Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice

September 16, 2014

Desplazada de Banavil (@Koman Ilel)

On 4 September, Zapatista supporters from the Banavil region, Tenejapa municipality, newly denounced “the acts of 4 December 2011 when we were attacked with firearms and 13 of us displaced, being EZLN sympathizers, by PRI militants from the Banavil region, Tenejapa municipality.  On that day, our father Alonso López Luna was forcibly displaced and to date continues disappeared; the state and federal governments do nothing, nor does the Special Prosecutorial Office for Indigenous Justice.  Today, 4 September 2014, we mention that we continue to be displaced, and we denounce that we continue living in inhumane conditions.  We share with you our memory.”

Two years and nine months since the attack that led to their displacement, the displaced warned also about the plan that the government has to build a highway between San Cristobal and Palenque, passing through Banavil.  “This means that they will destroy our lands, and we do not know if for this reason they seek conflicts so that we confront ourselves in the same community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En riesgo de perder sus tierras por autopista, denuncian desplazados de Banavil (Chiapas Paralelo, 8 de septiembre de 2014)

“Seguimos desplazadas, viviendo en condiciones inhumanas y compartimos con ustedes nuestra memoria”, Mujeres de Banavil Chiapas(Pozol colectivo, 5 de septiembre de 2014)

A dos años y nueve meses exigiendo justicia: Desplazadas de Banavil(Comunicado de las desplazadas, 4 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido(10 April 2014)

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway

September 16, 2014

Conferencia de prensa del Ejido Candelaria, septiembre de 2014 (@SiPAZ)

In a press-conference held on 11 September in the offices of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, ejidiatari@s from Candelaria, San Cristóbal de Las Casas municipality, made public their opposition to the planned construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, with this being a decision agreed to in their communal assembly.

The ejidatarios denounced acts of pressure, harassment, and death-threats on the part of governmental authorities to make the assembly accept the passage of the highway through its lands.  On 23 June, governmental representative Javier López Ramírez came to announce that “the highway would pass” through the other communities that had already signed the accord, but the ejidatarios investigated this claim to find out that it was false.  They affirmed that “the comrades from Chilon told [us] that the government used the same strategy with them and that it was not true.”

The ejidatarios expressed that “elders, women, men, children, communities, and organizations will join together to see what can be done as people against this project,” and they invited the communities to a Meeting in Defense of Mother Earth to coordinate resistance on 17 September at 11am in Laguna Suyul, Candelaria.

For more information (in Spanish):

Vídeo de la conferencia Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 11 de septiembre de 2014)

Candelaria: Los pueblos originarios en contra el megaproyecto de autopista en Chiapas (Espoir Chiapas, 11 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: An assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway (9 September 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)

National: National Program on Infrastructure presents projects with possible effects for the populace

May 16, 2014

Protesta contra el proyecto hidroeléctrico de Paso de la Reina. Foto (@Sipaz)

Protest against the hydroelectric dam Paso de la Reina. Photo (@Sipaz)

During the last week of April, the office of the President of Mexico published its decree to approve the National Program on Infrastructure (PNI) for 2014-2018 through the Housing Ministry.

According to President Enrique Peña Nieto, the PNI “is the general strategy for the construction of works and projects that will contribute importantly to liberating the potential of our country.”

The Program, which is backed by 7.7 billion pesos from public and private funds, comprises six strategic sectors (communication and transport, energy, hydraulics, health, tourism, and urban development and housing) contemplated for 25 strategies and 23 lines of action.

In the presentation of the PNI, it was announced that the program would have presence primarily in the south and southeastern regions of the country, where 189 projects are sought to increase touristic, agro-fishing, energy, and industrial potential.

Some of the projects announced within the PNI that are to be implemented by 2018 have generated a great deal of rejection from the populations that will be affected by their development, such as, among others, the construction of the Paso de la Reina dam in Oaxaca and Chicoasén II in Chiapas, the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque, and the Sureste II-V wind-energy plants in the Tehuantepec Isthmus.  These projects have been rejected by local communities and organizations due to the grave impacts they could have on local peoples, such as loss of lands, environmental degradation, or displacement, given the lack of observation of the rights of local peoples to be informed and consulted previously about any administrative or legislative decree that could affect them, as is stipulated by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which has been signed by Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Enfocan obras en el sur-sureste (Am, 28 de abril de 2014)

Publican decreto para el Programa Nacional de Infraestructura 2014(Excelsior, 29 de abril de 2014)

Cinco entidades dominan el programa de infraestructura (El Economista, 05 de mayo de 2014)

Documento: Programa Nacional de Infraestructura  2014-2018

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)

Oaxaca: COPUDEVER and EDUCA present report on “Paso de la Reina” (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: the International Day against Dams is celebrated (24 March 2012)