Chiapas: Tila ejido denounces “military-police” operation in Tila

December 27, 2015

80 aniversario del Ejido Tila @SIPAZ

On 19 November, authorities from the Tila ejido denounced a “military, police, and paramilitary” operation on their lands, “WHICH […] IS STILL CIRCULATING INSIDE THE EJIDO.”

The operation began on 18 November, when the soldiers and police besieged the populace, establishing checkpoints to the entrances to Tila.  According to Radio Zapatista, “this operation takes place within the context of a growing demand for the withdrawal of City Hall, which is illegally settled on ejidal lands and has been clearly linked to paramilitarization in the region.”  The ejidatarios denounced as well the false commissars who have been named by the state government by means of illegal processes and documents, “including a paramilitary leader who was incarcerated for five years for having participated with the Paz y Justicia group.”  In parallel, the ejidatarios denounced that groups of youth were being armed and trained as a “paramilitary force” which in the context of the recent elections clarified that “ALL THOSE WHO ARE WORKING IN CITY HALL ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO MASK UP TO CARRY OUT VIOLENCE DURING ELECTORAL SEASON SO AS TO CONTINUE HOLDING ON TO POWER LIKE THE PARAMILITARIES THEY ARE.”  Zapatista Radio claimed that the operation launched on 18 November “makes evident the complicity among the government, the Army, and different police forces with paramilitarization in the region.”

The ejidatarios have requested “SOLIDARITY SO THAT ALL ORGANIZATIONS, COLLECTIVES, AND PERSONS BE AWARE OF WHATEVER MAY HAPPEN.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denunciamos operativo militar policiaco y paramilitar en Tila (La Otra Ejido Tila, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Ejido Tila denuncia operativo militar, policiaco y paramilitar (Radio Zapatista, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Ejido Tila: denunciamos operativos militar policiaco paramilitar (Red Contra la Represi+on y por la Solidaridad, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Ejido Tila denuncia operativo militar, policiaco y paramilitar. (Radio Pozol, 20 de noviembre de 2015)

Tila: ch’oles gritan por su independencia y autonomía ejidal frente a la violencia paramilitar (Radio Zapatista, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

TILA (Ejido Tila, 16 de septiembre de 2015)

F0r more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)

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Chiapas: “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event in Masoja Shucjá, Tila

November 12, 2014

“Corazón de memoria, sembrando en nuestro territorio”, octubre de 2014 (@CDHFBC)

“Heart of memory, sown on our lands.” October 2014 (@CDHFBC)

On 24 October, the “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event was held in the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, to remember the victims of execution, forcible disappearance, and forced displacement in this region between the years 1995 and 1999.  Those present demanded justice in these cases and expressed their solidarity with the families of the normalist students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, present at this event, stressed that “in the zone below Tila, [the paramilitary group] Paz y Justicia committed at least 37 forcible disappearances, 85 executions, and displaced more than 4500 persons, who also suffered harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, torture, sexual abuse, and arbitrary arrests, among other human-rights violations […].  Lamentably, these great human-right violations have continued to enjoy impunity, given that the material and intellectual authors have not been truly investigated or sanctioned in accordance with their involvement in these crimes against humanity.  This situation has been broadly denounced, and it has been taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  There have been eight cases that reflect the atrocities experienced in the region.  There are 122 cases documented by this Center of Human Rights in the northern zone.  They are examples of the counter-insurgent strategy that has been implemented by the federal and state authorities, following the Plan for the Chiapas Campaign […].  Neither forgiveness nor forgetting.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de octubre de 2014)

Boletín del CDHFBC Ni perdón, ni olvido (CDHFBC, 28 de octubre de 2014)

A 18 años de impunidad, en Masojá Shucjá Tila Chiapas, exigen justicia por desapariciones y ejecuciones a sus integrantes (Radio Pozol, 25 de octubre de 2014)

Castigo a autores de ejecuciones, desapariciones y desplazamientos forzados en Chiapas: Desplazados de Banavil (Comunicado de las y los desplazados de Banavil en el evento de Masoja Shucjá, 24 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)

Chiapas: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96

October 7, 2011

On 1 October there was held a celebration in commemoration of the victims of the conflict of the years 1995 and 1996 in the northern zone of Chiapas.  It was held in the community of Masojá Shucjá, municipality of Tila, where 8 were killed at the hands of the organization “Paz y Justicia” during those years.

The event was attended not only by people of the community and neighboring ones but also by persons of other regions, including a delegation of the Las Abejas Civil Society (municipality of Chenalhó, in the highlands of Chiapas, which was another region that was particularly affected by violence at the end of the 1990s).  The choir of Las Abejas sang songs while a group of youth from this organization presented a theatrical work regarding the Acteal massacre of 1997.

Following the religious celebration and the play, participants at the event walked to a small pantheon where some of the victims have been buried; there, relatives of the dead and disappeared prayed and presented their word, as did present and past victims in addition to others invited to the celebration.  Four women from Jotalá spoke about how they experience violence today on the part of the government.  A resident of the Nuevo Retorno community gave his word by narrating how it was that those displaced from Miguel Alemán, a bastion of Paz y Justicia at the time, relocated themselves in 2002 to Nuevo Retorno after having lived for years in Masojá Shucjá.

The entire commemoration was a call to maintain alive memory and to continue demanding justice for the victims: Romeo Pérez Pérez, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, Mateo Hernández López, Juan Ramirez Torres, Hector Pérez Torres, Encarnación Pérez Pérez, Maria Rebeca Pérez Pérez, Sebastián Pérez López, among those who fell in Masojá.

A canvas explained what happened in the following manner:

In this place, where the waters cross, 15 years ago the Mexican government began to apply violence against the communities by means of a coordination among the military and the paramilitary organization Paz y Justicia.  In this way the Mexican government engaged in a politics of death in our Ch’ol region of the northern zone.

Our community was besieged and our brothers and sisters ambushed, disappeared, and executed.  They besieged us so that we would suffer hunger, fear, and disorganization.  In this way they brought us death.

Now we through prayer and celebration save our memory and create life.  Our memory is against forgetting; it is for true justice, so that these acts of death do not repeat themselves.  The armed conflict in Chiapas is part of a strategy of counter-insurgency; the Mexican government incentivized the creation of paramilitary groups in different regions of the conflict zone.

Among these paramilitary groups was distinguished for its cruelty and operative capacity the organization Paz y Justicia, which operated in the Ch’ol territory of the northern zone of Chiapas in the municipalities of Salto de Agua, Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbalá, Yajalón, and Sabanilla.  This documented counter-insurgency strategy left 122 cases of disappearances and executions in the period from 1995 to 2001, of which 37 were forced disappearances (32 men and 5 women) and 86 executions (74 men and 7 women).

All these actions were carried out by Paz y Justicia with the support of the Mexican Army and the Ministry of Public Security, resulting in over three thousand forced displacements.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: in Masojá Shucjá, memory and demand for justice for the victims of paramilitaries in 1995 and 1996 (7 October 2010)

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by Paz y Justicia paramilitaries (30 June 2010)

Chiapas: commemoration of the victims of Paz y Justicia in Masojá Shucjá (3 September 2009)


Chiapas: in Masojá Shucjá, memory and demands for justice for the victims of paramilitaries in 1995 and 1996

October 7, 2010

Photo: relatives demand justice for Romeo Pérez Pérez, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, Mateo Hernández López, Juan Ramirez Torres, Hector Pérez Torres, Encarnación Pérez Pérez, and Sebastián Pérez López (@SIPAZ)

On 29 August 2010, in the community of Masojá Shucjá, municipality of Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, there was held a commemoration of the victims of conflict during the years 1995 and 1996–some from Masojá Shucjá, others from neighboring communities.  Some of the victims were buried, while others continue disappeared to date.

People from several communities of the municipality came to Masojá Shucjá to join the residents of the community in this act of memory.  After a celebration held in the church, all joined a rosary-prayer in the pantheon where, together with members of their family, lies Mateo Hernández López, ambushed and killed by Paz y Justicia while en route to his milpa in 1996.

Due to the recent rains and landslides experienced in recent days, not all the invited reached the community.  The absence of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) in particular was lamented, given that it is the CDHFBC that is taking the case before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights and that accompanies the community in its efforts of historical memory.  All the children of the community’s primary school attended the event, so that they come to know what it is that happened, and that it continues in impunity.  There it was explained that, although justice does not come from above, memory is a means by which to make justice from below.

On this occasion, not only was justice demanded for the victims of the conflict and their relatives, but also for the losses of possessions that occurred during that time.  As was claimed in a poster exhibited in the pantheon, “in the community of Masojá Shucjá, municipality of Tila, Chiapas, we demand that the possessions we lost during the time of conflict with Paz y Justicia and the bad government in the year 1996 be compensated”: 424 cattle, 23 horses,a number of farm-birds, and 20 burnt houses.

For more information (in Spanish):

Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by Paz y Justicia paramilitaries (30 June 2010)

Chiapas: commemoration of the victims of Paz y Justicia in Masojá Shucjá (3 September 2009)


Chiapas: Intimidation and polluting project in the municipality of Tila are denounced

July 9, 2010
Placas del PUDEE en Jolnixtie @ SIPAZ

Placas del PUDEE en Jolnixtie @ SIPAZ

On 24 June, there was released a public communiqué written by representatives of the organization Kichán Kichañob regarding the high electricity-prices that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) charges, as well as the CFE’s threats to cut off services.  For their part, representatives of the organization People United in Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) and ejidal authorities of the community Jolnixtie Section 1 warn in a communiqué released on 30 June about a drain-and-capture project for polluted water, one of the results of which would be that other waters in the area could be rendered no longer fit for human consumption.

According to the communiqué released by Kichán Kichañob’s representatives, the CFE is charging prices that do not correspond to consumption-levels on the part of the populaces of the communities of Limar, Nuevo Limar, Usipá, Cruz Palenque, and Jol-Ako, all of which find themselves in the zone below Tila.  The communiqué states that the CFE “intimidates us if we don’t pay” by means of use of the police and threatening mass electricity-cuts.  The representatives demand respect for their “right to resist by not paying these high prices.”

In Jolnixtie section 1, another community in the zone below Tila, representatives of PUDEE and ejidal authorities have denounced the proposed construction-project of an open-air drainage system in the neighboring community of Libertad Jolnixtie section 2 that would pollute the stream that passes through Jolnixtie section 1, “affecting kilometers of rivers, streams, springs, and aquifers, polluting the environment, and affecting the diverse plant and animal species that already threatened with extinction.  At the same time, we will [if the project proceeds] stop using our waters to prepare food, wash clothes, and bathe ourselves.  This development would affect more than a thousand families as well as pre-schools and primary schools.”  They explain that this project, promoted by the mayor of Tila, Limber Gutiérrez Gómez, is supported by the ejidal authorities of Libertad Jolnixtie section 2, along with people who identify themselves as part of the paramilitary group “Peace and Justice,” which is tied to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD), and Green-Ecologist Party (PVEM).  “This construction will affect a hectare of land cultivated by Mr. Francisco García Hernández, who was approached by paramilitary groups that uprooted fruit- and wood-trees that [Hernández] had had planted.  They insulted him and threatened to expel him from the community if he did not cease construction on his land.”  The ejidatarios have called on the appropriate authorities to cancel the project; they allege that they were never consulted about the project to begin with, in violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete communiqué of representatives of Kichán Kichañob

Complete communiqué of representatives of PUDEE and ejidal authorities from Jolnixtie section 1

Cuarto Poder: CFE intimidations are denounced; Chols “resist”

Cuarto Poder: Drainage system hurts the environment, it is claimed


Chiapas: 14 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Pérez Torres by paramilitaries of Paz y Justicia

July 5, 2010

On June 20, 1996, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres became a victim of forced disappearance. While she was originally from Masojá Shucjá in the municipality of Tila, the offense was carried out by 30 members of the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia in the community of German Miguel. 14 years later, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC)  has recalled this and other disappearances, noting that the State has not complied with the obligation to handle these as crimes against humanity as defined by the International Criminal Court.

According to a bulletin from CDHFBC, “despite its obligations, the state has not complied and continues to deny the existence of paramilitary groups in Chiapas, which contradicts the contents of the report on Criminal and Subversive Groups in Chiapas, headed by General of Chiapas state government, dated May 27, 2009, where there appears a  descriptive file on the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia, their links to the state through the Mexican army, and their financing via public resources from Campo and Desarrollo Social de Chiapas. The report shows why it is believed that these groups had relationships with state political operatives who have participated in and continue to participate with this policy against the indigenous peoples ¹.”

¹Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, Derechos Humanos en Chiapas, Frayba, Balance Anual 2009, véase en: http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/informes/100609_balance_anual_2009_digital.pdf

For more information (in Spanish):

Complete CDHFBC bulletin (pdf) (23/06/2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: memorial in Masojá Shucjá for the victims of the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group (07/09/2009)


Chiapas: Memorial in Masojá Shucjá for the victims of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group

September 7, 2009
Masoja Shucjá @sipaz

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center was invited. The communities that have suffered the same situation of war were invited. Other organizations were invited. The press was invited.

In the northern region of Chiapas the community of Masojá Shucjá wants its dead to be remembered and continues to demand justice. But more than ten years later, justice has yet to be served.

This past August 30th members of the Civil Resistance Movement Against High Electricity Rates (also belonging to PUDEE – People United for the Defense of Electrical Energy) and followers of The Other Campaign built an altar with flowers, candles and photos in Masojá Shucjá. The altar was raised not only in memory of those from Masojá Shucjá who have been killed and disappeared, but also in honor of the one hundred victims of the Peace and Justice paramilitaries in the northern region of Chiapas.

The Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center’s 2008 Annual report reflected on the situation of human rights situation in Chiapas: “The internal armed conflict in Chiapas remains unresolved. As part of the Mexican government’s counterinsurgency strategy incentives were given to start paramilitary groups in specific regions of the conflict zone. Among these paramilitary groups the Peace and Justice is known for its cruelty and operative capacity in the Chol territory of the northern region, which includes the municipalities of Salto de Agua, Tila, Tumbala, Yajalon and Sabanilla. The counterinsurgency strategy, which has been documented by this Human Rights Center, has resulted in 122 cases of disappearances and executions from 1995 until 2001. Among the 122 dead, 37 were forced disappearances (32 men and 5 women) and 86 were executions (79 men and 7 women).”

Besides the imprisonment of five Peace and Justice leaders from 2001 to 2002, these crimes remain unpunished. On top of that it is feared that in the same way that perpetrators were released in the Acteal case, the few who have been sentenced in the northern region could be released as well.

By candlelight at dawn on Sunday August 30th, indigenous Choles from Masojá Shucjá began to pray for their dead relatives and for peace. After sharing tamales and coffee the church filled for a memorial mass. At the end of the mass survivors and relatives of the victims gave testimony and shared in their ever-present pain. In the words of the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center, when justice doesn’t come from above, it has to be built from the bottom up. This implies always remembering, never forgetting.

For more information (in Spanish):

Indígenas de Chiapas exigen “justicia divina y terrenal” para sus muertos

Balance anual 2008, sobre la situación de Derechos Humanos en Chiapas (Capitulo 4. Memoria Histórica. Crímenes de lesa humanidad en Chiapas: una política de Estado)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Northern Region: a Powder Keg of violence (1999)

– The Tragedy of the Choles: a people torn apart by violence (1997)