Chiapas: Zapatista Mass Meeting in Realidad Caracol 25 Years after Armed Uprising

January 14, 2019


On December 31st, within the framework of the 25th anniversary of the armed uprising, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) announced from the Caracol de La Realidad, in the Lacandon Jungle, border region, that it will oppose several of the plans “of destruction” of the new president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), including the massive planting of trees in several states, including Chiapas, the Maya Train, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec Project (Oaxaca) or the National Guard (which would prolong the military presence in public security work as has been pointed out by national and international human rights organizations): “As much as they try to humiliate us with the repressive forces such as the National Guard, we will not rest in defending our Mother Earth because in her we were born, in her we live and in her we will die. We will not surrender, we will not sell out and we will not give up.” “Let us fight. We are going to confront, we are not going to allow (Lopez Obrador) to pass his destruction projects here. We are not afraid of his National Guard, who changed its name, so as not to say Army”, Sub-commander Moises said.

“We tell him that we do not believe him”, he added, describing AMLO as “tricky” and “crafty” for wanting to pretend to be with the original peoples of Mexico when, in fact, he said, he seeks to “destroy them.”

Although during the five days prior to the anniversary, the EZLN held a meeting with members of the National Indigenous Council (CNI in its Spanish acronym), the Indigenous Council of Government and solidarity groups, it said that for 25 years “we have seen that we are alone; what we have achieved has been with our work and effort, with our mistakes. (…) We went to awaken, we went to tell the poor people of Mexico, of the countryside and the city. Many did not pay attention to us, some are organizing themselves, and we hope they continue yo organize. But we see that most did not listen to us. But we did the work, and we have more to do. (…) People come and go from outside. We continue here. Each time they come as tourists, but misery, inequality and injustice are not for tourism. The young people of Mexico will continue to die. What a pity that they pay attention to someone who is there deceiving the people.”

He finished his statement emphasizing: “we are going to defend what we have built. (…) The change we want is that one day the people, women and men are those who have to decide how they want their life, not that a group decides the lives of millions of human beings. We say it only with these words: the people rule, and the government obeys. That is why we say: here we are, we are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, and here we will continue!”

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador affirmed that he will not fall into “any provocation” from the Zapatista movement: “Even if they want to confront us, there will be no response. (…) I express my respect for their plans, programs and decisions. We live in a free country, there is no repression and there is no censorship,” he said.

For more information in Spanish:

López Obrador responde al EZLN: ‘Amor y paz… no me van a cucar’ (Vanguardia, 2 de enero de 2019)

EZLN y Marcos: ¿cuál es el principal aporte del zapatismo a México a 25 años de su levantamiento armado? (BBC, 1ero de enero de 2019)

EZLN, balance a 25 años (Proceso, 1ero de enero de 2019)

AMLO está engañando a los pueblos; nosotros no le creemos: EZLN (Aristegui Noticias, 1ero de enero de 2019)

EZLN: a 25 años del embeleso mundial que causó el zapatismo (Excelsior, 1ero de enero de 2019)

El EZLN advierte que se opondrá al Tren Maya y a la Guardia Nacional (Animal Político, 1ero de enero de 2019)

El EZLN advierte que se opondrá a los proyectos de AMLO (ADN Político, 1ero de enero de 2019)

En su 25 aniversario el EZLN critica al gobierno de AMLO (La Jornada, 1ero de enero de 2019)

Las victorias del EZLN (La Jornada, 31 de diciembre de 2018)

Los 25 años del EZLN: la vigencia de sus demandas (Proceso, 31 de diciembre de 2018)

EZLN prepara “red de resistencia” contra proyectos de López Obrador (Vanguardia, 30 de diciembre de 2018)


EZLN: veinticinco años (LA Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National/International: EZLN Invitation to 25th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising and Meeting of Networks (December 11th, 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 22nd, 2018)



Oaxaca/National: Federal Government Presents National Program for Indigenous Peoples

January 14, 2019


On December 21st, in the City of Oaxaca and accompanied by the governor of the state, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador presented the National Program of Indigenous Peoples 2018-2024, which “has as its general objective to promote and guarantee the development and integral welfare of the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples as subjects of public law; for the effective exercise of their rights, the sustainable use of their lands, territories and natural resources, as well as the strengthening of their autonomies, cultural institutions and identities.” He announced that social programs for these sectors will be a priority for his government, including that of Youth Building the Future, which will benefit all those who are unemployed, with a support of 3,600 pesos per month; and that of the scholarships, which will give preference to students belonging to these groups. He reiterated that 100 new public universities will be created, most of them in indigenous regions, while assistance for older adults from indigenous and Afro-Mexican communities will be from 65 years of age. He emphasized that these supports will be made directly by card. In addition, he said that a constitutional and diverse legal reform will be continued “to put our national legal framework in line with the progress these rights have made at the international level.”

For his part, the general director of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI in its Spanish acronym), Adelfo Regino Montes, emphasized that the program presented has the fundamental purpose of laying the foundations to build a new relationship between the Mexican State and the indigenous and Afro-Mexican peoples. He stressed that the institution under his charge will give direct attention to this population with the creation and strengthening of 133 coordinating centers of indigenous peoples.

For more information in Spanish:

Presentación del Programa Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas (Video: Aristegui Noticias, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Programa Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas 2018-2024. México (documento completo, Gobierno de México, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Programas sociales para población indígena, prioridad en mi gobierno: AMLO (El Universal, 21 de diciembre de 2018)

Sobre el Programa Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas (El Sur, 28 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Consultations on National Institute for Indigenous Peoples to Begin
(November 7th, 2018)

Nacional : AMLO anuncia estructura y responsable de asuntos indígenas en su gobierno (18 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019


On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14th, 2018)

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).

Chiapas: Destruction of Camps and Threats to Tsotsil Population in Forced Displacement

January 4, 2019


On December 23, 2018, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center published this Urgent Action:

New forced displacements in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas

Destruction of camps and threats to Tsotsil population as forced displacement increases conditions of vulnerability and risks for 1,146 people.

Nine camps which housed internally displaced people in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, were destroyed on December 21, 2018, between 14:00 and 17:00 hours, approximately, in a context of aggression on the part of Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, member of the National Action Party.

238 displaced families in the Barrio Shishimtotik, Tulantik, Ch’enmut, Bololchojon, Cruz K’ak’anam, Jolcantetik, Cruzton, Bejelton, and Barrio Pom camps lost the few belongings they had in the houses made of plastic, wood, and some with sheets. They also demolished toilets built with donations from solidarity organizations such as Caritas.

The population, mostly women and children, moved again after the aggression and intimidation. Families have lent them spaces, but there have been threats to expel anyone from their community if they help displaced people in this way. Testimonies say that community authorities prohibited humanitarian access, and threatened to tie up and burn representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee, as well as anyone who tries to enter the demolished camps.

At least 1,237 people remain in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, in conditions of vulnerability and risk, without being able to return to their homes because their land is on the edge of the conflict where armed groups from Chenalhó continue to fire weapons which intensify in the early hours of the morning.

More than a year after the massive forced displacement of communities of Tsotsil people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, the situation remains serious and human rights violations continue due to the failure of the Mexican State. The government of Chiapas fails to comply with international commitments to care for and protect displaced people and violates precautionary measure No. 882-17 granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on February 24, 2018, “to guarantee the rights of members of indigenous peoples in a situation of risk to the life, safety, and personal integrity of the 10 displaced communities since November 2017.

For this reason, we demand that the Mexican State:

Guarantee the safety, integrity, and life of the population in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

Stop the threats and aggression coming from Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, against representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee.

In accordance with the Guiding Principles on Forced Displacement of the United Nations, deal comprehensively with the forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

We ask national and international solidarity to send your appeals to:

C. Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Presidente Constitucional de México     Residencia Oficial de los Pinos. Casa Miguel Alemán. Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 4901:Twitter@lopezobrador_

Lic.Olga Sánchez Cordero. Secretaria de Gobernación de México                              Bucareli 99, 1er. piso. Col. Juárez. Delegación Cuauhtémoc;  C.P. 06600 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 34 14; Twitter@M_OlgaSCordero

Lic. Luis Raúl González Pérez. Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, Edificio “Héctor Fix Zamudio”, Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6°piso. Col. Tlacopac San Ángel. Delegación Álvaro Obregón. C.P. 01040; Ciudad de México.              Fax: (+52) 0155 36 68 07 67: Correo: : Twitter: @CNDH

Lic. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México                                                Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;                              Correo: Twitter: @JuntoscnRutilio

Lic. Ismael Brito Mazariegos. Secretario General de Gobierno en Chiapas: Palacio De Gobierno, 2o. Piso, Centro C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Conmutador: (961) 61 8 74 60 Ext. 20003: Correo:

Lic. Alonso Méndez Guzmán. Subsecretario de Gobierno de la Región V. Altos Tsotsil-Tseltal: Francisco I. Madero No. 101, Barrio Guadalupe C.P. 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Teléfono: 01 (967) 67 465 94 Fax: 01 (967) 67 465 94

C. Margarita Díaz García. Presidente Municipal de Chalchihuitán                                Avenida Central S/N, Palacio Municipal C.P. 29850 Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.              Teléfono: (01 919) 10 1-10-28 o Teléfono: 9671245086


For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia el Frayba la destrucción de 9 campamentos de desplazados (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen nueve campamentos de mujeres e infantes en Chalchihuitán(Regeneración, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen campamentos de 238 familias tsotsiles desplazadas en Chiapas(Contralínea, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Navidad en Chiapas: destruyen 9 campamentos con 1146 indígenas, la mayoría mujeres, niñas y niños (Sin Embargo, 25 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3, 2018).

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018).

National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years (May 11, 2018).


Oaxaca: Verdict of the Popular Community Trial against the Mexican State and the mining companies

January 4, 2019


On December 10th, on the International Human Rights Day as part of a political act in front of the Government Palace villages in Oaxaca-City, communities and organizations that participated in the “Popular Community Trial against the State and Mining Companies in Oaxaca” last October publicly presented the final verdict.

It should be remembered that in the Popular Community Trial participated 52 communities who presented 22 cases of affectations caused by mining in 5 of the state’s regions including – says the verdict- “irreversible affectations to the ecosystem, river contamination, fractures in the social structure and generalized insecurity in the regions, where those mining projects operate through mining companies, shock groups and state authorities”.

The verdict put forward the necessity to rescind the 322 concessions and the 41 valid mining projects within the State “as those were imposed without previous, free and informed consent by the communities and while violating our right to self-determination and autonomy to our cultural integrity, to administrate and control our territories and to maintain the collective property of our lands and communal natural goods”.

Equally, it demanded the immediate suspension of the issue of quarrying rights “until a new legal framework has been elaborated that fully and effectively respects the indigenous people’s rights as they were established in international treaties and the Constitution, until the repeal of the current mining law and others that protect the relations with that industry”. Likewise, it urged the authorities to pass laws and public policies which protect the indigenous people’s rights, which recognize them as subjects to public rights and include the in effective mechanisms of integral reparations for the caused damage.

The legal judgment also put forward the necessity to protect those who defend their territories so that they can do so in “conditions of liberty and security” and it demanded that “the politics of criminalization against the social protest are stopped, that the people responsible for assassinations are punished and that the disappeared territorial activists are presented alive immediately as well as the suspension of arrest warrants issued for the same reasons, individual and collective threats”.

The political act ended proclaiming “Yes to life, no to mining!” and “Neither gold nor silver, mining kills!”.

The report about the civil trial details that until 2017 there haven been registered 42 mining projects by 38 companies from Canada, the United States, Peru, Australia and Mexico. 36 of them in stage of exploration, 2 in development, one was postponed and 2 are already in the phase of commercial exploitation.

For more information in Spanish:

Oaxaca territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de pueblos, comunidades y organizaciones frente al nuevo gobierno federal (Pronunciamiento e Informe, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Juicio Popular Comunitario contra el Estado y las Empresas Mineras (Vídeo, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Comunidades indígenas de Oaxaca exigen la prohibición total de la minería en el estado (Animal Político, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Demandan pueblos que Oaxaca sea territorio libre de minería (NVI Noticias, 12 de diciembre de 2018)

Oaxaca, territorio prohibido para la minería”: exigencia de comunidades al nuevo gobierno (Desinformémonos, 10 de diciembre de 2018)

Repudian proyectos de mineras en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held (October 16th, 2018)

Oaxaca: Popular Community Trial against the State and the Mining Companies Held

Oaxaca: Anuncian juicio popular contra empresas mineras. (9 de agosto de 2018)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government

December 13, 2018


On November 24th and 25th, the consultation was held on the Maya Train and nine other projects that the next executive considers “priority” to implement as soon as it officially takes office on December 1st.

1,098 voting tables installed in 538 municipalities nationwide were used, according to the Arturo Rosenblueth Foundation, in charge of the organization. 946,081 people participated in this consultation and 89.9% voted in favor of the proposed Mayan Train project that seeks to communicate the main archaeological centers of the Maya zone in five states of southeastern Mexico. All the other proposals received more than 90% of votes in favor: the development of the Tehuantepec Isthmus Train; the refinery in Dos Bocas, Tabasco; the reforestation program; the increase in the pension for adults over 68 years of age; the granting of scholarships to all students of public high schools in the country; the delivery of pensions to disabled people; as well as guaranteed medical attention and free internet coverage.

Specialists, academics, environmentalists, scientists and civil organizations have questioned the development proposals included in this package, mainly due to the ecological damage that these projects could cause.

For its part, the Movement in Defense of the Land and the Territory in Chiapas questioned why none of these projects was brought to consultation with the people that will be directly affected when it is carried out in cities. “Of the 79 spaces that were installed in the state, only one was in the municipality of Palenque and it was located in the municipal capital, far from the places through which it will transit -in case of materializing- in its 45 kilometers,” they said.

For more information in Spanish:

El Tren Maya y su impacto en las comunidades, Proceso, 27 de noviembre de 2018

Tren Maya pasa la consulta de López Obrador en México con el 89,9% de los votos, CNN, 26 de noviembre de 2018

Equipo de AMLO presume que programas obtuvieron más del 90% de aceptación; Tren Maya, el menos votado (Animal Político, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Consulta sobre Tren Maya no llegó a los pueblos, comunidades y ejidos que impactará en Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Pueblos indígenas no participaron como se esperaba: Claudia Muñoz (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre de 2018)

Resultados de la Consulta Nacional 10 Programas Prioritarios (Fundación Arturo Rosenblueth, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

Les falta baño de pueblo, dice López Obrador a críticos del Tren Maya (Animal Político, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

Entre burócratas y ciudadanos los que más participaron en la consulta de AMLO (, 25 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Faced with Rejection of National Guard, AMLO Proposes New Consultation (December 12th, 2018)

National: AMLO Announces Consultation for the Construction of the Maya Train (November 14th, 2018)

National: Mexico International Airport in Texcoco is canceled after consultation
(November 3rd, 2018)

Mexico: proposal from future AMLO government – Mayan Train to tour the southern states of the country and attract more tourism  (September 15th, 2018)


Chiapas: Mass Forced Displacement in Chabajeval, Municipality El Bosque

November 26, 2018

Displaced.png(@Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights)

The crisis of internal forced displacement in the highlands of Chiapas reached a new peak on November 7th when, according to the parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, in the community of Chavajeval, municipality of El Bosque, almost all of the inhabitants of the town (about a thousand people according to the first estimates) fled from there after a conflict in which a 65-year-old man died. On the same day, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights reported that, “while a community assembly was held, there was an explosion and shots were later heard.”

Since that date, displaced people have sought refuge in various places, including in nearby mountains or in the town of El Bosque and in the municipalities of Chenalho, Chalchihuitan and San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Given the rumor that more displaced people were kidnapped in the community of Tierra Caliente, Father Marcelo confirmed that although there were 400 displaced people in this place, they were not kidnapped.

The root of the displacement derives from a conflict between the residents of the community whic “on October 24th, Miguel Perez Lopez, ejido commissioner of Chavajeval, and Carmelino de Jesus Ruiz Álvarez was ambushed and shot at, two more people they were injured,” Chiapas Paralelo states. The investigation of the case by the community authorities has generated tension and accusations among the different groups present in the community.

While it is unclear if there are conditions for a return for the coffee harvest given the risk of losing it, the situation of displacement (which affects all groups) remains critical: “Food corn, beans and medicine are needed. I invite you in your parishes and organizations to show solidarity in prayer and gathering food,” said Father Marcelo Perez.

Civil Protection of Chiapas informed through its Facebook page that it has delivered food and blankets to those affected.

Support can also be provided through CARITAS DE LA DIOCESIS DE SAN CRISTOBAL.

Bank details:


Account number: 0642624985

IBAN: 072130006426249855


For its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights urged the Mexican government to “guarantee the conditions to stop the escalation of violence in the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; to “favor dialogue and conciliation between the parties for the resolution of the conflict”; to “impartially and efficiently investigate the facts that led to the forced displacement of almost 2,000 people from the community of Chavajebal, municipality of El Bosque, Chiapas”; and to “address the humanitarian crisis situation in accordance with the Guiding Principles of the Forced Internal Displacement of the United Nations Organization and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples in a situation of vulnerability”.

For more information in Spanish:

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas: Se profundiza la crisis humanitaria de los Altos de Chiapas (13 de noviembre de 2018)

Párroco de Simojovel clama por ayuda para desplazados de Chavajeval, Chiapas (El Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Suman tres muertos y casi mil personas desplazadas en Chavajebal (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Unos mil habitantes huyeron al monte en Chavajeval, Chiapas; la iglesia dice que hay hambruna (Sin Embargo, 13 de noviembre de 2018)

Habitantes de Chavajeval, Chiapas, enfrentan desplazamiento forzado (Proceso, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

Urge atención a desplazamiento en Chabajeval: Martín Ramírez (NVI, 10 de noviembre de 2018)

Detienen presuntos zapatistas involucrados en asesinato de autoridades de Chavajeval (Ultimatum, 7 de noviembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces New Attacks in Aldama and Demands End to Violence (November 19th, 2018)

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30th, 2018)

Chiapas: Oportunidad de profundizar el tema del desplazamiento forzado en el Congreso del estado (October 24th, 2018)