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 (, 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: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN)

July 3, 2015



In an Urgent Action published by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casa Center for Human Rights (Frayba) on 30 June, the Center expressed its concern “for the new attacks and death-threats against support-bases that comprise the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the communities of El Rosario, belonging to the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality (MAREZ) of San Manuel; and Nuevo Paraíso, MAREZ Francisco Villa (official municipality of Ocosingo), who pertain to the ‘Path of the Future’ Good-Government Council (JBG), located in the ‘Toward a New Dawn’ Caracol III of La Garrucha in the Tseltal Jungle Zone of Chiapas. Due to the omission of the municipal and state governments to attend to the problem and to take up their responsibilities, there exist risks to the life, integrity, and personal security of BAEZLN.”

On 10 May, according to information published by the “Path of the Future” JBG, a group of 28 persons from the Pojcol ejido, Chiquinival neighborhood (official municipality of Chilón), together with another group of 21 people from El Rosario harassed and attacked BAEZLN from this same Zapatista Autonomous Community. That same afternoon, Andrés López Vázquez fired four times at a child of 13 years of age, being the daughter of a BAEZLN. On 14 May 2015, Frayba responded by sending notice to the governments of Chiapas regarding the armed attacks.

On 24 June, members of the Pojcol and El Rosario groups who were carrying firearms and accompanied by Guadalupe Flores, the presumed ex-owner of recovered lands, and an engineer went to measure lands belonging to the BAEZLN. They fired ten times into the air, forcibly entered two BAEZLN homes, and robbed belongings as well roof of one of the domiciles, according to an EZLN communique published on 25 June.

Frayba calls for national and international solidarity to express support for the threatened BAEZLN.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgos a la Vida y a la Integridad personal de BAEZLN en El Rosario y Nuevo Paraíso (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 30 de junio de 2015)

Nuevo ataque de paramilitares. Caracol Resistencia Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer. La Garrucha. (Enlace Zapatista, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncia de la JBG El Camino del Futuro. Caracol III La Garrucha (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of paramilitary attack on the El Rosario community, pertaining to the La Garrucha caracol (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: La Garrucha Good-Government Council (JBG) denounces two paramilitary attacks (17 May 2015)

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

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

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas against the “Proposed Hydrocarbons Law”

June 28, 2014


Acteal (@SIPAZ)

Acteal (@SIPAZ)

On June 22, the Las Abejas of Acteal Civil Society denounced another effort by the government to promote “constitutional reforms […] not for the benefit of the Mexican people, but for a few people who are sick with ambition and greed,” expressing their opposition to the “proposed hydrocarbons law,” defining it as “a project of theft and plunder of the peoples” to “legalize the theft of our lands and the invasion of our territory,” and also a “death sentence for millions of men, women, and children who [live] from Mother Earth.”

In their latest communiqué, they stated that: “We, the women and men, or the campesinos and campesinas, who work the land, we say we CAN LIVE WITHOUT GOLD; CAN LIVE WITHOUT OIL; but we CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT WATER!, CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT CORN.” They also addressed the senators and the president of Mexico, accusing them of being “traitors to the motherland,” stressing that “what they have done is succintly called a crime and betrayal of the motherland.” They pointed out that the hydrocarbons law states that “in 90 days the campesinos who own land on which there are presumed to be hydrocarbon deposits will come to an agreement with companies such as Shell, British Petroleum … etc,” and added that “here in our country their laws and their reforms of death and dispossession have no worth. They must know that we will defend Mother Earth, just like our brothers and sisters who were massacred at Acteal defended peace and justice, at all costs.”

Las Abejas continued to denounce the neoliberal capitalist system as “a machine of terror and inhumanity which represses, imprisons, dispossesses, and massacres the peoples who resist and build their autonomy.” Therefore, they continued to demand that their brothers and sisters of the organized peoples of Mexico “unite to defend our mother earth and territory, until the laws of plunder and dispossession of the Mexican political mafia are cast down.”

Finally, they expressed their solidarity with the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez, who has received threats, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, Victor Hugo López, who has suffered harassment, and the family of David Ruiz, a member of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI), who was killed in a motor accident.

For more information (in Spanish):

Su “proyecto de ley de hidrocarburos”, significa, la sentencia de muerte (La Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de Junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: those displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their community (26 April 2014)

Chiapas: The detained of the Dialogue Commission in the conflict of Montes Azules are released

June 11, 2014
"Today they are free (@Serapaz)

“Today they are free (@Serapaz)

On May 30, the 22 Tzeltal, Chol, and Lacandon representatives of the Council of Communal Properties of the Lacandon Zone, of the organization ARIC-ID and of other organizations from Ocosingo were released “under the reserves of the law.” The released reported that they were freed after an agreement was signed in Mexico City with federal and state authorities. The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center considers that these representatives were detained “arbitrarily” last May 29 in Tuxtla Gutierrez when they went to an appointment with the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Eduardo Ramirez to “dialogue” about the regularization of three villages in the Lacandon Jungle (Rancheria Corrozal, Salvador Allende and Nuevo San Gregorio), and to demand the freedom of Gabriel Fernando Montoya Oseguera, who was originally accused of the alleged abduction of Julia Carabias.

The Indians declared that the federal government, through the Commissioner for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, Jaime Martinez Veloz, signed an agreement to open a negotiation table with the undersecretary of Human Rights of the Ministry of Interior. The meeting should take place in Mexico City and should be attended by the state authorities and the defense of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, advisor to the Communal Lands of the Lacandon area. The arrest of Montoya on May 15 led to demonstrations that allegedly generated the detention of the 22 indigenous. They reported the suspension of roadblocks and demonstrations until an agreement was reached. Services and Advices for Peace (Serapaz) reported that “an agreement between the Commission for Dialogue, Peace, and Justice in the Lacandon Jungle and the representation of the Federal and State Government was signed. Both parties agree to privilege dialogue and the construction of agreements to resolve the problem that exists in the Lacandon area.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Otra oportunidad a la palabra: Los 22 compañeros de la comisión de diálogo que fueron detenidos hoy son libres (Serapaz, 30 de mayo de 2014)

Privación Arbitraria de la Libertad a indígenas y Defensor de Derechos Humanos perpetrada por el gobierno de Chiapas (CDHFBLC, 30 de mayo de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas detenidos en Chiapas (Proceso, 31 de mayo de 2014)

Criminalizar a pobladores de Montes Azules y la Lacandona, una infamia (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de mayo de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas tras un acuerdo entre autoridades de Chiapas y federales (La Jornada, 1 de junio de 2014)

Liberan a 22 indígenas lacandones en Chiapas (El Universal, 31 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Government arrest members of a commission for dialogue on the Montes Azules conflict (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: Peace Network calls for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules” in the face of the increasing problematic in the Lacandon Jungle, (June 10, 2014)

Chiapas: fear for the physical security of David Potenciano Torres, despite his release

December 7, 2012

David Potenciano (@Radio Pozol)

In an informational note published on 4 December, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) announced the release of David Potenciano Torres.  A survivor of torture (in May 2011), Potenciano Torres was newly arrested by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) on 23 November.Following his release, David declared that “I am afraid that they will newly fabricate charges for me, as they did for my declaration of 25 May 2011, which they demanded of me under torture.  I am afraid also because in my declaration regarding torture in 2011 I denounced members of the PGR, and for this reason I believe that this arrest that they subjected me to recently is a message from the PGR, to tell me that I cease denouncing torture.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Nota informativa Anunciamos la liberación de David Potenciano Torres y temor por su integridad personal (CDHFBC, 4 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Release of David Potenciano Torres (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: Torture in the case of David Potenciano is denounced, as are acts of vigilance against relatives (21 December 2011)

The OMCT condemns torture in Chiapas (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: 6 years after the Viejo Velsaco massacre, yet “another six-year term of impunity” (CDHFBC)

November 16, 2012

On 13 December 2012, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) lamented that six years following the Viejo Velasco massacre, “the coherence of the government has a constant named impunity.”  In a press-bulletin, the CDHFBC recalled that on 13 November 2006, a group of 40 persons from the Nueva Palestina community who were accompanied by 300 Sectorial police invaded Viejo Velasco (Ocosingo municipality), which is located on the border of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.  The operation left six people dead and two disappeared; it forcibly displaced 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children who survived the attack.  The CDHFBC stressed that the forced displacement of these 36 persons has continued to date, denouncing that they have been “criminalized, given that they [face] arrest-orders” and find themselves in a juridical limbo.  Beyond that, the Center reports that two other persons continue to be disappeared.

In its communique, the CDHFBC indicated that as regards events such as the Viejo Velasco massacre, “the six-year term of the government that will end its term in a few days was nothing more than one of makeup and illusion; the governor of the state, Juan Jose Sabines Guerrero, indebted the state in exchange for selling the image that some governmental organizations have perpetuated regarding his ‘support of human rights,’ when the grave rights-violations which have occurred have been marked by the constant of impunity.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa completo del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC, 13 de noviembre de 2012)

Persiste el gobierno en inhibir movimientos de resistencia entre comunidades indígenas (La Jornada, 14 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)

Chiapas: Viejo Velasco, a year after the unjust detention of Diego Arcos Meneses (24 November 2007)

Chiapas: Demand for motion in the case of Zapatista prisoner Francisco Santiz López

November 9, 2012

In an informational note published on 1 November, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) announced that it had presented a motion in favor of Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base from Banavil (Tenejapa municipality) who has been imprisoned in San Cristóbal de las Casas since the end of December 2011.  The CDHFBC posited that it had submitted this motion for the immediate liberation Santiz López “in light of the grave violations of due process committed against his person,” which include the “lack of adequate counsel and access to justice, given that he lacks both a translator and a social defender knowledgeable of his language and culture, so as to assist him in his declaration before the Federal Attorney General’s Office,” as well of course as the violation of the principle of presumed innocence.

In observance of the international campaign Global Echo in Support of the Zapatistas that will end on 17 November, the CDHFBC requested the sending of urgent actions to different authorities, requesting the release of Santiz López.

For more information (in Spanish):

Nota informativa del CDHFBC: Acciones para la libertad de Francisco Sántiz López BAEZLN (CDHFBC, 1ero de noviembre de 2012)

Ante violaciones procesales, el Frayba pide amparar a base de apoyo del EZLN (La Jornada, 2 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: News from two prisoners in Chiapas state prisons (15 October 2012)

Chiapas: Oventic JBG once again demands release of Francisco Santiz López (17 June 2012)

Chiapas: Forum against political prison and for the release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez (21 May 2012)

Chiapas: Assembly is held in El Bosque to demand the release of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: CDHFBC publishes more information on the Banavil case (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: Urgent Action in in case of aggressions against families who sympathize with EZLN by PRI group from the Banavil ejido and arbitrary detention of Zapatista support-base (8 February 2012)


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