Photo @ Marcela Gonzalez
At a press conference that was held on October 7th, the authorities of Bienes Comunales Zona Lacandona “asked the federal government to resume the work of delimitation so that it is known how many of the 614,321 hectares established in the original decree of 1971 remain,” they said, with the aim of preserving the Lacandon Jungle.
They reported that “there have been three resolutions to date: the one obtained by the Lacandon community on November 26th, 1971, the second on November 23rd, 1982 with 558,037 hectares and the third on July 9th, 1988 where the agrarian body delivered only 501,106 hectares to the Lacandon community.”
The delimitation of the Lacandon Jungle, inside which is the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, “began in 2008, has advanced 444 kilometers and still to be delimited, 34 to close the polygon. More than 40 years have passed and the area has not been defined.”
They also mentioned that “there is also an agreement with the 52 ejidos that border with Bienes Comunales Zona Lacandona so that the lands are delimited, given that “if we do not have a common agreement, the forest cannot be conserved. That is why we seek dialogue with our neighbors, to take care of the interior and exterior (…), so that there is no conflict with the neighbors” and with members of organizations based in the surroundings,” La Jornada reported.
It should be remembered that the Lacandon Area is inhabited by Mayan Lacandones, Tzeltals and Choles and is made up of six locations: Naha, Metzaboc, Lacanja, Ojo de Agua Chankin, Palestine and Corozal Border.
In recent days through another press conference in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Lacandones indigenous people denounced that “there are serious tensions in the Lacandon Jungle, so the government’s intervention is urgently required to avoid a confrontation (…) rights of the Lacandon ethnic minority are at risk; its territory and the conservation of its jungle too.”
They mentioned that the new authorities of communal property are unknown “because, they said they were promoted and imposed with the advice of old corrupt leaders and voted only by the Chol and Tzeltal ethnic community members, without the participation of the Lacandon ethnic group (…) and now intend to draw a new polygon different from that recognized by the community, thus affecting the territorial rights of the Lacandons, without being consulted for such purposes and jeopardizing, by deforestation, the integrity of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve” Proceso magazine reported..
For more information in Spanish:
Lacandones piden intervención de AMLO para rescatar la Reserva de la Biosfera Montes Azules (Proceso, 8 de octubre de 2019)
Autoridades comunales de Zona Lacandona solicitan respeto a DH (La Jornada, 11 de octubre de 2019)
Piden que se delimite área para preservar Selva Lacandona en Chiapas (La Jornada, 7 de octubre de 2019)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Pemex to Provide Resources in Perpetuity to Preserve the Lacandon Jungle (September 16, 2017)
Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle (June 10, 2014)
Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandon Zone (May 3, 2014)