Chiapas: Civil society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes

April 24, 2015


Acteal (@Civil Society Las Abejas)

On April 22, as part of the monthly commemoration of the masacre of December 1997 in the municipality of Chenalho, members of Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal held an event in the same community and through a communique, denounced “the policies of the ´bad´ state and federal government against organized peoples who fight, resist, and build their autonomy” in Chiapas and Mexico.

In the same letter, they sympathized with the families of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, acknowledging their current tour in Europe; with the Believing People of Simojovel,“because the fight of said community against alcohol, drugs, and violence, is fair and necessary”; and with the forcibly displaced families of Primero de Agosto (municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas) who demand justice and the return to their poblado (community). They warned that “we can continue with more examples of the things we know why they happen, because Mexico is kidnapped and ruled by narco-politicians.”

Despite the panorama, they rescued that, “Although the ´bad´governments have wanted to bury the truth and have tried to divide our organization, but with our memory, conviction, and hope, they have failed.” Likewise, they invited “the men and women of good hearts who also fight like us, to stay awake and organized, to defend life, to defend Mother Earth from the clutches of the ´bad´ governments and monster murderer-capitalist neoliberal system.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal 22 de abril de 2015 (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Las Abejas Civil Society in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (April 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)

Chiapas: Rise in threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel

April 24, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel a Tuxtla Gutiérrez (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People of Simojovel to Tuxtla Gutiérrez (@SIPAZ)

In a communique released on April 13 by the Believing People of Simojovel, the movement’s members denounce an increase in the threats, persecutions, and harassment against their priest, Marcelo Pérez, as well as against members of the Parish Council and the Believing People from this municipality.  These acts were exacerbated by a mass-march held from March 23 to 26, which ended with the participation of thousands in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state-capital of Chiapas.  Providing a larger historical account, the Believing People reviewed the latest incidents, including the fact that a million-peso bounty has been placed on Marcelo, in addition to the presence of armed groups near the location where the Parish Council carries out its activities, the threat to “do as inActeal,” as well as the arbitrary arrest of the catechist who read the press-release before the start of the pilgrimage.

Despite all of this, the Believing People reiterated that they will “continue to fight peacefully for the dignified life of the people, amidst so many injustices, the corruption of the authorities, drug-trafficking, drug-politicians who ambitiously seek to obtain government posts this year–amidst the arms trade, the opening of new bars, and the general decomposition of the social fabric.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Tras peregrinación, incrementan amenazas contra Padre Marcelo y Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

Continúan amenazas a la vida del sacerdote Marcelo Pérez e integrantes del Pueblo Creyente y Consejo Parroquial de Simojovel(Comunicado de la parroquia de Simojovel, 13 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)

National/International: Conclusions of the Fifth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between the European Union and Mexico

April 24, 2015


Upon the conclusion of the Fifth High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights between the European Union (EU) and Mexico, a meeting which took place in Tlatelolco, between the Mexican State and an EU representative, the bilateral agreements that had been arranged were announced.  During this fifth edition of the Dialogue, the recommendations from the Third Seminar of Civil Society were contemplated in terms of the question of the strengthening of the State of Right; the situation of the rights of migrants, refugees, and the displaced; the situation of children and adolescents; and respect for firms and human rights.

The civil society concluded that the present crisis of severe human-rights violations has been made possible due to the levels of corruption and impunity and the lack of effective mechanisms to prevent, investigate, punish, and compensate for human-rights violations.  In this sense, they call on the EU and Mexican governments to observe these same standards for respect for human rights that they demand from other countries.  In addition, they called on the authorities to carry out effective investigations that will guarantee the appropriate penal and administrative sanctions for those responsible and guarantee the adequate classification of human-rights violations.  Specifically with regard to the Ayotzinapa case, the civil society calls on the Mexican State to “implement the recommendations released by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts empowered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to put an end to forcible disappearances.”  Similarly, the civil-society organizations have demanded the creation of a transnational mechanism for the immediate search and rescue of disappeared peoples, in consultation with their families.

As an agreement within the Dialogue, Mexico and the EU commit themselves to strengthening three of the areas of their bilateral relations: to prevent and combat the employment of torture, to register all those forcibly disappeared, as well as to advance the mission of the Mechanism of Protection for Journalists and Human-Rights Defenders.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tlatlaya y Ayotzinapa, temas en el diálogo entre México y Unión Europea (La Jornada, 17 de abril de 2015)
Conclusiones del Tercer Seminario de la Sociedad Civil en el marco del Quinto Diálogo de Alto Nivel sobre Derechos Humanos entre México y la Unión Europea (CDHFBC, 16 de abril de 2015)

Exigen ONG mexicanas y europeas a Peña acatar recomendaciones sobre tortura (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

México debe acatar recomendaciones de CIDH: ONGs (El Universal, ‎16 de abril de 2015‎)

Pactan México y UE promoción de derechos humanos y democracia (El Universal, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/International: Mexico confronts a “humanitarian crisis” amidst context of violence and impunity, denounces civil society in Brussels (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of “Infancy Counts 2014″ report in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 23, 2015

On 7 April, one of the events organized by the Network for the Freedom of Expression was held in observance of the presentation of the 2014 World Press Photo exhibition in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  On this occasion, civil organizations that work with children and adolescents spoke about the “Infancy Counts in Mexico 2014″ report.  Emphasis was placed on the new Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents that was approved in December 2014 at the federal level and will be implemented in Chiapas before 6 June.  The objective of the event was to generate reflections that would allow for the optimization of the institution of the new law in the state, with special attention placed on the importance of the participation of civil society (organizations and those directly interested, that is to say, children and adolescents themselves).

(@Melel Xojobal)

(@Melel Xojobal)

The different talks included diagnostics regarding the situation faced by this population that continue to be critical: Chiapas still occupies one of the last places in terms of the observance of children’s rights, particularly in terms of those children and adolescents who find themselves in conditions of greatest vulnerability, such as the indigenous, migrants, and those with disabilities.  On the panel spoke Jennifer Haza (Melel Xojobal), Cinthia Velasco (a Tseltal youth worker and student), Juan Martín Pérez (from the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico, REDIM), Katia Lozaga (UNICEF), the governmental representative Ana Valdiviezo, and Nikté Nandayapa (Save the Children).

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de las organizaciones participantes (7 de abril de 2015)

La importancia del Informe “La Infancia cuenta 2014”, en la construcción de la nueva Ley de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en el estado de Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 8 de abril de 2015)

Sociedad Civil, contrapeso para nueva Ley de Derechos de niñas, niños y adolescentes de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de abril de 2015)

Proponen sumar a ONG en elaboración de ley de niños en Chiapas (Diario Contrapoder, 9 de abril de 2015)

Buscan reformar Ley del Derecho de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en Chiapas(sie7e de Chiapas, 8 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Entry into law of bill on the rights of children and adolescents (29 December 2014)

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Guerrero: return of CECOP spokesperson to Guerrero prison

April 23, 2015

Marco Antonio Suastegui (@Tlachinollan 2012)

Marco Antonio Suastegui (@Tlachinollan 2012)

On 31 March, Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz, spokesperson of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (CECOP), was transferred to the La Unión prison in Guerrero state from the maximum-security prison of Tepic, Nayarit, where he had been held since June 2014.  María de Jesús, Muñoz’s wife, indicated that her husband experienced poor conditions for ninth months, lacking medical attention after having been tortured, but she affirmed that “justice was done, because he is innocent and only struggles in favor of his ideals.  We will not rest until he returns free.”

The Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, which represents the CECOP spokesperson, denounced in a communique that the “Guerrero state government took an inordinately long time to transfer Marco Antonio to Guerrero by imposing an extraordinary review via the General Director for Social Reinsertion in Guerrero State which was then suspended; still, the Collegiate Tribunal had already admitted it had assessed the case.  These extraordinary legal actions, which contrast with the public messages communicated by the state executive against CECOP, show clear evidence of the lack of political will and the arbitrary use of the juridical system on the part of the Guerrero state government, toward the sole end of continuing the criminalization of human-rights defenders.”

Tlachinollan also demanded that “the state government of Guerrero guarantee the security of Marco Antonio Suástegui within La Unión prison and full access to his relatives and defense-team, as well as to abstain from taking any other action that would violate his rights to an adequate legal defense.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Regresan a Marco Antonio Suástegui al reclusorio de La Unión, procedente de Tepic (El Sur, 1ero de abril de 2014)

Fue torturado en Acapulco y en Tepic nunca tuvo atención médica, denuncia Suástegui (El Sur, 3 de abril de 2014)

Trasladan a penal de Guerrero a defensor comunitario criminalizando por la defensa del territorio (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Tlachinollan, 1ero de abril de 2015)

México debe proteger a Marco Antonio Suástegui Muñoz quien ha sido trasladado a un penal en Guerrero (Amnistía Internacional , abril de 2015)

Traslado a Guerrero de Marco Antonio Suástegui (Front Line Defenders, abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Marco Antonio Suastegui, opponent to the La Parota dam, is ordered to return to a Guerreo state prison (30 de enero de 2015)

Guerrero: The Navy has tried to arrest him, denounces brother of CECOP spokesperson (30 December 2014)

Guerrero: Attack on CECOP members leaves 5 dead (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of María de la Cruz Dorantes, CECOP member (25 October 2014)

Guerrero: demand for release of political prisoners in observance of the eleventh anniversary of CECOP (2 September 2014)

Guerrero: soldiers and policemen burst into the La Concepción Commmunity after a Cecop assembly in which the case of Marco Antonio Muñoz Suástegui was reported on (29 August 2014)

Guerrero: Arrest of a leader of the opposition to the La Parota Dam (23 June 2014)

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Las Abejas Civil Society in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre

April 21, 2015


In a communiqué published on 22 March, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society ratified its task of “denouncing the abominable and infamous crimes committed by the Mexican State against men and women and organized peoples in Chiapas and Mexico.”  They express that “the forcible disappearance of the 43 students and the Acteal massacre were State crimes.  It is clear that with the State’s crimes, for which the governments themselves are responsible, there are always attempts to cover these up.  Meanwhile, the authorities seeks to buy off, manipulate, and exhaust survivors, relatives, and witnesses […].  We have experienced similar situations to what the family-members and comrades of the 43 of Ayotzinapa have.  Newly, we reaffirm our support and solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Ayotzinapa.”

Las Abejas indicated as well that “forcible displacement continues against our friends from Banavil, the Primero de Agosto community, and various other places.  In addition, we have seen military and paramilitary harassment against the Zapatista caracoles of La Realidad and Oventik.”

Similarly, they expressed their solidarity with the Believing People of the San Antonio de Pádua, parish from Simojovel.  They reported that a group from Las Abejas and survivors of Acteal are participating in the Easter “Way of the Cross” Grand Pilgrimage, which has been organized by this same parish.

Lastly, the Las Abejas Civil Society distanced itself from the “Pacifist Council of Sowers of Peace from Las Abejas,” which carried out an action at the checkpoint on the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 19 March.  Las Abejas affirmed that, within this space, “two communities [interact], one of which originates from 2013, when it decided for several reasons to break off from the Las Abejas Civil Society.”  Las Abejas added taht the “use of information, historical dates, logo, stamp, and name of the Las Abejas Civil Society is a grave error that signals a lack of respect for our organization.  Their way of doings things is not the Tsotsil way.”  They stressed that “all the decisions and agreements made by the Las Abejas Civil Society are the only valid ones, whenever an assembly is organized by the Organizational Table of Las Abejas, in accordance with the majority of the representatives of the communities that make up this organization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (5 February 2015)

Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots” (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Pacifist Council of the Sowers of Peace carries out action at checkpoint between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 21, 2015



On 19 March, the Pacifist Council of the Sowers of Peace, comprised of survivors of the 1997 Acteal massacre, carried out an action at the checkpoint on the highway between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas, an action “designed to raise funds to succeed in attending to the most immediate needs of the survivors, and to express our support for the public protests in Mexico and throughout the world against the crimes against humanity committed by the Mexican government against the students, workers, and public in general.”  In a communique, the Sowers of Peace detailed that after the massacre, the Mexican government committed itself to attending to those injured during the attack.  Subsequently, the government placed conditions on this medical attention, such that “we have decided to attend to our injured using our own means, and with the help of those in solidarity who share our struggle.”  They explained that they had taken the action so that their injured could continue with the required medical attention to date.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presentación publica del Consejo Pacifista “Sembradores de la Paz (19 de marzo)

Comunicado del Consejo Pacifista “Sembradores de la Paz” en el marco de la acción en caseta de cobro (19 de marzo de 2015)

Bloquean caseta familiares de víctimas de Acteal (El Universal, 19 de marzo de 2015)

Crean un autogobierno, Las Abejas de Acteal en Chenalhó (23 de marzo de 2015)


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