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

October 28, 2017

ZoquePhoto:@Chiapas Denuncia Pública

On October 18th, 2017, a press conference was held in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, to announce that the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth (ZODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) will receive the 2017 International Peace Prize. from the hands of the international organization Pax Christi, on October 29th in Rome, Italy.

In its press release the Zoque Believing People recognized that this peaceful movement is a call to stop the crisis of our civilization that threatens our world: “The Zoque peoples have declared themselves in permanent defense of our territories so that the different ways of life (human, animal and nature) are respected and revalued for the survival of humanity “

Their way of seeing this reality has been worthy of this award: “extractive megaprojects represent death and devastation for land and life, which is generated from above, that is, by the interests of transnational companies in their desire to accumulate material riches that only bring environmental, economic and political problems.”

They pointed out that: “For a decade now, have been trying to install mining, hydroelectric, geothermal and hydrocarbon extraction projects our Zoques in Chiapas that threaten to destroy a large part of the biocultural heritage, especially symbolic places such as the Chichonal Volcano – the house of the Piogba chuwe – and the mist mountains of Rayon and Tapalapa, but mainly large areas of corn crops, where the Zoques sustain their life, their cosmovision and love for the land are at risk because of the tender and concession of more than 160,000 hectares of land to private and foreign companies from several countries “.

This award “represents an encouragement in our journey and recognition of children, women, men and elderly Zoques who have decided to raise their voices to show the world their indignation and deep love for the land, which commits us to continue building the resistance of indigenous peoples, but it is also a message of peace and hope for all those peoples of Latin America who fight for life, water, land and territory.”

For more information in Spanish:

El Premio Internacional de Paz representa un aliento en nuestro caminar: Pueblo Creyente Zoque. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de octubre de 2017)

Pueblo Zoque en Defensa de la Vida recibirá Premio Internacional de Paz. (CDH fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 5 de octubre de 2017)

Por qué el Pueblo Creyente Zoque marcha a favor del Agua, la Tierra y la Vida. (Otros Mundos Chiapas, 19 de junio de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos. (3 de mayo de 2017)

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez. (4 de julio de 2017)

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Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns

August 29, 2017

MOVEDITE.pngPhoto:@MOVEDITE

On August 19th, 2017, the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MOVEDITE in its Spanish acronym) of Chiapas issued a statement from the community of Santa Cruz in Sitala, where they strongly denounce, “political groups disguised as civil associations or aid foundations that use people and abuse their poverty. Where they condition the most basic aid for votes and thus corrupt those who they say they support.”

They further reproached “the political propaganda on posters, painted walls and calendars that promote candidates outside the stipulated time. Without respecting the laws and norms, it is obvious that what really matters to the parties is the triumph of their groups and not the good of the people.”

They also added that they reject “people who are visiting communities offering support and wanting to buy community leaders. It confirms that the parties have not changed and will not change the way they do things.”

They recalled through the communiqué that it is illegal for the parties to advance the campaign using, for example, the creation of foundations.

They urged all who receive this word to build autonomy and denounce lies from the path of their traditions seeking a fairer and more dignified life, where everybody has a place.

 Their denunciation is headed by a statement by Bishop Felipe Arizmendi, Bishop of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas in which he states, “The parties split, divide and confront the communities. Legislators should analyze the feasibility and suitability of another electoral system: […] by traditions and customs. Analyze this path and advance democracy, if it really interests them that the people be the ones who build their history.”

It is worth mentioning that MOVEDITE is made up of Tseltal, tsotsil, ch’ol and mestizo men and women with presence in 11 parishes of 12 municipalities and one ejido of Chiapas, members of the Believing People of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas.

 For more information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de MOVEDITE ante las campañas políticas anticipadas. (20 de agosto de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Culmina peregrinación de 12 días del Movimiento de defensa de la Vida y el Territorio en San Cristóbal de las Casas. (29 de noviembre de 2017)

Chiapas: El pueblo Zoque se está movilizando contra de los mega-proyectos en Chiapas. (29 de junio de 2017)

Chiapas: Peregrinación de unos 400 católicos en defensa de los pueblos, la Madre Tierra y por la liberación de presos. (6 de septiembre de 2016)


Chiapas: Zoque People Mobilizing against Mega-projects in Chiapas

July 3, 2017

Zoque1.pngThe movement declared itself against extractivist projects, “which put the social, environmental and cultural life of the 60,000 Zoque speakers at risk.” Photo: @Sipaz

On June 22nd, the indigenous movement of the Zoque Believing People in Defense of Life and the Earth organized a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutierrez, in which about six thousand people from 3 zones, members of civil society as well as priests of the Archdiocese of Tuxtla Gutierrez and the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas participated, according to La Jornada.

Participants denounced that the energy reform approved in 2013 along with ten other constitutional reforms “constitute a serious threat of dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands”, as only their proponents would benefit from them.

In this case, the International Public Bidding known as Round 2.2 involves “the concession of 12 natural gas and oil extraction wells in the coastal states of the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern Basin, which is composed of 12 blocks, two of which have an impact on the state of Chiapas. A total of 84,500 hectares of land in nine municipalities in northern Chiapas would be used for the extraction of natural gas through dispossession and environmental contamination of Zoque territory.”

Blocks 10 and 11 in Chiapas would affect the municipalities of Tecpatan, Francisco Leon, Ostuacan, the town of Chapultenango, Ixtacomitan, Ixtapangajoya, Pichucalco, Solosuchiapa, Sunuapa and even Teapa (Tabasco) in order to obtain moist gas, light oil and super light oil.

Zoque2.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

In March 2017, representatives of the movement reported a series of irregularities in the bidding process awarded by the Federal Government’s Energy Secretariat (SENER in its Spanish acronym), because all the affected communities were not consulted and there were no translators in their maternal Zoque language and neither has an Environmental Impact Statement been presented as required by law.

According to the movement, the specific risks would be “excessive use of water, migratory movements, contamination of soil, air and springs, loss of biodiversity, environmental imbalance, reduction of food production, damage to property and public health.”

 The movement stated that they are proceeding “to make the corresponding complaints before the national and international courts over omission in the absence of the presentation of the corresponding Environmental Impact Statement, as well as by the faults that are being committed in the process prior, free and informed consultation.”

Equally, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI in its Spanish acronym) said that “we salute the mobilization and organization undertaken from below for respect for what is theirs … to resist and to repudiate in an organized manner the so-called Round 2.2 on their ancestral territory with which the capitalists plan the extermination of the peoples of the north of Chiapas.”

Zoque3.pngPhoto: @Sipaz

For more information in Spanish:

Pagina facebook del movimiento

Comunidades zoques resisten a proyectos de despojo (Chiapas Denuncia, a 22 de Junio 2017)

Marchan 6 mil personas en Chiapas en rechazo a explotación de hidrocarburos (La Jornada, a 23 de Junio 2017)

“Alto al despojo, destrucción y muerte”: Pueblo Zoque ante Ronda 2.2 de la SENER que ofrece su territorio al mejor postor (Desinformémonos, a 23 de Junio 2017)

Pronunciamiento del Congreso Nacional Indígena en apoyo y solidaridad con la lucha del pueblo Zoque y por la libertad de Luis Fernando Sotelo (Enlace Zapatista, a 23 de Junio 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: machan ejidos y comunidades de la zona zoque contra los proyectos extractivos

Chiapas: Libre activista zoque, Silvia Juárez Juárez

Chiapas : denuncian criminalización de defensores de la Madre Tierra en zona zoque

Chiapas : comunidades zoques se oponen a extracción de hidrocarburos en el norte de Chiapas

 


Chiapas: Celebration of Simojovel Believing People

April 12, 2017

PCS1Father Marcelo Perez at the Celebration in Simojovel, April 2017. Photo: @Acteal Las Abejas

From April 4th to 6th, Simojovel Believing People organized a series of events, including the appointment of two brothers who received the ministry of permanent deacons, and the fifteenth year of ordination as a priest of Father Marcelo Perez Perez, parish priest of Simojovel.

On April 4th and 5th, Father Arriaga Alarcon SJ, Father Gustavo Andrade Hernandez, parish priest in San Bartolome Carranza and Father Jose Aviles SJ, parish priest of the Chilon-Bachajon Mission participated in the masses and spaces for reflection on the Word Of God and the mission of the Believing People.

On April 6th, a Mass was celebrated, presided over by the bishops of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Bishop Enrique Diaz Diaz.

All the events were animated by the Simojovel choir “United in Jesus”, regional music from different villages.

PCS2.pngSweFor and SIPAZ accompanying Father Marcelo at the celebration Photo: @PuebloCreyente

 For more information in Spanish:

Jtotik Marcelo hace 15 años Papá Mamá Dios te eligió para trabajar en su milpa. (Organización Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, a 6 de abril de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente

Chiapas: El Pueblo Creyente peregrinó en Tuxtla en apoyo a las y los maestros

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez


Chiapas: Believing People Pilgrimage

February 5, 2017

Believing Pople .pngBelieving People Pilgrimage in San Cristóbal, 2016 Photo: El Heraldo de Chiapas

On January 25, members of Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage on the fifth anniversary of the death of Jtatik Samuel Ruíz and also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ).

About 4,000 people came from the municipalities of Comitan, Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Altamirano, Tila, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Chilon, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, San Cristóbal, Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, among others. They met in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de las Casas to remember Jtatik Samuel in prayer.

As Believing Peoples, they proposed building autonomy in the communities, recovering the structure of government, resisting the projects and recovering the autonomous and community governments, facing the 2018 elections, as the political parties are already controlling and organizing their people In communities.

Believing Peoples denounce “the poverty that is increasing by the rise of [the price of] gasoline, gas, electricity, tortilla, transportation and everything. We denounce the nationalist egotism of the new government in the United States, which excludes emigrants and who only looks out for their economic interests, without solidarity with less developed countries. “

For more information in Spanish:

http://www.prensalibrechiapas.com/2014/index.php/secciones/portada/item/4226-realizan-peregrinacion-por-el-sexto-aniversario-luctuoso-de-jtatik-samuel (Prensa Libre Chiapas, a 25 de enero de 2017)

Pueblo Creyente: “Denunciamos los proyectos de muerte” (Chiapas Denuncia, a 25 de enero de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Entrega del 5to reconocimiento jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez

Chiapas: El Pueblo Creyente peregrinó en Tuxtla en apoyo a las y los maestros

 


Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas

December 2, 2016

pilgrimsPhoto@SIPAZ

On November 25, after a 12-day walk through 11 indigenous municipalities in the North, Jungle area and Highlands of Chiapas, thousands of pilgrims arrived in San Cristobal de Las Casas, where they denounced the threats and insecurity that they live with in the villages where they come from.

The members of the pilgrimage belong to the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE in its Spanish acronym) and the Believing Peoples of the parishes of Candelaria, Huixtan, Cancuc, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Chilon, Sitala, Yajalon and Salto de Agua: “We are the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE), composed of ten parishes from 11 municipalities and 1 ejido. We are located in the high region of Chiapas. We started more than four years ago from the Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas to stop the clandestine sale of alcohol in our communities but also our struggle stopped for a time the megaproject of government to build the San Cristóbal – Palenque highway. What are we looking for? Our goal is to organize and encourage the indigenous peoples of the area to build our autonomy as indigenous peoples and thus defend our Mother Earth; we want good living from our culture and that is why we say NO to everything that damages the lives of our children and our communities, NO to bad government and NO to the megaprojects that want to take away our territory.”

They declared: “We walk to unite with one voice, to give voice to the earth that calls for respect and protection, which demands from all an attitude of care and gratitude. This pilgrimage has been a moment of grace for us, because we have been able to converse, reflect and dream as one people.” They emphasized that as indigenous peoples they feel that their community belonging to Mother Earth “is our spirituality, so we believe that not only do we have to denounce the destruction of our territory by the ambition of extractivists, but we must take care of it. That is why strengthening our community roots is the way to take care of our common home.” In Oxchuc, a community torn by post-electoral conflict, the pilgrims also spoke of their right as indigenous peoples to govern themselves.

In one of the communiqués published during these days, MODEVITE announced that it will join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) to consult its communities on the appointment of an independent indigenous candidate for the next elections: “A change is needed among us and that is why we join the proposal of the National Indigenous Congress to consult our communities about the decision to participate in the next national elections with an independent indigenous candidate. We share the same objective, we believe that it is necessary to strengthen the voice of our indigenous peoples on the political agenda and that is why we want to take this initiative to our communities and municipalities.”

When they entered San Cristobal de Las Casas on November 25, they met with the women’s organizations that were taking part in the International Day against Violence against Women and arrived together to the center of the city: “Today, for example, being International Day against Violence against Women, we remember that women continue to be victims of sexism, alcoholism and the assistance-based government programs. The women  of MODEVITE claim the right to exercise our self-determination as indigenous women to care for Mother Earth and the life of our communities.”

For more information in Spanish:

“Signos de muerte” en territorios indígenas de Chiapas, (Proceso, 25 de noviembre de 2016)

Es tiempo de manifestar nuestras inquietudes, no permitamos que las piedras empezar a gritar, por eso el pueblo de dios está presente ante esta mega peregrinación (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de noviembre de 2016)

Se suma MODEVITE a la consulta convocada por el CNI para buscar candidata mujer indígena independiente, Chiapasparalelo, 25 de noviembre de 2016

Movimiento Indígena de Chiapas consultara plan de candidata presidencial, El Universal, 25 de noviembre de 2016

Defender los ejidos, fuerza organizativa de los territorios: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Candelaria, 24 de noviembre de 2016)

En contra de este sistema económico de despojo: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Huixtán, 23 de noviembre de 2016)

No queremos autopistas ni proyectos capitalistas: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Tenejapa, 22 de noviembre de 2016)

Claman indígenas por desterrar a los partidos políticos y formar autogobiernos en Chiapas (Revista Proceso, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Por la autonomía y resistencia de nuestros pueblos originarios: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Cancúc, 21 de noviembre de 2016)

Tenemos el derecho como pueblos indígenas de autogobernarnos: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Oxchuc, 20 de noviembre de 2016)

Modevite cumple 7 días de peregrinación por Chiapas, (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2016)

En respeto a la tierra, el territorio, la autonomía y nuestra cultura: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Ocosingo, 19 de noviembre de 2016)

El agua es un derecho, no una mercancia: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Chilón, 18 de noviembre de 2016)

Exigimos la cancelación de concesiones mineras y proyectos hidroeléctricos: Pueblo Creyente en megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Yajalón, 17 de noviembre de 2016)

Nos comprometemos a defender la Madre Tierra: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Tumbalá, 16 de noviembre de 2016)

Indígenas de Chiapas inician peregrinación de 12 días contra megaproyectos, Proceso, 15 de noviembre de 2015

Queremos la buena vida para nuestras comunidades originarias: Pueblo Creyente en Megaperegrinación (Comunicado del MODEVITE en Salto de Agua, 14 de noviembre de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Día Internacional de Lucha Contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres (28/11/2016)

 

 


Chiapas: Threats to Simojovel Parishioners

November 17, 2016

puebloMarcelo Perez (Photo@ Red TdT)

On November 4, Simojovel Believing Peoples released a statement announcing the renewal of threats and attacks against the priest Marcelo Perez Perez.

“As community human rights defenders, we also affirm, if anything happens to any member of Believing Peoples, especially the threatened women and their children or our parish priest Marcelo Perez, those immediately responsible will be Ramiro Gomez Dominguez, Juan Gomez Dominguez And Cleopatra Flores del Carpio, in complicity with the State for protecting the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they argue.

In the statement they say that on November 9, Gilberto Martinez Lara, 52, was kidnapped and found dead before midday.

They point out that on when Juan Gomez was released from prison on January 19 last, gunshots in the neighborhoods increased and “on November 4 and 5 Juan Gomez Dominguez was in Simojovel and five days after Juan Gómez’s visit, the kidnapping and murder of Gilberto Martínez Lara occurred.”

Furthermore, they specify that on November 2, around 12:30 pm, in the middle of the celebration of the mass in the municipal cemetery of Simojovel de Allende, members of the Believing Peoples who were there realized that three people were photographing and recording the priest and his companions.

“Based on this fact and feeling harassed, a member of Believing Peoples approached and questioned one of them saying why do they follow us and take pictures of us? (sic). This person responding nervously: ‘We provide protection on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office and the photographs are to verify our work.'”

“We do not know if these people really are from the government or are from organized crime; in view of the risk situation in which we live, we don’t trust suspicious actions and if these people were from the Attorney General’s Office, as we have said, they are responsible for the impunity, violence and the freedom of the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they conclude.

For more information in Spanish:

Se reactivan ataques en contra del Pueblo Creyente y del padre Marcelo Pérez en Simojovel, Chiapas Denuncia, 11 de noviembre de 2016

Reviven amenazas contra el párroco Marcelo Pérez, El Heraldo de Chiapas, 12 de noviembre de 2016

For more information from SIPAZ:

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

Chiapas: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel rechaza diálogo con los hermanos Gómez (22 de marzo de 2016)

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)