Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Palenque, eight years after the Viejo Velasco massacre; beginning of “Faces of looting” campaign

December 6, 2014

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Participants present names of victims, Photo@Sipaz

On 13 November there was held a pilgrimage to commemorate the victims of the Viejo Velasco massacre, Ocosingo municipality, and to demand justice amidst the impunity that prevails.  The same day in 2006, 40 civilians from the Lacandon community together with sub-communards from Nueva Palestina who were accompanied by approximately 300 armed members of the now-defunct Sectorial Police of the State attacked the community of Viejo Velasco, leaving four dead and another four disappeared.

The pilgrims demanded justice and the immediate clarification of the case, as well as compensation for damages incurred by the 36 persons displaced by the massacre.  Death-threats and harassment against the affected communities, as hailing from the agrarian offices of Ocosingo and Palenque, were detailed.  Furthermore, participants expressed their solidarity with the 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa and with their relatives in their struggle for justice.

In parallel terms, seven organizations for the defense and promotion of human rights in Chiapas began a campaign called “Faces of Looting” this same day, which seeks to “make visible the ways in which indigenous peoples are violently displaced from their territories.”  Viejo Velasco is an emblematic case that the campaign will highlight during its estimated 6-month run.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Pozol Colectivo, 13 de noviembre, 2014)

Organizaciones exigen justicia y el esclarecimiento de la masacre de Viejo Velasco (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Campaña “Rostros del Despojo”

Inicia campaña Rostros del Despojo en Chiapas (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

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: 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)