Chiapas: conflict over land in Venustiano Carranza

November 2, 2012

By means of a press-release published on 29 October, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC), the Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization (OPEZ-MLN), the Center of Campesino and Popular Organizations (COCYP-Chiapas), and Laklamul Ixim-Northern Jungle (Our People of Maize) denounced that “approximately 25 armed men identified as residents of the Candelaria El Alto community, who call themselves members of the Other Campaign, attacked comrades and children who pertain to the OCEZ-RC with firearms while they found themselves working in the field known as El Desengaño.”

These organizations found the state-government responsible.  They indicate that “The Chiapas state-government is responsible for this aggression, given that since December 2009 it has publicly committed itself by means of minutes to resolve all our agrarian demands, including those regarding the Desengaño field, but at the end of this six-year term it has not observed its promises; to the contrary, it has refused to attend to our demands, social and agrarian.”

In a 30 October community, the organized community of Candelaria El Alto publicly reported that “on Monday 29 October 2012, our community of Candelaria El Alto decided to recover the lands that the OCEZ-RC took from us on 6 April 2011, using the group known as Nuevo San José La Grandeza, which hails from the same municipality.  This land has been ours since 1950; by right it is ours, legally and legitimately.  We have always worked it, growing our maize and beans which provides us with food to eat.  As we noted publicly in many denunciations, we have demanded that the state solve this problem of looting of our lands.”  They affirm that “the shootings came from the part of the invaders of our land.”

In an Urgent Action published on 2 November, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Center for Human Rights noted the “imminent risk for the lives, personal integrity, and security of the campesinos from the community of Candelaria El Alto, who adhere to the Other Campaign of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and the members of the Campesino Organization Emiliano Zapata-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) who, due to the omissions on the part of the state government of Chiapas, find themselves in conflict over land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

DENUNCIA URGENTE: AGRESIÓN ARMADA DE GRUPO DE CHOQUE Y DE CORTE PARAMILITAR A INTEGRANTES DE LA ORGANIZACIÓN CAMPESINA EMILIANO ZAPATA-REGIÓN CARRANZA (OCEZ-RC) (Radio Proletaria, 29 de octubre de 2012)

Denuncia de la Comunidad Organizada Candelaria El Alto Adherente a La Otra Campaña (30 de octubre de 2012)

Candelaria el Alto denuncia agresiones a las mujeres de su comunidad (1 de noviembre de 2012)

AU del CDHFBC: Por omisión del gobierno del estado de Chiapas en riesgo la vida de campesinas y campesinos en Venustiano Carranza (2 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denuncia of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Chiapas: another OPEZ MLN leader is detained, despite negotiation table with state authorities

June 20, 2012

State Forum for the Defense of Human Rights, land, and society (@Radio Proletaria)

On 14 July, state police in Tuxtla Gutiérrez detained Pablo César Gómez Alfaro, spokesperson and representative of the Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization-Movement for National Liberation (OPEZ-MLN), despite the fact that this organization currently maintains a process of dialogue and negotiation with the state government.  Gómez Alfaro is the son of Caralampio Gómez Hernández, who is the director of OPEZ-MLN, who was arrested on 12 April, accused for the crimes of damages, attempted homicide, and attacks on communication media.

THe Independent Campesino Social Movement which includes beyond the OPEZ-MLN the Coordination of Campesino and Popular Organizations (COCyP), the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC), the Teachers’ Network for Popular Support, and the Popular Resistance Front against the Federal Electricity Commission in Huixtán has denounced this second detention.

This arrest has been termed “yet another treasonous act” by Guillermo Hernández Pérez, state director of the COCyP, given state authorities’ indication of goodwill they had given to social organizations upon their suspension of the sit-in they had maintained in the Cathedral Plaza in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  During the “State Forum for the Defense of Human Rights, land, and society,” which was held on 17 May in the same city, the Independent Campesino Social Movement announced “actions in different parts of Chiapas on 25 June, culminating with a state march on the 30th of June in solidarity with the national university movement #IAm132.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a dirigente de la organización Emiliano Zapata (La Jornada 15 de junio de 2012)

Arrestan a líder social en Chiapas (El Universal, 14 de junio de 2012)

FORO ESTATAL EN DEFENZA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS (Radio Proletaria, 17 de junio de 2012)


Chiapas: One person ambushed and another disappeared, both members of OCEZ-FNLS. The latter appears with life, imprisoned and with signs of torture

April 19, 2012

The Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (Fedefam), the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until we Find Them,” the Cerezo Committee Mexico, and the Network for the Defense of Human Rights (Reddh) have denounced the forced disappearance of the Tzotzil indigenous man Rogelio Alfonso López and the attempted murder of the Luis Alfonso López, also Tzotzil.  Both are militants from the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization (OCEZ-FNLS), and the acts occurred on 13 April 2012 in the Venustiano Carranza municipality, Chiapas.

They were returning from work when at the point of Agua Zarca, Venustiano Carranza municipality, they were fired upon by an AR-15 from a Ford truck lacking license plates.  Several men emerged from the truck to detain Rogelio Alfonso López, while the others were fired upon and followed; Luis Alfonso López was injured in the jaw and the right arm.

The attackers included approximately six persons dressed in civilian clothes; the witnesses identify Alfredo López Núñez as giving the orders.  To date the whereabouts of Rogelio Alfonso López are unknown.  For this reason, the Network for the Defense of Human Rights requests the presentation with life as well as guarantees for the physical and psychological integrity of Alfonso López, in addition to the immediate application of the necessary measures to guarantee his security as well as that of Alberto Alfonso López, as well as that of their relatives and members of OCEZ-FNLS.

On 17 April, Alfonso López was presented alive, presumably a victim of torture due to the beatings that could be observed, in the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas.  Until now he has been able to communicate only with his relatives.  In accordance with information from them, he is accused of the crime of homicide.

An update to the Urgent Action indicates that “It should be stressed that during two days after his disappearance, the relatives of the Tzotzil indigenous man Rogelio ALFONSO LÓPEZ asked the State Attorney General’s Office if he was under their custody or in that of one of the agencies affiliated with the Public Ministry as well as what it was that he was being accused of.  They responded by telling them that they did not know of any such person with that name or data.”

For more information (in Spanish:

Deja emboscada un desaparecido, Cuarto Poder 17 de marzo de 2012

Exigimos la presentación con vida del indígena tzotzil Rogelio Alfonso Pérez, Red todos los derechos para todos, 16 de abril de 2012

Actualización: Aparece con vida el indígena Rogelio Alfonso López, está preso y con signos de tortura, Red todos los derechos para todos, 17 de abril de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Indefinite sit-in by the FNLS in the Cathedral Plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (13 April 2012)


Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory

March 25, 2012

Venustiano Carranza municipality (http://www.e-local.gob.mx)

In a 19 March 2012 communiqué, residents of the community of Candelaria el Alto, Venustiano Carranza municipality, who are adherents to the Other Campaign denounced that on 15 March members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) from the San José La Grandeza neighborhood began to burn the crops and trees located on their lands.  They recalled that since 6 April 2011 the OCEZ-RC had invaded the “El Desengaño” territory.

After informing the state government, they report that on the next day “arrived a PEP [Preventive State Police] truck, asking about the Candelaria el Alto case, wanting to enter the territory, adding that if we gave permission they would start patrolling and reach the place where the invaders came, beyond promising to protect those of the OCEZ-RC […].  Upon hearing this we told them to leave our community, because we have told the government several times now that we do not have more land to sell.  So why did they arrive and deceive us in this way, knowing that we will not sell the little we have left.  We will not permit more looting, after the 98 hectares of land that the state bought for the benefit of [OCEZ-RC].”

They demanded a solution as well as respect: “we are now in the season close to the time to sow our crops (corn and beans), so it is urgent the state resolve our problems.  If it does not, we will be exposed for another year without our basic crops, thus putting at risk the lives of the children, women, and elderly of the community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa de habitantes de la comunidad de Candelaria el Alto municipio de Venustiano Carranza adherentes a la Otra Campaña(19 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community

January 16, 2012

(@corotos.blogspot.com)

By means of a public letter written on 10 January 2012, the community of Candelaria El Alto, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced that the looting of their lands continues by the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC).  In their communiqué they write the following: “We publicly denounce the government of Chiapas; 9 months have passed since we have been able to work [the land]; now we have lost this year of harvest, and we would like to say that we will not continue merely putting up with this, suffering from hunger.  This year we will work our land; we would prefer that this conflict not worsen, and so we demand an immediate solution, because the land is not to sell.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúa el despojo de sus tierras, según la comunidad Candelaria El Alto (La Jornada, 12 January 2011)

Denuncia de Candelaria El Alto a 10 de enero (Zapateando, Comunicado de la Comunidad Organizada Candelaria el Alto, Municipio Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, México)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Chiapas: denunciation of military incursions on part of OCEZ-Carranza Region

January 6, 2012

(@OCEZ-RC)

In a communiqué published on 23 December, the Emiliano Zapata Carranza Region Campesino Organization (OCEZ-RC) denounced invasions by the Army in its zone of influence since 11 December and demanded a halt to the harassment on the part of soldiers against its members.  It notes that “we are tired of the threats and harassment carried out by the Federal Army, who hold our comrades that go out to work or for reasons of health toward the municipal center and other points; they intimidate us with their weapons and verbal threats, and they have increased their patrols in the communities that correspond to the territory of the OCEZ-Carranza Region.”

They also expressed their solidarity with the “families of the more than 64000 dead, more than 1200 disappeared, and thousands of displaced persons resulting from the war that President Calderón Hinojosa has implemented since the beginning of his term.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ RC (Escrutinio Público, 23 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: OCEZ-Carranza Region carries out day of actions to demand observation of their demands (15 April 2011)


Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza

September 28, 2011

On 21 September, in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, indigenous individuals of the Emiliano Zapata Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) and members of the community Candelaria El Alto who are adherents to the Other Campaign had a confrontation regarding possession of 185 hectares of land.  Both groups blamed the other for having begun the violence.

OCEZ-RC denounced that eight of its members were injured during the confrontation.  It affirms that the conflict began when a group of men armed with machetes reached the stretch of land in question and began to insult members of OCEZ-RC and throw rocks at them.  In light of this, the organization installed an indefinite plantation in front of the municipal palace to demand that the municipal government of Venustiano Carranza punish the aggressors.

The communiqué of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights writes this on the question: “We indicate that the aggression committed today by a paramilitary shock-group that hides behind the label of the Other Campaign in Chiapas shows the contradiction between its word and coherence, given that today it launched an action to denounce the aggressions taken by paramilitary groups such as Paz y Justicia against communities that pertain to the EZLN, as in the case of the community of San Patricio in the municipality of Sabanilla; this at the same time that groups of adherents in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza carry out paramilitary-type aggressions against members of the OCEZ-RC.  Not to support the practice of these groups that say they are part of the Other Campaign in Chiapas means that it is an opportune time to put distance between the two and to clarify one’s position.”

The adherents of the Other Campaign in Candelaria El Alto have blamed campesinos of the community Nuevo San José la Grandeza who pertain to the OCEZ-RC for the aggression.  In a communiqué, they reported that on 21 September they were meeting where they do guard-shifts, given the situation in the community following the land-occupation by OCEZ-RC  of Nuevo San José la Grandeza, who took the land El Desengaño in April of this year.  There was had an accord of not allowing three persons who come to work it.  Soon, they affirmed that 10 persons arrived “provoking and insulting.”  They denounce that “after the confrontation the members of the OCEZ-RC communicate with persons who are positioned in our lands and who pertain to the colony San José la Grandeza, who are from the same organization.  60 persons arrive, dressed in black with their faces hidden, armed and firing their high-caliber weapons.  The firefight lasted some two hours, and subsequently they returned to their camp.  We would also like to mention that this same day at about 9:30am they cut the electricity to the community so that we could not have communication.  Since yesterday we have been receiving threats regarding their desire to enter our homes to attack us.  We also understand that this form of threatening and attacking us is done so that we abandon our lands, so that they can have them.”  They ended their communiqué by expressing that “we would like to say to the OCEZ-RC that it is not possible that you take from us our bread, as we are campesinos who are conscious that it is the bad government that benefits [from this].  We demand that the state-government immediately take responsibility on the matter, given the situation of danger that our families are experiencing.”

For more information (in Spanish):
Organizaciones de nuevo en conflicto (Cuarto Poder, 24 September)

Miembros de la OCEZ y zapatistas chocan por control de un predio de 185 hectáreas (Proceso, 23 September)

Un enfrentamiento deja a ochos heridos (Cuarto Poder, 23 September)

Agresión paramilitar en contra de la OCEZ-RC, 8 heridos con machetes y palos (Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base Digna Ochoa, 22 September)

Denuncia pública de los adherentes a la Otra Campaña de Candelaria(Comunidad organizada Candelaria el Alto adherentes a la Otra Campaña, 22 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OCEZ-Carranza Region carries out day of actions to demand observation of their demands (15 April 2011)