Chiapas: Tzeltal Women Tortured and Raped by Military in 1994 Denounce Total Impunity

June 9, 2019

Abejas 1@SIPAZ

On June 4th, dozens of members of civil groups (including SIPAZ), women from Las Abejas Civil Society and members of the San Cristobal de Las Casas diocese, accompanied the Tzeltal sisters Ana, Beatriz and Celia Gonzalez Perez in the symbolic takeover of the military barracks in this city, to demand that justice be done for the torture and rape of those who were victims, 25 years ago, of the military in the municipality of Altamirano.

The lawyer, Gloria Guadalupe Flores Ruiz, member of the Gonzalez Parez Sisters’ Committee, recalled that the three indigenous women and their mother Delia Perez de Gonzalez, were detained at a Mexican Army checkpoint in Altamirano on June 4th, 1994, accused of being support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN in its Spanish acronym) and that “they were beaten, tortured and raped by the military, who forced the mother to witness the attacks” so that they would provide information about the Zapatistas.

In April 2001, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) ruled on the case and recommended that the Mexican State “investigate the facts in a complete, impartial and effective manner in the ordinary Mexican criminal jurisdiction to determine the responsibility and sanction of all authors of human rights violations.” No government wanted to attend to the case and impunity and oblivion have prevailed. On May 7th, however, a working group of the IACHR was held in Jamaica and the Mexican government undertook to comply “in a comprehensive manner” with the 2001 recommendation.

The demands of the victims and their defense include: “Investigation and punishment of the military responsible for the rape and torture; to hold a public acknowledgment of responsibility in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and with the presence of military commanders, and integral reparation for the damage caused, in accordance with the worldview of the Perez Gonzalez sisters.”

Flores Ruiz emphasized that “the Mexican State refuses to recognize that the perpetrators of serious violations of the human rights of the Gonzalez Perez sisters were the military. This has been the point that has stalled the case in the previous administrations, because they did not want to go out and say that the Army was responsible for this violence generated in the context of the low intensity war in 1994, but we hope that this government of the fourth transformation shows that the civilian command is above the military.”

For his part, the priest Marcelo Perez Perez, responsible for the social pastoral of the three dioceses of Chiapas, asked “the maximum commander of the Mexican Army, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Republic,” that justice be done in the case of the Gonzalez Perez sisters and their mother. “If there is no justice for the Gonzalez Perez sisters, they will be accomplices and traitors to the indigenous peoples,” he stressed.

Abejas 2@SIPAZ

 Women of Las Abejas Civil Society stated that, “today we come here to join the demand for justice from compañeras Ana, Beatriz, Celia Gonzalez Perez and Delia Perez (…) and with all those hundreds, thousands and thousands of women who have been victims of the perpetrating army and violator of women and of human rights.” They also denounced that “we know that the Mexican army not only tortured and raped women 25 years ago, but, that they continued with their barbarism, they continued to humiliate women, either raping them or massacring them directly or indirectly as with the 21 women massacred by the PRI members from Chenalho, four of whom were pregnant, and after Acteal they followed, with the women of Atenco, compañeras of the Sierra Zongolica de Veracruz and, we can continue with an endless list. The Mexican Army is not an army that serves the Mexican nation, it is an army that is at the service of the capitalist system, which is trained to kill and exterminate the original peoples of Mexico and the women and men who criticize the bad government and the system of death.”

For more information in Spanish:

Exigen justicia a 25 años de la violación tumultuaria de tres hermanas cometida por militares en Chiapas (Proceso, 4 de junio de 2019)

A 25 años, hermanas violadas por militares en Chiapas exigen justicia (La Jornada, 4 de junio de 2019)

Mujeres indígenas de Chiapas acusan impunidad por violación de militares hace 25 años (Sin Embargo, 4 de junio de 2019)

Tzeltales en Chiapas exigen justicia por violación atribuida a militares (El Universal, 4 de junio de 2019)

El ejército mexicano no es un ejército que sirve a la nación mexicana, es un ejército que está al servicio del sistema capitalista. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 4 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Indigenous Tzeltal women raped by the Mexican Army accept “compensation” with conditions (October 25, 2010)

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Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).


Chiapas: New Arrests of Members of Las Abejas in Rio Jordan, Chenalho

August 15, 2018

AbejasArrested in Rio Jordan (@Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society)

The Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal denounced the arrest of two of its members, Manuel Jimenez Santiz and Alonso Jimenez Mendez, from the community of Rio Jordan, municipality of San Pedro Chenalho, on August 6th.

The arrest came after Manuel Santiz Vazquez, a municipal agent of Chenalho, called an assembly in which it was reported that Manuel and Alonso did not do community work in a local clinic, so “people from the political parties” agreed to punish them with 72 hours of prison, according to the Las Abejas statement, “without letting them eat or letting them go to the bathroom.” It explained that “this problem in Rio Jordan arose in the year 2015, but, both the community party authority and the municipal authority of the municipality of Chenalho, never showed interest and respect when, on several occasions, we looked for them to build a path of true dialogue. On the other hand, they have only defamed our colleagues for “breach of community services””. It recalled that in January of this year there was a similar case in which nine members of Las Abejas were detained, but, according to the statement, “they did not have the political will to resolve this conflict at the root, and what they did was to cover up their injustice and their inability to negotiate.”

In a later communiqué, Las Abejas clarified again: “the root is because of their decision [of Las Abejas] not to accept government programs that do not benefit them and not accept positions that are not community, such as the clinic, that those who benefit from this service are the women who receive the PROSPERA assistance program and the compañeras of Las Abejas from Rio Jordan do not accept this governmental program. We want to make it clear that our compañeros who on other occasions have been arbitrarily detained, by the people of the political parties of Rio Jordan, are not for “noncompliance with community positions”, as the agent and the local people are saying, but rather, that it is a punishment for our compañeros for criticizing the policies of bad government and for rejecting dispensable public works that damage Mother Earth.”

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestros dos compañeros llevan más de 50 horas en la cárcel, pedimos condenar y denunciar este grave atropello a los derechos humanos (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Detienen a integrantes de las Abejas de Acteal (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Retienen a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Denunciamos detención arbitraria de dos compañeros nuestros del barrio Río Jordán (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 7 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Las Abejas desmienten versión gubernamental de lo sucedido en Los Chorros (18 de enero de 2018)

Chiapas: detención arbitraria y riesgo de desplazamiento forzado en Río Jordan, Chenalhó (10 de enero de 2018)

Chiapas : a 20 años de la masacre de Acteal (26 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas : Se mantienen amenazas contra Abejas de Los Chorros, municipio de Chenalhó (21 de abril de 2017)


Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre

January 14, 2018

Acteal.pngTwentieth anniversary of Acteal Massacre (@SIPAZ)

 

On December 22nd, 20 years had passed since the massacre of 45 indigenous people in Acteal, municipality of Chenalho, which as stated by the Network All Rights for All “is still a pending account of justice by the Mexican State.” In this framework, a series of activities were organized from December 20th to 22nd.

In a statement read on the 22nd, Las Abejas Civil Society, to which the victims belonged, recalled that “the massacre committed here in Acteal, was against the Tsotsil, peaceful and organized people, the Mexican State through its paramilitaries wanted to exterminate us, to end the seed of our culture of peace and autonomy.” It stated that, “despite the pain and impunity, Acteal became Sacred Land. Acteal, is memory. Acteal, is a dignified word before the world. Acteal, is comfort and healing. Acteal, is dignity and greatness. Acteal is the path of truth, because it never thinks of revenge. Acteal, is Justice. Acteal, is conscience.” It also reaffirmed that “after twenty years of impunity, we do not tire of denouncing what happened and that justice be done”.

The Civil Society Las Abejas denounced on the other hand that, “the Mexican justice system has already expired” so “we have proposed to build a dignified and lasting justice. On the other hand, we hope that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will pronounce itself on the responsibility of the Mexican State regarding this crime against humanity.”

Finally it reaffirmed “that our struggle will continue to be peaceful and committed in defense of life and of Mother Earth, knowing that we are not alone”.

For more information in Spanish:

A veinte años de impunidad, emitimos sentencia condenatoria con la palabra “CULPABLE” a los autores intelectuales de la Masacre de Acteal. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

La masacre de Acteal, culminación de una política de Estado contra indígenas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal nuestra casa de la memoria (CDHFBC, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

La otra verdad de Acteal, a 20 años de la masacre (Animal Político, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal: el día en que México avergonzó a la humanidad (Animal Político, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

Acteal, una cuenta pendiente del Estado: Red TDT al exigir protección a las comunidades en Chiapas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

A 20 años de la masacre de Acteal, no olvidamos: Alto a la violencia de Estado en Chiapas (Red Todos los Derechos para todas y todos, 22 de diciembre de 2017)

En México no hay justicia: Acteal, herida abierta (CDHFBC, 21 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Celebran 25 años de resistencia Las Abejas de Acteal (15 de diciembre de 2017)

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal (24 de diciembre de 2016)

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour

July 28, 2017

Abejas.pngFirst day in Acteal.  Photo: @Sipaz

On July 18th and 19th, as part of its “Acteal, Roots, Memory and Hope Campaign”, Las Abejas de Acteal toured the communities of Acteal and Nuevo Yibeljo to publicize their path as survivors and Victims of the Acteal Massacre and as members of the organization.

“The aim of this campaign, in the framework of the 20 years of struggle against impunity in the Acteal massacre and the 25 years of organization and resistance, and the walk of Las Abejas, is to raise awareness among children, young people, men, women, the elderly, so that our people may continue to walk in the struggle to seek peace, justice and the good life of for society. And make it clear, to never surrender to the programs and projects of bad government that only brings death.”

They shared the history of the foundation of Las Abejas and testimony of some survivors about how the massacre happened on December 22nd, 1997, “implemented by the 3 levels of government, it is a state crime.”

The different working groups such as the choir of Acteal, health promoters, women artisans, communication, theater, savings bank, education, also participated where they gave their different tasks.

The next tour is scheduled for early August.

 For more information in Spanish:

Para seguir trabajando con nuestra campaña, Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza. (Las Abejas de Acteal)

 For more information SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en el marco de la conmemoración mensual de la masacre

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Statement for Monthly Commemoration of Massacre

June 6, 2017

Abejas.pngPeaceful protest of Las Abejas Civil Society outside Majomut army barracks, Chenalho, March 2017. Photo @Sipaz

On May 22nd, 19 years and five months after the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization issued a statement to recall that impunity continues and to continue to demand justice, as it has done without stopping for almost 20 years.

They also denounced the situation of violence, “more rampant than ever,” in which Mexico is today. They also remembered journalist Javier Valdez, murdered on May 15th for criticizing and telling the truth “about dirty politics and crimes committed by bad governments and organized crime.”

They pointed out the lack of resources and supplies in hospitals in Chiapas “while with the bad government of Velasco Coello, millions of pesos are spent on advertising, on welfare programs to divide communities and buy consciences and even finance the purchase of arms for paramilitary groups. There is no money for life and health but there is money for death and lies.” They warned that paramilitarism has been reactivated in the same municipality of Chenalho.

Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization concluded its statement recalling that its almost 25-year struggle “is peaceful and non-violent against injustice and exploitation of the bad government of PRI, PAN, green ecologists, PRD and other political party followers.”

For more information in Spanish:

Tenemos que seguir denunciando este infierno en que han convertido a México Enrique Peña Nieto y los ricos y poderosos (Organización de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de mayo de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza (27 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal (24 de diciembre 2016)


Chiapas: Threats against Las Abejas Continue in Los Chorros, Chenalho Municipality

April 27, 2017

Acteal.pngMural in Acteal (Photo:@Sipaz)

On April 19, Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization, municipality of Chenalho, published a communiqué in which they updated the situation of their compañer@s in Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, who were deprived of their freedom by the authorities of this community, and later released between April 11th and 12th. The problem began in this community in 2015, as Las Abejas do not accept “works and projects of the bad government and for not accepting posts related to the management of welfare programs.”

Las Abejas Civil Society reported that the Los Chorros authorities cut off the electricity and water supply to Jose Vasquez Entzin, Antonio Ramirez Perez and Juan Diego Perez Lopez, but the situation has been aggravated by the decision of those authorities “that whoever provides water and electric energy to members of the organization, will also be fined” and “threatened everyone with also cutting off drinking water if they provide water to Las Abejas.” They considered that with these actions, “it is very clear that in the colony Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros neighborhood, the followers of political parties and paramilitaries responsible for the previous events and material authors of the Acteal Massacre in complicity with the municipal president of Chenalho and with the state and federal governments, have initiated a direct attack on our organization to seek to weaken and demobilize us; because it occurs within the framework of our Acteal campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope.”

Las Abejas finally denounced the “lack of political will of the mayor of Chenalho of the Green Ecologist [Party], Rosa Perez Perez, not because of political inability, but she, is following the same pattern of the war of counterinsurgency designed by the then president of the republic Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, because as we tried to speak with the president of Chenalho to resolve through a dialogue the conflict in the Rio Jordan neighborhood, also months before the Massacre of Acteal we spoke with the PRI mayor of Chenalho Jacinto Arias Cross to avoid unfortunate events in our town; however, the three levels of government had already planned to send their message of terror through their paramilitaries to massacre our brothers and sisters of Acteal.

For more information in Spanish:

La situación actual de nuestras compañeras y compañeros se agrava y ya no sólo en el barrio Río Jordán (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 19 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal (La Jornada, 14 de abril de 2017)

Se solidariza el CNI con Las Abejas de Acteal (CNI, 13 de abril de 2017)

Liberan a integrantes de Las Abejas de Acteal retenidos en Los Chorros (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 13 de abril de 2017)

Riesgo a la vida, seguridad e integridad de miembros de Las Abejas de Acteal (Acción Urgente, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 12 de abril de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: lanzamiento de la campaña Acteal: Raíz, Memoria y Esperanza

Chiapas: Conmemoración de los 19 años de la masacre de Acteal