Chiapas: Believing Peoples Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers

July 20, 2016

Believing People.pngBelieving Peoples pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

On July 18, about 30 thousand members of Believing Peoples representing 52 parishes throughout the state as well as thousands of teachers, members of the CNTE, held a pilgrimage together on Monday in Tuxtla Gutierrez demanding that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, discuss in “public dialogue” not only education reform, but also the so-called structural reforms that the government has been promoting. “We came to demand that the government act honestly, because even when there is a negotiating table with the CNTE, we remember what happened to the San Andres Accords (signed in 1996 between the Federal Government and the EZLN). The government betrayed them, and that can also happen now”, the indigenous pastor of Simojovel parish, Marcelo Perez Perez said, during the demonstration on Monday in the central square of the state capital, where teachers installed in a camp two months ago as part of protests against education reform.

Apart from Believing Peoples, several organizations, communities and groups expressed their objection to the reforms and their support for the teachers in recent weeks.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas advierten posible “traición” del gobierno en diálogo con la CNTE, Chiapasparalelo, 18 de julio de 2016

CNTE y Pueblo Creyente marchan en Tuxtla; en duda el inicio del próximo ciclo escolar, reporte ciudadano chiapas, 18 de julio de 2016

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente de la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 18 de julio de 2016

Candelaria el Alto se solidariza con el movimiento magisterial, 12 de julio de 2016

Pronunciamiento en apoyo del Movimiento Magisterial: pudee,  4 de julio de 2016

Estamos con ustedes resistan y resistiremos: Xinich al magisterio,5 de julio de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/ Nacional: La CNTE y la Segob acuerdan mesas de negociación (13 de julio de 2016)

Oaxaca: Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos presentan informe sobre represión en Nochixtlán(11 de julio de 2016)

Chiapas: Miles de creyentes peregrinan en apoyo al movimiento magisterial (5 de julio de 2016)

BOLETÍN URGENTE: REPRESIÓN MAGISTERIAL EN OAXACA (22 de junio de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Opening of Photographic Exhibition of Banavil Displaced Families

July 13, 2016

BanavilPhoto from the exhibition (retaken from Faces of Dispossession)

July 5 saw the opening of the photo exhibition “20 Windows on Forced Displacement in Chiapas” in Palicate cultural center in San Cristobal de Las Casas. They invited the Banavil displaced families, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) and Melel Xojobal. The exhibition is the result of an action of the Faces of Dispossession campaign and the four displaced Banavil families, who were expelled from their land after an attack by a group of members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms the December 4, 2011 in the municipality of Tenejapa. The exhibition contains 20 photos, 20 photographic windows that are “our memory that will not break and will never be broken”, the families at the event said. The photos represent a selection made and titled by the families themselves in “an exercise in self-recognition and a return of the solidarity received from those who also have provided security in the three provisional returns in 2015 and to those who have walked with them for more than four years”. The photographs are mostly anonymous, born of the lens international observation and free media accompaniment.

In the audiovisual event, visitors were actually included in the exhibition. Through an activity where testimonies and descriptions for each photo were told, people better understood the value of each photo. Looking for the story of each of the photos, one participant said that, “due to the testimonies, I felt a closer relationship to the photos and the story that is behind all that.” One example is the testimony of Maria, where she speaks about how they support their families: “We were embroidering the cloth, that’s how we started working. It was not the work we did before when we were in Banavil. This is very different, the work that is done. Now we embroider cloth to get money to keep our daughters and sons too … It is to survive in this displacement we are in right now, that’s the work we do, the women ” (see photo on this post). The documentary “Justice, Truth and Return for Banavil Displaced  Families” (2015) from the Koman Ilel collective was also shown. At times, recordings of the voices of members of families in Tzotzil were heard, telling stories of everyday life and the daily challenges they face in their temporary homes where they live since their displacement four years and seven months ago.

Faces of dispossession analyzes that “forced displacement in a context of counterinsurgency warfare to eliminate experiences of autonomous organization in Chiapas is a daily violation of human rights”. These are the same families in forced displacement, and their support networks, who do not cease in their path of dignity to demand return, justice and truth so that the human rights violations committed against them do not go unpunished and the events are not repeated. The Banavil families also sympathize with other displaced families in Chiapas such as in Shulvo, Zinacantán and Primero de Agosto in the Municipality of Margaritas.

For more information in Spanish

Chiapas: Se inauguró exposición fotográfica “20 ventanas al desplazamiento forzado” (Rostros del Despojo, 11 de julio de 2016)

Invitacion Expo Fotos Banavil (Familias Desplazadas de Banavil, 4 de julio de 2016)

Documental “Justicia, verdad y retorno para las familias desplazadas de Banavil “ (YouTube, 17 abril de 2016)

20 ventanas al desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas (Rostros del Deposjo, 15 de enero de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad (9 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de MuertosTumba de Antonia López Méndez (9 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil retornan temporalmente a su comunidad (12 de agosto de 2015)

 


National/International: Growing Support for Teachers At Home and Abroad

June 23, 2016

Teachers.pngStudents and teachers support the CNTE in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Photo: @Rafael del Río

In support of the struggle that thousands of members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) carry on and following the most recent repressive actions against them by federal forces on June 19 last in the Oaxaca State, many civil society organizations expressed their solidarity with the teachers, demanding a peaceful solution to the conflict from the state and federal governments.

In Chiapas, Believing People parishes called a pilgrimage on June 20 in Tuxtla Gutierrez. They showed their support for the teachers and repudiated the violent acts that occurred in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, which left a toll of at least 11 people dead in altercations with the police. In a statement they explained that, “with such events we cannot remain on the sidelines, as a church we will always be on the side of the oppressed and we will raise our prophetic voice. The reforms are the expression of a new ‘Porfiariato’. We must struggle, we shouldn’t be conformists or slaves.” Father Marcelo from Simojovel parish extended an invitation to a mega-pilgrimage in support of the teachers for July 1 next with around thirteen parishes from the diocese of San Cristobal.

Another show of support and solidarity came from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). In a communiqué titled “Notes on the War Against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3)”, they noted that, “There are more and more families helping the teachers, donating support for their trips and marches, becoming anxious when they are attacked, offering food, drink, and refuge.” They also pointed out the lack of educational arguments of the Secretary for Education, Aurelio Nuño Mayer, and the violence employed in repression of the mobilizations. Later, together with the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), they published another communiqué. Titled “FROM THE STORM”, both organizations expressed their repudiation of “the repressive escalation with which they intend to impose throughout the country the neoliberal capitalist reform that they call ‘educational'”. They highlighted that the resistance movement against this reform has become a mirror for more and more people, demanding an end to repression against the teachers in struggle and the immediate and unconditional release of “ALL political prisoners.” Their communiqué closed with an invitation to “all those peoples of the countryside and the cities to be attentive and sympathetic to the teachers’ struggle, to organize ourselves autonomously to be informed and alert facing this storm which falls on all.”

On a national level, Peace Brigades International (PBI) expressed their concern to state and federal authorities and the diplomatic corps over the deterioration of the situation. In a public announcement on June 20, they urged the Mexican authorities to respect the right to protest, to favor dialogue with the teachers and guarantee the integrity of teachers and defenders. On another note, in many states civil society, students, families and health workers are joining the mobilizations. Among others, in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca State, the artistic community organized a cultural event called “Cultural Barricade”, in which hundreds of artists from Mexico and other parts of the world participated on June 20, raising their voices to repudiate the repression.

On an international level, Amnesty International reminded the authorities that they have an obligation to control public order and take measures to prevent, investigate and sanction those responsible for acts of violence. Due to the events of recent days, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) reinforced its presence in Oaxaca as well as in Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan, states which have also witnessed similar conflicts. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) strongly condemned the serious acts of violence reported in Oaxaca State and called on the State to promote a process of dialogue in the framework of educational reform that allows the search for a solution in the context of a democratic society with full respect for human rights. Apart from the organizations mentioned, there were many actions on the part of civil society. Some examples are sit-ins and vigils organized in several cities in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Argentina, and Brazil, among others, in rejection of the repressive events in Mexico.

It is worth mentioning that on July 22 there were negotiations between the CNTE and the Interior Secretary. According to the CNTE, this dialogue, obtained thanks to the broad popular mobilization, did not result in concrete agreements but they were able to table three themes: “repeal of the badly named educational reform; a route for the transformation of education; and measures for the distention and revision of the consequences of the imposition of the administrative labor reform.” A second round of dialogue is expected next week. It is also noteworthy that the 23 people arrested in Nochixtlan have been released.

For more information in Spanish:

Convocan a participar en brigada cultural (El Imparcial, 23 de junio de 2016)

CIDH condena hechos de violencia en Oaxaca, México (CIDH, 22 de junio de 2016)

PBI México, Pronunciamiento público (PBI, 21 de junio de 2016)

Exigen en ciudades del mundo que cese la represión contra los maestros en Oaxaca (Desinformémonos, 21 de junio de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina de nuevo en respaldo al magisterio (Pye Chiapas, 21 de junio de 2016)

Comunicado Conjunto del Congreso Nacional Indígena y el EZLN (Enlace Zapatista, 20 de junio de 2016)

Apunte sobre la guerra contra el magisterio en resistencia: (La Hora del Policía 3) (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de junio de 2016)

Aún no hay acuerdos concretos con el gobierno: CNTE (La Jornada, 23 de junio de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

BOLETÍN URGENTE: REPRESIÓN MAGISTERIAL EN OAXACA (22 de junio de 2016)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales; al menos 6 muertos en Oaxaca (21 de junio de 2016)

Nacional: Actualización de las protestas magisteriales y comunicado de apoyo del EZLN (1 de junio de 2016)


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Request Collection for Displaced Families

June 15, 2016

Acopio.pngCollection during the displacement of Colonia Puebla in 2013. Photo: @Koman Ilel.

On May 26, a group of 14 families from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society, residents of Colonia Puebla, Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, were displaced fleeing the violence caused by the conflict after the elections in that municipality. The displacement happened after violent incidents between sympathizers of the recently dismissed mayor, Rosa Perez Perez of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), and supporters of the new mayor, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, causing the death of two people, one of them a minor, who died from a bullet wound. The Chenalho Pedrano Movement, opponents of Perez Perez, said in a statement that they were attacked with “firearms, sticks, stones and machetes, in an ambush that was orchestrated by sympathizers of the ex-mayor.” Furthermore, there were “two houses burned, two destroyed, three vehicles destroyed and six people wounded”, according to the statement from Las Abejas.

Las Abejas noted that “until now, there are no conditions to return”, so that the displaced are currently in the headquarters of the organization. In another letter they outlined that, “the displaced from the colony are living through suffering. Therefore we ask you the favor of helping with supplies.” To this end, they have opened two collection centers for clothes in San Cristobal de Las Casas and they ask for financial support to be deposited in a bank account. According to La Jornada, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) “requested the government of Chiapas to apply cautionary measures and guarantee the rights of the people who have been displaced.” The measures are aimed at guaranteeing rights to food, health, a home, physical integrity and the lives of the displaced.

It is worth noting that the disagreement following the result of the municipal elections in Chenalho, with the victory of PVEM, gave rise to the Chenalho Pedrano Movement in rejection of the elected mayor, accusing her of “corruption, abuse of power and diverting resources.” This group organized a takeover of the town hall and a number of government offices, it took over the State Congress for some hours, and it kidnapped three civil servants who were negotiating a solution to the disagreement, among them the President of the State Congress and a deputy. Having put them on public show, one dressed as a woman, Congress accepted the resignation of the mayor.

It is also worth mentioning that 17 families of Colonia Puebla were displaced by in August 2013 in the conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in dispute over the land where Catholic hermitage was located. Almost 100 displaced people returned after eight months off their lands, denouncing the lack of law enforcement for their aggressors.

For more information in Spanish:

Los desplazados y desplazadas de la colonia puebla están viviendo bajo el sufrimientos. Entonces le pedimos un gran favor a que nos puedan colaborar en las despensas. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de junio de 2016)

Hace apenas 8 días, jueves 26 de mayo, los miembros de la organización de la sociedad civil de las abejas de Acteal, en la colonia puebla se desplazaron 14 familias un total de 81 personas porque en esa misma colonia surgió nuevamente una gran violencia y balaceras a las 13:45pm hora normal. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 3 de junio de 2016)

Piden proteger a desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2016)

For more information in SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas : jóvenes denuncian violencia, impunidad y ausencia de justicia para Puebla (30 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas: regresan a su comunidad los desplazados de Ejido Puebla (15 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas:Incremento de la violencia en Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó (22 de julio de 2013)


Chiapas: Zinacantan against the Privatization of its Water and the Dispossession of its Spring

May 31, 2016

Z.pngStart of the pilgrimage at San Lorenzo Church @ Koman Ilel

On May 15, 2016, the catechists of the parish of Zinacantan called a pilgrimage to protest against the privatization of its water and the dispossession of its spring. Indeed, according to a documentary by the collective Koman Ilel, a privatization project for Zinacantán spring with the aim of installing some hydroelectric plants is threatening the people. Today, the people of Zinacantan have free access to spring water and use pipes to bring water from the spring to their homes. The privatization project will involve collecting a “tax” on water use. “We have never paid tax for water, water belongs to everyone. Whatever your religion, political party or thinking; no one is forbidden to take water from here”, said one of the catechists interviewed.

Catechists of the parish of Zinacantan are organizing to inform the other inhabitants of the town that the water must be defended so that the spring is not privatized.

For more information in Spanish:

Zinacantán se moviliza contra la privatización del agua (El ciudadano, 23 de mayo 2016)

Zinacantán se moviliza contra la privatización del agua (Koman Ilel, 20 de mayo 2016)


Chiapas: Monthly Celebration of Las Abejas de Acteal

May 30, 2016

Abejas.pngWomen of Las Abejas de Acteal in their May monthly celebration. Photo: @Las Abejas de Acteal.

As on each 22nd, Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society Organization held its monthly celebration commemorating the Acteal massacre (1997). On this occasion, they recalled in a statement that, “18 years 5 months [have already passed] living the most difficult moments in our lives […] because there is no authority that cares about justice, that agrees with the rule of law”.

They said that the discontent and protests that have taken place in recent months in Chiapas, in towns like Oxchuc, Simojovel and Chenalhó, “is not a true struggle to defend the rights of the people; it is only a struggle of political parties for the power and money of the town halls”. They also denounced that in “Chicomuselo transnational companies are offering people money to accept their projects”, where someone has already been killed due to this conflict. In addition, they mentioned several examples of injustice: the murder of Berta Caceres, the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, the repression of the Otomi people of San Francisco Xochicuautla and the Tlatlaya massacre.

Following this, the statement noted that, “peace cannot be established while those above continue to promote violence. They just try to cheat the people with their strategies of giving crumbs while they have no will to resolve conflicts. They just impose their own decision to generate more violence and deaths.” Las Abejas of Acteal made a call for conflict resolution without resorting to violence from below, without political parties, through consistency, dialogue and mutual understanding, recalling the example of the struggle of Mahatma Gandhi.

Finally, they added that “you cannot use the name of our organization, the photographs and logos to distort the meaning of our peaceful and active organization, but they do not stop deceiving” referring to the Consejo Pacifista Sembradores de la Paz (Sowers of Peace Pacifist Council). It should be recalled that the Consejo Pacifista appeared publicly in March 2015, disowning the Board of Directors as the governing body of Las Abejas but using the same stamp and logo of the organization.

For more information in Spanish:

Ante la inestabilidad social, tenemos que resistirnos, no hay que olvidar la lucha del gran maestro Mahatma Gandhi (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de mayo de 2016)

Presentación pública del CONSEJO PACIFISTA SEMBRADORES DE LA PAZ. (Consejo Pacifista Sembradores de la Paz, 29 de marzo de 2015)

Triste conflicto en Las Abejas de Acteal (Desinformémonos, 21 de mayo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncian Las Abejas de Acteal usurpación de nombre, sello y logotipo por parte del Consejo Pacifista (22 de abril de 2016)

Chiapas: Consejo Pacifista Sembradores de la Paz, conformado por sobrevivientes de la Masacre de Acteal, realiza acción en caseta de cobro entre Tuxtla Gutiérrez y San Cristóbal de Las Casas (25 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: a 18 años de la masacre de Acteal (23 de diciembre de 2015)


Chiapas: Alejandro Diaz Santiz Fasts to Mark 17 Years in Prison

May 14, 2016

Alejo.pngRelatives of Alejandro Díaz Santiz and Pedro López Jiménez, Sympathizer of The Voice of Amate. Photo: @Grupo de Trabajo “No Estamos Todxs”.

On May 11, Alejandro Diaz Santiz marked 17 years deprived of his liberty. On this date the injustly imprisoned man held a day of fasting to recall that he has spent half of his life locked up. Also, relatives of the adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), together with members of the Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate and of the Work Group “We Are Not All Here” (“No Estamos Todxs” – GTNET) held a press conference in front of San Cristobal de Las Casas Cathedral, Chiapas. The father of Diaz Santiz declared at the event that they hope to win a legal protection in course, through which his son could be freed through partial remission of his sentence. For his part, Pedro Lopez Jimenez, Symapthizer of The Voice of Amate, added that they trust that the legal protection “has a favorable result because we have lived through many injustices, they have rejected many times, and we hope that this time they work under justce and law.” For its part, the GTNET recalled that Alejandro was jailed “for being indigenous and poor”, that he was “arbitrarily arrested, tortured, tried and sentenced without adequate legal defense”, added to which at the time of his arrest he did not speak Spanish and had no translation.

The Tsotsil indigenous is the last member of the Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate – an organization that denounces outrages, abuse of power and corruption in penitentiary centers – who is still in jail. Although the crime attributed to Diaz Santiz is not of federal jurisdiction, in September 2015, he was transferred to Villa Comaltitlan maximum security prison in Tapachula, Chiapas, as “political vengeance”, the GTNET stated. It should be remembered that the government promised to free Alejandro on a number of occasions, the last being on the signing of an agreement with the members of the Sympathizers of The Voice of Amate in February of this year. Nevertheless, his liberation has not taken place, so that last March more than 80 organizations demanded his immediate release.

For more information in Spanish:

Alejandro Diaz Santiz: 17 años de injusta privación de su libertad (Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs, 11 de mayo de 2016)

Indígena tsotsil cumple 17 años injustamente preso en Chiapas. Su caso no es aislado. (Pozol Colectivo, 11 de mayo de 2016)

A 17 años de injusto encarcelarmiento ¡Alejandro Santiz libetad! (Agencia SubVersiones, 11 de mayo de 2016)

Desde #Francia exigen ¡Libertad a #AlejandroDíazSántiz! (Koman Ilel, 28 de abril de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Santiz y las y los presos políticos (19 de abril de 2016)

Chiapas: Exigen la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Santiz (11 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas: Toman acuerdo Solidarios de la Voz del Amate para liberación de presos y reparación del daño (9 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas: Trasladan a Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, junto a 386 presos, a penal de alta seguridad (15 de septiembre de 2015)


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