Chiapas: Mobilizations against the planned San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque highway

September 29, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 16 and 17 September, there were held new mobilizations against the planned construction of a highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, both in the Tseltal ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, Chilón municipality, as in the Tsotsil ejido of La Candelaria, San Cristóbal municipality.  The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory was created through the mobilizations organized against this project.

On 16 September, banners and signs were raised in communities and parishes to express popular opposition to the highway project.  On 17 September, ejidatarios from San Jerónimo Bachajón blockaded the Temó crossways en route to Palenque to demand “the cessation of harassment and threats against our ejidal authorities and other comrades, in light of the decisive defense of our territory and our disagreement with the highway project.”

Furthermore, on 17 September there was held in Laguna Suyul, La Candelaria ejido, a ceremony and joint declaration of more than 2,000 Tsotsil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, and Tojolabal persons from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Zinacantán, San Juan Chamula, Huixtán, San Pedro Chenalhó, San Pablo Chalchihuitán, San Juan Cancuc, Tenejapa, Amatenango, Chilón, Tila, Salto de Agua, Comitán, and Las Margaritas municipalities expressing opposition to the highway project.  In the declaration of Laguna Suyul, considered sacred land of the peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, the writers indicate that “we will defend the environment, the fabric and veins of mother earth: rivers, lakes, springs, mountains, caves, and hills.  We will defend the lives of animals, sacred places, the ecosystem of Mother Nature, and the lives of human beings.”

Also, on 21 September, some 3000 Ch’ol indigenous persons from the Tila parish carried out a pilgrimage in the municipal center against the planned highway projects between San Cristóbal and Palenque as well as between Villahermosa and Palenque, as against the plundering of lands for mineral extraction, and they denounced the increase in drug addiction rates, alcoholism, and prostitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acciones de protesta contra la Autopista Sancris-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de septiembre de 2014)
Anuncian nuevas protestas contra construcción de supercarretera San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2014)
Casi 3000 personas rechazan la autopista y organizan la resistencia a la autopista. + historia de Suyul(Espoir Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Chiapas: Desde Laguna Suyul indígenas manifestan su rechazo a la Supercarretera San Cristóbal – Palenque (Pozol Colectivo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)
Denuncian en Bachajón acoso y persecución judicial por protestar contra autopista (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Peregrinación en Tila contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque, megaproyectos y cantinas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)

Audio-Video:

Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: An assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway (9 September 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)

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Chiapas: Organizations denounce uses and customs of indigenous peoples that limit women’s rights

March 30, 2014

Marcha del 8 de marzo en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Sipaz)

March on 8 March in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Sipaz)

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas has denounced the discrimination exercised against a female child on 9 March in the San Juan Chamula municipality, Chiapas.  The case has to do with the sale and forced marriage of the minor on the part of her family as well as the arrest of the girl on the part of traditional authorities of the community following her abandonment of her husband.

For the Popular Campaign, this is an example of violence directed against women consented to by the State, given that the sale of women in indigenous communities is a practice that has been denounced for decades.  For this reason, different non-governmental organizations have indicated since 2012 the existence of uses and customs of indigenous peoples which limit the rights of women and result in gender inequalities that affect all aspects of life.

Experts who comprise the Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) note their concern for the situation, “given that such practices perpetuate discrimination against indigenous women and children, we call on the State to draw up a general strategy to eliminate said practices, particularly through carrying out campaigns of awareness-raising directed at indigenous communities to reinforce a positive and non-stereotypical image of women, without having this serve as a pretext that would rationalize the State’s violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chamula, encarcelan a niña de 14 años por abandonar a su marido (Chiapas Paralelo, 12 de marzo de 2014)

“Estuve detenida 29 horas en San Juan Chamula entre ‘basura y mierda’”: Niña tzotzil de 14 años (Vanguardia, 13 de marzo de 2014 ¿)

Sí estuvo presa, confirma menor indígena de Mitontic, y fueron 29 horas entre la pestilencia, el frío y la basura (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de marzo de 2014)

Niña toztzil vendida a los 11 años, huyó de su concubino a los 14 (Sipse, 15 de marzo de 2014)

La venta de niñas y las bodas arregladas son comunes en Chiapas: ONG; el Estado le incumple a mujeres, dice (Sinembargo, 17 de marzo de 2014)

La Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas ratifica la declaratoria de Alerta Popular Permanente contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio (Campaña Popular, 23 de marzo de 2014)

Ha cambiado mentalidad de los indígenas (Es!, 26 de marzo de 2014)

Venta de niñas, práctica recurrente en comunidades de los Altos (Mirada Sur, marzo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The rights of childhood and adolescence in southeastern Mexico” (15 March 2014)

Chiapas: XV Anniversary of Melel Xojobal (9 February 2012)

Chiapas: “Violence and infancy in the state” (27 November 2011)

Chiapas: Fourteenth anniversary of Melel Xojobal, organization for the defense of the rights of children and adolescents (7 February 2011)