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)


Chiapas: Post-election Protests in Chenalho Municipality

May 13, 2016

Chenalho.pngPeace and Transparency Commission press conference @sie7edechiapas

On May 2, members of the Peace and Transparency Commission, a group of Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas, held a press conference in front of the cathedral in San Cristobal de Las Casas, calling for the resignation of the mayor Rosa Perez Perez. Representatives of the nonconofrmist group acccused the mayor of Chenalho of “not keeping her campaign promises, not holding council meetings, not involving the municipal union or council members in government decisions and of firing trusted workers.” During her campaign, she promised to carry out public works, and give monthly dispensations of 5,000 pesos to all women in the municipality for craft production. It should be noted that this group has had a series of protests against the mayor since the beginning of April.

The opponents took over the town hall, the System of Integral Family Development headquarters (DIF in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Peace and Conciliation Court in Chenalho; they closed roads to the municipal capital and took over the Tuxtla Gutierrez-San Cristobal de Las Casas highway tollbooth to demand her removal. The mayor handed in her resignation on April 13 in the face of these protests. Nevertheless, the deputies of the State Congress did not approve her request, ruling that her resignation was presented against her will. Given that Rosa Perez Perez remains in office, the noncomformists took over the State Congress on April 27 and chained its doors. Tomas Perez, spokesperson for the opposition stated in the press conference that they hope “the Congress accepts the resignation of the mayor this Tuesday 3, and on the contrary, on Thursday 5 some 15,000 indigenous from more than 100 communities will leave Chenalho and come to Tuxtla to present themselves at the doors of the State Congress.”

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chenalhó advierten que escalarán protestas si no renuncia su alcaldesa (Proceso, 02 de mayo de 2016)

Comisión de Paz demanda destitución de alcaldesa en Chiapas (La Jornada, 02 de mayo de 2016)

Fijan 24 horas para renuncia de alcadesa de Chenalhó, Chiapas (El Universal, 02 de mayo de 2016)

Conflicto en Chenalhó, fuego amigo en el gabinete de Velasco Coello de cara a la gubernatura de 2018

(Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 30 de abril de 2016)

Indígenas desbloquean Chenalhó (El universal, 29 de abril 2016)

Incendian casa de gente vinculada a la alcaldesa de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 27 de abril de 2016)

Alcaldesa de Chenalhó, remplazada por síndico (La Jornada, 14 de abril de 2016)

Exigen destituir a la alcaldesa de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 12 de abril de 2016)

Habitantes de Chenalhó ocupan oficinas municipales (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2016)


Chiapas: Day of Action for the Liberation of Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Political Prisoners

April 23, 2016

Presos.pngDuring the cultural event in Plaza de la Resistencia y la Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Photo: @Work Group “No estamos todxs”

In the framework of International Political Prisoners Solidarity Day, relatives of Alejandro Diaz Santiz organized a cultural event, a sit in and press conference for the freedom of the unjustly imprisoned [man] together with collectives and sympathizers. Diaz Santiz, who has been deprived of his freedom for 17 years, is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and from prison has been organizing to denounce violations of his rights and those of other prisoners. Last September he was moved to the Federal prison at Villa Comaltitlan in Tapachula in spite of the fact that he had been sentenced for a local and not federal jurisdiction crime as well as not being a highly dangerous prisoner. According to his attorney, Leonel Rivero Rodriguez, he was transferred “in a totally arbitrary manner” and the move “had no type of basis.”

Antonio Diaz Velasco, Alejandro’s father, stated in the press conference that, in spite of the fact that his son’s visual health is deteriorating, he is not receiving medical attention in prison. “I saw that he is ill, his eyes are discolored, I asked him what was wrong, he said that they don’t give him medication, little food, beans and five tortillas.” He confirmed that the transfer is making family visits difficult because the distance from his community to the prison is long and they do not have the economic resources to pay for transport. Pedro Lopez Jimenez, member of the Supporters of the Voice Amate organization, added that they hope that “the authorities fulfill their promises and free Alejandro” as the State Government signed an agreement in February for the liberation of Diaz Santiz. For his part, Rivero pointed that Alejandro was subjected to an irregular trial, having “a bad or no defense” following his arrest. It should be recalled that Diaz Santiz is a Tsotsil indigenous who “at the time of his arrest did not speak Spanish, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter, and did not have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the Work Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET) statement said.

According to the attorney, Alejandro would currently have the right to parole for partial remission of the sentence – a reduction of his sentence for good behavior and participation in social reinsertion activities – for which a legal protection was lodged and is awaiting verdict. Lopez Jimenez announced that they expect the legal protection move to be successful and if it is not, they will continue with actions to demand the immediate release of their compañero. The release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz was also called for, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reinsertion of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 at San Cristobal de Las Casas, and the San Bachajon prisoners at Amate CERSS, municipality of Cintalapa.

For more information in Spanish:

Conferencia de Prensa 18 de Abril ¡ Libertad Inmediata para Alejandro Diaz Santiz¡ (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)

17 de abril: Día Internacional de los Presxs Políticxs (Grupo de Trabajo No estamos todxs, 18 de abril de 2016)

Exigen libertad de preso polìtico (Mural Chiapas, 19 de abril de 2016)

No pueden cerrar la voz: libertad para Alejandro Díaz Santis (Agencia SubVersiones, 10 de abril de 2016)

17 de Abril dia internacional de solidaridad con lxs presxs politicos (Europa Zapatista, 17 de abril de 2016)

Recibió CNDH mil 151 quejas en 2015 por falta de atención médica en penales (Proceso, 29 de marzo de 2016)

La crisis en las cárceles de México: 10 problemas urgentes sin atención (Animal Político, 13 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

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: Jornada por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal (9 de noviembre de 2015)

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


Chiapas: Primero de Agosto Displaced Families Report Enclosure of their Lands

April 21, 2016

Primero.pngDisplacement camp at Primero de Agosto, Photo @ Radio Zapatista

On April 14, the displaced of Primero de Agosto in the municipality of Las Margaritas made a public statement denouncing the barbed wiring of part of the land of Primero de Agosto where they lived and from where they were displaced on February 23, 2015. According to their statement, they were provoked by ejidatarios from Miguel Hidalgo, members of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historical (CIOAC-H) on April 7 and 8 “carrying firearms, machetes, and all uniformed with PRD yellow caps (sic).”

They also reported that intimidation around their camp continues. After the events of April 7 and 8, on the morning of April 9, the authorities of the region passed by performing violent acts on cows and a bull “eight meters from where we are displaced.” The displaced of Primero de Agosto blamed the three levels of government, noting that the members of CIOAC-H from Miguel Hidalgo are “protected and backed by the governments that don’t do anything, that don’t say anything.” It should be mentioned that on February 25 last year, the State Government of Chiapas committed itself to dividing the lands in equal parts. Nevertheless, the lands have not been divided one year later and the inhabitants remain displaced. They reported that to this date the state government “hasn’t fulfilled anything, on the contrary, it has allowed the situation to get worse. The Mexican State has ignored the case.”

For more information in Spanish:

CIOAC-Histórica cerca tierras de familias desplazadas de Primero de Agosto (Chiapas Denuncia Publica, 14 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: 8 meses de “amenazas y hostigamiento” a tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado del poblado Primero de Agosto (5 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Red por la Paz denuncia actitud omisa del gobierno de Chiapas ante caso de Primero de Agosto (16 de julio de 2015)


National: Disturbances in Indigenous Territories over the Implementation of Megaprojects: San Francisco Xochicuautla and Atenco

April 14, 2016

Unrest.pngDemolition of one of the homes in Xochicuautla protected by the riot police. Photo: @FJXochicuautla.

In recent days there have been at least two major disturbances in indigenous territories to allow the entrance of megaprojects. In one case, some 700 members of the police forced entrance into the Otomi-Ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, in the municipality of Lerma, Mexico State, to permit the entrance of bulldozers of a construction company. This community has been resisting the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway and through popular mobilization and the granting of two legal decisions won the definitive suspension of a presidential decree to expropriate almost 38 hectares of their lands. Despite this, the police force entered the community offering protection to the company, which demolished the Peace and Dignified Resistance Camp and a number of houses which were on the planned highway route. According to statements from the spokesperson of the community, Jose Luis Fernandez, 25 people were evicted and beaten, among them a woman who is almost 80 years old.

As Proceso pointed out, the work “is carried out by Autovan-Teya, a subsidiary of Grupo Higa, which belongs to Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, one of the main contractors of the Federal Government and whose financial dealings in tax havens were uncovered through the investigation of the Panama Papers.” Furthermore, the corporate group has been identified by various media sources as the main contractor of Mexico State since it was governed by the current President of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, and as the “supplier of the luxury residences of the leader’s wife and of Luis Videgaray Caso, Minister of Finance and Public Credit”, according to La Jornada.

In another case, the Peoples’ Front in Defense of the Land (Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra – FPDT) reported the forced entrance of an army tank into the communally owned lands of Atenco, Mexico State, escorting a group of workers “from a private company that carried out studies for the construction of the new airport. This was all done illegally and intimidating the inhabitants who had met on becoming aware of the incursion. Nevertheless, we managed to expel them pacifically.” Due to this, Jose Antonio Lara Duque, general director of Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero – CDHZL) stated: “We believe that, given the facts, the local government is trying to justify the Eruviel Law. That is to say, provoke the peoples who have been defending their land, territory and natural resources. If anybody falls into [the trap of] provocation, it would legitimize the use of lethal force to control the people who are defending themselves.” It should be remembered that the struggle of the people of Atenco against the construction of an airport on their lands was violently repressed. In the protests, two youths lost their lives, more than 200 were arrested, and at least 26 women were sexually tortured by the police.

For more information in Spanish:

Irrumpe Higa con fuerza pública a Xochicuautla; derriba viviendas pese a amparos (Proceso, 11 de abril de 2016)

Editorial / Xochicuautla, atropello a la legalidad (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Sociedad civil resiste en Xochicuautla e Higa se niega a detener las demoliciones ilegales (Sistema Integral de Información en Derechos Humanos, 13 de abril de 2016)

Constata ONU violación de órdenes judiciales en obras de la autopista Naucalpan-Toluca (La Jornada, 13 de abril de 2016)

Declaración de alerta máxima del CNI, ante la cobarde traición a la comunidad indígena Ñatho de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Enlace Zapatista, 13 de abril de 2016)

Hay un acuerdo para suspender las obras en Xochicuautla: habitantes (Animal Político, 14 de abril de 2016)

Frente por la Libertad de Expresión condena desalojo de la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (Noticias MVS, 12 de abril de 2016)

Policías en Xochicuautla y ayer, militares en Atenco; “nos están provocando”, dicen comuneros (Sin Embargo, 13 de abril de 2016)

Denuncian en Atenco que militares escoltan a trabajadores de constructora (Proceso, 12 de abril de 2016)

Ejército irrumpe en tierras ejidales de San Salvador Atenco (Desinformémonos, 12 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Xochicuautla obtiene cancelación de la autopista (17 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Comunidad de Xochicuautla denuncia proyecto carretero y se solidariza con pueblos indígenas de Chiapas que enfrentan despojo (20 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Marcha en solidaridad con la comunidad de San Francisco Xochicuautla (29 de julio de 2015)

Nacional: El FPDT de Atenco inicia movilizaciones después de anuncio de próximo aeropuerto (4 de septiembre de 2014)

Nacional: A 8 años de impunidad en Atenco, continúa amenaza de construcción del aeropuerto (8 de mayo de 2014)


Chiapas: Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice Reaches San Cristobal de Las Casas

April 10, 2016

Caravan.png

The event in Plaza de la Paz, San Cristobal de las Casas, Photo @ SIPAZ

On April 7, the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice reached Plaza de La Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where it held a discussion with representatives of various civil organizations which expressed their accompaniment and solidarity. The Caravan is a broad initiative of families of victims of human rights violations, civil society organizations and social movements from different nations, which call for a “halt to the war on drugs.” On their journey, the Caravan has joined a group of some 35 people from seven countries. It left Honduras on March 28 and will arrive to New York on April 18. According to Otros Mundos, “the route reflects the commitment to raise the voice of the victims and of the heroes of the war on drugs, and it turns out they are the same. From their pain, the victims are becoming in an organized way the people who struggle for peace and justice, for an exit from the war.” On their way through Mexico, the Caravan entered through the border of Guatemala – Mexico at La Mesilla – Ciudad Cuauhtemoc on April 6. There they held an event in which they listened to the words and struggles in the region of the southern border of Mexico, “invaded by a growing militarization which worsens the human rights situation of the peoples in defense and care of the earth as well as migrants from Central America and Chiapas year after year.” The participants in the Caravan proposed a compilation of testimonies of violations of human rights committed combatting drugs with the aim of presenting it at the special session on narcotics at the General Assembly of the United Nations, to be held from April 19 – 21.

During the event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, some civil organizations, among them Otros Mundos, The Civil Society of Las Abejas of Acteal, and Mesoamerican Voices shared their words. They demanded “that justice be done for the killing of the coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations (COPINH), Berta Caceres, murdered on March 3 last in Honduras.” The Colombian Alex Serra, who coordinated the passage of the Caravan through Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala reiterated that, “one of our principal demands is that justice be done because she was part of the Caravan and with her murder, we are in mourning.” In commemoration of the Honduran leader, there was a minute of applause during the event. Las Abejas de Acteal underlined that if “there is insecurity for the life of the population of Honduras, migration and pillage of our mother earth, it is not only in Honduras, there is also a wave of violence and injustice here in Chiapas and in Mexico, the youth of Ayotzinapa being a clear example.” Marco Castillo of the Popular Assembly of Migrant Families and coordinator of the Caravan in Mexico, sustained that, “it would appear that the great gain of the war is not security but the control of territory, terrorism in the population, such that it is undeniable that the security policy has failed.”

The Caravan left at noon on the same day to Oaxaca, from where it will travel to Morelos to have a meeting with Javier Sicilia, leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. From there it will continue its way to the seat of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in New York to demand justice and dignity.

For more information in Spanish:

Página Web de la Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia

La Caravana por la Paz, la Vida y la Justicia, en la ruta de la violencia y la resistencia (Otros Mundos, 8 de abril de 2016)

Arriba Caravana por la Paz y la Justicia (Cuarto Poder, 8 de abril de 2016)

La caravana por la paz llegó ayer a San Cristóbal (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2016)

Acogida a la Caravana por La Paz, la Vida y la Justicia en su entrada al país y en su paso por Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 7 de abril de 2016)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal: “La sangre de la compañera Bertha podría expandir en todas partes del mundo. “ (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Justicia para Berta Cáceres y Nelson Noé García. Protección para Gustavo Castro Soto (29 de marzo de 2016)

Chiapas/Internacional: Asesinan a defensora hondureña (Berta Cáceres) en presencia de defensor mexicano (Gustavo Castro) (7 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur© SIPAZ Mural de migrantes, Chiapas (17 junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project

April 10, 2016

Highway.pngThe San Cristobal-Palenque super-highway has been met with massive rejection, Photo @ Espoir Chiapas

On April 3, the inhabitants of the Tsotsil communities of Los Llanos and San Jose El Porvenir in the municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, made known in a statement that on January 18 of this year they were granted legal protection against the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project. In the sentence for legal protection 16/2014, the judge orders the cancellation of the outlines of the construction project or any other program for the highway on the stretch between the municipalities of San Cristobal-Huixtan, in particular on the lands of the communities, by the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure of the State of Chiapas.

In the statement, the ejido demanded that, “the authorities should respect our community’s right to free consultation, previous and informed through its representatives and traditional authorities, providing information in good faith, including the possible environmental and health risks resulting from the construction of operation of the highway project.” They also underlined that their “land is not for sale, now or in the future, and we completely reject the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project because it dispossesses the indigenous communities of the most sacred thing in this life which is land.” It should be mentioned that since its beginning, many communities and those possibly affected expressed their concern about the construction of the highway, whose cost would be around ten billion pesos and would reduce the journey from San Cristobal to Palenque, two of the zones most visited by overseas and domestic tourists, from five to less than two hours

For more information in Spanish:

Dan a conocer amparo contra proyecto de autopista San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque (Desinformémonos, 4 de abril de 2016)

Existe amparo sobre proyecto autopista San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (Diario de Chiapas, 4 de abril de 2016)

Se otorgó el amparo contra el proyecto de la #autopista #SanCristóbal de Las Casas-#Palenque al Ejido Los Llanos y San José El Porvenir (Koman Ilel, 3 de abril de 2016)

Opositores a carretera San Cristóbal-Palenque presentan documento en contra (La Jornada, 9 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Nuevo comunicado de San Sebastián Bachajón (18 de febrero de 2015)

Chiapas: Nuevo encuentro en Los Llanos en contra de la carretera SCLC-Palenque (14 de octubre de 2014)

Chiapas: Movilizaciones en contra del proyecto de autopista SCLC-Palenque (18 de septiembre de 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos y San José El Porvenir rechazan paso de autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque por sus comunidades (10 de febrero de 2014)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,178 other followers