Chiapas: Intellectuals Express Concern over Militarization in Zapatista Territory

June 20, 2019

EZLN

Intellectuals and national and international social and political organizations expressed their concern over the renewed militarization in Zapatista territories since the change of government. Below we reproduce the contents of their statement:

To whoever is still willing to listen:

This is a message of concern for life, for dignity. Those of us who signed this letter are worried about what is happening, again, in that forgotten corner of the Mexican southeast that became the heart of hope and rebellion, Chiapas.

This is not an ideological manifesto nor a declaration of position against the political changes that are taking place in Mexico, it is a genuine concern over what it is felt is approaching looming those from below that after 25 years, of 500 years, continue to resist extermination and oblivion. We are concerned about those who for a quarter of a century have fought for their autonomy, who have placed dignity above political pragmatism, who have been an example of freedom in a world chained by fear, we are concerned about the Zapatistas.

We are concerned to learn about the growing military activity in the territories of the Zapatista communities. We see that in the midst of Mexico’s complex security situation, the path of militarization of the country is becoming even stronger. It is a warning sign that under the much-questioned strategy surrounding the National Guard, that this, as has happened many times, be a “security” force that does not distinguish between crime and resistance, between cruelty and dignified rebellion. It is contradictory that when the Mexican Government’s own data indicate that the Zapatista zone has one of the lowest crime rates, the security strategy is directed in a threatening manner in those areas that are of the few sanctuaries of freedom and security for Mexico of those below. This seems more like a war strategy than a security strategy.

Although among the signatories we are a diverse group of people that can see the administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador with hope or skepticism, we are all people who dream of a different, better world. Those of us who support these words believe that a change in Mexico cannot occur under a shadow of political pragmatism, yielding to pressures that lead to authoritarianism, to dispossession and violence for the benefit of the 1%, nor to the disqualification of critical voices. that with their authenticity and consistency have earned the respect of the world.

We see an increasing process of hostility towards authentic, historical and legitimate resistances that oppose projects such as the Maya Train, the Trans-isthmus Corridor and the Morelos Integral Plan, among others. We are concerned about the recent homicides of members of the National Indigenous Congress and the Indigenous Council of Government. We are concerned about the possibility that this new administration, like its predecessors, liberals or conservatives, once again insults indigenous peoples on the verge of extermination.

The world is looking with eyes and heart at what is happening in Mexico and Chiapas.

Stop the war against the Zapatistas and the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico!

For more information in Spanish:

Carta contra la militarización de zonas indígenas del EZLN, La Jornada, 18 de junio de 2019

Militarización de territorio zapatista “parece estrategia de guerra”: intelectuales, Radio Formula, 18 de junio de 2019

Militarización en zona zapatista pone en riesgo a indígenas, La Jornada, 17 de junio de 2019

La “guerra” contra el Congreso Nacional Indígena (Contralínea, 17 de junio de 2019)

Chomsky denuncia militarización de territorio zapatista: «parece estrategia de guerra», Revistadefrente, 17 de junio de 2019

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Intensification of Attacks against Indigenous Peoples since December 2018 (June 4, 2019)

Chiapas: Frayba Denounces Increased Militarization in Zapatista Territories (May 10, 2019)

Chiapas: Denuncian vigilancia militar en Chicomuselo (March 27, 2019)

Chiapas: Centro de derechos humanos denuncia riesgos ante militarización de Chilón (January 25th, 2019)

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Chiapas/National/International: Migrants’ Human Rights Defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, Released

June 17, 2019

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In the early hours of June 12th, the migrants’ human rights defenders, Irineo Mujica and Cristobal Sanchez, were released after a judge in Tapachula, Chiapas, determined not to put them on trial. A week earlier, they had been arrested accused by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR in its Spanish acronym) of the alleged crime of trafficking in persons, that is, of moving people without documents and supposedly for profit.

The People Without Borders Organization, of which Irineo Mujica is director, had denounced that the accusations against the two activists were “false, the product of a campaign to criminalize by the Mexican government under strong pressure from the US government,” such that in the days leading up to the hearing it was demanding that due process be respected, the right to the presumption of innocence, and that there be real justice for both defenders that it considered were ”scapegoats” of Mexico’s policy to be able to meet the newly signed agreement with the US government.

More than a hundred organizations, collectives and academics had made the same demands, considering that “the deprivation of freedom of both defenders represents a form of criminalization against migrants’ human rights defenders, which threatens the right to defend rights, which is even more worrying in a context as complex as that facing migration in the country.” They also expressed their concern that “from the recent agreements reached by the Mexican government with the United States, sending elements of the National Guard throughout the territory was announced, prioritizing the Southern Border, in order to “reduce irregular migration”, thereby advancing a militarization agenda on the southern border and criminalization of migrants and those who defend and accompany them.”

For more information in Spanish:

Liberan a Irineo Mujica y Cristóbal Sánchez; no hay pruebas en su contra (Radio Formula, 12 de junio de 2019)

Liberan a Cristóbal Sánchez e Irineo Mujica defensores de migrantes (Político.MX, 12 de junio de 2019)

Infundadas, acusaciones contra defensores de migrantes: Pueblos Sin Fronteras (Proceso, 10 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica se ofreció a colaborar con la Fiscalía y testificar dos meses antes de ser detenido (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Juicio justo para Cristóbal e Irineo, exigen OSC; acusan militarización de la frontera (Animal Político, 10 de junio de 2019)

Criminalizan a defensores de migrantes, denuncian ONG (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2019)

Irineo Mujica y Cristobal Sánchez: ¿los dos primeros presos políticos del Gobierno de López Obrador? (RT, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:    

National/International: US-Mexico Migration Deal Halts Imposition of Tariffs (June 17, 2019)

National/International: Two Defenders of Migrant Human Rights Arrested (June 11, 2019)     

Chiapas/National/International: Observation Mission Concludes “Southern Border Is Silent Torture”(June 9, 2019)

Chiapas/National/International: Human Rights Organizations Demand End to Child and Adolescent Migrant Detentions (May 26, 2019)

Chiapas: First Deployment of National Guard in Chiapas at Siglo XXI Migration Center (May 23, 2019)


Chiapas/Tabasco: Ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores Murdered

June 17, 2019

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@Regeneración

On June 10th, the Tabasco ecologist Jose Luis Alvarez Flores was found murdered, near Calatraba ejido, municipality of Palenque, in Chiapas. The 64-year-old was a defender of the howler (Saragauto) monkey sanctuary and the Usumacinta River. His body had five bullet wounds and threatening messages were found next to it on cardboard against his family and ecologists.

Since 2012, Alvarez Flores was in charge of the Saraguato Environmental Management Unit (UMA) and at various times made accusations about the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from the Usumacinta River. As a result, he requested protection measures from the government but never received them.

Miguel Perez, president of the Tabasco Environmental Management Units, declared after the events: “We condemn this cowardly murder, we demand justice, protection for his family and two other defenders who were threatened.” According to figures from Global Witness, at least 125 environmentalists were killed in Mexico in the last decade.

Among possible contextual elements, Minuta de EDUCA recalls that, “the Usumacinta River is the largest river in Mexico and if the Maya Train project is materialized, it would be the main source of extraction of stone for the construction of this megaproject questioned by environmentalists.”

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista que luchaba por el mono saraguato (Animal Político, 11 de junio de 2019)

José Luis Álvarez, ecologista y defensor del santuario del mono saraguato, es asesinado (Sin Embargo, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan al ecologista mexicano José Luis Álvarez (Desinformémonos, 11 de junio de 2019)

Asesinan a José Luis Álvarez, ambientalista en Tabasco (Regeneración, 11 de junio de 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Two Members of Movement for Welfare, Peace and Common Good of Amatan and Independent Revolutionary Campesino Movement Murdered (January 28, 2019)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Sinar Corzo Esquinca Murdered (January 14, 2019)

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14, 2018)


Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019

 

On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14th, 2018)

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).


Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).


Chiapas: Destruction of Camps and Threats to Tsotsil Population in Forced Displacement

January 4, 2019

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On December 23, 2018, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center published this Urgent Action:

New forced displacements in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas

Destruction of camps and threats to Tsotsil population as forced displacement increases conditions of vulnerability and risks for 1,146 people.

Nine camps which housed internally displaced people in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, were destroyed on December 21, 2018, between 14:00 and 17:00 hours, approximately, in a context of aggression on the part of Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, member of the National Action Party.

238 displaced families in the Barrio Shishimtotik, Tulantik, Ch’enmut, Bololchojon, Cruz K’ak’anam, Jolcantetik, Cruzton, Bejelton, and Barrio Pom camps lost the few belongings they had in the houses made of plastic, wood, and some with sheets. They also demolished toilets built with donations from solidarity organizations such as Caritas.

The population, mostly women and children, moved again after the aggression and intimidation. Families have lent them spaces, but there have been threats to expel anyone from their community if they help displaced people in this way. Testimonies say that community authorities prohibited humanitarian access, and threatened to tie up and burn representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee, as well as anyone who tries to enter the demolished camps.

At least 1,237 people remain in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, in conditions of vulnerability and risk, without being able to return to their homes because their land is on the edge of the conflict where armed groups from Chenalhó continue to fire weapons which intensify in the early hours of the morning.

More than a year after the massive forced displacement of communities of Tsotsil people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, the situation remains serious and human rights violations continue due to the failure of the Mexican State. The government of Chiapas fails to comply with international commitments to care for and protect displaced people and violates precautionary measure No. 882-17 granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on February 24, 2018, “to guarantee the rights of members of indigenous peoples in a situation of risk to the life, safety, and personal integrity of the 10 displaced communities since November 2017.

For this reason, we demand that the Mexican State:

Guarantee the safety, integrity, and life of the population in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

Stop the threats and aggression coming from Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, against representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee.

In accordance with the Guiding Principles on Forced Displacement of the United Nations, deal comprehensively with the forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

We ask national and international solidarity to send your appeals to:

C. Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Presidente Constitucional de México     Residencia Oficial de los Pinos. Casa Miguel Alemán. Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 4901:Twitter@lopezobrador_

Lic.Olga Sánchez Cordero. Secretaria de Gobernación de México                              Bucareli 99, 1er. piso. Col. Juárez. Delegación Cuauhtémoc;  C.P. 06600 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 34 14; Correo:secretario@segob.gob.mx: Twitter@M_OlgaSCordero

Lic. Luis Raúl González Pérez. Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, Edificio “Héctor Fix Zamudio”, Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6°piso. Col. Tlacopac San Ángel. Delegación Álvaro Obregón. C.P. 01040; Ciudad de México.              Fax: (+52) 0155 36 68 07 67: Correo: correo@cndh.org.mx : Twitter: @CNDH

Lic. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México                                                Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;                              Correo: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx: Twitter: @JuntoscnRutilio

Lic. Ismael Brito Mazariegos. Secretario General de Gobierno en Chiapas: Palacio De Gobierno, 2o. Piso, Centro C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Conmutador: (961) 61 8 74 60 Ext. 20003: Correo: secretariaparticular.sgg@gmail.com

Lic. Alonso Méndez Guzmán. Subsecretario de Gobierno de la Región V. Altos Tsotsil-Tseltal: Francisco I. Madero No. 101, Barrio Guadalupe C.P. 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Teléfono: 01 (967) 67 465 94 Fax: 01 (967) 67 465 94

C. Margarita Díaz García. Presidente Municipal de Chalchihuitán                                Avenida Central S/N, Palacio Municipal C.P. 29850 Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.              Teléfono: (01 919) 10 1-10-28 o Teléfono: 9671245086

 

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia el Frayba la destrucción de 9 campamentos de desplazados (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen nueve campamentos de mujeres e infantes en Chalchihuitán(Regeneración, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen campamentos de 238 familias tsotsiles desplazadas en Chiapas(Contralínea, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Navidad en Chiapas: destruyen 9 campamentos con 1146 indígenas, la mayoría mujeres, niñas y niños (Sin Embargo, 25 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3, 2018).

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018).

National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years (May 11, 2018).

 


National / International: First Migrant Caravan advances in Mexico; a person dies in the second caravan trying to enter; Trump announces operation «Faithful Patriot» to close US border

November 3, 2018
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Migrants Exodus (@SIPAZ)


While the first migrant Caravan that entered Mexico on October 20 continues to advance in Oaxaca, a second caravan was stopped trying to cross the border so as to continue its journey to the United States on October 28. This day, in Tecun Uman, Henry Adalid Díaz Reyes, 26 years old, originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, died after receiving a rubber bullet hit allegedly by the federal police of Mexico, trying to stop the crossing of this caravan. On the Guatemalan side, local media reported that several people were injured during a clash between the National Civil Police of Guatemala and about 2,000 migrants who forcibly broke through the metal fence through which they accessed Mexican territory.

The Secretary of the Interior in Mexico, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, said that the elements of the Federal Police that tried to stop the passage of migrants on the border with Guatemala did not carry weapons: “The Federal Police, as witnessed by the CNDH, did not carry weapons (…) The instruction was clear: unarmed police (…) It has been proven that some of the aggressors who tried to enter the country today carried firearms and the so-called Molotov cocktails “. He affirmed that Mexico has shared information with the governments of Guatemala and Honduras so that the aggressors are detained and made available to the authorities.

It should be noted that on October 29, about 200 people from San Salvador, El Salvador, left their country for the United States. They hope that on the road more people will join them and that in a few days they will be able to cross the border with Mexico.

Likewise, on October 29, the United States announced the start-up of the operation “Faithful Patriot” for the deployment of 5,200 soldiers on the border with Mexico before the arrival of these caravans. “Our message is simple: we will not allow large groups to enter the United States in an unsafe and illegal manner,” told Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, during a press conference. He indicated that the military personnel will cooperate with the more than 1,000 agents of the Customs and Border Protection service and the 2,100 members of the National Guard that have already been distributed in 26 border points, in particular in the states of Texas, Arizona and California.

Hours earlier, President Donald Trump had said on Twitter that “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!

Of the more than 7,000 who initially entered Mexico, some 4,000 would have voluntarily returned to their country, an official source reported in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

For more information (in Spanish):

Caravana: un segundo grupo de migrantes centroamericanos rompe la valla fronteriza entre México y Guatemala en fuerte enfrentamiento con la policía (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Caravana de migrantes: Estados Unidos anuncia el despliegue de 5.200 militares a la frontera con México (BBC Mundo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Migrantes cruzan a México bajo promesa de pedir refugio pero se rebelan y unen a segunda caravana (Proceso, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Segunda caravana de migrantes intenta entrar a México; policía mata a uno (En el camino, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Segunda caravana intenta entrar a México, muere migrante en el intento (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de octubre de 2018)

Muere migrante hondureño en choque con PF (La Jornada, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Hondureño de la #CaravanaMigrante muere en enfrentamiento en México (ADN Político, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Ejército, PNC y Policía Municipal tomarán control de Tecún Umán (Prensa Libre, 28 de octubre de 2018)

Durante tres horas, la Gendarmería impide el tránsito de la caravana migrante en Oaxaca (Proceso, 27 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas / National / International: Migrant Caravan about to enter Oaxaca November 3, 2018

National / International: Caravan of migrants from Honduras arrives in Mexico October 22, 2018

National / International: Mexico, migration filter? September 21, 2018

National/International: OSC Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA June 25, 2018