Chiapas/National: Petition in Support of Injunction against Maya Train

March 23, 2020

DSCF5674© Sipaz

On March 16th, a press conference was held by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), in which members of the Regional Indigenous and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), the municipal seat of Calakmul, Campeche, were present, as well as members of the Diocese of San Cristobal.

A pronouncement was made whereby they demanded that the federal authorities respect the rights of the Choles, Mayans, Tzotziles and Tzeltal communities affected by the Maya Train megaproject, which have been violated since the informative phase by not complying with international standards and by not presenting a study of the environmental, economic, social and cultural impacts of the projects.

In this sense, the human rights sector of ​​the diocese of San Cristobal launched an initiative in a show of support and solidarity with which 12,124 signatures were collected from 15 municipalities of Chiapas. When delivering, Virginia Diaz Rojas expressed: “we have become aware of the effects that all these projects bring […] In this way we are joining together to face all these projects that come to destroy our Mother Earth, our territories, to our cultures…”. Faced with this response, Ernesto Martinez Jimenez, member of the CRIPX, was very grateful and happy and affirmed that Chiapas was the first state to support them and made a call to the rest of the peninsular states to join the injunction case.

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidades Mayas rechazan megaproyectos que amenazan la Vida(CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 16 de marzo de 2020)

Entregan firmas en solidaridad para juicio de amparo del Tren Maya (La Jornada, 16 de marzo de 2020)

Respaldan chiapanecos suspensión del Tren Maya (Diario de Chiapas, 17 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: Huge Contrast between Study of Maya Train Commissioned by National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) and Discourse of AMLO Government (March 19, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)

National: Indigenous Consultation Participants Accept Maya Train Project; Convention 169 of ILO not Respected (January 4, 2020)

National: Bidding Process Begins for Maya Train without Previous Consultation with Indigenous Peoples (May 10, 2019)

Mexico: Consultations on Maya Train and Nine “Priority” Projects of New Government (December 13th, 2018)

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

National: Federal Judge Halts Indefinitely Construction of Maya Train in Calakmul, Campeche

March 9, 2020


A federal judge has suspended the construction of any new works in Calakmul, Campeche, including the Maya Train project.

Behind the decision is an injunction presented by the Regional and Popular Council of Xpujil (CRIPX), which represents the interests of the indigenous communities of the Peninsular Mayan people and Ch’ol, in the municipality of Calakmul. The suspension only has jurisdiction in Calakmul, which affects the section of the Maya Train between Bacalar and Escarcega, Campeche.

In her ruling, the judge noted that the suspension will be limited in scope: “it does not prevent the authorities from carrying out administrative acts aimed at carrying out the work, such as: tenders, obtaining environmental permits and any other item; preparation of budgets and projects, etc., because such acts do not entail any imminent damage to the claimant community.”

The legal advisor of the Indigenous and Popular Regional Council of Xpujil, Elisa Cruz Rueda, stressed that, although the resolution is a positive step, its geographical limitations would not allow the protection of indigenous peoples: with this, “it limits the suspension to Calakmul, with that ruling violates the rights of indigenous peoples to the integrity of their territories, their habitat and the exercise of their autonomy and self-determination.”

Regarding the case, on March 5th, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) denounced “harassment, intimidation, and aggressions by MORENA members towards fellow CRIPX members.”

At the state level, since February 27th, a Collegiate Court of Campeche prevented the federal government from executing the works of the Maya Train in the municipality of Calakmul, for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, and also for environmental reasons.

The injunction was filed on January 14th, when, according to the CRIPZ, the Federal Judicial Branch granted them a provisional suspension of the construction of the “Maya Train Development Project”, which was quickly challenged by the government.

For more information in Spanish:

Revés judicial al Tren Maya en Calakmul La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Jueza federal concedió suspensión que frena por tiempo indefinido el Tren Maya en Calakmul, Campeche Infobae, 5 de marzo de 2020.

Conceden suspensión definitiva del Tren Maya en Xpujil, Calakmul El Economista, 4 de marzo de 2020.

Denuncian “acoso y agresiones” de Morena, hacia el CNI en Calakmul, Campeche Pozol Colectivo, 5 de marzo de 2020.

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Campeche: Injunction against Maya Train Limited to Municipality Calakmul (March 2, 2020)

National/Campeche: Government Denies Reports of Suspension of Maya Train (January 31, 2020)

National/International: Consultation on Maya Train did not Meet International Standards (January 4, 2020)

Chiapas: Death of Displaced Baby Girl from Rio Jordan, Chenalho

February 28, 2020

Acteal@Otros Mundos

In a statement published on February 26th, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society denounced the death of Maria Angelica Jimenez Ramirez, an 11-month-old baby, who was part of the displaced families of the Rio Jordan neighborhood who have been refugees in Acteal since August last year in the municipality of Chenalho.

It recalled that they are displaced due to the threats of “the members of the Green Ecologist Party and paramilitaries of the Rio Jordan neighborhood, when their homes were destroyed and looted, on August 10th, 2019, all for refusing to accept charges that are not from the community and not accepting a drainage work.”

It lamented that Maria Angelica died “being a victim of forced displacement and without enjoying the full right to childhood, to health and to live in peace, like other girls and other children who were also displaced with the deceased girl, who are not being guaranteed their rights to peace while living forcibly displaced.”

It claimed that behind this forced displacement is a conflict that “has now been unresolved for five years, although Chenalho’s municipal president Abraham Cruz Gomez has pledged to intervene so that this problem is resolved and as a result, our displaced companions return with justice to their community of origin, but, to date, no meeting has been made with said official authority since he has only been postponing the dates and so the suffering of the displaced has been prolonged.”

Las Abejas Civil Society announced that family members and executives of their organization will bury the infant in the Rio Jordan community cemetery neighborhood, “so we ask that you be aware of our physical and psychological integrity, otherwise we will hold the rural agent in the Rio Jordan neighborhood, Vicente Perez Ruiz, the president of Chenalho, Abraham Cruz Gomez, and Rutilio Escandon Cadenas Governor of Chiapas, responsible”.

For more information in Spanish:

Fallecimiento de una hermanita desplazada (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 26 de febrero de 2020)

Niña lluvia (Regeneración Radio, 26 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Desplazan a 36 personas del barrio Río Jordán, Chenalhó (September 18, 2019)

Chiapas: Forced Displacement of Four Families of Las Abejas Civil Society Denounced (August 18, 2019)

Chiapas: “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they Have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum Held

February 28, 2020

IMG-20200224-WA0020@Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas

On February 20th and 21st, the “Let’s Talk about Government Programs, Megaprojects and the Effects they have on the Lives of Indigenous Campesina Women and Communities” Forum was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. More than 120 people from the Highlands, Plains, Jungle and North of Chiapas regions participated

In a final pronouncement, the participants commented that during the Forum they analyzed “the situation that we live in our territories against the implementation of megaprojects undertaken by the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in complicity with the large transnational companies.” They expressed that they managed to “map the military presence in the territories, the social programs present, the arrival of officials in search of information about our families: number of children, amount of land, number of young people in our homes, among others; which puts us in a situation of uncertainty because we don’t know the purpose of that data.”

They expressed their “total rejection of the megaprojects of destruction and death such as the San Cristobal-Palenque super highway, the privatization of water, mining, as well as the hydroelectric plant, the Maya Train, agricultural programs such as Sembrado Vida that combined with other social programs and the militarization of Chiapas, aim to break the social fabric, divide communities, families and weaken social movements that fight and resist in defense of life, land and territory.”

Women denounced that “assistance programs and projects are reaching our communities, specifically agroindustrial projects aimed mostly at men, excluding us for the simple fact of being women,” in particular the Sembrando Vida Program and other programs aimed at the countryside. “They grant financial support only to men and do not solve family needs; On the contrary, they strengthen male chauvinism, the consumption of alcohol and drugs, generating a significant increase in violence against women and the abandonment of family plots. By prioritizing the programs of the countryside that submit, control, manipulate and decide for the lives of the people, the government manipulates the situation of poverty experienced by hundreds of indigenous and campesino families, turning them into slaves and waiters of the capitalist government. In this way we see how neoliberalism is disrupting community structures, breaking the processes of self-determination and autonomy of the original peoples,” they declared.

They concluded by telling the government that “we are not afraid of their military, that we declare our territories free of megaprojects and military. Despite the criminalization of our partners and social advocates, we will not abandon our struggle, quite the opposite, we will unite our voice, our resistance and rebellion, our anger and our hearts in our struggle that is for life.”

For more information in Spanish:

PRONUNCIAMIENTO EN EL MARCO DEL FORO: “Hablemos sobre los programas de gobierno, megaproyectos y los efectos que tienen en la vida de las mujeres campesinas indígenas y en las comunidades” (23 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional : se lleva a cabo la asamblea Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, en la comunidad de Amilcingo, Morelos (February 24, 2020)

National: EZLN and CNI Hold Events on the First Anniversary of the Murder Samir Flores (February 25, 2020)

Chiapas/Mexico: EZLN, CNI and CIG Convene Actions in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth “We Are All Samir” (January 14, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Fourth Assembly of CNI-CIG Held in San Cristobal de Las Casas (January 13, 2020)

Chiapas: Bishop of San Cristobal Proposes Need to Stop Dispossession and Continue “Weaving Together” to Build a “New Life”

February 4, 2020

obisporecibepcDon Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On February 2nd, in a pastoral letter entitled “Let us walk together in the light of the Lord,” the bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, stated that in Chiapas there are megaprojects “some already in progress and others in program, such as the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, ecological-tourist reserves, the exploitation of sandbanks, springs and wetlands, which are affecting the indigenous and urban peoples.”

In it, he asked “these megaprojects mean development, but I ask myself the following: what to do so that they do not alter the ecology? What to do so that they do not mean enormous benefit for some and dispossession for others? What to do to integrate development – always with human and ecological criteria – to the most disadvantaged populations?”

Aguilar Martínez said that the “rich and beautiful” land of Chiapas “has been mistreated by mining, immoderated logging and pollution of rivers, lakes and the environment.” He added that “the dispossession is also present through the loss of cultural roots that is caused by racism and discrimination, and government policies that do not take into account the word of the native peoples, nor their right to self-determination and autonomy, to live according to their own normative system.”

He said that the security project at the national level “may be very well thought out and planned, but intermediate, and especially final, instances often result in the dispossession of territories, which is achieved through various strategies such as forced displacement, threat, deception in the purchase of land, pressure with social programs, coercion through laws that favor the powerful, and violence that occurs through federal, state and municipal police, the Army, the Navy and the National Guard, as if by shock, paramilitary or drug trafficking groups.”

He added that “organized crime occupies more and more spaces in the Chiapas territory; painfully it adds to the national situation and there is a struggle between competing groups at the state and local levels.”

In this context, he said that “it is important to continue weaving together, because we cannot transform reality alone, or a single community, a single area, an organization”, but “it is our task to weave alliances with those people, communities, areas, organizations that are in a real struggle building that new life.”

For more information in Spanish:

Obispo de San Cristóbal critica impacto de obras en la región (La Jornada, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía obispo de San Cristóbal “Carta Pastoral” (Reporte Ciudadano, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía carta pastoral (Diario de Chiapas, 3 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Believing People Hold Pilgrimage for Ninth Anniversary of jTatic Samuel (January 29, 2020)

Chiapas: Mons. Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez Becomes New Bishop of San Cristobal (January 22, 2018)

National: AMLO – We Won’t Build Dams at El Paso de la Reina, Boca del Cerro or La Parota

January 22, 2020

5C400AB2-74BB-49C3-A246-E75915CDEE73Photo @ HydroReview

On January 20th, having been questioned in his morning press conference about a complaint of burglary and harassment in recent days by elements of the Navy against Marco Antonio Suastegui, one of the leaders of the opposition to La Parota dam in Guerrero, the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rejected that it is among his plans to reactivate the La Parota project.

“No work can be done against the will of the people. La Parota is opposed and that dam is not going to be built. As we are not going to build other dams, I would tell you that we are not going to build the Paso de la Reina dam in Oaxaca and the Boca del Cerro dam in the Usumacinta in Chiapas. The only one that we are going to finish because its expansion has already begun, is that of Chicoasen (…) no new dam will be started, but we will seek to modernize the existing ones. ”

Regarding the issue, the senator of On January 20, after being questioned in his morning conference about a complaint of raid and harassment in recent days by elements of the Navy to Marco Antonio Suastegui, one of the leaders of the opposition to La Parota dam in Guerrero, the president Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected that it is among his plans to reactivate the La Parota project.

“No work can be done against the will of the people. La Parota is opposed and that dam is not going to be built. As we are not going to build other dams, I would tell you that we are not going to build the Paso de la Reina dam in Oaxaca and the Boca del Cerro dam in the Usumacinta in Chiapas. The only one that we are going to finish because its expansion has already begun, is that of Chicoasén (…) said that no new dam will be started, but it will seek to modernize the existing ones”, the president said.

Regarding the issue, the MORENA senator, Ricardo Monreal, announced on the same day that he decided not to present an initiative to reform the Constitution and the Federal Injunction Law “to prevent the protection of public works that benefit the community” . According to Proceso magazine, “the MORENA member considers that the current federal government has promoted important projects from the beginning, which have been stopped by suspensions granted through injunctions, causing damage to economic and social progress.”

Through his Twitter account, the senator announced that “he had prepared initiatives to reform the Injunction Law, which were reviewed in the past by other means; After talking with groups and specialists, I decided not to present them, to look for a consensus project on the subject. You must listen and accept changes.” 

For more information in Spanish:

Morena en el Senado va por reforma para evitar que amparos frenen proyectos de AMLO (El Proceso, 19 de enero de 2020)

Monreal desiste de sus reformas al amparo para blindar los proyectos de AMLO (Expansión Política, 20 de enero de 2020)

López Obrador descarta retomar proyecto de presa La Parota, en Guerrero (El Proceso, 20 de enero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Vocero del CECOP presenta queja contra policías estatales que pretendían detenerlo (December 17, 2019)

Chiapas: “La Voz del Pueblo” informa que el Ayuntamiento de Huehuetán no otorga ningún tipo de autorización a las empresas para la construcción de hidroeléctricas en el municipio (July 16, 2019)

Nacional/Internacional: “Gobierno debe frenar abusos de empresas públicas y privadas”: Grupo Focal de la Sociedad Civil sobre Empresas y DDHH (July 5, 2019)

Guerrero: 16 CRAC PC and CECOP Prisoners Released (June 17, 2019)

Celebrará Dia Internacional de Acción Contra las Presas y a Favor de los Ríos, el Agua y la Vida, Y otras formas de resistencia (March 12, 2019)

Chiapas/National: Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth Held in New Zapatista Caracol Jacinto Canek

January 13, 2020

35E69EA4-3CF9-46B0-9106-0DB17A7BCB79@Radio Pozol

On December 21st and 22nd, the Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth was held in the new Jacinto Canek caracol, at the Cideci/Unitierra facilities in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Convened by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the Indigenous Government Council (CIG) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), it was attended by more than 900 people from 25 Mexican states and 24 countries.

The welcome was given by the former candidate for the presidency and spokesperson of the CIG, María de Jesus Patricio Martinez, Marichuy. During the event, presentations and testimonies were made by peoples and organizations in Mexico, as well as of indigenous peoples of Colombia, the Mapuche people of Chile and Kurdish women, with an emphasis on the impacts that megaprojects have on the territory and Mother Earth. We also heard stories of struggle and resistance to continue defending life through organization, collectivity, autonomy, legal action, direct action or the strengthening of one’s own cultures.

It is also worth mentioning the participation of 20 men and women from the Zapatista support bases that explained how for more than 20 years they have made progress in consolidating their own forms of government without omitting the difficulties they have encountered along the way. “The ‘Fourth Annihilation’ will destroy everyone, there will be a lot of sadness, but it gives us courage and anger to see how they continue to deceive our brothers, the situation that comes with the new government that is dispossession. Therefore, given this, we can only resist and face the war of the Fourth Annihilation,” said one of the Zapatista delegates. He also said that “to fight or organize you do not need to be a Zapatista, the important thing is to fight and face the bad system, let’s carry out a great task and take you to work with other colleagues, that is the only way to defend what we have.”

At the end of the event, some agreements were made among which is the convening of Days in Defense of the Territory and Mother Earth “Samir Somos Todxs”, for February 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2020.

The next day, the Jacinto Canek caracol was formally inaugurated, in the facilities of the Cideci/Unitierra, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, from where the Good Government Council will work as “Flower of our word, light of our peoples that reflects for all”.

For more information in Spanish:

Foro en Defensa del Territorio y la Madre Tierra [audios y fotos] (Radio zapatista, 24 de diciembre de 2019)

Indígenas acuerdan conformar modelo económico paralelo al capitalista (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de diciembre de 2019)

Bases del EZLN advierten que seguirán resistiendo la “Cuarta Aniquilación” (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2019)

EZLN: al capitalismo no le importa destruirnos; no lo permitamos (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2019)

PROGRAMA DEL FORO EN DEFENSA DEL TERRITORIO Y LA MADRE TIERRA (Enlace zapatista, 20 de diciembre de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Nacional: se lleva a cabo 4ª Asamblea del CNI-CIG en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (21 de diciembre de 2019)

Chiapas: EZLN – Una Ballena en las montañas del sureste mexicano: Segundo Festival de Ciné zapatista (18 de diciembre de 2019)

Chiapas/Nacional : CNI- CIG “vivimos la guerra del capital contra los pueblos del mundo”, convocatoria a la cuarta Asamblea Nacional (8 de noviembre de 2019)

Chiapas/Nacional/Internacional: EZLN invita a participar en el “Combo por la Vida: Diciembre de Resistencia y Rebeldía” (7 de noviembre de 2019)