National/Chiapas: Massive raids against migrants and attack on human-rights defenders

May 3, 2014

Foto @ La Jornada Zacatecas

Photo @ La Jornada Zacatecas

On 30 April, close to 300 migrants, including three pregnant women, an elderly woman, and several children, were arrested and assaulted by agents of the Federal Police (PF) and the National Institute on Migration (INM) as they were marching on the federal highway from Tenosique to Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco.  The human-rights defenders Rubén Figueroa, Fray Tomás Castillo, and Fray Aurelio Tadeo, who were carrying water and food to support the migrants, were beaten by the federal police close to the community of Chancamac, Tabasco.

Figueroa, a representative from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, declared that “the response of the Mexican State before the increasing social mobilizations demanding the universal right of free transit has been this brutal operation.  It is evident that the position of authority is to continue entrenching its prevailing migratory policy.”  Furthermore, he indicated with regard to the arrested migrants that “they came alone and for that reason their rights were trampled”; the train companies Ferrosur and Kansas City Southern decided not to allow them to board their trains.  The director of the “La 72” migrant home in Tenosique, Fray Tomás González, called the violence with which federal police and migratory agents met migrants as lamentable, as “they did not understand the reasons, they just got on top of us, first kettling us and then beating and kicking us […].  We provided no resistance so that they would not hurt us.”

Beyond this, on the night of 1-2 May there was a second mass-raid against migrants, and close to 150 persons who were sleeping in the train station of Palenque, Chiapas, were detained by INM agents together with federal police.  Nearly a hundred migrants succeeded in evading arrest by taking refuge in the migrant home in Palenque.  The detained were taken to the migrant station in Palenque, and it is feared that they will be deported.

For more information (in Spanish):

Riesgo inminente de deportación desde Tapachula de personas migrantes agredidas en operativo del Instituto Nacional de Migración en coordinación con Policía federal, estatal y municipal de Tabasco (Agencia Intermedios, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Migrantes denuncian agresión de agentes del INM al detenerlos(Informador, 2 de mayo de 2014)

Agreden a defensores de migrantes en Tabasco (Proceso, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Elementos de INM y PF agreden a grupo de migrantes centroamericanos(AGN Veracruz, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Denuncian agresión a migrantes que caminan hacia el norte del país por parte de elementos de la PF e INM (Plumas Libres, 1 de mayo de 2014)

Nueva redada: detienen a 150 migrantes más que pernoctaban en Palenque (La Jornada Zacatecas, 1 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: CNDH complaint continues over abuse of Haitians in Palenque

March 1, 2014

Foto de archivo @ SIPAZPalenque subdelegation of the INM, @ SIPAZ archive

The National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) met on 13 February with members of the Citizens Committee for Defense of the Naturalized and Afromexicans (CCDNAM) to give continuity to the case of 5 Haitians who were arrested on 20 October 2013 by agents of the National Institute on Migration (INM) of the Palenque subdelegation, while they were traveling on a passenger bus in Chiapas.  The CCDNAM reported that it hat met with the adjunct visitor of the CNDH, Francisco Martínez, in Mexico, before whom it was reiterated that “our Haitian brothers suffered discrimination and abuse at the hands of the authorities of the [INM],” given that the Haitians had denounced being the object of abuse and “subhuman conditions” during their stay in Palenque, lacking all legal assistance.  The CCDNAM activist noted that “they wanted to stay in Mexico to study but there was no will on the part of the authorities of this country,” such that “they now find themselves in the U.S. with their families.”  Furthermore, he added that the Haitians decided to leave the country “due to the humiliation to which they were subjected by the INM in Palenque, and for fear of being deported.”

On 7 November 2013, one of the migrants, Emmanuel Phanor, attempted suicide as a protest against the discriminatory treatment to which he had been subjected, and to demand that the INM subdelegate not deport them to Haiti.  After being hospitalized for three days, the youth returned to the Palenque station, where he was denied all medical attention, according to the activist.  He explained that on 21 November the five Haitians presented themselves before the migration authorities of the U.S. on the border with Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, to request asylum, and on 26 November “their demand was accepted by the authorities of California.”

In this way, the CCDNAM lamented that “this type of abuse is representative of the systematic treatment of migrants transiting through Mexico, as a result of the subordination of migratory policy to the imperatives of secularization, militarization of borders, and the criminalization of undocumented workers.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Insisten haitianos en denuncia contra el INM (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de febrero de 2014)

Denuncia ONG racismo de agentes del INM (La Jornada, 4 de diciembre de 2013)

Obtienen visa de EU 5 migrantes haitianos detenidos en el INM en Chiapas (La Jornada, 1 de diciembre de 2013)

Agencia de viajes extorsionaba a migrantes en Chiapas (Noticias Terra, 28 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: March from the Suchiate river to denounce abuses against migrants, and beginning of hunger strike (29 April 2013)

Chiapas: Organizations present report on migration during Sabines’ six-year reign (21 December 2012)

Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children (2 November 2012)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: #WeMigrantsAre132 (20 June 2012)

Chiapas/Tabasco: “The forgotten border” press-conference (13 December 2011)

Chiapas: Mobilizations on 12 October, day of indigenous, black, and popular resistance

October 26, 2013


Different mobilizations took place on 12 October in the state of Chiapas to commemorate 521 years of indigenous, black, and popular resistance, as well as to protest the neoliberal policies being developed by the cabinet of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto.

In San Cristóbal de las Casas, thousands of persons marched in an event organized by the Movement of Social Organizations of the State of Chiapas, a group which brings together a dozen indigenous and campesino organizations in the state.  “After a long march and a few difficult moments, we arrived today to this great effort toward unity to once again march together […].  We struggle to defend our rights, the national sovereignty, the territory, natural goods and resources, mineral wealth, and the rights of the peoples to exploit these in a sustainable manner, and moreover we affirm the right to develop the territory and to realize the peoples’ demands,” declared members of the Movement.

In other cities such as Ocosingo and Palenque there were also held different protest activities, such as roadblocks, occupations of city halls, and marches.

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state capital, at least 10 thousand persons, members of different organizations such as the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), health workers, and employees of the Institute of Social Security for Workers of the State of Chiapas (ISSTECH) marched to protest the educational reform and the totality of structural reforms imposed by the federal government in the spheres of health, housing, and energy.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protestan miles en Chiapas por políticas colonizadoras y reformas de Peña(Proceso, 12 de octubre de 2013)

Marchan por el Día de la Raza (Diario de Chiapas, 13 de octubre de 2013)

Movilizaciones por el “Día de la Resistencia Indígena Campesina Negra y Popular” (Expreso, 13 de octubre de 2013)

Recuerdan 12 de octubre con marcha (Cuarto Poder, 13 de octubre de 2013)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, in the Northern Zone, denounce harassment and death-threats

August 4, 2013

imagen de la zona Norte @ archivo SIPAZ

On 22 July, ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, located in the Palenque municipality, denounced that they had suffered death-threats and harassment from a group of residents of the same ejido who are supported by state and federal authorities.  In the denunciation, the ejidatarios indicated that they had attempted dialogue with the group, but that this did not resolve the conflict.  They report that the minority group has not respected the decisions of the ejidal assembly and has threatened the majority with death, in fact attempting murder in one case.  As a result, it was decided that this group was to be expelled from the ejido, with their agrarian rights stripped from them, but the minority group has undertaken a demand against the ejido before the Unitary Agrarian Tribunal in Comitán de Domínguez to nullify the decision of the assembly.  According to the denunciation, harassment and death-threats have not ceased, and the minority group remains in the ejido, despite being supported by different governmental agencies.  The ejidatarios have requested the intervention of the National Commission on Human Rights and of civil human-rights organizations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia parte 1

Denuncia parte 2

Denuncia parte 3

Denuncia la comunidad del Ejido Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas la intromisión y acoso por parte del Lic. Sergio Nataren Gutiérrez (octubre del 2012)

Denuncia pública ejido Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Palenque, Chiapas. (abril de 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas

December 27, 2012

Movilización zapatista, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 21 de diciembre de 201 (@SIPAZ)

During the morning of 21 December, in observance of the change in Baktún, or the beginning of the new Mayan era, thousands of indigenous support-bases affiliated with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) concentrated themselves at the entrances of 5 cities in Chiapas (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Palenque, and Las Margaritas) before carrying out silent marches through each one.  This was understood as a symbolic act, given that some of these cities were taken by the EZLN during its insurrection of 1994.  On this occasion, covered with ski-masks but lacking firearms, carrying the national flag and the Zapatista one together, the Zapatistas directed themselves to the principal plazas of these cities, where they erected kiosks which were raised by all.  After this, they left as rapidly and orderly as they entered.  Preliminary reports spoke of 6 to 10,000 Zapatistas in each location.


Zapatista march in Palenque, 21 December 2012 (photo @SIPAZ)

The “silent” message presented by these marches could hardly be more convincing, demonstrating the continued life and relevance of the movement, as well as showing that it is not principally based on its leadership.  The communique released by the General Command (announced for a month beforehand on the Enlace Zapatista webpage) makes reference to the rigorous silence that was maintained during the day, noting: “Have you heard?  It is the sound of their world collapsing.  It is the sound of ours resurging.”The EZLN support-bases had not mobilized themselves publicly since May 2011, when they expressed their solidarity with the victims of the war launched by Felipe Calderón against drug trafficking and with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, led by the poet Javier Sicilia.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena-Comandancia General del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (21 de diciembre de 2012)

Marchan zapatistas en Ocosingo, Las Margaritas y San Cristóbal (Proceso, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Movilización silenciosa de zapatistas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Zapatistas se movilizan en Chiapas en el inicio de la nueva era maya (CNN México, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Zapatistas muestran su presencia en Chiapas (El Universal, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Marcha zapatista en Palenque en el fin del Baktun 13 (El Independiente, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Hubo orden en las marchas del EZLN, informa gobierno estatal (La Jornada, 23 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Marches for Peace with Justice and Dignity (12 May 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Annuciation of the Caravan to the South in Chiapas

September 23, 2011

Press-conference in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Civil and social organizations announced the impending arrival on 14 September to Chiapas of the Caravan to the South of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity.  Its itinerary will begin in Tapachula toward Ciudad Hidalgo, passing the Guatemala border to Tecún Umán, the first day of the journey.

On the 15th it plans to celebrate the cry of independence in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and another commission will celebrate it in Acteal with the Las Abejas Civil Society, site of the massacre of 45 persons in 1997; the same day they will pass through Tonalá and Cahuaré.

On the 16th the route will go to Palenque, with a stop in Ocosingo, continuing on the next day toward Tabasco and Veracruz.

In the press conference representatives expressed that “in Chiapas we have begun to live the first phases of the war against organized crime, the consequence of the submission of the Mexican government to the wishes of the United States which has since April warned through its spokesperson the chief of the Northern Command that Mexico soon will have to open its southern border for the fight against organized crime.  We cannot overlook the conditions of violence lived in Mexico, which have reached Guatemala and other Central American countries, a situation that has arisen largely because in Chiapas, and particularly in the border region, there exist conditions of great violence that have been variously hidden and made-invisible.”

For more  information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de las Abejas de Acteal sobre el recibimiento de la Caravana al Sur (7 September 2011)

Bienvenida la Caravana al Sur del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad a Chiapas, Indymedia, 12 September 2011

Marcha contra altas tarifas de energía eléctrica en Chiapas-Solidaridad SME y Caravana por la Paz, Escrutinio Público, 12 September 2011

Bienvenida la Caravana al Sur del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad a Chiapas, Zapateando, 12 September 2011

Bienvenida la Caravana al Sur del Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad a Chiapas, Mirada al Sur, 12 September 2011

Más de 20 ONG se unen a la Caravana por la Paz y exigen atención a la frontera sur (La Jornada, 13 September)

Caravana hacia el México profundo (La Jornada, 13 September)

Darán Abejas “grito” de dolor por víctimas de “guerra” contra crimen(Milenio, 13 September)

El crimen organizado, no los pueblos indios, “balcanizaron el país”: Sicilia (Proceso, 13 September)

Bienvenido a Chiapas todo mensajero de la paz: Sabines (La Jornada, 14 September)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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