Oaxaca: Threats from the mayor of Santa María Chimalapa denounced

December 16, 2014

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Miguel Ángel García Aguirre, regional coordinator of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, accused Silaín Hernández, mayor of Santa María Chimalapa, of being responsible for the threats he has received if he does not abandon the Zoque zone.  He explained in mid-November that he received phonecalls from at least two numbers from Oaxaca threatening him to leave the community.  He said he had received the call of a person who had refused to identify himself, “but to me it seemed like it was Silaín […] threatening me to leave Chimalapas […] this all in a threatening tone.”  He assured that, though the mayor be responsible for this behavior, he would continue to work in defense of the land in Chimalapa.

For his part, Silaín Hernández accused Miguel Ángel García and Luis Bustamante, also a member of the National Committee for the Defense of the Chimalapas, as well as the ex-secretary of governance Jesús Martínez Álvarez of causing a social destabilization after having released media communiques.  The mayor referred to a case from about two weeks ago, when a document that was firmed by the National Committee was released assuring that its membership along with the ejidal commissioner had not wanted to hold assemblies that would address questions of accountability and the prospect of a dam that would be installed on Zoque territory.

The communique in question distanced itself from the president of the ejidal commission, Ildeberto Mendoza, “for not having demonstrated interest in defending the interests of the people” amidst the permanent aggressions and invasions promoted by corporations and the Chiapas state government.  The document expresses that this decision was taken after the mayor manipulated Ilderberto Mendoza to suspend the general assembly on two occasions during which it had been planned to discuss the constitutional motion that had been interposed by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) regarding the invasion of more than 160,000 hectares of land by people from Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian amenazas de Silaín Hernández (Noticias Net, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Alcalde de Chimalapas acusa al Comité Nacional para la Defensa de los Chimalapas de desestabilización social (Página 3, 19 de noviembre de 2014)

Desconocen a autoridad comunal por no defender a Chimalapas de invasiones y megaproyectos (Chiapas Paralelo, 13 de noviembre de 2o14)

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Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido

October 26, 2014

© SIPAZ

© SIPAZ

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center for Human Rights (PRODH Center) has reported on a denunciation of the recent acts of harassment targeting ejidatari@s of Tila which “could affect the personal integrity and […] collectively affect the ejidal autonomy of the Ch’ol indigenous people.”

On 16 October,1500 ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) marched to commemorate the creation of their ejido 80 years ago.  During the march, “the commander of the municipal police filmed protestors from the balcony of the police office,” noted the PRODH Center.  PRODH also indicated that “a day later, an ejidataria was assaulted by unknown persons, though witnesses could observe that one of the assailants was wearing a municipal police uniform.”

PRODH has manifested its concern for the harassment against the ejidal authorities of Tila, given that the ejidal commissioner has been followed and surveilled in the wake of the mobilization.  PRODH noted as well that “unknown persons have surrounded his home and asked local residents if that is where the ejidal president lives; as a consequence, indigenous ejidal authorities have found themselves displaced, amidst the threat of suffering new attacks.”

For this reason, PRODH has demanded the cessation of all harassment and attacks on members of the Tila ejido; that the necessary, sufficient, and effective measures be implemented to guarantee the security and physical and psychological integrity of the members of the ejidal commission of Tila; and that those responsible for these threats and acts of harassment be investigated and punished forthright.

It is critical to note that in 2008, the Tila ejido won a motion it has advanced against one of the several attempts at plundering its lands it has suffered since 1964 due to the actions of Tila City Hall, the Chiapas state government, and the local congress.  This motion ordered the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands; however, using the false argument that said sentence would be impossible to observe, City Hall has failed to observe it.  This is the reason the Tila ejidatari@s have advanced the case of the violation of sentence 1302/20130 before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN).

For more information (in Spanish):

Centro Prodh denuncia nuevos ataques contra ejido Tila en Chiapas, Centro Prodh, 20 de octubre de 2014

Denuncian hostigamiento a ejidatarios y ejidatarias del ejido Tila, Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de octubre de 2014

Marcha mitín por 80 aniversario de nuestro ejido, laotraejidotila, 17 de octubre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (January 22, 2014)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: March and rally in Tila to commemorate the founding of the Tila ejido 79 years ago (20 August 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones new decision on Tila ejido (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: Supreme Court postpones decision on case of the Tila ejidatario(16 August 2012)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios march in Tila and Mexico City (16 August 2012)