Chiapas: La Pimienta protest over lack of observance of agreements made after the death of two infants due to negligence

December 26, 2015

pimienta

March by La Pimienta in Simojovel. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo (Cortesía)

Close to a thousand residents of La Pimienta, Simojovel municipality, Chiapas, occupied City Hall and marched in protest due to the failure of justice for the deaths of two infants and the sequelae suffered by another 29 following the application of expired immunizations by the Mexican Institute for Social Insurance (IMSS) last May.

Following this tragedy, locals from La Pimienta demanded that the state government clarify the events, and it responded by committing itself to offering “medical attention, rehabilitation of the clinic, changes in institutions, improved functioning, supply of medicines, and the finishing of the asphalt road to Simojovel from La Pimienta, beyond constructing two vehicular bridges and the rehabilitation of schools and other educational institutions,” according to Revolución Tres Punto Cero. Despite having signed the agreement, the government has not followed through to date. In the words of a resident from La Pimienta, “we realized that the accords that were signed are only commitments, because six months after the deaths of the two infants and the 29 others who continue to suffer sequelae, the government has not intention of observing any of its ‘promises.’”

After six months of failure to observe the accords, residents of La Pimienta mobilized to express their repudiation of the Chiapas state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, as well as the mass media, “because they have offended and hurt us, beyond attacking our human dignity, by assuring that the authorities have in fact observed their word. For this reason we call on the government to implement its agreements, but above all to guarantee the health of the 29 infants and to compensate damages incurred,” noted the spokespeople.

For more information (in Spanish):

Incumple gobierno con afectados por vacunas contaminadas aplicadas por el IMSS en La Pimienta (Chiapas Paralelo, 3 de diciembre de 2015)

Velasco es un gobernador racista y asesino; PVEM-PRI se fusionaron para erradicarnos: pobladores de Simojovel (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 4 de diciembre de 2015)

Pobladores de Simojovel marchan por sus 2 bebes muertos por negligencia del IMSS (Espoir Chiapas, 7 de diciembre de 2015)

Situación de vacunas en Simojovel “no es un caso aislado”, señalan (La Jornada, 14 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 2 children perished and 6 gravely injured following immunizations in Simojovel (17 May 2015)

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel to demand justice and truth amidst deaths of infants (9 June 2015)

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Chiapas: Believing People of Simojovel continue to defend “life, peace, justice, freedom, and democracy” y democracia”

November 21, 2015

Cabeza blog 2013

On 3 November by means of a public denunciation, the Believing People from the San Antonio de Pádua parish in Simojovel expressed gratitude for the accompaniment by all those who have walked beside them, reviewing the different meetings of the past few months as well as the mass-pilgrimage from Simojovel to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Furthermore, they reported on the present situation that they are experiencing, noting that they are “disappointed with the different levels of government” and that despite their “peaceful actions, the situation remains the same” amidst their demands. They denounced that “the number of bars has actually increased,” and furthermore that “these firms have more power than state and federal officials, such that it is clear that the governors are not governmental but rather financial […].”

In light of a situation that “does not improve,” the Believing People will continue to organize themselves “so as to find the true freedom for our people, as we see clearly the complicity due to the omission of the authorities at the three levels of governance in terms of the beer-making firms and the drug-traffickers.” They assured that “true change does not come from a political party, because the major problem is the governmental and political-economic system,” adding that they will not “keep silent, because to do so would be to become complicit.” The principal demand made by the Believing People continues to be “the closure of all bars, legal and clandestine.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel continúa la lucha por la vida, paz, justicia, libertad y democracia. (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Cries of liberty from the Believing People in Simojovel (23 de septiembre de 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against the priest and members of the Believing People (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)


Chiapas: Cries of liberty from the Believing People in Simojovel

October 8, 2015

(Durante la misa @ChiapasDenunciaPública(During mass @ChiapasDenunciaPública)

During the night of 15 September 2015, when President Enrique Peña Nieto proclaimed his “Cry of Independence” in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the Believing People from Simojovel made their own cry. Following a Catholic mass at the San Antonio de Pádua parish, the group called into question the spectacle, asking, “What are we celebrating as Mexicans? Are we free and sovereign? If we are free, why are there so many dead? Why is social protest criminalized? Why in Chiapas are there so many displaced? Why so much corruption from the authorities? Why does organized crime have so much power, slowly taking over increasingly more communities? Why is there so much poverty—rising, indeed, with more than 2 million impoverished?” They recognized that “Viva Mexico” cannot be proclaimed if each year brings more poor living under the boot of institutionalized violence and the concentration of wealth among a small minority. They demanded a new face and heart for Mexico, and a change to the system.

The Believing People noted that there exists a generalized cry within the country, as expressed by the Mexican bishops: “Enough! We do not want more blood to be spilled. We do not want more dead. We do not want more disappeared. We want neither more pain nor more shame […]. We unite ourselves to the general cry for a Mexico in which truth and justice provoke a profound transformation of the institutional, judicial, and political structures that will assure that events such as these will never recur.” For this reason, they proposed cries that come increasingly from organized communities that are struggling for truth. Beyond this, they invited all the people of Chiapas to organize themselves to defend and protect the lives of their communities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gritos de libertad en Simojovel (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Creyentes “celebran” Fiestas Patrias (Diario de Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento del Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel (Vida Nueva, 24 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: New threats against the priest and members of the Believing People (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: Believing People of El Bosque march for a halt to violence in their region (30 June 2015)

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)


Chiapas: Native peoples pilgrim for peace, for life against violence and dispossession

August 28, 2015
Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

Pilgrimage for peace, for life, against violence and dispossession @KomanIlel

On July 28th and 29th, a pilgrimage was carried out, organized by the pastoral staff, deacons and coordinators of the Tojolab’al Mission where close to 5,000 tojolab’ales, tseltales, tsotsiles y mestizos were brought together. They expressed and showed their solidarity with the pueblo of Simojovel and denounced the forced displacement of Banavil and particularily drew attention to the case of the Poblado Primero de Agosto, where 57 people were forcibly displaced from their lands by members of the ejido Miguel Hidalgo, also members of the Historic Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The walk started from Ignacio Zaragoza, to the municipal capital of Las Margaritas, ending at the parish of San Sebastian in Comitan-

The gospel teaches us not to remain silent before cases such as Acteal; Simojovel, the forced displacement of Banavil and Primero de Agosto; before cases of the destruction of nature from mining and mega projects and in cases such as alcoholism and drug addiction in our communities,” shared Marcelo Perez Perez, pastor of Simojovel. From their part, the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz)-Chiapas, demonstrated that the case of the displaced families of Primero de Agosto is not an isolated case, and at the same time reiterated their solidarity with them, “It is a privilege to pilgrim and walk with you. We will continue walking ts’omanotik (together)” they added. In a pronouncement, The Believing Peoples and the different communities and social organizations that participated in the pilgrimage, expressed that they are organizing, uniting, and transforming their consciousness, “to confront the violence that we live in our communities and the problems that come with structural reforms: such as education, health, labor, and energy”.

For more Information:

Pronunciamiento de Las Margaritas en defensa de nuestro derecho a ser pueblos (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 29, 2015)

Familias tojolabales en desplazamiento forzado se unen a peregrinación en Las Margaritas (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 28, 2015)

Acompañamos la peregrinación por la paz, por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (July 28, 2015)

#PueblosOriginarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en #Chiapas (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

#Chiapas #Peregrinación de por la #paz, por la #vida, contra la #violencia y el #despojo (Koman Ilel, July 28, 2015)

Pueblos originarios se pronuncian por la vida, la paz y contra la violencia y el despojo en Chiapas (Radio Pozol, July 28, 2015)

Chiapas: “Hay proyectos de muerte, pero hoy venimos a reivindicar los derechos a la vida” (Radio Pozol, July 29, 2015)

Peregrinación por la paz por la vida, contra la violencia y el despojo (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, July 12, 2015)


Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement

July 21, 2015

IMG_7467

@RostrosDelDespojo

On 4 July, the Tseltal families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, completed 3 years and 7 months “since the armed aggression that took place on 4 December 2011,” which left several families displaced, and Alonso Lopéz Luna disappeared.

The families share that, to date, “the government has done nothing. To date, we continue displaced, and we have not been able to return to our lands where our homes are, and we continue living in inhuman conditions.” Further, “the Mexican State is protecting the PRI members who displaced us from Banavil and disappeared our father Alonso Lopez Luna.

In light of this failure of justice, the families have convened to ‘demand justice, truth, and peace for those other indigenous peoples who have been forcibly disappeared in Chiapas, particularly in the cases of Primero de Agosto, Las Margaritas.” They also expressed their solidarity with Manuel López Pérez, the member from the Las Abejas Civil Society who was killed on 23 June, as well as with the Simojovel municipality amidst the “high-risk situation and […] the threats against our brothers from the Believing People and the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez.”

The displaced closed their denunciation by noting that “this is what is happening in our communities in other communities and municipalities of Chiapas, because in Chiapas there is no justice. The law is made only for the rich against the poor.” They hold the three levels of the Mexican government repsonsible “for our forcible displacement and the forcible disappearance of Alonso Lopez Luna.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tzeltales de Banavil cumplen 3 años y 7 meses en desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa (8 March 2015)

Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil (16 December 2014)

Chiapas: Those displaced from Banavil continue demanding justice (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: Denunciation from and announcement of action on part of the displaced from Banavil and the Aurora Ermita ejido (10 April 2014)


Chiapas: new threats against the priest and members of the Believing People in Simojovel

July 2, 2015

Padre Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez (@Red TdT)

In a communique published on 22 June, members of the parish of San Antonio de Padúa, Simojovel municipality, denounced that, since 16 June, death-threats have been on the rise against Father Marcelo Pérez, catechists, and members of the Parish Council and Believing People, thus putting at risk their lives and physical and psychological integrity. This increase has presented itself following the arrest of Juan Gómez Domínguez, a former PRI mayor, and two of his accomplices, given that “the PRI leaders from different communities hold the Believing People and Pérez Pérez responsible for these arrests, such that now we have entered a high-risk situation.”

Within these new aggressions, the Simojovel Catholics detail that on 16 June, PRI militants “met at the offices of the National Campesino Confederation, several of them carrying machetes, sticks, and gasoline amphoras. Even at night, they went to buy more gasoline, and during the day it was heard that they would attack the church and remove the priest forcibly to kill him.” Beyond this, on 20 June, “a parish council that has been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) received strong threats against its person and family, leading them to decide to leave and seek out refuge in another municipality for some days.” Two days later, 10 people “strongly armed harassed the CIRSA offices, being a cooperative created by the Catholic Church, whose board members work in the Church, yet no valuable objects were stolen.” That same day in Bochil, close to Simojovel, four people in a parked car were overheard saying, “We are going to decapitate Father Marcelo from Simojovel. We are just finding the right time to do so, given all the fucked-up things he does.”

It should be recalled that for the past year, the Catholics from Simojovel have through pilgrimages demanded the closure of cantinas and sex-houses, and that the sale of drugs and arms in the zone be curtailed. The result is the death-threats they now confront.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento completo: Situación de riesgo contra defensores comunitarios del Pueblo Creyente en Simojovel (Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel,

Por denunciar la corrupción y la venta de drogas, grupos priistas amenazan de muerte al sacerdote y habitantes de Simojovel, Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 25 de junio de 2015)

Prevalece en Simojovel “situación de alto riesgo” por detención de ex alcalde(La Jornada, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: OMCT and FIDH urge protection of Simojovel priest (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against members of the Believing People in Simojovel after their fifth pilgrimage demanding security and peace (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: Urgent Action concerning threats to Marcelo Pérez, priest of Simojovel (28 June 2014)


Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel to demand justice and truth amidst deaths of infants

June 9, 2015

Pergrinación de Simojovel a La Pimienta (@Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas)

On 23 May, some 2000 people, including residents of the La Pimienta community and members of the Believing People, an organizational process that pertains to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, carried out a pilgrimage from Simojovel to said community where two children died recently, with another 29 hospitalized, after the application of immunizations. The objective was to protest against the public-health institutions, and to denounce the offer of compensation of 5,000 pesos from the state government to the families of the 31 affected children.

Upon the march’s arrival to La Pimienta, a communique was read that asserts that “we will not exchange our children for 5000 pesos, as is offered by Manuel Velasco’s government. That proposal is to us more than insulting. We do not have the words to describe our outrage. Life is not worth 5,000 pesos.”

Protestors challenged the official version presented by the Mexican Institute for Social Welfare (IMSS) and the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Health Risks (COFEPRIS) that indicates that 2 children died and 29 became ill not due to the immunizations that they had, but rather because of the way in which medical personnel applied them. Protestors claimed not to believe this story, “because there is no transparency.”

They also warned that “whoever tries to guarantee us that these 29 infants will turn out all right: what will happen if in 5 years they contract cancer, or some other incurable disease? If that happens, the government will say that it was due to lack of food and proper care. We are all concerned by this, that they may not turn out well, and that later we will have to leave our communities to access hospitals, thus spending what little money we have. For this reason, the government is responsible for everything, and it is not just this government, but also the ones to come.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia del Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel: Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel exige justicia y verdad por muerte de bebés (23 de mayo de 2015)

Padres de niños vacunados en Chiapas rechazan compensación de 5,000 pesos (CNN México, 24 de mayo de 2015)

Los bebés no los vamos a cambiar por cinco mil pesos, como ofrece el gobierno de Manuel Velasco”, habitantes de Simojovel, Chiapas(Desinformémonos, 23 de mayo de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 2 children perished and 6 gravely injured following immunizations in Simojovel (17 May 2015)