Chiapas: conflict over land in Venustiano Carranza

November 2, 2012

By means of a press-release published on 29 October, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC), the Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization (OPEZ-MLN), the Center of Campesino and Popular Organizations (COCYP-Chiapas), and Laklamul Ixim-Northern Jungle (Our People of Maize) denounced that “approximately 25 armed men identified as residents of the Candelaria El Alto community, who call themselves members of the Other Campaign, attacked comrades and children who pertain to the OCEZ-RC with firearms while they found themselves working in the field known as El Desengaño.”

These organizations found the state-government responsible.  They indicate that “The Chiapas state-government is responsible for this aggression, given that since December 2009 it has publicly committed itself by means of minutes to resolve all our agrarian demands, including those regarding the Desengaño field, but at the end of this six-year term it has not observed its promises; to the contrary, it has refused to attend to our demands, social and agrarian.”

In a 30 October community, the organized community of Candelaria El Alto publicly reported that “on Monday 29 October 2012, our community of Candelaria El Alto decided to recover the lands that the OCEZ-RC took from us on 6 April 2011, using the group known as Nuevo San José La Grandeza, which hails from the same municipality.  This land has been ours since 1950; by right it is ours, legally and legitimately.  We have always worked it, growing our maize and beans which provides us with food to eat.  As we noted publicly in many denunciations, we have demanded that the state solve this problem of looting of our lands.”  They affirm that “the shootings came from the part of the invaders of our land.”

In an Urgent Action published on 2 November, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights noted the “imminent risk for the lives, personal integrity, and security of the campesinos from the community of Candelaria El Alto, who adhere to the Other Campaign of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and the members of the Campesino Organization Emiliano Zapata-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) who, due to the omissions on the part of the state government of Chiapas, find themselves in conflict over land.”

For more information (in Spanish):


Denuncia de la Comunidad Organizada Candelaria El Alto Adherente a La Otra Campaña (30 de octubre de 2012)

Candelaria el Alto denuncia agresiones a las mujeres de su comunidad (1 de noviembre de 2012)

AU del CDHFBC: Por omisión del gobierno del estado de Chiapas en riesgo la vida de campesinas y campesinos en Venustiano Carranza (2 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denuncia of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory

March 25, 2012

Venustiano Carranza municipality (

In a 19 March 2012 communiqué, residents of the community of Candelaria el Alto, Venustiano Carranza municipality, who are adherents to the Other Campaign denounced that on 15 March members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) from the San José La Grandeza neighborhood began to burn the crops and trees located on their lands.  They recalled that since 6 April 2011 the OCEZ-RC had invaded the “El Desengaño” territory.

After informing the state government, they report that on the next day “arrived a PEP [Preventive State Police] truck, asking about the Candelaria el Alto case, wanting to enter the territory, adding that if we gave permission they would start patrolling and reach the place where the invaders came, beyond promising to protect those of the OCEZ-RC […].  Upon hearing this we told them to leave our community, because we have told the government several times now that we do not have more land to sell.  So why did they arrive and deceive us in this way, knowing that we will not sell the little we have left.  We will not permit more looting, after the 98 hectares of land that the state bought for the benefit of [OCEZ-RC].”

They demanded a solution as well as respect: “we are now in the season close to the time to sow our crops (corn and beans), so it is urgent the state resolve our problems.  If it does not, we will be exposed for another year without our basic crops, thus putting at risk the lives of the children, women, and elderly of the community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa de habitantes de la comunidad de Candelaria el Alto municipio de Venustiano Carranza adherentes a la Otra Campaña(19 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community

January 16, 2012


By means of a public letter written on 10 January 2012, the community of Candelaria El Alto, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced that the looting of their lands continues by the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC).  In their communiqué they write the following: “We publicly denounce the government of Chiapas; 9 months have passed since we have been able to work [the land]; now we have lost this year of harvest, and we would like to say that we will not continue merely putting up with this, suffering from hunger.  This year we will work our land; we would prefer that this conflict not worsen, and so we demand an immediate solution, because the land is not to sell.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa el despojo de sus tierras, según la comunidad Candelaria El Alto (La Jornada, 12 January 2011)

Denuncia de Candelaria El Alto a 10 de enero (Zapateando, Comunicado de la Comunidad Organizada Candelaria el Alto, Municipio Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, México)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders

October 18, 2011

Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders (Tonalá, October 2011, @SIPAZ)

Different human-rights centers, including the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights (Tonalá), the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, and the Center for Rights of Women in Chiapas, the Bety Cariño Center (from southern Veracruz=, and the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights (from Guerrero) met on 8 and 9 October to observe a “Forum for the defense of human-rights defenders,” held in Tonalá, Chiapas.  The objective of the same was to “visibilize the harassment and persecution of human-rights defenders in the central, southern, and southeastern regions of Mexico, as well as to articulate an agenda of actions for the protection and defense of rights-defenders in the region.”

Yazmin Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Center, denounced the criminalization and harassment suffered by human-rights defenders in Chiapas, remembering that the ex-director of the same center, Nataniel Hernández Núñez, continues to be persecuted by the courts.  She also accused the government of treating defenders “as criminals” and called on the different centers to coordinate their actions so as to find measures “to protect ourselves together.”

Civil groups and organizations such as the community of Candelaria (Venustiano Carranza), relatives of prisoners on hunger strike and fast in different Chiapas prisons, the Cerezo Committee, the House for Migrants in Arriaga, the Assembly of the Peoples Adherents to the Other Campaign, Civil Resistance against High Electricity Prices from Candelaria, the Ocez Di Unopi, and the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas also participated.  They denounced the aggressions directed against adherents to the Other Campaign as well as harassment against those who defend migrants, women, and the indigenous.

The participants also make more profound the subjects dealt with at the Forum by means of 5 work-tables:

Work-table 1: Mechanisms of prevention for rights-defenders

Work-table 2: Mechanisms of protection for defenders

Work-table 3: Mechanisms for defense for defenders

Work-table 4: Support in solidarity for the defense of defenders

Work-table 5: Technical support and new knowledges

In the final pronunciation of the Forum was highlighted the following: “1. That the harassment and repression exercised by the Mexican State toward all human-rights defenders at the national level is committed with the objective of dismantling and inhibiting the legitimate work of promoting and defending human rights.  2. That this premeditated aggression against human-rights defenders seeks to make-vulnerable the organizational processes in resistance to the ravages of neoliberal capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento final del Foro (9 October 2011)

Termina en Tonalá un foro en pro de defensores de derechos, Constante, la violencia del Estado contra los mexicanos, afirma ONG (La Jornada, 10 October 2011)

Necesario buscar el fin al hostigamiento contra “humanistas” (Cuarto Poder, 11 October)

Audios del Foro por la defensa del los defensores y las defensoras de derechos, desde Tonala, Chiapas (Radio Pozol)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Growing insecurity for the work of human-rights defenders–denunciations from Washington, Brussels, and Chiapas (31 March 2011)

México: Pronunciations and actions as regards the situation of human-rights defenders in the country and southeastern Mexico (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate (8 March 2011)

Mexico: Accord to establish a Mechanism for Protection of Human-Rights Defenders; campaign “Declare yourself” is launched (20 July 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza

September 28, 2011

On 21 September, in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, indigenous individuals of the Emiliano Zapata Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) and members of the community Candelaria El Alto who are adherents to the Other Campaign had a confrontation regarding possession of 185 hectares of land.  Both groups blamed the other for having begun the violence.

OCEZ-RC denounced that eight of its members were injured during the confrontation.  It affirms that the conflict began when a group of men armed with machetes reached the stretch of land in question and began to insult members of OCEZ-RC and throw rocks at them.  In light of this, the organization installed an indefinite plantation in front of the municipal palace to demand that the municipal government of Venustiano Carranza punish the aggressors.

The communiqué of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights writes this on the question: “We indicate that the aggression committed today by a paramilitary shock-group that hides behind the label of the Other Campaign in Chiapas shows the contradiction between its word and coherence, given that today it launched an action to denounce the aggressions taken by paramilitary groups such as Paz y Justicia against communities that pertain to the EZLN, as in the case of the community of San Patricio in the municipality of Sabanilla; this at the same time that groups of adherents in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza carry out paramilitary-type aggressions against members of the OCEZ-RC.  Not to support the practice of these groups that say they are part of the Other Campaign in Chiapas means that it is an opportune time to put distance between the two and to clarify one’s position.”

The adherents of the Other Campaign in Candelaria El Alto have blamed campesinos of the community Nuevo San José la Grandeza who pertain to the OCEZ-RC for the aggression.  In a communiqué, they reported that on 21 September they were meeting where they do guard-shifts, given the situation in the community following the land-occupation by OCEZ-RC  of Nuevo San José la Grandeza, who took the land El Desengaño in April of this year.  There was had an accord of not allowing three persons who come to work it.  Soon, they affirmed that 10 persons arrived “provoking and insulting.”  They denounce that “after the confrontation the members of the OCEZ-RC communicate with persons who are positioned in our lands and who pertain to the colony San José la Grandeza, who are from the same organization.  60 persons arrive, dressed in black with their faces hidden, armed and firing their high-caliber weapons.  The firefight lasted some two hours, and subsequently they returned to their camp.  We would also like to mention that this same day at about 9:30am they cut the electricity to the community so that we could not have communication.  Since yesterday we have been receiving threats regarding their desire to enter our homes to attack us.  We also understand that this form of threatening and attacking us is done so that we abandon our lands, so that they can have them.”  They ended their communiqué by expressing that “we would like to say to the OCEZ-RC that it is not possible that you take from us our bread, as we are campesinos who are conscious that it is the bad government that benefits [from this].  We demand that the state-government immediately take responsibility on the matter, given the situation of danger that our families are experiencing.”

For more information (in Spanish):
Organizaciones de nuevo en conflicto (Cuarto Poder, 24 September)

Miembros de la OCEZ y zapatistas chocan por control de un predio de 185 hectáreas (Proceso, 23 September)

Un enfrentamiento deja a ochos heridos (Cuarto Poder, 23 September)

Agresión paramilitar en contra de la OCEZ-RC, 8 heridos con machetes y palos (Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base Digna Ochoa, 22 September)

Denuncia pública de los adherentes a la Otra Campaña de Candelaria(Comunidad organizada Candelaria el Alto adherentes a la Otra Campaña, 22 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OCEZ-Carranza Region carries out day of actions to demand observation of their demands (15 April 2011)