Chiapas: Report from the Peace Network Observation Mission to San Marcos Áviles, and denunciation from Oventic

April 29, 2013

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On 25 April, the Chiapas Peace Network, comprised of 10 civil organizations, publicly reported on its findings regarding the situation of the Zapatista support bases (BAEZLN) in San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, following the carrying out of a Civil Mission of Observation and Documentation in this community on 20 and 21 April of this year.  The Mission reports that death-threats and threats of rape continue, as do aggressions and robberies directed against Zapatista families.  During its stay in the ejido, the caravan experienced “a hostile climate,” and party-members threatened to forcibly removed the observers from their vehicles, warning them that if they did not have “good [conclusions], it will be bad [for you] and blood will run, blood will be spilt.”  The official report notes that “there exists an imminent risk that once again (the first time being in 2010) there be a forced displacement [of BAEZLN] by residents of the same ejido who are affiliated with the PRI, PVEM, and PRD.  We alert the government of the gravity and urgency of the situation, and call on it to take immediate actions to avoid the irreparable damage to the lives and physical security of the indigenous who pertain to the EZLN.”The Mission met with municipal authorities in Chilón and with governmental representative Nabor Orozco Ferrer.  The municipal union representative recognized the displacement and looting of lands from the BAEZLN since 2010, noting that “what is clear is that Zapatistas bought land, but these were taken from them because they did not pay taxes [or for] water and electricity.”  Regardless, he denied the existence of a “situation of violence at present.”  The governmental delegate in the zone admitted for his part that “there exist political interests behind these acts on the part of some persons who could be provoking conflictivity.”In previous days, the Zapatista Good-Government Council (JBG) which pertains to the Oventic caracol denounced the numerous aggressions directed at EZLN support-bases in San Marcos Avilés, from July 2011 to mid-April of this year.  The JBG affirmed that  it has “been denouncing all the shameful acts of these party-members who always want to provoke more problems among the indigenous of the same community, organized [as they are] by governors Juan Sabines Guerrero and now Manuel Velasco Coello.  Disgracefully, the three levels of official government have done nothing to arrest the injustices and violations of human rights being committed against our comrades.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe de la McO a San Marcos Áviles (Red por la Paz, 25 de abril de 2013)

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Oventic (JBG de Oventic, 20 de abril de 2013)

Denuncia JBG de Los Altos agresiones en San Marcos Avilés (La Jornada, 23 de abril de 2013)

Persiste clima de agresión y amenazas contra familias del EZLN en Chilón (La Jornada, 25 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Immediate risk” of expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (26 February 2013)

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the aprt of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés(5 July 2011)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

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Chiapas: Civil Observation Mission on Human Rights to San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, Chiapas, on the part of the Peace Network

April 23, 2013

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On 18 April 2013, the Chiapas Peace Network announced it would carry out a Civil Observation Mission to San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, in the coming days.  Its public letter explains that:

“We members of the Peace Network in Chiapas would like to report that on 21 and 22 April 2013, we will carry out a Civil Observation Mission for documentation in the community of San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, toward the end of collecting testimonies following the recent threats of forced displacement directed against Zapatista support bases (BAEZLN) on the part of residents of the same ejido who are affiliated to different political parties.  In this sense, we also hope to meet with the mayor of Chilón, Leonardo Rafael Guirao Aguilar, and the delegate for the zone, Nabor Orosco Ferrer. Upon finishing this visit, we will produce a report which we will then present.

The Peace Network in Chiapas was created at the end of 2000.  It is a space for reflection and action comprised of 10 civil organizations that maintain a permanent analysis regarding the local and national context, using punctual actions that can be used in light of grave actions, observation missions, or thematic meetings in terms of human rights.  We see it as important to carry out this mission and meet with authorities to put an end to the escalation of death-threats and their possible realization, especially taking into consideration that between August and October 2010, 170 BAEZLN persons from the ejido of San Marcos Avilés had already been displaced, and that presently many are living in precarious conditions, since they are displaced from their lands and work, and constantly must face threats to their personal safety.

To national and international human rights organizations, to national and international communication media, to the public, we ask that you remain attentive to whatever may happen in terms of this Mission, and to share the content of the information once it is published.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: “Immediate risk” of expulsions of Zapatista support-bases from San Marcos Avilés (26 February 2013)

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the aprt of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés(5 July 2011)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)


Chiapas: “immediate risk” of expulsions of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés

February 26, 2013

(QRadio Pozol)

(QRadio Pozol)

On 23 February, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) launched an urgent action in light of the “immediate risk” that “for the second time there be realized a forced displacement of support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) as committed by residents of the same ejido [of San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality], affiliates of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM).”

The new threats came to a head when ejidal authorities demanded that the Zapatista support-bases pay a land tax, which they refused to do: “We have suffered a great deal due to all the aggressions committed by these party-members, and the government has done nothing.  Now is not the time to pay, as we are in resistance, and we demand respect for our rights to our lands.  If we do not receive anything from the government, we will not pay taxes.”  In light of this, ejidal authorities replied that, if they would not do so, they would be displaced.  They then began to organize themselves and to contact other municipal and state authorities to help carry out said displacement.

The CDHFBC stressed in its document “the responsibility of the Chiapas state-government, which due to deliberate omission has not acted to guarantee the personal integrity and security of the Zapatista support-bases and their access to land, despite the numerous interventions sent by this very organization demanding that the Mexican government provide the necessary measures for the personal security and integrity of the threatened indigenous people, as well as their right to fundamental rights of free expression and thought, in addition to their right to land and the autonomous processes that they are developing, in observance of the right to the free self-determination of peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Acción Urgente: Riesgo de desplazamiento forzado a BAEZLN en San Marcos Avilés (23 de febrero de 2013)

Existe “riesgo inminente” de expulsión de zapatistas en Chilón: Frayba (La Jornada, 23 de febrero de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Communiqué from the Oventic JBG regarding the aggressions and death-threats on the aprt of persons affiliated with political parties against Zapatistas in San Marcos Avilés(5 July 2011)

Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos Avilés (5 July 2011)

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)

 


Chiapas: new governor calls for observance of San Andrés Accords

January 8, 2013

Marcha silenciosa zapatista del 21 de diciembre de 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

Silent Zapatista march on 21 December 2012, Palenque (@SIPAZ)

On 1 January, the 19th anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), governor Manuel Velasco Coello made a call for the observance of the San Andrés Accords regarding indigenous rights and culture.  These agreements were signed by the EZLN and the federal government in 1996.  By means of a public letter, Velasco Coello made public his view of the “vehement silence” of the EZLN during its march through 5 municipalities on 21 December, considering it to be “an opportunity for peace and justice.”  “The ultimate word of Zapatismo is constructive, peaceful, and political; it strengthens plurality,” he noted.  The governor announced a series of actions by the government, including as regards the “tense situation in Zapatista communities such as Comandante Abel and San Marcos Avilés” and the demand for the release of the Tzotzil professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez and that of Fancisco Santiz López (a Zapatista support base from the Tenejapa municipality).  Velasco Coello affirmed that he felt this release is necessary.Beyond this, the governor announced his position regarding two questions having to do with local community conflict: “We will respect the possessions of Zapatista lands that now are being used with social benefit, as regards the respect for all forms of property in land.”  Lastly, he assured that “all state development programs in communities with Zapatista presence will be careful in their propositions and implementation.  It is not our aim to divide communities, but rather to benefit them, to develop them and promote unity among all indigenous peoples of Chiapas.”

Para más información:

Demanda el gobernador de Chiapas cumplir los acuerdos de San Andrés (La Jornada, 2 de enero de 2012)

Chiapas hace un llamado a reconocer los Acuerdos de San Andrés con el EZLN (CNN México, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Carta de MVS al EZLN (Cuarto Poder, 1ero de enero de 2012)

Congreso indígena celebra aniversario del EZLN (El Universal, 1ero de enero de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: a communique and two letters from the EZLN (8 January 2013)

National: Reactions by state and federal governments to the Zapatista mobilization of 21 December (27 Decemer 2012)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas (27 December 2012)


Chiapas: death-threats to Zapatista supporters in San Marcos Avilés

July 5, 2011

San Marcos Avilés (@SIPAZ)

On 27 June, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) warned that in the ejido San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón, Zapatista support-bases (BAEZLN) find themselves harassed, threatened with death, and running the risk of a new forced displacement due to the aggressions on the part of residents from the same ejido who are affiliated with the PRI, PRD, and PVEM.

In its Urgent Action, the CDHFBC “manifests its concern for the imminent risk to the life, security, and personal well-being suffered by the BAEZLN residents of the ejido San Marcos Avilés, given that these death-threats and harassment have continued augmenting during the course of the last few days; furthermore the looting of lands impedes work done on the land and prevents the sowing of basic products.  All this results in that the affected suffer lack of food, generating grave health problems for children, women, men, and the elderly.”

The same communiqué informs as well that since “6 April 2011, in the ejido has been installed a Civil Camp for Peace, constituted by civil observers there placed to dissuade possible violent actions.  Regardless they too are the object of death-threats and harassment.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Amenazadas, bases de apoyo del EZLN (La Jornada, 28 June 2011)

Acción Urgente: Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento y riesgo de desplazamiento forzado en San Marcos Avilés (Acción Urgente del CDHFBC, 27 June 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés (18 October 2010)

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)


Chiapas: Return of displaced Zapatista support-bases to San Marcos Avilés

October 18, 2010

On 12 October, Zapatista support-bases, forcibly displaced on 9 September by what the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic referred to in September as “death-threats and aggressions [carried out by] people from political parties in the ejido,” returned to their community of origin, San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón.  The return was accompanied by a commission of support-bases from the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) hailing from municipalities close to San Marcos Avilés.

The communiqué, released from Oventic on 13 October, explains that “our comrades now are back in their humble abodes, though pillaged and some even semi-destroyed by the aggressors.  Our support-bases will be there because our comrades have hte right to live in their community and work their lands; they will not bother anyone: they only want to live in their community and work to survive, as they won’t be requesting welfare from the bad government.  Our comrades will live and eat from their own work and sweat […].  If something happens to our comrades that are now there in the community, those responsible will be the municipal, state, and federal governments that advise, finance, and arm paramilitary groups and manipulate the impoverished.  We Zapatistas bother no one: we do not evict our brothers from political parties, we do not persecute anyone, we do not loot the lands of our peasant brothers or any other poor brother.   We only defend what is ours, which is our rights: we live and eat from our proper work and sweat, but we also want ot struggle for true democracy, liberty, and justice for all.  These are our crimes as Zapatistas […].  The autonomy of peoples is not something that is wanted by the mad governments, because they want to continue having under their control indigenous communities; they are frustrated when we indigenous peoples learn how to organize and govern our own selves.  In any case, the struggle we today carry out cannot be detained by no one.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Zapatista support-bases return to San Marcos Avilés following a month of being displaced (La Jornada, 14 October 2010)

Communiqué of the Oventic JBG: The Oventic JBG reports on the situation of the displaced support-bases and denounces the repression of the bad government (13 October 2010)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos y Pamala (14 September 2010)


Chiapas: Denunciation of the Oventic JBG regarding violent expulsion of Zapatista support-bases in San Marcos and Pamala

September 14, 2010

On 9 September, some 170 Zapatista support-bases were expelled from the community of San Marcos Avilés in the official municipality of Chilón by members of the PRI, PRD, and PVEM parties, according to the public denunciation released by the Good-Government Council (JBG) of Oventic.  This denunciation claims that the aggressors “arrived with machetes, sticks, and firearms; they entered two homes and attempted to rape two women.  So as not to respond to the provocation, the Zapatistas left their houses and possessions.  Men, women, and children find themselves at this moment residing in the mountains: they are suffering from hunger, cold, lack of sleep, and fear.”

The JBG discloses that Zapatista support-bases from Pamalá and Guadalupe el Kaptetaj, municipality of Sitalá, reported that Manuel Vázquez, from San Marcos, was forced to meet with authorities and leaders of the political parties of San Marcos and Pamalá at the end of August.  These persons demanded that the autonomous Zapatista school be dismantled, and they affirmed that they would continue doing the same with other communities that also have autonomous schools.

As claimed in the JBG’s communiqué, the objective of these actions, favored by the three levels of government, is to inhibit the education of children and progress toward the construction of autonomy.  Manuel Vázquez was imprisoned on 21 August, together with a comrade from Guadalupe Kaptetaj.  Once released, the two’s captors told them to abandon the EZLN, not to report to the JBG, in addition to warning them that they would take from the lands they had bought over 10 years ago.

According to the communiqué, these individuals followed through with their threat in the following days:  “On 24 and 25 August of the present year authorities and persons associated with different political parties took away the land that our support-base comrades had bought more than 10 years ago.  The total amount of land that the party-people took is 29 and one-fourth hectares, located in different locations of the same ejido, where each family of comrades had come to work year after year.  On these lands are found 5850 coffee-plants, 10 hectares of milpa on which are cultivated beans, in addition to 7 cows, 6 horses, and 3 houses, all of which belong to our support-base comrades.”

“On 8 September the invaders had already removed the 7 cattle that had been there, and surely went somewhere to sell them.  The same day, they stole the fences our comrades had used.  There were several gun-shots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

170 Zapatista support-bases from Chilón are expelled (La Jornada, 9 September)

Public denunciation by the Oventic JBG