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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Oaxaca: Fifth Encounter of Community Defenders

December 4, 2017

Defenders.png(@EDUCA)

On November 17th, the Fifth Encounter of Community Defenders was held in Santa Rosa de Lima, Tututepec with the aim of “exchanging community security strategies and expressions of resistance from the cultural practices that have been used by the movements and communities of Mexico and Colombia.” This meeting also marked the closing of the Oaxacan Campaign of Community Defenders “Exercising our Rights, we Weave Dignity”, started last July to raise awareness of the work of defenders, as well as the risks they face in carrying out their work.

In the subjects reflected we find “the predatory capitalist model that continues to drive development and infrastructure projects into towns and communities and how the imposition of these projects contributes to the violation of the collective rights of peoples and communities and the rights of women and men. Human rights defenders.” “It also reflected on the criminalization of the work of defenders and threats and disqualifications to their work,” according to the final statement.

From this analysis, they made “a call to resistance, to the organization and twinning of struggles for the defense of territories, natural commons and the rights of community defenders.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento del V Encuentro de Defensoras y Defensores Comunitarios de Oaxaca (17 de noviembre de 2017)

Cuarto festival cultural por la defensa del río verde en el marco de la celebración de un década de resistencia contra el Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Paso de la Reina (18 de noviembre de 2017)

Campaña Oaxaqueña de Defensores y Defensoras Comunitarias: Ejerciendo nuestros derechos, tejemos dignidad (julio de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Celebra COPUDEVER su octavo aniversario. (17 de julio de 2015)


Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination

November 24, 2017

MODEVITEAuthorities from La Candelaria, Municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Photo @: SIPAZ

On November 20th, thousands of indigenous people grouped in the Movement in Defense of Life and the Territory (Modevite in its Spanish acronym) mobilized in 11 municipalities and an ejido of Chiapas in defense of Mother Earth, for a dignified life and to demand respect for the free self-determination of indigenous peoples. In a statement, they explained: “We are one people who today want to express ourselves in each of the 12 fronts where we are. We denounce the constant threat of transnational extractive megaprojects and demand our right to the self-determination of peoples, in order to change the outdated and oppressive system that governs us.”

The event was called on 107 years of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, and stressed that “the marginalization and misery of our peoples persist; violence is the daily bread and insecurity is what is breathed in the environment. Coupled with this, the colorful circus of political parties divides us, and they take advantage of our poverty” while governments at all levels “are accomplices of dispossession, abuses, violence and injustice.”

For this reason they propose “creating another system that promotes the community rather than individuality, that looks at the earth as a Mother and not as merchandise, that embraces the cultural diversity rooted in the spirituality of our ancestors to make way for the reconstruction of the fabric of social community”. They intend to promote “community governments that renew social relations among indigenous peoples, mestizos, diverse religions, adults and youth; community governments that renew politics by exercising the right to elect the authorities according to the indigenous normative systems of each people, to combat corruption and division of bad governments and thus ensure the defense of our Mother Earth and community harmony.”

More specifically, they asked the authorities to respond positively to the requests presented by the Community Government Commissions of the municipalities of Chilon and Sitala to the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute (IEPC in tis Spanish acronym) of Chiapas, on November 17th for that they can govern themselves according to their own indigenous normative system.

For more information in Spanish:

Indígenas de Chiapas denuncian amenaza constante de megaproyectos y ambición de trasnacionales (Proceso 20 de noviembre de 2017)

MODEVITE se expresa en sus 12 frentes y afirma su apoyo a los municipios de Chilón y Sitalá en su búsqueda del gobierno comunitario (MODEVITE 20 de noviembre de 2017)

Pronunciamiento de las Comisiones de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón y Sitalá (Boletín de prensa del MODEVITE 18 de noviembre de 2017)

Comisiones de Sitalá y Chilón exigen al IEPC respetar su derecho al Gobierno Comunitario, sin partidos políticos (Anuncio de Conferencia de prensa del MODEVITE 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas (22 de agosto de 2017)

Chiapas : Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (29 de noviembre de 2016)


National/International: Visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Mexico Ends

November 23, 2017

UNPhoto: @frayba

From November 5th to 17th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, indigenous leader of the Philippines, made an official visit to Mexico, which included the capitals of the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Chihuahua. She met with more than 200 representatives of 23 indigenous peoples, civil organizations defending their rights and officials at all levels.

At the end of his visit, she declared that “the current inadequate legal recognition of indigenous peoples as holders of rights, together with structural discrimination, are at the basis of all the issues and concerns” in the areas “lands and territories; autonomy, self-determination and political participation; self-ascription of indigenous peoples; access to justice; violence and impunity; the right to determine their development priorities; consultation and free, prior and informed consent; economic, social and cultural rights, and the particular situation of specific sectors of indigenous peoples.” While acknowledging “Mexico’s support for advancing the indigenous agenda in international forums,” “this commitment must be coherent and should be reflected in the application of these standards in Mexico.”

On the controversial issue of the consultation, she said that “even in the absence of national legislation on this issue, Mexico already has the obligation to consult indigenous peoples on any activity or legislative or administrative measures that could affect them according to the standards of the ILO Convention 169, the Inter-American jurisprudence and the UN Declaration. The adoption of specific legislation is not the only mechanism to apply the right to consultation and the fact that there is no single model for consultation should also be taken into account, since each indigenous people has its own authorities and decision-making processes.”

The rapporteur also stressed that “the initiatives of indigenous peoples in the area of ​​autonomy and self-government should enjoy greater recognition, and be recognized and incorporated into the overall political structure of the country. In addition to self-government, indigenous peoples have the right to participate fully, if they so wish, in the political life of the country. I have seen some positive developments that could facilitate the political participation of indigenous peoples in this area, such as the possibility of registering independent candidacies.”

For more information in Spanish:

Relatora de la ONU constata violaciones a derechos de indígenas en Chiapas (Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2017)

Declaración de cierre de Misión a México (Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ONU, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Discriminación indígena persiste por falta de voluntad política: ONU (La Jornada, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas no son consultados sobre megaproyectos que afectan su territorio en México: ONU (Aristegui Noticias, 17 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora Especial sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas de la ONU visita Guerrero (Boletín de prensa, Tlachinollan, Guerrero, 14 de noviembre de 2017)

Pueblos indígenas presentan recomendaciones ante ONU (Boletín de prensa, Chiapas,15 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional – México: Visita de la Relatora especial de la ONU sobre derechos de los pueblos indígenas (8 de noviembre de 2017)


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)


National–Mexico: Visit of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

November 12, 2017

UNSR.pngVictoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Photo@: unwomen.org

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, will make an official visit to Mexico from November 8th to 17th, 2017.

She will visit Mexico City and the states of Guerrero, Chiapas and Oaxaca to meet with representatives of indigenous peoples in order to learn about the problems that affect the communities of these territories. According to La Jornada, the main issues to be addressed will be discrimination, autonomy and indigenous territories, harmonization of domestic legislation, mega-projects, access to justice and the impact of violence on women and indigenous peoples. The Special Rapporteur will also hold meetings with government officials, the National Commission for Human Rights and the National Electoral Institute.

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights underlined that “Mrs. Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader of the Cordillera region in the Philippines. She has worked for more than three decades in the construction of movements in favor of indigenous peoples and is a tenacious defender of women’s rights.”

For more information in Spanish:

Guerrero en la agenda de la ONU ( Centre de Derechos Humanos de la montaña de Guerrero Tlachinollan, 6 de noviembre de 2017)

Anuncian visita oficial de Relatora de ONU sobre Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2017)

Relatora especial de la ONU se reunirá con representantes en México (La Jornada de Oriente, 8 de noviembre de 2017)

Indígenas llevan a ONU abusos de megaproyectos; pintan al Estado mexicano como un verdugo más (Sín Embargo, 8 de noviembre de 2017)


International: Zodevite Movement Receives Pax Christi International Peace Prize

November 10, 2017

Zodovite.pngPhoto:@ Pax Christi International

From October 23rd to 26th, the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Land and Territory (Zodovite in its Spanish acronym), the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and Pax Christi International, met with 13 parliamentarians of the European Union.

According to Frayba, in the different meetings testimonies of violations of rights were presented, among others, of “autonomy, self-determination and land and territory, which violate communities of indigenous peoples in Chiapas.”

In Brussels, “Frayba and Zodevite demanded the cancellation of arrest warrants against caretakers of the Zoque territory; and they called for international solidarity to force the Mexican State to respect the autonomy and self-determination of the Zoque indigenous people.”

On October 29th, Chiapas poet and Zodevite representative Mikeas Sanchez received the 2017 Peace Prize, awarded by Pax Christi International, “The movement has undertaken a non-violent campaign to stop hydraulic fracturing, oil exploitation and mining in southern Mexico.”

In a speech given by Ms. Sanchez, Zodevite mentioned: “we want to share this award with other peoples of Chiapas, Mexico, Latin America and the world, who are living similar situations.”

The award was presented at a ceremony at the Maria SS Institute. Bambina (Via Paolo VI, 21) in Rome, Italy.

For more information in Spanish:

Pax Christi International honours ZODEVITE with 2017 Pax Christi International Peace Award (Pax Christi International)

Reciben zoques Premio Internacional de la Paz (NVI Noticias, 30 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Creyente Zoque evidencia proyectos de despojo ante la Unión Europea (La Jornada Guerrero, 27 de octubre de 2017)

Entregarán Premio Internacional de la Paz a movimiento indígena (Cuarto Poder, 6 de octubre de 2017)

Zoques dedican el Premio Pax Christi Internacional a otros pueblos originarios (Radio Zapatista, 31 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en resistencia contra megaproyecto recibe Premio Internacional de Paz (Europa Zapatista, 1 de noviembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Internacional: El Pueblo Creyente Zoque, recibirá el Premio Internacional de Paz 2017 (19 de octubre de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas.  (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos.  (3 de mayo de 2017)