press sources, this confrontation caused the displacement of 670 women and 520 men from the Kanalumtic, Bejelton, Pom and Chen Mut communities, municipality of Chalchihuitan, despite the fact that the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Juan Carlos Gomez Aranda, met with the municipal presidents of these two locations to solve the problem.

The parish priest of Chenalho, Manuel Perez, in a telephone interview with Expreso Chiapas, “pointed out that it is a very old problem, but the government has not helped and on the contrary it has prolonged this situation. On this occasion,due to the upcoming elections there is no solution, they are more concerned about this and neglecting this ancestral problem, he said. At other times the parish has made complaints to address this conflict but the competent authorities have ignored them. Now, we will see what steps will be taken since it is unfortunate that they are displaced.”

These events are related to the agrarian conflict over the limits between the two municipalities of Chalchihuitan and Chenalho. This conflict began in 1973, as a result of the works of recognition and titling of communal property by the extinct Secretariat of Agrarian Reform. They have resulted in a dispute over more than 900 hectares located between the two entities.

For more information in Spanish:

Gobierno Del Estado Propicia Diálogo Entre Chenalhó y  Chalchihuitán (Mega Noticias, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Ayuda, claman desplazados de Chalchichuitán (Diario de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Teme iglesia baño de sangre entre tzotziles de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (Expreso Chiapas, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Solicitan ayuda humanitaria para auto desplazados de Chalchihuitán (El Siete de Chiapas, 13 de noviembre de 2017)

Persiste conflicto entre municipios (Cuarto Poder, 9 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: Asesinan a indígena en territorio en conflicto (La Jornada, 19 octubre de 2017)

Gobierno del Estado propicia diálogo entre Chenalhó y Chalchihuitán (El Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 9 noviembre de 2017)

Conflicto territorial Chenalho – Chalchihuitan, retroceso de 7 años (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Iglesia llama a privilegiar el diálogo (Cuarto Poder, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento de la parroquia de Chenalhó (28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de mayo de 2014)

Entran comuneros de Chenalhó a terreno en disputa con vecinos de Chalchihuitán (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Resurgimiento del conflicto agrario entre los vecinos municipios de Chalchihuitán y Chenalhó (29 de mayo de 2014)


Guerrero: NGOs Ask “to guarantee victims’ rights, commnities ans individuals and human rights defenders’ organizations in the State”

October 8, 2017

OaxacaCivil Observation Mission, September 2017 (@Tlachinollan)

Within the framework of an Observation Mission conformed by Amnesty International Mexico, Serapaz, the National Network of Civil Organisms of Human Rights All Rights for All and All (TDT Network), CodigoDH and Tequio Jurídico de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Judicial Work) with the support of the International Peace Brigades (PBI) and the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH), several meetings were held in Chilapa and Chilpancingo with relatives of victims of forced disappearance and members of human rights organizations in the state of Guerrero on September 20th. They also toured some communities in the area that have suffered forced displacement.

In their main conclusions, they pointed out that it is “unacceptable the normalization of the military presence as well as the forced displacement in different municipalities of the state of Guerrero.” Regarding the situation of family members of victims of forced disappearance, the Observation Mission “witnessed the pain and impotence derived from the impunity and indolence of the authorities responsible for guaranteeing access to justice for victims and their families.” They also express their concern “for stigmatization against human rights defenders, both by state and non-state players.”

 For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO | Situación de víctimas, comunidades y personas defensoras es sumamente preocupante: Misión de Observación (Red Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, 20 de septiembre de 2017)

Violaciones a los derechos humanos son política de Estado en Guerrero: ONG (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre de 2017)

Tras ir a Chiapas, ONG urgen a acciones de gobierno ante el grave problema de la violencia (El Sur, 21 de septiembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero : se declara “alerta” para proteger a defensores y defensoras de derechos humanos (19 de septiembre de 2017)


Mexico: Announcements and Actions for International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances

September 7, 2017

Forced disappearance.png(@ONU-DH)

On August 30th, International Day of Victims of Forced Disappearances, hundreds of family members and friends of missing persons marched in Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Baja California to demand that the authorities make progress in the search for their loved ones and punish those responsible for this crime.

In this same context, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-HR) in Mexico urged the Mexican State to recognize the competence of the United Nations Committee to oversee the Convention that deals with this issue to receive and to examine individual complaints of victims of enforced disappearances. Jan Jarab, UN-HR representative in Mexico reported that “despite the fact that eight years have passed since it ratified the International Convention for the Protection of Persons against this scourge, there are currently more than 30,000 disappeared in Mexico.” In this context, UN-HR reiterated its demand to the Chamber of Deputies to approve the general law on forced disappearance.

For the same reason, Amnesty International launched the campaign “Nothing is the same if someone disappears”, with an emphasis on the situation in Syria, Mexico and Spain. In the case of Mexico, the organization emphasized: “As of June 2017, according to the Government, 32,096 people were missing, without specifying how many had been forced to disappear. An emblematic case is the 43 students of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in September 2014. In April 2016, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, accused the Mexican Government of not following the key research lines, manipulating evidence, protecting officers suspected of participating in enforced disappearances, and torturing suspects to secure “confessions.” It has recently been verified that members of this group and of human rights organizations working on the case have been spied on with sophisticated programs available only to governments.”

On its part, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH in its Spanish acronym) affirmed on the same occasion that disappearances still occur in Mexico and urged the Chamber of Deputies to approve the General Law on the subject at the next sitting.

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC in its Spanish acronym) issued a bulletin in which it denounced that “forced disappearance is part of the strategy used by the Mexican State to infuse terror in society and annihilate organizational experiences” and recalled that in Chiapas, “cases of forced disappearance, in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict, as a consequence of the implementation of the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94, committed by state agents and paramilitary groups that operated with the support, tolerance and acquiescence of the Mexican State, remain unpunished, creating conditions for their repetition.”

 For more information in Spanish:

« Amnistía Internacional lanza la campaña: Nada es igual si alguien desaparece » (Amnistía Internacional, 29 de agosto de 2017)

México: ONU-DH lanza campaña a favor de los derechos de las personas desaparecidas (ONU-DH, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Llama la ONU a México a reforzar la lucha contra desapariciones (La Jornada, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Desapariciones subsisten en México como consecuencia de la impunidad: CNDH (Proceso, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Urge en México una Ley General sobre Desaparición (CDHFBC, 30 de agosto de 2017)

Desapariciones forzadas en México, “crimen de Estado” (La Jornada, 31 de agosto de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: Foro sobre desaparición forzada (22 de agosto de 2017)

Nacional: Amnistía Internacional presenta su informe anual sobre la situación de derechos humanos en el mundo. México, “en una de las peores crisis de derechos humanos y justicia” (3 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional : cierre de año legislativo con agenda polémica en el Congreso (8 de diciembre de 2016)


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

Peoples.png

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)