Chiapas: a forum on Free Determination is held in Bachajón

August 9, 2018
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Photo @ SIPAZ


On August 8 and 9, under the premise that “the construction of autonomy is done collectively”, a forum on “Free determination and defense of the territory” was held in the Bachajón ejido, municipality of Chilón.

On the first day of the forum, which was convened by the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (Modevite), more than 500 people exchanged experiences of self-determination and defense of the territory among indigenous peoples. Representatives of the Permanent Commission for Peace and Justice in Oxchuc were present; as well as of the Indigenous Movement of the Zoque People of Faith in Defense of Life and Territory (Zodevite); of San Felipe de los Herreros (Michoacán) and of the Colectivo Emancipaciones.

The second day consisted of a pilgrimage and a mass in the Bachajón ejido. By means of a pronouncement the different movements and collectives demanded:

“To the Electoral and Citizen Participation Institute of the State of Chiapas, to carry out all the necessary steps so that in Chilón, Sitalá and Oxchuc, our right to elect our municipal authorities according to our internal normative systems becomes effective, a right which is recognized in the second article, section A, section III of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States.

To the Federal Government ,to adapt the text of Article 115 of the Constitution, in such a way that the figure of the Indigenous Municipalities is contemplated, protecting and enforcing the recognition of the right to self-government on the part of indigenous peoples and communities throughout the country.

To the corresponding Authorities, to stop the process of privatization of water that puts our hydrological basins and the survival of our communities at risk. For us, water is not an economic resource, but a source of life, that is why we are willing to defend it to the ultimate consequences. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas chiapanecos realizan foro sobre Libre determinación (La Jornada Maya, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Pronunciamiento Modevite (Blog Modevite, 9 de agosto de 2018)

Indígenas de Chiapas y otros estados realizan “Foro por la libre determinación y en defensa del territorio (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2018)

Partidos políticos ¡nunca más!: Pueblos originarios (Chiapas Paralelo, 10 de agosto de 2018)

Plantean instituir la figura del municipio indígena en México (La Jornada, 10 de agosto de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The Councils of the Community Government from the Municipalities of Chilón and Sitalá are presented publicy May 30, 2018

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination November 24, 2017

Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns August 29, 2017

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Chiapas: The Councils of the Community Government from the Municipalities of Chilón and Sitalá are presented publicy

May 30, 2018
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Council of the Community Government from Chilon (@MODEVITE)


On April 20, the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE) presented the Council of Spokesmen of the Community Government of Chilón, elected in 20 regions of the municipality through the System of Uses and Customs. He explained that this Council “will be spreading the word in our communities about this alternative organization that seeks to resist the system of election by political parties and recover the indigenous constitutional right to self-determination, through the election of the Municipal Authorities according to our Indigenous Normative System, which allows us to exercise our own mode of government “.

More than 4000 people attended the event held in Bachajón “to ratify the path we have undertaken for several years, and through this demonstration, we tell the Mexican State and its Institutions that our organized struggle continues and that these Spokespeople will walk to unite and give more strength to our people ».

The next day, the same thing was done in the neighboring municipality of Sitalá. The MODEVITE stressed that “without refreshments, food or passage fees more than a thousand people met with a single slogan” not only do we seek new leaders, but a different way of governing “».

The MODEVITE explained that the more than 60 communities that filed the request with the Institute of Elections and Citizen Participation (IEPC) with more than 3,000 signatures of support, will be visited by the spokespersons and promoters of Community Government, “to continue building this different form of government despite the fact that until now the electoral institutions have not favored our request, as reported by the sentence of April 6 of this year, by the Electoral Court of the State of Chiapas. Therefore, the presentation of these comrades as well as the interposition of a new trial for the protection of political and electoral rights before the Regional Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal, is a visible argument that we wish to continue in our struggle, with more force and with the support of more and more sisters and brothers ».

For more information (in Spanish):

ASAMBLEA GENERAL COMUNITARIA MUNICIPIO DE SITALÁ A’TELPATANTAYEL BAHIL (MODEVITE, 22 de abril de 2018)

ASAMBLEA GENERAL COMUNITARIA MUNICIPIO DE CHILÓN A’TELPATANTAYEL BAHIL (MODEVITE, 21 de abril de 2018)

Presentan Concejo de Gobierno Comunitario de Chilón (Sie7e de Chiapas, 21 de abril de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: MODEVITE Mobilizes in Defense of Mother Earth and Self-Determination November 24, 2017

Chiapas: MOVEDITE Announcement on Early Political Campaigns August 29, 2017

Chiapas: Movement in Defense of Life and Territory 12-Day Pilgrimage Ends in San Cristobal de Las Casas December 2, 2016


Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections

July 22, 2015

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Photo @Juan Orel

The final days in the run-up to local elections in Chiapas were marked by violence. In terms of the alliance for local deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are in coalition for 16 of the 24 electoral districts. However, in at least 12 Chiapas municipalities there have been documented incidents and attacks between members of the two parties: in Playas de Catazaja, Oxchuc, Tzimol, Tumbala, Chilón, Cacahoatán, Tila, Frontera Comalapa, Ocotepec, Tuxtla Chico, Huixtla, and Mapastepec.

During the night of 16 July, a group of masked men armed with sticks, stones, and rockets (presumably allied to the PVEM) robbed photographic equipment and cash, and beat the journalist Juan Orel, during his coverage of an incident in the Boulevard of the Federations in the Comitán municipality. The incident in question occurred when the reporter was covering an attack by the masked men against a group of PRI militants. Another case of aggression took place in Tila. The Committee on Human Rights Digna Ochoa made public that residents of the Tila municipality denounced that “there prevails in the Tila municipality a climate of generalized terror among the population, provoked by the presence of armed groups that serve the PRI and PVEM.” Beyond this, the communique from the Digna Ochoa Committee mentions that “among the residents there exists a fear that the electoral process will end with a massacre, given that, to date, the Chiapas state government led by Manuel Velasco Coello has been totally absent in terms of guaranteeing the right to life, integrity, and personal security of the people of the Tila municipality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Grupo de choque ligado al PVEM agrede y roba equipo de reportero (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Se confrontan PRI y Verde en Comitán (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Conflictos entre PRI y PVEM marcan elecciones en Chiapas (Red Política, 8 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa (15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

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 (22 January 2014)


Chiapas: Denunciation of torture for 3 arrested members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

October 1, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 24 septiembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press conference, 24 September 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 16 September, three indigenous persons from the Virgen de Dolores community located within the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido were arrested by municipal police of Chilón, being adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.  Those arrested denounced having suffered torture and cruel and inhumane treatment toward the end of having them confess under compulsion to the crimes with which they had been charged.

The indigenous persons of Bachajón indicated that the operation was a revenge attack, given that one of the police who arrested the three Tseltales is a close friend of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who is imprisoned in the El Amate jail for having participated in the murder of the indigenous man Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  On this occasion, the residents of Virgen de Dolores captured the murderous police officer and handed him over to the authorities, such that they claim that this fabrication of crimes (torture and kidnapping) is in reality vengeance from the municipal police.  Beyond this, one of the arrested is a brother to Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

In the end, a judge from Ocosingo assigned a bail of 300,000 pesos to each of the detainees.  This is an amount that is impossible to cover, given the economic situation of those arrested.

For more information (in Spanish):

Información urgente de Comunidad Virgen de Dolores‏ (Blog Viva Bachajón, 20 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón (Enlace Zapatista, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Boletín: Tortura a indígenas tseltales Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian tortura tres prozapatistas presos en Chilón (Proceso, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian captura y desaparición de tres tseltales en Chilón (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Fijan fianza de $300mil pesos a detenidos de La Sexta Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian agresión de policías a tres ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Torturan a los tres indígenas tzeltales reportados como desaparecidos en Chilón, Chiapas (Somos el Medio, 20 de septiembre de 2014)


Chiapas: Mobilizations against the planned San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque highway

September 29, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 16 and 17 September, there were held new mobilizations against the planned construction of a highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, both in the Tseltal ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, Chilón municipality, as in the Tsotsil ejido of La Candelaria, San Cristóbal municipality.  The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory was created through the mobilizations organized against this project.

On 16 September, banners and signs were raised in communities and parishes to express popular opposition to the highway project.  On 17 September, ejidatarios from San Jerónimo Bachajón blockaded the Temó crossways en route to Palenque to demand “the cessation of harassment and threats against our ejidal authorities and other comrades, in light of the decisive defense of our territory and our disagreement with the highway project.”

Furthermore, on 17 September there was held in Laguna Suyul, La Candelaria ejido, a ceremony and joint declaration of more than 2,000 Tsotsil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, and Tojolabal persons from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Zinacantán, San Juan Chamula, Huixtán, San Pedro Chenalhó, San Pablo Chalchihuitán, San Juan Cancuc, Tenejapa, Amatenango, Chilón, Tila, Salto de Agua, Comitán, and Las Margaritas municipalities expressing opposition to the highway project.  In the declaration of Laguna Suyul, considered sacred land of the peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, the writers indicate that “we will defend the environment, the fabric and veins of mother earth: rivers, lakes, springs, mountains, caves, and hills.  We will defend the lives of animals, sacred places, the ecosystem of Mother Nature, and the lives of human beings.”

Also, on 21 September, some 3000 Ch’ol indigenous persons from the Tila parish carried out a pilgrimage in the municipal center against the planned highway projects between San Cristóbal and Palenque as well as between Villahermosa and Palenque, as against the plundering of lands for mineral extraction, and they denounced the increase in drug addiction rates, alcoholism, and prostitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acciones de protesta contra la Autopista Sancris-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de septiembre de 2014)
Anuncian nuevas protestas contra construcción de supercarretera San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2014)
Casi 3000 personas rechazan la autopista y organizan la resistencia a la autopista. + historia de Suyul(Espoir Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Chiapas: Desde Laguna Suyul indígenas manifestan su rechazo a la Supercarretera San Cristóbal – Palenque (Pozol Colectivo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)
Denuncian en Bachajón acoso y persecución judicial por protestar contra autopista (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Peregrinación en Tila contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque, megaproyectos y cantinas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio-Video:

Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway (16 September 2014)

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: Homage to the “fallen in defense of their people and land” in San Sebastián Bachajón

May 3, 2014

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

On 26 April, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, held an homage to two of their leaders who had “fallen in defense of their land and people”: Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

They recalled that Juan Vázquez Guzmán was killed on 24 April 2013 “by the bad government in an attempt to silence the voice and hopes of our organization […] as it also did with Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March of this year, who was still a youth who had participated greatly in the organization.”  They affirmed that “our struggle is peaceful, but we demand that the three levels of government respect our people because we will not remain seated just watching as our rights are violated.”

They denounced that “it is increasingly difficult for the communities and peoples, as they want to accelerate the privatization of our territories and exploit them for the benefit of a few millionaires; it is a lie that it will be for progress and development, because this is only a pretext to take away our lands.  They are death projects.”  The ejidatarios called “for organized struggles to defend the life of our lands” and greeted “all the peoples and communities of Mexico and the world who resist the capitalist megaprojects of looting.”

In parallel to this event, and as part of the international days for justice for San Sebastián Bachajón, dozens of collectives and organizations in solidarity from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the UK, and Spain carried out actions and pronounced themselves “for the respect of the rights of these indigenous Tseltal peoples and their lands and territories, in addition to respect for their right to free self-determination and the search of alternative ways of life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejidatarios tzeltales rinden homenaje a dos de sus dirigentes asesinados(La Jornada, 26 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (26 de abril de 2014)

Blog de los adherentes a la Secta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona de San Sebastián Bachajón: http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Release of Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (1 January 2013)

Chiapas: Federal court resolves in favor of ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: release of Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sixth Declaration from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Close of Global Campaign “Juan Vázquez Lives, the Struggle Continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón recall Juan Vázquez, murdered in April (19 July 2013)


Chiapas: Organizational calls for international days to demand justice for San Sebastián Bachajón

April 29, 2014


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In a communique published on 17 April, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, announced the realization of international days “for justice for San Sebastián Bachajón and our fallen comrades Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.”  These days of action are to take place between 24 April and 8 May 2014.

It should be recalled that on 24 April one year will have passed since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán: “Still justice has not been done.  There has not been an effective investigation of his killing, and his murderers and those who ordered his execution continue to enjoy impunity.  Meanwhile, efforts to loot the people of Juan continue, the communique observed.

The ejidatarios denounce that “The three levels of government, with their army, police, allies in transnational companies, locally financed paramilitary groups, and their party militants do not cease their attacks and lootings by means of lies and tricks, death-threats, violence, imprisonment, torture, and even murder, all of which they employ to succeed in realizing their ambition of taking control of the ancestral lands of the ejido for the construction of a luxury tourist complex beside the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul.”

The document also stresses that “Now there has been another murder, another vile attempt to force our comrades to renounce their just and dignified struggle and resistance.  Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, who was only 22 years of age, was riddled with more than twenty shots on 21 March 2014.  Juan Carlos participated in the construction of autonomy in the recovered land of Virgen de Dolores.  He was a regional coordinator of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido.  No one has been arrested or accused of this crime.  We respond with pain, but also with rage.”

The communique ends by calling “on all those persons of good heart and all the children of the Earth to steel themselves day by day in constructing another world, a better one, full of liberty, justice, respect, and dignity, allowing for everyone to live in accord with their own customs, modes, times, and geographies.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncian jornadas internacionales por la justicia para San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 19 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado y convocatoria de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón(17 de abril de 2014)

Blog de los adherentes a la Secta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona de San Sebastián Bachajón: http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón regarding maneuvers to formalize looting of ejidal territory for touristic ends (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: Federal court resolves in favor of ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: Release of Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (1 January 2013)

Chiapas: release of Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sixth Declaration from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Close of Global Campaign “Juan Vázquez Lives, the Struggle Continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón recall Juan Vázquez, murdered in April (19 July 2013)