Chiapas: Controversial arrest warrants in the case of the Viejo Velasco Massacre

January 29, 2015
(@ProDH)

(@ProDH)

In a bulletin issued on January 8, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC) reported that the new arrest warrants against those allegedly responsible for the Viejo Velasco Massacre, Ocosingo municipality, “violate the right to fair trial, including the presumption of innocence”.

It noted that in September 2014, the suspects, members of the Xi’Nich organization and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), obtained Court Protection. However, the District Judge of Ocosingo dictated new arrest warrants, although the prosecution has not collected sufficient elements to establish the existence of the alleged crimes nor the responsibility of those indigenous persons.

The CDHFBC complained that “the investigation of the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas has been ineffective: they have accused the victims as if they were the perpetrators”, and they have been “criminalized and judicialized “. It warned that from the beginning, the investigation “of this crime against humanity” was distorted.

Giving more context to this new facts, the CDHFB recalled that “on November 13, 2006, in Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo municipality, about 40 people from Nueva Palestina, Frontera Corozal and Lacanjá Chansayab, communities of the Lacandon Community, accompanied by 300 elements of the State Police of Chiapas, five Prosecutors of the Public Ministry, two experts, the Jungle Zone Regional Commander of the State Investigation Agency (with 7 more persons) and a representative of the Ministry of Social Development, assaulted the Viejo Velasco community. They broke into the houses, stole people’s belongings, and caused the forced displacement of 36 people, the extrajudicial killing of four persons and the forced disappearance of four others. “

The day of the incident, the alleged perpetrators were in the ejido Nuevo Tila, where actually arrived the displaced persons from Viejo Velasco. The inhabitants provided them support and organized a brigade of observation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictan nuevas órdenes de aprehensión en el caso Viejo Velasco, Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 7 de enero de 2015

Órdenes de aprehensión en masacre de Viejo Velasco, violatorios de los derechos humanos: Frayba, centroprodh, 8 de enero de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

(December 6, 2014)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (July 27, 2014)

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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)