Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords

January 8, 2013

Marcha silenciosa zapatista del 21 de diciembre de 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

Silent Zapatista march on 21 December 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

On 1 January, the 19th anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), governor Manuel Velasco Coello made a call for the observance of the San Andrés Accords regarding indigenous rights and culture.  These agreements were signed by the EZLN and the federal government in 1996.  By means of a public letter, Velasco Coello made public his view of the “vehement silence” of the EZLN during its march through 5 municipalities on 21 December, considering it to be “an opportunity for peace and justice.”  “The ultimate word of Zapatismo is constructive, peaceful, and political; it strengthens plurality,” he noted.  The governor announced a series of actions by the government, including as regards the “tense situation in Zapatista communities such as Comandante Abel and San Marcos Avilés” and the demand for the release of the Tzotzil professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez and that of Fancisco Santiz López (a Zapatista support base from the Tenejapa municipality).  Velasco Coello affirmed that he felt this release is necessary.Beyond this, the governor announced his position regarding two questions having to do with local community conflict: “We will respect the possessions of Zapatista lands that now are being used with social benefit, as regards the respect for all forms of property in land.”  Lastly, he assured that “all state development programs in communities with Zapatista presence will be careful in their propositions and implementation.  It is not our aim to divide communities, but rather to benefit them, to develop them and promote unity among all indigenous peoples of Chiapas.”

Para más información:

Demanda el gobernador de Chiapas cumplir los acuerdos de San Andrés (La Jornada, 2 de enero de 2012)

Chiapas hace un llamado a reconocer los Acuerdos de San Andrés con el EZLN (CNN México, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Carta de MVS al EZLN (Cuarto Poder, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Congreso indígena celebra aniversario del EZLN (El Universal, 1ero de enero de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN (8 January 2013)

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)


Chiapas: fourth denunciation from Roberto Barrios regarding the situation in Comandante Abel and Unión Hidalgo

November 2, 2012

On 29 October 2012, the “New Seed that will Produce” Good-Government Council of Caracol V that speaks for all in Roberto Barrios published a new denunciation (the fourth that has been released since September on the case) that seeks an update to “the death-threats, displacements, robbery, intimidations, and presence of public security suffered and experienced by out peoples in the Comandante Abel New Community and Union Hidalgo.”

The JBG reports in its communique that on 21 October, the group of invaders who occupied recuperated lands starting on 6 September finished measuring the lands in which they have installed themselves; that the harvest of 11 hectares of maize belonging to the Zapatista support-bases from Comandante Abel New Community has been stolen, and that 24 more persons have arrived from Unión Hidalgo to reinforce the invading group.  In Unión Hidalgo the communique notes that on 16 October at 1a.m. shots were fired from a high-caliber weapon, and this has recurred several times since then, in particular for a total of 2 hours the following night.  On 17 October, 15 members of public security arrived to Unión Hidalgo.

The JBG also denounces that on 25 October, the invaders “made military movements in three groups of 6×6 carrying high-caliber weapons […].  The public-security police daily patrols from Sabanilla to San Patricio and during the afternoon and nights makes its movements from San Patricio to the space where the paramilitaries have occupied the lands and to Unión Hidalgo.  When the invaders make their movements, the police also mobilize themselves; it is clearly seen that between the police and the paramilitaries there is one force, and they are commanded by one leadership, who directs them to carry out warlike actions.”

The JBG refers to a note published in the media on 9 October which affirms that “the groups in San Patricio and Unión Hidalgo both have agreed to request police presence from the state government toward the end of maintaining order and peaceful co-existence.  They also indicate that at all times they will respect the rights of the EZLN militants.”  With regard to this note, the JBG asks: “What need is there for a police presence in the place where the paramilitaries have their own presence, carrying out their actions of intimidation, death-threats, and war-like provocations?  […]  It should clear state that the police has been sent to protect the paramilitaries so that they displace, loot, and rob the belongings and harvest of our Zapatista support-base comrades.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Roberto Barrios (29 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (28 September 2012)

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)


Chiapas: New denunciation by the Roberto Barrios JBG regarding threats to the Comandante Abel community

October 12, 2012

By means of a communiqué published on 30 September, the Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) of Roberto Barrios, located in the northern zone of Chiapas, denounced the direct participation by Noé Castañón León, secretary of Governance, in the planning and implementation of the violence directed against the Comandante Abel community and the Zapatista support-bases in Unión Hidalgo, which has resulted in the forcible displacement of 83 indigenous persons who have for three weeks now sought refuge in other communities.

The JBG notes in its communiqué that “On 12 September at 10am, the paramilitaries entered to rob and cut down a great number of trees in the collective milpa that our comrades maintain, while others stood guard, armed with high-caliber firearms.  Upon finishing their logging, they all went to Unión Hidalgo.  The same day at 2pm, 7 cars full of officials and 3 municipal police vehicles arrived at San Patricio.  At 6pm a public security vehicle showed up to decide where to install its camp so as to fulfill the bad government’s plan to have police presence there.  On 13 September Noé Castañón, general secretary of governance, and Maximiliano Narváez Franco, subsecretary for governance, arrived in Sabanilla to meet with the invaders of Unión Hidalgo and the PRI members of San Patricio to confirm to them that the lands are theirs.  They justified this with projects of legalization, promising to provide security by making available police patrols and the presence of public security so as to care for the invaders and support them with materials to build their homes, and even to hand over property to the paramilitaries.  To fulfill the commitment they made with the invaders and delinquents during the same afternoon of 13 September, patrols of the recuperated land began.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian escalada paramilitar contra zapatistas en Chiapas, La Jornada, 1 de octubre de 2012

Tercera denuncia de la JBG Nueva Semilla que Va a Producir sobre los ataques, desalojos, amenazas, robos, intimidaciones y desplazamientos que siguen sufriendo las BAZ de las comunidades Comandante Abel y Unión Hidalgo, Enlace Zapatista, 30 de septiembre de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (28 September 2012)

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)


Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel

September 28, 2012

Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (@SIPAZ)

In a press conference held at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) on 24 September, members of different organizations presented the report of the Caravan for Solidarity and Documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel, which was held from 18 to 20 of this month.

The Caravan held interviews in Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel, San Marcos, and Zaquitel Ojo de Agua, all of which pertain to the autonomous municipality La Dignidad (official municipality of Sabanilla) in the northern zone of Chiapas; the latter two are places where Zapatista support-bases found refuge after the violent acts that affected the Comandante Abel community in recent days.  The report informed that due to aggressions on the part of the group Development, Peace, and Justice (Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia) over disputes regarding 147 hectares, 83 Zapatista support-bases have been forcibly displaced, living in precarious conditions since 8 September.

The mission “can confirm the existence of several bullet-holes in the walls of the Autonomous School and the Cooperative Stores, as well as in the foundations of trenches on the shore of the river located 200 meters from the community.”  Furthermore, “Zapatista support-bases mentioned that they identified the weapons used as R-15; they also report that during the night the aggressors install themselves in the trenches, training their weapons in the direction in which the Zapatistas are located.”  The Caravan observed that a Public Security post was established on 16 September some 400 meters from the entrance to the community. The Zapatista support-bases relate that on 18 September, members of the police discharged their firearms twice during the morning.

The members of the Caravan shared their “strong concern for the situation faced by the Zapatista support-bases,” and for the fact that “the Zapatista support-bases detailed the links that exist between the aggressors, some of them being identified as members of Paz y Justicia, and governmental officials of Chiapas, whether currently or formerly serving. Beyond this, we see as worrying the control-post installed by state Public Security at the entrance of Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel, which has been the origin of shots fired into the air on at least one occasion, as testimony shows.”  The members and organizations also noted that “[t]he increase in aggressions has now been warned about in the denunciations published during the past two months by the Good-Government Councils of Oventik,Realidad, Morelia, and Garrucha.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe completo de la Misión de Observación y Solidaridad (24 de septiembre de 2012)

Actualización de la Acción Urgente del CDHFBC: Desplazamiento forzado de 83 Bases de Apoyo del EZLN en dos comunidades (24 de septiembre de 2012)

– Retorna caravana de solidaridad (Cuarto Poder, 25 de septiembre de 2012)

– Los Otros, que no son Ellos, ni nosotros (La Jornada, 25 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)

Chiapas: harassment and risk of forced displacement in autonomous community of San Patricio in the northern zone (26 September 2011)


Chiapas: Press-conference regarding report of the caravan to the Comandante Abel community

September 21, 2012

19 September 2012 @ SIPAZ

The civil organizations, collectives, and free media that formed part of the caravan of support and solidarity with the Comandante Abel community have called for a press-conference this coming Monday, 24 September, at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Frayba) to make publish the report drawn up following the investigations undertaken by the caravan’s members on 18-20 September.

It should be remembered that the attacks against the Comandante Abewl community resulted in the displacement of approximately 70 families from two neighboring communities; these were also visited by the caravan.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente del Frayba (16 de septiembre de 2012)

Funcionarios y exfuncionarios, militares y exmilitares impulsan grupo paramilitar paz y justicia en la zona de Sabanilla, Chiapas (Pozol Colectivo, 20 de septiembre de 2012)

Pronunciamiento LAG Noruega por el ataque de paramilitares a la Comunidad Comandante Abel (Kaos en la Red, 17 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)

Chiapas: harassment and risk of forced displacement in autonomous community of San Patricio in the northern zone (26 September 2011)


Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacement, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandante Abel community

September 21, 2012

© SIPAZ

On 18 September 2012, an observation caravan in which are participating many civil society organizations and alternative media left to investigate the prevailing situation in the Zapatista community of Comandante Abel, official municipality of Sabanilla, in the northern zone of Chiapas.

In its most recent communiqué, the Roberto Barrios Good-Government Council (JBG) denounced that on 6 September at approximately 7am, a group of about 55 persons carrying firearms and wearing military-type uniforms in masks forcibly displaced Zapatista support-bases from the community using gunfire.  According to this same source, on 8 September, in light of the constant harassment and immediate risk to their lvies and personal security, 70 Zapatista families fled, taking refuge in the neighboring mountains under precarious conditions of health and nutrition.  Presently the whereabouts of 14 persons, including two children, are unknown.

It should be remembered that a year ago several aggressions were committed in the San Patricio community, reason for which the Zapatistas of that community decided to move themselves to a different set of lands recovered by the EZLN in 1994.  This was the founding of Comandante Abel.

For more information (in Spanish):

Continúan agresiones paramilitares a comunidad zapatista Comandante Abel, La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2012

La JBG Nueva Semilla Que Va a Producir denuncia que continúan las agresiones de paramilitares y la grave situación de bases de apoyo zapatistas en la Comunidad Comandante Abel, 12 de septiembre de 2012

La JBG Nueva Semilla Que Va a Producir denuncia ataque armado de paramilitares en la comunidad autónoma Comandante Abel, 8 de septiembre de 2012

Ante agresión paramilitar, zapatistas fundan el poblado Comandante Abel, La Jornada,  6 de agosto de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)

Chiapas: harassment and risk of forced displacement in autonomous community of San Patricio in the northern zone (26 September 2011)


Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community

September 19, 2012

Photo @SIPAZ, October 2011

The Roberto Barrios Good-Government Council (JBG) has denounced the situation lived in the new community of Comandante Abel, which previously had been known as the San Patricio Zapatista Rebel autonomous municipality of Dignity (official municipality of Sabanilla), where on 6 September PRI militants from Sabanilla invaded lands pertaining to the Zapatistas.  In a communiqué, the JBG indicated that the attackers forcibly removed the residents of this space with the intent of taking over the land and property.

The invaders stole green corn and destroyed pastures, among other crimes.  The number of “invaders” reached 150, according to the denunciation, who at different times opened fire with guns.  In light of the threat that the presence of this group represents, the JBG found President Felipe Calderón, governor Juan Sabines, Sabanilla mayor Genaro Vázquez Pérez, and Tila mayor Sandra Cruz all responsible for whatever it is that might happen in the days to come.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de la JBG de Roberto Barrios. 12 de septiembre de 2011

Invaden paramilitares terrenos de JGB zapatista Roberto Barrios (La Jornada, 9 de septiembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)

Chiapas: harassment and risk of forced displacement in autonomous community of San Patricio in the northern zone (26 September 2011)