Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community

September 13, 2015

@ Enlace Civil A.C.@ Enlace Civil A.C.

The support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the Tzakukum community, official municipality of Chalchihuitán, have been threatened with death for months and have incurred physical aggressions. On 9 September, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights A.C. (Frayba) documented the threats and harassment against the BAEZLN. The information was provided by the Good-Government Council of Oventik, Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the World (Oventik JBG), which pertains to Caracol II, Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.

According to testimony, the BAEZLN reported having been threatened with death on multiple occasions. On 10 August 2015, the BAEZLN Aurelio Gómez Girón was threatened with death by machete by a woman and man from the PRI, who then cut the water-house supplying Mariano García Núñez, another BAEZLN, who in turn was threatened with death by machete. On 14 August Librado Pérez Núñez, BAEZLN, was insulted and attacked on the path by a PRI leader who told him, “You are murderers. Little Zapatista, what are you doing here?” On 26 July a group of party militants detained four BAEZLN, threatening to burn them with gasoline. Beyond this, the bulletin mentions more examples that underline the urgency of the situation. The victims indicated that a group of approximately 25 people harassed and threatened them. In light of these acts, Frayba noted that “We are concerned that the authorities of Chiapas state encourage human-rights violations by being absent when attacks are directed against the BAEZLN.” The bulletin stresses that “these human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place within a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy.”

It bears recalling that there were antecedents of this conflict in the same community in July 2015, when members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) began to build a school on common lands without consulting the BAEZLN, who insisted that the agreements on land be respected. In this sense, Frayba intervened toward the end of having the denounced acts be attended to. It is feared that for this reason the PRI members were angered and struck out, after having had to abandon the project on common lands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazas de muerte y agresiones físicas en contra de BAEZLN de la comunidad Tzakukum (Frayba, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Denuncian agresiones contra bases del EZLN (Quadratin Chiapas, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (Frayba, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

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: Prisoner from San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denounces that his charges were fabricated

September 11, 2015

Foto del Cereso 5 de San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga SantiagoPhoto of Cereso 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga Santiago

On 7 August, the prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz, held in prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, denounced that he has been imprisoned unjustly for 2 years. He asserted that there were witnesses who saw him working on 18 May 2013, when the crime for which he is being held was committed, “but the corresponding authorities did not take into account the testimony of these witnesses.” In a public communique, Paciencia expressed “due to the unjust incarcerations that we continue to suffer each day, we grow isolated from our families. Many people are being held in different prisoners throughout the state and country for not knowing how to speak Spanish and not having resources to hire an adequate lawyer, as happened with me two years ago. I have spent this time imprisoned for a crime that was fabricated.” At the end of his declaration, Paciencia noted that “it is for this reason that I make this public denunciation. I request that the judges review my case, because it is unjust that they would hold me like this. They must release me as soon as possible, because my family is suffering.”

Para más información:

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente, exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de agosto de 2015)

Oaxaca: Indigenous Zapotecos mobilize themselves over grave violations to right to consultation

September 11, 2015

La Ventosa. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

La Ventosa. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 20 August, the Popular Assembly of the Juchiteco People (APPJ), together with the organizations Project for Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC), the Gobixha Committee for the Comprehensive Defense of Human Rights (Código DH), the Project on Organization, Development, Education, and Investigation (PODER), and the National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations “All Rights for All” (Red TdT) made public a communique in which they reported a legal motion regarding grave violations to the right to consultation. This motion was carried through following the announcement by the Secretary for Energy (SENER) on 4 August that the wind-energy park owned by the Southern Wind-Energy corporation would begin to be built in the communities of Juchitán and El Espinal in the Tehuantepec Isthmus. SENER awarded the concession for construction of the park after a consultative process was effected.

In this consultation, the organizations that signed the communique, which formed part of the Civil Observation Mission reviewing the process, detected several irregularities such as the awarding of permits and contracts before the consultation was even carried out; more than 30 security incidents; 75 requests for information that went unheeded; a lack of certified translators; the development of sessions without considering the community’s traditions; and generally, a context of insecurity, coercion, violence, and lack of transparency. Furthermore, they indicated that “This is the first time that the authorities have developed a consultation with indigenous people as based on national legislation (the Law on Electrical Industry […] modified to conform with the Energy Reform). The consultation in Juchitán, in accordance with the authorities, will be the precedent to follow for projects derived from this reform, and it is for this reason that the grave human-rights violations we have documented during this process take on a national relevance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapotecas se amparan por violación al derecho a la consulta ante el inicio de proyecto eólico anunciado por la SENER (Prodesc, 20 de agosto de 2015)

Estado mexicano valida simulación de consulta indígena para aprobar megaproyecto de energía eólica (Asamblea de Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio, 31 de julio de 2015)

Sólo el 1% aprobó el parque eólico en Juchitán y no la mayoría como dijo Sener, acusa ONG (Sin embargo, 19 de agosto de 2015)

Reportes de la consulta sobre la construcción del parque de Eólica del Sur en Juchitán, Oaxaca (Prodesc, 8 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Beginning of consultation regarding wind-energy park in Juchitán (12 November 2014)

Oaxaca: Various denunciations in the Tehuantepec Isthmus from community assemblies organized against wind-farms in their territories (6 September 2014)

Oaxaca: Confrontations in Álvaro Obregón community, Juchitán, leave several injured (15 March 2014)

Oaxaca: Opponents to wind-energy parks threatened with death in the Isthmus (2 March 2014)

Chiapas/National: EZLN announces second level of Zapatista School

September 10, 2015

(@Espoir Chiapas)

(@Espoir Chiapas)

In a communique published on 27 July 2015 that is signed by Subcomandantes Insurgentes Moisés and Galeano, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced the second level of the Zapatista School.

The dates for the new course are for 31 July-2 August 2015. However, on this occasion, “it is not a question of coming to Zapatista territories” but rather “the second level will take place universally outside of Zapatista lands.” Arguing that the economic situation and the governmental repression toward indigenous peoples makes matters difficult, the EZLN has organized levels 2 through 6 in this way, so that students do not have to come “every so often” to Zapatista territory.

The students who passed the first level will receive an e-mail between 30 July and 1 August that contains the instructions to access the video that contains the contents of the second level.

The communique ends by calling for solidarity with the struggles from below and to the left, as in Ostula and Ayotitlán, in solidarity with the families of the 47 missing students from Ayotzinapa, the families of the children who died in the ABC Nursery, as well as relatives of political prisoners and the disappeared throughout the world, in solidarity with those in struggle in Greece, and the indigenous people who care for Mother Earth.

For more information (in Spanish):

Segundo Nivel Escuela Zapatista (Enlace Zapatista, 27 de julio de 2015)

El EZLN convoca al segundo nivel de la Escuelita Zapatista (Chiapas Paralelo, 28 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas: El EZLN anuncia el segundo Nivel de la Escuela Zapatista ‪(Pozol Colectivo, 27 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

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

Guerrero: Representatives of municipalities in the Mountain and Costa Chica regions reject mining exploitation

September 10, 2015

2862421_n_vir1Photo @WRadio

The representatives of the Regional Council of Agrarian Authorities in Defense of Land (CRAADT) of the Mountain and Costa Chica regions of Guerrero have mobilized themselves for the definitive cancellation of the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources by transnational corporations, considering that instead of benefiting local communities, they damage the latter’s health. Beyond this, mining presents serious threats of pollution by cyanide to the Balsas and Papagayo rivers. In a press-conference on 22 July at the offices of the Prodh Center in Mexico City, attended by more than 15 commissioners from communities in the Mountain and Costa Chica Region, the region was declared as being free of mineral exploitation, and those present stressed that, if the planned project would be carried out, it would affect more than 187,000 hectares and more than 100,000 people.

They explained that, this same day, they would submit a manifesto to President Enrique Peña Nieto and the national congress that requests the cancellation of the mining project, beyond demanding respect for the human rights of the peoples who have historically cared for and preserved nature. They express that the struggle will continue, and they denounced that the National Agrarian Registry denies having recognizing the representative nuclei that by law correspond to it, according to the Constitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran comisariados La Montaña y la Costa Chica territorio libre de minería (La Jornada de Guerrero, 23 de julio de 2015)

Carta abierta a Jaime Martínez Veloz (22 de julio de 2015)

Rechazan trabajos de minería en Guerrero (WRadio, 22 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Self-defense brigades against looting by mining corporations (5 March 2013)

Chiapas: two thousand march at the close of the “Chiapan Meeting of Unity against the Extractive Mining Model” in Frontera Comalapa (7 December 2012)

Chiapas: Second Forum “For the Defense of Our Mother Earth and Land; Yes to Life, No to Mining Devastation” (21 September 2012)

Mexico: “Mined land, the defense of the rights of communities and of the environment” (14 December 2011)

National: Xochicuautla announces “counter-decree of reappropriation”

September 10, 2015

xochiOn 8 August, some 40 persons participated in a caravan in solidarity with the Otomí-ñatho community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Lerma municipality, Mexico State.  With this action, they expressed their disagreement with the expropriatory decree that seeks to plunder the community of more than 37 hectares of its sacred forest for the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway.  The community was never consulted before this decree was announced, thus violating its rights as an indigenous community.  Besides this, the act would threaten to destroy the “water lung for the Toluca and Mexico valleys.”

The spokesperson for Xochicuautla, José Luis Fernández, has denounced that personnel from the construction company and government agents have been invading their forests, this despite the precautionary measures released by the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH).  These ended on 10 August, thus leading to the expression of concern for the well-being of the residents of the community amidst the possibility that the expropriation be carried out.  “We do not doubt that in the next few days, despite the precautionary measures, police will prepare their invasion,” he added.  The spokesperson further noted that there are rumors that the Army will invade to occupy the land, such that he called on civil society to be attentive to what might happen in the next few days.

Beyond this, it was announced that on 30 August the traditional authorities will release a “counter-decree of reappropriation” that would symbolically invalidate the expropriatory decree released by the federal government.  According to Antonio Lara, from the Zeferino Ladrillero Center for Human Rights (CDHZL), the idea is to counterpose the ancestral vision of rights before the Western concept.  “The public interest is not above any right.  Rights are violated for business.”  Other indigenous peoples are invited to the ceremony, such as the Nahua of Ostula, the Yaquis from Sonora, and San Salvador Atenco, besides intellectuals and the bishop Raúl Vera.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de Prensa del día de ayer en Cencos, #Xochicuautla “NO tenemos nada que festejar” (Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra, 11 de agosto de 2015)

Comuneros de Xochicuautla realizan caravana en defensa del territorio otomí (La Jornada, 9 de agosto de 2015)

Pueblos indígenas e intelectuales acompañarán a Xochicuautla en “reapropiación” de su territorio (Más de 131, 10 de agosto de 2015)

Pedaleando en defensa del bosque (SubVersiones, 11 de agosto de 2015)

La CNDH ya nos dejó solos: pobladores de Xochicuautla; piden frenar autopista de Higa (Sin Embargo, 10 de agosto de 2015)

Higa destroza cosechas de habitantes de Xochicuautla; “dicen que si nos seguimos oponiendo el Ejército nos va a reprimir” (Revolución tres punto cero, 11 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: March in solidarity with the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla (10 September 2015)

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2015)

Chiapas: Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido from Palenque denounces police invasion

September 10, 2015

Foto de la zona Norte de Chiapas @ archivo SIPAZPhoto of northern zone of Chiapas @ SIPAZ archive

The ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community, Palenque municipality, denounced that on 2 August two municipal police trucks arrived to the community.  “Of these patrols, 6 municipal police came out and approached the Ejidal House, where an extraordinary communal assembly was being celebrated with the three organization SERPAJ (Services for Peace and Justice-Morelos), the Ixim Antsetic Women’s House, and two coordinators from the Xi’nich organization.  These police did not identify themselves or provide any documentation even though we requested this of them,” noted the public denunciation.  The police expressed that they had received an emergency call from the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, affirming the existence of injured and burned persons due to a confrontation between Catholics and Evangelicals in the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community.

The ejidatarios indicated that “this is not the first time that police arrive without identifying themselves in our community.  On other occasions they have arrived on the pretext that there were confrontations in the community.  In April they arrived saying that they came to protect 4 families, and that they would be conducting patrols due to a supposed threat of displacement.”  “We grow weary of these lies.  The police come to intimidate and provoke due to the internal conflict that has existed for the past 5 years, of which all the governmental institutions are well-aware.  They use the lie that it is a religious conflict as a pretext to continue manipulating and terrorizing the organized community in defense of our Mother Earth, whom we will continue to defend,” they added in the document.

For their part, the organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s House of Palenque, SERPAJ-Morelos, Xi’nich, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), the Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas, and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights demonstrated their concern for “this type of intimidation on the part of the government.  We know that it is a means of provocation that seeks to terrorize the community and lead it to give up its struggle for Mother Earth and life.  It is for this reason that we will continue to accompany this process that demands justice and respect for the rights to autonomy of indigenous peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian incursión policiaca en ejido Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas, Palenque (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 7 de agosto de 2015)

#Chiapas Denuncia de #IncursiónPoliciaca en ejido Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas, #Palenque (Koman Ilel, 9 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, northern zone, denounce harassment and death-threats (4 August 2013)


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