Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries

September 10, 2015

Integrantes de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal y el Frayba @KomanIlelMembers of the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal and Frayba @KomanIlel

On 12 August in a press-conference, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced the construction of impunity through fear, on the sixth anniversary of the beginning of the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation’s (SCJN) release of the paramilitaries who killed 45 people and four unborn children in 1997 in the Acteal community, Chiapas. They denounced that, for them, “since this day the justice system in Mexico is rotten garbage. For 6 years it has been clear in our memory the ignominy toward the blood of our brothers and sisters massacred in Acteal.” They declare that they have decided to “construct another justice that is sane and human,” and they manifest that they are here “because the Other Justice is built with memory. We are here to denounce impunity.” They also denounce that the Special Prosecutorial office for Indigenous justice has not investigated those responsible for the murder of Manuel López Pérez, who was killed on 23 July with the complicity of local authorities from the municipality of Pantelhó, Chiapas. Beyond this, they distance themselves from the “Pacifist Council of Sowers of Peace” and clarify that this group does not belong to Las Abejas.

Nearly two months after the fact, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights identifies that “there are no significant advances in the investigation and there exists little interest on the part of the Special Prosecutorial Office for Indigenous Justice to identify the perpetrators of these acts.” They also denounce that the justice system in Mexico is “inefficiency, complicit, and profoundly corrupt, in light of the crimes against humanity committed in the country, as has occurred with the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, the crimes in Tlatlaya, the murders perpetrated by organized crime and the Mexican State with its Army in Ostula, Michoacán, the femicides that go unpunished in Mexico, the displaced peoples, and the dozens who have been executed extrajudicially, as well as the disappeared who make our lands mourn in pain.”

For more information (in Spanish):

La Otra Justicia se construye con memoria: Abejas de Acteal (Chiapas Denuncia Publica, 12 de agosto de 2015)

Sin avances en la investigación por el asesinato de integrante de Las Abejas de Acteal (Boletìn de Frayba, 12 de Agosto de 2015)

[VIDEOS] Conferencia de prensa de “Las Abejas de Acteal” a 6 años de la excarcelación de paramilitares. (Koman Ilel, 12 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

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Chiapas: a member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered

July 2, 2015

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(@SIPAZ)

A communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal published on 23 June 2015 reports the murder of Manuel López Pérez, a member of the organization. According to the report, Manuel was killed while returning from Pantelhó to his home of San José Bochtik, Pantelhó municipality, when the public transit in which he had been traveling was stopped by a group of seven masked men dressed ni military fatigues and carrying firearms. Manuel had been accompanied by his 11-year old son, Juan López Guzmán, who recognized the voice of one of the killers, claiming it to be that of his older brother, Alonso López Guzmán.

The municipal judge did not allow photographs to be taken of the crime scene, nor did he respect the wishes of Manuel’s wife not to remove the body until members of the Las Abejas Society were present. It is also reported that the judge and the municipal police chief had pressured Juan to declare that he had been traveling in a different car, and that he was not a witness to the murder of his father.

It should be noted that Manuel López Pérez, together with his wife and four sons, was displaced in 2013 from the San Joaquín community, Pantelhó municipality, Chiapas, on the charge of wizardry. These accusations emanated from his son Alonso, who is considered a suspect in the murder, and the present municipal judge, Pedro Giron López, who is accused of irregularities at the crime-scene. Manuel attempted to sell the land on which his family was displaced, but Alonso appropriated it and then sold it, thus violating a previous agreement between the municipal authorities and his father. Though the case was referred to the Agrarian Court and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), nothing concrete followed.

The Directive Table of the Las Abejas Civil Society added in its communique that Manuel’s family had for long been subjected to death-threats, with this being a situation that had been denounced before the authorities, though no measures were taken to avoid the murder.

In another communique published on 26 June, death-threats, surveillance, and harassment aganist Antonio López Jiménez and his family were denounced, as these were displaced in 2007 by the construction of a sewage system that proceeded without the consent of the owners of the land on which it proceeded. There were fruit trees and a space for the construction of a home on the land in question. Antonio and two members of his family were attacked during the installation of the sewage system, after they went to inform and attempt to negotiate. No authority attempted a mediation or compensation of the damages incurred. “We fear for the lives of Antonio and his family, given that the municipal authorities from Pantelhó and the mayor and judge are complicit in a series of death-threats directed against Antonio in his family, instead of respecting, guaranteeing, and protecting their physical and psychological well-being. Furthermore, the judge in question threatened Manuel and according to testimonies, told his son to prepare his weapon to kill him.”

It should also be mentioned that on 22 June was held the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, which as usual demanded justice for this crime, as for others committed in Mexico and the world.

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a miembro de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denunciamos más amenazas de muerte contra miembros de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal en Pantelhó (Las Abejas de Acteal, 26 de junio de 2015)

Comunicado 22 de junio 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de junio de 2015)

Chiapas: Comando armado asesina a Manuel López Pérez, integrante de la organización Las Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 25 de junio de 2015)

Asesinan a sobreviviente de Acteal, lo acusaron de “brujería” (Chiapas Paralelo, 25 de junio de 2015)

Denuncian ‘Las Abejas’ el homicidio de uno de sus integrantes (La Jornada, 26 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas announce that they will not vote in the mid-term elections (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Civil Society Las Abejas denounce human rights violations in the country and show solidarity with various processes (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal reject dams and high electricity prices, affirming “Free Rivers and Free People” instead  (April 10, 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society expresses solidarity with the relatives and comrades of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (February 5, 2015)


Chiapas: mining reactivation is reported in the state

March 3, 2015
Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

In a statement released on February 14, the Human Rights Committee Digna Ochoa in Chiapas affirmed that it had received a copy of a letter addressed to the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, which was signed by Dr. Juan Carlos Salinas Prieto representative of the Mexican Geological Service and of the firm Geochemistry and Drilling Company SA de CV (GYMSA). In this letter, the priest was asked to intercede with the representations of the indigenous communities “to access their private and communal territories, and where, in a period of time of three months, he “has programmed to carry out geological mapping of the region comprised of the municipalities of Jitotol de Zaragoza, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán, Bochil, San Andrés Duraznal, El Bosque, Simojovel, Huitipán, Tapilula, Rayon, Pantepec, Allende Esquipulas, Las Maravillas, Union Zaragoza, Carmen Zacatal,Álvaro Obregón, Rincon Chamula, Competition, El Bosque, Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbalá, Yajalón, Sitalá, San Juan Cancuc, Pantelhó and Chalchihuitán”.

The Committee Digna Ochoa expressed that it “confirms that the government of Chiapas and mining companies are going for more territories and municipalities in the Northern region and Highlands of Chiapas and that the threat of looting and plunder is at the door of peasants and indigenous territories’ lands. (…) A door is opened to legalize the dispossession of land and resources belonging to hundreds of communities and indigenous and peasants peoples without an effective tool of legal defense such as the community consultation supported by ILO Convention 169”.

On February 11, the Believing People of the parish of Santa Catarina Pantelho organized a demonstration in the county seat of this municipality to announce its total rejection of the company GYMSA arrival.

In the last three governments in Chiapas, 144 mining concessions for exploration or exploitation have been granted (some of them for up to 50 years). Recently, in the natural reserve “El Triunfo”, municipality, and after months of opposition, the landowners gave up some plots to a Chinese company it is said for three million pesos per hectare.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se reactiva amenaza minera en municipios del norte de Chiapas, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 16 de febrero de 2015)

Pantelho se moviliza en contra de los proyectos de minas (Espoir Chiapas, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Amenaza la minería a Chiapas; más de un millón hectáreas concesionadas (Reporte Ciudadano, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Tras meses de oposición labriegos de Chiapas aceptan vender parcelas a una minera china (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2015)

Carlos Slim, empresarios extranjeros y presta nombres, los dueños de concesiones mineras en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo (December 6, 2014)