Chiapas: Destruction of Camps and Threats to Tsotsil Population in Forced Displacement

January 4, 2019

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On December 23, 2018, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center published this Urgent Action:

New forced displacements in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas

Destruction of camps and threats to Tsotsil population as forced displacement increases conditions of vulnerability and risks for 1,146 people.

Nine camps which housed internally displaced people in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, were destroyed on December 21, 2018, between 14:00 and 17:00 hours, approximately, in a context of aggression on the part of Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, member of the National Action Party.

238 displaced families in the Barrio Shishimtotik, Tulantik, Ch’enmut, Bololchojon, Cruz K’ak’anam, Jolcantetik, Cruzton, Bejelton, and Barrio Pom camps lost the few belongings they had in the houses made of plastic, wood, and some with sheets. They also demolished toilets built with donations from solidarity organizations such as Caritas.

The population, mostly women and children, moved again after the aggression and intimidation. Families have lent them spaces, but there have been threats to expel anyone from their community if they help displaced people in this way. Testimonies say that community authorities prohibited humanitarian access, and threatened to tie up and burn representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee, as well as anyone who tries to enter the demolished camps.

At least 1,237 people remain in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, in conditions of vulnerability and risk, without being able to return to their homes because their land is on the edge of the conflict where armed groups from Chenalhó continue to fire weapons which intensify in the early hours of the morning.

More than a year after the massive forced displacement of communities of Tsotsil people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas, the situation remains serious and human rights violations continue due to the failure of the Mexican State. The government of Chiapas fails to comply with international commitments to care for and protect displaced people and violates precautionary measure No. 882-17 granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on February 24, 2018, “to guarantee the rights of members of indigenous peoples in a situation of risk to the life, safety, and personal integrity of the 10 displaced communities since November 2017.

For this reason, we demand that the Mexican State:

Guarantee the safety, integrity, and life of the population in forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

Stop the threats and aggression coming from Hermelindo García Núñez, Municipal Union of Chalchiuitán, against representatives of the Chalchihuite Committee.

In accordance with the Guiding Principles on Forced Displacement of the United Nations, deal comprehensively with the forced displacement in Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.

We ask national and international solidarity to send your appeals to:

C. Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Presidente Constitucional de México     Residencia Oficial de los Pinos. Casa Miguel Alemán. Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 4901:Twitter@lopezobrador_

Lic.Olga Sánchez Cordero. Secretaria de Gobernación de México                              Bucareli 99, 1er. piso. Col. Juárez. Delegación Cuauhtémoc;  C.P. 06600 Ciudad de México. Fax: (+52) 55 5093 34 14; Correo:secretario@segob.gob.mx: Twitter@M_OlgaSCordero

Lic. Luis Raúl González Pérez. Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, Edificio “Héctor Fix Zamudio”, Blvd. Adolfo López Mateos 1922, 6°piso. Col. Tlacopac San Ángel. Delegación Álvaro Obregón. C.P. 01040; Ciudad de México.              Fax: (+52) 0155 36 68 07 67: Correo: correo@cndh.org.mx : Twitter: @CNDH

Lic. Rutilio Escandón Cadenas. Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009. Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México                                                Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;                              Correo: secparticular@chiapas.gob.mx: Twitter: @JuntoscnRutilio

Lic. Ismael Brito Mazariegos. Secretario General de Gobierno en Chiapas: Palacio De Gobierno, 2o. Piso, Centro C.P. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Conmutador: (961) 61 8 74 60 Ext. 20003: Correo: secretariaparticular.sgg@gmail.com

Lic. Alonso Méndez Guzmán. Subsecretario de Gobierno de la Región V. Altos Tsotsil-Tseltal: Francisco I. Madero No. 101, Barrio Guadalupe C.P. 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Teléfono: 01 (967) 67 465 94 Fax: 01 (967) 67 465 94

C. Margarita Díaz García. Presidente Municipal de Chalchihuitán                                Avenida Central S/N, Palacio Municipal C.P. 29850 Chalchihuitán, Chiapas.              Teléfono: (01 919) 10 1-10-28 o Teléfono: 9671245086

 

For more information in Spanish:

Denuncia el Frayba la destrucción de 9 campamentos de desplazados (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen nueve campamentos de mujeres e infantes en Chalchihuitán(Regeneración, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Destruyen campamentos de 238 familias tsotsiles desplazadas en Chiapas(Contralínea, 24 de diciembre de 2018)

Navidad en Chiapas: destruyen 9 campamentos con 1146 indígenas, la mayoría mujeres, niñas y niños (Sin Embargo, 25 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead (November 3, 2018).

Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas (October 30, 2018).

National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years (May 11, 2018).

 


Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead

November 3, 2018

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From October 26 and for a week approximately, families forced to leave their homes in Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa since December 4, 2011, announced that they would provisionally return to their lands “to put our flowers to our relatives who have gone ahead on the way , to remember and bring to mind the girl Antonia López Méndez and her two little sisters who are buried in the lands of her grandfather Alonso López Luna, who is still disappeared”.

They again blamed the Mexican State for not resolving their displacement situation and for not having found Alonso López Luna. “It only seeks to tire us without giving us an answer,” they complained.

They expressed solidarity with the displaced people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas; and “with the migrant brothers who are walking through the suffering that the governments of each country are causing.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de las familias desplazadas de Banavil (27 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Announce Provisional Return to their Community for Day of the Dead. (November 2, 2016)

Chiapas: Opening of Photographic Exhibition of Banavil Displaced Families (July 13, 2016)

Chiapas: Four years of impunity for those displaced from Banavil (December 26, 2015)

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Chiapas: State Congress asks the government to address the issue of forced displacement; displaced people from Colonia Puebla return to San Cristóbal de Las Casas

October 30, 2018
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Coordinator of displaces people in Chiapas (@Kuuntik)

In the ordinary session of October 25, the deputies of the Congress of Chiapas approved the point of agreement proposed by the deputy Juan Salvador Camacho Velasco of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) for the attention of people in situations of forced displacement in the state. They urged the Government to advance in the preparation of the State Program for the Prevention and Attention to Internal Displacement and requested the installation of the State Council of Integral Attention to Internal Displacement. They urged that actions should be carried out and that the necessary and adequate measures should be taken for guarantee the life and integrity of displaced persons in the municipalities of Chalchihuitán, Aldama, Ocosingo, Zinacantán and Chenalhó. The petition was extended to all the displaced people of Chiapas so that a return in dignified and safe conditions to their communities of origin might be guaranteed.

On the other hand, after spending 18 days in an indefinite sit-in in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the 254 displaced persons from Colonia Puebla, municipality of Chenalhó, decided to return to a shelter in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (a former chicken farm), “while we try to find a peaceful and comprehensive solution to their current situation”, informed the General Secretary of the Government, Mario Carlos Culebro Velasco. He affirmed that “these actions are complying with the agreements reached with the representatives of these families, but above all, with each of the recommendations issued by human rights organizations, because it is the conviction of the state authority to address the victims and ensure respect for human rights. “

Javier Hernández, representative of the displaced, stated in the media that a minute of agreements was signed with the current government and the elected governor Rutilio Escandón Cadenas so that, in the first days of his administration, Escandón Cadenas will take the case and seek a definitive solution to their displacement which is due to a conflict that was generated in 2016 after political problems in the municipality of Chenalhó.

For more information (in Spanish):

Desplazados, tema central en el Congreso del Estado (Ultimatum, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Solicita Congreso a Velasco atención a desplazados (Meganoticias, 26 de octubre de 2018)

Demandan al gobierno de Chiapas resolver desplazamientos internos (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Familias desplazadas de ejido Puebla reciben ayuda humanitaria (Síntesis, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Desplazados de Chenalhó retornan a San Cristóbal (Prensa Libre, 25 de octubre de 2018)

Fore more information from SIPAZ:

National: 20,390 Forcibly Displaced in 2017 – Over 329,900 in the Last 12 Years, May 11, 2018

Chiapas: Violent Eviction of Road Block Protest by Chenalho Displaced, March 31, 2017

Chiapas: Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho, March 29, 2017


Chiapas: Violence increases in the Highlands of Chiapas, 747 displaced and 3 dead in Aldama

May 10, 2018
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Photo @SIPAZ


Armed violence by armed groups with paramilitary characteristics in the Highlands of Chiapas, which forced more than 5,000 people to flee their homes in recent months, intensified with the murder of three peasants and the forced displacement of more than 700 people in the municipality of Aldama.

A peasant and his two minor children were murdered on April 2 when they were walking around their land near one of the alleged meeting points of “paramilitary groups” that operate from Manuel Utrilla, Santa Martha in the municipality of Chenalhó, firing at the civil population in the neighboring municipality of Aldama supposedly due to a territorial conflict of 60 hectares.

During a press conference held on April 3 at the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, the 115 Communal Property Owners of Aldama demanded to respect the agreement ratified by the Agrarian Tribunal on December 1 2009, where the inhabitants of Santa Martha, Chenalhó, recognized that the 60 hectares in conflict belong to the municipality of Aldama.

The current situation we are experiencing in our community of Aldama is that we are being attacked in our communities by armed groups from Santa Martha. Every night they are shooting with high caliber firearms against the communities that have already been displaced and other communities of Aldama that are neighbors of Santa Martha. They have also attacked the county town, as well as people who are going to theirs lands; they do not allow us to work, where they see us quickly they attack us, that is why we are very afraid because anyone they see will be shot“, said one of the inhabitants of Aldama.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center pointed out that the impunity with which armed civilian groups operate in the Highlands of Chiapas has intensified forced displacement in communities of Tsotsil peoples, in the municipalities of Aldama, Chalchihuitán and Chenalhó.

“Armed civilian groups, of paramilitary nature, linked to organized crime networks, attack communities with firearms, with the permissiveness and protection of authorities of the government of Chiapas. Old agrarian conflicts are managed according to political interests, in an electoral environment of manipulation and control to operate renewed counterinsurgency strategies”, it affirmed.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Exigen desarticulación de grupo armado que opera en la región de Chenalhó, Proceso, 3 de abril de 2018

Impunidad aumenta muertes y desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas, CDH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 3 de abril de 2018

Se recrudece violencia en Chiapas con asesinato de campesinos y más desplazamientos forzados, Animal Politico, 3 de abril de 2018

Frayba pide seguridad para familias de tzotziles desplazados, La Jornada, 28 de marzo de 2018

For more information from SIPAZ :

Chiapas: 4000 Displaced Return Home in Insecure Conditions n Chalchihuitan January 22, 2018

Chiapas: Humanitarian Aid for Displaced Demanded December 4, 2017

Chiapas: Agrarian Conflict between the Municipalities of Chenalho and Chalchihuitan Reignites November 19, 2017


Chiapas: Displaced famailies of Banavil return temporarily to their community

August 28, 2015
Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

On August 3rd, the forcibly displaced families from the community of Banavil, muncipality of Tenejapa returned temporarily to work their lands for a period of 15 days “without a guarantee of minimum safety conditions from the Mexican State”, affirmed the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Before this temporary return, representatives of the displaced families they made it clear in a press conference that they are retuning “not because their denouncements are resolved, or because the authorities have offered full guarantee that the agressions will not be repeated”, but because they want to work their land to be able to sustain their families. “Our temporary return is to check up on our houses, clean the adjoining properties of our parcels and it is a temporary return without justice”, they mentioned.

From their part, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas denounced that “Since months ago the authorities told us they could return”, but it was not until the last meeting held with officials, hours before going to Banavil, when they were warned that there were no safety conditions. “Those were the exact words of Edgar Alonso, legal adviser of the authorities in Banavil, who were responsible for the attacks.” He told the government to say that there is no security, remarked the CDHFBC.

For more Information:

Niñas, niños y mujeres indígenas tseltales de Banavil retornan temporalmente a sus casas sin garantías de protección a sus Derechos (Chiapasparalelo, August 6, 2015)

Retornan temporalmente desplazados (Cuarto Poder, August 6, 2015)

Melel Xojobal llama a proteger niños de familias desplazadas (noticiasnet.mx, August 8, 2015)

Ante la impunidad del gobierno de México, indígenas tseltales de Banavil deciden

retornar de manera provisional (Frayba, August 3, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)


Chiapas: Native peoples pilgrim for peace, for life against violence and dispossession

August 28, 2015
Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

On July 28th and 29th, a pilgrimage was carried out, organized by the pastoral staff, deacons and coordinators of the Tojolab’al Mission where close to 5,000 tojolab’ales, tseltales, tsotsiles y mestizos were brought together. They expressed and showed their solidarity with the pueblo of Simojovel and denounced the forced displacement of Banavil and particularily drew attention to the case of the Poblado Primero de Agosto, where 57 people were forcibly displaced from their lands by members of the ejido Miguel Hidalgo, also members of the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The walk started from Ignacio Zaragoza, to the municipal capital of Las Margaritas, ending at the parish of San Sebastian in Comitan-

The gospel teaches us not to remain silent before cases such as Acteal; Simojovel, the forced displacement of Banavil and Primero de Agosto; before cases of the destruction of nature from mining and mega projects and in cases such as alcoholism and drug addiction in our communities,” shared Marcelo Perez Perez, pastor of Simojovel. From their part, the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz)-Chiapas, demonstrated that the case of the displaced families of Primero de Agosto is not an isolated case, and at the same time reiterated their solidarity with them, “It is a privilege to pilgrim and walk with you. We will continue walking ts’omanotik (together)” they added. In a pronouncement, The Believing Peoples and the different communities and social organizations that participated in the pilgrimage, expressed that they are organizing, uniting, and transforming their consciousness, “to confront the violence that we live in our communities and the problems that come with structural reforms: such as education, health, labor, and energy”.

For more Information:

Pronunciamiento de Las Margaritas en defensa de nuestro derecho a ser pueblos (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 29, 2015)

Familias tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado se unen a peregrinación en Las Margaritas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 28, 2015)

Acompañamos la peregrinación por la paz, por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (July 28, 2015)

#PueblosOriginarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

#Chiapas #Peregrinación de por la #paz, por la #vida, contra la #violencia y el #despojo (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

Pueblos originarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, July 28, 2015)

Chiapas: “Hay proyectos de muerte, pero hoy venimos a reivindicar los derechos a la vida” (Radio Pozol, July 29, 2015)

Peregrinación por la paz por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 12, 2015)


Guerrero: Hundreds of people leave their communities due to the action of organized crime

June 14, 2014
San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

San Miguel Totolapan Municipality (@www.inafed.gob.mx)

Over 250 people have left three communities from Tierra Caliente of the Sierra Madre del Sur, municipality of San Miguel Totolapan, fleeing the violent actions of drug trafficking groups in the region. Most displaced people took refuge in the neighboring municipality of Ajuchitlán del Progreso, where authorities set up a temporary shelter in the central park which is guarded by soldiers from 41 Infantry Battalion.

According to official sources, the communities from where the displaced fled are in a narcotics transit and production area that is disputed by delinquents of the organized crime group La Familia and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Since last year, the struggle for control of this area has led to the displacement of more than 2000 people. “People cannot leave their villages due to insecurity. There is a group (of crime) that is coming from the coast (Grande) to displace the people of Tierra Caliente,” expressed a professor of the region.

Organizations have denounced the lack of interest from the governor Angel Aguirre Rivero to solve the problem in the region controlled by crime. According to Rigoberto González Acosta, director of the Regional Council of the Sierra de Guerrero (Cresig), “the government should be concerned by the insecurity in these villages, where violence has caused murder, extortion and other crimes.”

Rigoberto Acosta confirmed that inhabitants of 14 municipalities of the Sierra Madre del Sur are disconnected due to the effects of organized crime and the fear when performing daily activities.

For more information (in Spanish)

Narcoviolencia desplaza a más de 250 habitantes de la sierra de Guerrero (Proceso, 6 de junio de 2014)

Desplazados de San Miguel Totolapan buscan refugio en Tecpan e Iguala (La Jornada Guerrero, 10 de junio de 2014)

Huyen más de 250 personas de la violencia en San Miguel Totolapan (La Jornada, 10 de junio de 2014)

Acciones del narcotráfico incomunican a 14 municipios de la sierra, acusa el Cresig (La Jornada Guerrero, 12 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Guerrero: Aggresions against displaced, and newly displaced in Tierra Caliente (August 4, 2013)

Guerrero: new displacement of families from La Laguna to Puerto de las Ollas (7 December 2012)


Chiapas: more detainees in the conflict of San Antonio del Monte, San Cristóbal de Las Casas Municipality

June 13, 2014
(@Diario ContraPoder Chiapas)

(@Diario ContraPoder Chiapas)

On June 6, Mariano Pérez Gómez, a member of the Organization of Evangelical Peoples of the Chiapas Highlands (OPEACH) and one of the representatives of the more than a thousand indigenous people who have been displaced from the community of San Antonio del Monte, San Cristobal de Las Casas municipality, was arrested. Apparently, Perez Gomez had a pending arrest warrant against him for his alleged responsibility in the commission of violent robbery and assault against Hilario López Lunes on July 22, 2012.

Moreover, on May 22, Ernesto González López was arrested for the death of the ten year-old child Miguel Angel Arias Gómez. The child was shot in the head during the events in the community of San Antonio del Monte; these events also left ten injured, two of whom incurred serious injuries. The authorities have failed to disarm the groups which confront each other in the dispute over the land and water of the community. Both of them are accused of using firearms to settle their differences.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a representante de desplazados de San Antonio del Monte (Chiapas Paralelo, 7 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a Mariano Pérez líder de los desplazados de san Antonio del Monte (Diario Contra Poder en Chiapas, 7 de junio de 2014)

Detienen a involucrado en gresca de San Antonio (Cuarto Poder, 7 de junio de 2014)

Por detención de líder, San Antonio del Monte rompe diálogo con autoridades (Mirada Sur, 29 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen investigar asesinato de niño durante enfrentamiento en San Cristóbal (Chiapas Paralelo, 19 de marzo de 2014)


Chiapas: Preaudience of the Permanent Tribunal of the People in Susuclumil, Tila

December 17, 2013

Conferencia de prensa donde leyeron el Dictamen del TPP

On 6 and 7 December 2013 in the community of Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas, there was held a pre-audience for the Mexico chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), part of the “Focus on Dirty War – violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice.”  Relatives of victims, survivors, and those displaced from the Northern Zone and Highlands of Chiapas presented their word regarding the “victims of the counter-insurgent and extermination strategies contemplated in the Plan for Chiapas Campaign 94 which was implemented by the Mexican government following the insurrection of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994, which resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, force displacements, rapes, and massacres; all of these are crimes against humanity which continue to go unpunished.”

In the event, there were presented testimonies regarding the extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances committed during the second half of the 1990s in the zone below Tila, in addition to the forced displacements of the communities of Chuctiejá, Miguel Alemán, Jolnixtié I Sección, Masojá Shuchá, El Limar, and Masojá Grande. The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights has documented 85 extrajudicial executions, 35 forced disappearances, and at least 3500 displaced persons during this time in the northern zone of Chiapas.

The ruling of the TPP, also presented in a press-conference in San Cristobal de las Casas on 9 December, stresses that “We have heard the pain, fear, and injustice of the looting experienced and suffered by the survivors of extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, forced displacement, rape, looting of resources and land as a consequence of the actions taken by the Mexican government […].  The Mexican State is responsible at the three levels of government, as originating in the security forces at the state, municipal, and Army levels, for they gave support and economic aid to paramilitary groups, particularly the grouping named ‘Development, Peace, and Justice’ […].  From the evidence which speak to these human-rights violations, crimes against humanity and genocide can be seen in the policies exercised against the indigenous Ch’ol, Tzotzil, and Tseltal peoples.  These actions continue to the present day, when we celebrate this pre-audience.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La guerra contra el EZLN, las otras víctimas (Parte 1), Chiapas paralelo, 10 de diciembre de 2013

Siguen impunes crímenes en Chiapas (El Universal, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Inicia preaudiencia del Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos en Tila, Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de diciembre de 2013)

Dictamen de la preaudiencia en Chiapas

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to attend the preaudience “Meeting for justice and truth” in Susuclumil, Tila municipality (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (11 de abril de 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)

Chiapas: in Masojá Shucjá, memory and demand for justice for the victims of paramilitaries in 1995 and 1996 (7 October 2010)

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by Paz y Justicia paramilitaries (30 June 2010)