Chiapas: March in Palenque to defend Mother Earth and territory

October 25, 2013

Marcha 10 octubre 2013 @ Centro DH Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas

March on 10 October 2013 @ Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights

On 10 October in Palenque there was held a march in defense of territory and Mother Earth that was organized in part by the indigenous organizations Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Freedom (CDLI), Tsoblej Yu’un jWocoltic, Xí’inich, and the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Jungle of Chiapas (UCISeCH).  Some 700 persons participated in the march, being from different communities and civil and social organizations.  They carried palm branches and banners, crying out that “Government, understand, the land is not for sale!”  In a press-release, the organizations noted that “we are tired of being tricked by governments and firms with their programs, such as FANAR (previously PROCEDE) and the Crusade against Hunger, by means of which they have invested money into the communities, provoking division in place of promotion of economic and social development.  With the entrance of such money, those with weak hearts are encouraged, because they are led to think that this will make everything easier, but in reality it makes us less useful still, given that we buy their seeds which destroy our lands, we buy their poisons which create more pests, and we open the door to their educational system.  With such education, our children would no longer desire to work as we have.”

The theme of the march was the defense of territory and Mother Earth.  For this reason participants declared that “it is the land where maize and beans are born, where our feet dance during parties, where we launch our prayers, where we are born, where we die, where we eat.  The land sustains us and gives us to eat.  To remove ourselves from the land is to eliminate our knowledge and fragment our community.”  With this they made reference to the “modification of article 27 of the Constitution, carried out during the presidential term of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. We do not want a change in ejidal lands becoming small properties; we continue to believe in communal territory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado en defensa de la madre tierra y el territorio (CDLI, Tsoblej, Xí’inich y UCISECH, 10 de septiembre de 2013)

Realizarán marcha para “la madre naturaleza” (Cuarto Poder, 3 de octubre de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: Indigenous Ch’oles block highway in north of the state

February 7, 2013


Photo @Laklumal Ixim

On 5 February, in observance of the 96th anniversary of the Mexican Constitution, approximately 450 Ch’ol women and men who pertain to the organization Laklumal Ixim (Our People of Maize) initiated a highway blockade on the Yajalón-Tila route so as to demonstrate that nearly two months into the administration of the new state government, “the communities and peoples continue to experience abandonment, misery, and looting.”  In the communique participants denounce that “the ‘National Crusade against hunger’ is a farce that seeks merely to share crumbs to our communities that experience poverty, while our natural resources are handed over to foreign firms for exploitation.  This is all a part of a strategy of counter-insurgency.”  Furthermore, the members of the organization demand “that the Chiapas state-government cease this strategy of looting and abandonment toward the indigenous and campesino communities of the state, and that they instead attend to our demands and needs: a just price for electricity in accordance with the poverty of our people, quality healthcare and education, dignified infrastructure (homes, works, and roads), support for coffee-growers, projects and programs of support for the countryside to help women and men of indigenous communities, respect for our rights–ejidal, communal, and indigenous–cessation of the strategy of division and confrontation among communities as promoted by the FANAR (previously PROCEDE) that is being promoted above all by the agrarian governmental agency.”

For more information (in English):

Comunicado Laklumal Ixim (5 de febrero de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Choles block highway in the Northern Zone (13 April 2012)

Chiapas: Choles block highway in the Northern Zone

April 13, 2012

On Tuesday 10 April, Ch’ol women and men from communities of the Tila and Tumbalá municipalities who pertain to the organization Laklumal Ixim (Our People of Maize), carried out a highway blockade at the deviation known as Pulpitillo on the route from Yajalón to Tila and Tumbalá, to observe the 93rd anniversary of the murder of General Emiliano Zapata.  By means of a political pronunciation they report that they would like to “show that the struggle for the land and its defense continue being relevant […].  We denounce that with the present governments of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Juan Sabines Guerrero, we indigenous people continue to experience a strategy that seeks to carry out legalized looting of our lands so as to hand them over via megaprojects to large foreign corporations, all of this by means of trickery and lies associated with the programs FANAR, previously PROCEDE-PROCECOM.”

They demand, among other things, that “the Chiapas state government definitively cancel the concessions it has granted to Canadian mining companies, […] the cessation of the strategy of looting of our communal and ejidal lands by means of the Agrarian Ministry through lies and illegal acts taht seek to impose FANAR, previously PROCEDE, […and] a just electricity price in Chiapas.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento pueblo chol (10 de abril)

En Tila y Tumbalá recuerdan a Zapata (Cuarto Poder, 11 de abril)

Chiapas: MRPS announces the creation of a Human Rights committee and march

April 12, 2010

On April 9, 2010 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico,  The MRPS – Popular Resistance Movement of the Southwest – announced the creation of the “Digna Ochoa Human Rights Committee of Chiapas” with presence in the municipalities of Petalcingo and Tumbalá in the northern zone of Chiapas.

They denounced “a climate of persecution and criminalization of priests, social justice workers and human rights defenders” as well as strategies of “persecution, repression and provocation” promoted both by the state government of Chiapas and the federal government of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa with whom they charged “the de facto suspension of constitutional guarantees and human rights of our people and the establishment of a state of emergency“.  Given this panorama of “structural human rights violations” and the urgent need to “strengthen the organizational processes of our communities“, this committee “through community monitors, will be an instrument for documenting and systematizing the violations of our human rights committed by the various state bodies.

In the same press conference, the MRPS announced a march that took place the following day, April 10, 2010, in the township of Tila, with three motives:  “publicly demonstrate [their] rejection of the Support Fund for Agricultural Entities without Regularization” (FANAR in spanish, which they said is the new face of PROCEDE, Program for Ceritification of Ejidal Rights and Titles to Urban Plots) vindicating the rights of the ejidatarios; “claim a fair rate of electricity for Chiapas and maintenance and repair of CFE electrical energy lines in the municipalities of the Northern zone, and the termination of criminalization and persecution of human rights defenders in Chiapas.