Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)


Chiapas: Lawyer of the ejidal committee of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam arrested

November 19, 2015



On 21 October, state police arrested Arturo Ortega Luna, an activist opposed to the construction of the Chicoasén II hydroelectric dam and lawyer for the affected ejidatarios, “accused of the crime of mutiny following an investigation headed by the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office (PGJE).” This was the denunciation made by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) in a communique from 23 October. The lawyer was arrested at a checkpoint in Tuxtla Gutierrez and is currently being held in the El Amate prison in the Cintalapa municipality. According to the communique, the penal denunciation was submitted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which “seeks to criminalize protest amidst the arbitrariness perpetuated by the federal and state governments.”

Arturo Ortega Luna has joined the defense of the ejidatarios to prevent the construction of the dam, which would affect more than 180 hectares of ejidal lands used for agricultural purposes by Zoque indigenous people. Ecologists have denounced that “the project will deteriorate and fragment the Grijalva River, this only to satisfy the energy demand of the eastern region of Mexico.” According to a bulletin published by the CDHFBC following a press conference on “Violations of agrarian rights and the judicialization of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam” on 27 October, “the ejidatarios affected by the Chicoasén dam have carried out various peaceful and legitimate actions to avoid the progression of the construction of the hydroelectric project that would affect their lands.” On 9 October, the ejidatarios won a legal motion before the Collegiate Tribunal that demanded the suspension of the existing construction plan, though this ruling has gone ignored to date. 52 individual legal motions in process remain pending, and all involve the detained lawyer. The CDHFBC has held that his arrest “is an act of criminalization and harassment that corresponds to his actions in defense of the lands amidst looting […] which if carried out would imply the displacement of dozens of families.” The ejidatarios are confronting harassment due to their defense of their agrarian rights, though there exist formal agreements that were signed in July 2015 whereby the Chiapas state government committed itself to not prosecute those who defend their agrarian rights.

For more information (in Spanish):

Criminalización a ejidatarios afectados por presa Chicoasén II (Frayba, 27 de octubre de 2015)

Violaciones de derechos agrarios y judicialización a afectados por la presa Chicoasén II (26 de octubre de 2015)

Exigen libertad inmediata a abogado de afectados por presa Chicoasen (Desinformémonos, 25 de octubre de 2015)

Aprehenden en Chiapas a activista opositor a la presa Chicoasén II (La Jornada, 24 de octubre de 2015)

Detienen a abogado del Comité Ejidal de afectados por la presa Chicoasen (Frayba, 23 de octubre de 2015)

Encarcelan a abogado defensor de indígenas opositores a la presa Chicoasén II (Tiempo y Forma, 23 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: the International Day against Dams is celebrated (24 March 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: Displaced famailies of Banavil return temporarily to their community

August 28, 2015
Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

On August 3rd, the forcibly displaced families from the community of Banavil, muncipality of Tenejapa returned temporarily to work their lands for a period of 15 days “without a guarantee of minimum safety conditions from the Mexican State”, affirmed the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Before this temporary return, representatives of the displaced families they made it clear in a press conference that they are retuning “not because their denouncements are resolved, or because the authorities have offered full guarantee that the agressions will not be repeated”, but because they want to work their land to be able to sustain their families. “Our temporary return is to check up on our houses, clean the adjoining properties of our parcels and it is a temporary return without justice”, they mentioned.

From their part, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas denounced that “Since months ago the authorities told us they could return”, but it was not until the last meeting held with officials, hours before going to Banavil, when they were warned that there were no safety conditions. “Those were the exact words of Edgar Alonso, legal adviser of the authorities in Banavil, who were responsible for the attacks.” He told the government to say that there is no security, remarked the CDHFBC.

For more Information:

Niñas, niños y mujeres indígenas tseltales de Banavil retornan temporalmente a sus casas sin garantías de protección a sus Derechos (Chiapasparalelo, August 6, 2015)

Retornan temporalmente desplazados (Cuarto Poder, August 6, 2015)

Melel Xojobal llama a proteger niños de familias desplazadas (, August 8, 2015)

Ante la impunidad del gobierno de México, indígenas tseltales de Banavil deciden

retornar de manera provisional (Frayba, August 3, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN)

July 3, 2015



In an Urgent Action published by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casa Center for Human Rights (Frayba) on 30 June, the Center expressed its concern “for the new attacks and death-threats against support-bases that comprise the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the communities of El Rosario, belonging to the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality (MAREZ) of San Manuel; and Nuevo Paraíso, MAREZ Francisco Villa (official municipality of Ocosingo), who pertain to the ‘Path of the Future’ Good-Government Council (JBG), located in the ‘Toward a New Dawn’ Caracol III of La Garrucha in the Tseltal Jungle Zone of Chiapas. Due to the omission of the municipal and state governments to attend to the problem and to take up their responsibilities, there exist risks to the life, integrity, and personal security of BAEZLN.”

On 10 May, according to information published by the “Path of the Future” JBG, a group of 28 persons from the Pojcol ejido, Chiquinival neighborhood (official municipality of Chilón), together with another group of 21 people from El Rosario harassed and attacked BAEZLN from this same Zapatista Autonomous Community. That same afternoon, Andrés López Vázquez fired four times at a child of 13 years of age, being the daughter of a BAEZLN. On 14 May 2015, Frayba responded by sending notice to the governments of Chiapas regarding the armed attacks.

On 24 June, members of the Pojcol and El Rosario groups who were carrying firearms and accompanied by Guadalupe Flores, the presumed ex-owner of recovered lands, and an engineer went to measure lands belonging to the BAEZLN. They fired ten times into the air, forcibly entered two BAEZLN homes, and robbed belongings as well roof of one of the domiciles, according to an EZLN communique published on 25 June.

Frayba calls for national and international solidarity to express support for the threatened BAEZLN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgos a la Vida y a la Integridad personal de BAEZLN en El Rosario y Nuevo Paraíso (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 30 de junio de 2015)

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncia de la JBG El Camino del Futuro. Caracol III La Garrucha (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

Chiapas/National: 26 June, International Day of Support for Torture Victims

July 2, 2015


(@Amnesty International)

On 26 June was celebrated the International Day of Support for Torture Victims, which this year was focused on the right to rehabilitation. The declarations and denunciations regarding torture have not ceased after the visit to Mexico by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who in his report stressed that “torture and abuses of the incarcerated on the part of the authorities in Mexico are generalized.” Many cases are not denounced due to fear of revenge, and principally they are the committed by municipal, state, and federal police, as well as ministerial agents and the military. “Torture and abuse take place during the first 24 to 48 hours of the arrest, and generally they end after the person is arraigned: the methods that are used include threats, insults, destruction of belongings, as well as beatings (usually involving hard objects), electrocution, water-boarding, violence, and sexual abuse.” Beyond this, he added that the disparity between the number of denunciations and testimonies received and the number of condemnations is a “worrying sign of impunity.” The Rapporteur declared he had been pressured to keep his report short, leading in turn to the accusation that the report was based on a small number of cases.

On the one hand, the National Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Mexico communicated that from 2001 to May 2015 it received 10,688 complaints regarding torture and other abuses (on average 2 a day). It affirms that in just over two years of the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, it has received 2,119 denunciations, with the military being the most frequently accused force. It also poinst to the fact that the country has lacked a national registry to reflect the totality of the cases of torture and other abuses. The results it has available have been compiled by the CNDH, state human-rights commissions, and the denunciations that have been brought together.

Beyond this, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) declared that despite the fact that thirty years have passed since the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Sanction Torture, this practice persists in the region. Several commissions have expressed their concerns regarding the use of rape as a method of torture against women, the attempt to justify such actions with arguments based on threats to national security or the need to obtain information in investigations, or to prevent attacks. In this way, the IACHR has called on members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to investigate all denunciations of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Amnesty International also pronounced itself on the question, reporting that 64% of Mexicans fear being subjected to torture after arrest; this places Mexico as the second-highest country with this fear on the global scale. Beyond this, AI adds that 7,000 denunciations of torture have been made in the past 3 years, but only 7 cases sanctioned at the federal level. AI is organizing a graphical campaign against torture.

In observance of the day, a number of denunciations appeared in the media, including the charge that 40% of those arrested for the Ayotzinapa case have been subjected to torture and other abuses during their arrest, or the hunger strike undertaken by eight prisoners from different institutions in Mexico City to demand the cessation of prison abuse. In Chiapas, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the torture of a Tzotzil couple as a means of forcing them to incriminate themselves in a murder case. The CDHFBC also organized a projection and conversation regarding torture in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where two experts on the question were present together with Silvia Domínguez, who gave testimony on the case of her brother Gabriel Domínguez, who died in police custody.

For more information (in Spanish):

La tortura y los malos tratos son generalizados en México, dice la ONU(CNN México, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Recibí presiones para minimizar mi informe sobre tortura’’: Méndez (La Jornada, 2 de abril de 2015)

En 14 años, 10 mil 688 quejas por tortura y otros tratos crueles(ContraLínea, 28 de junio de 2015)

Se deben indagar de oficio todas las denuncias de tortura: CIDH (CIMAC Noticias, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comienzan ocho reclusos huelga de hambre indefinida para denunciar tortura y extorsión (La Jornada, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturados, la mitad de los procesados por caso Ayotzinapa: expertos del GIEGI (Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Torturan a pareja tzotzil para que se inculpe de crimen, acusa el Frayba(Proceso, 29 de junio de 2015)

Cambiemos la historia #ALTOTORTURA (Amnistía Internacional)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: More than 500 cases of torture and 26 executions: Truth Commission (29 June 2015)

National: New Amnesty International report, “Out of Control: Torture and Other Abuses in Mexico” (15 September 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the Special Report: “Torture, mechanism of terror” (3 July 2014)

National: UN Special Rapporteur on torture ends official visit to Mexico (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to

May 27, 2015

Desplazados de Poblado Primero de Agosto, @SIPAZ

Displaced residents of the Primero de Agosto community, @SIPAZ

On May 20, the official report of the Civil Mission of Observation of the Primero de Agosto community, municipality of Las Margaritas, was presented in a press conference. 12 organizations participated together on May 11 and 12 in said mission that was carried out to observe and document the situation of the displaced people.

We are very sad about this forced displacement, where there has been much insecurity.  We are very uneasy.  We can’t sleep because of the fear that they are going to hurt us again, the authorities of Miguel Hidalgo.  Our children are becoming ill with cough, fever, head aches, stomache aches, and they always ask us when we are going to return to our home,” shared one of the displaced women.

56 people, amongst them 18 who are underage, were forcefully displaced February 23, 2015. On this day, they left their houses, belongings, and the land they occupied since August 1, 2013.  According to the agreement signed by representatives of the state government on January 8, 2015, the ownership of the property is currently considered “undefined.” The forced displacement was provoked by 50 peopple, authorities of Miguel Hidalgo, who are also memebers of the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H).  15 of the attackers carried high-caliber firearms.

The Civil Mission of Observation reported that the critical humanitarian situation, in which the displaced people find themselves in, has not been adequately attended to. The displaced live in precarious homes made of sticks, plastics, and nylon; there is an insufficient amount of drinkable water; the children are not attending school; there is a small amount of food (they only eat once or twice a day); and the health of the displaced community is of concern, especially in the children and the women who are pregnant: “The health and integrity of the displaced people, not only due to the presence of infectious or contagious diseases caused by the situation that is being lived, are being threatened by the presence of agents of the environment, such as climate and fauna of the area, and by the constant threats of the people who displaced them.  Evidently the rights to food, housing, access to water, a healthy environment, and emotional and social health of the population are being violated.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Más amenazas y hostigamiento a indígenas tojolabales (26 de mayo de 2015)

El gobierno de Chiapas cierra los ojos ante la situación de desplazados en Las Margaritas (22 de mayo de 2015)

Misión Civil de Observación de Derechos Humanos a campamento de personas desplazadas forzadamente del Poblado Primero de Agosto, municipio de Las Margaritas”, 20 de mayo de 2015

Desplazados y condiciones precarias denuncian nuevas amenazas y hostigamiento, Chiapas paralelo, 21 de mayo de 2015

Chiapas: demandan atender a desplazados, La Jornada, 21 de mayo de 2015

Desplazados de Margaritas urgen atención,, 21 de mayo de 2015

For more Information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats

(April 24, 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,126 other followers