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)

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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)


Chiapas: 5,000 Men and Women on Pilgrimage against Mining in Chicomuselo

October 17, 2017

Chicomsuelo.pngPhoto @ SIPAZ

On October 1st, in the municipality of Chicomuselo, a meeting was held in Grecia ejido to analyze the threats posed by the mining concessions for the towns of Chiapas. The following day, the pilgrimage called “Movement against Mining and the Depletion of the Earth”, called by the parishes San Pedro and San Pablo and the “Samuel Ruiz” Committee for the Promotion and Defense of the Life of Chicomuselo, took place The march-procession was accompanied by Father Marcelo Perez, parish priest of Simojovel, several other religious leaders and human rights organizations, such as the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights and the Chiapas Women’s Rights Center.

The inhabitants of the ejidos of Ricardo Flores Magon and Grecia was supported by men and women of several communities of Chiapas, some that faced a trip of twelve hours to attend the event, in its fight against projects of mining companies in the municipality of Chicomuselo. At the end, according to Proceso, 5,000 participants raised their voices and walked with banners and signs denouncing the damages caused by mining companies. The same media reported that at the end of the pilgrimage the participants concluded that: “Having heard the problems of different communities and organizations in resistance, we coincide in that our struggle in defense of Mother Earth has brought us as a consequence, omission, repression, intimidation, threats, persecution, imprisonment and killings of human rights defenders in Chiapas and other parts of the country and the world.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunidad chiapaneca repudia operación de minera (Video) (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de octubre del 2017)

“Defensa de la tierra nos ha traído represión, amenazas, asesinatos”, denuncian en Chiapas (Proceso, 2 de octubre del 2017)

Empresas mineras provocan división comunitaria en Chicomuselo (CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 26 de septiembre del 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Conferencia de prensa – NO A LA MINERÍA (28 de septiembre del 2017)

Chiapas: Comunidades de Chicomuselo denuncian incursiones de empresas mineras (25 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Denuncian reinicio ilegal de actividades mineras en Chicomuselo (29 de enero de 2014)

Chiapas: marchan 2 mil personas al finalizarse el “Encuentro Chiapaneco en Unidad contra el Modelo Extractivo Minero” en Frontera Comalapa (1 de diciembre de 2012)

Chiapas: poder judicial exige que mina explotada por Blackfire permanezca clausurada (26 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: Amenaza de muerte al párroco de Chicomuselo (11 de octubre de 2010)

Chiapas: delegación canadiense investiga abusos de explotaciones mineras (2 de abril de 2010)

Chiapas: Matan a Mariano Abarca líder opositor a la operación en una mina (28 de noviembre de 2009)


Chiapas: “Faced with the unilateral decision to draw up a Water Law” Civil Society Calls for Consultation

October 8, 2017

Water

In a press release published on September 25th last, the Education for Peace and Human Rights Collective (CEPAZ) reported that “it has become aware in recent days that in the State Congress a reform is being made to the State Water Law.”

It denounced that the “Water Resources Commission is preparing a further reform, ignoring the citizens of Chiapas, violating Article 4 of the Constitution that recognizes the importance of citizen participation in defining the bases, supports and modalities for equal and sustainable access, use and development of water resources.” “Close consultation and collaboration with all key stakeholders, especially civil society groups” was also one of the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in his mission report to Mexico, presented last September 11th before the UN Human Rights Council.

Due to this, he invited the Water Resources Commission and the state congressional deputies “to open a public debate with the participation of representatives of different sectors: irrigation districts, neighborhoods, social organizations, NGOs, researchers, academics, systems operators, basin committees, basin councils, interested persons, etc. And construct responsibly the Law that we need for the State of Chiapas.”

 For more information in Spanish

Boletín de prensa postura  sobre la reforma de la ley de aguas del estado (CEPAZ, 25 de septiembre de 2017)

Denuncian que Congreso de Chiapas prepara Ley de Aguas sin consulta (somosmas99, 27 de septiembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos humanos al agua y el saneamiento concluyó visita a México (16 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas : Foro “Servicios de Agua en Tuxtla Gutiérrez” denuncia el “deficiente servicio que se brinda por parte del SMAPA” (28 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: Ciudadanxs de Tuxtla Gutiérrez están preocupados por el tema del agua potable (8 de diciembre de 2016)


Chiapas: “Let’s Love, Care for and Defend our Common Home, Mother Earth” Encounter

September 26, 2017

Mother Earth.pngAltar at the encounter (@SIPAZ)

From September 19th to 21st, the Encounter “Let’s Love, Care for and Defend our Common Home, Mother Earth” was held in the community of Candelaria, municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in which around 300 people participated, from the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, and guests of other dioceses, organizations and churches. This space was opened “as a follow-up to the agreements of the Mother Earth Pastoral Congress, held in January 2014 as part of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Indigenous Congress of 1974 … We gather, enlightened by the word of God, and today, with the encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis, who summons us to defend our Mother Earth before the destruction and the dispossession that the capitalist system exercises. That is why we meet different parishes and organizations to unite our struggles and find alternatives to care for and defend our Common Home.”

In this new Encounter, they explained, “we analyze the reality that we are living in our communities, we share experiences of struggle and resistance before the megaprojects that come from above, striving to destroy our life and our Mother Earth.” Progress was also made in the design of a plan of action at the parish and diocesan level, in order to prevent the destruction of nature.

In their final declaration, they reaffirmed “that we will stand in the struggle and intensify our actions for the defense of our territories, identity, culture and autonomy. (…) We call on civil society to organize and defend our Common Home.”

For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento final del Encuentro (21 de septiembre de 2017)

Piden crear plan de acción para cuidar la naturaleza (Cuarto Poder, 22 de septiembre de 2017)

Comunidades se unen contra proyectos mineros en Chiapas (Reporte Ciudadano, 24 de septiembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Culmina el Congreso de la Madre Tierra (28 de enero de 2014)

ARTÍCULO: Congreso Pastoral de la Madre Tierra (Informe trimestral de SIPAZ, febrero de 2014)