Chiapas: 21 Years Since the Massacre in Acteal

January 4, 2019

On December 21 and 22, 2018, members of the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal and guests commemorated the 21st anniversary of the Acteal massacre, which took place on December 22, 1997, in which 45 Tsotsil indigenous people, mainly women and children, members of Las Abejas, were murdered in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, by alleged paramilitaries. The massacre “was committed with fury, treachery, and premeditation when they [the victims] were in the second day of fasting and prayer for the end of the violence unleashed in the municipality”, remembered Las Abejas.

Las Abejas denounced that they have “gone through 21 years of darkness that represents the impunity nourished by the PRI and PAN rulers, including the misnamed and corrupt “Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation,” which ordered the release of the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, despite the fact that they were directly pointed out by the survivors and that they had confessed to killing in Acteal, for which they had sentences of up to 30 years, now they walk with impunity in Chenalhó and around Acteal. And the intellectual authors [of the massacre] are free, mocking justice and the memory of our massacred brothers and sisters”.

Las Abejas and the Fray Batolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) indicated that they are not seeking dialogue with the current government but announced that they will continue to speak up, so that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) can make a pronouncement on the merits of the case. Pedro Faro Navarro, director of Frayba, indicated that “for a long time the situation has been closed at the national level, since the Mexican State has not only refused to take legal action, but has attributed to impunity with the release of almost all of the perpetrators”. For their part, Las Abejas clarified that “we will not exchange justice for money in any way. The real objective of our petition before the IACHR is for the Mexican State to recognize its responsibility for action and its failure in the Acteal Massacre and to guarantee the non-repetition of acts like Acteal”.

For more information in Spanish:

Nuestro país ha vivido un patrón sistemático de represión, corrupción, colusión, impunidad desde los años 60’, hasta el día de hoy (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Acteal 21 años de impunidad (Frayba, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Insiste Frayba en que CIDH se pronuncie sobre Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A 21 años de la matanza de Acteal, familiares y sobrevivientes recuerdan a las 45 víctimas (Sin Embargo, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Conmemoran 21 años de masacre de Acteal, la justicia aún pendiente(Regeneración, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

Abejas de Acteal anuncian que no buscaran diálogo con AMLO; esperan dictamen de la CIDH (AlertaChiapas, 22 de diciembre de 2018)

A once días de la conmemoración de la Masacre de Acteal, les compartimos cartel de dicho evento (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de diciembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Twentieth Anniversary of Acteal Massacre (January 14, 2018).

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal “Roots, Memory and Hope” Tour (July 28, 2017).

Chiapas: Launch of Acteal Campaign: Roots, Memory and Hope (March 30, 2017).

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Chiapas: Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center denounces extrajudicial execution of a person from Chiapas in Tabasco

September 25, 2018
carlos-humberto-mendoza-de-los-santos

Carlos HUmberto Mendoza de los Santos (@CDHFBC)


In a press conference held in Villahermosa, Tabasco, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) reported that it documented the “extrajudicial execution” of Carlos Humberto Mendoza de los Santos, originally from Palenque, by soldiers, in an event that occurred on May 16 in Macuspana, Tabasco.

The CDHFBC said that soldiers commanded by commander Armando Garcia Triana, arbitrarily shot the unarmed civilian Carlos Humberto, who was later criminalized and stigmatized, saying he was a “hit man””.

It indicated as “direct responsible for the extrajudicial execution 22 members of the 18th Motorized Cavalry Regiment, belonging to the detachment of the Mexican Army, located in the Ejido Medellín, municipality of Catazajá, Chiapas, of 38 Military Zone 1, with headquarters in Tenosique, Tabasco”.

It explained that Carlos Humberto was 32 years old, the father of two girls; and, together with his family, he belonged to the organization Autonomous Peoples in Defense of Uses and Customs (PADUC), made up of Ch’ol, Tzeltal and mestizo communities dedicated to the defense of their territory.

Lidia Jiménez Antonio, wife of Mendoza de los Santos, demanded that the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) punish the responsible soldiers, and that the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), “repair the damage caused to her family” , because the army “said they had murdered a hit man”. She highlighted: “My husband was not a hit man; He was a carpenter. “

The CDHFBC for its part reported that there have been “acts of harassment, intimidation and surveillance against the family of Carlos Humberto, who fear for their life, integrity and personal safety.” In addition, it expressed its “concern because, four months after the extrajudicial execution of Carlos Humberto, the PGR does not have substantive advances to point out so as to punish those responsible.” It also exhorted “to ensure due diligence in the investigation with sufficient and necessary actions to prevent this extrajudicial execution whose responsibility is of the Mexican Army, to remain unpunished.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejército mexicano responsable de ejecución extrajudicial en Macuspana, Tabasco (CDHFBC, 17 de septiembre de 2018)

Denuncia Frayba “ejecución” cometida por militares en Chiapas (La Jornada, 18 de septiembre de 2018)

Exigen justicia para civil ejecutado (Cuarto Poder, 19 de septiembre de 2018)

Soldados ejecutan a Carlos, la bala entró por su nariz y le destrozó el cerebro; “mi esposo era carpintero, nunca tuvo un arma en sus manos, salió negativo a plomo pese a ser acusado de disparar primero” (Revolución 3.0, 18 de septiembre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Military Spying and Harassment of Indigenous Communities in Palenque, Ocosingo, Chilon and La Libertad Reported April 10, 2018


Chiapas: Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

November 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ

On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Center for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defense of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defense of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defense of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos

Boletín Frayba presenta su Informe Anual: La Insurgencia de los Derechos Humanos (CDHFBC, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

Despojo territorial, espiritual y cultural, una constante en Chiapas: Frayba (Chiapas Paralelo, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 25-year anniversary of “Frayba” (30 March 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the six-year report from the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (26 March 2013)

 


Chiapas: Chiapas state government refuses to investigate claims of torture in its prisoners

October 10, 2015

(@alainet.org)(@alainet.org)

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) and the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) have denounced obstructions in the documentation and application of the Istanbul Protocol, which is recognized by Mexico as a means of avoiding the use of torture. Between 21 and 25 September, the government inhibited the entrance of two independent investigations into the Istanbul Protocol and members of the CCTI, as accompanied by Frayba personnel, in three state Centers for the Social Reinsertion (CERSS), so as to complete documentation and application work. Previously, eleven prisoners had denounced torture during their detention or within the Chiapas prisons—being in the majority indigenous. Those releasing this information presented different levels of harm with regard to their physical and mental health due to lack of medical and psychological attention, especially when in urgent need. Another aspect that left many indigenous prisoners more vulnerable has been the lack of adequate interpretation, both in their judicial processes, as in the prisons proper.

Despite the efforts made by the CCTI and Frayba to meet with several authorities regarding the denunciations that have emerged, these officials denied the experts access to the prisons. For Gilberto Hernández from Frayba, “this way of acting corresponds to an interest of maintaining impunity and avoiding all forms of investigation.” Among the prisoners who went to visit the experts was included Alejandro Díaz Santiz from the Voz del Amate collective, who on repeated occasions has denounced the miserable conditions faced by his comrades held in the CERSS. After his declarations, he was transferred on 11 September from the prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to a new Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) no. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, being a maximum-security prison. According to the information from the “We Are Not All Present” Workgroup (GTNET), this forcible transfer “is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, who has been punished for supporting and raising the consciousness of other prisoners.”

Within the context in which the General Law on Torture is being discussed, the Chiapas state authorities have failed to express their interest in investigating acts of torture among prisoners, and so to provide greater credibility in terms of the protection of human rights of torture survivors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presos denuncian malos tratos, discriminación e injusticias (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

Niega gobierno de Chiapas investigar casos de tortura en sus penales (Desinformémonos, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Gobierno de Chiapas obstruye la documentación de violaciones a los Derechos Humanos (Pozol, 25 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

De la tortura al protocolo de Estambul (Amnistía Internacional, 9 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Chiapas: Displaced Tojolabal families from Primero de Agosto community denounce threats of a new displacement

October 10, 2015

Mujeres, hombres, niñas y niños desplazados en campamento de desplazamiento @RadioPozolTojolabal men, women, and children displaced from the Primero de Agosto community @RadioPozol

On 1 October, in a public denunciation, the displaced Tojolabales who comprise the Primero de Agosto community denounced that “due to the omission of the official authorities, the violations of our rights, death-threats, threats of kidnapping, threats of a new displacement, and harassment continue.” On 29 September “authorities and ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido came to threaten us from 30 meters’ distance from where we are living displaced to tell us that they had plans to jointly kidnap six of our comrades and perform a new armed displacement with the backing of their leaders, the CIOAC-Historical, and the three levels of government.” Furthermore, on 30 September, “Armando Méndez López fired into the air with a gun, telling us that any one of these days we would be displaced and our comrades taken.” On 2 October, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights released an Urgent Action indicating that “the present situation is similar to that which immediately preceded the first forcible displacement. This puts at risk the lives, security, and physical integrity of the displaced families.”

These families, which have now spent seven months displaced in the 23 September community, observed that “the Chiapas state government committed itself on 25 February 2015 to make justice and distribute the lands equally […] but it has not observed its promise; on the contrary, it has allowed the situation to worsen. The Mexican State has been absent or complicit in the criminal actions taken against our people.”

It bears mentioning that on 23 February 2015, ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido who pertain to the Independent Historical Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) violently displaced 57 people from the Primero de Agosto community, which since 1 August 2013 had “suffered death-threats, murder-attempts, and attempted kidnappings, robbery, looting, and destruction at the hands of the ejidatarios from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido, members of CIOAC-H.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias de Primero de Agosto temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado (Chispas Denuncia Pública, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento forzado a tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Frayba, Acción Urgente, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Tojolabales de Primero de Agosto cumplen siete meses en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de octubre de 2015

Familias de Primero de Agosto temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado (Radio Zapatista, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Chiapas, AU: Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento contra tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Centro de Medios Libres México, 2 de octubre de 2015)

Chiapas: Indígenas tojolabales temen nuevo desplazamiento forzado. Con armas de fuego son hostigados por la Cioac-H (Radio Pozol, 2 de octubre de 2015)

FRAYBA: Riesgo de nuevo desplazamiento forzado a tojolabales del poblado Primero de Agosto (Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad, 4 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: At nearly half a year of forcible displacement, the Poblado Primero de Agosto denounces new threats (7 September 2015)

Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case (22 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement and continues demanding its forthright return (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Chiapas: A year since the “unjust” incarceration of communal defender from Salto de Agua: Chiapas Denuncia Pública

October 8, 2015

Rueda de prensa @ChiapasDenunciaPú

Press conference @ChiapasDenunciaPública

At a press conference held on 14 September, families, catechists, and human-rights defenders from the local diocese demanded the release of the Ch’ol indigenous man, Salomón Vázquez Sánchez, who has been imprisoned for more than a year, accused of the crime of kidnapping a federal police officer. At the press-conference, held at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba), those assembled said that the “unjust” incarceration took place eight years after the events took place in 2006, when Salomón was working as a rural municipal agent from the Suclumpa ejido, municipality of Salto de Agua.

Nicolás Méndez Arcos, coordinator of the Valle Tulijá Communal Committee for Human Rights, affiliated with the Salto de Agua parish, affirmed that “we as promoters of human rights affirm that there was no crime, because the behavior of Salomón conformed with the communal law as deliberated internally within the ejido, in accordance with the uses and customs that prohibit the carrying of firearms, as well as the Organic Municipal Law.” He also expressed that Salomón, who is being held in the El Amate prison, located in the Cintalapa municipality, “is accused of being responsible for the five thousand pesos that were charged [the police officer] for his rescue, but this is not true, as this was in conformity with a fine based on the uses and customs that sanction the firing of weapons within the community.” Isabel López Sánchez, the prisoner’s wife, demanded his release because “he did not commit any crime,” and she said that her six children “have suspended their studies due to the lack of economic resources, given that our only familial income was what my husband made.” The catechist Agustín Peñate Jiménez expressed that “from the word of God we see that the incarceration of brother Salomón is unjust, because the crime of which he is accused is totally false.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Salomón Vásquez Sánchez encarcelado injustamente (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 15 de septiembre de 2015)

Exigen en Chiapas liberación de indígena chol (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena preso por impedir que un policía federal disparará dentro de poblado (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de septiembre de 2015)

Convocatoria a conferencia de prensa (Frayba, septiembre de 2015)


Chiapas: Death-threats and physical attacks against BAEZLN in the Tzakukum community

September 13, 2015

@ Enlace Civil A.C.@ Enlace Civil A.C.

The support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the Tzakukum community, official municipality of Chalchihuitán, have been threatened with death for months and have incurred physical aggressions. On 9 September, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights A.C. (Frayba) documented the threats and harassment against the BAEZLN. The information was provided by the Good-Government Council of Oventik, Central Heart of the Zapatistas before the World (Oventik JBG), which pertains to Caracol II, Resistance and Rebellion for Humanity.

According to testimony, the BAEZLN reported having been threatened with death on multiple occasions. On 10 August 2015, the BAEZLN Aurelio Gómez Girón was threatened with death by machete by a woman and man from the PRI, who then cut the water-house supplying Mariano García Núñez, another BAEZLN, who in turn was threatened with death by machete. On 14 August Librado Pérez Núñez, BAEZLN, was insulted and attacked on the path by a PRI leader who told him, “You are murderers. Little Zapatista, what are you doing here?” On 26 July a group of party militants detained four BAEZLN, threatening to burn them with gasoline. Beyond this, the bulletin mentions more examples that underline the urgency of the situation. The victims indicated that a group of approximately 25 people harassed and threatened them. In light of these acts, Frayba noted that “We are concerned that the authorities of Chiapas state encourage human-rights violations by being absent when attacks are directed against the BAEZLN.” The bulletin stresses that “these human-rights violations in Tzakukum take place within a context of counterinsurgency that is implemented by the Mexican State against Zapatista autonomy.”

It bears recalling that there were antecedents of this conflict in the same community in July 2015, when members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) began to build a school on common lands without consulting the BAEZLN, who insisted that the agreements on land be respected. In this sense, Frayba intervened toward the end of having the denounced acts be attended to. It is feared that for this reason the PRI members were angered and struck out, after having had to abandon the project on common lands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazas de muerte y agresiones físicas en contra de BAEZLN de la comunidad Tzakukum (Frayba, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Denuncian agresiones contra bases del EZLN (Quadratin Chiapas, 9 de septiembre de 2015)

Ejército mexicano hostiga a la Junta de Buen Gobierno Zapatista de La Realidad (Frayba, 10 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Risks to the lives of Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) (3 July 2015)

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)