Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia’s Liberty at Risk

February 5, 2017

Roberto.pngRoberto Paciencia Cruz on the day of his release, Photo @: Espoir Chiapas

On February 2, the No Estamos Todxs Working Group (GTNET in its Spanish acronym) and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) expressed their concern in a joint statement over the risk to personal freedom of Roberto Paciencia Cruz. Roberto is an indigenous Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. On August 9, 2013 he was arrested and charged with an alleged abduction. The GTNET and the CDHFBC recall in their communiqué that at the time of Roberto’s arrest and imprisonment “acts of torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trial were documented, violating the rights of personal liberty, integrity, personal security and access to due process.” They add that “since his arrest, and throughout a judicial process that lasted three years and three months, Roberto did not cease to fight against the injustices of the corrupt Mexican justice system, until on November 26, 2016, he was released on recognition of innocence by the Judge of the Criminal Branch of the Judicial District of San Cristobal de Las Casas, by acquittal “.

However, despite not being able to sustain an accusation against Paciencia during the trial, and despite the violations mentioned against him, the public prosecutor filed an appeal against that acquittal. The GTNET and the CDHFBC emphasize that, “the arbitrary and unjust detention of Roberto brought physical and psychological consequences for him and his family, disrupting his life plans and generating family impoverishment.”

According to information in their possession, they report that “the study of the case and the proposed sentence of appeal will be in charge of the Speaker C, of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 3, San Cristobal de Las Casas, headed by Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez; the proposal will be voted by the judges who hold court in the middle of February.” The likelihood that the sentence of acquittal of Roberto Paciencia can be modified generates a situation of uncertainty, stress and anxiety for him and his family.

The GTNET and the CDHFBC exhort Judge Ramiro Joel Ramirez Sanchez and the members of the Mixed Regional Court, Zone 03 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas “to confirm the acquittal, because there are no legal elements to revoke the said sentence.” In addition, they ask the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and national and international civil society to be attentive to the resolution of the Mixed Regional Court and to carry out solidarity actions for Roberto Paciencia Cruz and his family when they can.

For more information in Spanish:

Boletin conjunto: En riesgo la libertad personal de Roberto Paciencia Cruz ( Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs (GTNET) & Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 02 de enero de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Liberan a Roberto Paciencia (26 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Juez dictaminará sentencia a Roberto Paciencia (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Procesión fuera del CERSS No.5 en exigencia de la liberación de Roberto Paciencia Cruz (31 de octibre de 2016)

Chiapas: Roberto Paciencia Cruz, injustamente preso, denuncia la negación del acceso a sus visitas por segunda vez (19 de octubre 2016)


Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage

February 5, 2017

Believing Pople .pngBelieving People Pilgrimage in San Cristóbal, 2016 Photo: El Heraldo de Chiapas

On January 25, members of Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage on the fifth anniversary of the death of Jtatik Samuel Ruíz and also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ).

About 4,000 people came from the municipalities of Comitan, Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Altamirano, Tila, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Chilon, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, San Cristóbal, Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, among others. They met in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de las Casas to remember Jtatik Samuel in prayer.

As Believing Peoples, they proposed building autonomy in the communities, recovering the structure of government, resisting the projects and recovering the autonomous and community governments, facing the 2018 elections, as the political parties are already controlling and organizing their people In communities.

Believing Peoples denounce “the poverty that is increasing by the rise of [the price of] gasoline, gas, electricity, tortilla, transportation and everything. We denounce the nationalist egotism of the new government in the United States, which excludes emigrants and who only looks out for their economic interests, without solidarity with less developed countries. “

For more information in Spanish:

http://www.prensalibrechiapas.com/2014/index.php/secciones/portada/item/4226-realizan-peregrinacion-por-el-sexto-aniversario-luctuoso-de-jtatik-samuel (Prensa Libre Chiapas, a 25 de enero de 2017)

Pueblo Creyente: “Denunciamos los proyectos de muerte” (Chiapas Denuncia, a 25 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Entrega del 5to reconocimiento jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez

Chiapas: El Pueblo Creyente peregrinó en Tuxtla en apoyo a las y los maestros

 


Oaxaca/National: NGOs Document Arbitrary Detentions of Defenders – Relatives Demand their Release

December 28, 2016

Defenders.pngPedro Canche Herrera, Nestora Salgado and Enrique Guerrero Aviña (Photo@: Consorciooaxaca)

On December 14, 2016, the report Arbitrary and Illegal Detentions – Criminalization: a State Policy to Inhibit the Defense of Human Rights in Mexico, jointly prepared by 11 Mexican and international civil society organizations, was launched in Oaxaca. This report analyzes the case of five human rights defenders who were “illegally arrested without warrant and imprisoned for crimes they committed only for their legitimate activities in defense of human rights”: Damian Gallardo Martinez, Enrique Guerrero Aviña, Librado Baños Rodriguez, Pedro Canche Herrera and Nestora Salgado – the last two of whom have already been released.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, having studied these cases, confirmed that they were arbitrary detentions and that they were carried out “without warrant or charges against them [those involved in the said cases]“. The WG underlined the numerous irregularities presented by criminal proceedings. In its opinion, the detention of Librado Baños corresponds to “acts of retaliation and reprisal for his active defense of the rights of the indigenous and Afro-descendant population of the region.” It should be noted that the Working Group stated that it requested information from the Mexican Government regarding those cases, which was not provided in the legal period for that purpose.

The 11 organizations and relatives of the victims say that the arrests, acts of torture and other human rights violations they have been subjected to illustrate “a much broader pattern of criminalization of social protest in Mexico that seeks to inhibit the defense of human rights and social protest, turning them into illegal and criminal activities. In addition to this the fact that, far from affecting the eradication of this practice, the Mexican state continues to detain and intimidate defenders in the country.”

The authors of the report emphasize that “the responsibility for these violations of human rights is shared between the plurality of players directly or indirectly involved in the process of criminalization and arbitrary detention of defenders: the Mexican State may be involved at different levels, federal and state, as well as the police, the army, the same government authorities, the judiciary through justice operators, sharing responsibility with private players such as private companies and landowners.”

During the presentation of the report, the organizations and families demanded: “the immediate release of Damian Gallardo, Enrique Guerrero and Librado Baños as well as the cessation of criminalization and full reparation to the five human rights defenders for the numerous human rights violations to which they have been subjected.”

The report clarifies that “the five cases of arbitrary detention presented show the serious human rights crisis in Mexico. These five cases are emblematic and represent only a small part of the arbitrary detentions that occur with impunity in the country.”

 For more information in Spanish:

Inéditas, 5 detenciones arbitrarias de defensores de DDHH reconocidas por la ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 14 de diciembre de 2016)

ONGs documentan detenciones arbitrarias de defensoras y defensores, familiares exigen su libertad (Educa, 15 de diciembre 2016)

Informe : detenciones arbitraria e ilegal (Consorcio Oaxaca, diciembre 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Guerrero/Nacional: Nestora Salgado lanza campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos del país (4 de abril 2016)


Chiapas: “Forum on Defense of the Earth, Life and Territory” Declares itself against Presence of Environmental Gendarmerie in Lacandon Jungle

December 16, 2016

Forum.pngForum in Amador Hernandez (Photo@Noe Pineda)

On December 5, the “Forum on Defense of the Earth, Life and Territory” was held in the ejido of Amador Hernandez, in the Municipality of Ocosingo, Lacandon Jungle. About 1,000 people from communities in the region analyzed the problems they are experiencing, including several agrarian conflicts.

In their final declaration, they said: “We are against the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie and their entry into our territory. From now on we state that in the case that the corresponding authorities do not take our disagreement into account … we will carry out more actions against the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie until we are heard.”

They questioned whether the presence of the Environmental Gendarmerie “for the supposed care and conservation of the environment” responds to other objectives: “We know that the true objective of this security force is a strategy for the destruction of our communities, our cultures and our organizations, it represents the violation of our rights and that its true intention is to guarantee the entry of transnational corporations dedicated to the extraction of natural resources for the benefit of big capital.”

According to the authorities, the Environmental Gendarmerie will “have the mission of preventing administrative crimes and faults in environmental matters, due to its security and police operational model.” It is envisaged that it will be installed in 61 points of the country, among others, the Lacandon Jungle, Montes Azules and the monarch butterfly reserves, Pico de Orizaba, Nevado de Toluca and Tulum.

It should be noted that on the same day, President Enrique Peña Nieto was in the Lacandon Jungle in the framework of an activity, which was part of the COP (Conferences of the Parties) 13 under the heading “Integrating Biodiversity for Wellbeing”. In that context, he instructed the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development to prevent the regularization of irregular settlements; and the Secretariats of Energy and Economy, to ensure that there are no hydrocarbon or mining explorations or holdings in the region.

For more information in Spanish:

Con la amenaza de la instalación de la Gendarmería Ambiental se realiza Foro sobre Defensa de la Tierra en Amador Hernández, Chiapas (Serapaz, 7 de diciembre de 2016)

Pueblos de Chiapas dicen no a la Gendarmería Ambiental (Somos el Medio, 8 de diciembre de 2016)

Se pronuncian en contra de la Gendarmería Ambiental comunidades de la Selva Lacandona y Montes Azules (Desinformémonos, 8 de diciembre de 2016)

Peña Nieto destaca acciones para preservar la Selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 5 de de diciembre de 2016)

Los de abajo (Artículo de opinión, La Jornada, 10 de diciembre de 2016)

COP 13- Conservación y áreas de salvaguarda, la cara más reciente del modelo extractivo en México (Otros Mundos, 8 de diciembre de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Despliegue de elementos de la División de Gendarmería en 6 estados de México (3 de septiembre de 2014)


Chiapas: Statement from the Tila Ejidatarios

December 14, 2016

Tila.pngPress Conference in San Cristobal de las Casas Photo @Sipaz

In a public complaint issued on November 24, the Tila ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, announced the threats and intimidation that they continue to suffer. They especially noted the intimidation suffered by an ejidatario on November 22 and the threats received by the parish priest of Tila, Heriberto Cruz Vera, despite the fact that “he has nothing to do with the struggle of the ejido.” It denounces a “minority group of approx. 150 people (…) throwing stones intimidating the passers-by and a string of insults against the ejidatarios.” In their statement, the ejidatarios state their nonviolent position by clarifying that they are opting for “peace and tranquility.”

They conclude their statement warning “non-governmental social organizations to be aware of what will happen in Tila ejido” and blaming “the government of the state of Chiapas, the state congress, the public registry of property and municipal council of being responsible for deceiving people for an alleged legal fund violating Article 74 of the agrarian legislation in trying to modify the definitive plan of the ejido being unconstitutional.”

 

 

 


Chiapas/International: Week of Global Action in Solidarity with San Sebastian Bachajón

December 14, 2016

SanSeb.pngDemonstration at the Mexican Consulate in New York in support of La Sexta Bachajon Photo@: Viva Bachajon WordPress

From December 4 to 10, 2016, a symbolic day for being International Human Rights Day, a week of global action will be held in solidarity with San Sebastian Bachajon, Chiapas. From Canada, the United States, England, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, together with the ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajon, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, will carry out a series of activities in order to claim “respect for the fundamental human rights of the Tseltal indigenous peoples of San Sebastian Bachajon, and guarantees for their security and integrity, respect and guarantees for their right to full use and enjoyment of their territory, and self-determination and the construction of their autonomy, an end to the pillage and dispossession of common [ownership].” They call for a “stop to the permanent presence of police and the militarization of the area, and the threats and violence that are being experienced.” They demand “a fair and comprehensive investigation of the murders of Juan Vazquez Guzman and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano, to know who were the material and intellectual authors of their deaths. Also a fair and comprehensive investigation of the savage attack against Domingo Perez Alvaro, and the punishment of those responsible.”

The San Sebastian Bachajon ejido is located near the Agua Azul Waterfalls, where they have been talking about building an elite holiday complex. “The Tseltal Indians of San Sebastian Bachajon hinder their plans and profits, since they inherited those lands from their ancestors and care for them as a great treasure of humanity. For this reason, they have received threats, aggressions, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, incarceration, torture and attacks by state and paramilitary forces. They suffer serious acts of violence and police and military occupation, as well as evictions and pillage, in the perpetuated attempt to deprive them of their ancestral lands and sacred places. These last threats and acts of brutal aggression oblige us to offer our solidarity”, their sympathizers say in the call for the week of solidarity.

This week of global action is an initiative that arises after the attack that the indigenous Tseltal Domingo Perez Alvaro, defender of human rights and community organizer of San Sebastian Bachajon suffered on October 17, 2016. Due to this, the ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajon fear that his fate will be similar to that of Juan Vazquez Guzman and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano, for which they asked the national and international civil society to remain “alert and aware of what may happen to him.”

For more information in Spanish:

Semana de acción global en solidaridad con San Sebastián Bachajón ( Koman Ilel, a 22 de noviembre de 2016)

Desde Uruguay: Pronunciamiento de Raúl Zibechi (Viva Bachajon WordPress, a 4 de diciembre 2016)Primer informe sobre la Semana de Acción Global en Solidaridad con los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón, del 4 al 10 de diciembre de 2016.

 For more information from SIPAZ:


Chiapas: La sexta de San Sebastián Bachajón reciben de nuevo amenazas  (4 de noviembre de 2016)
Chiapas: Ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón denuncian agresiones a uno de sus integrantes y nuevas amenazas (24 de octubre 2016)

 

 

 


Chiapas/Mexico: CNI and EZLN Denounce Attacks during the Indigenous Consultation

December 14, 2016

CNI.pngPhoto@SIPAZ

Members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) denounced in a communiqué on December 2 numerous acts of aggression and harassment of participants in their fifth Congress during the consultation they have been conducting. “The fear of the powerful, the extractive companies, the military, the narco-paramilitaries is such that our consultation is being attacked and harassed where our peoples are gathering to discuss and decide the steps to follow as the CNI “.

 They specifically denounced:

 “-In the Nahua indigenous community of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán, the narco-paramilitary harassment by the Templar Knights cartel has intensified, and through a paper signed on November 19, 2016, the same date on which a regional assembly discussed on the Michoacan coast the resolutions of the first stage of the V CNI, they threatened to do a “clean up” of those who participate in demonstrations together with the community police commanders.

 – That compañeros who, by agreement of the assembly of the V CNI in October 2016, have moved through different geographies of the country where the original peoples have wanted to dialogue with delegates of other peoples regarding our political proposal, have been victims of aggression and harassment by criminal gangs or by unknown persons, such as the burning of homes in their places of origin, or attacks on other vehicles to try to remove them from the roads where they need to travel.

 – That while foreign companies intend to seize 12 oil wells in the northern Zoque territory of Chiapas, on November 23, 2016, a group of armed men pretending to be government teachers and with the consent of the Undersecretary of Federated Education of Chiapas, Eduardo Campos Martinez and the chief, Delfino Alegria Garcia, abducted a group of indigenous teachers from the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) in the northern area of Chiapas, and attacked them with high-powered weapons. Outside the office of the Secretary of Education in the municipality of Ixtacomitán, Chiapas. The attack resulted in the loss of life of Professor Zoque Roberto Diaz Aguilar, originally from Chapultenango, Chiapas and three other people were injured.

 – That the teacher Irineo Salmerón Dircio, Coordinator of the House of Justice in San Luis Acatlan and member of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PC) was abducted – disappeared by an armed group in the municipality of Tixtla, Guerrero; and two days later his dead body was found in the municipality of Chilapa, Guerrero, a few days after in that same municipality at least 15 communities of the Indigenous and Popular Council of Guerrero – Emiliano Zapata held an assembly as part of the consultation in which we are participating.”

 For more information in Spanish:

 EZLN denuncia agresiones durante consulta indígena, La Jornada, 2 de diciembre de 2016

A pesar de agresiones contra pueblos indígenas la consulta va, anuncian EZLN y CNI, Radio Formula, 2 de diciembre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional : Nuevo comunicado del EZLN aclara propuesta conjunta con el CNI (25/11/2016)

Chiapas/Nacional : Candidata presidencial “no es decisión de una persona” (Subcomandante Moíses) (15 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas /Nacional: Polémica después de la propuesta planteada por el EZLN y el CNI en octubre (24 de octubre de 2016)

Chiapas / Nacional : CNI y EZLN realizarán consulta para nombrar a una candidata indígena hacia las elecciones presidenciales de 2018 (15 de octubre de 2016)