Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Threats and Harassment of Simojovel Parish Priest Marcelo Perez Perez

April 20, 2020

image_large@Frayba

In a bulletin published on April 18th, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) expressed concern about the most recent death threats and acts of surveillance against Father Marcelo Perez Perez, pastor of Simojovel de Allende, “harassment that also endangers the safety of his pastoral team and the general population.”

It compiled a series of events that occurred between March 29th and April 6th and recalled that Father Marcelo Perez, in addition to being coordinator of the Social Pastoral of the Province of Chiapas, which integrates the Dioceses of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Tapachula and Tuxtla Gutierrez, “has precautionary measures (MC-506/14) granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and with measures carried out by the Protection Mechanism for Defenders and Journalists.”

Frayba also pointed out that the priest “continues his religious activities and the defense of human rights, especially of Original Peoples, despite the deficient political will for protection by the Mexican State and in a context where organized crime operates.”

Finally, it emphasized that it is “the obligation of the Mexican State to implement the necessary measures so that those who defend human rights carry out their work without any type of violence, threat, retaliation, surveillance and harassment.”

For more information in Spanish:

Amenazas a la vida del defensor comunitario Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez (Frayba, 18 de abril)

Frayba denuncia amenazas contra párroco de Simojovel, Chiapas (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2019)

Amenazas de muerte y vigilancia en contra del Párroco de Simojovel (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 18 de abril de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Alerta máxima del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel ante nuevas amenazas (17 de mayo de 2018)

Chiapas: Celebration of Simojovel Believing People (April 12, 2017)

Chiapas: Threats to Simojovel Parishioners (November 17, 2016)

Chiapas: Realizaron marcha en Simojovel en respuesta a los ataques violentos de la semana pasada (12 de mayo de 2016)

Chiapas: Community of Faith in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers (March 23, 2016)


Chiapas: Permanent Deacon of San Cristobal de Las Casas Freed

March 13, 2020

WhatsApp-Image-2020-03-09-at-17.01.02-1Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

On March 10th, Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez, Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, from Saltillo community, Las Margaritas municipality, was released.

The cleric, also a member of the Independent Regional Peasant Movement of the National Coordination Plan of Ayala National Movement (MOCRI-CNPA-MN), “was detained last Wednesday by alleged members of the Independent Central of Workers, Agricultural and Campesinos (CIOAC) due to a conflict between residents of the Zapotal and Saltillo community.”

In previous days in Las Margaritas, ecclesiastical authorities, Believing People and social organizations made a pilgrimage to demand that his life, integrity and personal safety be safeguarded.

Through its social networks, the MOCRI-CNPA-MN reported that “thanks to all the people who joined the demand for a live presentation. Continuity goes on for justice and jail for the aggressors ”.

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a diácono retenido en Chiapas (Debate, 11 de marzo de 2020)

Peregrinan para exigir aparición con vida Diócesis de San Cristóbal de las Casas tras 7 días de retención (Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Kidnapping of Permanent Deacon San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounced (March 9, 2020)


Chiapas: Believing People Hold Pilgrimage for Ninth Anniversary of jTatic Samuel

January 29, 2020

DSCF5612@SIPAZ

On January 25th, the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas made a pilgrimage to honor jTatic Samuel Ruiz Garcia, former bishop of this diocese who died nine years ago and to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Third Diocesan Synod.

Thousands of Catholics from the 57 parishes of San Cristobal marched that day from outside the city to Resistance Square in the center shouting “Long live the jTatik Samuel”, “Long live the church that walks with the people” or “Long live Mother Earth”.

During the pilgrimage they distributed a statement expressing their “fraternal and sororal solidarity […] with the peoples, groups and organizations that seek life and defend it when women’s rights and gender equity are at risk”.

They also stand in solidarity “with the builders and of community reconciliation, with the families of thousands of missing persons victims of violence, with young people who risk their faith and ideals, with the pain of displaced sisters and brothers.”

DSCF5609@SIPAZ

DSCF5617@SIPAZ

The parish priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, reported that the pilgrimage participants spoke against the megaprojects planned by the federal government in southern Mexico and also against hydroelectric and mining projects.

To close the pilgrimage the bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, officiated a mass commemorating his predecessor.

For more information in Spanish:

Conmemorarán el aniversario luctuoso de Samuel Ruiz García (NVI Noticias el 21 de enero de 2020)

Conmemoran al obispo Samuel Ruiz en su noveno aniversario luctuoso (El Universal el 25 de enero de 2020)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage on Eighth Anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz (January 31, 2019)

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz (February 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage (February 5th, 2017)

 


Chiapas: MODEVITE Receives Recognition for Environmental Defense in Chiapas

December 4, 2019

MODEVITE@Proceso

On November 27th, the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Chiapas environmentalist Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended the rights of nature in the municipality of Chicomuselo from the year 2007 when he saw the socio-environmental effects of the Canadian mining company BlackFire that extracts the mineral from Barita, was remembered in that same municipality. After several threats by company workers he was killed. Since then, his family has carried out a long process with the support of various organizations demanding justice and punishment for the culprits.

In commemoration of his murder, relatives of the environmentalist as well as 32 national and international organizations convened the “Mariano Abarca” Environmental Defense Forum in Chiapas, which was held on November 27th, 2019 at the Sala de Bellas Artes in San Cristobal de Laa Casas.

In the framework of this event, the “Mariano Abarca Award”, the first recognition of environmental defense in Chiapas, was also given to the indigenous organization Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) that is present in 11 municipalities of the state populated by Tseltales, Tsotsiles and Ch’oles from the area of ​​Los Altos and La Selva and which is also part of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas. The prize that was awarded must recognize “year after year the community, collective or organization of the State of Chiapas, Mexico, that with their struggle for the defense of the rights of nature they defend their peoples, and they defend us all, dignify life, make us not lose hope that Other Worlds are possible” as indicated in the blog dedicated to the “Justice for Mariano Abarca” campaign.

Gustavo Castro of the Other Worlds organization stressed that “the first recognition of the environmental defense in Chiapas 2019 granted to MODEVITE means that we see it, accompany it, make it visible and thank you for your struggle for the good of all peoples.”

The forum was also an important occasion to share experiences of various groups and organizations in defense of land and territory. In the first part, the Movement for the Defense of Life and the Territory (MODEVITE), the Popular Front for the Defense of Soconusco “June 20” (FPDS in its Spanish acronym), Somos La Maya, Zoques in Defense of Life and the Territory (Zodevite), a representative of the Pascacio Gamboa Community, Ixtacomitán and the Regional Council of Agricultural Authorities in Defense of the Territory (CRAADT), an active organization in the Mountains and Costa Chica area of ​​the state of Guerrero participated.

In addition, specialists and panelists from different human rights organizations and institutions were invited. Norma Gonzalez Benitez of Amnesty International attended with an analysis on the criminalization of human rights defenders and the environment in Mexico, Edgar Cortes of the Mexican Institute of Human Rights and Democracy (IMDHD in its Spanish acronym) who spoke on the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders of Human Rights and Journalists and finally the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation (SweFOR) shared their experiences on the accompaniment work of human rights and environmental defenders and their situation in Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

MODEVITE recibirá Reconocimiento a la Defensa Ambiental “Mariano Abarca” (Chiapas Paralelo el 20 de noviembre de 2019)

Exigen justicia a 10 años del asesinato del activista Mariano Abarca; Modevite obtiene premio con su nombre (Proceso el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PREMIO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL (Justicia para Mariano Abarca el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

Entregarán el primer “Premio Mariano Abarca” al MODEVITE (Educa el 27 de noviembre de 2019)

PRIMER RECONOCIMIENTO A LA DEFENSA AMBIENTAL EN CHIAPAS 2019 “MARIANO ABARCA” (Otros Mundos el 19 de noviembre de 2019)

La minera canadiense Blackfire en Chiapas contra defensores de los territorios y de la vida (REMA el 18 de octubre de 2017)

 

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Megaperegrinación del Movimiento en Defensa de La Vida y del Territorio (MODEVITE) en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (21 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas : Creciente polarización en Chilón ante posible cambio de modo de elección, del sistema oficial al por usos y costumbres. (15 de agosto de 2019)

Chiapas: Expresiones de solidaridad y preocupación ante los hostigamientos a integrantes del CEDIAC y de la Misión Jesuita de Bachajón (20 de junio de 2019)

Chiapas: Modevite ratifica su rechazo a la construcción de la super carretera entre San Cristóbal de las Casas y Palenque (2 de mayo de 2019)

Chiapas: realizan foro sobre Libre determinación(10 de agosto de 2018)

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determinationm (November 24, 2017)

Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas (December 2, 2016)


Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage on Eighth Anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz

January 31, 2019

believing(@SIPAZ)

On January 25th, as part of the eighth jubilant anniversary of Jtatic Samuel Ruiz, the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas made a pilgrimage to this city to celebrate a mass and remember the former bishop and well-known defender of human rights worldwide, in particular those of indigenous peoples. More than three thousand people from different pastoral areas of the Diocese participated. The Mass was concelebrated by the current bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, Raul Vera Lopez, bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, and some 20 other priests.

They recalled that the Believing People is an organized process within the diocesan structure: “We are indigenous peoples, we are mestizo, we are not slaves, we are builders of our history, we live and fight for a community life that seeks “Lekil kuxlejal” (good living) that proposes a culture of life for the whole ofsociety”, “seeking to give a significant boost to reconciliation, unity, peace and justice …” (Diocesan Pastoral Plan).

In its pronouncement, the members of Believing People denounced that “at first sight in our country everything is calm according to the authorities, but in reality the people are the ones who feel and suffer the situations of injustice, abuse, corruption and impunity of the authorities together with threats, violence, forced displacements of communities that are divided from outside.” In addition, “there is a lack of employment, low wages, rising prices of basic products, insecurity, recruitment of people for organized crime groups and trafficking in persons, which leads to migration from the countryside to the cities, to other states of the republic or the United States and Canada, which causes family breakup with its fatal consequences.” They also criticized the deficiencies of the education system and the health system.

They added that “there are transnational and national companies, as well as caciques that cause pollution and destruction of natural resources: cutting down trees, mining, hoarding and privatization of water and wetlands; promotion of monoculture of African palm and rubber that is affecting health. The fumigations in our crops without permission and also by the modification of our creole seeds, by Monsanto.”

They demanded among other things, the solution of the sociopolitical conflicts of Chenalho-Chalchihuitan, Santa Martha-Aldama; Chabajebal and Amatan; that they cease militarization and paramilitarization in communities that generate violence, insecurity, rape of women and unpunished deaths; the release of political prisoners; that there be no threats or aggressions against human rights defenders or ecclesial servants who fight for the common good; and that the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. They also spoke out against megaprojects that “are strategies of low intensity warfare, keeping us disorganized, full of conflicts and generating dispossession (hydroelectric dams, the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining)” and against the Guard National.

They finalized their pronouncement announcing that they will continue “forward in the process of liberation of the peoples” and making “conscience in respect to Mother Earth: seeking ways and agreements within the autonomy of our peoples and family to avoid the indiscriminate felling of trees and pollution.”

For more information in Spanish:

Comunicado completo: Chiapas: “No somos esclavas ni esclavos, luchamos por una vida comunitaria”, octavo aniversario de Jtatic Samuel Ruíz (Pueblo Creyente, 25 de enero de 2019)

Por Tren Maya, pueblos originarios exigen se respeten sus derechos (La Jornada, 25 de enero de 2019 )

Rechazan pobladores Tren Maya en Chiapas (El Universal, 25 de enero de 2019)

En aniversario luctuoso recuerdan legado de Tatic Samuel Ruíz García (Ultimatum, 25 de enero de 2019)

Conmemora Pueblo Creyente Octavo Aniversario Luctuoso de Tatik Samuel (NVI Noticias, 26 de enero de 2019)

Solución a problemas de límites: Creyentes (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de enero de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz (February 3rd, 2018)

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage (February 5th, 2017)

 


Chiapas: a forum on Free Determination is held in Bachajón

August 9, 2018
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Photo @ SIPAZ


On August 8 and 9, under the premise that “the construction of autonomy is done collectively”, a forum on “Free determination and defense of the territory” was held in the Bachajón ejido, municipality of Chilón.

On the first day of the forum, which was convened by the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), more than 500 people exchanged experiences of self-determination and defense of the territory among indigenous peoples. Representatives of the Permanent Commission for Peace and Justice in Oxchuc were present; as well as of the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (Zodevite); of San Felipe de los Herreros (Michoacán) and of the Colectivo Emancipaciones.

The second day consisted of a pilgrimage and a mass in the Bachajón ejido. By means of a pronouncement the different movements and collectives demanded:

“To the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute of the State of Chiapas, to carry out all the necessary steps so that in Chilón, Sitalá and Oxchuc, our right to elect our municipal authorities according to our internal normative systems becomes effective, a right which is recognized in the second article, section A, section III of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

To the Federal Government ,to adapt the text of Article 115 of the Constitution, in such a way that the figure of the Indigenous Municipalities is contemplated, protecting and enforcing the recognition of the right to self-government on the part of indigenous peoples and communities throughout the country.

To the corresponding Authorities, to stop the process of privatization of water that puts our hydrological basins and the survival of our communities at risk. For us, water is not an economic resource, but a source of life, that is why we are willing to defend it to the ultimate consequences. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas chiapanecos realizan foro sobre Libre determinación (La Jornada Maya, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Pronunciamiento Modevite (Blog Modevite, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Indígenas de Chiapas y otros estados realizan “Foro por la libre determinación y en defensa del territorio (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Partidos políticos ¡nunca más!: Pueblos originarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de agosto de 2018)

Plantean instituir la figura del municipio indígena en México (La Jornada, 10 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The Councils of the Community Government from the Municipalities of Chilón and Sitalá are presented publicy May 30, 2018

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination November 24, 2017

Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns August 29, 2017


Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente organize a pilgrimage on the seventh anniversary of jTatik Samuel Ruiz

February 3, 2018
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Photo @SIPAZ


On January 25, the People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) organized a pilgrimage to honor jTatik Samuel Ruiz, commemorating the 7th anniversary of his death. According to the newspaper Cuarto Poder, “more than five thousand Catholics of the 57 parishes of the diocese of San Cristóbal” participated in the pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas before gathering in the Plaza Catedral to celebrate a mass officiated by the new bishop, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, who was accompanied by the bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, Raúl Vera López. Aguilar Martinez stressed in his homily that “we learn from St. Paul and also from so many who in the history of this diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas have spent their lives preaching with their words and their works the magnificent announcement of God’s love in Christ.”

Pueblo Creyente reaffirmed that we are aware of the reality that we live in, and we are moving in many places and in many ways, we have the firm task to go on struggling for freedom, peace with justice and dignity for the benefit of the people, uniting us in a common struggle and building alternatives; and before the indiscriminate exploitation of the Gifts of Creation, today we are also an example and a proof of organization in defense and care of Mother Earth. “

The banners that they carried during their pilgrimage were painted with texts denouncing social and political conflicts. They reflected the issues presented in thier statement, where they strongly rejected the plunder of Land and Territory and the privatization of natural ressources, the effects of the so called “structural reforms”, the corruption and impunity and the fact that “throughout the country, and particularly in Chiapas, adequate consultations are not carried out when laws are drafted or projects are developed that affect the territories and rights of indigenous peoples”. The large number of pilgrims exceeded the participation of the pilgrimages in the previous years.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan peregrinación en honor al obispo Ruiz García (Cuarto Poder, 26 de enero 2018)

Pueblo Creyente peregrina en el séptimo aniversario de la pascua de jTatik Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de enero de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/International: The Zoque Believing People to Receive 2017 Nobel Peace Prize October 28, 2017

Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas July 3, 2017

Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage February 5, 2017