Chiapas: Aggression to people who wanted to reforest a reserve in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

September 17, 2018


On September 2, at 10 o’clock in the morning, a group of 500 people who wanted to plant two thousand oak trees in the ecological reserve Quembó Cuxtitali, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, were attacked with sticks and stones by inhabitants of the community of Molino Los Arcos, in the east of this same city, with a balance of several injuries.

“They were more than a hundred people with their faces covered, armed with machetes, sticks, slingshots and other objects who were very aggressive. What they are looking for is to keep the 101 hectares of the reserve. Since 2016, the decree 516 grants its custody to the Autonomous water system of Cuxtitali neighborhood”, said one of the people promoting the reforestation in the area.

The assaulted reported that the inhabitants of Molino Los Arcos took possession of the spring located within the Gertrudy Dubis ecological reserve illegally, since 1994, and that they have been cutting down many trees affecting the amount of water that reaches the neighborhood of Cuxtitali where many of the environmentalists came from.

It is not the first time that an aggression of this type has been recorded in the area, in addition to the fact that the reserve has been set on fire at least four times.

The government secretariat said it had warned the environmentalists that there were no conditions for them to try to reforest, but “they entered exposing civilians, which led to a provocation with the residents of Molino Los Arcos.” The assaulted ones presented a complaint for aggression and injuries before the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State and hours later they carried out a public meeting accusing Marco Antonio Cancino González, present municipal president of San Cristóbal, for the aggressions because they consider that he is “protecting the invaders who are occupying the ecological reserves”.

For more information (in Spanish) :

Agreden a ambientalistas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 2 de septiembre de 2018)

Agreden a ambientalistas en reserva de San Cristóbal de las Casas (SDP Noticias, 2 de septiembre de 2018)

Grupo de encapuchados agrede a 500 ambientalistas en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 2 de septiembre de 2018)

Chiapas / National: Twentieth National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) takes place 50 years after their creation

August 31, 2018

From July 23 to 28, the 20th National Encounter of Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) was held in Chiapas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their creation. The bishop of the host diocese explained that the CEBs “are a group of people of the Catholic Church who come together to share the word of God, reflect and see how to apply it in daily life. This group, a small community, is like a family that strengthens the life of the parishes, of the dioceses. “

After the opening event in San Cristobal de Las Casas, the participants from the 45 dioceses of the country were divided into groups that met in different parishes of the diocese, some located in the city and others in municipalities such as Teopisca, Tila, Venustiano Carranza and Ocosingo. Representatives of the CEBs of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras also attended.


Photo @sipaz

At the end of the event, again in San Cristóbal, they issued a joint statement in which they proposed “to promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country”, after the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of the month. They acknowledged that “we are at a key moment in our country, because in the past electoral process, the people decided to change the direction maintained during the last six years, which led to the concentration of the economy in few hands, structural reforms, the climate of violence and corruption, the interventionist policy of the United States as also happens in various countries. All of this represents, without a doubt, a great challenge for the citizens who have decided on a change “.

Among other agreements, they decided to “renew our communities, accompany and include children, adolescents and youth; promote active citizen participation in this moment of profound socio-political change in our country and promote continuous, integral, social, political, testimonial, and shared formation that allows us to respond to the realities of today “; as well as to “deepen our historical memory as a source of life and hope; recover the role of the laity as subjects of the journey of our church and society; and resume and resignify our method: See, think, act, evaluate and celebrate “.

For more information (in Spanish):

Celebran 50 aniversario de las CEBs en Chiapas (La Jornada, 23 de julio de 2018)

CEBs proponen “impulsar” participación civil tras triunfo de AMLO (La Jornada, 29 de julio de 2018)

Chiapas: March against violence against women in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

July 11, 2018

Photo @ Colectivo Tragameluz

On May 31, some 300 women, accompanied by several men, marched in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas to demand the cessation of femicides and gender violence.

“More than a year after having declared the Gender Violence Alert in San Cristóbal, women continue in minimum security conditions that guarantee our lives and integrity,” said the statement read by the co-conveners.

They denounced that in the last month there have been two feminicides in the City that remain unpunished. The first occurred on April 24 at the borders of the La Isla neighborhood and the neighborhood of Mexicanos: “a woman’s body was found, victim of feminicide, with signs of physical violence and sexual abuse, but the authorities have not applied a feminicide research protocol with a gender perspective and have not activated measures to identify her.

A second feminicide occurred on May 9 in the neighborhood of La Nueva Maravilla: “María de los Ángeles, a 14-year-old teenager, lived in the San José Buena Vista neighborhood, north of the city, and was a high school student at General Miguel Utrilla College, located in the neighborhood of Prudencio Moscos”.

They denounced that “in both cases, the victims were criminalized in social networks, in journalistic notes and testimonies of inhabitants of the neighborhoods” and that “there is a process of normalization, naturalization and invisibility of violence against women. Only from January to date, 14 feminicides have been registered, although a large number are considered by the authorities as violent deaths. “

 “The constant criminalization of the victims only perpetuates the violence that women live and it omits to point out the aggressors as violent and macho men. San Cristóbal, ‘magical town’, is not the exception “, concluded those who called for the demonstration.

For more information (in Spanish):

Protestan contra feminicidios en San Cristóbal de las Casas, La Jornada,  31 de mayo de 2018

San Cristóbal de Las Casas no es un lugar seguro para las mujeres, pronunciamiento, 31 de mayo de 2018

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: First International Gathering for Politics, Art, Sport and Culture for Women in Struggle March 27, 2018

Chiapas: Another Femicide at the Start of the Year February 4, 2018

Chiapas: Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal

December 26, 2015


Public proclamation in San Cristóbal of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power (@SIPAZ)

On 5 December, more than 15,000 people, the majority of them indigenous, as well as representatives from seven countries in Central and South America, marched and held a rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to proclaim the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power. This initiative seeks to establish the basis for a new political Constitution in Mexico, which would refound the nation and lead to a new social contract.

Raúl Vera López, former assistant bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, led the event at which the indigenous protestors gave him a command scepter. The bishop acknowledged that the Zapatista uprising of 1994 represented the “ferment” of a new constitutional power, but that at present “it it not just our Mayan brothers and sisters who seek a new social contract, but rather all Mexicans.” He asserted that “we do not want this deviation of power whereby the authority we delegate in a government becomes perverse, placing our resources and lands in the hands of multinational corporations and their home governments and states. Instead, these must be placed at the service of all Mexicans who want peace with justice and development with dignity.”

The Council of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in Chiapas stressed that “today is an historical day that will be remembered throughout Chiapas and Mexico, because the presence of thousands of people is a clear demonstration that the people have recognized how disastrous our living conditions are, and have armed themselves with valor and dignity, taking on the responsibility of transforming this reality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Marchan miles en Chiapas para proclamar una nueva Constitución (La Jornada, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Tribunal Permanente de Pueblos urge a la refundación del país (Proceso, 6 de diciembre de 2015)

Presentan indígenas su constituyente ciudadana (El Universal, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Sitio de la iniciativa:

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State

October 25, 2015

Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretario de la Mesa Directiva de Las Abejas de Acteal, ante la CIDH sobre la masacre de Acteal @Daniel Cima para CIDHJuan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH

On 20 October, two days before their monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society, together with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), participated in a public audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC, regarding impunity in the case of the Acteal massacre. In this audience, allegations were presented regarding the basis of the case that evidences “the responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre and the lack of investigation, sanction, and compensation for the victims.” Las Abejas assured in the voice of Juan Vásquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table, that for the Tsotsiles of the Chiapas Highlands, “this massacre was planned by the Mexican State.” Before the IACHR, Las Abejas requested “that a profound report be prepared to investigate the Acteal massacre, declaring the Mexican State responsible for this crime.” For his part, the official representative of the Mexican government rejected all responsibility for the atrocity, using the argument that there is no report or recommendation that claims the State to have been responsible.

Subsequent to the audience before the IACHR, in the offices of the CDHFBC in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a press conference was held denouncing the “cynicism of the Mexican State in denying its responsibility for the Acteal massacre. We say as our comrade Juan Vázquez manifested before the IACHR today in Washington, that we will NOT accept coming to any friendly resolution with the Mexican State.”

On 22 October, during their monthly commemoration, Las Abejas recognized that they are not surprised “by the response of the Mexican State during the public audience […] not accepting its responsibility for this massacre […] because for nearly 18 years, it has denied its participation and planning of this massacre. On the contrary, with its policy of attrition toward the survivors and victims of Acteal and toward our organization of Las Abejas, it has attempted to use several means and faces to divide us and silence us.” They assured that, despite the “attempt by the Mexican State to exterminate our children on 22 December 1997, the children of today are now seeds and immortal hopes for the just and humane world that we Tsotsils and Tseltals are building, being men and women of different colors, thought, and struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Organizacion de las Abejas 22 de Octubre de 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2015)

México: Caso Masacre de Acteal (Youtube, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Audiencia ante la CIDH sobre la Masacre de Acteal (Frayba, Intervenciones, 20 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano (Las Abejas de Acteal, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Acteal en audiencia ante la CIDH (Frayba, Boletín de prensa, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Rechaza Estado mexicano responsabilidad en masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Abejas de Acteal rechazan “conciliación” con el “Estado criminal” (Regeneración, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Actal planeada por el Estado mexicano; lejos de castigar a responsables los premia con pensiones: Frayba (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 20 de octubre de 2015)

“Nuestra memoria es inmensa, más que la impunidad sembrada por el Estado mexicano”, Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 23 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano: Sociedad Civil las Abejas de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, 20 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN

October 8, 2015

cartel212063361_1000635186655449_1516150614340813728_nJust before the one-year anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, relatives of the disappeared have not ceased their efforts to have the events be clarified.

In a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) which took place on 24 September in Mexico City, the relatives of the disappeared presented eight demands for the investigation. According to testimony from Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the families, “at the meeting there was a cross-dialogue that did not lead to agreement with the demands of either parties and that in fact at the end became rocky.” Though the presidential spokesperson assured that the meeting with the parents of the disappeared “took place cordially,” relatives assessed it as having been “unproductive and violent.” The legal representative of the families added that “upon ending the meeting with the president, the families suffered attacks on the part of the security forces.” Furthermore, the behavior of EPN and the Federal Attorney General Arely Gómez was considered to have been “insensitive.”

One of the principal points discussed at the meeting was the demand of the families to have investigations continue by means of a specialized unit for the case, as there is evidence of the participation of various police and Army units in the events that took place during the night of the disappearance. In this way, the president only offered to continue the search through the Special Prosecutorial Office for Disappeared Persons, a commitment that was rejected by the families, who considered it to have been insufficient.

Moreover, the parents of the 43 also rejected the so-called “historical truth” presented by the administration, which was clearly repudiated by the presentation of the report compiled by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI). They also reiterated that they would not give up in their struggle for the search for their sons, affirmed that they would continue to mobilize in Guerrero and Mexico City, and they called once again for support from national and international solidarity.

For September 26, the day on which the one-year anniversary of the crime will be commemorated, there were several calls for actions in the country, as abroad. It was anticipated that in Mexico City, the families would carry out a 43-hour fast, declare the 26th of September a “Day for National Indignation,” and carry out a march to demand justice. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, there were also plans for a march, as well as for a cultural event to educate and express solidarity.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ayotzinapa: 8 “exigencias esenciales” de familiares de desaparecidos (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2015)

Estas son las 8 exigencias de los padres de normalistas desaparecidos a Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 24 de septiembre de 2015)

Reunión con Peña fue improductiva y violenta, dicen padres de normalistas (CNN México, 24 de septiembre de 2015)

Convocan normalistas y padres de familia a acciones por primer aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Vimeo, 23 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Chiapas: Prisoner from San Cristóbal, Roberto Paciencia, denounces that his charges were fabricated

September 11, 2015

Foto del Cereso 5 de San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga SantiagoPhoto of Cereso 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ Moysés Zúniga Santiago

On 7 August, the prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz, held in prison no. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, denounced that he has been imprisoned unjustly for 2 years. He asserted that there were witnesses who saw him working on 18 May 2013, when the crime for which he is being held was committed, “but the corresponding authorities did not take into account the testimony of these witnesses.” In a public communique, Paciencia expressed “due to the unjust incarcerations that we continue to suffer each day, we grow isolated from our families. Many people are being held in different prisoners throughout the state and country for not knowing how to speak Spanish and not having resources to hire an adequate lawyer, as happened with me two years ago. I have spent this time imprisoned for a crime that was fabricated.” At the end of his declaration, Paciencia noted that “it is for this reason that I make this public denunciation. I request that the judges review my case, because it is unjust that they would hold me like this. They must release me as soon as possible, because my family is suffering.”

Para más información:

Roberto Paciencia Cruz, preso injustamente, exige su libertad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de agosto de 2015)

Chiapas: Polluted water given to prisoners at Prison No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 29, 2015

Foto @ Chiapas Paralelo

Photo @ Chiapas Paralelo

Alejandro Díaz Santiz, currently held in Prison No. 5 of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, who is organized in solidarity with the Voz del Amate and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, has called on the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) and the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH) to intervene within the prevailing situation of lack of potable water being consumed in the institution. He denounced that the water comes from a deteriorated cistern that contains fissures, such that sewage from the prison enter. He postulated this as being the reason for diarrheal and dermatological diseases.

The promise made by director Pascual Martínez Cervantes is that he will resolve this problem; however, this problem has existed for a long time, and we have seen an increasing trend of more ill prisoners,” he explained to Chiapas Paralelo. He added that within the prison purified water is sold, but the prisoners lack the means with which to buy it.

For more information (in Spanish):

Reos del penal de San Cristóbal consumen agua contaminada, piden intervención de CNDH (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks against and harassment of wetlands defenders in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

June 9, 2015

On 13 May, local organizations and human-rights groups reported that, since the beginning of the year, the construction firm Peje de Oro has been pressuring neighboring residents of the FSTSE 2001 district of San Cristóbal de las Casas who are defending the María Eugenia wetland by use of physical attacks, threatened injuries, and legal cases. They have indicated that, since this time, the construction firm has begun work to develop a residential project on land “that is found within the reaches of the Natural Protected Area Subject to Wetland Protection from the Montaña María Eugenia, as decreed in 2008 and subsequently in 2011, and recognized as a RAMSAR site.”

Civil organizations have warned that, finding itself subject to the urban sprawl of San Cristóbal de las Casas, the decline in the wetland’s health is ever-accelerating, thus emphasizing the “great importance of conserving this area that provides 70% of the water that is distributed to the people of San Cristóbal de las Casas.”

Since 25 April, the attacks have been on the rise. This is the case, according to the organizations, as seen in the “possible acts or omissions, ignorance, corruption, or irresponsibility on the part of the authorities and public officials, both municipal and State, in both the judicial and executive branches.” For this reason, they have demanded that the human rights of the residents of FSTSE2001 be ensured, that the perpetrators of attacks be arrested, that existing arrest-orders be cancelled, and that a work-table be installed to implement immediate actions to avert the destruction of the wetland, beyond initiating an exhaustive and professional investigation into the probable conflict of interest with the Díaz Ochoa family, especially Mariano Díaz Ochoa, the ex-mayor of San Cristóbal, former sub-delegate for governance in the highland, and now a candidate for the mayorship of San Cristóbal for the third time.

For more information (in Spanish):


Agreden a defensores de humedales en Chiapas(Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín PRO, 18 de Mayo de 2015)

Chiapas/National: Caravan from Yaqui Nation in defense of water arrives in San Cristóbal

May 17, 2015



On 12 May the National Caravan for the Defense of Water, Land, Work, and Life arrived in San Cristóbal de las Casas Chiapas, having been organized by the Yaqui people of Sonora, Mexico.  Via three different routes (northern, northwestern, and southern), Yaquis have been touring the country to raise awareness about their struggle against megaprojects.

About 50 members of the Southern Caravan marched in San Cristóbal de las Casas, together with constituent members of other social processes in favor of the right to water, neighbors from Cuxtitali, defenders of wetlands, and female members of the Movement in Defense of Land and Territory, which struggles for the participation of women and their recognition within decision-making processes, among other goals.

It should be stressed that the indigenous Yaqui people, who have for 3 centuries striven to defend their autonomy, territory, and right to water, have two of its members politically imprisoned: Mario Luna and Fernando Jiménez, both of whom are charged with kidnapping and robbery during the protests against the Independence Aqueduct, which transfers water from the Yaqui River to Hermosillo.  This outcome was based on the violation of the indigenous peoples’ right to prior consultation.

The three routes of the caravan will continue their paths toward the Mexican capital, where they plan to arrive on 22 May in a joint concluding action.

For more information (in Spanish):

En defensa de nuestros territorios: Pronunciamiento de la Caravana Yaqui en San Cristóbal (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 12 de mayo de 2015)

Continúan caravanas de yaquis en defensa del agua, el territorio el trabajo y la vida (La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas/National: CNI and EZLN express solidarity with Yaquis of Sonora against the looting of water (21 July 2013)