Chiapas: new national and international brigade of observation in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón

March 1, 2015

FOTO: El Otro Valle de Chalko.

Photo: El Otro Valle de Chalko

On 5 February, the ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle published by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 2005, released a communique in which they denounce that they have “information that they are preparing arrest-orders to suppress our organization and displace us from the new regional headquarters in San Sebastián, where we have space to do our work and share workshops.  The bad government does not like for us to have this space of rebelliousness, as we clearly denounce its desire to plunder the people from their lands.”

From 6 to 8 February, a national and international brigade of observation and solidarity took place in San Sebastián Bachajón, as organized by the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this action, thirty-three persons participated, belonging to different collectives and organizations from Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, and Argentina, as well as free and alternative media.

In the first “sharing,” a historical account was presented of the official founding of the ejido in 1980, leading up to the decision by a large part of the ejido to adhere to the Sixth Declaration, leading subsequently to the State repression they have experienced.  In 2009, the first eight ejidatarios were arrested: in 2011 a displacement operation took place at the checkpoint at Agua Azul that had up to that point been administered by the ejido.  On that occasion, 117 persons were arrested, who later claimed to have been tortured and beaten after the violent displacement.  They were released slowly as a means of intimidation.  The work of the brigade also included documentation of the most recent conflicts.

For more information (in Spanish):

Brigada nacional e internacional visita el Ejido Bachajón (Subversiones, 11 de febrero de 2015)

#Informe brigada de observación sobre la situación en San Sebastián #Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 9 de febrero de 2015)

Comunicado de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón (5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón (10 February 2015)

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)


Chiapas: Tensions maintained in San Sebastián Bachajón

February 10, 2015

índice

On 29 January, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, published a communique which reports that they will maintain their posture of defending their lands and that, toward this end, they have installed a regional headquarters for the ejido between the Agua Azul crossroads at the entrance of the waterfalls of the same name and the limits of the Tumbalá municipality.

They denounced furthermore that since the displacement operation they suffered on 9 January 2015, police presence has been constant, such that they have called on Governor Manuel Velasco Coello to immediately order the withdrawal of public security forces and to discontinue intimidation and repression.

They reported as well that the ejidal commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, together with his security advisor are organizing shock-groups that “fire into the night with high-caliber weapons,” thus frightening local residents.

They noted lastly that “private meetings are being held between the Chilón delegate Francisco Demeza Hernández and Carlos Jiménez Trujillo, a local deputy, to plan for [more] looting, such that our comrades are guarding the regional headquarters and are charging the quotas at the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls.  We hold the three levels of government responsible for any type of attack or confrontation that could develop.”

For his part, the “official” ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, has told the media that “at present we are being affected by a group of approximately 100 persons, men and women who hail from different municipalities of the state of Chiapas, adherents to an organization called the Other Campaign or the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, who have violently appropriated ejidal lands […].  We demand respect for the autonomy of the ejido and for non-violence.  They must put down their arms and opt for the path of dialogue and social peace.”

The first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth who went to visit San Sebastián Bachajón ein January stresses the attempt made by the ejidal commissioner to “portray these events as an inter-communal conflict that only has to do with the internal politics of the Bachajón community rather than the interests of the government and tourist firms.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón(29 de enero de 2015; incluyendo vídeo)

Piden menos violencia y más diálogo en Bachajón (Noticias.net, 29 de enero de 2015)

Ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón continúan en la defensa de su territorio, ante la amenaza de desalojo del gobierno de Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 30 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: first report of the caravan of adherents to the Sixth to San Sebastían Bachajón after the violent displacement of 9 January (29 January 2015)

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)


Chiapas: first report of the Caravan of adherents to the Sixth Declaration to San Sebastian Bachajón after the violent eviction on January 9

January 29, 2015
Agua Azul Waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

Agua Azul Waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

On January 14, a First Report of the Caravan of adherents to the Sixth Declaration that visited San Sebastián Bachajón after the January 9th eviction was published. It should be recalled that on that day, at least 900 members of the State and Federal Police evicted the camp that ejidatarios had installed at the entrance of the ecotouristic park of Agua Azul waterfalls. In the Caravan, people from Colombia, France, United States and Mexico participated.

Their report describes what happened in the area since the recovery of the entrance, on December 21, when the ejidatarios occupied the “land stripped from them by the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noe Castañón León in complicity the official ejido commissioner, Francisco Guzmán Jiménez, on February 2, 2011″.

It argues that after they reclaimed the land, “on December 30, between 40 and 50 people paid and organized by the official ejido commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, blocked the roads San Cristobal-Palenque and San Cristobal-Chilón in the villages of Temó and Pamalá. They demanded not only the intervention of the public forces but they also painted the events as if they were part of an intra-community conflict involving only intern politics of the Bachajón community and not the interests of the government nor the ones of tourism enterprises “.

The report also notes that after the eviction, free media confirmed the occupation of the land by security forces and documented “the presence of 10 police trucks, many of them full of policemen in the area of the recovered territories and two more trucks parked on the premises of the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection of the State of Chiapas”.

It narrates that on January 11, the ejidatarios tried to retake their land, claiming that “as a response, the state police blocked the road with trees at a distance of five hundred meters and that from a barricade they fired at the ejidatarios for twenty minutes. There were two people injured by rubber bullets”. In subsequent days, the report notes finally that there were overflights and intimidation by opposing groups.

For more information (in Spanish):

Primer Informe de la Caravana Sexta Internacional sobre su visita a San Sebastián Bachajón (14 de enero de 2014)

Crónica de un violento desalojo contra comuneros de Bachajón (Kolectivo Zero, Koman Ilel y Más de 131, 11 de enero de 2014)

Ejido Bachajón hace frente al despojo y a la destrucción del medio ambiente (Subversiones, 6 de enero de 2014)

Blog de las y los ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón: vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls (January 21, 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)


Chiapas: Indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón are forcibly cleared from the entrance of the Agua Azul waterfalls

January 21, 2015

Cascadas de Agua Azul (@SIPAZ)

Agua Azul waterfalls (@SIPAZ)

Early in the morning on 9 January, at least 900 officers from the Chiapas state police as well as federal forces displaced the camp that indigenous ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, had installed at the entrance of the eco-tourist park, the Agua Azul waterfalls.  Though the site belongs to the Tumbalá municipality, one must traverse the Bachajón ejido to access the waterfalls.

On 21 December, more than 300 ejidatarios had retaken the lands, explaining that they “had been plundered by the bad government beginning on 2 February 2011, with the complicity of the ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón,” making reference to the control-point that had been administered by the ejidatarios since September 2009 until the day they were forcibly displaced, leaving one dead, at least two injured, and 117 arrested.

Within the context of this new displacement, initial reports had indicated the forcible displacement of eight individuals.  During the night of the displacement operation, these persons in question were found, and they explained that they had succeeded in escaping the police after they had been arrested.

In a new communique, the ejidatarios denounce that “the true interest [of the government] is to plunder our lands.  They are truly unabashed, corrupt traitors to the country.  Their bad policies will not put an end to our struggle, because we will not allow them to continue looting us as they please.  We will continue with our actions in defense of Mother Earth.”

Following the displacement, the police established surveillance in the zone and installed checkpoints to review the vehicles that pass through.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno desaloja a indígenas adherentes al EZLN, en Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de enero de 2014)

Desalojan a indígenas de Bachajón por Cascadas de Agua Azul; reportan 8 desaparecidos (SDP Noticias, 9 de enero de 2014)

Indígenas tzeltales denuncian violento operativo policiaco en las Cascadas de Agua azul (Radio Pozol, 9 de enero de 2014)

Los de abajo- Cascadas de Agua Azul (La Jornada, 10 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)


Chiapas: Ejidatari@s of San Sebastián Bachajón recover control-point at the Agua Azul waterfalls

December 30, 2014

Foto @ Koman Ilel

Photo @ Koman Ilel

On 21 December, more than 300 persons from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido peacefully recovered the lands which belong to the ejido within the Chilón municipality on which are located the access-point to the Agua Azul waterfalls eco-tourist center.  In a communique, the ejidatari@s reported that they had decided in an assembly to recover this space, given that these had been “plundered by the bad government since 2 February 2011 with the complicity of the ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón,” thus making reference to the control-point that had been administered by the ejidatari@s since September 2009 until the time in which they were displaced, leaving one dead, at least 2 injured, and 117 arrested.  Subsequently, the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) installed its own control-point, and the Institute for Civil Protection (IPC) and the Secretary for Citizen Security and Protection (SSyPC) established a permanent presence at the entrance of the eco-tourist center.

The ejidatarios in their communique added a note regarding more recent events: “the bad government cannot put an end to this struggle; it is for this reason that they attack us so much and even killed Juan Vázquez Guzmán on 24 April 2013 and our comrade Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on 21 March 2014.  It is for this reason that we have there comrades imprisoned in Yajalón, Chiapas: Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, who were tortured by the municipal police of Chilón and the Indigenous Public Minister of Ocosingo, Lic. Rodolfo Gómez Gutiérrez, who placed a pistol at the head of Mario Aguilar Silvano as well as a bag on top of his head.”

Given that these are vacation dates, it is feared that a displacement operation will follow that could be violent.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de adherentes del Ejido San Sebastian Bachajon, Chiapas, México (Enlace Zapatista, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ejidatari@s de #Bachajón recuperan su territorio ubicado en la colindancia del acceso al Centro Ecoturístico “Cascadas de Agua Azul”(Koman Ilel, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

#AcciónUgrente ante posible desalojo de ejidatri@s de San Sebastián Bachajón (Koman Ilel, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Información Actualizada de San Sebastián #Bachajón adherente a #LaSexta declaración del #EZLN y miembros del #CNI (Koman Ilel, 23 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón “occupy” control-point in Agua Azul before being displaced (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Sit-in of the Front of Ejidos in Resistance in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (6 January 2012)

Chiapas: Special report by Frayba: Government creates and administers conflicts (8 March 2011)

Chiapas: Ejidatari@s from San Sebastián Bachajón retake control-point in Agua Azul (13 December 2011)

Chiapas: The four prisoners from San Sebastián Bachajón are released (18 August 2011)


Chiapas: new communique from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Sociedad Civil Las Abejas (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.”  Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth.  These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.”  They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs.  All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.”  They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.”  To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighboring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.”  They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo Comunicado en rechazo de los megaproyectos en territorios de pueblos originarios y de la guerra contra el Pueblo Palestino (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society against the “Proposed Hydrocarbon Law” (28 June 2014)

Chiapas: Las Abejas Civil Society challenges Mexican justice system and continues demanding justice (May 2, 2014)


Chiapas: Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón denounce the Ejidal Commissioner for promoting forced dispossession from their communal land

June 14, 2014
Women from the San Sebastián ejido (@Viva Bachajón)

Women from the San Sebastián ejido (@Viva Bachajón)

On June 10, the ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced the “officialist” Ejidal Commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, for trying to “hand over [the land] to the bad government,” by organizing an “illegal” assembly in order to convince the courts that the Assembly agrees with the plundering of the communal lands.

They denounced: “On June 11, 2014 the officialist ejidal commissioner is organizing an illegal assembly to illegally collect signatures to request withdrawal of the petition for motion and land claim before the tribunals, and to pretend that the general assembly of ejidatarios are in agreement with the dispossession; so we denounce these corruptions because we energetically reject these crimes being committed by the ejidal commissioner to the detriment of the people of San Sebastián Bachajón.  As an authority he should respect his people, but he is a mere puppet of the bad government because he has no dignity.”

The indigenous Tzeltales from the ejido also agreed to continue defending their land by legal means, invoking the amparo (constitutional protection demand) 274/2011. They commented however that this corrupt judge, who already has an agreement with the bad government, has respected neither the law nor human rights, […] saying that he will not proceed to study the case because we have no right to defend our land, and he falsely says that the ejidal assembly consented to the government staying permanently in our lands.”

At the same time, the ejidatarios filed a complaint against the ejidal Commissioner before a Land Court “for the illegal assembly in which Alejandro Moreno Gómez and his supporters were imposed as ejidal commissioners. They committed many irregularities with the support of the Agrarian Court of Ocosingo”. They stressed that on June 5, they were “intimidating and harassing compañeros of our organization by taking pictures and videos with their cellphones.”

Finally, they asked the “compañeros who fight for a world in which many worlds fit” to remain vigilant, because the bad government increasingly seeks to put an end to our organization to dispossess our people of their territory.”

For more information (in Spanish):

EN EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON ADERENTES A LA SEXTA DECLARACION DE LA SELVA LACANDONA. CHIAPAS. MEXICO. A 10 DE JUNIO DE 2014 (Viva Bachajón, 11 de junio de 2014)

Denuncia del Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón (Enlace Zapatista, 11 de junio de 2014)

Denuncian que ejidatarios opositores en Bachajón buscan legitimar despojo (La Jornada, 11 de junio de 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios de San Sebastián Bachajón denuncian al comisariado ejidal Alejandro Moreno Gómez por querer entregar la tierra al mal gobierno (Pozol Colectivo, 11 de junio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

Chiapas: Homage to the “fallen in defense of their people and land” in San Sebastián Bachajón (May 3, 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from San Sebastián Bachajón regarding maneuvers to formalize looting of ejidal territory for touristic ends (March 15, 2014)


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