Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles

August 21, 2013

(@SiPAZ archivo)

From 8 to 10 August, members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) celebrated 10 years since the founding of their autonomous governments, corresponding to their form of implementing the San Andrés Accords, which were signed by the EZLN and the federal government in February 1996.  At the cultural, political, and sport events that accompanied the celebration, there were present many intellectuals and activists from Mexico and other countries.  In 2003, the EZLN announced the creation of five Good-Government Councils (JBGs) corresponding to 5 autonomous regions in the state of Chiapas, based in La Realidad (border zone), La Garrucha and Morelia (Jungle highlands), Oventic (central highlands), and Roberto Barrios (close to Palenque).  Starting on 12 August, they will share the advances and difficulties of their form of self-government with the students at the “Escuelita” (little school).

For more information (in Spanish):

Parten a los caracoles casi 1,700 alumnos que asistirán a la Escuelita zapatista (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2013)

La cruzada contra el hambre, plan de ataque a nuestra autonomía: zapatistas (La Jornada, 11 de agosto de 2013

EZLN agradece acompañamiento en 10 años (El Universal, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Celebran zapatistas 10 años de las juntas de buen gobierno en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Simpatizantes del EZLN celebran 10 años de Juntas del buen gobierno (CNN México, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Alistan festejos por los 10 años de Los Caracoles en Chiapas (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2013)

Nada es igual que antes (Desinformémonos, agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN communiques “Them and Us,” parts II-V (29 January 2013)

Chiapas: denunciation from the Oventic JBG regarding provocations directed Zapatista support bases in Zinacantán

October 19, 2012

In a communiqué published on 15 October, the Good-Government Council (JBG) Corazón Céntrico de los zapatistas delante del mundo, located in Caracol II (Oventic), denounced that PRI groups from the Zinacantán municipality who just previously had been affiliated with the PRD have once again come to harass the Zapatista community of Jechvó, denying them access to water by means of violent actions, like those taken in 2004 in this community, as in Elambó Bajo, Elambó Alto, San Isidro Chaktoj, Jechch’entik, and others.  The JBG reported also that the PRI militants had imprisoned an autonomous representative.

The JBG demanded that the rights of the Zapatista support-bases be respected, warning that “We will not remain silent or merely have our arms crossed; we will defend what is ours, and what pertains to us: our resources and lands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Oventic (15 de octubre de 2012)

Reanudan priístas hostigamiento a comunidad zapatista Jechvó (La Jornada, 17 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Oventic JBG once again demands release of Francisco Sántiz López (17 June 2012)

Chiapas: Caravan to the South Day 3

September 26, 2011

Drawings for peace (@SIPAZ)

The third day of the journey of the Carvan for Peace in Chaipas began with a visit by a commission of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to the Zapatista caracol of Oventic.  A member of the Good-Government Council (JBG) gave the welcome to the caravan with these words: “Welcome to this house that is of everyone, not just the Zapatistas.  We give you our welcome.  We are the Good-government Council, and we would like to listen to you.  We will not speak, only listen.”  In the meeting Sicilia made a pronouncement in which he supported the Zapatista contributions and causes and advocated that the San Andrés Accords be respected.  Upon ending the meeting, Javier Sicilia said he was satisfied with the reunion in press conference and stressed that the in the Zapatista tradition the JBG merely listened, as it was not a question of establishing alliances.  Furthermore he said that “if we could make bloom the indigenous proposal of the communities, the country would have true hope.  This country needs a good-government council like the one the Zapatisas have.”

Meeting in the public market of Ocosingo (@SIPAZ)

The next stop was in the public market of Ocosingo, a place of historical importance given the battle had tehre on2  January 1994 between the Zapatisa Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Mexican Army.  Local organizations shared with their visitors the history of the violence that indigenous communities have faced.  They said that Zapatistas and non-Zapatistas resist a war of low-intensity plagued by such human-rights violations as murders, forced disappearences, and paramilitaries.  They mentioned also that they resist the counter-insurgency strategies of the government that provide social programs that in their view bring few benefits to the communities in any case.

Meeting in the central park of Palenque (@SIPAZ)

The eighth day of the caravan ended with a march and a public act in the central park of Palenque.  The caravan was welcomed by Father Tomás González, who worked with migrants in Tenosique, Tabasco; the organization Xi’Nich; civil organizations like Communal Health and Development (SADEC), the House of Support for Women of Palenque (CAMP), parishes of the northern zone, and ecclesiastical communities.  The focus of the meeting was the theme of migration and solidarity with the migrants who pass through the state.  A collective of Ch’ol women of Palenque noted that “we request the suspension of the INM for its anomalies and attacks on migrants.”  Women of Palenque denounced that in the barrio of Pakalná migrants find themselves at the mercy of organized crime, and women are easy prey.  The Committee of Defense of Indigenous Freedom Xi’Nich declared its opposition to drug-trafficking in the region, declaring that “we have no other option but to emigrate to the touristic centers or to the other side of the northern border.  Calderón has converted Mexico into a warzone, not a place to live well; what he was constructed is the living image of lies and death.”  Javier Sicilia recognized the work carried out by priests like Gonzalo Ituarte in San Cristóbal and and Alejandro Solalinde in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, noting the risks they have taken to help indigenous individuals and migrants have their rights be respected.

For more information (in Spanish):
Escuchan zapatistas testimonios de la Caravana a su paso por Chiapas (La Jornada, 16 September)

Palabras de Javier Sicilia en Oventic, Chiapas (Cencos, 16 September)

Pide Sicilia presencia de la ONU para custodiar México (El Milenio, 16 September)

Caravana del Sur Día 8: Con los pueblos indígenas las cuentas siguen pendientes (Radio Informaremos, 18 September)

Caravana de Sicilia termina visita a Chiapas; piden desaparecer el INM(La Jornada, 17 September)

Reconoce Sicilia trabajo de padres como Alejandro Solalinde (Milenio, 17 September)

Caravana por la paz denuncia detención de activista (17 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Caravan to the South Day 2 (26 September 2011)

Chiapas: Day 1 of the Caravan to the South (26 September 2011)

Oaxaca receives Caravan to the South (23 September 2011)

Chiapas: Annunciation of the Caravan to the South in Chiapas (23 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs: organizations will welcome the Caravan to the South of the Movement for Peace (22 September)

Mexico: March “Steps for Peace” (19 August)

Chiapas: Presentation of the preliminary report of the Brigade of Observation and Solidarity with Zapatista Communities

September 22, 2011

From 27 August until 3 September was held a brigade of observation and solidarity with Zapatista communities.  57 persons participated who visited 4 of the 5 Zapatista caracoles: 17 in La Realidad, 12 in Oventic, 16 in La Garrucha, and 12 in Morelia.  The objective of the Brigade found its basis in the “aggressions against Zapatista communities [that] are increasingly more violent and continuous; the acts of provocation against the EZLN seem more obvious with each passing day.  From this [we saw a need for] organizing a Brigade of Observation and Solidarity so as to find data, take account of the social environment, and show that our Zapatista comrades are not alone.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe preliminar de La Brigada de Observación y Solidaridad con las Comunidades Zapatistas, 2 September 2011

COBERTURA DE LA BRIGADA: 1r Reporte sobre la Brigada de Observación y Solidaridad con las Comunidades zapatistas. Ago./Sep. 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Next mega-hotel project in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, 22 September 2011

Chiapas: the Morelia JBG denounces destruction of house by ORCAO (9 August 2011)

Chiapas: JBG of La Garrucha denounces armed attacks on August 16, 2011 (19 August 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the part of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés

July 5, 2011

Oventic JBG (@SIPAZ)

In a 2 July communiqué, the Good Government Council (JBG) “Central heart of the Zapatistas before the world” from the Oventic caracol denounced the situation of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos de Avilés, where, it suggests, the death-threats and aggressions directed these on the aprt of groups linked to political parties has increased, as has the looting of lands and the violation of rights.  The JBG emphasizes that it is not a new situation, and it reviews the events in the community since 2010.  Presently, it fears that there be an armed aggression, given that the aggressors have been gathering rifles and pistols, many of them supplied by Ernesto López Núñez, ex-police officer from the neighboring municipality of Chilón.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Oventic (Enlace zapatista, 2 July 2011)

Reportan hostigamiento creciente contra bases de apoyo zapatistas(La Jornada, 3 July 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista supporters in San Marcos Avilés

July 5, 2011

San Marcos Avilés (@SIPAZ)

On 27 June, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) warned that in the ejido San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón, Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) find themselves harassed, threatened with death, and running the risk of a new forced displacement due to the aggressions on the part of residents from the same ejido who are affiliated with the PRI, PRD, and PVEM.

In its Urgent Action, the CDHFBC “manifests its concern for the imminent risk to the life, security, and personal well-being suffered by the BAEZLN residents of the ejido San Marcos Avilés, given that these death-threats and harassment have continued augmenting during the course of the last few days; furthermore the looting of lands impedes work done on the land and prevents the sowing of basic products.  All this results in that the affected suffer lack of food, generating grave health problems for children, women, men, and the elderly.”

The same communiqué informs as well that since “6 April 2011, in the ejido has been installed a Civil Camp for Peace, constituted by civil observers there placed to dissuade possible violent actions.  Regardless they too are the object of death-threats and harassment.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazadas, bases de apoyo del EZLN (La Jornada, 28 June 2011)

Acción Urgente: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento y riesgo de desplazamiento forzado en San Marcos Avilés (Acción Urgente del CDHFBC, 27 June 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés

October 18, 2010

On 12 October, Zapatista support-bases, forcibly displaced on 9 September by what the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic referred to in September as “death-threats and aggressions [carried out by] people from political parties in the ejido,” returned to their community of origin, San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón.  The return was accompanied by a commission of support-bases from the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) hailing from municipalities close to San Marcos Avilés.

The communiqué, released from Oventic on 13 October, explains that “our comrades now are back in their humble abodes, though pillaged and some even semi-destroyed by the aggressors.  Our support-bases will be there because our comrades have hte right to live in their community and work their lands; they will not bother anyone: they only want to live in their community and work to survive, as they won’t be requesting welfare from the bad government.  Our comrades will live and eat from their own work and sweat […].  If something happens to our comrades that are now there in the community, those responsible will be the municipal, state, and federal governments that advise, finance, and arm paramilitary groups and manipulate the impoverished.  We Zapatistas bother no one: we do not evict our brothers from political parties, we do not persecute anyone, we do not loot the lands of our peasant brothers or any other poor brother.   We only defend what is ours, which is our rights: we live and eat from our proper work and sweat, but we also want ot struggle for true democracy, liberty, and justice for all.  These are our crimes as Zapatistas […].  The autonomy of peoples is not something that is wanted by the mad governments, because they want to continue having under their control indigenous communities; they are frustrated when we indigenous peoples learn how to organize and govern our own selves.  In any case, the struggle we today carry out cannot be detained by no one.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapatista support-bases return to San Marcos Avilés following a month of being displaced (La Jornada, 14 October 2010)

Communiqué of the Oventic JBG: The Oventic JBG reports on the situation of the displaced support-bases and denounces the repression of the bad government (13 October 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)