Chiapas: Communiqué from Sup Galeano

April 10, 2015

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 19 March, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, or Sup Galeano, published a communique “On Homage and Seminar,” in which he reports on the homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014.  This homage will take place on 2 May in the Oventik caracol, an event to which relatives of the “46 who are missing from Ayotzinapa,” as the communique notes, “as well as relatives of the comrade teacher Galeano and autonomous Zapatista authorities from the 5 zones.”  Furthermore, Sup Galeano reminded his readers of the forthcoming seminar “Critical Thoughts in light of the Capitalist Hydra,” as organized by the CIDECI-Unitierra and the Sixth Commission of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), planned for 3 to 9 May.

Galeano also mentioned “the notable rise in military activity in the vicinity of the Zapatista caracoles (aggressive patrols, intimidating checkpoints, threatening overflights), particularly in the La Realidad and Oventik caracoles.”  He further affirmed the lack of will on the part of the State to initiate a dialogue with the EZLN “since 2001.  That is to say, no federal official has approached the EZLN for the past 14 years without seeking to assassinate the Zapatista leadership; no, the federal and state governments are not seeing the lives of the indigenous of Chiapas improving, but instead they seek to divide communities.  The only governmental approaches that can be noted by Jaime Martínez Veloz have not been toward the Zapatistas but instead toward the paramilitaries they support.  Before, this was done by Luis H. Álvarez, Juan Sabines Guerrero, and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa; now it is done by Manuel Velasco Coello, Rosario Robles Berlanga, and Enrique Peña Nieto, one of whose shock-groups (CIOAC-H) is materially responsible for the murder of our comrade teacher Galeano.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sobre Homenaje y Seminario. El SupGaleano (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN(29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)

Chiapas: Governor announces new General Secretary of Governance

July 20, 2013

Velasco Coello y Ramírez Aguilar @ Twitter

On 3 July, the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced that Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar would be his new General Secretary of Governance. Ramírez Aguilar will replace Noé Castañón León in this charge, who had served in this role during the majority of the tenure of the previous governor, Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012). Eduardo Ramírez, member of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), was the mayor of Comitán de Domínguez from 2008-2010, and during the past elections of 1 July 2012 was elected as a federal deputy of this party.

For more information (in Spanish):

La Jornada: Designa gobernador de Chiapas a Eduardo Ramírez como secretario general de gobierno (03/07/2013)

Proceso: Velasco Coello releva a secretario de gobierno sabinista (03/07/2013)

Chiapas: death-threats directed against lawyer who presented demands against the cabinet of former governor Juan Sabines

April 15, 2013

Horacio Culebro Borrayas (@Escrutinio Público)

The lawyer Horacio Culebro Borrayas, who on 3 April opened a legal demand before the PGR against former governor Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012) and 50 members of his cabinet, denounced that he had been the victim of anonymous phone-calls threatening him with death.  He called for a citizens’ mobilization on 12 April, toward the end of demanding the application of justice to Sabines Guerrero, and to all those implied in what he calls the “robbery of the century,” with its seizures of assets.

Culebro Borrayas has submitted before the Special Prosecutorial Office of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City a complaint involving at least 20 crimes, including delinquent association, organized crime, illicit enrichment, torture and kidnapping, crimes against dignity of persons, and procedural fraud.  Public servants and their coalitions are among those accused.

Culebro Borrayas says that “Sabines Guerrero, his former collaborators, and former local deputies must explain what happened, and why there is no money, when there is this crisis, poverty, and marginalization.  Someone must say where these state resources are, and they must be returned; the people must not remain silent, but must rather demand justice.  It is said that public and private debt is on the order of 40 billion pesos.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Insisten en que PGR investigue a Juan Sabines (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 11 de abril de 2013)

Amenazan de muerte a abogado que denunció a Sabines (Proceso, 8 de abril de 2013)

PGR acepta querella contra ex gobernador Juan Sabines (El Universal, 7 de abril de 2013)

Demandarán a ex gabinete de Juan Sabines (Milenio, 31 de marzo de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Youth criticizes governor for indebting Chiapas in Comitán ceremony (15 October 2012)

Chiapas: accession of Manuel Velasco Coello to governorship

December 21, 2012

Manuel Velasco Coello (

On 8 December, Manuel Velasco Coello became governor of Chiapas, for the coming six-year term from 2012 to 2018.  Velasco Coello, 32 years old and the grandson of the former governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Suárez, won the gubernatorial elections last July with a large margin, representing the coalition made by the Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and the New Alliance Party (PANAL).  At the inaugural event were present, among others, 18 governors, both elected and current, the head of Governance in Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera, the representative of President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Rosario Robles Berlanga, secretary for Social Development.  Coello’s immediate predecessor, Juan Sabines Guerrero, was not in attendance.

Velasco Coello announced that he would initiate “a profound administrative reform that will allow us a more efficient government, which can do more with less.”  He detailed that he will present a state plan of austerity, reducing wages and governmental expenses at the primary level, including for his own salary, which will be reduced by half.

Although he still has not announced the members of his cabinet, he reiterated his proposal regarding the establishment of a government of a citizens’ coalition, plural and inclusive, that count with the participation of all party affiliations and ideologies.  His press representative had previously expressed that “the heads of the institutions remain in charge until [the governor] names replacements.”It should be recalled that despite the brief nature of his speech, Velasco Coello mentioned the political and cultural contributions  made by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and its Good-Government Councils, affirming that “On my part there will be a great disposition to establish the proper communication toward the end of strengthening the peace, happiness, and development of the people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Presentará Manuel Velasco plan de austeridad en Chiapas (El Universal, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Saluda Manuel Velasco al EZLN y Juntas de Buen Gobierno al asumir como mandatario (La Jornada, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Asume Velasco Coello en Chiapas; dice que se bajará el sueldo (Proceso, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

Rinde protesta Manuel Velasco como gobernador de Chiapas (Milenio, 8 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: elections in Chiapas; PRI-Green alliance wins (10 July 2012)

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: Youth criticizes governor for indebting Chiapas in Comitán ceremony

October 15, 2012

Ceremony to declare Comitán a “Magical Town” (@municipal government of Comitán)

On 9 October, there was held a public event in Comitán de Dominguez with the presence of present governor Juan Sabines Guerrero and his successor Manuel Velasco to declare the city a “Magical Town.”  Juan José Vázquez, a youth identified as a member of #IAm132-Comitánwas present at the event, holding a banner expressing “Sabines you leave and you leave Chiapas impoverished: 40 million in debt; Chiapas first place in national debt.”  According to media sources, Sabines confronted him and expressed to him: “That is a lie, my friend; do not believe that; it is an invention of the media.”  Subsequently arrived the personal guards of the governor, who asked the youth to put down the banner.  They forced him to remove himself from the space where he had set himself up, and they escorted him toward this end.  In the end, he was allowed to return home, and nothing more occurred.

After the actions, social organizations, political parties, and committees of #IAm132 and Youth from the Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) in Chiapas called on local and federal authorities to guarantee the security and physical integrity of the youth.

It should be mentioned that on 2 October, the local Congress approved a new credit line of 3.870 billion pesos.  In the words of the state government itself, with this the public debt ascends to 17 billion pesos, although according to reports by the Secretary for Housing and Public Credit (SCHP) and journalistic information, the state debt will be slightly more than 20.3 billion pesos.

For more information (in Spanish):

Miembro de #YoSoy132 reclama a Sabines por sobreendeudar a Chiapas (Proceso, 9 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapa de Corzo y Comitán, nuevos Pueblos Mágicos (El Universal, 10 de octubre de 2012)

Exigen garantías para joven que protestó por megadeuda de Chiapas (Proceso, 10 de octubre de 2012)

Gobernador dejará a Chiapas hundido en mega deuda de 20 MMDP (Proceso, 3 de octubre de 2012)

Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society denounces reactivation of paramilitaries in its municipality

October 12, 2012

On 3 October, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communiqué in which it denounces the reactivation of paramilitary groups in the Chenalhó municipality, where it has its principal presence, as well as in the northern zone of the state of Chiapas.  The group affirms that the massive ex-carcelation of prisoners held for the Acteal massacre (22 December 1997) which began in August 2009 and continues with the release of Manuel Sántiz Pérez just this September 25 “has favored greatly the regrouping of these organizations, and now they have joined forces with those who were not judged: they carry firearms on the highways and in the mountains, as well as on the path to milpas and coffee-farms.”  The Civil Society also reports that a month ago an indigenous Zapatista supporter was shot in the Yabteclum community, a happening that “reveals the paramilitary actions and the presence of said armed groups.”

The Civil Society affirmed also that “the governmental transition of Enrique Peña Nieto has unleashed a series of violent acts.  This is a strategy of threat that is exercised to arrest the social protests that denounce his imposition, though they be not just against EPN but also against social organizations that denounce injustices and human-rights violations as committed and supported by governments.  These actions are implemented within a logic of counterinsurgency that has among other ends the creation of divisions and internal conflicts within communities and organizations, even including forced displacement.  [The tendency is this way so that] this government administer these actions for its own ends, as has been done by the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero with the organizations in the northern zone of Chiapas (Tila, San Sebastián Bachajón), and other autonomous regions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Reactivación del grupo paramilitar “Máscara Roja” en Chenalhó (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 3 de octubre de 2012)

Denuncia Las Abejas la reactivación de grupos paramilitares en Chenalhó (La Jornada, 5 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: Postponement of the SCJN’s decision on the Patishtán case (12 October 2012)

National-International: Zedillo obtains immunity for the Acteal case (19 September 2012)