Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto

April 21, 2015

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Photo @komanilel.org

“Today we have suffered 30 days of displacement, illness, and having to live under trees covered by a piece of plastic, in inhuman conditions.  These have been 30 difficult days in which we have demanded the government’s response, but it has not done anything.  We have suffered threats and pain,” said the 57 people who have been displaced for a month in the border jungle region in Chiapas.

In a communiqué released on 23 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced new threats of attack and forcible displacement against residents of the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality.  A month after their forced displacement by members of the Independent Historical Campesino and Agricultural Worker Organization (CIOAC-H), the Tojolabal families still “find themselves vulnerable, under threat, and at risk of new attacks […].  The government of Manuel Velasco has not taken up its responsibility and commitments to the displaced families.  Instead, it has provided State protection to CIOAC-H members, as can be seen in the impunity in which all the legal denunciations made by the displaced find themselves […].  The events of 23 February 2015 led to a forcible displacement, even when State officials knew about the attacks and threats of displacement.  To date, the authorities charged with making justice have not clarified the events or arrested anyone for the aforementioned crimes.

The CDHFBC indicated as well that it has information that “there exists a new threat against the life of Antonio Roman López, whom CIOAC-H leaders have indicated as having been in the presence of Frayba members and State authorities, and thus as the leader of the residents.  Similarly, they threat the families from Primero de Agosto with a new displacement from where they actually find themselves.”  Due to all this, the CDHFBC denounced “the failure of the governments to provide protection and to guarantee human rights, as is stipulated in the Law for the Prevention of and Attention to Internal Displacement in Chiapas State, which lacks reality and is in fact quite dead.  Its content recognizes the fundamental rights of displaced peoples in the state, which have not been applied since its entry into law in February 2012.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa del CDHFBC (23 de marzo de 2015)

#Chiapas Denuncia publica de la comunidad Primero de Agosto a un mes del #DesplazamientoForzado (Koman Ilel, 23 de marzo de 2015)

“Hoy cumplimos 30 días desplazados, viviendo bajo los árboles, cubiertos por un pedazo de plástico”, indígenas tojolabales (Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)

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Guerrero: Teacher from Acapulco dies after violent repression of a protest by the Federal Police

March 10, 2015

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Homage to teacher Claudio Castillo. Photo @SIDIDH

On 25 February, the Guerrero state government confirmed the death of the teacher Claudio Castillo Peña due to cranial trauma, following the conflict between the Federal Police and members of the State Coordination of Educational Workers in Guerrero (CETEG) the day prior in Acapulco.  Raúl Miliani Sabido,  the Secretary for Civil Protection in the state, said in an interview that “unfortunately we do have the confirmation” of Castillo’s death, being 65 years of age.  Castillo Peña belonged to the teachers’ movement of the retired and usually was one of the speakers at the actions organized by the teachers in resistance.  Due to his state of health, the teacher used crutches, and witnesses observe that he could not run to escape the police displacement operation.  The Attorney General of Guerrero State announced on 26 February that the appropriate investigations had begun to investigate and establish the legal responsibilities of the civilian courts.

Testimony from female members of CETEG who had been at the front of the contingent when it was attacked by the Federal Police confirms the sexual abuse of a teacher who has been hospitalized in Cuernavaca, Morelos.  In a communique she relates that during the chase, the police caught up with her “and began to beat me, then I fell.  So they took me to a remote place where they raped me multiple times, hurt me, and caused me to lose consciousness due to so much pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Guerrero confirma la muerte de un profesor en Acapulco (La Jornada, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Maestro jubilado muere tras desalojo en Acapulco (Cuartoscuro, 25 de febrero de 2015)

Fiscalía de Guerrero investiga desalojo y asesinato de maestro(Excelsior, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Fue violada “una y otra vez” por policías federales, denuncia maestra(Sur Acapulco, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Al maestro sí lo mató la Policía Federal; cuatro profesoras fueron violadas, denuncia la Ceteg (CENCOS, 26 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Investigation “based in scientific proof” requested in the Ayotzinapa case (1 March 2015)

Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case (5 February 2015)

Guerrero: further update in the Ayotzinapa case (29 December 2014)


Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls

January 21, 2015

Cascadas de Agua Azul (@SIPAZ)

Agua Azul waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

Early in the morning on 9 January, at least 900 officers from the Chiapas state police as well as federal forces displaced the camp that indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, had installed at the entrance of the eco-tourist park, the Agua Azul waterfalls.  Though the site belongs to the Tumbalá municipality, one must traverse the Bachajón ejido to access the waterfalls.

On 21 December, more than 300 ejidatarios had retaken the lands, explaining that they “had been plundered by the bad government beginning on 2 February 2011, with the complicity of the ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón,” making reference to the control-point that had been administered by the ejidatarios since September 2009 until the day they were forcibly displaced, leaving one dead, at least two injured, and 117 arrested.

Within the context of this new displacement, initial reports had indicated the forcible displacement of eight individuals.  During the night of the displacement operation, these persons in question were found, and they explained that they had succeeded in escaping the police after they had been arrested.

In a new communique, the ejidatarios denounce that “the true interest [of the government] is to plunder our lands.  They are truly unabashed, corrupt traitors to the country.  Their bad policies will not put an end to our struggle, because we will not allow them to continue looting us as they please.  We will continue with our actions in defense of Mother Earth.”

Following the displacement, the police established surveillance in the zone and installed checkpoints to review the vehicles that pass through.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno desaloja a indígenas adherentes al EZLN, en Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de enero de 2014)

Desalojan a indígenas de Bachajón por Cascadas de Agua Azul; reportan 8 desaparecidos (SDP Noticias, 9 de enero de 2014)

Indígenas tzeltales denuncian violento operativo policiaco en las Cascadas de Agua azul (Radio Pozol, 9 de enero de 2014)

Los de abajo- Cascadas de Agua Azul (La Jornada, 10 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)


Mexico: At least 170,000 displaced in Mexico

December 15, 2014

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On 26 November in Mexico City, the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights presents its book Internal Displacement Induced by Violence: A Global Experience, a Mexican Reality, as written by Laura Rubio Díaz-Leal, an investigator and member of said organization.

The aim of the book is to make visible the victims of displacement and to call on the State to create an assistance program and to take into account this now-ignored phenomenon.

The author of the work commented during her presentation that, in the majority of the country, it was quite impossible to document how many Mexicans have left their homes due to violence, but a very conservative calculation estimates at least 170,000.

In this sense, Esperanza Hernández, the spokesperson for at least 600 families from 40 communities in Sinaloa state that have been displaced by the violence of organized crime in the state, noted that “They [the cartels] patrolled as though they were the government; they threatened us and told us that if we didn’t leave, they would conscript us into their service.  On 10 January 2012, they killed a neighbor of Ocurague and the next day during the night, they killed an entire family.  Maddened by fear, we decided to flee and leave everything behind.”

Ramón Cossío, justice for the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), noted for his part that “this involves not only the act of leaving the place where one would desire to stay, but also it is a question of leaving due to finding oneself in a situation of extraordinary complexity.  The phenomenon of the displaced continues without name in Mexico, and for this reason it is not attended to by the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Desdeña el gobierno desplazamientos forzados por la inseguridad: expertos,  La Jornada 30 de noviembre de 2014

Al menos 170 mil personas desplazadas por violencia en México, Diariopresente, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados por violencia en México, un fenómeno ignorado que afecta al menos a 170 mil personas, Animal Politico, 1 de diciembre de 2014

Desplazados en México son víctimas y requieren tratamiento, CNN, 26 de julio de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas : “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas/National: Issue 3 of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” magazine, “Beyond Sharing”

September 29, 2014

Portada de la Revista

Cover of issue 3 of Rebelliousness Magazine

On 19 September, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés published a new communique announcing the publication of issue 3 of the Zapatista Rebelliousness Magazine, the EZLN’s word.  The first part of the issue provides part of the content of the “sharing” that took place between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista peoples at the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting, and the second half provides interviews with “comrades of free, alternative, autonomous, or however-you-call-them media.”

In said communique, signed as having been written in August 2014, it is expressed that, “[i]n La Realidad,” where the “Comrade David Ruiz García” meeting took place, “we discussed how capitalism has us and why it is that it has us [so], and what it is that will happen to us, if we continue in the way that the capitalists have us.”  It continues: “Peoples, nations, tribes.  Poor people, the poor exploited workers of the countryside and city are those who know what a new world should be like, with a new system of governance.  Why?  Because they have suffered injustice, poverty, inequality.  They have suffered sadness, pain, bitterness, loneliness.  They have suffered imprisonment, torture, forcible disappearance.  They have suffered centuries of lies and tricks, discrimination, very horrible things–inhumane cruelties, humiliations; they have suffered looting and displacement.  It has been centuries and centuries of insults and lives without peace, because of those from above, the capitalist system.”

Furthermore, it was recalled that from 22 December 2014 to 3 January 2015, there will be held the “First Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion against Capitalism.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Editorial 3. Más allá de la compartición (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Second issue of “Zapatista Rebelliousness” released (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 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: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice

May 2, 2014

Retorno de desplazados en Colonia Puebla (@SIPAZ)

Return of the displaced to Puebla Colony (@SIPAZ)

On 22 April, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society challenged the Mexican justice system by calling into question the responsibility of the two persons arrested in the Puebla Colony on the charge of burning the home of one of the ejidal members who were at that time displaced in Acteal.  Referring to the case of the three prisoners who were recently released, they affirmed that “we think that the government is acting in the same way as with the three persons from Simojovel […].  The three were accused of fabricated charges and were tortured as though they weren’t human […].  They were unjustly punished.  Would this be because as indigenous persons they discriminate against us and insult us with all these cruel and inhuman acts, treating as though we were not human.”  They remarked that “indeed, they have not arrested those who kidnapped Father Manuel Pérez Gómez” in Puebla in August of last year.  They asked, “Would this be because this is the custom of the government, to arrest rapidly those who are innocent and do nothing to those who are in fact culpable?”

With regard to the return of the displaced from the Puebla Ejido on 14 April, the Las Abejas Civil Society denounced that “this was a return without justice, a return lacking the security conditions so that they could return to their homes; this return does not imply that the problem has now been resolved.  It is only because it was very difficult to live in camps that our brothers decided to return.  These 17 families now returned have experienced displacement twice,” previously in 1997.  The Las Abejas indicated that in this sense, the Secretary General of Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, warned that, if problems continued, “what will follow will not be dialogue but instead application of the law.”  The spokesperson added that Las Abejas would not accept “this climate of injustice” and would continue denouncing and seeking “true Justice and Peace.”  The Society requested that the ejidal commissioner of the Puebla ejido “build peace and unity among all members of the community without regard to religion or political organization, because we are all children of God.  Those who recognize God’s word should not be violent with their brothers or make false accusations; they should instead love all and respect their human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (22 de abril de 2014)

Abejas de Acteal denuncia prefabricación de “culpables” en el caso de agresiones contra desplazados (Chiapas Paralelo, 23 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: “return without justice” of those displaced from the Puebla ejido (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: Arrest of those presumed responsible for the burning of a house in the Puebla Colony an “insult to the displaced” (Las Abejas Civil Society) (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: House of displaced family is burned down in Puebla Colony, Chenalhó. Two are arrested (16 March 2014)