Chiapas: “Sowing autonomy” for 32 years

November 21, 2015

@Paisà García

On 17 November, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) observed the thirty-second anniversary since its founding. Its creation occurred after the arrival of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) to the Lacandon Jungle and following the indigenous congress of 1974, as well as within the context of a struggle over land, upheaval by indigenous and campesino social organizations, as well as the ecumenical work of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese in accordance with liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, as endorsed by Vatican Council II. It was not for another 10 years of a clandestine accumulation of strength that on 1 January 1994 the EZLN rose up in arms against the Mexican Army, demanding work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace.

Several groups released pronunciations congratulating the EZLN for its more than 32 years of struggle, such as the General Confederation of Work (CGT) Chiapas and the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this way, several collectives organized events to celebrate the date, both at the national and international levels.

For more information (in Spanish):

RvsR: Feliz cumpleaños EZLN: 32 años mirando un horizonte (Enlace Zapatista, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

CGT celebra el aniversario del EZLN. 32 años sembrando autonomía. (CGT Chiapas, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

EZLN: 17 de noviembre de 1983 (Rebelion, 17 de noviembre de 2012)

Las FLN-EZLN 42 años después (Alainet, 2 de octubre de 2011)

Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (EZLN, 1993)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against the BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community (13 September 2015)

Chiapas/National: EZLN announces second level of the Zapatista School (10 September 2015)

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)

National: Inauguration of the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion (30 December 2014)

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

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

Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


Chiapas: Day of action for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal

November 21, 2015

Evento por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal. Foto: @Sipaz.

Event for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Photo: @Sipaz.

On 7 November there was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas an event for the release of political prisoners Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event was organized by the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), together with the participation of relatives of prisoners who organize to affirm their rights in different Chiapas-state penitentiaries. At the event, there was read several communiques and an art-making activity was installed to express support for the liberation of both prisoners.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a U.S. journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. He was incarcerated in 1982, accused of having murdered a police officer, though there is no evidence for this, and indeed considering testimony from witnesses who have come forward to declare that they were pressured into holding him responsible for the killing. Mumia was condemned by the judge “who is known to have condemned more Blacks to death than any other judge in the U.S.,” according to Nodo 50, in a country gripped by racism. During his 33 years in prison, Mumia has written nine books and produced more than 2,000 radio addresses. In March of this year, Mumia suffered serious health problems that were caused by a diabetic crisis, as the administration had denied him the necessary medical treatment. At present, he is slowly recovering.

Alejandro Díaz Santiz is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle issued by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), being the only member of those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate who continues behind bars. Incarcerated since 1999, “he has not given up and while in prison he politicized himself and organized […] by participating in hunger strikes. To date, he has lent his voice to denounce the abuses that the authorities commit in the prison,” notes the GTNET. On 10 September, Alejandro was transferred without warning to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) in Villa Comaltitlán, close to Tapachula. GTNET theorizes that “this forcible transfer is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners. This brutal way of changing one’s prison, after having remained many years in the same place, is psycho-physical torture because it distances the prisoner from his family and network of friends.”

During the event, the conditions experienced at the state and national levels were also denounced, given that, according to a report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), “there is at present a 25.4% over-crowding of the prisons,” meaning that Mexican prisons hold more than 51,000 people beyond their capacity. In this way, the third visitor general of the CNDH argued that the crowding of prisons “is the result of the unmitigated use of imprisonment” amidst “excessive penal sentences,” leading to “violence, torture, abuse, and lamentable states of health and hygiene.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Solidaridad con Alejandro Díaz Sántiz: nos organizamos contigo (CGT Chiapas, 9 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Jornada por la libertad de Alejandro Diaz Santiz y Mumia Abu Jamal (Amigos de Mumia México, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Expresiones de solidaridad por Alejandro Díaz Santiz, preso injustamente y trasladado a un penal de máxima seguridad (Kaos en la Red, 16 de sepiembre)

Nuevo penal viola garantías de chiapanecos; “Velasco no quiere contradecir a su jefe EPN”: abogado (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 14 de abril de 2015)

El negocio del nuevo penal de Chiapas:”cualquier capo podrá pagar para tener menos vigilancia” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 15 de abril de 2015)

El Estado hace uso excesivo de las cárceles: CNDH; hay un 25.4% de sobrepoblación, alerta (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2015)

La historia de Mumia (Nodo 50, sin fecha)

El lento asesinato de Mumia Abu-Jamal (Ojarasca, abril de 2015)

Carta abierta por la vida, salud y libertad de Mumia Abu-Jamal (SubVersiones, 14 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)


Guerrero: Attack on Ayotzinapa students leaves 8 seriously injured and 13 arrested

November 21, 2015

Marcha en rechazo a las agresiones a los normalistas. Foto @El Sur

March to reject attack on student-teachers @El Sur

On 11 November, 8 buses carrying about 150 student-teachers from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Teachers College were stopped by federal, state, and ministerial police as well as the military on the highway between Chilpancingo and Tixtla. According to media, the police attacked the buses three times, leaving 20 students injured and requiring hospitalization, while 8 of these have been seriously injured, and 13 arrested.

According to the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, “the units of the different police corporations treated these students cruelly and inhumanely,” detailing that “approximately 5 of these students had their pants forcibly removed by state and ministerial police and were told obscene things and threatened with torture, while others were beaten over the head.” Beyond this, one of the arrested student-teachers who has been released declared that “there is a comrade who has had his leg broken, while another had his lips split by a kick to the face, and others were burned with cigarettes after having been arrested. I was strangled with a scarf and they had me hanging.” In this way, there is information that the police shattered the windows of the buses, fired tear-gas grenades, trapped a group of 7 students in a bus using four gas-grenades, thus preventing their exit for 20 minutes. The students in question were arrested just after escaping.

In reaction to these attacks, some of the student-teachers fled to the mountains. At first, there were reports that 20 students had been disappeared, but these were presented with life at midnight. Beyond this, thanks to social pressure, the arrested were transferred to the Human Rights Commission of Guerrero State, where their injuries were certified, and after which they were released. There have been several marches to reject the violence exercised against the students, such as one that was led by relatives of the 43 student-teachers disappeared on 26 September 2014 together with 500 other student-teachers from Ayotzinapa. For its part, the United Front of Public Teachers Colleges of Guerrero State (FUNPEG) announced the suspension of its dialogue with Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores (PRI), in response to the repressive action. Some of the protests have joined the rejection of the educational reform and the assessment of teachers.

For more information (in Spanish):

Brutalidad policiaca contra estudiantes de la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa (Tlachinollan, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Suspenden en Guerrero diálogo con el gobierno; protestan contra represión (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Normalistas de Oaxaca repudian represión a estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Policías persiguen y se enfrentan a normalistas: 8 estudiantes hospitalizados y 12 liberados (Animal Político, 12 de noviembre de 2015)

[México] Después de la brutal agresión policial del 11 de noviembre, aparecen los normalistas que huyeron a los cerros (12 de noviembre de 2015)

Padres de Ayotzinapa y normalistas marchan para protestar por la agresión del miércoles (Sin Embargo, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal remember Manuelito

November 21, 2015


Three years after his death, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated Manuel Vázquez Luna (Manuelito), who died on 10 November 2012 in the “badly named ‘Hospital of the Cultures’ in San Cristóbal de Las Casas Chiapas, after having suffered 18 days of discrimination and victimization by medical negligence.” The commemoration took place in Acteal, “House of Memory and Hope.”

“Manuelito left us to reunite with his parents, sisters, grandmother, and uncle,” who were killed on 22 December 1997 “by PRI and Cardenist paramilitaries from the official municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.” Las Abejas of Acteal recalled that “that day of the Acteal massacre, Manuelito remained below the bodies of those killed and was bathed in blood. He saw how the paramilitaries opened fire against women and children.” Despite having experienced the pain of the near-total loss of his family, he decided “not to life in pain, but rather to convert pain and cries into hope and joy […] by means of stories, jokes, songs, and riddles.”

Las Abejas assured that Manuelito “is now in all parts of Acteal. He is in the clouds that rest on the mountains of Acteal, in the air that embraces us upon arriving here to Acteal, in the wind that blows and refreshes our memory and hope. He is in each raindrop that falls on the sacred lands of Acteal, and in each tree-leaf and in the foliage that grows around Acteal, House of Memory and Hope. He is in all parts of the cosmos. He is in our heart.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado en Memoria de Manuelito (Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de noviembre de 2015)

A un año de la muerte de nuestro hermano Manuelito por irresponsabilidad médica (10 de noviembre de 2013)

Manuelito deja de existir de esta Tierra para vivir por siempre en nuestra memoria, lucha y esperanza (Las Abejas de Acteal, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Manuelito siempre fue una luz fuerte en Las Abejas, ahora guiará más con su brillo nuestro camino (Koman ilel, 11 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Tumba de Antonia López Méndez.  Foto: @Sipaz

Gravesite for Antonia López Méndez. Photo: @Sipaz

From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, returned provisionally to their homes. During these days, they visited the gravesite of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, 11 years of age.

It bears recalling that the families were displaced at the beginning of December 2011, following an attack carried out by militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms. During the events, Alonso López Luna was forcibly disappeared and, to date, his whereabouts remain unknown. In this way, the attack also cuased the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured. Beyond this, Lorenzo López Girón, the son of the disappeared, was arrested, as was Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN). Both of these have since been released.

In a communique, the displaced families affirmed that “we returned well during our provisional return, though the bad governments (federal, state, and municipal) did not guarantee our security.” The displaced continue to hold the three levels of government responsable for the aggression that provoked the displacement, and they have demanded the revelation of the fate of Alonso López Luna, the carrying-out of ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the displacement and forcible disappearance, the return of families, the cancellation of two arrest-orders, the compensation of losses incurred, and the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tseltales en retorno provisional regresan a su desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas denuncia pública, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“Nuestras exigencias al Estado mexicano: VERDAD, JUSTICIA, RETORNO Y PAZ”, tzeltales desplazados de Banavil Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“No muere nuestra memoria aunque el mal gobierno lo quiere acabar nuestras raíces”, indígenas desplazados de Banavil, Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

[FOTOS][VIDEO]Retorno provisional de familias desplazadas de Banavil, Chiapas.

(Koman Ilel, 5 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)


Chiapas: 8 months of “threats and harassment” against Tojolabales forcibly displaced from Primero de Agosto

November 19, 2015

Campamento de ddesplazamiento forzado @ChiapasDenunciaPública

Camp of internally displaced @ChiapasDenunciaPública

On 23 October, those displaced from the Primero de Agosto community denounced the observance of 8 months of forcible displacement due to the “omission of the Mexican State.” The community denounced that the “harassment continues without pause, while the death-threats from ejidatarios belonging to the Miguel Hidalgo ejido, being members of the CIOAC-H […] continue.” Presently, the displaced communards confront the continuous firing into the air, threats of rape against women, threats of kidnapping, and of a new displacement.

They assured that, despite the “eight long months of suffering, death-threats, harassment, injustice, looting, violence, of exposure to the elements and strong rays of the sun, below the rain, under plastic tarps,” they have also observed “8 months of blazing a new path of life. These have been 8 months of sharing our suffering with the world through meetings, visits, reflections. These 8 months have helped us to organize ourselves better.” Among their six principal demands, the communards have requested “the immediate observance of the terms agreed to during the special meeting of 25 February 2015, which mandated the equitable distribution of the lands of Primero de Agosto.”

It bears mentioning that on 23 February 2015, members of the Miguel Hidalgo ejido pertaining to the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H), “led by Luis Hernández Cruz and Antonio Vásquez Hernández,” violently and forcibly displaced all the residents of the Primero de Agosto community.

For more information (in Spanish):

8 meses de amenazas y hostigamiento a tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 28 de octubre de 2015)

Comunicado sobre el Poblado Primero de Agosto (Koman ilel, 28 de octubre de 2015)

“Pronto iremos por ustedes, tenemos listas nuestras armas y el gobierno lo sabe”, amenazas de la CIOAC-H a tojolabales desplazados. (Radio Pozol, 28 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displaced Tojolabal families from Primero de Agosto community denounce threats of a new displacement (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: At nearly half a year of forcible displacement, the Poblado Primero de Agosto denounces new threats (7 September 2015)

Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case (22 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)



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