Chiapas: 18 years since the Acteal massacre

December 27, 2015

20151222_140601

Acteal, 22 December 2015 (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December 2015, 18 years since the massacre of 45 indigenous persons in Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society (organization to which the victims had pertained) carried out a pilgrimage and a commemoration of the events to denounce the impunity that continues to prevail in the case. In a communique, Las Abejas stressed that, “the bad government investigating the intellectual authors of this crime through the badly named ‘Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation,’ that is to say, the ‘Supreme Court for the Rich and Criminals,’ has ordered the massive release of the paramilitaries who performed the massacre. As far as we can tell, only 2 are left incarcerated, and at any moment will they also be released. Thus it remains clear to us that justice will not be granted by the government, because the Mexican State is the one that gave the order for the massacre, such that it is a criminal party and cannot rightfully be judge in the case. The Mexican justice system is expired and rotten. It is very clear that, if we wish to have true justice, we organized peoples of Mexico must construct a true, dignified, thorough, and humane justice.” Las Abejas ended the communique stressing that “Memory is an act of Justice!”

For his part, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Pedro Faro Navarro, denounced that in the Acteal case, “there has been no justice, and the wall of impunity persists.” He added that “state officials, including Ernesto Zedillo, clearly knew what was happening in Chenalhó, in terms of the precedents and the moment at which the massacre was happening, due to reports from the Mexican Army which had been deployed in the Highlands region, thus confirming the direct participation of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre. The national context shows us that justice will not come from above, nor from those in power or those who administer the State, let alone the existing power-groups or anyone who manipulates and corrupts [the people], who are the owners of the justice system in Mexico.” He noted that for this reason, the Las Abejas Civil Society “is building through its steadfastness another justice,” such that “one possible conclusion is that the future of the people who have been degraded and discriminated against will need no justice from the State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La memoria es un acto de Justicia – XVIII Conmemoración de la masacre de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Boletín 18 aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Impune, el “crimen de Estado” en Acteal: Las Abejas (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de violencia (La Jornada, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Conmemoran 18 años de matanza de Acteal (El Universal, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Acteal: 18 años de impunidad (Desinformemonos, 22 de diciembre de 2015)

A 18 años de la matanza de Acteal persiste la impunidad: Frayba (Proceso, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas reject ‘friendly solution’ with Mexican State (25 October 2015)

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

 


Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots”

December 30, 2014

XVII Aniversario de la MAsacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities held in this same community.  On 21 December, a forum combined testimonies with prayers.  During this event participated Franciscan monks from the “72” migrant-home from Tenosique, Tabasco; the relatives of the disappeared students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; the father of Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate; the catechist Margarita Martínez Álvarez from El Limar, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a region that also suffered murders, forcible disappearances, and massive displacements between 1995 and 2000; as well as representatives of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality.  It was stressed that all these processes should be united, not just based on shared pain, but also in terms of the search for justice and hope.

XVII Aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December, following a pilgrimage, a mass was celebrated with the presence of hundreds of persons.  The Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communique that “17 years, four presidents, and two political parties in power have passed since the bad government of Ernesto Zedillo to the [present] bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto.  Not one has had the dignity, humanity, or decency to apply justice and recognize the truth of the Acteal massacre.”  The bishop Felipe Arizmendi stressed for his part that “it is unconscionable that nearly all those imprisoned for this crime have been absolved, just because there were judicial deficiencies in their legal processing, not because they were innocent.”  It should be recalled that only two persons remain imprisoned for the crime of the Acteal massacre, and these two have had their sentences reduced from 36 to 18 years imprisonment.

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Felipe Arizmendi noted that, though “so many years [have passed] of demanding justice and being ignored, […] we will all continue to demand and ask for justice.  We cannot resign ourselves passively to silence.”  The Las Abejas Civil Society used a fragment of the Mayan book Popul Vuh to affirm the same: “They took our fruits, cut off our branches, and burned our trunk, but they could not kill our roots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

La Fraternidad, impulso y fuerza de la Resistencia. #Acteal #17Años(Koman Ilel, Cobertura del 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Es la historia de tod@s. Crónica de conmemoración diecisiete de la masacre ocurrida en el paraje de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, cobertura del 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ningún presidente ha hecho justicia a 17 años de la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

A 17 años, conmemoran con misa masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan marcha en Acteal, Chiapas (Radio Fórmula, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Llegan representantes de Ayotzinapa a Acteal para conmemorar masacre(La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

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

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)


Chiapas/International: US Supreme Court rejects appeal in case against former president Zedillo over Acteal masascre

October 12, 2014

Acteal (@SIPAZ archivo)

Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

On 6 October, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rejected an appeal that had been submitted by 10 individuals against the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (1994-2000) for his responsibility in the Acteal massacre (December 1997), which left 45 dead in Chiapas state.  SCOTUS did not justify its decision; instead it simply upheld the decision made in February 2013 by a federal judge in Connecticut, holding that Zedillo has political immunity as a former head of state.

The initial demand had been presented in 2011 in Hartford, Connecticut, accusing Ernesto Zedillo of having covered up the events of the massacre.  The case was submitted in Connecticut because that is where he resides, being a professor at Yale University.  Plaintiffs had demanded compensation of $50 million for relatives of the victims of the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

Tribunal Supremo de EU rechaza oír la apelación contra Zedillo por Acteal (CNN México, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Desechan en EU demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Proceso, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema en EU desecha demanda contra Zedillo por masacre de Acteal (Animal Político, 6 de octubre de 2014)

Corte Suprema de EU bloquea demanda contra Zedillo por Acteal (La Jornada, 6 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its community (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case(19 September 2012)


Chiapas: communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society in Acteal

March 1, 2014

@ Imagen de archivo, CDHFBC

@ CDHFBC archive

On 22 February, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communique pronouncing itself on the decision of a U.S. court to dismiss the case against ex-president Ernesto Zedillo for his responsibility for the massacre: “Three days ago we learned that a U.S. court had declared that ‘Zedillo remains exempt from legal responsibility… for the deaths of 45 indigenous persons in 1997.’  The next day, President Obama was in Mexico to visit President Peña Nieto to thank him for the energy reform which will allow transnational corporations to take control of Mexico’s oil […] so we are indignant but unsurprised that the U.S. would declare that Zedillo is innocent in terms of the Acteal massacre.  Would they really condemn him, if they are from the same mafia?”

In other news, regarding the possibility of a definitive return of those displaced from the Puebla ejido who have been resettled temporarily in Acteal since August, Las Abejas noted that “the state government, by means of the subsecretary for religious affairs, has committed itself to compensate all the damages caused by the Presbyterian brothers who provoked this violence against the Catholic brothers; the government will compensate the lost possessions, the destroyed chapel, and the burned houses.  It seems that soon the Catholics will be able to return to their homes.  But it looks as though it will be as in 2001, a return without justice, or at most, incomplete justice.  Those who provoked the displacements in 1997 and 2013 continue free.”

For more information (in Spanish):

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

Lamentan Las Abejas de Acteal que no se juzgue a Zedillo (Expreso de Chiapas, 23 de febrero de 2014)

Corte de EU desecha apelación vs Ernesto Zedillo en caso Acteal (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de febrero de 2014)

Video: Colonia Puebla: la impunidad impide el retorno de desplazados (SanCristencia, febrero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó return to Acteal (13 February 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla ejido do not find conditions for return (3 February 2014)

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community to harvest coffee (22 January 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from the Puebla Colony announce return for coffee harvest (15 January 2014)

Chiapas: Solidarity requested for those displaced from the Puebla Colony (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal (13 September 2013)

 


Chiapas/National: EZLN communique, “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1)”

January 1, 2014

índice

On 28 December, mere days before the anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos released a new communique entitled “When the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1).”  In this essay, he notes that “rebelliousness is not the exclusive patrimony of the neo-Zapatistas.  It belongs to humanity, and  so is something to celebrate everywhere, at all times.  Rebellion itself is a celebration.”

Marcos challenges the truthfulness of biographies and denounces that, given the Internet and social media, “biographical myths revolve their fallacies around, and voilá, the history of one’s life (or part of it) is reconstructed, having little to nothing to do with actual history.  But this does not matter, because the biography is published, printed, circulated, read, re-read… just as lies are.”  As illustration of his point, Marcos recalled the things which could be read about ex-presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón, and current president Enrique Peña Nieto.  He stressed that the “criminals of the Mexican political class who have so badly governed these lands will continue to be criminals who enjoy impunity for those who have suffered their outrages.”  He concluded by saying that “with all this and what is coming, am I saying that one should not write or read biographies?  No, because that which drives the old wheel of history are collectives, not individuals, whether male or female.  Historiography develops through individuals; history learns from the people.”

In a large post-script, Marcos challenged the commercial media and a number of articles which have been published in anticipation of the anniversary of the armed uprising: “if the conditions of the Zapatista indigenous communities are the same as they were 20 years ago and no living conditions have improved, why is the EZLN opening its escuelita so that people from below see it and come to know it directly, without intermediaries? […] You ask what the EZLN has done for indigenous communities.  And we are responding with the direct testimony of tens of thousands of our comrades.”  It should be recalled that, just earlier, Subcomandante Moisés announced that the press will not be invited to the Zapatista celebrations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Rebobinar 1: Cuando los muertos callan en voz alta (Subcomandante Marcos, 28 de diciembre de 2013)

La rebeldía, patrimonio de la humanidad; hay que celebrarlo siempre: vocero del EZLN (La Jornada, 30 de diciembre de 2013)

Lanza EZLN comunicado “hace frío como hace 20 años” (El Universal, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

“Hace frío como hace 20 años”: ‘Subcomandante Marcos’ (Aristegui Noticias, 29 de diciembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN denounces nocturnal military overflights above Zapatista caracoles (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles(21 August 2013)


Chiapas: Communique of the Las Abejas Civil Society, 22 November

December 8, 2013

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On 22 November, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the 1997 Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society recalls its martyrs and newly indicated the intellectual authors of this cruel act: “Acteal has remained in the history of a country as a crime against humanity.  We would like strongly to note that Emilio Chuayfett, who in 1997 was Secretary of Governance of the administration of Ernesto Zedillo, when one of the worst massacres in the history of country [took place].  Now he is Secretary for Public Education (SEP) and [he is responsible] for the death of 45 of our brothers and sisters who were shot down during 6 hours.”

Las Abejas warned that “the paramilitaries are reactivating themselves because they have been released by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and they are now in the communities of Chenalhó.  In particular the ex-mayor Jacinto Arias Cruz from the Puebla Colony now is at large and still organizes his subordinates.  Due to the Supreme Court for Impunity in the Nation, our Catholic brothers and sisters find themselves displaced from the Puebla ejido, in addition to two Baptists.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Por culpa de la Suprema Corte de la Impunidad de la Nación se encuentra desplazados nuestros (as) hermanos (as) (22 de noviembre de 2012)

Revientan conferencia de Chuayfett en Madrid, por la matanza de Acteal(La Jornada, 9 de noviembre de 2013)

Increpan a Chuayffet en Madrid; le recriminan la matanza de Acteal(Proceso, 8 de noviembre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 22 October communique from Las Abejas: “We continue to resist” (23 de octubre de 2013)

Chiapas: Press-conference by Las Abejas, 4 years after the beginning of the release of those incarcerated for the Acteal massacre (21 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society warns of violence in Chenalhó “reminiscent of the year 1997″ (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)


Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society warns of violence in Chenalhó “reminiscent of the year 1997″

August 4, 2013

(@Espoir Chiapas)

On 22 July, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (in which 45 persons were killed in 1997), the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique in which it shared its indignation regarding the invitation of the former president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León to participate in the organization “The Elders, a global organization for peace founded by Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel”. Las Abejas recalled that “we know well that Zedillo is the primary responsible party in the Acteal massacre […].  If Zedillo, now a member of the Elders, had observed the San Andrés Accords and not formed paramilitary groups in Chiapas, the Acteal massacre would not have taken place, and we would not be writing this communique.”

Beyond this, Las Abejas warned of the violence that has gripped “the Puebla Colony [neighborhood] with the pretext over a dispute over land belonging to the Catholic Church […] just as in the year 1997.”  Explaining, they noted, “The violent actions of the communal authorities of the Puebla Col., upon destroying the project of reconstruction of a Catholic church on Thursday 18 July, and the physical aggression and torture of 3 persons on 20 July, is a clear message expressing hatred and violence.  What is taking place in the Puebla Col. is not a game.  It is for this reason that we are concerned, and we worry for the lives of the Catholics and of our comrades from the Las Abejas Civil Society, as well as all those who do not agree with the violence, as in the case of a Baptist in the Puebla Col., who for the mere reason of refusing to participate in the violence was beaten.”  Las Abejas affirmed that these acts derive from the impunity that prevails in the Acteal case, “because the paramilitaries have now seen that to rob and kill is not punished; on the contrary, they receive prizes from the government.”  They requested “urgently to the competent authorities to provide their immediate attention to the conflict over land […] using peaceful means, without more pretexts and dawdling,” as well as punishment of those responsible for the aggresion against Mariano Méndez Méndez, Luciano Méndez Hernández, and Juan López Méndez.

Finally, they called for the continuation of the struggle for the release of Alberto Patishtán and congratulated their “Zapatista brothers and sisters,” wishing them “much health and strength so that it goes well for them in the little school,” as for the organization made jointly with other indigenous groups from the Itinerant Cathedral “Tata Juan Chávez Alonso,” who desire to participate.

For more information (in Spanish):
Comunicado completo de Las abejas del 22 de julio de 2013
Víctimas de Acteal repudian inclusión de Zedillo en club por la paz (Proceso, 23 de julio de 2013)
Las Abejas condena ingreso de Zedillo a The Elders (La Jornada, 25 de julio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre (27 March 2013)