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

 

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

Montes Azules (@SIPAZ)

On May 27, fourteen civil organizations that work in Chiapas, either members of the Peace Network or allies, expressed their concern amidst the growing tension and social conflict that prevail in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Biosphere: “We are concerned that, in response to the public dissatisfaction manifested at this time by the CZL [Lacandon Community Zone] and ARIC ID [Rural Association of Collective InterestIndependent and Democratic], governmental actions may use strategies that violate the rights of peoples, such as the implementation of forced evictions of families and communities (like the ones that occurred between 2003 and 2012), or the arrest of local authorities and leaders of this movement.” Therefore, they urged the state and federal government to look for “inclusive processes in the use, conservation and management of the Biosphere Reserve of Montes Azules and the other six natural protected areas that exist in the Lacandon Jungle.

For almost a week, around 1,500 indigenous people have been organizing demonstrations to demand the release of the Lacandon community advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oseguera (arrested last May 14); the regularization of three villages (Rancheria Corozal, Salvador Allende and San Gregorio); and the expulsion of the environmental researcher Julia Carabias from the reserve where she currently works. Besides intermittent roadblocks, they have closed public buildings such as the city hall, courts, and the prosecutor offices in the city of Ocosingo.

The presence of environmentalists in the Lacandon jungle has continued to generate conflict. Last April, the researcher Julia Carabias was held for 48 hours. On 26 May, two members of the environmental and cultural organization Na-Bolom, Beatriz Mijangos Zenteno and Enrique Roldan Páez, were also detained and released after 22 hours.

For more information (in Spanish):

Red por la Paz en Chiapas denuncia clima de violencia y conflicto en Selva Lacandona (La Jornada, 28 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz y organizaciones hermanas (27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen indígenas se regularicen asentamientos en la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 27 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen libertad de líder tzeltal (La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014)

Toman indígenas oficinas de gobierno y exigen la expulsión de Carabias de la Selva Lacandona (Proceso, 23 de mayo de 2014)

Campesinos protestan en Ocosingo, Chiapas (El Universal, 22 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias (June 2, 2014)

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)


Chiapas: Social and civil organizations denounce “simulated” kidnapping of Julia Carabias

June 2, 2014

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

Montes Azules (@todochiapas.mx)

The Movement of Social and Civil Organizations in Chiapas has pronounced itself with respect to the persecution using gunfire and arrest engaged in by agents of the Judicial Police on 15 May targeting professor Gabriel Montoya Oseguera.  The assessor of the communal goods of the Lacandona Community Zone has been charged, among other things, with being the intellectual author of the supposed kidnapping of Julia Carabias.  In its communique, the Movement maintains Montoya’s innocence and indicates that Carabias “for more than 20 years has carried out projects in the Chajul Station located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA).”  It denounces that the supposed kidnapping was “simulated with the objective of manipulating and confusing” within the process of change of authorities in the Lacandon Zone Community.

On 19 May, Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal indigenous individuals began an indefinite roadblock on the international border highway between Palenque and Benemérito de las Américas to demand Montoya’s release.

Montoya was arrested a day before carrying out an assembly to elect the new authorities for the communal goods.  In this assembly, in which particiapted more than 360 of the 1678 communards (Lacandon, Ch’ol, and Tseltal), Emilio Bolom Gómez was elected president, being a Tseltal individual from Nueva Palestina.  This was the first time that a non-Lacandon indigenous individual has been elected president.

Beyond this, communards from Metzabok, Nahá, and Lacanjá Chansayab denounce that former presidents of the communal goods Chankin Kimbor and Gabriel Montoya have promoted invasions into the Montes Azules reserve and have manipulated the process of designating new communal authorities.

It should be noted that in the days in which has been denounced the act against Carabias, there was had an agreement between the communal goods of the Lacandona Jungle and the ARIC Union of Independent and Democratic Unions.  This accord would allow progress in the agrarian regularization of the non-Lacandon settlements of Nuevo San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, all of which are located within the Lacandon Community Zone (CZL).

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas bloquean carretera en Chiapas; exigen liberar a Montoya Oseguera (La Jornada, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de Bienes Comunales de Zona Lacandona (19 de mayo de 2014)

Políticas conservacionistas y megaproyectos causan desplazamiento forzado en Chiapas (Voces Mesoamericanas, 19 de mayo de 2014)

Pronunciamiento-ARIC-ID-OS-CZL (15 de mayo de 2014)

Acusan a Julia Carabias de simular secuestro para reventar asamblea lacandona (Chiapas Paralelo, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Federal and state government announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle (2 June 2014)

Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone (3 May 2014)

Chiapas: Press-conference regarding communities threatened with displacement from Montes Azules (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Pronunciation by the Observation Mission to communities threatened with displacement form the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (18 May 2012)

Chiapas: Threats of displacement in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (14 March 2012)