Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case

July 22, 2015

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Temporary camp, Photo@Sipaz

On 15 July, the Peace Network, of which SIPAZ forms a part, published a communique denouncing the omission of the Chiapas state government with regard to the violation of the human rights of the forcibly displaced people from the Primero de Agosto community. This conclusion has to do with the fact that, two days prior, both the Coordinator of the Subsecretary for Governance, Gustavo Víctor Moscoso Zenteno, as well as the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Cristóbal Hernández Hernández, failed to show to the meetings that had been arranged with the Peace Network.

Two months after the civil observation mission that was held on 11 May, the member-organizations of the Peace Network presented evidence showing that the grave conditions of the displaced families have not improved, and that death-threats and attacks on the camp of the displaced continue to be prosecuted by members of the Historical Independent Center for Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The Network’s communique expresses that “despite the various meetings that we have had with the state government, the State has not observed the accords to which it had agreed as a means of resolving the problem in a profound way, through the recognition of the right to the land from which the families of the Primero de Agosto community were displaced. These commitments were signed in a meeting on 25 February 2015, when the Chiapas state government committed itself to guaranteeing the redistribution of 50% of the land [the displaced] had had in the Primero de Agosto community.”

In addition, the Network responded to the reason for which the officials were absent: “We believe that the argument of the officials to ignore us due to the electoral situation is not valid, amidst the grave human-rights violations that the displaced families are experiencing. On the contrary, the electoral context worsens their vulnerability, as violence can take place in the region before, during, or subsequent to the elections. For this reason, we request a guarantee for the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the displaced persons from Primero de Agosto.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Chiapas mantiene actitud omisa para atender violaciones a derechos humanos de personas desplazadas forzadamente del Poblado Primero de Agosto (Red por la Paz, 15 de julio de 2015)

Acusan de omiso al gobierno de Chiapas ante desplazamiento forzado de indígenas (Proceso, 15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 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)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation

January 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 7 January, the representatives of the Tila ejido, the president of the ejidal commissioner, and the president of the council of vigilance denounced the usurpation of the ejidal authority in their community, accusing Arturo Sánchez, Juan López López, and Evaristo Gutiérrez of naming their own commissioner and having ordered them “to make their seal and […] giving them services, thus presenting these three as though they were the new ejidal authorities.  They have thus made the grave mistake of illegally usurping the ejidal authority that is the general assembly and the ejidal authorities.”

In this way, the ejidatarios affirmed that on 2 September and 22 December 2014, these three persons met “to plan this action, and they have been supported by the Chiapas state government and City Hall” in this.  They also indicated that organized crime is in collusion with the municipal government, in light of the fact that “City Hall has served as refuge for criminals, murderers, and ex-convicts who engage in a power-struggle over the position every three years.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Usurpación de la Asamblea ejidal y Autoridades por el mal gobierno y su grupo caciques (La Otra ejido Tila, 7 de enero de 2015)

Ejidatarios de Tila acusan intento de usurpación de autoridad (Centro Prodh, 9 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido

October 26, 2014

© SIPAZ

© SIPAZ

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH Center) has reported on a denunciation of the recent acts of harassment targeting ejidatari@s of Tila which “could affect the personal integrity and […] collectively affect the ejidal autonomy of the Ch’ol indigenous people.”

On 16 October,1500 ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) marched to commemorate the creation of their ejido 80 years ago.  During the march, “the commander of the municipal police filmed protestors from the balcony of the police office,” noted the PRODH Center.  PRODH also indicated that “a day later, an ejidataria was assaulted by unknown persons, though witnesses could observe that one of the assailants was wearing a municipal police uniform.”

PRODH has manifested its concern for the harassment against the ejidal authorities of Tila, given that the ejidal commissioner has been followed and surveilled in the wake of the mobilization.  PRODH noted as well that “unknown persons have surrounded his home and asked local residents if that is where the ejidal president lives; as a consequence, indigenous ejidal authorities have found themselves displaced, amidst the threat of suffering new attacks.”

For this reason, PRODH has demanded the cessation of all harassment and attacks on members of the Tila ejido; that the necessary, sufficient, and effective measures be implemented to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the members of the ejidal commission of Tila; and that those responsible for these threats and acts of harassment be investigated and punished forthright.

It is critical to note that in 2008, the Tila ejido won a motion it has advanced against one of the several attempts at plundering its lands it has suffered since 1964 due to the actions of Tila City Hall, the Chiapas state government, and the local congress.  This motion ordered the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands; however, using the false argument that said sentence would be impossible to observe, City Hall has failed to observe it.  This is the reason the Tila ejidatari@s have advanced the case of the violation of sentence 1302/20130 before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Centro Prodh denuncia nuevos ataques contra ejido Tila en Chiapas, Centro Prodh, 20 de octubre de 2014

Denuncian hostigamiento a ejidatarios y ejidatarias del ejido Tila, Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de octubre de 2014

Marcha mitín por 80 aniversario de nuestro ejido, laotraejidotila, 17 de octubre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: March and rally in Tila to commemorate the founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones decision on case of the Tila ejidatario(16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios march in Tila and Mexico City (16 August 2012)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway

September 16, 2014

Conferencia de prensa del Ejido Candelaria, septiembre de 2014 (@SiPAZ)

In a press-conference held on 11 September in the offices of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, ejidiatari@s from Candelaria, San Cristóbal de Las Casas municipality, made public their opposition to the planned construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, with this being a decision agreed to in their communal assembly.

The ejidatarios denounced acts of pressure, harassment, and death-threats on the part of governmental authorities to make the assembly accept the passage of the highway through its lands.  On 23 June, governmental representative Javier López Ramírez came to announce that “the highway would pass” through the other communities that had already signed the accord, but the ejidatarios investigated this claim to find out that it was false.  They affirmed that “the comrades from Chilon told [us] that the government used the same strategy with them and that it was not true.”

The ejidatarios expressed that “elders, women, men, children, communities, and organizations will join together to see what can be done as people against this project,” and they invited the communities to a Meeting in Defense of Mother Earth to coordinate resistance on 17 September at 11am in Laguna Suyul, Candelaria.

For more information (in Spanish):

Vídeo de la conferencia Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 11 de septiembre de 2014)

Candelaria: Los pueblos originarios en contra el megaproyecto de autopista en Chiapas (Espoir Chiapas, 11 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: An assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway (9 September 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)


Chiapas: Federal and state governments announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle

June 2, 2014

Población en la Selva Lacandona. Foto (@Sipaz)

Settlement in the Lacandona Jungle. Photo (@Sipaz)

The federal and Chiapas state governments have carried out an announcement expressing the priority need of proceeding with a territorial ordering of the Lacandona Jungle, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA), and protected natural areas: “The government of the Republic and the Chiapas state government express their conviction that it is priority for a TERRITORIAL ORDERING to provide the necessary conditions for the development of the Lacandona community and the neighboring ejidos to improve the quality of life of residents with an eye to the rule of law, privileging the consolidation of protected natural areas and sustainable development in these areas.  In conformity with the stipulations of the General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment (Article 46), which states that ‘in protected natural areas, new population centers cannot be authorized’: the existing irregular communities located within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve cannot be regularized, nor can any future settlements so be rationalized in any other part of a natural protected area.  For this reason no process of compensation can be provided, as there are no programs or resources dedicated to this end, nor will there be.”

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, General Secretary of Governance, indicated that the federal and state governments will seek a solution of resettlement for those living in irregular communities within REBIMA.

In 1972, a presidential decision provided 614,000 hectares of the jungle to 66 Lacandon families without taking into account the thousands of other indigenous ethnicities who also resided within this territory and who have since then faced the threat of displacement from their lands.

Recently in April, an agreement was made between the Lacandon Community Zone and ARIC UU-ID (the Rural Association of Collective Interests-Union of Democratic and Independent Unions) which allows for the recognition of three populations located within and around REBIMA; in August 2013, another two were also recognized.  This agreement was the fruit of a dialogue process initiated directly by the two interested parties, and did not count with governmental participation, given the perceived lack of will of the same group to resolve the conflict, as ARIC representatives discussed in a press-conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)


Chiapas: More than three thousand maize producers confront police

December 8, 2013

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Photo @Chiapas Pararelo

Maize producers who demand a better price for their products were intercepted by hundreds of state police when they attempted to move the protest they had been sustaining for a week in the capital of Chiapas to the region of Venustiano Carranza.  The members of the Union of Maize Ejidos and Communities of the State of Chiapas demand that they be paid 5,000 pesos per ton of grain, but the authorities offer them only 3,600.  The campesinos confronted the police, resulting in the burning of several patrol-vehicles, 10 injured police, and 2 arrested campesinos.  Human-rights organizations denounced that the Chiapas state government is practicing repression in place of engaging with the legitimate demands of social groups.  In a 27 November bulletin, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights calls on the state government of Chiapas to cease its criminalization of social protest and at all moments guarantee and respect the rights to physical security as well as freedom of expression, assembly, thought, and association.  Thus, it calls for the immediate release of those who were arbitrarily arrested by the police and for medical attention to the injured.

For more information (in Spanish):

Uso desproporcionado de la fuerza pública en operativo policiaco en contra de productores de maíz (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 27 de noviembre de 2013)

Más de tres mil productores de maíz se enfrentan a policías en Chiapas: 11 heridos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2013)

Reclamaban precio de garantía a la tonelada de maíz y les mandaron policías (Chiapas Paralelo, 28 de noviembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Visita de Oliver De Shutter, relator especial de la ONU sobre el Derecho a la Alimentación (17 de junio de 2011)


Chiapas: teacher Adela Gómez regains her freedom

November 12, 2013

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Adela Gómez at a press-conference on 24 October.  Photo @SIPAZ

On 18 October 2013, the teacher Adela Gómez Martínez, activist and leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP), was released when the case against her was dropped.  Adela Gómez had spent 64 days arrested without having committed any crime; while incarcerated in the Amate prison in Cintalapa, she suffered grave health consequences.  She had been accused of rioting and extortion for having participated in a protest with her husband Noé Hernández Caballero, who remains imprisoned, accused of the same crimes as his wife.  Adela Gómez and Noé Hernández assured that their arrest had to do with their refusal to accept an agreement with the Chiapas state-government which had intended to suspend all mobilizations and social protests.

In a 23 October communique, the ONPP demanded the immediate release of Noé Hernández: “We call on state governor C. Manuel Velásco Coello to directly attend to our demand for the immediate and unconditional release of professor Noé Hernández Caballero.”  The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) released a press-bulletin on 24 October similarly demanding the release of Hernández.

For more information (in Spanish):

Liberación inmediata e incondicional del profesor Noé Hernández Caballero (Boletín de prensa ONPP, 23 de octubre de 2013)

Castigan a activista por ejercer derecho a la protesta (Boletín de prensa, CDHFBC, 24 de octubre de 2013)

Después de 64 días de injusta detención, la maestra Adela Gómez obtiene su libertad (Boletín de prensa, CDHFBC, 19 de octubre de 2013)

Adela Gómez alcanza su libertad (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de octubre de 2013)

Después de 64 días de injusta detención, la maestra Adela Gómez obtiene su libertad (Radio AMLO, 21 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: AI concerned for security and health of imprisoned activist Adela Gómez (25 October 2013)

Chiapas: State police arbitrarily arrest ONPP members (16 September 2013)