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

December 14, 2011

Archived photo (@chacatorex.com)

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: Prisoners fasting and on hunger strike

October 4, 2011

Photo @ Zapateando

On 29 September, 7 prisoners being held in prison no. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas began a total and indefinite hunger stirke, while 4 others initiated a daily fast to last 12 hours.  Both initiatives have been taken to protest the diseases these prisoners suffer.  Adherents to the Other Campaign, they pertain to the Political Prisoners of the Voz del Amate, those in solidarity with la Voz del Amate, and prisoners who are adherents to the Mitzitón Other Campaign as well one other prisoner from Voces Inocentes.

In a public communiqué they expressed that “after having been subjected to the injutsices that have caused our families and us great pain, given these unjust incarcerations and the fabrication of crimes that take from us our liberty just because we have defending rights in some cases or in others due to illiteracy or poverty.  In this way they have violated our rights, as they continue to do on many occasions, in light of the many occasions on which we have been ignored for demanding justice on the part of the corresponding institutions.”

In their demands, they direct themselves to the governor of the state with these words: “We demand that Juan Sabines Guerrero, governor of the state, intervene immediately to effect the unconditional liberty that is owed to us.”

They invite civil society to continue with its struggle: “Finally we invite our comrades and independent national and international organizations as well as NGO human-rights centers to keep watch over our cause to demand justice and liberty for all political prisoners in the country.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Los presos políticos del CERSS Nº 5 Chiapas se declaran en huelga de hambre. La RvsR Chiapas llama a solidarizarse, Enlace Zapatista, 29 September2011

Campaña por la libertad del compañero Alberto Patishtan  (Enlace Zapatista)

En huelga de hambre adherentes de la Otra Campaña en el CERSS no. 5, Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 29 September 2011

Con ayuno exigen su liberación indígenas presos en Chiapas, Proceso, 29 September 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Public day for Fasting and Prayer for Peace in the San Cristóbal prison (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Rosario Diaz, imprisoned for six years, and denunciation by Voz del Amate (8 September 2011)

Chiapas: Fifth anniversary of the “Voz de Amate” (8 January 2011)

– Chiapas: the case of Alberto Patishtán Gómez presented before the IACHR, and denunciation by la Voz de Amate (10 August 2010)

– Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)

Chiapas: prisoner Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s latest communiqué and its coverage by La Jornada (19 July 2010)

Chiapas: medical neglect in the case of Alberto Patishtán (25 March 2010)


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: Protests against high electricity prices

September 23, 2011

On 8 September, responding to a call from the national network, there were held marches and manifestations in different parts of the country.  In Mexico City, members of the National Assembly of Users of Electrical Energy and the Mexican Union of Electricians (SME) carried out a march.

In Chiapas, on 7 September, the Other Campaign called for a forum of its adherents in San Cristóbal de las Casas “to make common the denunciations that share the situations of looting that are lived when [people] are in organized resistance.  Situations that are lived in the city and outside of it.”  This gave rise to begin a campaign under the title “Halt the War against Mother Earth and her Peoples.”  Participants also carried out a march in the Cathedral plaza on the 8th.

The autonomous Council of the Coast of Chiapas realized another protest “No to the privatization of electrical energy, and we claim this as a human right and not a commodity; that looting and privatization of natural resources stop, and that the lands of organized peoples in resistance be respected; just prices for electricity for all Mexicans; an end to repression, persecution, and criminalization of social activists, human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marcha por las Altas Tarifas de Luz, Consejo Autónomo de la Costa de Chiapas, 8 September 2011

Campaña Alto a la Guerra Contra la Madre Tierra y sus Pueblos, 9 September 2011

Marchan grupos sociales de Guerrero y SME contra cobros excesivosde CFE (La Jornada, 9 September)

Protestan por las altas tarifas de energía eléctrica de la CFE, Cuarto Poder, 9 September 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Campeche: Arrest of activist campaigning against high electricity prices (26 May 2010)

Mexico: AI Declares Activists against High Electricity Tariffs Prisoners of Conscience (10 March 2010)

Campeche: National Meeting for the Liberation of Political Prisoners of Candelaria, Campeche (27 October 2009)


Chiapas: The four prisoners of San Sebastián Bachajón are released

August 18, 2011

On 25 July was held a press-conference at the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) to observe the release of the four prisoners of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, municipality of Chilón.  For five months Juan Aguilar Guzman, Jeronimo Guzman Mendez, Domingo Perez Alvaro y Domingo Garcia Gomez had found themselves incarcerated in the CERESO 17 in the municipality of Playas de Catazajá.  The fifth prisoner, a minor, Mariano Demeza Silvano, had been released on bail on 8 July from the juvenile detention center of Berriozábal.

Marcelino Hernández Gomez, human-rights defender and member of the CDHFBC, spoke of the numerous denunciations of rights-violations of the indigenous of the zone “committed by functionaries at all levels of the state government.”  Moreover he expressed that to date no one has been punished at all for the violent acts that occurred at the beginning of February in San Sebastián Bachajón, among those who had been accused.  Domingo Pérez Álvaro, one of the formerly imprisoned, explained: “We were imprisoned for nearly six months for having defending our lands.  They have been persecuting us now for three years […] because we as ejidatarios and authorities defend our lands and natural resources left to us by our ancestors.”

On 5 February of this year, the State Attorney General’s Office of Chiapas imprisoned 10 ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign, among them a minor, following a conflict with PRI militants regarding the control of a checkpoint located at the entrance of the touristic center at the Agua Azul waterfalls.

Víctor Hugo López, director of the CDHFBC, declared that beyond suffering an unjust imprisonment, the five also were subjected to abuses in prison and “experienced one of the worst moments as prisoners of the state.”  Although the Tzeltal ejidatarios recovered their physical liberty, noted Hugo López, they are still “prisoners” of a “unilateral process led by the police and Federal Army in their lands, confronting governmental projects that have lacked all consultation with residents.”  Juan Aguilar Guzmán, also released, thanked national and international solidarity with prisoners in Tzeltal.

For more information (in Spanish):

Exige el Frayba respeto a las garantías de ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (Jornada, 27 July 2011)

En conferencia de prensa los ex presos políticos de San Sebastián Bachajón hablan de su liberación  (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 July 2011)

Palabra de los ex presos y Frayba sobre la liberación de los presos políticos de Bachajón (Radio Zapatista, 25 July 2011)

México: Salen libres los presos políticos de San Sebastián Bachajón – Entrevista

Libres los 4 Presos Políticos de San Sebastián Bachajón

Un preso político de Bachajon esta libre

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Facing police repression, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day (24 April 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: 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: Release of one of the 5 of San Sebastián Bachajón

July 20, 2011

On 7 July, Mariano Demeza Silvano, a minor 17 years of age, one of the five adherents to the Other Campaign from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, who was detained at the beginning of February on several charges following a confrontation regarding the control-point at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls, was conditionally released.  He is to leave the juvenile-detention center of Villa Crisol and will be managed by the Chilón System for the Wholesome Development of the Family (DIF) to carry out community-service projects.

The other four adherents detained in March continue to be held in the State Center for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced (CERSS) number 17, in the Playas de Catazajá.  On 27 June, they published a communiqué denouncing abuses and discrimination on the part of prison authorities in Playas de Catazajá vis-a-vis prisoners’ relatives.  They denounce “energetically those persons and we demand more respect and more just treatment of the relatives of prisoners who want to enter to visit their family-members, given that they feel harassed and threatened in the way they are currently treaty.  The government should truly demonstrate its respect for human rights so that it does not in vain waste money paying the personnel of the State Council [on Human Rights].  The true reality is this: that the institution serves injustice and masks the government’s behvioar so it can better carry out its discriminatory acts.”

This same day, dozens of families of prisoners in this same prison also denounces sexual abuse and humiliation on the part of  prison authorities upon visiting.  The relatives found David Montero Montero, director, to be responsible, and they demand the intervention of the secretary of Citizens’ Protection and Security to remove Montero from office, given the abuses committed both inside the prison and with regard to relatives of the imprisoned.

In other news, in a new act that demonstrates that tensions continue in the zone of Bachajón, on 27 June, the ejidatarios who are adherents to the Other Campaign warned of an attempt to loot Alac Sac jun, part of the ejido, on the part of officialist groups.  They found the authorities responsible for anything that might take place in the vicinity of the terrain.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan liberar a activista de Bachajón (La Jornada, 8 July)

Comunicado de los ejidatarios de Bachajón respecto a la liberación de Mariano Demeza (8 July)

Denuncian abusos en contra de internos y visitantes del penal de Catazajá, Chiapas (La Jornada, 6 July)

Alertan ejidatarios de Bachajón sobre intento de despojo en Alan Sac jun (La Jornada, 1 July)

San Sebastián Bachajón denuncian ex autoridades oficiales(Comunicado de los adherentes a La Otra Campaña de San Sebastián Bachajón, 27 June)

Denuncia de los presos de San Sebastián desde CERESO NUM. 17 PLAYAS DE CATAZAJÁ (27 June 2011)

Familiares de Internos de cárcel en Playas de catazajá en el Norte de Chiapas denuncian violencia sexual de funcionarios de dicha cárcel (27 June 2011)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Facing police repression, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day (24 April 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: 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: Global declaration in support of the indigenous of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Other Campaign

June 2, 2011

On 19 May 2011 was published a global declaration for the release of the prisoners and in support of the adherents to the Other Campaign in San Sebastian Bachajón.  More than 50 Mexican organizations and 30 U.S. organizations have signed the document, in addition to renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky and the Guatemalan writer Sergio Tischler as well as organizations and individuals from 20 countries such as South Africa, Canada, Ecuador, India, France, Spain, Slovenia, etc.

The letter demands “respect for the right to self-determination and the exercise of autonomy of the populace of San Sebastián that adheres to the Other Campaign, as is stipulated in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization regarding indigenous peoples and tribes in independent countries, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the San Andréas Accords, all of which have been signed byt he Mexican State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaración mundial de personajes y ONG exige liberación de 5 indígenas chiapanecos, La Jornada 20 de mayo 2011

Declaración mundial en apoyo a los indígenas tseltales de San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a La Otra Campaña, 19 de mayo 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Facing police repression, adherents to the Other Campaign from San Sebastián Bachajón abandon control-post they had taken the previous day (24 April 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: 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: enfrentamiento por control de la caseta en Agua Azul deja saldo de un muerto y varios heridos (3 de febrero)