Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

April 24, 2015

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, who struggle against the imposition of tourist megaprojects on their land, have been denied the legal motion they had presented to the courts in March 2011.  After three cancellations, an attempt to transfer the case to the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and despite the the detection of violations of due process, a federal tribunal denied the motion 274/2011.  In a communique released on 10 April, the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, the ejidatarios reported their knowledge of the refusal of the motion, reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle against the State, and denounced that official authorities are meeting with party-members from the region, seeking to develop strategies to crush their own autonomous process.

This struggle over the management of lands surrounding the Agua Azul waterfalls has resulted in three violent displacement operations, two murdered communal leaders (Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on 24 April 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, killed on 21 March 2014), and several political prisoners.  Recently, the ejidatarios also had their regional headquarters burned down, in an operation that involved 600 police, who threatened two autonomous journalists and took their equipment.

In the latest communique, released on 11 April, the ejidatarios make an invitation to the commemoration of the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  On 24 April, the second anniversary of his, a mass will be held in the family home of Juan Vázquez Guzmán at 3pm.

As a means of popular pressure, a petition has been launched on www.change.org, and the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights seeks signatures for its communique in support of the ejidatarios.  Those interested can email adorsetchiapassolidarity@aol.co.uk.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona. Chiapas. México. (Blog Viva Bachajón, 11 de abril de 2015)

Piden solidaridad para habitantes de San Sebastián Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón(10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

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Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls

December 30, 2014

Foto @ Koman Ilel

Photo @ Koman Ilel

On 21 December, more than 300 persons from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido peacefully recovered the lands which belong to the ejido within the Chilón municipality on which are located the access-point to the Agua Azul waterfalls eco-tourist center.  In a communique, the ejidatari@s reported that they had decided in an assembly to recover this space, given that these had been “plundered by the bad government since 2 February 2011 with the complicity of the ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón,” thus making reference to the control-point that had been administered by the ejidatari@s since September 2009 until the time in which they were displaced, leaving one dead, at least 2 injured, and 117 arrested.  Subsequently, the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) installed its own control-point, and the Institute for Civil Protection (IPC) and the Secretary for Citizen Security and Protection (SSyPC) established a permanent presence at the entrance of the eco-tourist center.

The ejidatarios in their communique added a note regarding more recent events: “the bad government cannot put an end to this struggle; it is for this reason that they attack us so much and even killed Juan Vázquez Guzmán on 24 April 2013 and our comrade Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  It is for this reason that we have there comrades imprisoned in Yajalón, Chiapas: Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, who were tortured by the municipal police of Chilón and the Indigenous Public Minister of Ocosingo, Lic. Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez, who placed a pistol at the head of Mario Aguilar Silvano as well as a bag on top of his head.”

Given that these are vacation dates, it is feared that a displacement operation will follow that could be violent.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de adherentes del Ejido San Sebastian Bachajon, Chiapas, México (Enlace Zapatista, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ejidatari@s de #Bachajón recuperan su territorio ubicado en la colindancia del acceso al Centro Ecoturístico “Cascadas de Agua Azul”(Koman Ilel, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

#AcciónUgrente ante posible desalojo de ejidatri@s de San Sebastián Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Información Actualizada de San Sebastián #Bachajón adherente a #LaSexta declaración del #EZLN y miembros del #CNI (Koman Ilel, 23 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón retake control-point in Agua Azul (13 December 2011)

Chiapas: The four prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón are released (18 August 2011)


Chiapas: Denunciation of torture for 3 arrested members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

October 1, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 24 septiembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press conference, 24 September 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 16 September, three indigenous persons from the Virgen de Dolores community located within the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido were arrested by municipal police of Chilón, being adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle.  Those arrested denounced having suffered torture and cruel and inhumane treatment toward the end of having them confess under compulsion to the crimes with which they had been charged.

The indigenous persons of Bachajón indicated that the operation was a revenge attack, given that one of the police who arrested the three Tseltales is a close friend of Sebastián Méndez Hernández, who is imprisoned in the El Amate jail for having participated in the murder of the indigenous man Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  On this occasion, the residents of Virgen de Dolores captured the murderous police officer and handed him over to the authorities, such that they claim that this fabrication of crimes (torture and kidnapping) is in reality vengeance from the municipal police.  Beyond this, one of the arrested is a brother to Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

In the end, a judge from Ocosingo assigned a bail of 300,000 pesos to each of the detainees.  This is an amount that is impossible to cover, given the economic situation of those arrested.

For more information (in Spanish):

Información urgente de Comunidad Virgen de Dolores‏ (Blog Viva Bachajón, 20 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón (Enlace Zapatista, 29 de septiembre de 2014)

Boletín: Tortura a indígenas tseltales Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 24 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian tortura tres prozapatistas presos en Chilón (Proceso, 19 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian captura y desaparición de tres tseltales en Chilón (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)

Fijan fianza de $300mil pesos a detenidos de La Sexta Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Denuncian agresión de policías a tres ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 18 de septiembre de 2014)

Torturan a los tres indígenas tzeltales reportados como desaparecidos en Chilón, Chiapas (Somos el Medio, 20 de septiembre de 2014)


Chiapas: new communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.”  Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth.  These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.”  They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs.  All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.”  They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.”  To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighboring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.”  They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo Comunicado en rechazo de los megaproyectos en territorios de pueblos originarios y de la guerra contra el Pueblo Palestino (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

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


Chiapas: Homage to the “fallen in defense of their people and land” in San Sebastián Bachajón

May 3, 2014

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

On 26 April, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, held an homage to two of their leaders who had “fallen in defense of their land and people”: Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

They recalled that Juan Vázquez Guzmán was killed on 24 April 2013 “by the bad government in an attempt to silence the voice and hopes of our organization […] as it also did with Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March of this year, who was still a youth who had participated greatly in the organization.”  They affirmed that “our struggle is peaceful, but we demand that the three levels of government respect our people because we will not remain seated just watching as our rights are violated.”

They denounced that “it is increasingly difficult for the communities and peoples, as they want to accelerate the privatization of our territories and exploit them for the benefit of a few millionaires; it is a lie that it will be for progress and development, because this is only a pretext to take away our lands.  They are death projects.”  The ejidatarios called “for organized struggles to defend the life of our lands” and greeted “all the peoples and communities of Mexico and the world who resist the capitalist megaprojects of looting.”

In parallel to this event, and as part of the international days for justice for San Sebastián Bachajón, dozens of collectives and organizations in solidarity from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the UK, and Spain carried out actions and pronounced themselves “for the respect of the rights of these indigenous Tseltal peoples and their lands and territories, in addition to respect for their right to free self-determination and the search of alternative ways of life.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejidatarios tzeltales rinden homenaje a dos de sus dirigentes asesinados(La Jornada, 26 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (26 de abril de 2014)

Blog de los adherentes a la Secta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona de San Sebastián Bachajón: http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Release of Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (1 January 2013)

Chiapas: Federal court resolves in favor of ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: release of Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sixth Declaration from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Close of Global Campaign “Juan Vázquez Lives, the Struggle Continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón recall Juan Vázquez, murdered in April (19 July 2013)


Chiapas: Organizational calls for international days to demand justice for San Sebastián Bachajón

April 29, 2014


bachajon-circulo_mesa-de-trabajo-26-copia-5-spanish-round-large

In a communique published on 17 April, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, announced the realization of international days “for justice for San Sebastián Bachajón and our fallen comrades Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.”  These days of action are to take place between 24 April and 8 May 2014.

It should be recalled that on 24 April one year will have passed since the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán: “Still justice has not been done.  There has not been an effective investigation of his killing, and his murderers and those who ordered his execution continue to enjoy impunity.  Meanwhile, efforts to loot the people of Juan continue, the communique observed.

The ejidatarios denounce that “The three levels of government, with their army, police, allies in transnational companies, locally financed paramilitary groups, and their party militants do not cease their attacks and lootings by means of lies and tricks, death-threats, violence, imprisonment, torture, and even murder, all of which they employ to succeed in realizing their ambition of taking control of the ancestral lands of the ejido for the construction of a luxury tourist complex beside the beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul.”

The document also stresses that “Now there has been another murder, another vile attempt to force our comrades to renounce their just and dignified struggle and resistance.  Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, who was only 22 years of age, was riddled with more than twenty shots on 21 March 2014.  Juan Carlos participated in the construction of autonomy in the recovered land of Virgen de Dolores.  He was a regional coordinator of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido.  No one has been arrested or accused of this crime.  We respond with pain, but also with rage.”

The communique ends by calling “on all those persons of good heart and all the children of the Earth to steel themselves day by day in constructing another world, a better one, full of liberty, justice, respect, and dignity, allowing for everyone to live in accord with their own customs, modes, times, and geographies.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncian jornadas internacionales por la justicia para San Sebastián Bachajón (La Jornada, 19 de abril de 2014)

Comunicado y convocatoria de los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón(17 de abril de 2014)

Blog de los adherentes a la Secta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona de San Sebastián Bachajón: http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón regarding maneuvers to formalize looting of ejidal territory for touristic ends (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: Federal court resolves in favor of ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 December 2013)

Chiapas: Release of Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (1 January 2013)

Chiapas: release of Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the Sixth Declaration from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido (19 July 2013)

Chiapas: Close of Global Campaign “Juan Vázquez Lives, the Struggle Continues!” (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón recall Juan Vázquez, murdered in April (19 July 2013)