Chiapas: Conflict erupts in Venustiano Carranza, with two dead and several injured

May 17, 2013

On 5 May in Venustiano Carranza, there were seen confrontations between members of the campesino organizations Casa del Pueblo and the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Chiapas (OCEZ-Chiapas), resulting in several injured and two dead.  According to information provided by the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the confrontation began during the early morning of Sunday 5 May, when masked persons entered into different residences firing guns and burning homes.  In their respective communiques, both groups blamed the opposing organization for having initiated the conflict.  During the course of the happenings, which engulfed nearly the entire urban zone of Venustiano Carranza with the exception of two neighborhoods, two persons died and several more were injured.  For its part, the OCEZ-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) distanced itself from the events.

Following the confrontations, the state government indicated that it all had to do with an agrarian conflict, and for this reason it did not consider itself competent to attempt resolution of the problem.  Regardless, on 7 May, toward the end of seeking a solution to the conflict Noé Castañón, General Secretary for Governance, Raciel López Salazar,  state Attorney General, and Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, head of the Secretary for Public Security and Citizens’ Protection, visited the area to try to find a solution to the conflict, in accordance with media reports.  It was proposed that families belonging to OCEZ-Chiapas, which presently find themselves outside the offices of Citizens’ Protection, that they be relocated to the Berriozabal municipality, a proposal they rejected.  The same journalistic source indicated that a military check-point had been established at the entrance of a community of the municipality, with several fly-overs reported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proceso: Enfrentamientos entre pobladores dejan tres muertos en Chiapas (05/05/2013)

Proceso: Pasividad del gobierno de Manuel Velasco causa violencia en Chiapas: ONG (06/05/2013)

Proceso: Campesinos de Chiapas temen más agresiones de supuestos paramilitares (08/05/2013)

Comunicado de la OCEZ-FNLS

Comunicado de la OCEZ-Chiapas

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)


Oaxaca/Chiapas: Zoques present case before the SCJN regarding Chimalapas; Army installs base in zone of conflict

February 8, 2012

Signing of Agreement for General Reduction in Tension to Guarantee Peace and Tranquility in Los Chimalapas (@state-government of Oaxaca)

On 18 January communal authorities of San Miguel Chimalapa and Santa María Chimalapa presented before the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation (SCJN) a constitutional controversy against the Chiapas state-government.  They request the nullification of the creation of a new municipality in Chiapas, Belisario Domínguez, in the zone beside Los Chimalapas between Oaxaca and Chiapas, which would be situated, as they claim, on 80000 hectares of Zoque territory.  Noé Castañón, general secretary of the Chiapas state-government, expressed that the constitutional inquiry submitted by Oaxaca is an opportunity to resolve the conflict on both sides.  He added in this regard: “We have juridical and historical reason [on our side].”

On 22 January, following the installation of a mixed base of operation (BOM) by the Army for the supposed protection of the zone, the government of Chiapas retired the police presence that it had maintained in the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz ejido, associated with the newly municipality of Belisario Domínguez.  It should be remembered that residents of Benito Juárez and San Miguel Chimalapa blocked access to the ejido Gustavo Díaz Ordaz starting on 20 October 2011 for two months, a move that increased tension in the region.

The new military base was installed in observance of the Signing of Agreement for General Reduction in Tension to Guarantee Peace and Tranquility in Los Chimalapas, passed on 22 December, in the presence of Alejandro Poiré, secretary of Governance, and the governors of Chiapas and Oaxaca, Juan Sabines Guerrero and Gabino Cué.

For more information (in Spanish):

Instala Ejército base de operaciones en límites de Chiapas y Oaxaca (Proceso, 23 January 2012)

Chiapas retira a policías de Chimalapas (El Universal, 23 January 2012)

Retira Chiapas destacamento policiaco en Los Chimalapas (La Jornada, 23 January 2012)

Zoques presentan recurso ante la SCJN por caso Chimalapas (La Jornada, 19 January 2012)

Chimalapas promueven controversia en SCJN (El Universal, 18 January 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Reinitiation of historical disputes over land leave 10 injured (14 November 2011)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: Tensions persist in San Miguel Chimalapa (25 April 2011)

Oaxaca/Chiapas: latent conflict in Chimalapas, with risk of confrontation (7 April 2011)

Chiapas: adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón denounce meddling by state-government

December 14, 2011

Archived photo (

On 7 December, after having taken the control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls for two days, the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced the intervention of the Secretary for Governance of Chiapas, Noé Castañón, who arrived to the ejido personally and who, according to them, offered them money before threatening to call the police to displace them.  They indicate that there has been a move toward militarization since their refusal to sign the accord presented by Castañón; the agreement would have a part of the proceeds of access to the waterfalls be sent to the ejidatarios.  In their own words, they say that they are “not requesting handouts from the government, nor do we do this for economic interests.  The only objective we have is to recover the land that was unjustly handed over to the state-government of Chiapas to construct something that only now can be seen.  That was the objective we sought, which now causes militarization against our people, as they tell us that they will send all the social-activist leaders to jail, opening arrest-orders against us as though we were taking from them their palace of governance.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– Denuncia de San Sebastián Bachajón sobre la Caseta de Agua Azul e intenciones del Gobierno del Estado (Ejidatarios de SSB, 7 December 2011)

– Denuncian ejidatarios de Bachajón injerencia del gobierno chiapaneco (La Jornada, 7 December 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón retake control-point in Agua Azul (13 December 2011)

Chiapas: Denunciations by ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón (7 November 2011)

Chiapas: The four prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón are released (18 August 2011)

Chiapas: Press conference by ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón (20 March  2011)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: 3 human-rights defenders from the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights released from El Amate

March 8, 2011

On Wednesday 2 March, the Chiapas State Attorney General’s Office released “according to law” Nataniel Hernández, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights in Tonalá, Chiapas, as well as two lawyers from the organization, José María Martínez y Eduardo Alonso Martínez, who had been detained since 22 February for the crime of mutiny.

According to the communiqué released by the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas: “their release was signed-off on, giving them formal liberty in accordance with the law, which signifies that the investigation continues to be open and dependent upon the whims of the government led by Juan Sabines Guerrero–that is to say, an open threat.”

It was reported that the three rights-defenders were released at 10pm on Wednesday following a dialogue with the secretary of Governance, Noé Castañón, at the close of a march carried out in Tuxtla Gutiérrez that demanded that the activists be freed.  They were arrested on 22 February during a road-block calling for the release of 10 adherents to the Other Campaign.

Para más información:

Tres defensores fueron liberados de El Amate, Cuarto Poder, (3 de marzo 2011)

Liberan a 3 activistas en Chiapas, La Jornada (3 de marzo 2011)


For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Judicial harassment of human-rights defender (21 June 2010)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts

March 8, 2011

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights presented at a press-conference its special report “Government creates and administers conflicts for territorial control in Chiapas,” in which it carries out a documentary analysis that refers to that which occurred on 2 February 2011 in the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón.  The documentary denounces the strategy of the state government for generating conflict so as to take territorial control of areas rich in natural resources, as promoted by the federal government in its so-called Year of Tourism for 2011 that also coincides with the visit of Felipe Calderón to Chiapas some days before the events.  The report further claims the General Secretary of Governance in Chiapas, Noé Castañón León, to be the intellectual author of the operation for the control of the Agua Azul zone, with a clear counter-insurgent objective, ongoing since 1994.

The exhaustive report suggests that the events form part of an announced process of looting, as it presents a precise list of aggressions in the zone and denounces the rights-violations committed against the group of ejidatarios who are adherents to the Other Campaign–specifically, the 10 prisoners and the irregularities with their processing, as well as regarding the search for justice for the injured and dead on the “official” side.

For more information (in Spanish):

El Gobierno crea y administra conflictos para el control territorial en Chiapas, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, (3/03/2011)

Gobierno de Chiapas crea y administra conflictos por control territorial: Frayba; La Jornada (4/03/2011)

Presentación del Informe:  “Gobierno crea y administra conflictos para el control territorial en Chiapas”, (3/03/2011)

CDHFB habla sobre conflicto; Cuarto Poder (4/03/2011)


Audios conferencia de prensa, Frayba  (3/03/2011)


Video conferencia de prensa I, Frayba(03/03/2011)

Video conferencia de prensa II, Frayba (3/03/2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Peace Network visits prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: detentions vis-a-vis blockade of road Tonala-Pijijiapan during action of the Other Campaign (26 February 2011)

Chiapas: Caravan of women to San Sebastian Bachajón (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Agua Azul, new happenings and denunciations (17 February 2011)

Chiapas: update in the Agua Azul case (14 February 2011)

Chiapas: roadblocks and detention of militants in Mitzitón (10 February 2011)

Chiapas: confrontation over control point at Agua Azul leaves one dead and several injured (7 February 2011)

Chiapas: Ejidatorios from Bachajón denounce governmental strategy and escalation of aggression by Opddic

November 25, 2010

On November 13, ejidatarios (communal landowners) of San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, adherents to the Other Campaign, reported that in the past five months, they have observed a growing strategy of slanders, injustice and provocations carried out by authorities, as well as an escalation of attacks and harassment by members of the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (Opddic).

These new threats were attributed to “the same interest of neoliberalism and transnational projects”. The ejidatarios claimed that those who share this vision in the area “have won the trust of the Secretary of Government, Noe Castanon, who received them on November 8, with open doors and the table set with a special menu including transnational projects and ideas of how to destroy our organization. “ They noted “the interest [of “the bad government”] to start a conflict in different communities of their ejido, organizing paramilitary groups to intimidate the society.”

Finally they announced: “We will defend our natural resources to the limit, we will show the government that we are not alone. (…) From this date there will be no dialogue and rapprochement with any official authority, since we do not negociate or do any agreement with the bad governement, because they have clearly shown their interest in stripping us of our lands and take over our resources””

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejidatarios de Bachajón, Chiapas, denuncian recrudecimiento de agresiones de la Opddic (La Jornada, November 18, 2010)

Denuncia completa de las ejidatarios de Bachajón (November 13, 2010))

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón denounce torture and illegal detention of ejidatario (November 8, 2010)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas

December 3, 2008

On November 22, during a commemoration of the massacre of Acteal, the civil organization Las Abejas released a communiqué in which it denounced new attempts to co-opt and divide the population of Chenalhó through government projects. The communiqué stated that during his recent visit to the municipality, the governor Juan Sabines Guerrero was distributing chickens and corn mills. Las Abejas also expressed concern about the new state government cabinet, in particular with regards to the naming of Noé Castañon as Secretary of Government.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado de Las Abejas (22/11/2008)