Chiapas: displaced families from Banavil return to their home to celebrate the Day of the Dead

November 3, 2018

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From October 26 and for a week approximately, families forced to leave their homes in Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa since December 4, 2011, announced that they would provisionally return to their lands “to put our flowers to our relatives who have gone ahead on the way , to remember and bring to mind the girl Antonia López Méndez and her two little sisters who are buried in the lands of her grandfather Alonso López Luna, who is still disappeared”.

They again blamed the Mexican State for not resolving their displacement situation and for not having found Alonso López Luna. “It only seeks to tire us without giving us an answer,” they complained.

They expressed solidarity with the displaced people of Chalchihuitán, Chiapas; and “with the migrant brothers who are walking through the suffering that the governments of each country are causing.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de las familias desplazadas de Banavil (27 de octubre de 2018)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Banavil Displaced Families Announce Provisional Return to their Community for Day of the Dead. (November 2, 2016)

Chiapas: Opening of Photographic Exhibition of Banavil Displaced Families (July 13, 2016)

Chiapas: Four years of impunity for those displaced from Banavil (December 26, 2015)

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Chiapas: Four years of impunity for those displaced from Banavil

December 26, 2015

AlonsoHastaEncontrarlo

 

On 4 December, 4 years since the forcible displacement from their community, the families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, once again raised their voices to demand that the Chiapas state government compensate their losses, cancel the two arrest-orders against Antonio and Pedro López Girón, and carry out the ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the forcible disappearance of Alonso López Luna and of the forcible displacement they experience.

In a press-conference which involved the participation of the displaced, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) indicated that “the Mexican State is responsible for the forcible disappearance of Alonso due to its omissions and complicity with the perpetrators. According to testimony from the family, they had presented denunciations before the appropriate authorities due to death-threats, harassment, plundering, physical attacks, and denial of the right to education, without an adequate response from the governmental institutions, thus allowing the perpetrators to feel they were protected, in turn leading to further human-rights violations.” The CDHFBC indicated as well that there has been no “search and corresponding investigations that conform with the basic standards of judicial investigation, such that impunity and complicity with the attackers dominates […].” The CDHFBC added that the only person who had been arrested in the case, Alonso Guzmán López, was released in October 2013.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de las y los desplazados de Banavil, municipio de Tenajapa (4 de diciembre de 2015)

Boletín completo del CDHFBC, 4 de diciembre de 2015

El desplazamiento como estrategia para acabar con el zapatismo: Banavil (regeneracionradio.org, 5 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Retorno provisional de las familias desplazadas de Banavil para Día de Muertos (9 de noviembre de 2015)

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


Chiapas: Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

November 19, 2015

Tumba de Antonia López Méndez.  Foto: @Sipaz

Gravesite for Antonia López Méndez. Photo: @Sipaz

From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, returned provisionally to their homes. During these days, they visited the gravesite of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, 11 years of age.

It bears recalling that the families were displaced at the beginning of December 2011, following an attack carried out by militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms. During the events, Alonso López Luna was forcibly disappeared and, to date, his whereabouts remain unknown. In this way, the attack also cuased the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured. Beyond this, Lorenzo López Girón, the son of the disappeared, was arrested, as was Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN). Both of these have since been released.

In a communique, the displaced families affirmed that “we returned well during our provisional return, though the bad governments (federal, state, and municipal) did not guarantee our security.” The displaced continue to hold the three levels of government responsable for the aggression that provoked the displacement, and they have demanded the revelation of the fate of Alonso López Luna, the carrying-out of ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the displacement and forcible disappearance, the return of families, the cancellation of two arrest-orders, the compensation of losses incurred, and the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familias tseltales en retorno provisional regresan a su desplazamiento forzado (Chiapas denuncia pública, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“Nuestras exigencias al Estado mexicano: VERDAD, JUSTICIA, RETORNO Y PAZ”, tzeltales desplazados de Banavil Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 4 de noviembre de 2015)

“No muere nuestra memoria aunque el mal gobierno lo quiere acabar nuestras raíces”, indígenas desplazados de Banavil, Chiapas. (Pozol Colectivo, 3 de noviembre de 2015)

[FOTOS][VIDEO]Retorno provisional de familias desplazadas de Banavil, Chiapas.

(Koman Ilel, 5 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

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

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

 


Chiapas: Displaced famailies of Banavil return temporarily to their community

August 28, 2015
Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

Photo: SIPAZ Banavil

On August 3rd, the forcibly displaced families from the community of Banavil, muncipality of Tenejapa returned temporarily to work their lands for a period of 15 days “without a guarantee of minimum safety conditions from the Mexican State”, affirmed the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Before this temporary return, representatives of the displaced families they made it clear in a press conference that they are retuning “not because their denouncements are resolved, or because the authorities have offered full guarantee that the agressions will not be repeated”, but because they want to work their land to be able to sustain their families. “Our temporary return is to check up on our houses, clean the adjoining properties of our parcels and it is a temporary return without justice”, they mentioned.

From their part, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas denounced that “Since months ago the authorities told us they could return”, but it was not until the last meeting held with officials, hours before going to Banavil, when they were warned that there were no safety conditions. “Those were the exact words of Edgar Alonso, legal adviser of the authorities in Banavil, who were responsible for the attacks.” He told the government to say that there is no security, remarked the CDHFBC.

For more Information:

Niñas, niños y mujeres indígenas tseltales de Banavil retornan temporalmente a sus casas sin garantías de protección a sus Derechos (Chiapasparalelo, August 6, 2015)

Retornan temporalmente desplazados (Cuarto Poder, August 6, 2015)

Melel Xojobal llama a proteger niños de familias desplazadas (noticiasnet.mx, August 8, 2015)

Ante la impunidad del gobierno de México, indígenas tseltales de Banavil deciden

retornar de manera provisional (Frayba, August 3, 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Displaced families from Banavil complete 3 years and 7 months of forcible displacement (July 21, 2015)

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

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


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

July 21, 2015

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@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: Luisa Margareth Castillo Mora undertakes hunger-strike amidst “governmental refusal to attend to her petition”

March 22, 2015

Acto en solidaridad con Margareth, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 12 de marzo de 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Act in solidarity with Margareth, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 12 March 2015 (@SIPAZ)

Since 8 March, in observation of International Women’s Day, Luisa Margareth Castillo Mora began a hunger-strike in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand that the state authorities attend to her calls for justice.  She requests that the state government observe the complaint made against it in 2013 which condemns the Secretary of Education for not providing 61 persons (including her) nomination as base-workers, retroactive from February 2010.

It should be clarified that since 2010, she and 30 other people have been struggling to have their labor rights recognized.  In October 2013, an investigation was launched against her on the charges of extortion, delincuent association, and attacks on communication media, charges which civil organizations consider to be “revenge for the protest-actions which have been carried out.”

In November 2013, as an Urgent Action details, being published by the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, Margareth was “taken,” tortured, and subsequently left on the highway between San Cristóbal and Tenejapa.  Nearly two years on, the events continue in impunity, and the motion handed down in her favor has not been observed.  For this reason, the members of the Campaign have made a call for an investigation that be carried out soon, impartially, exhaustively, and efficiently into the attacks on her, for the observance of the dictated decision in terms of labor, for the compensation of damages and the cancellation of the arrest-orders against Margareth and other people involved in the protest-actions that have been mentioned.

For more information (in Spanish):

Una mujer denuncia ataques e inicia huelga de hambre en Chiapas (La Jornada, 9 de marzo de 2015)

Sobreviviente de feminicidio en huelga de hambre, ante la omisión del gobierno de Chiapas (Acción Urgente, Campaña Popular contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio, 15 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: Death of Antonia, a displaced girl from the Banavil community, Tenejapa

March 8, 2015

Comunidad Banavil, Tenejapa, durante el entierro @ SIPAZ

Banavil community, Tenejapa, during the burial @ SIPAZ

On 23 February took place the burial of Antonia López Méndez, 11 years of age, who died on 21 February due to cerebral edema.  The family buried their child in the Banavil community, Tenejapa municipality, as accompanied by a caravan of civil and social organizations, representatives from the state and municipal governments, and State Security Police, given that “the minor is one of the 13 persons (4 families) who were forcibly displaced […] on 4 December 2011,” as the press-release from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights notes (CDHFBC).  The bulletin continues: “After suffering more than three years of entirely undignified conditions of survival due to forcible displacement, Antonia the minor was admitted […] to emergencies at the Hospital of the Cultures […] though all attempts to save her life failed.”

It should be stressed that, according to news portal Chiapas Paralelo, more than 2,000 children in the Northern Zone and Highlands regions of Chiapas have been displaced from their communities due to violence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Sepelio en Banavil, Tenejapa (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 23 de febrero de 2015)

Un retorno provisional, con riesgos y condicionado para enterrar a Antonia López, niña tseltal desplazada (Rostros del Despojo, 2 de marzo de 2015)

Antonia, niña desplazada por la violencia en Tenejapa Chiapas, muere en el exilio (Chiapas Paralelo, 24 de febrero de 2015)

Sepelio en Banavil, Tenejapa (CGT Chiapas, 24 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: During the XVII anniversary of the Acteal massacre, Las Abejas denounce impunity and affirm, “They could not kill our roots”

December 30, 2014

XVII Aniversario de la MAsacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organized a series of activities held in this same community.  On 21 December, a forum combined testimonies with prayers.  During this event participated Franciscan monks from the “72” migrant-home from Tenosique, Tabasco; the relatives of the disappeared students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero; the father of Alejandro Díaz Santis, prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail and a member in solidarity with the Voz del Amate; the catechist Margarita Martínez Álvarez from El Limar, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a region that also suffered murders, forcible disappearances, and massive displacements between 1995 and 2000; as well as representatives of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality.  It was stressed that all these processes should be united, not just based on shared pain, but also in terms of the search for justice and hope.

XVII Aniversario de la masacre de Acteal (@SIPAZ)

XVII Anniversary of the Acteal massacre (@SIPAZ)

On 22 December, following a pilgrimage, a mass was celebrated with the presence of hundreds of persons.  The Las Abejas Civil Society denounced in a communique that “17 years, four presidents, and two political parties in power have passed since the bad government of Ernesto Zedillo to the [present] bad government of Enrique Peña Nieto.  Not one has had the dignity, humanity, or decency to apply justice and recognize the truth of the Acteal massacre.”  The bishop Felipe Arizmendi stressed for his part that “it is unconscionable that nearly all those imprisoned for this crime have been absolved, just because there were judicial deficiencies in their legal processing, not because they were innocent.”  It should be recalled that only two persons remain imprisoned for the crime of the Acteal massacre, and these two have had their sentences reduced from 36 to 18 years imprisonment.

Obispo Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi (@SIPAZ)

Felipe Arizmendi noted that, though “so many years [have passed] of demanding justice and being ignored, […] we will all continue to demand and ask for justice.  We cannot resign ourselves passively to silence.”  The Las Abejas Civil Society used a fragment of the Mayan book Popul Vuh to affirm the same: “They took our fruits, cut off our branches, and burned our trunk, but they could not kill our roots.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil de Las Abejas de Acteal (Sociedad Civil Las Abejas, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

La Fraternidad, impulso y fuerza de la Resistencia. #Acteal #17Años(Koman Ilel, Cobertura del 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Es la historia de tod@s. Crónica de conmemoración diecisiete de la masacre ocurrida en el paraje de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, cobertura del 21 de diciembre de 2014)

Ningún presidente ha hecho justicia a 17 años de la masacre de Acteal: Las Abejas (Proceso, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

A 17 años, conmemoran con misa masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Padres de normalistas encabezan marcha en Acteal, Chiapas (Radio Fórmula, 22 de diciembre de 2014)

Llegan representantes de Ayotzinapa a Acteal para conmemorar masacre(La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Three of the remaining five prisoners held for the Acteal massacre are released (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Las Abejas, five years after the release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN (9 June 2014)

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

Chiapas: Case against Zedillo for Acteal massacre is dismissed (21 July 2013)

Chiapas: Commemoration of 20th anniversary of Las Abejas and coming 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre (21 December 2012)


Chiapas: 3 years since the forcible displacement of the families from Banavil

December 16, 2014

Conferencia de prensa, 4 diciembre 2014 @ SIPAZ

Press-conference, 4 December 2014 @ SIPAZ

On 4 December 2014, 3 years were commemorated since the attacks in the Banavil community, Tenejapa municipality, Chiapas, as prosecuted by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  In a press-conference, the Zapatista-sympathizing families mentioned the attack with firearms which led to the displacement of 13 persons “who have lost everything and are prevented with death-threats from returning.”  The attack caused the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured, and Alonso López Luna forcibly disappeared.  Furthermore, two arbitrary arrests were carried out of Lorenzo López Girón, son of the disappeared who was injured by gunfire and then accused of assault and battery, as well as Francisco Santiz López, Zapatista support base (BAEZLN), who was actually located elsewhere during the attack.  Subsequently, both were released, with Francisco’s case won thanks to the work of a special campaign involving international-solidarity actions.

The press-bulletin indicates that “due to these grave human-rights violations, we continue to demand justice and punishment of those responsible for the attacks.  It is necessary to clarify the truth regarding the forcible disappearance of Mr. Alonso López Luna, and that he be returned to us with life.  Furthermore, we demand compensation for the damages incurred, owing to the plundering of our possessions and lands in the community; an expeditious return to the homes for the displaced, who now live in vulnerable situations in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, lacking access to healthcare and housing, and without options for work under dignified conditions.”

Following the press-conference, representatives of the Simojovel parish celebrated a ceremony and prayer with the displaced families to express their support and alleviate their pain.  This case of the displaced families from Banavil has been included within the Campaign Faces of Looting, “Our Lands, Our Rights.  No to Forcible Displacement.”

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: Two years after the attack in Banavil, displacement and forced disappearance live on,” CDHFBC (9 December 2013)

Chiapas: Public denunciation from those displaced from Banavil (16 September 2013)

Chiapas: The displaced of Banavil, Tenejapa in “precarious and inhumane conditions” (8 April 2013)


Chiapas: Pilgrimages and marches against violence against women, and other demands

December 15, 2014

Peregrinación de Pueblo Creyente en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

On 25 November, in observance of the International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women, thousands of Catholics pertaining to the Believing People from the San Cristóbal diocese engaged in simultaneous pilgrimages in 12 municipalities of Chiapas to demonstrate their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque; to demand justice for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa; to oppose violence against women, alcoholism, energy reform, and corruption, among other issues.  Approximately 3500 engaged in the action in San Cristóbal, with 7000 in Ocosingo, 10,000 in Chilón, 1000 in Oxchuc, and 800 in Tenejapa.  Participants indicated that they engaged in the pilgrimage “in a peaceful manner, requesting respect for our constitutional right to protest, be heard, and have our complaints addressed by municipal, state, and federal authorities” and to “express solidarity with the more than 100,000 victims of organized crime and especially the families of the murdered youth and the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero, as well as with the victims of Acteal who, nearly 20 years since the massacre, still plead for justice from the government, thus strengthening the impunity that has led 73 of the 75 imprisoned for this crime against humanity to be released.”

Marcha en San Cristóbal de Las Casas @ SIPAZ

Beyond this, after the end of the “Forum for Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of the Land and Territory” that was held from 23-24 November, close to 250 women and men marched on 25 November in San Cristóbal, given that they see “with great alarm that big capital is at war with all the peoples of the world because it wants to plunder our lands to make way for investments for mining firms, airports, hotels, highways, seaports, transgenic seeds, monocultures, dams, etc.”  They added in the communique that “another strategy has been to generate conflicts among the people to divide the struggle and so control land.  But the most dangerous thing is to allow the drug-traffickers free reign to convert out land into a crossfire zone, leaving a hundred thousand dead and disappeared.  For this reason we affirm that the firms, the bad government, and the drug-traffickers all seek the same thing: To gain control of our communities, our ancestral resources, our bodies, our lives, and even our future.”

Beyond this, some 500 persons from the Light and Power of the Highlands Region organization, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, marched with banners listing various historical massacres in Mexico.  As one of the banners read, “in the future, the next massacre could involve you or your children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Alto a las distintas formas de corrupción del gobierno y violencia al pueblo Queremos Justicia y Paz (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Comunicado del Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas (25 de noviembre de 2014)

Marchan en Chiapas contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque (La Jornada, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

Miles marchan en San Cristobal contra los megaproyectos y violencia contra las mujeres (Espoir Chiapas, 25 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel (20 July 2014)

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

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Simojovel for the closure of “cantinas” and the end of violence; parish priest receives threats (June 13, 2014)

Chiapas: Believing People holds pilgrimage in Simojovel to denounce the increase in violence in the municipality (26 October 2013)