Chiapas: OCEZ-RC suspends sit-in it had installed in San Cristóbal

April 23, 2014

Plantón OCEZ-RC, abril de 2014 (@SIPAZ)

OCEZ-RC sit-in, April 2014 (@SIPAZ)

On 8 April, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) suspended the sit-in it had installed in San Cristóbal de Las Casas beginning on 31 March.  In a press-conference, members of OCEZ-RC recalled that they had sought to demand a response to their agrarian, justice, and transport demands, among others.  The decision to suspend the sit-in coincided with an agreement made with the authorities to begin negotiations on 22 April.  In a press-release members noted that “we hope that at the 22 April table we will be attended to by functionaries of the government with the capacity to resolve, as led by Secretary General of Governance Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar; we also hope that there will be a serious proposal to resolve all our demands.”  They added that “we have been patient in the search for a solution to our demands, but now we cannot wait any longer, and for this reason we publicly warn Governor Manuel Velasco Coello that, if there is no serious response to our demands, including resolution, we have decided to take other actions.”

For more information (in Spanish):

OCEZ retira plantón (Cuarto Poder, 9 de abril de 2014)

OCEZ levanta plantón (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de abril de 2014)

OCEZ-RC levanta plantón(El Independiente de Chiapas, 8 de abril de 2014)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (10 April 2014)

Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014


On 31 March, some 200 members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) held a march and installed an indefinite sit-in in downtown San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  They demand that the state authorities respond to their series of demands, denouncing “the politics of closure to dialogue on the part of the government led by Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Said demands include among others the regularization and redistribution of 1000 hectares of land from the Venustiano Carranza municipality; the cancellation of arrest-orders; the “retirement of nocturnal patrols of the specialized forces of the Army and Navy in our communities, as well as overflights performed by airplanes and even drones as well as helicopters belonging to the security forces and the Army”; the regularization of transport concessions from MOTO-TAXI, in addition to several productive, educational, and health projects.

Mariano Díaz Ochoa, subsecretary for Governance in the highlands region, has signed a document in which he committed himself to a dialogue between an OCEZ-RC commission with governmental authorities, to take place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 7 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC al instalar su plantón (OCEZ-RC, 31 de marzo de 2014)

OCEZ instala plantón en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Se plantan ocesistas en la plaza de la paz (, 3 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

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)

Chiapas: another OPEZ MLN leader is detained, despite negotiation table with state authorities

June 20, 2012

State Forum for the Defense of Human Rights, land, and society (@Radio Proletaria)

On 14 July, state police in Tuxtla Gutiérrez detained Pablo César Gómez Alfaro, spokesperson and representative of the Emiliano Zapata Proletarian Organization-Movement for National Liberation (OPEZ-MLN), despite the fact that this organization currently maintains a process of dialogue and negotiation with the state government.  Gómez Alfaro is the son of Caralampio Gómez Hernández, who is the director of OPEZ-MLN, who was arrested on 12 April, accused for the crimes of damages, attempted homicide, and attacks on communication media.

THe Independent Campesino Social Movement which includes beyond the OPEZ-MLN the Coordination of Campesino and Popular Organizations (COCyP), the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC), the Teachers’ Network for Popular Support, and the Popular Resistance Front against the Federal Electricity Commission in Huixtán has denounced this second detention.

This arrest has been termed “yet another treasonous act” by Guillermo Hernández Pérez, state director of the COCyP, given state authorities’ indication of goodwill they had given to social organizations upon their suspension of the sit-in they had maintained in the Cathedral Plaza in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  During the “State Forum for the Defense of Human Rights, land, and society,” which was held on 17 May in the same city, the Independent Campesino Social Movement announced “actions in different parts of Chiapas on 25 June, culminating with a state march on the 30th of June in solidarity with the national university movement #IAm132.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a dirigente de la organización Emiliano Zapata (La Jornada 15 de junio de 2012)

Arrestan a líder social en Chiapas (El Universal, 14 de junio de 2012)

FORO ESTATAL EN DEFENZA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS (Radio Proletaria, 17 de junio de 2012)

Chiapas: One person ambushed and another disappeared, both members of OCEZ-FNLS. The latter appears with life, imprisoned and with signs of torture

April 19, 2012

The Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared (Fedefam), the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until we Find Them,” the Cerezo Committee Mexico, and the Network for the Defense of Human Rights (Reddh) have denounced the forced disappearance of the Tzotzil indigenous man Rogelio Alfonso López and the attempted murder of the Luis Alfonso López, also Tzotzil.  Both are militants from the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization (OCEZ-FNLS), and the acts occurred on 13 April 2012 in the Venustiano Carranza municipality, Chiapas.

They were returning from work when at the point of Agua Zarca, Venustiano Carranza municipality, they were fired upon by an AR-15 from a Ford truck lacking license plates.  Several men emerged from the truck to detain Rogelio Alfonso López, while the others were fired upon and followed; Luis Alfonso López was injured in the jaw and the right arm.

The attackers included approximately six persons dressed in civilian clothes; the witnesses identify Alfredo López Núñez as giving the orders.  To date the whereabouts of Rogelio Alfonso López are unknown.  For this reason, the Network for the Defense of Human Rights requests the presentation with life as well as guarantees for the physical and psychological integrity of Alfonso López, in addition to the immediate application of the necessary measures to guarantee his security as well as that of Alberto Alfonso López, as well as that of their relatives and members of OCEZ-FNLS.

On 17 April, Alfonso López was presented alive, presumably a victim of torture due to the beatings that could be observed, in the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas.  Until now he has been able to communicate only with his relatives.  In accordance with information from them, he is accused of the crime of homicide.

An update to the Urgent Action indicates that “It should be stressed that during two days after his disappearance, the relatives of the Tzotzil indigenous man Rogelio ALFONSO LÓPEZ asked the State Attorney General’s Office if he was under their custody or in that of one of the agencies affiliated with the Public Ministry as well as what it was that he was being accused of.  They responded by telling them that they did not know of any such person with that name or data.”

For more information (in Spanish:

Deja emboscada un desaparecido, Cuarto Poder 17 de marzo de 2012

Exigimos la presentación con vida del indígena tzotzil Rogelio Alfonso Pérez, Red todos los derechos para todos, 16 de abril de 2012

Actualización: Aparece con vida el indígena Rogelio Alfonso López, está preso y con signos de tortura, Red todos los derechos para todos, 17 de abril de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Indefinite sit-in by the FNLS in the Cathedral Plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (13 April 2012)

Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory

March 25, 2012

Venustiano Carranza municipality (

In a 19 March 2012 communiqué, residents of the community of Candelaria el Alto, Venustiano Carranza municipality, who are adherents to the Other Campaign denounced that on 15 March members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) from the San José La Grandeza neighborhood began to burn the crops and trees located on their lands.  They recalled that since 6 April 2011 the OCEZ-RC had invaded the “El Desengaño” territory.

After informing the state government, they report that on the next day “arrived a PEP [Preventive State Police] truck, asking about the Candelaria el Alto case, wanting to enter the territory, adding that if we gave permission they would start patrolling and reach the place where the invaders came, beyond promising to protect those of the OCEZ-RC […].  Upon hearing this we told them to leave our community, because we have told the government several times now that we do not have more land to sell.  So why did they arrive and deceive us in this way, knowing that we will not sell the little we have left.  We will not permit more looting, after the 98 hectares of land that the state bought for the benefit of [OCEZ-RC].”

They demanded a solution as well as respect: “we are now in the season close to the time to sow our crops (corn and beans), so it is urgent the state resolve our problems.  If it does not, we will be exposed for another year without our basic crops, thus putting at risk the lives of the children, women, and elderly of the community.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia completa de habitantes de la comunidad de Candelaria el Alto municipio de Venustiano Carranza adherentes a la Otra Campaña(19 de marzo de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza

September 28, 2011

On 21 September, in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, indigenous individuals of the Emiliano Zapata Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) and members of the community Candelaria El Alto who are adherents to the Other Campaign had a confrontation regarding possession of 185 hectares of land.  Both groups blamed the other for having begun the violence.

OCEZ-RC denounced that eight of its members were injured during the confrontation.  It affirms that the conflict began when a group of men armed with machetes reached the stretch of land in question and began to insult members of OCEZ-RC and throw rocks at them.  In light of this, the organization installed an indefinite plantation in front of the municipal palace to demand that the municipal government of Venustiano Carranza punish the aggressors.

The communiqué of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights writes this on the question: “We indicate that the aggression committed today by a paramilitary shock-group that hides behind the label of the Other Campaign in Chiapas shows the contradiction between its word and coherence, given that today it launched an action to denounce the aggressions taken by paramilitary groups such as Paz y Justicia against communities that pertain to the EZLN, as in the case of the community of San Patricio in the municipality of Sabanilla; this at the same time that groups of adherents in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza carry out paramilitary-type aggressions against members of the OCEZ-RC.  Not to support the practice of these groups that say they are part of the Other Campaign in Chiapas means that it is an opportune time to put distance between the two and to clarify one’s position.”

The adherents of the Other Campaign in Candelaria El Alto have blamed campesinos of the community Nuevo San José la Grandeza who pertain to the OCEZ-RC for the aggression.  In a communiqué, they reported that on 21 September they were meeting where they do guard-shifts, given the situation in the community following the land-occupation by OCEZ-RC  of Nuevo San José la Grandeza, who took the land El Desengaño in April of this year.  There was had an accord of not allowing three persons who come to work it.  Soon, they affirmed that 10 persons arrived “provoking and insulting.”  They denounce that “after the confrontation the members of the OCEZ-RC communicate with persons who are positioned in our lands and who pertain to the colony San José la Grandeza, who are from the same organization.  60 persons arrive, dressed in black with their faces hidden, armed and firing their high-caliber weapons.  The firefight lasted some two hours, and subsequently they returned to their camp.  We would also like to mention that this same day at about 9:30am they cut the electricity to the community so that we could not have communication.  Since yesterday we have been receiving threats regarding their desire to enter our homes to attack us.  We also understand that this form of threatening and attacking us is done so that we abandon our lands, so that they can have them.”  They ended their communiqué by expressing that “we would like to say to the OCEZ-RC that it is not possible that you take from us our bread, as we are campesinos who are conscious that it is the bad government that benefits [from this].  We demand that the state-government immediately take responsibility on the matter, given the situation of danger that our families are experiencing.”

For more information (in Spanish):
Organizaciones de nuevo en conflicto (Cuarto Poder, 24 September)

Miembros de la OCEZ y zapatistas chocan por control de un predio de 185 hectáreas (Proceso, 23 September)

Un enfrentamiento deja a ochos heridos (Cuarto Poder, 23 September)

Agresión paramilitar en contra de la OCEZ-RC, 8 heridos con machetes y palos (Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base Digna Ochoa, 22 September)

Denuncia pública de los adherentes a la Otra Campaña de Candelaria(Comunidad organizada Candelaria el Alto adherentes a la Otra Campaña, 22 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OCEZ-Carranza Region carries out day of actions to demand observation of their demands (15 April 2011)

Chiapas: military harassment of the OCEZ-RC

July 26, 2010

On Thursady 22 July, the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) released an urgent action denouncing a military incursion into its region of influence in the state of Chiapas.  According to its communiqué, on 21 July a vehicle pertaining to the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico approached the barrier that OCEZ-RC had installed at the entrance of the community; the vehicle carried some 40 camouflaged soldiers led by a commandant who did not identify himself.  Upon arriving at the barrier, the truck-commander, accompanied by 4 soldiers, approached the community guard-house and asked those present how many residents, teachers, and children lived in the community, as well as how many international observers were to be found there.

After this, the military truck returned to the principal highway between Ingenio Pujilitic and the municipal center of Venustiano Carranza, where it was intercepted by an OCEZ-RC commission that inquired into its presence.  The troop-commander informed the members of the commission that he had received federal orders to patrol the region, and he indicated that constant patrols would soon be carried out, per federal orders.  The soldiers filmed the commission’s members during the exchange.

The OCEZ-RC sees in this occurrence the failure of the promises made by Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state of Chiapas, on 26 November 2009, when he met with OCEZ-RC in negotiations at which he committed himself to warn federal military and police units not to approach the OCEZ-RC’s zone of influence. The 21 July operation probably had the support of the state government, conclude those of OCEZ-RC, given that “we know well that only at the request of the state government will federal military units move around the state, above all in remote areas.” Indeed, the communiqué refers to Sabines Guerrero as being “RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESTABILIZATION OF OUR MUNICIPALITY.”

In its communiqué, the OCEZ-RC demands that Felipe Calderón, president of the Republic, “order his military units to abstain from entering our territory” and call on Sabines Guerrero to “fully comply with everything he offered” in the 26 November 2009 dialogues regarding the “DEMILITARIZATION OF OUR TERRITORY,” “REPARATIONS FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY MILITARY AND POLICE OPERATIONS, SEARCHES, ARBITRARY DETENTIONS AND VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AGAINST THE OCEZ-RC,” “SOLUTION TO OUR AGRARIAN DEMANDS,” and “SOCIAL DEMANDS OF THE OCEZ-RC.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete communiqué of the OCEZ-RC, 22 July

Chiapas: OCEZ-RC, prisoners released and the initiation of a process of goodwill

December 15, 2009

On Nov. 23, José Manuel Chema Hernández Martínez, José Manuel de la Torre and Roselio de la Cruz González, leaders of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC), were released on bail after being accused of criminal association and causing damages.

After their detention, members of the OCEZ-RC held a sit-in at the San Cristóbal cathedral and on Oct. 30 they occupied the UN offices located in the same city. After the release of their leaders, the OCEZ-RC informed that they had accepted the proposal presented by Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero through Diego Cadenas, director of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Center, to open mediation

In the early hours of Nov. 27, the State Government and the OCEZ-RC signed an agreement that will bring attention to the demands of the OCEZ-RC insisting that the government cancel the 11 arrest warrants out against the organization’s leaders and members in addition to the militarization of Venustiano Carranza.

Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero, who was present for a portion of the meeting, assured that in Chiapas “there is rule of law, but this does not mean that the State is an oppressor, on the contrary, this government is eager to defuse the situation. I do not hold political prisoners, currently no one can call themselves a political prisoner in Chiapas; we want to be sure that no-one is being persecuted that there is the social responsibility necessary to build a climate of lasting social peace. We want to make sure there is no inconformity, no fear and that the campesinos dedicate themselves to agricultural production.

For More Information (in Spanish):

Liberan bajo fianza a dirigente de la OCEZ (La Jornada, 24/11/09)

Dirigente de la OCEZ condena represión (La Jornada, 25/11/09)

OCEZ demanda cancelar aprehensiones (El Universal, 26/11/09)

OCEZ y Estado firman minutas (Cuarto Poder, 28/11/09)

More information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: The OCEZ-RC sit-in, twelve days later (6/11/09)

Chiapas: The OCEZ-RC sit-in, twelve days later

November 13, 2009
@Expreso de Chiapas

Since Monday October 26th about 150 members of OCEZ-RC (Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization, Carranza Region) have maintained a sit-in in the center of San Cristobal de Las Casas to denounce intimidation by the military and police in their region, and to demand the release of their members: Jose Manuel Chema Hernandez Martinez was arrested on September 30th, while Jose Manual de la Torre and Roselio de la Cruz Gonzalez were apprehended on October 24th. All three are accused of stealing, causing damage and criminal association, among other charges.

On October 29th Amnesty International asked the Mexican government to investigate the complaints against the Chiapas police, who are accused of torturing OCEZ leaders. Amnesty International also asked for the guarantee of a fair trial for Jose Hernandez Martinez who remains unable to communicate since being transferred to a maximum-security prison 2000 kilometers from Chiapas.

On October 30th in “a desperate measure to call attention and obtain the release of our fellow members,” participants from the sit-in occupied the offices of the United Nations (UN) in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The OCEZ members explained that the occupation was a “peaceful act related to international rights against forced internal displacement.” They said they were afraid police and soldiers would conduct raids in their communities in Venustiano Carranza.

UN official Arnaud Peral said “the UNDP has determined the peaceful nature of the protest up until now, despite the imposition of having their headquarters occupied, and has asked the authorities not to proceed with any forced removal based on the principal of respect for the inviolability of United Nations offices.” However, he stated that the UN would join “the negotiation process once the offices were vacated, and once the framework for dialogue as well as representation of the occupying group had been clarified.”

On November 4th prisoners Jose Manuel de la Torre Hernandez and Roselio de la Cruz Gonzalez asked that those occupying the UNDP offices vacate the building. That same day the National Front in the Struggle for Socialism (Frente Nacional de Lucha hacia el Socialismo, FNLS) denounced the “fact that the last two OCEZ-RC members who were arrested (Jose Manuel de la Torre Hernandez and Roselio Cruz Gonzalez) had agreed to change their lawyer Lic. Marcos Lopez Perez, are spreading the news that they weren’t tortured and now ‘ask’ their fellow members to vacate the UNPD offices is undeniably proof of the terrorism of these supposed state authorities. It’s obvious they were subject to pressure and threats to take these positions.” They also pointed out “the FNLS doesn’t rule out that the repressive strategy being used against the OCEZ-RC – which has been used to facilitate the militarization of their region – is part of the declared intentions of the Governor Juan Sabines in the sense that he is going to create the ‘social conditions’ necessary to give access to transnational mining extraction in Chiapas.”

On November 5th the OCEZ announced that they had proposed that the Government Secretary of Chiapas, Noe Castanon Leon, set up a working group “to ease tensions and show good faith” in order to find a solution to their demands and the occupation of the United Nations offices. This initiative may take place as early as this weekend.

For more information:

Acción Urgente de Amnistía Internacional

– Solicita AI que se indaguen denuncias de tortura contra líderes de la OCEZ (La Jornada, 29 de octubre)

– Toman oficinas de la ONU (Cuarto Poder, 31 de octubre)

– Descartan líderes de la OCEZ-RC toma del PNUD (Milenio, 4 de noviembre)

Posición del FNLS antes el conflicto de la OCEZ-RC (Carta abierta, 4 de noviembre)

– Propone la OCEZ mesa de distensión (La Jornada, 6 de noviembre)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Organizations and social movements descend on San Cristobal to call for justice (octubre 2009)

Chiapas: Prisoner forced to transfer to maximum-security prison in Tepic, Nayarit (october 2009)

Chiapas: OCEZ leader from the Venustiano Carranza Region captured(october 2009)