Chiapas: Pilgrimages and marches against violence against women, and other demands

December 15, 2014

Peregrinación de Pueblo Creyente en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 25 November, in observance of the International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women, thousands of Catholics pertaining to the Believing People from the San Cristóbal diocese engaged in simultaneous pilgrimages in 12 municipalities of Chiapas to demonstrate their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque; to demand justice for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa; to oppose violence against women, alcoholism, energy reform, and corruption, among other issues.  Approximately 3500 engaged in the action in San Cristóbal, with 7000 in Ocosingo, 10,000 in Chilón, 1000 in Oxchuc, and 800 in Tenejapa.  Participants indicated that they engaged in the pilgrimage “in a peaceful manner, requesting respect for our constitutional right to protest, be heard, and have our complaints addressed by municipal, state, and federal authorities” and to “express solidarity with the more than 100,000 victims of organized crime and especially the families of the murdered youth and the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as with the victims of Acteal who, nearly 20 years since the massacre, still plead for justice from the government, thus strengthening the impunity that has led 73 of the 75 imprisoned for this crime against humanity to be released.”

Marcha en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Beyond this, after the end of the “Forum for Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of the Land and Territory” that was held from 23-24 November, close to 250 women and men marched on 25 November in San Cristóbal, given that they see “with great alarm that big capital is at war with all the peoples of the world because it wants to plunder our lands to make way for investments for mining firms, airports, hotels, highways, seaports, transgenic seeds, monocultures, dams, etc.”  They added in the communique that “another strategy has been to generate conflicts among the people to divide the struggle and so control land.  But the most dangerous thing is to allow the drug-traffickers free reign to convert out land into a crossfire zone, leaving a hundred thousand dead and disappeared.  For this reason we affirm that the firms, the bad government, and the drug-traffickers all seek the same thing: To gain control of our communities, our ancestral resources, our bodies, our lives, and even our future.”

Beyond this, some 500 persons from the Light and Power of the Highlands Region organization, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, marched with banners listing various historical massacres in Mexico.  As one of the banners read, “in the future, the next massacre could involve you or your children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alto a las distintas formas de corrupción del gobierno y violencia al pueblo Queremos Justicia y Paz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (25 de noviembre de 2014)

Marchan en Chiapas contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (La Jornada, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Miles marchan en San Cristobal contra los megaproyectos y violencia contra las mujeres (Espoir Chiapas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

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

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (26 October 2013)

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National/Chiapas: CNI and General Command of the EZLN demand release of Mario Luna

September 16, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

On 14 September, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN publicly pronounced themselves in favor of the release of Mario Luna, a spokesperson from the Yaqui people in the state of Sonora, who was arrested on 11 September, “falsely accused of crimes that were fabricated [against him]; with this, they seek to arrest the very struggle of the Yaqui tribe to defend the waters that in 1940 were recognized as theirs by Lázaro Cárdenas following a long war, and that since 2010 owners of capital have sought to take away from them by means of the Independence aqueduct.”  The two groups denounced that said aqueduct “is said to be constructed so that the poor have water and progress, as those from above call it, but [in fact] it is so that the rich take away the water that for centuries has belonged to the Yaquis.  Instead of irrigating crops, they want to take it for the large industries in Sonora.”

For the CNI and the General Command, the developmentalist megaprojects are a threat to the lives of indigenous peoples, given that “they want to kill us with wind-energy plants, highways, mines, dams, airports, and drug-trafficking; today, above all, it hurts us that they want to kill us in Sonora with aqueducts.”  For this reason, they demanded “the immediate release of Mario Luna; we call for the cancellation of all arrest-orders against him and the fabrication of charges against members of the Yaqui tribe and, together with this, we demand the release of all our prisoners and particularly that of our Nahua brothers Juan Carlos Flores Solís and Enedina Rosas Vélez, who have been imprisoned by the bad government since April, similarly accused falsely of fabricated crimes, toward the end of halting the struggle of the Front of Peoples in Defense of Water and Land in Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala against the comprehensive infrastructural project for Morelos.”

Beyond this, the Network against Repression and for Solidarity identified Sonoran Governor Guillermo Padrés and President Enrique Peña Nieto as responsible for the health and safety of Mario Luna: “We hold them responsible for any repressive act that is taken against the Yaquis.  Above all, we call on our comrades from this network, the Sixth, who feel this attack as your own to express your solidarity by protesting and pronouncing yourselves according to your means and forms in favor of the liberty of our comrade Mario Luna and against this attack on the Yaqui people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento del CNI y el EZLN por la libertad de Mario Luna, vocero de la tribu yaqui (Enlace Zapatista, 14 de septiembre de 2014)

RvsR: ¡Libertad a Mario Luna! (Enlace Zapatista, 13 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN and members of the CNI united against the plundering of their peoples (29 August 2014)