Chiapas: nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams

December 26, 2015

Lectura del pronunciamiento. Foto: @DesInformémonos

Public reading of the declaration
Photo: @DesInformémonos

Nine municipalities of the Sierra Madre and the Soconusco in Chiapas state have ratified the declaration that their lands have been freed of mining operations and dams. Using the III Declaration of Tapachula for Lands Freed of Dams and Mining in the Sierra Madre and Llanura Costera of Chiapas, some 40 indigenous and campesino ejidos, communities, and social organizations reaffirmed their commitment (adopted in 2013) to the defense of their territories against plundering as carried out by transnational corporations. The municipalities of Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Motozintla, Tapachula, Escuintla, Acacoyagua, Chicomuselo, and Comalapa denounced the collusion of municipal and state governments with the firms to obtain permits for the exploitation of lands and rivers. They also rejected the models of development, water management, and energy policy that have been imposed in Mexico by structural reforms, particularly the energy reform.

“In light of the opposition against extractive projects on our lands, we propose to organize and link ourselves with other struggles that seek to defend their rights and the natural resources of water and land.” In this way, the representatives of the municipalities affirmed that they have ties with other movements, especially in Jalisco, Nayarit, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Veracruz. These are alliances with other struggles over the right to decide what happens on their lands, in favor of living well and strengthening oneself amidst the repression meted out toward defenders of the Earth.

It bears recalling that on 30 November the Union of Campesinos and Fisherfolk of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas also declared their municipalities free of dams and mining operations.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaran libre de minería y represas a nueve municipios de la Sierra , Costa y Soconusco (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

TERCERA DECLARACIÓN DE TAPACHULA, POR TERRITORIOS LIBRES DE REPRESAS Y MINERÍA EN SIERRA MADRE del SUR Y LLANURA COSTERA DE CHIAPAS (Luna Sexta, 9 de diciembre de 2015)

40 ejidos de Chiapas se declaran libres de minería e hidroeléctricas (DesInformémonos, 11 de diciembre de 2015)

Chiapas: Movilización 30 de Noviembre por la defensa de la tierra y el territorio (Otros Mundos, 29 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Mining reactivation is denounced in the state (3 March 2015)

Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region (December 17, 2014)

Chiapas: 5 years since the murder of mining critic Mariano Abarca (December 15, 2014)

Chiapas: Third Forum for the Defense and Care of Mother Earth in Chicomuselo (December 6, 2014)

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Chiapas: Day of action for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal

November 21, 2015

Evento por la liberación de Alejandro Díaz Sántiz y Mumia Abu-Jamal. Foto: @Sipaz.

Event for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Photo: @Sipaz.

On 7 November there was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas an event for the release of political prisoners Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event was organized by the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), together with the participation of relatives of prisoners who organize to affirm their rights in different Chiapas-state penitentiaries. At the event, there was read several communiques and an art-making activity was installed to express support for the liberation of both prisoners.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a U.S. journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. He was incarcerated in 1982, accused of having murdered a police officer, though there is no evidence for this, and indeed considering testimony from witnesses who have come forward to declare that they were pressured into holding him responsible for the killing. Mumia was condemned by the judge “who is known to have condemned more Blacks to death than any other judge in the U.S.,” according to Nodo 50, in a country gripped by racism. During his 33 years in prison, Mumia has written nine books and produced more than 2,000 radio addresses. In March of this year, Mumia suffered serious health problems that were caused by a diabetic crisis, as the administration had denied him the necessary medical treatment. At present, he is slowly recovering.

Alejandro Díaz Santiz is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle issued by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), being the only member of those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate who continues behind bars. Incarcerated since 1999, “he has not given up and while in prison he politicized himself and organized […] by participating in hunger strikes. To date, he has lent his voice to denounce the abuses that the authorities commit in the prison,” notes the GTNET. On 10 September, Alejandro was transferred without warning to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) in Villa Comaltitlán, close to Tapachula. GTNET theorizes that “this forcible transfer is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners. This brutal way of changing one’s prison, after having remained many years in the same place, is psycho-physical torture because it distances the prisoner from his family and network of friends.”

During the event, the conditions experienced at the state and national levels were also denounced, given that, according to a report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), “there is at present a 25.4% over-crowding of the prisons,” meaning that Mexican prisons hold more than 51,000 people beyond their capacity. In this way, the third visitor general of the CNDH argued that the crowding of prisons “is the result of the unmitigated use of imprisonment” amidst “excessive penal sentences,” leading to “violence, torture, abuse, and lamentable states of health and hygiene.”

For more information (in Spanish):

En Solidaridad con Alejandro Díaz Sántiz: nos organizamos contigo (CGT Chiapas, 9 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Jornada por la libertad de Alejandro Diaz Santiz y Mumia Abu Jamal (Amigos de Mumia México, 6 de noviembre de 2015)

México: Expresiones de solidaridad por Alejandro Díaz Santiz, preso injustamente y trasladado a un penal de máxima seguridad (Kaos en la Red, 16 de sepiembre)

Nuevo penal viola garantías de chiapanecos; “Velasco no quiere contradecir a su jefe EPN”: abogado (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 14 de abril de 2015)

El negocio del nuevo penal de Chiapas:”cualquier capo podrá pagar para tener menos vigilancia” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 15 de abril de 2015)

El Estado hace uso excesivo de las cárceles: CNDH; hay un 25.4% de sobrepoblación, alerta (Sin Embargo, 14 de octubre de 2015)

La historia de Mumia (Nodo 50, sin fecha)

El lento asesinato de Mumia Abu-Jamal (Ojarasca, abril de 2015)

Carta abierta por la vida, salud y libertad de Mumia Abu-Jamal (SubVersiones, 14 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis fasting to demand justice (11 October 2014)

Chiapas: 13 days of fasting and praying by Alejandro Díaz Santís to demand his release (14 July 2014)

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz announces 10-day hunger strike to protest 15 years’ imprisonment (May 16, 2014)

Chiapas: day of fasting and prayer for Alejandro Díaz on International Political Prisoners’ Day (29 April 2014)

 


Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and 386 other prisoners transferred to high-security prison

October 8, 2015

Foto de archivo @ Revolución Tres Punto CeroArchive photo @ Revolución Tres Punto Cero

In the morning of 10-11 September, the political prisoner Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, being held at Jail No. 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, being a member of the Voz del Amate and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, was transferred together with 386 other prisoners from 13 state jails to the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) No. 15 in Villa Comaltitlán, close to the city of Tapachula. According to the Diario del Sur and other media, despite the risks posed to the prisoners due to ongoing construction at the CEFERESO, located on unstable ground, and the intense popular mobilizations opposed to the construction of the prison, the unit opened its door just days before the mass-transfer. It is capable of holding 2,500 prisoners. According to the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), the transfer was carried out by more than 2,000 police. During the operation, “high-risk” prisoners were prioritized for transfer, a claim that the GTNET characterized as “political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners,” given that Alejandro had carried out a work in favor of the defense of human rights within the prison’s walls. The GTNET indicated that “during this transfer the laws and codes of the proper System were violated, for Alejandro Díaz’s crime is not federal, and his life in prison cannot be considered as justifying the label of ‘high-risk.’”

Beyond this, prisoners from the San Cristóbal, including Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Lucio Hernandez Patishtán, and Juan de la Cruz Ruíz, have denounced the transfer and called on the “independent state organizations, national and international, to add your voices to our demand for the return of our comrade in struggle to this center.”

Beyond this, Alejandro Díaz, while on a 13-day hunger strike in July 2015, recalled Chiapas Governor Manuel Velasco Coello that he had two years prior committed himself to “finding those means or links with the authorities from Veracruz to obtain my release, a promise which to date” he has not observed. “Once again I ask the governor to fulfill his word.”

For more information (in Spanish):

El negocio del nuevo penal de Chiapas:”cualquier capo podrá pagar para tener menos vigilancia” (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 15 de abril de 2015)

Trasladan a reos a nuevo penal (Diario del Sur, 11 de septiembre de 2015)

Presos injustos del CERESO 5 denuncian traslado de Alejandro Diaz Santiz, Solidario de la Voz del Amate (Koman Ilel, 10 de septiembre de 2015)

Indígena tsotsil es trasladado a penal de máxima seguridad, pese a “compromiso” de Velasco por obtener su libertad (Pozol Colectivo, 13 de septiembre de 2015)

Pronunciamiento del Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs “La lucha en las cárceles sigue“ (CGT Chiapas, 12 de septiembre de 2015)

Desde Europa: Solidaridad con Alejandro Diaz Santiz y los 400 presos que fueron trasladados a las prisiones de máxima seguridad (CGT Chiapas, 15 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Alejandro Díaz expresses his solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa and their families (30 December 2014)

Chiapas: new denunciation from prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santis upon concluding fast (26 October 2014)


Chiapas: popular rejection of dams and mining projects in the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, and Huehuetán region

December 17, 2014


Marcha en Tapachula (@Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina)

March in Tapachula (@Observatory on Mining Conflicts in Latin America)

On 8 December 2014, representatives from 39 ejidos, communal land-holdings, communities, and social, indigenous, and campesino organizations from the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huixtla, Huehuetán, and San Cristóbal de las Casas municipalities held a march to express their rejection of planned dam and mining projects in the region.

Protestors affirmed that their lands and territories “ARE FREE OF HYDROELECTRIC DAMS AND MINERAL EXPLOITATION.”  In the same way as 10 December 2013, they agreed that to “continue demanding that the federal, state, and municipal authorities heed and respect the decision of the ejidos, communal land-holdings, organizations, and peoples, and cancel all types of contracts, agreements, concessions, or permits to build these megaprojects that they have awarded on our lands and territories.”

Presenting the Second Declaration of Tapachula, the communal representatives claimed that “the three levels of government [will be responsible for] any conflict that is generated toward the end of sowing divisions and imposing projects of plunder at the cost of violating our human rights.”

For more information (in Spanish):

II Declaración de Tapachula (Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina)

Emiten declaratoria por territorios libres de represas y minerías en Tapachula (Diario Contrapoder en Chiapas, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Se manifiestan contra hidroeléctricas y mineras, en Tapachula (Chiapas Paralelo, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Mobilization of 56 communities in Tapachula against mines and dams (17 December 2013)

Chiapas: International socio-environmental seminar, the Open Veins of Contemporary Chiapas (12 November 2013)


National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution

December 7, 2014

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March in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 20 November, in observance of the Day for Global Action for Ayotzinapa, protests were held in solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzianapa in many cities throughout the world.  From three points in Mexico City, thousands of persons marched, accompanying caravans of students and relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa to arrive at the rally in the Zócalo of the capital.  After the rally, when the mobilization that had been peaceful to that point ended, a group of youth launched rockets and attempted to break down the principal entrance of the National Palace.  Riot police intervened against them, as against the rest of the protestors who had not participated in this intensified phase.  People were injured and arrested, but the authorities have not released any official data.  Meanwhile, on social networks photographs emerged demonstrating presumed infiltrators in the protests, who were placed there supposedly to destabilize the protests.

The parents of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa expressed, before hundreds of thousands of people assembled in Mexico City’s Zócalo, that “this is not just about Guerrero: all throughout Mexico there are secret graves full of persons who have been executed outside the law and forcibly disappeared.”  This was their conclusion following the tour they carried out in several states of the country during the previous week, including the north and south of the country.  At the act at the Zócalo, one of the organizers reported that in more than 185 cities of the world, people had come out to the streets to demand the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students.

In Chiapas, thousands of students, teachers, campesinos, and citizens in general marched in a dozen municipalities to demand the presentation of the students who were disappeared on 26 September.  At least 4000 marched peacefully in the capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, a protest was organized that counted with the participation of a thousand people.  After a group of presumed infiltrators burned down shops after looted them, a strong police presence was deployed, leading to the arrest of several protestors.  Regardless, the police had been nowhere to be seen until 2pm; the morning of the protest progressed without any visible police presence.  The protestors distanced themselves from the counter-violence that was exhibited at the beginning of the march, when some set an Oxxo and part of a Soriana store on fire.  They accused the government of sending agents provocateurs.  Later, authorities announced the arrest of 13 “anarchists.”  Also in Comitán, Venustiano Carranza, Ocosingo, Tapachula, as elsewhere, protests were held.  Dissidents shared similar slogans, including, “You took them alive; alive we want them back,” and “Zapata lives; the struggle continues!”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Les decía ‘no me peguen, ya nos vamos’”; múltiples agresiones policiacas en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Marcha pacífica realizan en la capital chiapaneca (Diario de Chiapas, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Videos: Histórica marcha por Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Culmina la Jornada de Acción Global por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

La refriega en el Zócalo después de una marcha pacífica (Proceso, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Identifican en redes a encapuchados, antes de la marcha en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Fosas por todo el país: padres de los 43 normalistas (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Multitudinarias movilizaciones de solidaridad en ciudades del mundo (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)


Chiapas: Mutiny at Migrant Center in Tapachula “a reflection of policies of control that do not guarantee human rights,” claim civil society organizations

November 13, 2014

Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI (@presidencia.gob.mx)

Migratory Station XXI Century (@presidencia.gob.mx)

On 29 October, close to 300 Honduran migrants engaged in a mutiny at the Century XXI Migrant Station (EMSXXI) located in Tapachula. Fifteen migrants succeeded in escaping, but 10 were captured in an operation carried out by different security forces, while five escaped the police siege.

Jazmin Yaneth Cabrera Lopez, regional director of the National Migration Institute (INM) at the XXI Migrant Station, reported that the mutiny had to do with the fact that the migrants had been held for more than 10 days, given that the Honduran consulate was on vacations, thus making impossible progress in terms of documents needed for their return.

In a communique released on 30 October, the Fray Matía de Córdoba Center for Human Rights indicated that “the event that took place last Wednesday within the detention center for migrants in Tapachula […] shows the consequences generated by the repressive policy of control, detention, and deportation that the Mexican State has implemented in recent months.  It confirms that the kidnapping of migrants, instead of protecting them and guaranteeing their basic rights, affects their physical and emotional integrity and the basic rights of men, women, children, and adolescents.”  The Center also noted that “the strengthening at the border, that is to say the armor and application of strategies for security and militarization under the Southern Border Plan, as implemented by the federal government, is causing backup at the EMSXXI, the principal center for deportation in Latin America.  This comes in addition to the poor living and hygienic conditions inside and the lack of protective consular assistance, which are the principal demands of those who rose up, who clearly are deprived of their liberty, without having committed any crime.  They were also confined to cells and had their food rationed.  This is a clear manifestation of what happens when the social reality of migrants is addressed only with the focus of criminalization and control, without consideration that the causes of migration are multiple and complex.  Many are fleeing the social and political violence that exists in their countries.  They require true protection.”

For more information (in Spanish):

MOTÍN EN EL CENTRO DE DETENCIÓN “ESTACIÓN MIGRATORIA SIGLO XXI”, REFLEJO DE UNA POLÍTICA DE CONTROL QUE NO GARANTIZA DERECHOS HUMANOS FUNDAMENTALES (Boletín del CFH Fray Matía de Cordobá, 30 de octubre de 2014)

Huyen 15 hondureños de estación migratoria en Chiapas (El Universal, 29 de octubre de 2014)

Motín en estación migratoria de Tapachula; hay 5 prófugos (OEM, 29 de octubre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: creation of mechanism for human-rights observation amidst the militarization of the Southern Border (2 September 2014)


Chiapas/International: Spanish journalists leave the country amidst threats of extortion and disappearance

November 12, 2014

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

Melchor Miralles (@Wikipedia)

On 1 November, Melchor Miralles, the ex-director of Mundo TV (Spain) and present director general of Atar Productions, received several calls threatening him with extortion and kidnapping.  He was located in Tapachula, Chiapas, with five other Spanish journalists to collect information regarding the migration of Central Americans toward the U.S. on the southern Mexican border.  They have all decided to leave Mexico.  The Federal Police and agents from the Special Prosecutorial Office for Crimes Committed against Migrants from the Chiapas state Attorney General’s Office (PGJE) provided a security escort for their departure.

In an article entitled “Hell” published in his column “On the sidewalk” on the Spanish daily Republica.com, Miralles noted that “It is no consolation, but the corruption in this country is a joke compared with the processes that have converted Mexico not into a failed state, but rather into a comatose state that has been taken over or handed over entirely to organized crime.”

En un artículo titulado “El Infierno” publicado en su columna denominada “En el andén” del diario español Republica. com, Miralles expresó: : “No consuela, pero nuestra corrupción es una broma si la comparamos con la que ha convertido a México no en un Estado fallido, sino en un Estado comatoso en el que los tres poderes están tomados, o entregados, al crimen organizado que todo lo puede”.

For more information (in Spanish):

El infierno (En el Anden, Reforma.com, 2 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles huyen del país tras recibir amenazas de secuestro (Proceso, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Periodistas españoles salen de Chiapas ante amenazas (Milenio, 3 de noviembre de 2014)

Españoles dejan el país ante amenaza (El Universal, 4 de noviembre de 2014)