Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement

July 21, 2015

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@RostrosDelDespojo

On 4 July, the Tseltal families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, completed 3 years and 7 months “since the armed aggression that took place on 4 December 2011,” which left several families displaced, and Alonso Lopéz Luna disappeared.

The families share that, to date, “the government has done nothing. To date, we continue displaced, and we have not been able to return to our lands where our homes are, and we continue living in inhuman conditions.” Further, “the Mexican State is protecting the PRI members who displaced us from Banavil and disappeared our father Alonso Lopez Luna.

In light of this failure of justice, the families have convened to ‘demand justice, truth, and peace for those other indigenous peoples who have been forcibly disappeared in Chiapas, particularly in the cases of Primero de Agosto, Las Margaritas.” They also expressed their solidarity with Manuel López Pérez, the member from the Las Abejas Civil Society who was killed on 23 June, as well as with the Simojovel municipality amidst the “high-risk situation and […] the threats against our brothers from the Believing People and the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez.”

The displaced closed their denunciation by noting that “this is what is happening in our communities in other communities and municipalities of Chiapas, because in Chiapas there is no justice. The law is made only for the rich against the poor.” They hold the three levels of the Mexican government repsonsible “for our forcible displacement and the forcible disappearance of Alonso Lopez Luna.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tzeltales de Banavil cumplen 3 años y 7 meses en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (16 December 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido (10 April 2014)


Lacking budget and political will, the Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas could prove illusory

June 29, 2015

© SIPAZ  Protesta de las niñas y niños (septiembre 2014)

© SIPAZ Children’s protest (September 2014)

Civil-society organizations that comprise the National Front for the Rights of Childen and Adolescents expressed their concern regarding the implementation of the Law on the Rights of Children and Adolescents in Chiapas (LDNNACH), which was approved on June 2. These organizations write that “Though this Law may signify a great advance against backwardness, we believe it to be basic for it be supported with investment and the political support of the State Executive, the Congress, and the local municipalities, which must develop and construct a normative, institutional, and political state of law that is capable of guaranteeing the effective exercise of the rights of children and adolescents in Chiapas.”

These organizations expressed their worries regarding the limitations of the Law in terms of “inverting the grave situation of rights-violations of the nearly 2 million children and adolescents who live in the state, 84% of whom live in poverty, and 1 in three of whom speak some indigenous language. Chiapas is an entry point for hundreds of Central American children who are fleeing violence in their countries, such that we demand respect for the highest international human-rights standards to promote the active participation of civil society in the processes of legal and institutional regulation.”

The organizations insist on the importance of the point that the Prosecutorial Office for the Protection of the Rights of Children, Adolescents, and the Family be part of a higher institution, and not to lack the necessary elements for the special protection of children in the interests of social welfare.

The communique adds that, “With special concern we see that [the State] omitted to establish the responsibility and obligation of the State to assign resources to guarantee the right to food, housing, health,and education for children and adolescents who have been orphaned, or attended to by Centers for Social Assistance, thus placing the responsibilities for their caretaking on civil-society organizations.”

The organizations also warned that “migrant children and adolescents and refugee minors will continue to go without protection from arbitrary arrest and deportation.”

For these reasons, the organizations called on “the corresponding authorities to respond to their obligations to observe the rights set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and not to legislate under the mandate of the LGDNNA, but instead to guarantee the informed and effective participation of children and adolescents in the decision-making processes which affect their immediate and future surroundings, and to generate broad, transparent, and inclusive mechanisms.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sin presupuesto ni voluntad política, Ley de Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes en Chiapas podría quedar en letra muerta, chiapasparalelo, 11 de junio de 2015

En riesgo Ley de derechos de niñas, niños y adolescentes en Chiapas, Regeneracion, 20 de mayo de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: Mobilization #x1heightlaw in favor of the human rights of children and adolescents (1 October 2014)

National/Chiapas: “little to celebrate” for Children’s Day (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)


Chiapas: 2 children perished and 6 gravely injured following immunizations in Simojovel

May 17, 2015

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Following the application of an immunization campaign to 52 indigenous children from the Simojovel municipality, 29 of them had adverse reactions and had to be hospitalized.  Two have died, and six others have been seriously injured.  The perished neonates, Yadira (30 days of age) and Emmanuel Francisco (28 days), had not yet been officially registered.

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) announced on 9 May that it would suspend only the application of Hepatitis B immunizations within the Simojovel municipality, thus overturning the previous order to suspend the BCG (tuberculosis), Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, and Quadrivalent immunizations at the national level, and to contain the Hepatitis B lots as the suspected cause of the adverse reactions.

The Chiapas state governor, Manuel Velasco, and the director general of the IMSS, José Antonio González Anaya, visited those affected and their relatives in the Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where they have been admitted.

Civil-society organizations have demanded that the State authorities investigate the incident in  a profound and impartial way, and they called on the appropriate authorities to determine the chain of culpability among those responsible, as well as to provide the necessary support for families, in addition to access to justice.  They expressed their “concern for the situation of newborns in the State, particularly those who subsist in conditions of extreme material poverty.  Data from the National Council on the Evaluation of the Politics of Social Development (CONEVAL) indicate that, in 2012, 74.7% of the Chiapas population finds itself in extreme poverty, with 24.9% reporting lack of access to health services.  It is notable that this outcome, which has to do with immunizations, takes place in one of the states with greatest material need in the country, where the percentage of unvaccinated children is 18%, and the mortality rate of infants is 13.5 deaths higher than the national average of 13.2 (2010), in accordance with the official data that are presented in the report Infancy Counts in Mexico.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El IMSS suspende la aplicación de vacunas de Hepatitis B en Simojovel (CNN México, 11 de mayo de 2015)

La muerte de los niños de Simojovel Chiapas, evidencia de la marginación(Chiapas Paralelo, 11 de mayo de 2015

Exigen OSC investigación profunda e imparcial frente a los casos de muerte infantil por vacunas en IMSS – Chiapas (Comunicado de OSC, 11 de mayo de 2015)

Se encuentran graves seis niños por vacunas en Chiapas: IMSS (Proceso, 10 de mayo de 2015)

Mueren dos niños por reacciones alérgicas a vacuna en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de mayo de 2015)

Investiga CNDH caso de vacuna a niños en Chiapas (El Universal, 10 de mayo de 2015)


Residents of Cruztón denounce threats and invasion of their lands

May 14, 2015

@RadioPozol

    @RadioPozol

On 26 April, in a communique, the Cruztón community, Venustiano Carranza municipality, Chiapas, which adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced “before the bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico, and the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello” the invasion of their lands, new threats of displacement, and the prohibition on working their lands due to the actions of the “Nuevo Guadalupe Victoria Organization,” based in the same municipality.

In 2007, Cruztón recovered nearly 250 hectares of land.  Since 2011, the community has suffered threats of forcible displacement and presently is being threatened by armed groups.

The community requests “immediate intervention, given that in 2013 we were threatened by this group, and on 16 April of this year, they appeared on our lands threatening us […].  They have also prevented us from entering our lands, frightening us with gunfire emanating from high-caliber weapons.  They also have prevented us from entering the sacred lands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidad Cruztón denuncia invasión de sus tierras (28 de abril de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas a pobladores de Cruztón, municipio de Venustiano Carranza, adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona (24 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Cruztón denounces invasion of lands (8 June 2011)


Chiapas: Change of General Secretary for Governance

April 24, 2015

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda y Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda and Manuel Velasco Coello (@AristeguiNoticias)

On April 16, Chiapas´ state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, announced the resignation of his General Secretary for Governance, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, who is to be replaced by the PRI official Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda. Ramírez Aguilar, a former mayor of Comitán, will return to the House of Deputies.  In July 2013, he solicited the license for the position that he just left.

Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda was a founding member of the Federal Congress’s Commission for Concordance and Pacification, which participated in dialogues with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).  He held the position of federal representative in the time-period during which he was coordinating the PRI Chiapas group and oversaw the Southern Border Commission.  Before taking up his new charge, he was head of the Secretary for Planning, Public Management, and Government Program.

No explanation was given as to the change in the cabinet, though rumors point to differences between the Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM, to which the governor belongs) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), in a government that has been in alliance between these two parties.  Rumors indicate that the resignation of Ramírez Aguilar took place following a meeting between the state potentate and the federal Secretary for Governance (SEGOB), Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong. Other sources stress the presumed connections between the state official with a “paramilitary organized crime group” as a possible motive.

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: nuevo secretario de Gobierno; el anterior, señalado por nexos con paramilitares (Aristegui Noticias, 18 abril de 2015)

Nombran nuevo secretario general en Chiapas (El Universal, 17 de abril de 2015)

Gobernador de Chiapas va a la Segob y luego cambia a su secretario de Gobierno (Proceso, 16 de abril de 2015)

La Secretaría General de Gobierno, la rifa del tigre (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de abril de 2015)


Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto

April 21, 2015

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Photo @komanilel.org

“Today we have suffered 30 days of displacement, illness, and having to live under trees covered by a piece of plastic, in inhuman conditions.  These have been 30 difficult days in which we have demanded the government’s response, but it has not done anything.  We have suffered threats and pain,” said the 57 people who have been displaced for a month in the border jungle region in Chiapas.

In a communiqué released on 23 March, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced new threats of attack and forcible displacement against residents of the Primero de Agosto community, Las Margaritas municipality.  A month after their forced displacement by members of the Independent Historical Campesino and Agricultural Worker Organization (CIOAC-H), the Tojolabal families still “find themselves vulnerable, under threat, and at risk of new attacks […].  The government of Manuel Velasco has not taken up its responsibility and commitments to the displaced families.  Instead, it has provided State protection to CIOAC-H members, as can be seen in the impunity in which all the legal denunciations made by the displaced find themselves […].  The events of 23 February 2015 led to a forcible displacement, even when State officials knew about the attacks and threats of displacement.  To date, the authorities charged with making justice have not clarified the events or arrested anyone for the aforementioned crimes.

The CDHFBC indicated as well that it has information that “there exists a new threat against the life of Antonio Roman López, whom CIOAC-H leaders have indicated as having been in the presence of Frayba members and State authorities, and thus as the leader of the residents.  Similarly, they threat the families from Primero de Agosto with a new displacement from where they actually find themselves.”  Due to all this, the CDHFBC denounced “the failure of the governments to provide protection and to guarantee human rights, as is stipulated in the Law for the Prevention of and Attention to Internal Displacement in Chiapas State, which lacks reality and is in fact quite dead.  Its content recognizes the fundamental rights of displaced peoples in the state, which have not been applied since its entry into law in February 2012.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa del CDHFBC (23 de marzo de 2015)

#Chiapas Denuncia publica de la comunidad Primero de Agosto a un mes del #DesplazamientoForzado (Koman Ilel, 23 de marzo de 2015)

“Hoy cumplimos 30 días desplazados, viviendo bajo los árboles, cubiertos por un pedazo de plástico”, indígenas tojolabales (Pozol, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: EZLN announces dates for the exchanges between Zapatistas and indigenous peoples of the CNI (12 June 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)


Chiapas: Communiqué from Sup Galeano

April 10, 2015

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 19 March, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, or Sup Galeano, published a communique “On Homage and Seminar,” in which he reports on the homage to Luis Villoro Toranzo and the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014.  This homage will take place on 2 May in the Oventik caracol, an event to which relatives of the “46 who are missing from Ayotzinapa,” as the communique notes, “as well as relatives of the comrade teacher Galeano and autonomous Zapatista authorities from the 5 zones.”  Furthermore, Sup Galeano reminded his readers of the forthcoming seminar “Critical Thoughts in light of the Capitalist Hydra,” as organized by the CIDECI-Unitierra and the Sixth Commission of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), planned for 3 to 9 May.

Galeano also mentioned “the notable rise in military activity in the vicinity of the Zapatista caracoles (aggressive patrols, intimidating checkpoints, threatening overflights), particularly in the La Realidad and Oventik caracoles.”  He further affirmed the lack of will on the part of the State to initiate a dialogue with the EZLN “since 2001.  That is to say, no federal official has approached the EZLN for the past 14 years without seeking to assassinate the Zapatista leadership; no, the federal and state governments are not seeing the lives of the indigenous of Chiapas improving, but instead they seek to divide communities.  The only governmental approaches that can be noted by Jaime Martínez Veloz have not been toward the Zapatistas but instead toward the paramilitaries they support.  Before, this was done by Luis H. Álvarez, Juan Sabines Guerrero, and Felipe Calderón Hinojosa; now it is done by Manuel Velasco Coello, Rosario Robles Berlanga, and Enrique Peña Nieto, one of whose shock-groups (CIOAC-H) is materially responsible for the murder of our comrade teacher Galeano.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Sobre Homenaje y Seminario. El SupGaleano (Enlace Zapatista, 19 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communiques from the EZLN (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: threats against families sympathizing with the EZLN(29 December 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN requests support for the reconstruction of the autonomous school and clinic in La Realidad (13 June 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN pays tribute to murdered Support-base and announces organizational changes (10 June 2014)