Chiapas: Kidnapping of Permanent Deacon San Cristobal de Las Casas Denounced

March 9, 2020

339722_294568090559367_11244267_oPhoto @ Archivo Misión de Guadalupe

We share a statement from the Guadalupe Mission, Comitan de Dominguez:

GUADALUPE MISSION.

FOR THE RELEASE OF THE DEACON ARSENIO VELASCO RODRIGUEZ

To the general public

To the Diocese of San Cristobal

To the parishes and communities of the Southeastern Team of the Diocese of San Cristobal

To federal, state and municipal authorities

To the media

We are against any arbitrary detention!

Yes to dialogue, no to violence!

We denounce the kidnapping of Brother Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez, Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, from Saltillo community, municipality of Las Margaritas; who was beaten and kidnapped by hooded and armed men about 600 meters from his community, on the road to Nuevo San Juan Chamula, at approximately 6:30 on the morning on March 4th, 2020; hooded and armed men intercepted the red motorcycle with rope, throwing him onto the road, and taking him to San Jose Zapotal community. He was accompanied by his 14-year-old grandson, Osmar Rodriguez Velasco, who was taking him to work on the plot; The minor was also beaten, his cell phone and motorcycle keys were taken away so that he did not immediately raise he alarm, the young man is a witness to what happened, identifying that they are people from the San Jose Zapotal community.

We demand that the inhabitants of San Jose Zapotal release Deacon Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez, as he is not responsible for any crime.

We request the immediate intervention of the Chiapas State and Las Margaritas municipal governments and corresponding institutions, as the population of Saltillo is at risk of being attacked, by the inhabitants of San Jose Zapotal, to avoid a confrontation.

We demand that all agencies of the Chiapas state and Las Margaritas municipal governments investigate the facts as soon as possible and release the Deacon and that they solve the problem of this conflict that has been going on for many years.

We thank all the people of good will who have expressed their solidarity for the cause of truth and justice and for the liberation of the brother deacon Arsenio Velasco Rodriguez

Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas March 5th, 2020

Sincerely

The two Missions and the 12 parishes of the Southeastern Team of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.

For more information in Spanish:

Por conflicto de tierras, pobladores detienen a diácono en Chiapas (La Jornada, 5 de marzo de 2020)


Chiapas: Bishop of San Cristobal Proposes Need to Stop Dispossession and Continue “Weaving Together” to Build a “New Life”

February 4, 2020

obisporecibepcDon Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, Bishop of San Cristobal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

On February 2nd, in a pastoral letter entitled “Let us walk together in the light of the Lord,” the bishop of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, stated that in Chiapas there are megaprojects “some already in progress and others in program, such as the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, the Maya Train, mining, hydroelectric dams, wind farms, ecological-tourist reserves, the exploitation of sandbanks, springs and wetlands, which are affecting the indigenous and urban peoples.”

In it, he asked “these megaprojects mean development, but I ask myself the following: what to do so that they do not alter the ecology? What to do so that they do not mean enormous benefit for some and dispossession for others? What to do to integrate development – always with human and ecological criteria – to the most disadvantaged populations?”

Aguilar Martínez said that the “rich and beautiful” land of Chiapas “has been mistreated by mining, immoderated logging and pollution of rivers, lakes and the environment.” He added that “the dispossession is also present through the loss of cultural roots that is caused by racism and discrimination, and government policies that do not take into account the word of the native peoples, nor their right to self-determination and autonomy, to live according to their own normative system.”

He said that the security project at the national level “may be very well thought out and planned, but intermediate, and especially final, instances often result in the dispossession of territories, which is achieved through various strategies such as forced displacement, threat, deception in the purchase of land, pressure with social programs, coercion through laws that favor the powerful, and violence that occurs through federal, state and municipal police, the Army, the Navy and the National Guard, as if by shock, paramilitary or drug trafficking groups.”

He added that “organized crime occupies more and more spaces in the Chiapas territory; painfully it adds to the national situation and there is a struggle between competing groups at the state and local levels.”

In this context, he said that “it is important to continue weaving together, because we cannot transform reality alone, or a single community, a single area, an organization”, but “it is our task to weave alliances with those people, communities, areas, organizations that are in a real struggle building that new life.”

For more information in Spanish:

Obispo de San Cristóbal critica impacto de obras en la región (La Jornada, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía obispo de San Cristóbal “Carta Pastoral” (Reporte Ciudadano, 2 de febrero de 2020)

Envía carta pastoral (Diario de Chiapas, 3 de febrero de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Believing People Hold Pilgrimage for Ninth Anniversary of jTatic Samuel (January 29, 2020)

Chiapas: Mons. Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez Becomes New Bishop of San Cristobal (January 22, 2018)


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 / National: Twentieth National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) takes place 50 years after their creation

August 31, 2018

21731582_806428442862442_1774709325903126590_o
From July 23 to 28, the 20th National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) was held in Chiapas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their creation. The bishop of the host diocese explained that the CEBs “are a group of people of the Catholic Church who come together to share the word of God, reflect and see how to apply it in daily life. This group, a small community, is like a family that strengthens the life of the parishes, of the dioceses. “

After the opening event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the participants from the 45 dioceses of the country were divided into groups that met in different parishes of the diocese, some located in the city and others in municipalities such as Teopisca, Tila, Venustiano Carranza and Ocosingo. Representatives of the CEBs of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras also attended.

img_3507

Photo @sipaz


At the end of the event, again in San Cristóbal, they issued a joint statement in which they proposed “to promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country”, after the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of the month. They acknowledged that “we are at a key moment in our country, because in the past electoral process, the people decided to change the direction maintained during the last six years, which led to the concentration of the economy in few hands, structural reforms, the climate of violence and corruption, the interventionist policy of the United States as also happens in various countries. All of this represents, without a doubt, a great challenge for the citizens who have decided on a change “.

Among other agreements, they decided to “renew our communities, accompany and include children, adolescents and youth; promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country and promote continuous, integral, social, political, testimonial, and shared formation that allows us to respond to the realities of today “; as well as to “deepen our historical memory as a source of life and hope; recover the role of the laity as subjects of the journey of our church and society; and resume and resignify our method: See, think, act, evaluate and celebrate “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebran 50 aniversario de las CEBs en Chiapas (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2018)

CEBs proponen “impulsar” participación civil tras triunfo de AMLO (La Jornada, 29 de julio de 2018)


Chiapas: Celebration in Defense of Mother Earth in San Cristobal de Las Casas

May 24, 2017

San Cris.png

Photo@ Cuarto Poder

On May 20th, Ecclesial Base Communities (CEB in its Spanish acronym), in coordination with the pastoral ministry of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas and various organizations of the city, made a pilgrimage, for the care of Life and Mother Earth in the Jovel Valley.

They walked from the La Kisst wetland to Cuxtitali square, stood in front of Na Bolom and Pronatura, to exhort them to work for the good of Mother Earth and “called on them not to deviate from their goals and their ideals.”

They also expressed concern about the health situation in Chiapas and expressed their solidarity with the nurses on hunger strike.

 For more information in Spanish:

Realizan celebración por la Madre Tierra, Cuarto Poder, 22 de mayo de 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional: Relator Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos humanos al agua y el saneamiento concluyó visita a México, (16/04/2017)

Chiapas : llevan a cabo II Foro en defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio, (17/04/2017)

Chiapas : Peregrinación de unos 400 católicos en defensa de los pueblos, la Madre Tierra y por la liberación de presos, (06/09/20


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


Oaxaca/National: Fresh Death Threats against Father Solalinde

March 31, 2017

Solalinde.pngTaken from Youtube

Since March 27, a 20-second video of 20 has begun circulating on YouTube in which a distorted voice threatens Father Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, defender of the rights of the migrants and proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, with death: “Father Solalinde, don’t talk bullshit, you have trafficked with the bodies of many migrant minors, and we ask you to shut your mouth or we will take the lives that you know scoundrel, greetings.”

A sheet of paper appears as background image on which is written “Father Solalinde”, and surrounded by seven bullets and a cross. It should be noted that the Twitter account and the image used to threaten Solalinde are the same as those used to attack journalist Andrea Noel last March 15.

These new threats could be due to statements made by the priest about organized crime during his tour of Veracruz to accompany the governor Miguel Angel Yunes Linares at a meeting with mothers of disappeared persons and in the context of which many denunciations were made against the current administration and the Attorney General’s Office.

Faced with these new threats, Father Solalinde said in an interview with Imagen del Golfo: “A risk review has just been made, but I sincerely tell you: what can my security matter when the whole country is as it is?” In his Twitter account, he ratified “they will not silence me, I will make the voices of those who have less, of those forgotten be heard more strongly!”

For more information in Spanish:

Con VIDEO amenazan de muerte al padre Solalinde, defensor de migrantes y activista social (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2017)

Amenazan de muerte al sacerdote Alejandro Solalinde (SDP Noticias, 27 de marzo de 2017)

Amenazas de muerte en mi contra no paran, pero no seré omiso ante el dolor: Solalinde (Imagen del Golfo, 25 de marzo de 2017)

Iglesia calló sobre fosas por favores que recibió de Herrera y Duarte: Solalinde (La Silla Rota, 22 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: Nominan al padre Solalinde para Premio Nobel de la Paz 2017 (23 de marzo de 2017)

Nacional/Oaxaca: el padre Solalinde declara que el flujo migratorio no disminuirá a pesar de las nuevas medidas federales (1ero de agosto de 2014)

Oaxaca: Padre Solalinde recibe Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos por su trabajo a favor de migrantes (11 de diciembre de 2012)


Chiapas: Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

March 29, 2017

Chenalho.pngFamilies displaced due to violence in Chenalho Photo@:Quorum Informativo

In March, faced with the context of violence stemming from the post-electoral conflict in the municipality of Chenalho, several organizations and the Coordination of the Parish of San Pedro Apostol of this municipality issued statements to express their concerns, demand that the State to disarm armed groups and ensure the integrity and personal safety and life of the villagers of the municipality.

The parish of San Pedro Apostol recalled in its pronouncement how the Massacre of Acteal came about almost twenty years ago and declared with great concern “how history seems to repeat itself: acts of violence, threats, dead and wounded, displaced people, burnt houses, actions by armed groups, arms trafficking.” What most distresses the parish is that “the authorities do nothing to solve the problem (…) they abandon their responsibility to enforce justice and the law, which is the only reason for their existence as authorities.” It points out that the two sides of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are armed with weapons considered “for exclusive use by the army.” So far, the conflict has resulted in over 200 displaced persons and four deaths: “It is public and notorious that in the municipality the armed groups have bee reactivated and are acting with total freedom and impunity.” The parish called on the inhabitants of Chenalho so that “as Christians they refrain from engaging in acts of violence against their own brothers.”

In a joint statement, civil organizations blamed the State for “action and omission, in a context of violence that could continue to escalate.” They also alleged that they had been insisting on the disarmament of the paramilitary groups that perpetrated the Acteal Massacre in 1997 and that “not only have they not listened to us in terms of disarmament, but also the armed groups have been reactivated under the current administration of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.” They stated that, “the authorities cannot continue to evade their responsibility in the face of the evident and obvious consequences of the unpunished actions of armed groups and arms trafficking in the region.”

They asked if “this mode of action is a prolongation of the counterinsurgency in which the paramilitaries are the material executors of the plan drawn up by the Army? Is it connivance and active complicity of the authorities with criminal groups? Or is it simple and crass inability to govern? Or perhaps it is a question of creating a sense of ungovernability to justify the Internal Security Law that seeks to institutionalize the action of the Mexican Army in tasks that correspond by their nature to civil authority?”

 For more information in Spanish:

En Chiapas imposición y violencia son la forma de gobernar: ONGs; “confrontaciones son encabezados por PRI y PVEM” (Revolución 3.0, 21 de marzo de 2017)

Pronunciamiento conjunto: Chiapas: Imposición y violencia como modo de gobierno (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 20 de marzo de 2017)

Zozobra en Chenalhó ante inminente violencia por la disputa del poder político, económico y social (Chiapas en contacto, 15 de marzo de 2017

Manifiesta parroquia preocupación por violencia (La Jornada, 14 de marzo de 2017)

 For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas : Dos muertos y decenas de heridos en Chenalhó por disputa de la alcaldía (9 de marzo de 2017)

Chiapas: TEPJF ordena restitución de alcaldesa de Oxchuc (5 de septiembre de 2016)

Chiapas : Restitución en su cargo de alcaldesa de Chenalhó hace temer nueva situación de violencia (22 de agosto de 2016)

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

Chiapas: Protestas post electorales en el municipio de Chenalhó (6 de mayo de 2016)


Chiapas: Call for the jTatik Samuel jCanan Lum 2018 Recognition Award

February 8, 2017

samuelPhoto@Denuncia Publica

On January 26, in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the call for jTatik Samuel jCanan Lum 2018 Recognition Award was launched. This call is extended to social and civil organizations, churches and religious groups, groups and grassroots organizations to participate in the promotion and presentation of candidates to receive this recognition in 2018 as part of its sixth installment.

The “JTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Recognition aims at recognizing the work of women and men, organizations and groups that have been characterized by their contribution to the people in the construction of community and/or regional alternatives, as well as their work for unity and peaceful social transformation, as well as spreading and encouraging this work.

The sixth installment will take place in January 2018. The recognition has its roots in the year 1999, when after 40 years of service in the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, of accompanying and defending the then smaller ones of the Mexican southeast, the Zoque, Chol, Tojolabal, Tsotil, Tseltal peoples of Chiapas, recognized Tatik Samuel Ruiz as jCanan Lum/Caretaker of the People.

 For more information in Spanish:

Convocatoria reconocimiento jTatik Samuel jCanan Lum, enero 2017

For more information from SIPAZ:

Entrega del 5to reconocimiento jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum, 1 de febrero 2016

Chiapas: Entrega del Reconocimiento jTatik Samuel, jCanan Lum 2016, 23 de enero de 2016

Chiapas: Convocatoria reconocimiento jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum 2015,  28 de enero 2015


Oaxaca/National: Migrant’s Stations of the Cross Demands Right to Refuge for Migrants

April 3, 2016

Viacrucis

Scene from Migrant’s Stations of the Cross 2016. Photo:@Istmo Press

For the ninth consecutive year, migrants associated with the “Hermanos en el Camino” [Brothers on the Road] hostel in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, enacted out the now traditional Migrant’s Stations of the Cross. As the moral reference point that Jesus represents for the migrants in this Stations of the Cross, the suffering of the prophet on the path to the cross was compared with the violations of human rights of people in transit through Mexico to the United States. Violations such as kidnapping or extortion, perpetrated by organized crime groups and elements of the Mexican State against undocumented individuals “causes quite a suffering Stations of the Cross for the migrants”, Friar Tomas, the director of the hostel “La 72” for migrants in Tenosique in Tabasco, pointed out. The acting out of the scenes from the Stations of the Cross was a way of visualizing and denouncing those violations, as well as recognizing the good will and bravery “of those who, despite suffering this violence, do not give up their path and continue to struggle”, La Jornada noted.

Likewise, the event called on the authorities to recognize people expelled from their countries of origin due to situations of violence or poverty as refugees, guaranteeing them free transit through the Republic. Friar Tomas stated that, “our country has the obligation to protect citizens, including those from other countries that pass through our country, especially those who flee because of violence or poverty.” In an interview for MVS Noticias, the friar claimed that in the last 12 months “Mexico deported more migrants than the United States”, expelling 300,000 people in recent months. According to the human rights defender, two out every three undocumented people are rejected through the Frontera Sur [Southern Border] program, designed to prevent migration to the neighboring country. In the words of the founder of “Hermanos en el Camino”, Alejandro Solalinde, “we struggle for a country where human rights are respected and we respect everybody.”

For more information in Spanish:

Encabeza Solalinde el Viacrucis del Migrante (La Jornada, 25 de marzo de 2016)

Pide quinto Viacrucis Migrante reconocer a refugiados (Noticias MVS, 21 de marzo de 2016)

Viacrucis migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca 2016 (Istmo Press, 26 de marzo de 2016)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Nacional/Internacional: WOLA presentó nuevo informe: “Siguen violaciones a Derechos Humanos de migrantes” (19 de noviembre de 2015)

México: 5 años de la masacre de 72 migrantes en San Fernando, Tamaulipas (26 de agosto de 2015)

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 2015)

Oaxaca/Nacional: Detenciones de migrantes una vez finalizado el Viacrucis “Fronteras Aliadas” (21 de abril de 2015)