Chiapas: a member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered

July 2, 2015

IMGP7167

(@SIPAZ)

A communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal published on 23 June 2015 reports the murder of Manuel López Pérez, a member of the organization. According to the report, Manuel was killed while returning from Pantelhó to his home of San José Bochtik, Pantelhó municipality, when the public transit in which he had been traveling was stopped by a group of seven masked men dressed ni military fatigues and carrying firearms. Manuel had been accompanied by his 11-year old son, Juan López Guzmán, who recognized the voice of one of the killers, claiming it to be that of his older brother, Alonso López Guzmán.

The municipal judge did not allow photographs to be taken of the crime scene, nor did he respect the wishes of Manuel’s wife not to remove the body until members of the Las Abejas Society were present. It is also reported that the judge and the municipal police chief had pressured Juan to declare that he had been traveling in a different car, and that he was not a witness to the murder of his father.

It should be noted that Manuel López Pérez, together with his wife and four sons, was displaced in 2013 from the San Joaquín community, Pantelhó municipality, Chiapas, on the charge of wizardry. These accusations emanated from his son Alonso, who is considered a suspect in the murder, and the present municipal judge, Pedro Giron López, who is accused of irregularities at the crime-scene. Manuel attempted to sell the land on which his family was displaced, but Alonso appropriated it and then sold it, thus violating a previous agreement between the municipal authorities and his father. Though the case was referred to the Agrarian Court and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), nothing concrete followed.

The Directive Table of the Las Abejas Civil Society added in its communique that Manuel’s family had for long been subjected to death-threats, with this being a situation that had been denounced before the authorities, though no measures were taken to avoid the murder.

In another communique published on 26 June, death-threats, surveillance, and harassment aganist Antonio López Jiménez and his family were denounced, as these were displaced in 2007 by the construction of a sewage system that proceeded without the consent of the owners of the land on which it proceeded. There were fruit trees and a space for the construction of a home on the land in question. Antonio and two members of his family were attacked during the installation of the sewage system, after they went to inform and attempt to negotiate. No authority attempted a mediation or compensation of the damages incurred. “We fear for the lives of Antonio and his family, given that the municipal authorities from Pantelhó and the mayor and judge are complicit in a series of death-threats directed against Antonio in his family, instead of respecting, guaranteeing, and protecting their physical and psychological well-being. Furthermore, the judge in question threatened Manuel and according to testimonies, told his son to prepare his weapon to kill him.”

It should also be mentioned that on 22 June was held the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, which as usual demanded justice for this crime, as for others committed in Mexico and the world.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a miembro de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denunciamos más amenazas de muerte contra miembros de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comunicado 22 de junio 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de junio de 2015)

Chiapas: Comando armado asesina a Manuel López Pérez, integrante de la organización Las Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 25 de junio de 2015)

Asesinan a sobreviviente de Acteal, lo acusaron de “brujería” (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncian ‘Las Abejas’ el homicidio de uno de sus integrantes (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)


Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections

June 9, 2015

Acteal (@Sociedad Civil Las Abejas)

Acteal (@Sociedad Civil Las Abejas)

On 22 May, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997) in which 45 people were murdered, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a new communique presenting its take on the present electoral context.

Las Abejas affirmed that “the people who we represent will not vote in the elections,” given that the “so-called vote” is a “farce that offers political leadership of the people, but we know that there above they know well and already have arranged who and which parties will win in the elections to come.”

Instead, they recommend “the exercise of our rights as citizens not to participate in elections, but rather in the decision-making processes we carry out in our communities, in the daily resistance we embody, in the construction of autonomy, and in our collaboration with different spaces and processes to denounce injustice and human-rights violations committed by the State against our people. In exchange for not participating in the elections, we have begun a process of building an ethical and responsible government that actually represents us and listens to our voice: one that defends our lives, lands, and territories.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de mayo de 2015)

Las Abejas” de Acteal informaron que no participarán en elecciones 2015(Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)


Chiapas: Pacifist Council of the Sowers of Peace carries out action at checkpoint between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 21, 2015

(@http://www.lasabejasacteal.blogspot.mx/)

@http://www.lasabejasacteal.blogspot.mx/

On 19 March, the Pacifist Council of the Sowers of Peace, comprised of survivors of the 1997 Acteal massacre, carried out an action at the checkpoint on the highway between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas, an action “designed to raise funds to succeed in attending to the most immediate needs of the survivors, and to express our support for the public protests in Mexico and throughout the world against the crimes against humanity committed by the Mexican government against the students, workers, and public in general.”  In a communique, the Sowers of Peace detailed that after the massacre, the Mexican government committed itself to attending to those injured during the attack.  Subsequently, the government placed conditions on this medical attention, such that “we have decided to attend to our injured using our own means, and with the help of those in solidarity who share our struggle.”  They explained that they had taken the action so that their injured could continue with the required medical attention to date.

For more information (in Spanish):

Presentación publica del Consejo Pacifista “Sembradores de la Paz (19 de marzo)

Comunicado del Consejo Pacifista “Sembradores de la Paz” en el marco de la acción en caseta de cobro (19 de marzo de 2015)

Bloquean caseta familiares de víctimas de Acteal (El Universal, 19 de marzo de 2015)

Crean un autogobierno, Las Abejas de Acteal en Chenalhó (23 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Living People” instead

April 10, 2015

Foto @ Blog Las Abejas de Acteal

Photo @ Blog Las Abejas de Acteal

On 14 March, in observance of the International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique “against the looting and plundering of our lands in Chiapas and in Mexico.”  Said plundering “which is imposed by the rich and the bad governments of Mexico is the principal cause of forcible displacement, forcible disappearance, torture, arbitrary arrests, and massacres,” as they say.

In this way, they reaffirmed their “civil resistance to paying for electricity.  Why do we not pay the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE)?  For the following reasons:

a)  the San Andrés Accords have not been faithfully observed.

b) justice has not been done in the Acteal massacre

c) the prices are unjust

d) there are firms in Mexico and federal enterprises that do not pay for electricity, as has been confirmed by the secretary general of the Mexican Electricians’ Union (SME), as revealed in La Jornada in 2009.

e) Chiapas produces 45% of the hydroelectric power of the country, and it unjust and shameful that we should have to pay so much for electricity, while many communities and families lack this service altogether,” Las Abejas noted.

They added: “the CFE says that we ‘owe’ them a lot of money, but we tell them that it is they who owe us much, because they do business in our lands and fail to consult us.”  Las Abejas rejected the plans for more hydroelectric projects, “because the CFE and the bad governments of Chiapas and Mexico only seek more dams for their own economic benefit, while we poor people in communities suffer the consequences.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Rechazo total a los megaproyectos del mal gobierno (Las Abejas de Acteal, 14 de marzo de 2015)

Rechazo total a los megaproyectos del mal gobierno:Abejas de Acteal(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 19 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (5 February 2015)

Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots” (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)


Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots”

December 30, 2014

XVII Aniversario de la MAsacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities held in this same community.  On 21 December, a forum combined testimonies with prayers.  During this event participated Franciscan monks from the “72” migrant-home from Tenosique, Tabasco; the relatives of the disappeared students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; the father of Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate; the catechist Margarita Martínez Álvarez from El Limar, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a region that also suffered murders, forcible disappearances, and massive displacements between 1995 and 2000; as well as representatives of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality.  It was stressed that all these processes should be united, not just based on shared pain, but also in terms of the search for justice and hope.

XVII Aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December, following a pilgrimage, a mass was celebrated with the presence of hundreds of persons.  The Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communique that “17 years, four presidents, and two political parties in power have passed since the bad government of Ernesto Zedillo to the [present] bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto.  Not one has had the dignity, humanity, or decency to apply justice and recognize the truth of the Acteal massacre.”  The bishop Felipe Arizmendi stressed for his part that “it is unconscionable that nearly all those imprisoned for this crime have been absolved, just because there were judicial deficiencies in their legal processing, not because they were innocent.”  It should be recalled that only two persons remain imprisoned for the crime of the Acteal massacre, and these two have had their sentences reduced from 36 to 18 years imprisonment.

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Felipe Arizmendi noted that, though “so many years [have passed] of demanding justice and being ignored, […] we will all continue to demand and ask for justice.  We cannot resign ourselves passively to silence.”  The Las Abejas Civil Society used a fragment of the Mayan book Popul Vuh to affirm the same: “They took our fruits, cut off our branches, and burned our trunk, but they could not kill our roots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

La Fraternidad, impulso y fuerza de la Resistencia. #Acteal #17Años(Koman Ilel, Cobertura del 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Es la historia de tod@s. Crónica de conmemoración diecisiete de la masacre ocurrida en el paraje de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, cobertura del 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ningún presidente ha hecho justicia a 17 años de la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

A 17 años, conmemoran con misa masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan marcha en Acteal, Chiapas (Radio Fórmula, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Llegan representantes de Ayotzinapa a Acteal para conmemorar masacre(La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)


Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released

December 6, 2014

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Abejas of Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

Nearly 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) decided to release three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned in the Amate prison for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

The massacre took place on 22 December 1997, when 45 members of the Las Abejas of Acteal organization were killed, the majority being women and children.

The three who have been released had requested an official recognition of innocence, which was granted to them based on criteria stipulated by the SCJN in 2008, when it ordered the release of dozens of prisoners for the first time, having decided that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) used illegal evidence in its investigation, thus violating the right of the accused to due process.  For their part, Las Abejas expressed that “if for the SCJN there are no guilty ones, if all the paramilitaries who have been sentenced are in fact innocent, then we demand that they give us back the lives of our martyrs, and that they present our children and parents who were shot to death on 22 December 1997 with life.”  They added that “other than for the government, it will be the SCJN that will be responsible for any conflict that results from the release of these paramilitaries, because the social fabric has been degraded and destroyed.  It has not been repaired, such that there are no conditions that would guarantee the non-repetition of the acts.”

In sum, 102 indigenous persons were processed for the killing of 45 members of the Las Abejas community, in addition to 4 unborn children, and they began to be released in 2008, after having advanced legal motions before the federal authorities.  Now, only two people remain imprisoned for the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia en México es un teatro: Sobrevivientes de Acteal, Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la Corte liberar a tres tzotziles vinculados con la masacre de Acteal, Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la SCJN la liberación de tres sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

Acteal: consagración de la impunidad, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: the Las Abejas Civil Society demands justice for Ayotzinapa

November 3, 2014

(@CDHFBC)

(@CDHFBC)

On 22 October, in observance of the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997 that left 45 dead, the Las Abejas Civil Society published a communique condemning the events in Ayotzinapa, highlighting that “to our list of murderers we now add the names of Enrique Peña Nieto, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, José Luis Abarca, and all others involved in the disappearance and murder of the normalist students.” Las Abejas affirmed that it is “a crime of State and a crime against humanity, like what was committed here in Acteal.”

Las Abejas expressed their solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students, expressing that “We know the pain–we have lived it, because we also lost our children, parents, and siblings.  We know how the parents and relatives of the students of Ayotzinapa feel.  Humbly, and with much respect, we embrace you with our hearts, from Acteal, taking into account our own capacities.  We support you and demand together with you that your children reappear and return home.”

Las Abejas also mentioned in their communique other violent and unjust situations, such as the incarceration in Sonora of Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui people, and the plundering represented by the highway and mining megaprojects that operate on the lands of indigenous peoples.

For more information (in Spanish):

Justicia por Ayotzinapa, !Vivos los llevaron, Vivos los queremos!(Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de octubre de 2014)

Sobrevivientes de Acteal: exigimos al Estado no permitir otra masacre, y no le importó (SinEmargo, 23 de octubre de 2014)

Realizan paro en 14 normales de Chiapas en apoyo a Ayotzinapa(Proceso, 23 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (2 May 2014)


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