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: Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

November 21, 2015


Beginning at dawn on 13 November, members of the XINICH organization, which pertains to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in their proper communities began a day of prayer and fasting that will last 13 Sundays in commemoration of the nine years since the Viejo Velasco massacre. Relatives of victims and survivors of the massacre called on “all brothers and sisters from civil society to join this action so that, with your families, organization, and communities, you carry out symbolic actions to accompany us.”

Nine years after the massacre, they manifested that they have not “found justice. The government has not punished those responsible, and there has been no effective or efficient investigation of those intellectually and materially responsible for these human-rights violations.” Beyond this, they denounced that the “bad government has not sought out and thus does not know the whereabouts of our brothers Antonio Peñate López and Mariano Pérez Guzmán, who continue to be forcibly disappeared.”

It bears mentioning that on 13 November 2006, at 6am, in the community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, Chiapas, adjacent to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle, a group of 40 persons from the New Palestine community accompanied by 300 units from the sectorial police invaded the community and attacked its indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Ch’ol residents, leaving four dead, four others disappeared, and 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children forcibly displaced, being survivors of the assault.

For more information (in Spanish):

Noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Frayba, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Rostros de Despojo, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas “Civiles armados, policías, funcionarios y servidores públicos, cometieron la Masacre de Viejo Velasco en Ocosingo”, DDHH. (Radio Pozol, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

A nueve años de la masacre de Viejo Velasco, pobladores anuncian jornada de oración y ayuno (14 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (CGT Chiapas, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Palenque, eight years after the Viejo Velasco massacre; beginning of “Faces of looting” campaign (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)


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)

Chiapas: Family of José Rolando, murdered through torture, demands justice and cessation of death-threats

November 19, 2015

José Rolando @ Chiapas Denuncia

José Rolando @ Chiapas Denuncia

On 29 October, the 20-month anniversary of the murder of José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz by municipal police from Acala (who beat him and tortured him to death on 1 March 2014), his relatives published a communique demanding justice, guarantees of non-repetition, and security guarantees for the family and lawyer in the case, as they have been the objects of death-threats and harassment.

Beyond this, they expressed gratitude for the support and solidarity they have received on the national and international levels, as well as the intervention by the organization Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture in France (ACAT-France) toward the Chiapas state government.

“We will continue to demand justice and truth from this bad government headed by Velasco Coello, who has demonstrated his lack of interest, incompetence, and inefficiency for investigating and incarcerating all those who obstruct [justice] and participated directly or indirectly in the murder of José Rolando,” they declared in front of the palace of governance in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de José Rolando muerto por tortura exigen verdad y justicia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de octubre de 2015)

Chiapas: como en Iguala, la muerte de Rolando Pérez de la Cruz fue “bajo custodia y tortura de la policía municipal” (Radio Zapatista, 29 de octubre de 2015)

Policías municipales de Acala privan arbitrariamente de la vida al joven Rolando Pérez (CDHFBC, 15 de marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Torture and murder of youth the responsibility of municipal police from Acala, CDHFBC denounces (28 March 2014)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Chicoasén initiate hunger-strike against Chicoasén II dam-project

November 19, 2015

Huelga de hambre contra construcción de la CFE (@Educa)

Hunger-strike against the construction of the CFE (@Educa)

On 3 November, elder males and females who have been affected by the construction of the Chicoasén II dam in the Chicoasén municipality undertook a hunger-strike to demand the release of their lawyer Arturo Ortega Luna, who was arrested on 21 October. In an urgent communique, the campesinos reported that “those who will be on hunger strike are at risk of having charges fabricated against them by the government, as it did the last time with the State Attorney General’s Office, given that municipal and state police and the Mexican Army are patrolling through our streets.” They indicated that the detained lawyer, who was assisting them in their defense against the construction of the dam-project, “was arrested unjustly, accused of a mutiny by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).” The ejidatarios demanded that the more than 10 arrest-orders against other members of the ejidal committee and associated lawyers be suspended.

With their hunger-strike, the ejidatarios denounced the judicial persecution and threat against their agrarian rights, in light of the looting of land implied by the project. They have demanded just reparations for the loss of their lands as well as respect for the legal motion affirmed by a federal judge in May 2015 mandating the suspension of the dam-project. Avisaín Solís López, an ejidatario who has been affected by the dam’s construction, added that the state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, “said that he would not allow the construction of any more dams that would violate the rights of peasants in Chiapas, but now we defend our rights, having received only lies.” Those affected seek to maintain their hunger-strike until the government attends to them, releases their lawyer, and respects their rights as indigenous people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Campesinos de Chicoasén inician ayuno por liberación de abogado (La Jornada, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Inician ancianos zoques huelga de hambre contra hidroeléctrica Chicoasén II (Educa, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Ejidatarios de Chicoasen inician huelga de hambre (Chiapas Denuncia Publica, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

Adultos mayores inician ayuno contra hidroeléctrica de CFE en Chiapas (Proceso, 3 de noviembre 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: Conflicts between police and teachers over protest of evaluations

October 25, 2015

Choque entre magisterio y cuerpos policiales. Foto @Revolución Tres Punto Cero.Conflict between teachers and police. Photo: @Revolución Tres Punto Cero.

On 18 October took place the diagnostic exam for teachers in Chiapas, being a measure adopted to evaluate these teachers, as implemented following the educational reforms pushed by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN). According to the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education (INEE), this evaluation seeks to “contribute with professional development to assist in the elevation of quality of instruction for students and equity in educational outcomes,” though it has caused a great deal of polemic among various sectors of the magisterium, who understand it as a means of rationalizing selective dismissals. According to the Secretary for Education in Chiapas, Ricardo Aguilar Gordillo, “whoever does not take the test should have his or her job removed.”

In Ocozocuautla, access to the place for evaluation was blockaded by members of section 7 of the Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) and the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), who reject the educational reform and carried out direct actions to express their opposition.

According to Revolución Tres Punto Cero, teachers from section 7 of Chiapas “were repressed violently when they were about to begin a protest that they qualified as being peaceful, which was to be joined also by section 40.” Some testimonies denounced that units of the federal police, the gendarmerie, and the state police fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, and that injured teachers subsequently received no medical attention. The CNTE distanced itself from acts such as the burning of buses and attempts to burn a gas-pipe, affirming instead that “infiltrators committed arson […] and affected the vehicles belonging to the teachers; we have evidence that these were police infiltrators,” they noted, assuring that attacks from the police were defended against using only sticks and stones. According to Chiapas Paralelo, “authorities reported that three police were injured and one kidnapped by the teachers. The teachers in turn denounced that three of their comrades had been injured by rubber-coated bullets, four beaten by police, and two others arrested. Later, police and teachers exchanged ‘hostages.’” There were also reports of the destruction of two vehicles belonging to journalists who were covering the action.

Despite the attempt made by the CNTE to blockade access, some of the teachers succeeded in taking the exam. The Education Ministry reported that another date will be chosen for those who could not complete it last weekend.

For more information (in Spanish):

Maestros en Chiapas son reprimidos por PF y Gerdarmería; usaron gases lacrimógenos y bombas de goma (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 18 de octubre de 2015)

Policías desalojan a maestros que bloqueaban carretera en Chiapas (Proceso, 18 de octubre de 2015)

Chocan CNTE y policía en Chiapas (La Jornada, 18 de octubre de 2015)

La SEP reprogramará la evaluación de maestros en Chiapas ante el boicot de la CNTE (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police (10 March 2015)

National: Thousands of teachers march against the educational reform (4 October 2013)

Chiapas: Femicides on the rise: six victims in fewer than 10 days

October 25, 2015

Mural en Tuxtla Gutiérrez conmemorativo de las víctimas de feminicidio en Chiapas. Foto: @Chiapas Paralelo

Commemorative mural for the victims of femicide in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo

The increase in the number of cases of femicide has been called “one of the gravest problems in Chiapas,” according to the sociologist María del Rosario Alarcón. In fewer than 10 days, six women were killed: three of them were sexually assaulted, one was a minor, another was pregnant, and some of the corpses that were found showed serious signs of violence. These femicides were perpetrated in Chiapa de Corzo, Pujiltic (Venustiano Carranza municipality), and in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

On repeated occasions, the negligence of the State has been denounced in terms of applying justice in the cases of femicide. According to Contralínea, clear examples are seen in the covering-up of the cases of femicides, toward the end of maintaining a good political image; the impunity resulting from lack of investigation in the cases such as femicides, though nearly all the states include this crime in their penal codes; or the discriminatory prejudice and lack of efforts made by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the judiciary toward the end of applying the highest international standards in terms of human rights, where the majority of the statistics that are published originate from data provided by the monitoring of press carried out by the Group of Women from San Cristóbal. According to this group, “femicidal violence has increased in the past three years. During this period there have been registered 249 cases.” According to the same source, in Chiapas femicide is principally perpetrated by those close to the victims, in the majority of cases relatives with whom the women had had affective relations.

As a response, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, presented on 25 November 2013—in observance of the International Day against Violence against Women—a request for the declaration of a Gender Violence Alert (AVG). This would be a mechanism that provides the National System to Prevent, Attend to, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women, to “guarantee the security of women, the cessation of violence against them, and the elimination of inequalities produced by the legislation that worsens their human rights.” The AVG has been denied by the Chiapas state government, which has not even investigated the possibility, using the argument that in this entity, “femicide does not affect the social peace.”

The AVG mechanism has been a polemical issue. Following 13 requests denied in 10 states, the Alert was declared for the first time this year in July in 11 municipalities of Mexico state. Criticism from those like Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte, former federal special prosecutor for attending to violence against women, notes that the AVG “does nothing,” since it has failed to break with the “patriarchal agreement” whereby violence continues against women. According to the specialist, there are vastly different perceptions regarding the advances from the points of view of feminists and the legal system, for State officials “do not understand what femicide is.” Beyond this, she added that the mechanism is not functioning, but rather that it is only wasting money, the energy of organizations, and time, so that “nothing at the end changes.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas feminicidios a la alza, en 10 días seis asesinadas; una menor de edad y otra con embarazo de 2 meses (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 19 de octubre de 2015)

Dos feminicidios en Pujiltic en menos de una semana (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de octubre de 2015)

Impune, feminicidio en México (Contralínea, 10 de febrero de 2015)

El feminicidio es un crimen de Estado porque no se garantiza seguridad y se obstaculiza la justicia: académica (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 23 de octubre de 2015)

AVG ha sido incapaz de acabar el “pacto patriarcal” de violencia (Cimac Noticias, 23 de octubre de 2015)

Por 1a vez, Segob declara alerta de género: lo hace para 11 municipios del Edomex (Animal Político, 29 de julio de 2015)

Para Chong y Velasco el aumento de 400% en feminicidios “no altera la paz social de Chiapas” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 17 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: march to demand investigation of new femicide (29 September 2014)

Chiapas: Impunity in the case of Tatiana Trujillo (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: State complicity in femicide is denounced (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Commemoration of the murder of Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez and other victims of femicide (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert (30 March 2014)


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