Chiapas: Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Tumba de Antonia López Méndez.  Foto: @Sipaz

Gravesite for Antonia López Méndez. Photo: @Sipaz

From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, returned provisionally to their homes. During these days, they visited the gravesite of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, 11 years of age.

It bears recalling that the families were displaced at the beginning of December 2011, following an attack carried out by militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms. During the events, Alonso López Luna was forcibly disappeared and, to date, his whereabouts remain unknown. In this way, the attack also cuased the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured. Beyond this, Lorenzo López Girón, the son of the disappeared, was arrested, as was Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN). Both of these have since been released.

In a communique, the displaced families affirmed that “we returned well during our provisional return, though the bad governments (federal, state, and municipal) did not guarantee our security.” The displaced continue to hold the three levels of government responsable for the aggression that provoked the displacement, and they have demanded the revelation of the fate of Alonso López Luna, the carrying-out of ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the displacement and forcible disappearance, the return of families, the cancellation of two arrest-orders, the compensation of losses incurred, and the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tseltales en retorno provisional regresan a su desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas denuncia pública, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“Nuestras exigencias al Estado mexicano: VERDAD, JUSTICIA, RETORNO Y PAZ”, tzeltales desplazados de Banavil Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“No muere nuestra memoria aunque el mal gobierno lo quiere acabar nuestras raíces”, indígenas desplazados de Banavil, Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

[FOTOS][VIDEO]Retorno provisional de familias desplazadas de Banavil, Chiapas.

(Koman Ilel, 5 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (March 8, 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (December 16, 2014)



Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil

December 16, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 4 diciembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press-conference, 4 December 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 4 December 2014, 3 years were commemorated since the attacks in the Banavil community, Tenejapa municipality, Chiapas, as prosecuted by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  In a press-conference, the Zapatista-sympathizing families mentioned the attack with firearms which led to the displacement of 13 persons “who have lost everything and are prevented with death-threats from returning.”  The attack caused the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured, and Alonso López Luna forcibly disappeared.  Furthermore, two arbitrary arrests were carried out of Lorenzo López Girón, son of the disappeared who was injured by gunfire and then accused of assault and battery, as well as Francisco Santiz López, Zapatista support base (BAEZLN), who was actually located elsewhere during the attack.  Subsequently, both were released, with Francisco’s case won thanks to the work of a special campaign involving international-solidarity actions.

The press-bulletin indicates that “due to these grave human-rights violations, we continue to demand justice and punishment of those responsible for the attacks.  It is necessary to clarify the truth regarding the forcible disappearance of Mr. Alonso López Luna, and that he be returned to us with life.  Furthermore, we demand compensation for the damages incurred, owing to the plundering of our possessions and lands in the community; an expeditious return to the homes for the displaced, who now live in vulnerable situations in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, lacking access to healthcare and housing, and without options for work under dignified conditions.”

Following the press-conference, representatives of the Simojovel parish celebrated a ceremony and prayer with the displaced families to express their support and alleviate their pain.  This case of the displaced families from Banavil has been included within the Campaign Faces of Looting, “Our Lands, Our Rights.  No to Forcible Displacement.”

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido(10 April 2014)

Chiapas: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane” conditions

April 8, 2013

@Radio Pozol

In a press bulletin released on 2 April, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounced that “men, women, and children who were displaced from the Banavil community (Tenejapa municipality), being sympathizers of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), find themselves facing precarious situation of health due to their forced displacement, beyond being threatened constantly as a result of the looting of their lands, the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, and the murder (still not clarified) of Pedro Méndez López. In response, the state government by means of the Prosecutorial Office for Indigenous Justice has dawdled unjustifiably, thus systematically violating the human rights of the displaced.”

The bulletin details that the 13 persons displaced in December 2011 presently find themselves in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, living in “inhumane and precarious” conditions: “they live in a wooden and cardboard room, with a plastic roof of 3×3 meters, with soil for ground.”  Regarding the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, the communique notes that the Special Prosecutorial Office has refused to “carry out the 11 arrest orders against the aggressors, including the public servants of Tenejapa, Pedro Méndez López and Manuel Méndez López, indciated as having been material authors of the act.”  The bulletin affirmed also that “according to testimony, the PRI aggressors have recently looted five and a half hectares of the property of the displaced.  One part was taken directly by the aggressors, and the other sold.  These new acts worsen the situation of these EZLN sympathizers.”

For these reasons, the CDHFBC indicates that “the State is not observing its obligation to guarantee and protect the human rights of the indigneous peoples of Chiapas,” and it demands the “total cessation of all threats and harassment against the displaced in the Banavil ejido; that the 11 arrest-orders against the aggressors be carried out; that there be serious, timely, and expedited investigations to find the whereabouts of Alonso López Luna; that the right to land and the return with guarantee of physical safety and life of the displaced in Banavil be observed; that the Chiapas state government as part of the Mexican State guarantee and protect the human rights of the 13 assaulted persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia Frayba que 13 tzeltales desplazados viven en condiciones “inhumanas” (La Jornada, 3 de abril de 2013)

Boletín de prensa: Boletín: Siguen en situación precaria e inhumana las 13 personas desplazadas de la comunidad de Banavil simpatizantes del EZLN (CDHFBC, 2 de abril de 2013)

Denuncia de los desplazados de Banavil (27 de marzo de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: CDHFBC published more information on the Banavil case, Tenejapa (9 February 2012)