Chiapas: Federal and state governments announce imposition of territorial order in Lacandona Jungle

June 2, 2014

Población en la Selva Lacandona. Foto (@Sipaz)

Settlement in the Lacandona Jungle. Photo (@Sipaz)

The federal and Chiapas state governments have carried out an announcement expressing the priority need of proceeding with a territorial ordering of the Lacandona Jungle, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (REBIMA), and protected natural areas: “The government of the Republic and the Chiapas state government express their conviction that it is priority for a TERRITORIAL ORDERING to provide the necessary conditions for the development of the Lacandona community and the neighboring ejidos to improve the quality of life of residents with an eye to the rule of law, privileging the consolidation of protected natural areas and sustainable development in these areas.  In conformity with the stipulations of the General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Protection of the Environment (Article 46), which states that ‘in protected natural areas, new population centers cannot be authorized’: the existing irregular communities located within the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve cannot be regularized, nor can any future settlements so be rationalized in any other part of a natural protected area.  For this reason no process of compensation can be provided, as there are no programs or resources dedicated to this end, nor will there be.”

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, General Secretary of Governance, indicated that the federal and state governments will seek a solution of resettlement for those living in irregular communities within REBIMA.

In 1972, a presidential decision provided 614,000 hectares of the jungle to 66 Lacandon families without taking into account the thousands of other indigenous ethnicities who also resided within this territory and who have since then faced the threat of displacement from their lands.

Recently in April, an agreement was made between the Lacandon Community Zone and ARIC UU-ID (the Rural Association of Collective Interests-Union of Democratic and Independent Unions) which allows for the recognition of three populations located within and around REBIMA; in August 2013, another two were also recognized.  This agreement was the fruit of a dialogue process initiated directly by the two interested parties, and did not count with governmental participation, given the perceived lack of will of the same group to resolve the conflict, as ARIC representatives discussed in a press-conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

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Chiapas: historic accord in the Lacandona Zone

May 3, 2014

@Voces Mesoamericanas

@Voces Mesoamericanas

On 23 April, a “historic” agreement was made between the Lacandona Zone Community and the ARIC UU-ID (Rural Association for Collective Interest-Union of Independent and Democratic Unions) that would permit the recognition of three communities located in the Lacandona Zone.  Through this accord, the communities of San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal, and Salvador Allende, which are located in the Montes Azules biosphere reserve or on its border, are to be “regularized.”  After 40 years in this process of regularization of their agrarian rights, there are five recognized communities: in August 2013, an initial accord made possible the regularization of San Caralampio and Calvario.  It should be recalled that a presidential resolution from 1976 provided the Lacandones with 614,000 hectares of lands on which were also residing thousands of “settlers” of other ethnicities.  Since that time, they and their descendants have had to live under constant threat of displacement.

This accord is the fruit of a process of dialogue that began directly between both involved parties, without the participation of the government, due to its lack of will in resolving the conflict, as ARIC representatives affirmed in a press-conference held in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 1 May.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acuerdo histórico reconoce a los poblados de la Zona Lacandona (Voces MesoAmericanas, 29 de abril de 2014)

Lacandones legitiman permanencia de poblados en la Selva (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Proyectan regularizar poblados (Cuarto Poder, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Regularizan 3 poblados de ARIC-ID en Chiapas (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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 (11 de mayo de 2012)

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