Chiapas: Believing People of Simojovel continue to defend “life, peace, justice, freedom, and democracy” y democracia”

November 21, 2015

Cabeza blog 2013

On 3 November by means of a public denunciation, the Believing People from the San Antonio de Pádua parish in Simojovel expressed gratitude for the accompaniment by all those who have walked beside them, reviewing the different meetings of the past few months as well as the mass-pilgrimage from Simojovel to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Furthermore, they reported on the present situation that they are experiencing, noting that they are “disappointed with the different levels of government” and that despite their “peaceful actions, the situation remains the same” amidst their demands. They denounced that “the number of bars has actually increased,” and furthermore that “these firms have more power than state and federal officials, such that it is clear that the governors are not governmental but rather financial […].”

In light of a situation that “does not improve,” the Believing People will continue to organize themselves “so as to find the true freedom for our people, as we see clearly the complicity due to the omission of the authorities at the three levels of governance in terms of the beer-making firms and the drug-traffickers.” They assured that “true change does not come from a political party, because the major problem is the governmental and political-economic system,” adding that they will not “keep silent, because to do so would be to become complicit.” The principal demand made by the Believing People continues to be “the closure of all bars, legal and clandestine.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel continúa la lucha por la vida, paz, justicia, libertad y democracia. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Cries of liberty from the Believing People in Simojovel (23 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against the priest and members of the Believing People (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

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)

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Chiapas: Cries of liberty from the Believing People in Simojovel

October 8, 2015

(Durante la misa @ChiapasDenunciaPública(During mass @ChiapasDenunciaPública)

During the night of 15 September 2015, when President Enrique Peña Nieto proclaimed his “Cry of Independence” in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the Believing People from Simojovel made their own cry. Following a Catholic mass at the San Antonio de Pádua parish, the group called into question the spectacle, asking, “What are we celebrating as Mexicans? Are we free and sovereign? If we are free, why are there so many dead? Why is social protest criminalized? Why in Chiapas are there so many displaced? Why so much corruption from the authorities? Why does organized crime have so much power, slowly taking over increasingly more communities? Why is there so much poverty—rising, indeed, with more than 2 million impoverished?” They recognized that “Viva Mexico” cannot be proclaimed if each year brings more poor living under the boot of institutionalized violence and the concentration of wealth among a small minority. They demanded a new face and heart for Mexico, and a change to the system.

The Believing People noted that there exists a generalized cry within the country, as expressed by the Mexican bishops: “Enough! We do not want more blood to be spilled. We do not want more dead. We do not want more disappeared. We want neither more pain nor more shame […]. We unite ourselves to the general cry for a Mexico in which truth and justice provoke a profound transformation of the institutional, judicial, and political structures that will assure that events such as these will never recur.” For this reason, they proposed cries that come increasingly from organized communities that are struggling for truth. Beyond this, they invited all the people of Chiapas to organize themselves to defend and protect the lives of their communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gritos de libertad en Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Creyentes “celebran” Fiestas Patrias (Diario de Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento del Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Vida Nueva, 24 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against the priest and members of the Believing People (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

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: 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: Believing People of Chenalhó pronounces itself in favor of the closure of cantinas in the municipality

June 30, 2015

Iglesia de Chenalhó (@Koman Ilel)

Chenalhó church (@Koman Ilel)

In a communique published on 23 June, Catholics from the Chenalhó parish who make up part of the Believing People pronounced themselves in favor of the closure of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries in their municipality. They stressed that “the consequences of the consumption of alcohol are disastrous, such as suicides, deaths, motor-vehicle accidents, and divorce.” There exist some 21 cantinas, three restaurants, and two grocery stores in the municipal seat.

The Catholics demanded that the agreement which previously had been organized by the 94 communities of the municipality be observed, as the owners of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries have not respected this. It must be recalled that on 13 June, an organized women’s group requested the authorities to produce a document that would demand the departure of those selling alcohol. In this way, “on 20 June, the judges went to see whether the alcohol-vendors respected the document, but they did not. Instead, they merely returned to selling.”

They claim as well that “if something bad happens, whether to the organized women, or to our priest or the believers of this parish, the immediately responsible parties will be the authorities of the Chenalhó municipality, the state government, and the federal government, and we will not remain silent, but rather we will denounce the situation before national and international civil society, and before Mexican and global human-rights defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo: Pueblo Creyente denuncia complicidad de autoridades en venta desmedida de alcohol en Chenalhó (Pueblo Creyente de Chenalhó, 23 de junio de 2015)

Atender problemas de venta de alcohol (Cuarto Poder, 24 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel to demand justice and truth amidst deaths of infants (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Rise in threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel (24 April 2015)


Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region

June 30, 2015
Pilgrimage in El Bosque (@Radio Pozol)

Pilgrimage in El Bosque (@Radio Pozol)

On June 6, around 2,500 members of the Believing People of El Bosque peregrinated to demand attention to the problems experienced in the region such as violence, corruption, drug trafficking, lack of basic services such as access to health and water potable.

They asked the three levels of government “to put a stop to all the injustices that are on top of our communities, pueblos, and cities,” the “no repetition of events such as the murders of Chabajebal, San Pedro Nichtal-ucum, and Unio´on Progreso, municipalities of El Bosque, Chiapas. As well as massacres like Ateal, Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Aguas Blancas, etc.”; “a stop to forced disappearances of men, women, and children; a stop to repression”; “a stop to to the imprisonments pf human rights defenders and innocent people”; “the presentation with life of all the disappeared persons of the country”; “justice of the deaths of the children murdered by the IMSS from the community of Pimienta, municipality of Simojovel, Chiapas”; and the immediate liberation of all the political prisoners and unjustly imprisoned.

Participants of this march were members of the Believing People of the neighboring municipality of Simojovel, who maintain demanding justice for the death of Yadira González González and Emmanuel Francisco López, the babies who died in La Pimienta after the application of vaccines from the IMSS last May.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente de El Bosque (6 d ejunio de 2015)

Peregrina pueblo de El Bosque para decir ¡Ya Basta! (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de junio de 2015)

Marchan para que cierren cantinas en El Bosque (Diario de Chiapas, 7 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel to demand justice and truth amidst deaths of infants (June 9, 2015)

Chiapas: Rise in threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel (April 24, 2015)


Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest

April 23, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez, parroco de Simojovej (@SIPAZ)

Padre Marcelo Pérez, priest from Simojovel (@SIPAZ)

In an Urgent Action published on 2 April, the Observatory for the Protection of Human-Rights Defenders, comprised in part by the World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), called on the Mexican State to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, priest from the Simojovel municipality, who “has received constant death-threats, attacks, and harassment which threaten his life.”  Similarly, it requested security guarantees for the others members of the Parish Council and the Believing People who live here, as they also “have received death-threats.”

For this reason, the Observatory has called on the Mexican State to “carry out an immediate investigation that is independent, exhaustive, effective, and impartial regarding the threats and acts of intimidation, toward the end that those responsible are taken to a competent, independent, just, and impartial tribunal, and that the appropriate penal, civil, and/or administrative sanctions stipulated in the law.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Urgen a proteger a párroco chiapaneco amenazado (La Jornada, 7 de abril de 2015)

Urgen al gobierno garantías para párroco de Simojovel por amenazas(Proceso, 6 de abril de 2015)

Acción Urgente completa: México: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento, seguimiento y vigilancia en contra del Sr.Marcelo Pérez Pérez (OMCT, FIDH, 2 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People ends in Tuxtla Gutiérrez after a four-day journey

April 23, 2015

Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente, en el camino (@SIPAZ)

Pilgrimage of the Believing People (@SIPAZ)

On 26 March, the pilgrimage held by the Believing People ended, having begun in Simojovel four days prior.  Its close came after 120 kilometers were covered by foot and the pilgrimage arrived in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.  This peaceful action was born through a series of demands that include the closure of bars, an end to murders, and the abolition of prostitution, drug-trafficking, and narco-politicians.  For two years, these demands have led to a series of pilgrimages and actions carried out in Simojovel to denounce the situation of insecurity in which the municipality finds itself.  The federal and Chiapas state governments have been absent while the death-threats have worsened against the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Peréz Peréz, and the rest of the clerical staff.

Before the march arrived in Tuxtla, the Secretary of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar publicly expressed that the Chiapas state government was disposed to set up a negotiation table with the Believing People, to “specify and evaluate a just response to their demands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nuestra lucha es pacífica: Pueblo Creyente de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Miles de indígenas marchan en Chiapas para exigir alto a la corrupción y la narcopolítica (Sin Embargo, 27 de marzo de 2015)

4 días de peregrinación para exigir justicia y seguridad en los Altos de Chiapas (Animal Político, 27 de marzo de 2015)

Gobierno del estado invita al pueblo creyente de Simojovel al diálogo (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 26 de marzo de 2015)

Peregrinación arriba hoy a capital de Chiapas para exigir acciones contra la delincuencia organizada (Chiapas Paralelo, 26 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chipas: Beginning of grand pilgrimage of the Believing People from Simojovel (24 de marzo de 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People from Simojovel announce pilgrimage to Tuxtla to demand peace and justice (22 March 2015)

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

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