Chiapas: legal motion denied to the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

April 24, 2015

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

(@vivabachajon.wordpress.com)

Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, who struggle against the imposition of tourist megaprojects on their land, have been denied the legal motion they had presented to the courts in March 2011.  After three cancellations, an attempt to transfer the case to the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation, and despite the the detection of violations of due process, a federal tribunal denied the motion 274/2011.  In a communique released on 10 April, the anniversary of the murder of Emiliano Zapata, the ejidatarios reported their knowledge of the refusal of the motion, reaffirmed their commitment to the struggle against the State, and denounced that official authorities are meeting with party-members from the region, seeking to develop strategies to crush their own autonomous process.

This struggle over the management of lands surrounding the Agua Azul waterfalls has resulted in three violent displacement operations, two murdered communal leaders (Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on 24 April 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, killed on 21 March 2014), and several political prisoners.  Recently, the ejidatarios also had their regional headquarters burned down, in an operation that involved 600 police, who threatened two autonomous journalists and took their equipment.

In the latest communique, released on 11 April, the ejidatarios make an invitation to the commemoration of the murder of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  On 24 April, the second anniversary of his, a mass will be held in the family home of Juan Vázquez Guzmán at 3pm.

As a means of popular pressure, a petition has been launched on www.change.org, and the Chiapas Center for Women’s Rights seeks signatures for its communique in support of the ejidatarios.  Those interested can email adorsetchiapassolidarity@aol.co.uk.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón Adherentes a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona. Chiapas. México. (Blog Viva Bachajón, 11 de abril de 2015)

Piden solidaridad para habitantes de San Sebastián Bachajón (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists attacked (10 April 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

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: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists are attacked

April 10, 2015

Foto @ Pozol Colectivo

Photo @ Pozol Colectivo

On 21 March, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced that more than 600 state security forces burned down the regional headquarters of San Sebastián, with the participation of the ejidal commission and the security council.  They explaiend that “after the violent displacement of 9 January 2015, we founded a regional headquarters for San Sebastián to continue caring for the lands and demand the withdrawal of the bad government.  We will continue, as we are indigenous to these lands, and we will not allow the bad government come to rule over the people.”  They also indicated that the group from the ejidal commission “has blockaded the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque at the Agua Azul crossing in an attempt to blame us for the blockade.  Also, these stooges from the bad government are cutting down trees, and we know that they seek to fabricate crimes of ecocide with which to imprison the autonomous authorities of our organization.”

They demanded “the withdrawal of public forces from our lands, which have been plundered since February 2011, and of the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas,” besides the “release of our political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, and of the unjustly imprisoned comrades Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

Beyond this, two members of autonomous-media collectives denounced having been attacked by the ejidal commissioner’s group of San Sebastián Bachajón. They reported that they were surrounded, arrested, beaten, and threatened with machetes, so that they would hand over a Canon 70D camera and a tripod on 21 March, when they sought to document the displacement and arson of the regional headquarters.  Beyond this, they indicated that, upon passing the control-point and continuing toward the regional autonomous headquarters of San Sebastián, they found four state police trucks and more than 200 “officialists armed with machetes, some of them inebriated.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Comunicado San Sebastián Bachajon: Fuerzas públicas incendian sede regional (Blog Viva Bachajón, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Bachajón, Chiapas, 600 policías incendian sede ejidal (Regeneración Radio, 21 de marzo de 2015)

“Más de 600 elementos de las fuerzas públicas incendiaron nuestra sede regional San Sebastián”, denuncia ejido Bachajón (Pozol Colectivo, 21 de marzo de 2015)

Ataque y robo a medios libres por grupos oficialistas en Agua Azul, ejido de San Sebastián Bachajón (Radio Zapatista, 23 de marzo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new communique from San Sebastián Bachajón (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

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: New communique from San Sebastián Bachajón

March 8, 2015

SSB

On 14 February the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido published a new communique, in which they denounce that “the bad government is using a strategy with supposed tourist firms to create an environment of persecution against the indigenous communities, especially our organization, as we see in the imposition of false charges (highway robbery and organized crime) to defame our struggle, as if we were common criminals or thugs!  It is for this reason that they send evermore police to our region of San Sebastian, which is near the Agua Azul crossroads on the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque.”  They demanded that “the three levels of the bad government respect the organized peoples and communities […], the retreat of public security forces from our lands that have been taken since February 2011, as well as the withdrawal of the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas,” in addition to the release of the prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, Roberto Gómez Hernández, Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

For more information:

El comunicado completo en Proyecto Ambulante (16 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new national and international brigade in solidarity with San Sebastián Bachajón (1 March 2015)

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: 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)


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