Chiapas: Opening of Photographic Exhibition of Banavil Displaced Families

July 13, 2016

BanavilPhoto from the exhibition (retaken from Faces of Dispossession)

July 5 saw the opening of the photo exhibition “20 Windows on Forced Displacement in Chiapas” in Palicate cultural center in San Cristobal de Las Casas. They invited the Banavil displaced families, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) and Melel Xojobal. The exhibition is the result of an action of the Faces of Dispossession campaign and the four displaced Banavil families, who were expelled from their land after an attack by a group of members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms the December 4, 2011 in the municipality of Tenejapa. The exhibition contains 20 photos, 20 photographic windows that are “our memory that will not break and will never be broken”, the families at the event said. The photos represent a selection made and titled by the families themselves in “an exercise in self-recognition and a return of the solidarity received from those who also have provided security in the three provisional returns in 2015 and to those who have walked with them for more than four years”. The photographs are mostly anonymous, born of the lens international observation and free media accompaniment.

In the audiovisual event, visitors were actually included in the exhibition. Through an activity where testimonies and descriptions for each photo were told, people better understood the value of each photo. Looking for the story of each of the photos, one participant said that, “due to the testimonies, I felt a closer relationship to the photos and the story that is behind all that.” One example is the testimony of Maria, where she speaks about how they support their families: “We were embroidering the cloth, that’s how we started working. It was not the work we did before when we were in Banavil. This is very different, the work that is done. Now we embroider cloth to get money to keep our daughters and sons too … It is to survive in this displacement we are in right now, that’s the work we do, the women ” (see photo on this post). The documentary “Justice, Truth and Return for Banavil Displaced  Families” (2015) from the Koman Ilel collective was also shown. At times, recordings of the voices of members of families in Tzotzil were heard, telling stories of everyday life and the daily challenges they face in their temporary homes where they live since their displacement four years and seven months ago.

Faces of dispossession analyzes that “forced displacement in a context of counterinsurgency warfare to eliminate experiences of autonomous organization in Chiapas is a daily violation of human rights”. These are the same families in forced displacement, and their support networks, who do not cease in their path of dignity to demand return, justice and truth so that the human rights violations committed against them do not go unpunished and the events are not repeated. The Banavil families also sympathize with other displaced families in Chiapas such as in Shulvo, Zinacantán and Primero de Agosto in the Municipality of Margaritas.

For more information in Spanish

Chiapas: Se inauguró exposición fotográfica “20 ventanas al desplazamiento forzado” (Rostros del Despojo, 11 de julio de 2016)

Invitacion Expo Fotos Banavil (Familias Desplazadas de Banavil, 4 de julio de 2016)

Documental “Justicia, verdad y retorno para las familias desplazadas de Banavil “ (YouTube, 17 abril de 2016)

20 ventanas al desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas (Rostros del Deposjo, 15 de enero de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados y desplazadas de Banavil, 4 años de impunidad (9 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de MuertosTumba de Antonia López Méndez (9 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil retornan temporalmente a su comunidad (12 de agosto de 2015)

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal Request Collection for Displaced Families

June 15, 2016

Acopio.pngCollection during the displacement of Colonia Puebla in 2013. Photo: @Koman Ilel.

On May 26, a group of 14 families from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society, residents of Colonia Puebla, Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, were displaced fleeing the violence caused by the conflict after the elections in that municipality. The displacement happened after violent incidents between sympathizers of the recently dismissed mayor, Rosa Perez Perez of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), and supporters of the new mayor, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, causing the death of two people, one of them a minor, who died from a bullet wound. The Chenalho Pedrano Movement, opponents of Perez Perez, said in a statement that they were attacked with “firearms, sticks, stones and machetes, in an ambush that was orchestrated by sympathizers of the ex-mayor.” Furthermore, there were “two houses burned, two destroyed, three vehicles destroyed and six people wounded”, according to the statement from Las Abejas.

Las Abejas noted that “until now, there are no conditions to return”, so that the displaced are currently in the headquarters of the organization. In another letter they outlined that, “the displaced from the colony are living through suffering. Therefore we ask you the favor of helping with supplies.” To this end, they have opened two collection centers for clothes in San Cristobal de Las Casas and they ask for financial support to be deposited in a bank account. According to La Jornada, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) “requested the government of Chiapas to apply cautionary measures and guarantee the rights of the people who have been displaced.” The measures are aimed at guaranteeing rights to food, health, a home, physical integrity and the lives of the displaced.

It is worth noting that the disagreement following the result of the municipal elections in Chenalho, with the victory of PVEM, gave rise to the Chenalho Pedrano Movement in rejection of the elected mayor, accusing her of “corruption, abuse of power and diverting resources.” This group organized a takeover of the town hall and a number of government offices, it took over the State Congress for some hours, and it kidnapped three civil servants who were negotiating a solution to the disagreement, among them the President of the State Congress and a deputy. Having put them on public show, one dressed as a woman, Congress accepted the resignation of the mayor.

It is also worth mentioning that 17 families of Colonia Puebla were displaced by in August 2013 in the conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in dispute over the land where Catholic hermitage was located. Almost 100 displaced people returned after eight months off their lands, denouncing the lack of law enforcement for their aggressors.

For more information in Spanish:

Los desplazados y desplazadas de la colonia puebla están viviendo bajo el sufrimientos. Entonces le pedimos un gran favor a que nos puedan colaborar en las despensas. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de junio de 2016)

Hace apenas 8 días, jueves 26 de mayo, los miembros de la organización de la sociedad civil de las abejas de Acteal, en la colonia puebla se desplazaron 14 familias un total de 81 personas porque en esa misma colonia surgió nuevamente una gran violencia y balaceras a las 13:45pm hora normal. (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 3 de junio de 2016)

Piden proteger a desplazados de Chenalhó (La Jornada, 31 de mayo de 2016)

For more information in SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Riesgo de más violencia en Chenalhó después de secuestro y cambio de alcalde (31 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas : jóvenes denuncian violencia, impunidad y ausencia de justicia para Puebla (30 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas: regresan a su comunidad los desplazados de Ejido Puebla (15 de abril de 2014)

Chiapas:Incremento de la violencia en Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó (22 de julio de 2013)


Oaxaca: Two Members from the “Hermanos en el Camino” Shelter Team Attacked

May 31, 2016

Hermanos.pngScene of the incident: entrance of the Chahuites Humanitarian Aid Center, during its opening in November, 2014. Photo: @ Diana Manzo

On May 23 Alberto Donis Rodríguez, coordinator of the migrant shelter “Hermanos en el Camino” in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, and Leyssa Palomino Arjona, a volunteer there, were attacked when they visited the Chahuites Humanitarian Aid Center. The coordinator was taking some food to the shelter and was giving a lift to some migrants who were victims of crime in Ixtepec, Oaxaca. A statement released by the Diocese of Tehuantepec said that “when leaving the Chahuites hostel to go to Ixtepec, the migrants got onto the truck. When Alberto was about to get in, a truck approached with two people on board, a man and a woman […] The moment Alberto got in, one of the people in the other truck pulled a gun and fired a shot, accelerated the vehicle in reverse and left the place.” The assailant was identified as Gustavo Herrera Allar, a resident of Chahuites, who according to the statement from the Diocese “collected signatures with the residents in November 2014 for us to close the Hostel. In the previous municipal elections, he was candidate to the Municipal Presidency of Chahuites for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).”

The attack was carried out just after a series of threats on social networks against the priest Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, human rights defender and founder of the migrant shelter “Hermanos en el Camino”. “They have fulfilled the recent threats”, Solalinde wrote. Alberto Donis Rodríguez filed a complaint with the Chahuites Public Prosecutor for Migrant’s Office and requested the support to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena).

 For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO: Agreden a Alberto Donis coordinador del albergue Hermanos en el Camino (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 24 de mayo de 2016)

Priista ataca con arma de fuego al equipo del Albergue Hermanos en el Camino (EDUCA La Minuta, 24 de mayo de 2016)

CUMPLEN AMENAZAS CONTRA SOLALINDE: Priista ataca con arma de fuego a dos de sus colaboradores en Oaxaca (Notigodínez, 24 de mayo de2016)

Agreden con arma de fuego a dos colaboradores de Solalinde (Aristegui Noticias, 23 de mayo de 2016)

Chahuites-Ixtepec, la nueva ruta de agresiones a migrantes (Quadratín Oaxaca, 9 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/internacional: La CIDH expresa su preocupación ante el endurecimiento de las autoridades mexicanas hacia los migrantes y sus defensores en la frontera Sur (17 de junio de 2016)

Oaxaca: Nueva agresión a integrantes del Albergue para migrantes Hermanos en el Camino de Ixtepec (23 de septiembre de 2014)

Oaxaca: nueva amenaza de muerte en contra del Padre Solalinde (11 de octubre de 2012)


Chiapas: Primero de Agosto Displaced Families Report Enclosure of their Lands

April 21, 2016

Primero.pngDisplacement camp at Primero de Agosto, Photo @ Radio Zapatista

On April 14, the displaced of Primero de Agosto in the municipality of Las Margaritas made a public statement denouncing the barbed wiring of part of the land of Primero de Agosto where they lived and from where they were displaced on February 23, 2015. According to their statement, they were provoked by ejidatarios from Miguel Hidalgo, members of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos-Historical (CIOAC-H) on April 7 and 8 “carrying firearms, machetes, and all uniformed with PRD yellow caps (sic).”

They also reported that intimidation around their camp continues. After the events of April 7 and 8, on the morning of April 9, the authorities of the region passed by performing violent acts on cows and a bull “eight meters from where we are displaced.” The displaced of Primero de Agosto blamed the three levels of government, noting that the members of CIOAC-H from Miguel Hidalgo are “protected and backed by the governments that don’t do anything, that don’t say anything.” It should be mentioned that on February 25 last year, the State Government of Chiapas committed itself to dividing the lands in equal parts. Nevertheless, the lands have not been divided one year later and the inhabitants remain displaced. They reported that to this date the state government “hasn’t fulfilled anything, on the contrary, it has allowed the situation to get worse. The Mexican State has ignored the case.”

For more information in Spanish:

CIOAC-Histórica cerca tierras de familias desplazadas de Primero de Agosto (Chiapas Denuncia Publica, 14 de abril de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ

Chiapas: Desplazados del Poblado Primero de Agosto denunciaron escalamiento de hostigamiento, amenazas de muerte y desalojo (7 de enero de 2016)

Chiapas: 8 meses de “amenazas y hostigamiento” a tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado del poblado Primero de Agosto (5 de noviembre de 2016)

Chiapas: Red por la Paz denuncia actitud omisa del gobierno de Chiapas ante caso de Primero de Agosto (16 de julio de 2015)


Nestora Salgado Launches Campaign to Demand Release of Political Prisoners

April 7, 2016

Nestora.pngCall to the campaign. Photo: @Regeneración

On March 18 last, Nestora Salgado, commander of the Olinala Community Police, Guerrero, member of the Regional Coordinator of Communitty Authorities (CRAC in its Spanish acronym), was released after two years and eight months in prison. On leaving prison, Nestora called on the Government of Guerrero to release the nine members of CRAC who are still prisoners and assured that she would begin a campaign “for the freedom” of her compañeros. For April 10, International Day of Political Prisoners, she called for actions within the framework of the national campaign “Put a Face and Name on the Political Prisoners in Mexico”, to give visibility to the situation of prisoners and demand their release. She stated that, “We are missing 500 political prisoners and I’m going to fight to get them out. I am going to get the release of my compañeros. I will go wherever I have to because I am with you in your struggle and in all the struggles of the people.

Nestora added that only together will the citizens be able to achieve change, justice and the freedom of their compañeros and of those in the rest of the country. She intends to travel to other countries to “exhume what has been buried and give voice to the silenced.” According to El Sur newspaper, social organizations also denounced “the grave crisis of human rights in Mexico and the criminalization of those who defend territory, education, land, water, the air and life. For this reason they have called [on people] to join Salgado’s movement and international tour. “We are aware that Mexico is suffering the most ruthless attack by the interests of foreign capital. Currently the territories of indigenous peoples are pillaged and (their inhabitants) are being displaced from their lands through the violence of paramilitary groups, by organized crime, or the territory is being militarized by soldiers and the state police” as is outlined on the call.

It is worth noting that the social leader returned to her home in Seattle, USA. In Washington she visited the International Clinic of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Washington University, where she started the campaign. The clinic played an important role in the struggle for the Nestora’s release. During her stay in the US, the commander from Olinala plans to visit Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Washington. She intends to return to Guerrero soon as she is the representative of the Community Police and due to her post in CRAC.

For more information in Spanish:

Nestora Salgado convoca a campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (Regeneración, 30 de marzo de 2016)

Nestora y los presos políticos de la CRAC (La Jornada, 29 de marzo de 2016)

Lanza Nestora Salgado una campaña para exigir la libertad de los presos políticos de México (El Sur, 28 de marzo de 2016)

Video de la campaña “Ponle rostro y nombre a las y los presos políticos en México” (YouTube, 25 de marzo de 2016)

Emprende Nestora Salgado campaña en EU por presos políticos (La Jornada, 22 de marzo de 2016)

“Nos faltan 500 presos políticos y yo voy a luchar por sacarlos”: Nestora Salgado (Aristegui Noticias, 18 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Nestora Salgado en libertad (18 de marzo de 2016)

Nacional/Guerrero: Exhorta ONU al gobierno mexicano a liberar a Nestora Salgado (24 de febrero de 2016)

Chiapas/Nacional: Jornada nacional e internacional por presos políticos del 6 al 13 de diciembre (15 de diciembre de 2015)

Guerrero: presos de la Policia Comunitaria “son presos políticos”, según general Gallardo (16 de julio de 2014)

Guerrero: Denuncian CRAC y habitantes de Papaxtla allanamientos violentos y decomisos (1 de junio de 2015)


Chiapas: Home of Morena’s director in San Cristobal ransacked

April 2, 2016

Morena.png

Image of Carlos Herrera’s ransacked home. Photo:@Entiemporeal

On March 25 last Carlos Herrera’s home, the director of Morena in Chiapas, was ransacked. “Things were messed up, thrown around, it was obvious that they had rummaged through the whole place, there were scattered papers”, the victim declared in a statement. There was no theft of objects which was interpreted as “an intimidating message, because we are public servants who belong to the Morena party, upholding the law, standing up for the people, we have shown abuses and denounced irregularities.”

The director attributed this security incident to his struggle in the [party] branch, after its closure by the government of the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM). In the statement he recalled the attack on human rights defenders and reporters that took place on March 16 when citizens demanded their right to participate in the branch, which “caused a group to destroy part of the building which hadn’t even been inaugurated, blaming our group Morena, without any proof.”

It also mentioned the homicide of the teacher and leader of the Independent Confederation of Organizations, Civil Association (Confederación Independiente de Organizaciones, Asociación Civil – CIO-AC), Juan Carlos Jimenez Velasco, who was murdered on March 24. It is worth remembering that the statement released by the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) confirmed that Jimenez Velasco was attacked by a group of hooded men and that previously he had received threats from members of the Association of Leaseholders of the Traditional Markets of Chiapas (ALMETRACH). The CNTE defined ALMETRACH as a “paramilitary group” at the service of the municipal government of the PVEM.

Carlos Herrera described the situation in which the municipality and the state live as “lamentable” and which “is being aggravated.” This being the case, he asked for cautionary measures to guarantee his safety.

 For more information in Spanish:

Allanan domicilio de regidor de Morena en Chiapas; lo atribuye a represalias por sus acciones en el cabildo (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 26 de marzo de 2016)

Allanan vivienda de Carlos Herrera, regidor de Morena en Chiapas (Vortice, 26 de marzo de 2016)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Asesinaron a líder indígena en San Cristóbal de Las Casas (30 de marzo de 2016)


Chiapas: Community of Faith in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers

March 23, 2016

Simojovel.png

Photo: @Chiapas Denuncia Pública

The Community of Faith in Simojovel, Chiapas, held a march for the first anniversary of “the magna via crucis pilgrimage” of Lent, which they held in March 2015. Through a statement, they described the struggle they are carrying out since October 2013 following the murder of one of their members, “to continue to live in peace.”

They publicly rejected the invitation for dialogue from the Gomez brothers (Juan and Ramiro Gomez Dominguez), who are identified as political caciques in Simojovel, as well as being involved in the illegal sale of alcohol and weapons. The Gomez brothers oppose Father Marcelo, the parish priest of Simojovel, who has endured harassment, threats and attempted ambushes. It should be noted that Juan Gomez was mayor of Simojovel and was imprisoned in 2015 for carrying firearms for exclusive army use by the army and movement of drugs. His brother Ramiro had an arrest order and in January 2016 both cases were dismissed by the Attorney General of the State’s Office, which, according to Chiapas Paralelo “could only have happened through a process of political negotiation.” According to the statement, the Gomez brothers are campaigning for the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM). Furthermore, they mentioned that a member of Community of Faith was kidnapped and interrogated to obtain information about the people who support Marcelo. Another member who was blamed on Juan Gomez’s imprisonment received threats and high caliber firearm shots have started again in the neighborhoods.

They also denounced the existence of an armed group known as Los Diablos [The Devils] in Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, who have killed three members of the same family and caused the displacement of a further 14 people “because they fear for their lives.” The Community of Faith highlighted that “it isn’t Father Marcelo who has denounced the Gomez, we ratify that it is Community of Faith who have raised their voices against all that is happening, we are Community of Faith who pointed out that the Gomez brothers have done a lot of damage in Simojovel.” For this reason, they decided to reject the proposed dialogue “because we have nothing to talk about, they have resorted to this because they have no other way to clean up their image, they ask for dialogue so that when they carry out their perverse intentions against our parish priest and members of Community of Faith, they can say: ‘It wasn’t us.'”

For more information in Spanish:

COMUNICADO DEL PRIMER ANIVERSARIO DE LA MAGNA PEREGRINACIÓN VIACRUCIS CUARESMAL (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 22 de marzo de 2016)

Indígenas de Simojovel rechazan diálogo con caciques que los amenazan (Proceso, 21 de marzo de 2016)

Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza “diálogo”, con quienes por otro lado amenazan y contratan sicarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de marzo de 2016)

Se intensifica ola de violencia en Simojovel; grupo delincuencial relacionado con PRI-Verde acecha a población (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 22 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel sigue en defensa por la “vida, paz, justicia, libertad y democracia” (13 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Gritos de libertad en el Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (23 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Nuevas amenazas en el Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (28 de agosto de 2015)

Chiapas: nuevas amenazas contra el sacerdote e integrantes del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (29 de julio de 2015)


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