Chiapas: Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Zapatista caracoles

August 21, 2013

(@SiPAZ archivo)

From 8 to 10 August, members of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) celebrated 10 years since the founding of their autonomous governments, corresponding to their form of implementing the San Andrés Accords, which were signed by the EZLN and the federal government in February 1996.  At the cultural, political, and sport events that accompanied the celebration, there were present many intellectuals and activists from Mexico and other countries.  In 2003, the EZLN announced the creation of five Good-Government Councils (JBGs) corresponding to 5 autonomous regions in the state of Chiapas, based in La Realidad (border zone), La Garrucha and Morelia (Jungle highlands), Oventic (central highlands), and Roberto Barrios (close to Palenque).  Starting on 12 August, they will share the advances and difficulties of their form of self-government with the students at the “Escuelita” (little school).

For more information (in Spanish):

Parten a los caracoles casi 1,700 alumnos que asistirán a la Escuelita zapatista (La Jornada, 12 de agosto de 2013)

La cruzada contra el hambre, plan de ataque a nuestra autonomía: zapatistas (La Jornada, 11 de agosto de 2013

EZLN agradece acompañamiento en 10 años (El Universal, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Celebran zapatistas 10 años de las juntas de buen gobierno en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Simpatizantes del EZLN celebran 10 años de Juntas del buen gobierno (CNN México, 9 de agosto de 2013)

Alistan festejos por los 10 años de Los Caracoles en Chiapas (Proceso, 8 de agosto de 2013)

Nada es igual que antes (Desinformémonos, agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN communiques “Them and Us,” parts II-V (29 January 2013)

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Chiapas: fourth denunciation from Roberto Barrios regarding the situation in Comandante Abel and Unión Hidalgo

November 2, 2012

On 29 October 2012, the “New Seed that will Produce” Good-Government Council of Caracol V that speaks for all in Roberto Barrios published a new denunciation (the fourth that has been released since September on the case) that seeks an update to “the death-threats, displacements, robbery, intimidations, and presence of public security suffered and experienced by out peoples in the Comandante Abel New Community and Union Hidalgo.”

The JBG reports in its communique that on 21 October, the group of invaders who occupied recuperated lands starting on 6 September finished measuring the lands in which they have installed themselves; that the harvest of 11 hectares of maize belonging to the Zapatista support-bases from Comandante Abel New Community has been stolen, and that 24 more persons have arrived from Unión Hidalgo to reinforce the invading group.  In Unión Hidalgo the communique notes that on 16 October at 1a.m. shots were fired from a high-caliber weapon, and this has recurred several times since then, in particular for a total of 2 hours the following night.  On 17 October, 15 members of public security arrived to Unión Hidalgo.

The JBG also denounces that on 25 October, the invaders “made military movements in three groups of 6×6 carrying high-caliber weapons […].  The public-security police daily patrols from Sabanilla to San Patricio and during the afternoon and nights makes its movements from San Patricio to the space where the paramilitaries have occupied the lands and to Unión Hidalgo.  When the invaders make their movements, the police also mobilize themselves; it is clearly seen that between the police and the paramilitaries there is one force, and they are commanded by one leadership, who directs them to carry out warlike actions.”

The JBG refers to a note published in the media on 9 October which affirms that “the groups in San Patricio and Unión Hidalgo both have agreed to request police presence from the state government toward the end of maintaining order and peaceful co-existence.  They also indicate that at all times they will respect the rights of the EZLN militants.”  With regard to this note, the JBG asks: “What need is there for a police presence in the place where the paramilitaries have their own presence, carrying out their actions of intimidation, death-threats, and war-like provocations?  […]  It should clear state that the police has been sent to protect the paramilitaries so that they displace, loot, and rob the belongings and harvest of our Zapatista support-base comrades.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Roberto Barrios (29 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (28 September 2012)

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)


Chiapas: New denunciation by the Roberto Barrios JBG regarding threats to the Comandante Abel community

October 12, 2012

By means of a communiqué published on 30 September, the Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) of Roberto Barrios, located in the northern zone of Chiapas, denounced the direct participation by Noé Castañón León, secretary of Governance, in the planning and implementation of the violence directed against the Comandante Abel community and the Zapatista support-bases in Unión Hidalgo, which has resulted in the forcible displacement of 83 indigenous persons who have for three weeks now sought refuge in other communities.

The JBG notes in its communiqué that “On 12 September at 10am, the paramilitaries entered to rob and cut down a great number of trees in the collective milpa that our comrades maintain, while others stood guard, armed with high-caliber firearms.  Upon finishing their logging, they all went to Unión Hidalgo.  The same day at 2pm, 7 cars full of officials and 3 municipal police vehicles arrived at San Patricio.  At 6pm a public security vehicle showed up to decide where to install its camp so as to fulfill the bad government’s plan to have police presence there.  On 13 September Noé Castañón, general secretary of governance, and Maximiliano Narváez Franco, subsecretary for governance, arrived in Sabanilla to meet with the invaders of Unión Hidalgo and the PRI members of San Patricio to confirm to them that the lands are theirs.  They justified this with projects of legalization, promising to provide security by making available police patrols and the presence of public security so as to care for the invaders and support them with materials to build their homes, and even to hand over property to the paramilitaries.  To fulfill the commitment they made with the invaders and delinquents during the same afternoon of 13 September, patrols of the recuperated land began.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian escalada paramilitar contra zapatistas en Chiapas, La Jornada, 1 de octubre de 2012

Tercera denuncia de la JBG Nueva Semilla que Va a Producir sobre los ataques, desalojos, amenazas, robos, intimidaciones y desplazamientos que siguen sufriendo las BAZ de las comunidades Comandante Abel y Unión Hidalgo, Enlace Zapatista, 30 de septiembre de 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: report of the Mission for solidarity and documentation to Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel (28 September 2012)

Chiapas: Attacks, forced displacements, and disappearances of Zapatistas in the Comandate Abel community (21 September 2012)

Chiapas: Roberto Barrios JBG denounces attack on Comandante Abel community (19 September 2012)

Chiapas: visit by governor to San Patricio, northern zone; challenge to official strategy by OSC (4 November 2011)

Chiapas: Update regarding the situation in San Patricio, northern zone (27 October 2011)

Chiapas: MPJD arrives once again to Chiapas, there to express solidarity with Las Abejas, prisoners on hunger strike, and Zapatistas (10 de octubre de 2011)


Chiapas: Denunciation from Caracol V, Roberto Barrios

June 16, 2010

On June 10, through a communique, the Junta de Buen Gobierno (JBG) New seed that will produce, located in the Caracol V, Roberto Barrios in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, reported that a group of provocateurs was trying to seize a community belonging to Zapatista Choles of Tumbalá, in the autonomous municipality of “El Trabajo”, near the city of Palenque. The JBG reported a series of threats and attacks between May and June, and noted as being responsible, a group of people supported by the Xi ‘Nich “official” led by Mario Landeros Cárdenas. They stated that the perpetrators “feel protected by the government “and that although the JBG “wanted to settle the conflict in a good manner,” citing those involved, “we only received mockery. “

The statement also said “All these events are part of the same counterinsurgency strategy of the bourgeois government directed against our people who struggle and resist against the neoliberal plan that is intended to weaken our resistance, buying the same leaders who serve the interests of rich and the government, to deceive, mislead and manipulate the poor, leading to the creation of conflict between the screwed in our society. (…) We are the rightful owners of this land by history because it is where the bodies of our grandparents are, recovered in 1994, it was paid for with the life and blood of our compañeros and we will defend it by whatever means necessary. “

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG (10 de junio)

– Denuncia JBG invasión en el poblado Choles de Tumbalá (La Jornada, 12 de junio)



Chiapas: Attacks and threats against the community of Roberto Barrios and Caracol V

November 18, 2009

On November 15th, 2009, the Nueva Semilla Good Government Committee of the Roberto Barrios Caracol V (in northern Chiapas) published a communiqué denouncing a series of threats and attacks against the Caracol, specifically against the autonomous Zapatista school in Roberto Barrios.

During the most recent aggression, the communiqué said, “on October 20th at 6:00 pm two people named Carlos Mendez Mendez and Luciano Mendez Mendez arrived at the Caracol and threatened the students by cocking their nine millimeter pistols and pointing them in the direction of the students. The two men wore federal army uniforms and have been seen passing by wearing guns at their waist. The commander of the armed forces sends his soldiers to train these people from the communities who are tricked and convinced to create violence and the disintegration of community life.”

They added: “On October 26, 2009, unidentified people robbed the craft store belonging to our companeros and located in front of the Caracol gate in the community of Roberto Barrios, one of our support bases.”

The Good Government Committee linked this recent harassment to “the ecotourism project to establish businesses for the economic interest of tourism companies. The school is on land located at the entrance of the Bascan River waterfalls and the bad government is involved in this project and acting through the employees of the bad government. Luis H. Alvarez, Hugo Garcia and Jesus Caridad.”

For more information (in Spanish):

– Comunicado de la JBG Roberto Barrios

– Agreden y filman a alumnos del Caracol de Roberto Barrios (La Jornada, 16 de noviembre de 2009)


Chiapas: Increase in conflicts?

January 13, 2009

Caracol of Morelia

During the days before, during, and after the Festival of Justified Rage which was celebrated in the caracol of Oventik and later in CIDECI- University of the Earth in San Cristtobal de las Casas, a number of disturbing conflicts have arisen between various social organizations and support bases of the EZLN. According to a communiqué (on Jan. 7) from the Good Government Council of the Caracol of Morelia, there have recently been a number of problems with members of ORCAO (Regional Organization of Coffee-growers of Ocosingo) regarding a piece of land near the community of Bosque Bonito close to Cuxuljá. On January 9, 2009 more than 300 members of ORCAO gathered in the caracol of Morelia to discuss the possession of the land Chijtal, which was retaken by Zapatista members in 1994 in the autonomous region Che Guevara in the municipality Lucio Cabañas, but was also claimed by members of ORCAO. The problem was not resolved because of the tension between the two groups and the ORCAO was denounced for threatening to invade the caracol of Morelia. The group of the ORCAO left after the arrival of hundreds of Zapatista support bases from nearby communities.

The good government council also denounced the alleged evictions of Zapatista support bases from the hot springs of Agua Clara in the Autonomous Municipality Comandanta Ramona (communiqué on Jan. 8). A number of days earlier, on January 1, in communiqué from the caracol of Roberto Barrios, the good government council denied a supposed confrontation between Zapatista support bases and members of the CUT (Central Collective of Workers) in the ejido EL Desierto, close to Palanque. According the communiqué, in that region there are no support bases.

On the other hand, state and national newspapers have reported frequent confrontations between support bases and other organizations and individuals, which we have not been able to confirm or prove. One of the these reports is of a confrontation between support bases and members of the ARIC Independent (Rural Association of Collective Interests) which left 15 people wounded. Another report suggests the kidnapping on the part of Zapatista support bases of 2 construction workers who were working on paving a planned highway from San José El Contento to San Marcos, part of a statewide highway project being carried out in Chiapas. In the communiqué on January 8 from the good government council of Morelia, it was mentioned that there had been disagreement with the company that is carrying out the construction of the new highway which passes by the entrance to Patria Nueva and San Marcos, but it does not mention the kidnapping.

For More Information (In Spanish):

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Morelia sobre el conflicto con ORCAO y desalojo en el balneario en Agua Clara (07/01/2009)

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Morelia sobre el conflicto con ORCAO en Bosque Bonito (08/01/2009)

Comunicado de la Junta de Buen Gobierno de Roberto Barrios desmintiendo conflicto con CUT (01/01/2009)

Por terrenos, se enfrentan zapatistas y cafeticultores, El Proceso (05/01/2009)

Tensión en caracol por arribo de 220 integrantes de la Orcao, La Jornada (09/01/2009)

Enfrentamiento entre zapatistas y campesinos deja 15 heridos, El Proceso (09/01/2009)

Secuestra EZ a trabajadores, Cuarto Poder (10/01/2009)

Coordinación para el dialogo y la negociación en Chiapas – Chiapas en los medios (10/01/2009)

Priístas chiapanecos atizan el conflicto contra los simpatizantes del EZLN, La Jornada (11/01/2009)