On May 29, a committee comprised of leaders and representatives of the Council of Communal Properties of the Lacandon Community Zone, members of the Independent ARIC organization, and a member of the civil organization “Services and Advices for Peace” (SERAPAZ), Mario Marcelino Ruiz Mendoza, who accompanied the commission as a mediator, were arrested by agents of the State Attorney General of Chiapas.
The arrest occurred near the House of Government in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where the commission was going to start a negotiation table with the Secretary of Government, Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar. The stated objective of the session was to address different issues such as the release of the legal adviser of the Lacandon community, Gabriel Montoya; the recognition and respect of the free choice of the agricultural authorities of the Communal Properties; and the resolution of the agrarian situation in the open conflict in Montes Azules.
Around midnight, the SERAPAZ mediator was released, while the other members of the commission remained detained.
The detainees are accused of riot, attacks on public roads and kidnapping, crimes supposedly committed during the demonstrations, and roadblocks that occurred in recent weeks in the Lacandon Jungle to protest against what their participants consider the interference of environmental organizations in the communities’ decision-making.
Pablo Romo, a SERAPAZ member, expressed that the government of Manuel Velasco betrayed the negotiation process and does not listen to the needs of the population: “The arrest of the 28 people is a clear expression of the government’s insensitivity. People were approaching the government to generate a discussion process to give a solution to their demands. “
For more information (in Spanish)
Accion urgente: Detención de autoridades y representantes del Consejo de Bienes Comunales de la Zona Lacandona, organizaciones sociales y un miembro del equipo de SERAPAZ (SERAPAZ, 29 de mayo de 2014)
Actualización urgente: Mediador de Serapaz libre, persiste detención arbitraria de más de 20 personas (SERAPAZ, 29 de mayo de 2014)
Gobierno de Chiapas detiene a campesinos de la lacandona y a integrante de SERAPAZ (Chiapas Paralelo, 29 de mayo de 2014)
Detienen a 30 indígenas que iban a dialogar con autoridades sobre protesta en Ocosingo (Proceso, 29 de mayo de 2014)
Reportan detención de integrante de Serapaz en Tuxtla Gutiérrez (La Jornada, 29 de mayo de 2014)
Detienen a activistas que fueron citados por el gobierno de Chiapas (Sididh, 30 de mayo de 2014)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle, (June 10, 2014)
Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)