Chiapas: denunciation of criminalization against environmental activists in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

January 4, 2019

 

On December 27th, during a press conference that took place at the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the board of Colonia Maya in the municipality San Cristóbal de Las Casas denounced the existence of arrest warrants against its members and demanded their immediate cancellation.

In June 2016, the construction of a housing estate caused a flooding that affected 20 families in Colonia Maya. As a reaction, various habitants started to organize themselves to defend their rights and the environmental rights.

Since then, the members of Colonia Maya’s board faced various threats and the criminalization of their movement to defend their district.

Three moths ago, the board met with representatives of Manuel Velasco’s government who proposed the construction of a rain drain in the settlement. The board responded that they could not take any decisions without the participation of the the Colonia’s assembly. The arrest warrants were released after that meeting.

In the words of the board about the criminalization: “We are in fear. Fear that justice one more will be bought. During the last days we have affirmed once more that the legal authorities in our country can be bought. We know that some of our members have received arrest warrants without committing any crime. We are being accused of kidnapping, when we only ever acted peacefully, consulting and respecting the settlement’s assembly.”

They solicited “that the hostility and the criminalization against human environmental rights defenders for the land and the territory are eradicated or cease as they are pillars of democracy and with their work they can promote and strengthen the civil participation”.

For more information in Spanish:

Cese la criminalización a defensores de la Madre Tierra (27 de diciembre de 2018, Chiapas Denuncia Publica).

Colonos de la Maya denuncian que les fueron inventados delitos (27 de diciembre de 2018, Noticias Voz e Imagen de Chiapas).

Se defienden activistas demandados (27 de diciembre de 2018, El Heraldo de Chiapas).

Criminalización por la defensa de la Madre Tierra (21 de junio de 2017, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas).

For more information from SIPAZ :

National: 161 Defenders and 40 Journalists Murdered in Last Presidential Term of Office (December 14th, 2018)

Nacional : Se pospone entrega de concesiones de agua vía Internet por seis meses en medio de protestas. (17 de octubre de 2018).


Guerrero: national and international organizations visit prisoners of the CECOP and the CRAC-PC

October 10, 2018
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Press Conference at the Las Cruces prison (@La Jornada de Guerreo)

On October 5, members of Services and consultancies for peace (Serapaz), in representation of the Space of Civil Society Organizations for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists (Espacio OSC), and the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) visited 16 of the 18 prisoners of the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to the La Parota Dam (Cecop) and the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC PC), held in the prison of Las Cruces, in Acapulco, since January 7. They were accompanied by the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center, which has assumed the defense of said prisoners.

At a press conference outside the prison after the visit, Alberto Solís Castro, director of Serapaz stated that the struggle that has led the Cecop has been emblematic for the country: they have resisted for more than 12 years the onslaught of different governments and faced unfair situations and repressions. What we are seeing is a new effort to criminalize them, to stop them and attack them, because they fight for the land, because they oppose a dam megaproject that would end the environment and a good part of community life in the region”. He reported that they will issue a recommendation to the state government to release the prisoners and stressed that at least eight cases of torture during detention were documented. The complaints on those case have not been addressed, despite visits by representatives of state and national human rights organizations. He announced that next week they will report this situation to the person that will be in charge of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples, Adelfo Regino; to the next head of the Welfare Ministry, as well as to Senators Félix Salgado Macedonio and Nestora Salgado García.

Tommy Van Straten, member of Sipaz, indicated that as an international organization with a presence in Guerrero since 2005, they are concerned about the mistreatment of the detainees. He said that in this visit they documented the cases of torture inside the jail and the differential treatment the prisonners have received, including the isolation of the rest of the prison population. He also highlighted the situation and traumas of the prisoners’ relatives.

For his part, Rogelio Téliz García, Tlachinollan’s lawyer, said that the defense process is progressing, that there will be a new hearing on October 26 where the prisonners are expected to be released, such as a group of eight community members already was. He pointed out that there are 50 arrest warrants against the same number of community members in Cacahuatepec who, he said, are being persecuted by the government. He said that this happens despite the fact that the Crac-PC is protected by Law 701.

For more information (in Spanish):

Visitan ONG a los presos del Cecop; documentan 8 casos de tortura (El Sur, 5 de octubre de 2018)

Documentan ONG 8 casos de tortura a presos del Cecop en Acapulco (Quadartín, 5 de octubre de 2018)
Visitan activistas a los presos del Cecop en la cárcel de Las Cruces (El Sur, 6 de octubre de 2018)

Visita una ONG internacional a miembros del Cecop y de la Crac (La Jornada de Guerrero, 6 de octubre de 2018)

Visita SIPAZ a los presos del Cecop y la CRAC PC (La Plaza, 6 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ :

Guerrero: 50 arrest warrants against members of CECOP (September 24, 2018)

Guerrero: 9 of the 25 detainees for a confrontation in La Concepción in January are released September 17, 2018

Guerrero: Judge Orders Guarantees for Rights to Water, Health and Dignified Treatment for 25 CECOP Prisoners April 24, 2018

Guerrero: Extrajudicial Executions and Arrests of Community Police and Members of CECOP January 22, 2018


Chiapas: SIPAZ event – 20 years accompanying lights of hope

December 26, 2015

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SIPAZ Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope”

Photo @SIPAZ

On 27 and 28 November was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas the Forum “20 years Accompanying Lights of Hope” to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ). Those participating in the event included women and men from communities, organizations, human-rights centers, the academy, as well as activists, both from Mexico and other countries. By means of panels, the invited speakers shared reflections regarding their experiences, situating them also within an historical analysis incorporating the principal tendencies, challenges, and obstacles. The event stressed concern for the present situation in the country, given that participants agreed that we are in a war situation.

Two media based in the lessons learned through SIPAZ’s years of work in Mexico were presented at the event. One was a documentary, entitled “That the Heart Not Break. Non-Violent Struggles for Justice and Defense of Land,” produced in collaboration with the Koman Ilel community media collective. The video was presented with the participation of the involved communities and organizations: communities displaced below Tila and the Las Abejas Civil Society, based in Chiapas, along with the Council of Peoples United in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER), from Oaxaca. In parallel, the book Struggle with a Woman’s Heart: The Situation and Participation of Women in Chiapas (1995-2015), was presented and discussed. This volume brings together the major experiences and lessons from women’s struggle to participate and for gender equality.

For more information (in Spanish):

SIPAZ: 20 años acompañando luces de esperanza (EDUCA, 1 de diciembre de 2015)


SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulp award!

September 11, 2015

HRTulip

We have great news! SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip, an annual award handed out by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which stimulates the work of human rights defenders around the world. Out of more than 200 applicants, SIPAZ was selected to be one of the 30 nominees! Each year, the person or organization who receives most votes is awarded 100.000 Euros.

So please, we invite you to take a minute of your day and cast your vote for SIPAZ here:

http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/sipaz

Note: voting can only be done this week from September 9-16 so VOTE NOW!

Thank you for supporting us!


SIPAZ is a candidate for the “Human Rights Tulip” award!

September 9, 2015

HRTulip

We have great news! SIPAZ has been nominated for the Human Rights Tulip, an annual award handed out by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which stimulates the work of human rights defenders around the world. Out of more than 200 applicants, SIPAZ was selected to be one of the 30 nominees! Each year, the person or organization who receives most votes is awarded 100.000 Euros.

So please, we invite you to take a minute of your day and cast your vote for SIPAZ here:

http://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/sipaz

Note: voting can only be done this week from September 9-16 so VOTE NOW!

Thank you for supporting us!


Chiapas: Peace Network denounces absence of Chiapas state government in the Primero de Agosto case

July 22, 2015

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Temporary camp, Photo@Sipaz

On 15 July, the Peace Network, of which SIPAZ forms a part, published a communique denouncing the omission of the Chiapas state government with regard to the violation of the human rights of the forcibly displaced people from the Primero de Agosto community. This conclusion has to do with the fact that, two days prior, both the Coordinator of the Subsecretary for Governance, Gustavo Víctor Moscoso Zenteno, as well as the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, Cristóbal Hernández Hernández, failed to show to the meetings that had been arranged with the Peace Network.

Two months after the civil observation mission that was held on 11 May, the member-organizations of the Peace Network presented evidence showing that the grave conditions of the displaced families have not improved, and that death-threats and attacks on the camp of the displaced continue to be prosecuted by members of the Historical Independent Center for Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H). The Network’s communique expresses that “despite the various meetings that we have had with the state government, the State has not observed the accords to which it had agreed as a means of resolving the problem in a profound way, through the recognition of the right to the land from which the families of the Primero de Agosto community were displaced. These commitments were signed in a meeting on 25 February 2015, when the Chiapas state government committed itself to guaranteeing the redistribution of 50% of the land [the displaced] had had in the Primero de Agosto community.”

In addition, the Network responded to the reason for which the officials were absent: “We believe that the argument of the officials to ignore us due to the electoral situation is not valid, amidst the grave human-rights violations that the displaced families are experiencing. On the contrary, the electoral context worsens their vulnerability, as violence can take place in the region before, during, or subsequent to the elections. For this reason, we request a guarantee for the lives and physical and psychological integrity of the displaced persons from Primero de Agosto.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Gobierno de Chiapas mantiene actitud omisa para atender violaciones a derechos humanos de personas desplazadas forzadamente del Poblado Primero de Agosto (Red por la Paz, 15 de julio de 2015)

Acusan de omiso al gobierno de Chiapas ante desplazamiento forzado de indígenas (Proceso, 15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: The Primero de Agosto community completes 4 months of forcible displacement (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: The Network for Peace asks for the displaced people of Primero de Agosto to be attended to (27 May 2015)

Chiapas: Communique from forcibly displaced families from Primero de Agosto denounce threats (24 April 2015)

Chiapas: New threats against residents of Primero de Agosto (23 April 2015)

Chiapas: Families of the Primero de Agosto community “in precarious conditions” (21 March 2015)

Chiapas: 57 Tojolabal indigenous people forcibly displaced from their community, Primero de Agosto (8 March 2015)


Support the SIPAZ crowdfunding campaign ¨Sharing the fruits of 20 years of peacebuilding¨

July 17, 2015

bolsita Abejas pequeño 1

Donate 50 USD to help us finish our docu-film and receive a colorful woven purse!!

Handmade by indigenous tsolsil women from the highlands of Chiapas, who survived a massacre in 1997 where 45 people were murdered. After these terrible happenings they have continued to organize themselves as a group called Las Abejas to fight for justice and to become economically independent by selling their woven products. SIPAZ has accompanied these women since two decades.

You can contribute your donation:
– Through Indiegogo by creditcard (Visa/Mastercard)
– Through Paypal
– Or by sending a cheque to:
SIPAZ INC
P.O. BOX 20067
STANFORD, CA 94309, EEUU

From Holland? You can donate directly to our Dutch bank account at ING!
IBAN: NL75INGB0004602969
(t.n.v. Servicio Internacional para la Paz, o.v.v.: Crowdfunding Campagne)

Support our crowdfunding campaign  

Learn more about why and how SIPAZ was created in 1995!

SIPAZ says Thank You!

Las Abejas de Acteal