Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce harassment of members of their organization

December 26, 2015

(@ SIPAZ)

(@ SIPAZ)

On 2 December, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced that three families from its organization had been harassed in the Chenalhó municipality by the agent Antonio Vázquez Gutiérrez and the popular assembly of Los Chorros. As residents of the Jordan River neighborhood of the Miguel Utrilla district of Los Chorros, the families were obliged to accept a governmental project “service” involving sanitation drainage. Furthermore, two men of these families were punished with a fine of 5,000 pesos for having refused communal responsibilities. As members of the Las Abejas Civil Society, an autonomous organization, they do not receive any support from the government and do not pay taxes. In place of this, they demanded that their posture be respected, but the threats on the part of leaders of the assembly and the municipal agent have continued. In this sense, on 24 November Las Abejas submitted a letter to the mayor of Chenalhó, Rosa Peréz Pérez, requesting her urgent intervention to avoid greater threats and violence. Pérez Pérez “has not observed her obligation of protecting the human rights of those under her jurisdiction, even when she had the information at hand to resolve the problem. For this reason the intervention took place.” This made it possible that on 30 November, residents of the Jordan River presented themselves to the homes of three families to cut their water and electricity services. Las Abejas indicated in its communique that the action was led by the municipal agent, and that ex-members of the organization and paramilitaries who participated in the Acteal massacre in 1997 also took part. “The action provoked great fear among the children and the women due to the precedent that exists in the community […]. We find ourselves confronting a human-rights violation.”

The case of Los Chorros is not an aberration: in the Puebla neighborhood a member of Las Abejas has been imprisoned for having refused charges. Other members of Las Abejas from the Kexaluk’um neighborhood who belong to the Xunuch community “are threatened with this month having their electricity cut, if the Directive Table does not ‘convince’ the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) […].” The demands of Las Abejas are unequivocal:

1.) Urgent reconnection to electricity and water services for the affected families, and that the free self-determination of persons and organizations be respected.

2.) Respect for the resistance and autonomy of the comrades.

3.) Determination of the non-approach of those involved in the Acteal massacre to the communities, families, and individuals associated with our organization.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Agresión a miembros de Las Abejas en la colonia Los Chorros, cuna de los paramilitares (Las Abejas de Acteal, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

#Denuncia de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas ante el hostigamiento que sufren tres familias en los Chorros (Koman Ilel, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

Las abejas de Acteal, se niegan aceptar programas sociales (Quadratin chiapas, 2 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas reject ‘friendly solution’ with Mexican State (25 October 2015)

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

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

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)

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Chiapas: Las Abejas de Acteal remember Manuelito

November 21, 2015

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Three years after his death, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated Manuel Vázquez Luna (Manuelito), who died on 10 November 2012 in the “badly named ‘Hospital of the Cultures’ in San Cristóbal de Las Casas Chiapas, after having suffered 18 days of discrimination and victimization by medical negligence.” The commemoration took place in Acteal, “House of Memory and Hope.”

“Manuelito left us to reunite with his parents, sisters, grandmother, and uncle,” who were killed on 22 December 1997 “by PRI and Cardenist paramilitaries from the official municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.” Las Abejas of Acteal recalled that “that day of the Acteal massacre, Manuelito remained below the bodies of those killed and was bathed in blood. He saw how the paramilitaries opened fire against women and children.” Despite having experienced the pain of the near-total loss of his family, he decided “not to life in pain, but rather to convert pain and cries into hope and joy […] by means of stories, jokes, songs, and riddles.”

Las Abejas assured that Manuelito “is now in all parts of Acteal. He is in the clouds that rest on the mountains of Acteal, in the air that embraces us upon arriving here to Acteal, in the wind that blows and refreshes our memory and hope. He is in each raindrop that falls on the sacred lands of Acteal, and in each tree-leaf and in the foliage that grows around Acteal, House of Memory and Hope. He is in all parts of the cosmos. He is in our heart.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado en Memoria de Manuelito (Las Abejas de Acteal, 7 de noviembre de 2015)

A un año de la muerte de nuestro hermano Manuelito por irresponsabilidad médica (10 de noviembre de 2013)

Manuelito deja de existir de esta Tierra para vivir por siempre en nuestra memoria, lucha y esperanza (Las Abejas de Acteal, 12 de noviembre de 2012)

Manuelito siempre fue una luz fuerte en Las Abejas, ahora guiará más con su brillo nuestro camino (Koman ilel, 11 de noviembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Survivor of Acteal massacre dies (16 November 2012)


Chiapas: Monthly commemoración by Las Abejas de Acteal

October 8, 2015

(Acteal @SIPAZ)(Acteal @SIPAZ)

As on every other 22nd of each month, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated the Acteal massacre together with relatives of the victims, people from the region, as well as civil national and international organizations. “Memory will never die. Our memory is our hope. Hope is memory. The memory and hope of Las Abejas of Acteal will never die.” With these words they concluded their communique. Beforehand they had announced that they would “continue the struggle, the path toward Another Justice,” because in contrast to the attitude of the Mexican government it is important “to articulate and walk together without concern for our different languages, cultures, and means of being.” Within this context they thanked the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), as “this Tribunal listened to us and actually respected our word. That gives us more strength for our hearts, as well as our memories and struggles. In the TPP we found joy and life, because that is where respect lies.”

With regard to the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of 43 student-teachers in the state of Guerrero, Las Abejas assured that “We guardians of memory and hope will not forget that on 26 September a year will have passed since the State forcibly disappeared 43 students from Ayotzinapa, besides killing 3 others and leaving one other in a persistent vegetative state. In light of this infamous act, we will unite ourselves to the non-violent actions and mobilizations to denounce this crime of State.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Cómo vamos caminando y trabajando en La Otra Justicia. (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de septiembre de 2015)

Preaudiencia Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos en Acteal (16 de abril de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

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

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)


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)


Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society denounce impunity once again 

August 17, 2015

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Victims of the massacre @SIPAZ

On June 22nd, the day for the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre (1997) in which 45 people were murdered, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced impunity for the massacre as well for the murder of its member Manual López Pérez. Their communiqué stressed that “The authorities of bad government, “the Prosecutorial Office of Indigenous Justice, ” “the Agrarian Tribunal,” and the municipal president and judge of Pantelhó, had been informed that their comrade Manuel was risking his life, as his own son, Alonso López Guzman, had threatened to kill him on several ocassions.

The June murder has been connected to the lack of justice that still prevails since the massacre of 1997. “Almost 18 years after the atrocity, the Mexican State, instead of assuring the non-repetition of Acteal or reprisal murders of a member of our organization, is based fundamentally on impunity, which is bought through the misnamed Supreme Court for Justice (SCJN) in the Nation, a court of criminals and rich people that allowed that crime against us. The so-called Supreme Court liberated the paramilitary group that performed the massacre of Acteal. Their message is that killing innocent people is not punished but on the contrary is rewarded with money, houses, and land.”

For more information (in Spanish):

a un mes del asesinato de muestro compañero Manuel, sigue impune (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de julio 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)


Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released

December 6, 2014

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Abejas of Acteal (@SIPAZ archive)

Nearly 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) decided to release three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned in the Amate prison for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

The massacre took place on 22 December 1997, when 45 members of the Las Abejas of Acteal organization were killed, the majority being women and children.

The three who have been released had requested an official recognition of innocence, which was granted to them based on criteria stipulated by the SCJN in 2008, when it ordered the release of dozens of prisoners for the first time, having decided that the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) used illegal evidence in its investigation, thus violating the right of the accused to due process.  For their part, Las Abejas expressed that “if for the SCJN there are no guilty ones, if all the paramilitaries who have been sentenced are in fact innocent, then we demand that they give us back the lives of our martyrs, and that they present our children and parents who were shot to death on 22 December 1997 with life.”  They added that “other than for the government, it will be the SCJN that will be responsible for any conflict that results from the release of these paramilitaries, because the social fabric has been degraded and destroyed.  It has not been repaired, such that there are no conditions that would guarantee the non-repetition of the acts.”

In sum, 102 indigenous persons were processed for the killing of 45 members of the Las Abejas community, in addition to 4 unborn children, and they began to be released in 2008, after having advanced legal motions before the federal authorities.  Now, only two people remain imprisoned for the massacre.

For more information (in Spanish):

La justicia en México es un teatro: Sobrevivientes de Acteal, Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la Corte liberar a tres tzotziles vinculados con la masacre de Acteal, Proceso, 12 de noviembre de 2014

Ordena la SCJN la liberación de tres sentenciados por la masacre de Acteal, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

Acteal: consagración de la impunidad, La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: After attempting to return, the displaced of the Puebla Colony transfer themselves to Acteal

September 13, 2013

Durante el traslado, 26 agosto 2013 @ SIPAZ

During the transfer, 26 August 2013 @ SIPAZ

On 20 August there was a failed attempt to return to the Puebla Colony of Chenalhó on the part of some of the members of the same ejido after they had spent 30 days displaced in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. This return could not be carried out because the displaced were attacked with stones and insults, together with the civil caravan that had been accompanying the attempted return, according to public denunciation.  In this caravan traveled a representative of the state-government of Chiapas and a patrol of the State Preventive Police: “in light of this attack, they did nothing,” notes the communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society, continuing: “[w]hen our brothers and sisters saw that there were no conditions for return, they had to abandon this place and return once again to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. In the late afternoon of this same day, the young Evangelicals from the Puebla Colony burned down two communal houses belonging to our brothers and sisters, so as to express their hatred of Catholics.”

On 21 August, Manuel Pérez Gómez, parishioner of San Pedro Chenalhó went together with a governmental representative and municipal leader of Chenalhó to the Puebla ejido to sign an agreement as part of a process of detente that began days before with the ejidal authorities.  When the parishioner arrived at the chapel, he was arrested by a group of persons, beaten, and taken to a school where he was bound and tied for 5 hours and threatened with being burned with gasoline.  On 23 August, nearly all the Catholic families–and some of other religions–left from the Puebla Colony for San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

On 26 August, the displaced families decided to return to the zone, though no to their community.  A total of 95 persons, 12 Catholic families, and 2 Baptist families moved from Yabteclum to Acteal, near Chenalhó, accompanied by the Parish Council and national and international organizations to guarantee their security.  In Acteal there was held a press-conference and mass during which the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal confirmed that the religious conflicts run parallel to counter-insurgent strategies, and that there has been seen a “return of paramilitary groups that committed the Acteal massacre, so we should remember that Puebla Colony and the Miguel Utrilla Los Chorros Colony are the principal cradles of the paramilitaries who in 1997 prosecuted the Acteal massacre.”

For more information (in Spanish):

15 familias católicas y bautistas de colonia Puebla, se desplazan en Acteal, consecuencia de guerra de contrainsurgencia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 27 de agosto de 2013)

Impiden a desplazados el retorno a su comunidad (La Jornada, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Operación de limpieza religiosa en Chenalhó vinculada a paramilitares (La Jornada, 25 de agosto de 2013)

AU: Detienen, golpean y amenazan de muerte en el ejido Puebla a Manuel Pérez Gómez, párroco de Chenalhó (CDHFBC, 21 de agosto de 2013)

Acteal, las heridas abiertas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de agosto de 2013)

Retornan desplazados del Ejido Puebla, municipio de Chenalhó, a un mes de clima de violencia en la comunidad (Subversiones, 19 de agosto de 2013)

Comunicado de la Red por la Paz: Preocupación por situación en el Ejido Puebla municipio de Chenalhó, Chiapas (23 de agosto de 2013)

Liberación de paramilitares desata ataques en Chenalhó: Centro Frayba (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English): 

Chiapas: Increase in violence in Puebla Colony, Chenalho (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society, “the government is using two weapons in its strategy, lead bullets and sugar bullets” (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: Denunciation from Las Abejas of Acteal on 22 May 2013 (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas denounce lack of justice in the Acteal case (23 April 2013)

Chiapas: Las Abejas lament release of yet another of those charged for Acteal massacre (27 March 2013)