Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa

February 5, 2015


Familiares y compañeros de los estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa, diciembre de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

Relatives and comrades of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, December 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 January, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique expressing solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero.  With respect to the case, Las Abejas asked “how it is possible that the supposed president of Mexico and his collaborators repress the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students instead of engaging in a truthful investigation and applying punishment to those responsible for their disappearance?”  They noted beyond this that, if it was the case that the Army was involved in the atrocity, “why hide or cover this up–why do they fear?”

At the municipal level, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that Manuel Ansaldo Meneses, whom it indicates as being one of the “paramilitaries [who was responsible for] the Acteal massacre […] is requesting economic support for the other material authors of the massacre and those released from prison by the supposed ministers of justice of the Supreme Court [sic].”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas 22 de enero 2015 (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de enero de 2015)

Las Abejas se solidarizan con Bachajon y Ayotzinapa y anuncian su presencia el 24 por Jtatik Samuel (Espoir Chiapas, 22 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

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Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released

December 6, 2014

DSC03801

Abejas of Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

Nearly 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) decided to release three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned in the Amate prison for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

The massacre took place on 22 December 1997, when 45 members of the Las Abejas of Acteal organization were killed, the majority being women and children.

The three who have been released had requested an official recognition of innocence, which was granted to them based on criteria stipulated by the SCJN in 2008, when it ordered the release of dozens of prisoners for the first time, having decided that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) used illegal evidence in its investigation, thus violating the right of the accused to due process.  For their part, Las Abejas expressed that “if for the SCJN there are no guilty ones, if all the paramilitaries who have been sentenced are in fact innocent, then we demand that they give us back the lives of our martyrs, and that they present our children and parents who were shot to death on 22 December 1997 with life.”  They added that “other than for the government, it will be the SCJN that will be responsible for any conflict that results from the release of these paramilitaries, because the social fabric has been degraded and destroyed.  It has not been repaired, such that there are no conditions that would guarantee the non-repetition of the acts.”

In sum, 102 indigenous persons were processed for the killing of 45 members of the Las Abejas community, in addition to 4 unborn children, and they began to be released in 2008, after having advanced legal motions before the federal authorities.  Now, only two people remain imprisoned for the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia en México es un teatro: Sobrevivientes de Acteal, Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la Corte liberar a tres tzotziles vinculados con la masacre de Acteal, Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la SCJN la liberación de tres sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

Acteal: consagración de la impunidad, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas/International: US Supreme Court rejects appeal in case against former president Zedillo over Acteal masascre

October 12, 2014

Acteal (@SIPAZ archivo)

Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

On 6 October, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rejected an appeal that had been submitted by 10 individuals against the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (1994-2000) for his responsibility in the Acteal massacre (December 1997), which left 45 dead in Chiapas state.  SCOTUS did not justify its decision; instead it simply upheld the decision made in February 2013 by a federal judge in Connecticut, holding that Zedillo has political immunity as a former head of state.

The initial demand had been presented in 2011 in Hartford, Connecticut, accusing Ernesto Zedillo of having covered up the events of the massacre.  The case was submitted in Connecticut because that is where he resides, being a professor at Yale University.  Plaintiffs had demanded compensation of $50 million for relatives of the victims of the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tribunal Supremo de EU rechaza oír la apelación contra Zedillo por Acteal (CNN México, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Desechan en EU demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema en EU desecha demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Animal Político, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema de EU bloquea demanda contra Zedillo por Acteal (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

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

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)


Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

September 2, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 August, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué to commemorate the five years since the beginning of the release of the formerly imprisoned persons who had been considered responsible for the Acteal massacre of December 1997. Since August 2009, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) has allowed 54 of the 70 who were sentenced to be released in this sense. Some of those who have been released were allowed to go freely without warning the public about this, as in the case of Roberto Méndez Gutiérrez, a “paramilitary commander and confessed patricipant in the Acteal massacre.” Amidst this tendency, members of Los Abejas declared that “our memory tells us that this Supreme Court has been converted for us into the ‘Supreme Court for the rich and criminals of the Nation’; this court is the expression of the justice system in Mexico, which is rotten.”

The Acteal massacre and the impunity that prevails in the case to date, stressed Las Abejas, form part of the low-intensity warfare being promoted in the region by the “bad government.” Las Abejas indicated furthermore that the repression, murders, and massacres are a consequence fo the “commercial traties” which Mexico has signed with rich countries, toward the end of “exterminating the Zapatista people and other organized peoples,” given that “if the indigenous peoples had control of their land, NAFTA would not be able to function in Mexico, the U.S., or Canada, for this way they could not extract and steal all the wealth possessed by our Mother Earth.”

In light of this “death culture,” Las Abejas declare that “We are aware that justice will not come from above,” and for this reason “our search for justice for the Acteal massacre we call the construction of ‘Another Justice,’ one that is conceptualized and constructed from the organized peoples, women and men of Mexico who also seek a dignified and true justice, as we do. This other justice, this dignified and true justice, is now being built in the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), in meetings and fora of organized peoples and communities in Mexico […]. We in the Las Abejas Civil Society will not resign ourselves but will instead continue building our ties with brothers and sisters who struggle each and every day against this oppressive capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 5 años de la excarcelación de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de agosto de 2014)

Libres, 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 23 de agosto de 2014)

La “Suprema Corte de ricos y criminales de la Nación” ha liberado a 54 paramilitares sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada de Oriente, 24 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society in Acteal

March 1, 2014

@ Imagen de archivo, CDHFBC

@ CDHFBC archive

On 22 February, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communique pronouncing itself on the decision of a U.S. court to dismiss the case against ex-president Ernesto Zedillo for his responsibility for the massacre: “Three days ago we learned that a U.S. court had declared that ‘Zedillo remains exempt from legal responsibility… for the deaths of 45 indigenous persons in 1997.’  The next day, President Obama was in Mexico to visit President Peña Nieto to thank him for the energy reform which will allow transnational corporations to take control of Mexico’s oil […] so we are indignant but unsurprised that the U.S. would declare that Zedillo is innocent in terms of the Acteal massacre.  Would they really condemn him, if they are from the same mafia?”

In other news, regarding the possibility of a definitive return of those displaced from the Puebla ejido who have been resettled temporarily in Acteal since August, Las Abejas noted that “the state government, by means of the subsecretary for religious affairs, has committed itself to compensate all the damages caused by the Presbyterian brothers who provoked this violence against the Catholic brothers; the government will compensate the lost possessions, the destroyed chapel, and the burned houses.  It seems that soon the Catholics will be able to return to their homes.  But it looks as though it will be as in 2001, a return without justice, or at most, incomplete justice.  Those who provoked the displacements in 1997 and 2013 continue free.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de febrero de 2014)

Lamentan Las Abejas de Acteal que no se juzgue a Zedillo (Expreso de Chiapas, 23 de febrero de 2014)

Corte de EU desecha apelación vs Ernesto Zedillo en caso Acteal (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de febrero de 2014)

Video: Colonia Puebla: la impunidad impide el retorno de desplazados (SanCristencia, febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony announce return for coffee harvest (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

 


Chiapas: Acteal, 16 years in search of justice

January 1, 2014

22 de diciembre de 2013 @ SIPAZ

22 December 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 22 December 16 years passed since the Acteal massacre in the Chenalhó municipality, an act that killed 45 indigenous Tsotsil persons (14 girls, 4 boys, 8 men, 19 women, 4 of whom were pregnant) as they were praying in the Acteal chapel.  During the massacre, units of the Police of Public Security were located 200 meters from the site.  Members of the Las Abejas Civil Society once again commemorated the anniversary of the massacre this year, beginning on 21 December by sharing their experiences of struggle and ending with a pilgrimage and mass on 22 December.  Hundreds attended the commemoration.

“This sixteenth anniversary of the Acteal massacre we recall as being illuminated by a light that emerges from the Sacred Land of Acteal, but this light shines also through the darkness which covers our country in threatening clouds,” noted Las Abejas in their communique.  “Today counterinsurgency is for all, not just the indigenous of Chiapas.  It is made up of two parts: trickery and repression–or, as some say, the carrot and the stick.  Or, as Abejas have said at times: balls of sugar and bullets […].  It is precisely what the bad governments are doing, whether run by Manuel Velasco or Peña Nieto and their programs such as the National Crusade against Hunger.  They have created programs of assistance by taking advantage of the needs of the people in communities; their objective is to ease their conscience to cover over the looting and handing-over of our country to neoliberal foreigners.  The worst thing is that, so that the people don’t lose the ‘spell,’ they do propaganda, promoting the idea that the government brings good things and supports the people.”

Las Abejas also recalled the 98 persons displaced from the Puebla Colony “over a problem that has been going on for 8 months without resolution.  Now the government says that it wants to resolve the problem so that the displaced return to their homes, but it wants to impose conditions in exchange for such a resolution.  The conditions are that paramilitaries not be mentioned, that justice not be demanded, and that we silence ourselves […].  And now after leaving the side of justice and truth, the government says that the problems will be resolved with productive support and communal programs.”

Las Abejas ended by saying that “the people now are walking on the construction of another justice, and one of those paths is with the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP); we must meet more often.  We want nothing more than justice for Acteal, other massacres, and cases of human-rights violations throughout Mexico.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) read a communique at the commemoration which indicates that “Amidst impunity, the people save their memory, reflect, and find alternatives based on truth for the construction of justice.  In this way, relatives, witnesses, and victims of State crimes perpetrated in the Northern Zone, the Jungle, and Highlands of Chiapas met on 6 and 7 December in the Susuclumil community of Tila for the pre-audience of the work-group on Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice with the People’s Permanent Tribunal.  The session was called ‘Meeting for justice and truth,’ in which the judges declared: ‘It is not to the institutions of the Mexican State that we are looking for justice, but rather to alternative spaces for the construction and defense of our own justice, in addition to aiding with the convergence and union of the indigenous.'”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas a 16 años de la Masacre de Acteal (22 de diciembre de 2013)

Boletín de CDHFBC: La memoria histórica: un instrumento para la verdad y la construcción de justicia (22 de diciembre de 2013)

El sistema de justicia, podrido: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (27 December 2012)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

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

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)

 


Chiapas: Communique of the Las Abejas Civil Society, 22 November

December 8, 2013

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On 22 November, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the 1997 Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society recalls its martyrs and newly indicated the intellectual authors of this cruel act: “Acteal has remained in the history of a country as a crime against humanity.  We would like strongly to note that Emilio Chuayfett, who in 1997 was Secretary of Governance of the administration of Ernesto Zedillo, when one of the worst massacres in the history of country [took place].  Now he is Secretary for Public Education (SEP) and [he is responsible] for the death of 45 of our brothers and sisters who were shot down during 6 hours.”

Las Abejas warned that “the paramilitaries are reactivating themselves because they have been released by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and they are now in the communities of Chenalhó.  In particular the ex-mayor Jacinto Arias Cruz from the Puebla Colony now is at large and still organizes his subordinates.  Due to the Supreme Court for Impunity in the Nation, our Catholic brothers and sisters find themselves displaced from the Puebla ejido, in addition to two Baptists.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Por culpa de la Suprema Corte de la Impunidad de la Nación se encuentra desplazados nuestros (as) hermanos (as) (22 de noviembre de 2012)

Revientan conferencia de Chuayfett en Madrid, por la matanza de Acteal(La Jornada, 9 de noviembre de 2013)

Increpan a Chuayffet en Madrid; le recriminan la matanza de Acteal(Proceso, 8 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 22 October communique from Las Abejas: “We continue to resist” (23 de octubre de 2013)

Chiapas: Press-conference by Las Abejas, 4 years after the beginning of the release of those incarcerated for the Acteal massacre (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society warns of violence in Chenalhó “reminiscent of the year 1997″ (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

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