Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).

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Chiapas: 18 years since the Acteal massacre

December 27, 2015

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Acteal, 22 December 2015 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December 2015, 18 years since the massacre of 45 indigenous persons in Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society (organization to which the victims had pertained) carried out a pilgrimage and a commemoration of the events to denounce the impunity that continues to prevail in the case. In a communique, Las Abejas stressed that, “the bad government investigating the intellectual authors of this crime through the badly named ‘Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation,’ that is to say, the ‘Supreme Court for the Rich and Criminals,’ has ordered the massive release of the paramilitaries who performed the massacre. As far as we can tell, only 2 are left incarcerated, and at any moment will they also be released. Thus it remains clear to us that justice will not be granted by the government, because the Mexican State is the one that gave the order for the massacre, such that it is a criminal party and cannot rightfully be judge in the case. The Mexican justice system is expired and rotten. It is very clear that, if we wish to have true justice, we organized peoples of Mexico must construct a true, dignified, thorough, and humane justice.” Las Abejas ended the communique stressing that “Memory is an act of Justice!”

For his part, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Pedro Faro Navarro, denounced that in the Acteal case, “there has been no justice, and the wall of impunity persists.” He added that “state officials, including Ernesto Zedillo, clearly knew what was happening in Chenalhó, in terms of the precedents and the moment at which the massacre was happening, due to reports from the Mexican Army which had been deployed in the Highlands region, thus confirming the direct participation of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre. The national context shows us that justice will not come from above, nor from those in power or those who administer the State, let alone the existing power-groups or anyone who manipulates and corrupts [the people], who are the owners of the justice system in Mexico.” He noted that for this reason, the Las Abejas Civil Society “is building through its steadfastness another justice,” such that “one possible conclusion is that the future of the people who have been degraded and discriminated against will need no justice from the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La memoria es un acto de Justicia – XVIII Conmemoración de la masacre de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Boletín 18 aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Impune, el “crimen de Estado” en Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de violencia (La Jornada, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Conmemoran 18 años de matanza de Acteal (El Universal, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de impunidad (Desinformemonos, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

A 18 años de la matanza de Acteal persiste la impunidad: Frayba (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas reject ‘friendly solution’ with Mexican State (25 October 2015)

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

 


Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal remember Manuelito

November 21, 2015

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Three years after his death, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated Manuel Vázquez Luna (Manuelito), who died on 10 November 2012 in the “badly named ‘Hospital of the Cultures’ in San Cristóbal de Las Casas Chiapas, after having suffered 18 days of discrimination and victimization by medical negligence.” The commemoration took place in Acteal, “House of Memory and Hope.”

“Manuelito left us to reunite with his parents, sisters, grandmother, and uncle,” who were killed on 22 December 1997 “by PRI and Cardenist paramilitaries from the official municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.” Las Abejas of Acteal recalled that “that day of the Acteal massacre, Manuelito remained below the bodies of those killed and was bathed in blood. He saw how the paramilitaries opened fire against women and children.” Despite having experienced the pain of the near-total loss of his family, he decided “not to life in pain, but rather to convert pain and cries into hope and joy […] by means of stories, jokes, songs, and riddles.”

Las Abejas assured that Manuelito “is now in all parts of Acteal. He is in the clouds that rest on the mountains of Acteal, in the air that embraces us upon arriving here to Acteal, in the wind that blows and refreshes our memory and hope. He is in each raindrop that falls on the sacred lands of Acteal, and in each tree-leaf and in the foliage that grows around Acteal, House of Memory and Hope. He is in all parts of the cosmos. He is in our heart.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado en Memoria de Manuelito (Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de noviembre de 2015)

A un año de la muerte de nuestro hermano Manuelito por irresponsabilidad médica (10 de noviembre de 2013)

Manuelito deja de existir de esta Tierra para vivir por siempre en nuestra memoria, lucha y esperanza (Las Abejas de Acteal, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Manuelito siempre fue una luz fuerte en Las Abejas, ahora guiará más con su brillo nuestro camino (Koman ilel, 11 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)


Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State

October 25, 2015

Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretario de la Mesa Directiva de Las Abejas de Acteal, ante la CIDH sobre la masacre de Acteal @Daniel Cima para CIDHJuan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH

On 20 October, two days before their monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society, together with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), participated in a public audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC, regarding impunity in the case of the Acteal massacre. In this audience, allegations were presented regarding the basis of the case that evidences “the responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre and the lack of investigation, sanction, and compensation for the victims.” Las Abejas assured in the voice of Juan Vásquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table, that for the Tsotsiles of the Chiapas Highlands, “this massacre was planned by the Mexican State.” Before the IACHR, Las Abejas requested “that a profound report be prepared to investigate the Acteal massacre, declaring the Mexican State responsible for this crime.” For his part, the official representative of the Mexican government rejected all responsibility for the atrocity, using the argument that there is no report or recommendation that claims the State to have been responsible.

Subsequent to the audience before the IACHR, in the offices of the CDHFBC in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a press conference was held denouncing the “cynicism of the Mexican State in denying its responsibility for the Acteal massacre. We say as our comrade Juan Vázquez manifested before the IACHR today in Washington, that we will NOT accept coming to any friendly resolution with the Mexican State.”

On 22 October, during their monthly commemoration, Las Abejas recognized that they are not surprised “by the response of the Mexican State during the public audience […] not accepting its responsibility for this massacre […] because for nearly 18 years, it has denied its participation and planning of this massacre. On the contrary, with its policy of attrition toward the survivors and victims of Acteal and toward our organization of Las Abejas, it has attempted to use several means and faces to divide us and silence us.” They assured that, despite the “attempt by the Mexican State to exterminate our children on 22 December 1997, the children of today are now seeds and immortal hopes for the just and humane world that we Tsotsils and Tseltals are building, being men and women of different colors, thought, and struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Organizacion de las Abejas 22 de Octubre de 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2015)

México: Caso Masacre de Acteal (Youtube, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Audiencia ante la CIDH sobre la Masacre de Acteal (Frayba, Intervenciones, 20 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano (Las Abejas de Acteal, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Acteal en audiencia ante la CIDH (Frayba, Boletín de prensa, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Rechaza Estado mexicano responsabilidad en masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Abejas de Acteal rechazan “conciliación” con el “Estado criminal” (Regeneración, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Actal planeada por el Estado mexicano; lejos de castigar a responsables los premia con pensiones: Frayba (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 20 de octubre de 2015)

“Nuestra memoria es inmensa, más que la impunidad sembrada por el Estado mexicano”, Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 23 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano: Sociedad Civil las Abejas de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, 20 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)


Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances

October 8, 2015

© Koman Ilel, Zapatistas por Ayotzinapa

Zapatistas for Ayotzinapa @ Koman Ilel

On 26 September a year passed since the 43 students from the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, were forcibly disappeared. In different states and abroad, actions and mobilizations were held to demand clarification for what happened to the youth as well as those killed and injured on the tragic night of 26-27 September 2014.

For its part, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced in a communique entitled “For pain, rage, truth, justice” that “on that day 26 September, thousands of Zapatistas, children, youth, women, men, others, elders, and the living and the dead will mobilize ourselves in our territories to embrace all those persons who have been affected by sorrow and rage due to the prisons, disappearances, and death imposed by those from above. We will embrace them also because thus we also embrace ourselves as Zapatistas. In this way we call on all honest and upright persons on Earth to do the same, according to your calendars and geographies, and in accordance with your times and means. While at the same time they seek to placate us with lies and insults using lack of truth and justice, humanity will continue to be nothing more than a grotesque face in the history of the Earth.”

Beyond this, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal dedicated some words to the disappeared in a public communique, declaring that “we wish to be in the hearts of the parents of the young students; we wish to be in the heart of Ayotzinapa. We wish to be in the heart, the dream, the soul, the struggle, the memory, and the hope of the 43 disappeared, as well as the 3 murdered and the other comrade who remains in a coma. We also wish to be I the heart, dreams, memory, and hope of the thousands of disappeared throughout Mexico. We wish to be in the heart, dream, memory, and hope of the comrade women who have been victimized by femicides […]. But we do not wish to have a simulated justice, that justice full of corruption and hypocrisy, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) sought to sell to the parents of the 43 from Ayotzinapa and to the people of Mexico. Instead, what we wish for is a justice that would be as we always have stressed it must be: truthful, dignified, righteous, lasting, healthy, and human. This is what we call ‘The Other Justice.’ And this Other Justice we must develop ourselves from below, the women and women of good conscience […]. Ayotzinapa is a crime of State, and it must remain within the consciousness of the three levels of government in Mexico. As people of Mexico meanwhile we will walk and strive for the Other Justice, against this crime against humanity that targeted young students who had a dream of educating themselves to become educators in their communities. We will tell this to our children, our youth, so that it becomes living history.”

Beyond this, several people protested in the state in at least 40 municipalities, by carrying out marches, roadblocks, and cultural festivals.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas también el pueblo se organizó para exigir justicia y aparición con vida de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa (Voces Mesoamericanas, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

POR EL DOLOR, POR LA RABIA, POR LA VERDAD, POR LA JUSTICIA (EZLN 24 de septiembre de 2015)

Comunicado de Las Abejas de Acteal en solidaridad con Ayotzinapa (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

También en Chiapas hoy #DíaDeLaIndignación, manifestaciones de apoyo a Ayotzinapa (Chiapasparalelo, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

EZLN protesta en Chiapas por los desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa (La Jornada  26 de septiembre de 2015)

Congregan ciudades de Chiapas marchas por Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)


Chiapas: Native peoples pilgrim for peace, for life against violence and dispossession

August 28, 2015
Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

On July 28th and 29th, a pilgrimage was carried out, organized by the pastoral staff, deacons and coordinators of the Tojolab’al Mission where close to 5,000 tojolab’ales, tseltales, tsotsiles y mestizos were brought together. They expressed and showed their solidarity with the pueblo of Simojovel and denounced the forced displacement of Banavil and particularily drew attention to the case of the Poblado Primero de Agosto, where 57 people were forcibly displaced from their lands by members of the ejido Miguel Hidalgo, also members of the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The walk started from Ignacio Zaragoza, to the municipal capital of Las Margaritas, ending at the parish of San Sebastian in Comitan-

The gospel teaches us not to remain silent before cases such as Acteal; Simojovel, the forced displacement of Banavil and Primero de Agosto; before cases of the destruction of nature from mining and mega projects and in cases such as alcoholism and drug addiction in our communities,” shared Marcelo Perez Perez, pastor of Simojovel. From their part, the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz)-Chiapas, demonstrated that the case of the displaced families of Primero de Agosto is not an isolated case, and at the same time reiterated their solidarity with them, “It is a privilege to pilgrim and walk with you. We will continue walking ts’omanotik (together)” they added. In a pronouncement, The Believing Peoples and the different communities and social organizations that participated in the pilgrimage, expressed that they are organizing, uniting, and transforming their consciousness, “to confront the violence that we live in our communities and the problems that come with structural reforms: such as education, health, labor, and energy”.

For more Information:

Pronunciamiento de Las Margaritas en defensa de nuestro derecho a ser pueblos (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 29, 2015)

Familias tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado se unen a peregrinación en Las Margaritas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 28, 2015)

Acompañamos la peregrinación por la paz, por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (July 28, 2015)

#PueblosOriginarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

#Chiapas #Peregrinación de por la #paz, por la #vida, contra la #violencia y el #despojo (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

Pueblos originarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, July 28, 2015)

Chiapas: “Hay proyectos de muerte, pero hoy venimos a reivindicar los derechos a la vida” (Radio Pozol, July 29, 2015)

Peregrinación por la paz por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 12, 2015)


Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society denounce impunity once again 

August 17, 2015

2015-07-22 13.30.11

Victims of the massacre @SIPAZ

On June 22nd, the day for the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997) in which 45 people were murdered, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced impunity for the massacre as well for the murder of its member Manual López Pérez. Their communiqué stressed that “The authorities of bad government, “the Prosecutorial Office of Indigenous Justice, ” “the Agrarian Tribunal,” and the municipal president and judge of Pantelhó, had been informed that their comrade Manuel was risking his life, as his own son, Alonso López Guzman, had threatened to kill him on several ocassions.

The June murder has been connected to the lack of justice that still prevails since the massacre of 1997. “Almost 18 years after the atrocity, the Mexican State, instead of assuring the non-repetition of Acteal or reprisal murders of a member of our organization, is based fundamentally on impunity, which is bought through the misnamed Supreme Court for Justice (SCJN) in the Nation, a court of criminals and rich people that allowed that crime against us. The so-called Supreme Court liberated the paramilitary group that performed the massacre of Acteal. Their message is that killing innocent people is not punished but on the contrary is rewarded with money, houses, and land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

a un mes del asesinato de muestro compañero Manuel, sigue impune (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)