Chiapas: bulletin from Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights denounces that “counterinsurgency continue to operate in Chiapas”

September 2, 2014

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On 18 August, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced in a bulletin entitled “Counterinsurgency continues to operate in Chiapas” that “in recent months, the unresolved armed internal conflict in Chiapas has been characterized by a continuous aggression against Support-Bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), with the action of some social and regional organizations being used for State purposes, given their years-long disputes regarding tenure of lands recuperated [by the EZLN]. Several of these social organizations have encouraged their leaders to become officials and public servants, thus in many cases contradicting the founding principles of these grounds through submission of their plans for struggle to governmental interests and budgetary priorities. In Chiapas, the comprehensive war of attrition continues against peoples who struggle and resist by means of media tactics that include the utilization of concepts like human rights, multiculturalism, collective rights of indigenous peoples, and so on—all of these empty of meaning.”

The CDHFBC recalled within this recent wave of attacks the events that took place in La Realidad on 2 May 2014, in addition to the more recent cases of the Egipto and El Rosario communities which “confirms the climate of constant aggression and provocation that is exacerbated each time that dialogue is celebrated, as in the conference of the National Indigenous Congress from 4 to 9 August in La Realidad.”

The CDHFBC noted that it has “carried out constant interventions amidst the gravity of the attacks against BAEZLN and the [official] response has been governmental parsimony and unwillingness to act. This attitude of indifference maintains and provokes conflicts that are labeled ‘inter-communal’ as a means of hiding the counter-insurgent aspects. The objective is to exhaust the people who resist, struggle, and transform society through their cultures and rights.”

For this reason, the CDHFBC assured that “we will continue to document the attacks against the Zapatistas, denounce human-rights violations, and accompany the peoples who demand their rights to what pertains to them and who for nefarious reasons seek to plunder. We reiterate our call for national and international solidarity to manifest support for the threatened BAEZLN.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín completo: La contrainsurgencia sigue operando en Chiapas (CDHFBC, 18 de agosto de 2014)

Nueva agresión armada contra zapatistas de Ocosingo, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to the La Garrucha caraocol (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (June 9, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN announces homage to Zapatista murdered in La Realidad and announces primary results of investigation on the case (May 18, 2014)

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Chiapas: Update regarding forced displacement of EZLN support bases belonging to the La Garrucha caracol

September 2, 2014

índiceIn a new Urgent Action published on 15 August, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced the persistence of attacks against support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in communities of Ocosingo, as prosecuted by members of the Regional Organization of Coffee-Cultivators of Ocosingo (ORCAO). The events began in “recuperated” lands that are collectively worked in the San Manuel autonomous rebel Zapatista municipality (MAREZ), which pertains to the La Garrucha caracol: on 13 August, nine Zapatista families founded the Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto on said lands, which adjoin the Egipto and El Rosario communities.

The bulletin noted that on 14 August, an armed group of 18 ORCAO members for the Pojcol community (Chilón municipality) surrounded the land and began to shoot into the air for 40 minutes and warning the BAEZLN that they had 6 hours to withdraw definitively. The 9 families (40 persons in total) and the 250 BAEZLN who were supporting them “decided to withdraw to a different place.” After this, the ORCAO members destroyed the houses, robbed store merchandise and cash from the homes, among other crimes.

The bulletin details that on 14 August, the women and children of the El Rosario community who belong to ORCAO abandoned the community, leaving only the men, while witnesses claim that these men were threatening the BAEZLN with immediate displacement. The female and children BAEZLN, for their part, also decided to leave amidst the risk of a possible confrontation. The CDHFBC reported that the threats of the ORCAO against BAEZLN in El Rosario “were intensifying to the point of indicating a possible forcible displacement” in the late hours.

For this reason, the CDHFBC expressed its “concern for the imminent risk to life, security, and physical integrity to which the BAEZLN” of the El Rosario, Kexil, Egipto, and Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto communities face. The Center held the Chiapas state government responsible “for being absent during the initial denunciations, thus allowing the perpetration of increasingly flagrant violations of human rights.” It called on State and federal authorities to cease the death-threats and attacks that have served as the basis for the displacement of BAEZLN from three communities, in addition to the adoption of measures to protect the life, integrity, and security of the BAEZLN from the San Manuel autonomous municipality.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 15 de agosto de 2014)

Denuncia Centro Frayba agresiones contra bases de apoyo zapatistas en Ocosingo (La Jornada, 16 de agosto de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forced displacement of EZLN support-bases belonging to La Garrucha caracol (29 August 2014)