Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Increased Militarization in Zapatista Territories

May 10, 2019

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In a bulletin published on May 2nd, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) reported that “since December 2018, the Mexican state increased the militarization of the territories of indigenous peoples bases of support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN in its Spanish acronym) especially in the region of the Lacandon Jungle as part of the continuation of the counterinsurgency strategy to erode autonomy projects in Chiapas.” It considered that this increase shows that “the Mexican State reaffirms its commitment to war in a region where Indigenous Peoples build a Life with Dignity.”

It indicated that the Center, through the documentation compiles by the Civil Observation Brigades (BriCO in its Spanish acronym), registered that since the end of 2018, the number of incursions by the Mexican Army through the headquarters of the Good Government Council (JBG in its Spanish acronym) to La Esperanza, in La Realidad Caracol (official municipality of Las Margaritas) had doubled. It documented that there were “19 land patrols, (with soldiers armed with machine guns) and five flights by helicopters, from January to April 2019. Of concern is the regularization of flights over communities and the increase in military movements in the last month.”

It affirmed that “the military incursions constitute acts of intimidation and harassment against the Zapatista Original Peoples in resistance, they represent an aggression against their right to autonomy and represent a risk to the life, integrity and security of the entire population.” It also reported that “so far this year, Frayba recorded two acts of espionage against the BriCo, in the international observation camp located in La Realidad”, [an] action [that] violates the integrity and personal safety of those who monitor human rights violations in the region and whose work is based on the Declaration on the Right and Duty of Individuals, Groups and Institutions to Promote and Protect Human Rights and Universally Recognized Fundamental Freedoms of the United NationsOrganization”.

This complaint coincides with the one published by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) in a statement on April 10th: “In our mountains and valleys the military, police, paramilitary, and spies, ears and informants have increased. The flights of military aircraft and helicopters have reappeared, as well as artillery vehicles.”

Finally, Frayba called for national and international solidarity “to strengthen the path of peace and respect for human rights facing the risk of a new military offensive to the Zapatista territories.”

For more information in Spanish:

Estado mexicano incrementa militarización en territorios zapatistas (CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 2 de mayo de 2019)

Denuncia Frayba estrategia contra pueblos originarios y EZLN (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Incrementa militarización en territorios zapatistas (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de mayo de 2019)

Los de abajo (La Jornada, 4 de mayo de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Denuncian vigilancia militar en Chicomuselo (27 de marzo de 2019)

Chiapas: Centro de derechos humanos denuncia riesgos ante militarización de Chilón (25 de enero de 2019)


Chiapas/National/International: EZLN Invitation to 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising and Meeting of Networks

December 11, 2018

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In a communiqué published on November 17, the date of its 35th anniversary, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) invited people to two events to be held at the end of the year: from December 26th to 30th, to a “Meeting of Resistance and Rebellion Networks, of Support for the CIG (Indigenous Council of Government), or Whatever they Are Called” to be carried out in the “Traces of Memory. Subcomandante Insurgente Pedro Did his Duty” center,” in the vicinity of the town of Guadalupe Tepeyac, MAREZ San Pedro de Michoacan.

Also, on December 31st, 2018 and January 1st, 2019, the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the armed uprising will be held in Zapatista La Realidad, location of the caracol “Madre de los caracoles del mar de nuestro sueños”, in the Border Jungle zone.

The email for registration to the first event is redesdic18@enlacezapatista.org.mx; and for the second anniversary25@enlacezapatista.org.mx.

For more information in Spanish:

Invitación a la celebración del 25 Aniversario del Alzamiento Zapatista y a un Encuentro de Redes (EZLN, 17 de noviembre de 2018)

Convoca EZLN a encuentro de apoyo al CIG (La Jornada, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

#EZLN: 35 años de lucha (Subrayado.mx, 18 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: EZLN Publishes Program for First Film Festival “Puy Ta Cuxlejaltic”  (November 5th, 2018)

Chiapas: EZLN Announces “The Impossible Cinema”  (October 14th, 2018)

Chiapas : segunda y tercera parte del comunicado del EZLN compartido durante el Encuentro de Redes en Morelia, (23/08/2018)

Chiapas: Comunicado EZLN (primera parte) UNA FINCA, UN MUNDO, UNA GUERRA, POCAS PROBABILIDADES, (22/08/2018)

Chiapas: Meeting of CIG Support Networks, COMPARTE 2018 “For Life and Liberty” and 15th Anniversary of the Zapatista Caracoles  (August 22, 2018)

Chiapas/National: Roundtable Discussion “To Watch, to Listen, to Speak: Forbidden to Think?”  (May 5th, 2018)

 


National: Unofficial Visit of UNO Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

May 13, 2016

Frost.pngMichel Forst during the presentation of the CMDPDH book “40 Faces of Dignity”. Photo: @La opinión

The UNO Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michael Frost, came to Mexico on an unofficial visit, stopping in Puebla, Chihuahua and Mexico City. During his stay he held meetings with a number of social organizations about threats and aggressions against defenders, the regulatory framework that encourages criminalization, the challenges of protection, the discrediting of the government by international mechanisms and recommendations, the defense of land and territory, and the situation of reporters.

Frost did not go into detail about the situation of defenders as he was on an unofficial visit, although he did acknowledge the vulnerability that defenders face in the country. Due to this, he said he aspires to “organize an official visit for 2017”, given that in 2016 his visit was cancelled by the Mexican Government without reason according to La Jornada. After listening to testimonies of human rights violations of defenders, the rapporteur stated that, “in the whole world there still exist different and varied problems against those who dedicate themselves to making the rights of different groups in society respected. Many factors and new actors combine to affect them and to make their defense work even more difficult, because now the transnational companies are added to fundamentalisms.” Frost concluded saying that, “the companies buy mountains, hills, lakes, lagoons and rivers and in the face of this there is an aim to carry out very concrete activities and meetings with those in charge of the transnationals to remind them of their responsibilities.”

For more information in Spanish:

 40 Rostros de la Dignidad: voces en defensa de los derechos humanos en México (CMDPDH, 4 de mayo 2016)

Trasnacionales, riesgo para activistas, dice Michel Forst (La Jornada, 4 de mayo 2016)

Ante el Relator Especial de ONU, denuncian que período peñista tiene como práctica desaparecer pruebas, personas y verdades (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 4 de mayo 2016)

Relator especial de la ONU, Michel Forst, realiza visita a Puebla (Puebla Online , 4 de mayo de 2016)

Michel Forst relator especial ONU sobre situación de defensores de DDHH podría visitar México en 2017 (Canal Judicial WordPress, 3 de mayo 2016)

Libro ’40 Rostros de la dignidad’, homenaje a personas defensoras de DDHH en México: relator de ONU (Noticias MVS, 3 de mayo 2016)

Exhorta la CNDH al gobierno a concretar visita de relator de ONU (La Jornada, 24 de marzo de 2016)

Deplora relator de ONU-DH cancelación de su visita a México (Proceso, 25 de febrero 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:


Oaxaca: OPDDH solicitó intervención urgente ante intento de asesinato de defensora (21 de julio de 2015)

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur (15 de junio de 2015)


Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners

April 7, 2016

Nestora.pngCall to the campaign. Photo: @Regeneración

On March 18 last, Nestora Salgado, commander of the Olinala Community Police, Guerrero, member of the Regional Coordinator of Communitty Authorities (CRAC in its Spanish acronym), was released after two years and eight months in prison. On leaving prison, Nestora called on the Government of Guerrero to release the nine members of CRAC who are still prisoners and assured that she would begin a campaign “for the freedom” of her compañeros. For April 10, International Day of Political Prisoners, she called for actions within the framework of the national campaign “Put a Face and Name on the Political Prisoners in Mexico”, to give visibility to the situation of prisoners and demand their release. She stated that, “We are missing 500 political prisoners and I’m going to fight to get them out. I am going to get the release of my compañeros. I will go wherever I have to because I am with you in your struggle and in all the struggles of the people.

Nestora added that only together will the citizens be able to achieve change, justice and the freedom of their compañeros and of those in the rest of the country. She intends to travel to other countries to “exhume what has been buried and give voice to the silenced.” According to El Sur newspaper, social organizations also denounced “the grave crisis of human rights in Mexico and the criminalization of those who defend territory, education, land, water, the air and life. For this reason they have called [on people] to join Salgado’s movement and international tour. “We are aware that Mexico is suffering the most ruthless attack by the interests of foreign capital. Currently the territories of indigenous peoples are pillaged and (their inhabitants) are being displaced from their lands through the violence of paramilitary groups, by organized crime, or the territory is being militarized by soldiers and the state police” as is outlined on the call.

It is worth noting that the social leader returned to her home in Seattle, USA. In Washington she visited the International Clinic of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Washington University, where she started the campaign. The clinic played an important role in the struggle for the Nestora’s release. During her stay in the US, the commander from Olinala plans to visit Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington. She intends to return to Guerrero soon as she is the representative of the Community Police and due to her post in CRAC.

For more information in Spanish:

Nestora Salgado convoca a campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (Regeneración, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora y los presos políticos de la CRAC (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2016)

Lanza Nestora Salgado una campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos de México (El Sur, 28 de marzo de 2016)

Video de la campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (YouTube, 25 de marzo de 2016)

Emprende Nestora Salgado campaña en EU por presos políticos (La Jornada, 22 de marzo de 2016)

“Nos faltan 500 presos políticos y yo voy a luchar por sacarlos”: Nestora Salgado (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Nestora Salgado en libertad (18 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Jornada nacional e internacional por presos políticos del 6 al 13 de diciembre (15 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: presos de la Policia Comunitaria “son presos políticos”, según general Gallardo (16 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Denuncian CRAC y habitantes de Papaxtla allanamientos violentos y decomisos (1 de junio de 2015)


Guerrero: Denunciation of the Mexican State before the Inter-American System of Human Rights due to the death and torture of student-teachers in Ayotzinapa, 2011

December 26, 2015

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Photo @Tlachinollan

On 12 December, relatives of the student-teachers from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College, Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino and Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús, who were killed during a police operation carried out by state and federal agents in December 2011 in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, together with Gerardo Torres Pérez, a student-teacher victim of torture, denounced the Mexican State before the Inter-American System on Human Rights due to the violation of its basic obligations as stipulated in the American Convention and the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Sanction Torture. The same day, student-teachers and relatives of Gabriel and Jorge Alexis took over the streets of Chilpancingo to arrive at the same place where the crimes took place.

It bears mentioning that, on 12 December 2011, State officials violently displaced the protest being carried out by students from Ayotzinapa. Two student-teachers were executed extrajudicially, being Jorge Alexis and Gabriel, whereas three others were injured by gunfire, 24 were arrested arbitrarily, and one student, Gerardo, was tortured. Despite the existence of evidence that clearly accounts for the violations that took place, to date the violations that have been denounced continue in impunity, as a communique from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights notes: “The Mexican State has in no way adopted the necessary and adequate measures to prevent and guarantee that similar acts do not repeat themselves.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ayotzinapa otra vez (La Jornada, 15 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)


Chiapas: “Sowing autonomy” for 32 years

November 21, 2015

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@Paisà García

On 17 November, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) observed the thirty-second anniversary since its founding. Its creation occurred after the arrival of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) to the Lacandon Jungle and following the indigenous congress of 1974, as well as within the context of a struggle over land, upheaval by indigenous and campesino social organizations, as well as the ecumenical work of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese in accordance with liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, as endorsed by Vatican Council II. It was not for another 10 years of a clandestine accumulation of strength that on 1 January 1994 the EZLN rose up in arms against the Mexican Army, demanding work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace.

Several groups released pronunciations congratulating the EZLN for its more than 32 years of struggle, such as the General Confederation of Work (CGT) Chiapas and the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this way, several collectives organized events to celebrate the date, both at the national and international levels.

For more information (in Spanish):

RvsR: Feliz cumpleaños EZLN: 32 años mirando un horizonte (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

CGT celebra el aniversario del EZLN. 32 años sembrando autonomía. (CGT Chiapas, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

EZLN: 17 de noviembre de 1983 (Rebelion, 17 de noviembre de 2012)

Las FLN-EZLN 42 años después (Alainet, 2 de octubre de 2011)

Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (EZLN, 1993)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against the BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community (13 September 2015)

Chiapas/National: EZLN announces second level of the Zapatista School (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) (3 July 2015)

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (18 May 2014)


Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)