Chiapas: Ch’ol indigenous people occupy Tila City Hall after decades of having been ignored

December 26, 2015

SAM_5069

Photo @Pozol Colectivo

On 16 December, as they had announced they would do in accordance with communal agreement in assemblies, indigenous Ch’ol people from the Tila ejido recovered the lands on which City Hall is located. Protestors indicated that it had been more than 5 decades during which they had appealed to different governmental institutions without success. “If there is no solution, there will be demolition,” warned the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle during a march held on 16 December. The campesino members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) made a call for national and international solidarity in terms of the possible repressive responses that could be taken by the three levels of government, which in recent days had carried out military and police operations in the community.

Protestors indicated that in 2008 the ejidal authorities of Tila had won a motion promoted “against one of the several attempts at plundering that we have suffered since 1964, due to the different actions taken by City Hall, the state government, and the local congress.” The motion orders the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands. However, using the argument that the sentence cannot possibly be implemented, City Hall has failed to observe the ruling.

The “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez” Center for Human Rights, which has for years accompanied the Tila ejido of Ch’ol persons in their actions before the Supreme Court, expressed in an Urgent Action that “we hope that by exercising their constitutional and legal rights, this conflict in the Tila municipality of Chiapas be resolved through mediation, and that the state’s reaction not be through criminalization or repression of any kind.” The Center requests that civil society send this Urgent Action to the officials who appear in the document, with copies to accionesurgentes@centroprodh.org.mx.

For more information (in Spanish):

Queman alcaldía de Tila en reclamo de tierras (Proceso, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

Acción Urgente (CDH Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

PJGE investiga daños en alcaldía de Tila, Chiapas (El Universal, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

México: “Si no hay solución, habrá demolición”, consigna cumplida en Tila Chiapas. 16 de diciembre. (Pozol Colectivo, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

Comunicado_Ejido_Tila (Adeherentes a la Sexta Declaración Tila, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)

 

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Chiapas: OMCT releases Urgent Action in case of extrajudicial execution and torture in Tila

October 8, 2015

https://sipaz.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cam01188.jpg?w=369&h=278

Mobilization by civil society for case of Tony Gutiérrez. Photo @Comité Digna Ochoa

On 18 September, the Global Organization against Torture (OMCT) released an urgent action for the case of a forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution, this of Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López, which took place in the Tila municipality. The communique notes that “According to the received information, on 17 July 2015, Mr. Tony Reynaldo Gutiérrez López was arrested by municipal police from Tila as he was en route via public transit to the center of the Petalcingo community, Tila community, Chiapas state […]. On 24 July his corpse was found with signs of cruel torture in a ranch 2km from the Petalcingo community. On 27 July, relatives of Mr. Tony Reynaldo, together with ejidal authorities, members of civil society from Tila, and representatives of the Digna Ochoa Committee denounced the forcible disappearance, torture, and extrajudicial execution in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. However, the penal evidence […] only suggests that there has been launched an investigation into a ‘simple homicide.’” Furthermore, the communique mentions that after having denounced the case, Mrs. Cruz Pérez and other relatives had received death-threats on the part of members of groups who have links to paramilitary groups such as “Peace and Justice.”

In light of this situation, the OMCT requests that civil society write to the Mexican authorities demanding that they immediately adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the security of the relatives and representatives of Tony Gutiérrez, and carry out an immediate, independent, exhaustive, and impartial investigation into the case.

For more information (in Spanish):

México: Alegaciones de desaparición, tortura y ejecución extrajudicial del Sr. Gutiérrez López_temor por seguridad de familiares (OMCT, 18 de septiembre de 2015)

Urgen a investigar muerte de indígena chol (La Jornada, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)


Chiapas: Commemoration for those killed and disappeared during the conflict in the zone below Tila

October 8, 2015

Altar de las víctimas @ SIPAZAltar for the victims @ SIPAZ

On 20 September, in the community of Masoja Shucja, Tila municipality, a commemoration was held to remember those killed and forcibly disappeared between the years 1994 and 1999 in the region below Tila. Around a hundred people participated in the event, designed to never “forget our fallen and disappeared comrades, and so we remember them. They will always be in our hearts,” as the People United for the Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) expressed, being adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the Northern Jungle region, authored by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Following a mass, relatives of the disappeared and murdered spoke and demanded “true justice, the presentation with life of the disappeared, and compensation of damages and the suffering caused during the conflict in the communities,” adding that “the situation of the communities in the zone below Tila, Chiapas, has not changed. We do not live in peace or tranquility. The three levels of the bad government actually are the ones responsible for the low-intensity warfare we confront. We explain how our communities are now experiencing problems due to the divisions that surged during the recent elections, though there also exist families displaced by the armed conflict or counterinsurgency against the EZLN during the years 1996-1997.”

They also indicated that the paramilitary group “Development, Peace, and Justice” is being reorganized at present, affirming that “in its actions to control the communities and municipalities they use political functionaries, specifically their portable high-frequency radios, and carry arms which are for the exclusive use of the Army in public areas to threaten and intimidate their opponents. They hire young drug-addicts, go out hooded to block roads and highways, impeding free transit, and they attack and rob violently.” Beyond this, they recalled the proximate anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 teacher-students from Ayotzinapa, noting that “we will continue to express our support for them; they are not alone.”

It should be observed that the conflict in the zone below the Tila municipality began with the imposition of the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94, a counterinsurgent strategy taken by the Mexican government to prevent the expansion of the EZLN during the 1990s.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de víctima de la contrainsurgencia siguen exigiendo justicia (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 21 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Event “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” in Masoja Shucjá, Tila (12 November 2014)

Chiapas: 18 years since the disappearance of Minerva Pérez, her case remains unpunished (25 June 2014)

Chiapas: 17 years after the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, her case is taken up at the IACHR (25 June 2013)


Chiapas: Despite conflicts amongst parties, PVEM and PRI gain the majority of votes in election

August 16, 2015

@eleccionesChiapas

@eleccionesChiapas

On July 19th, more than three million people from Chiapas voted to elect 122 majors and their staff members and 41 local deputies. Of the planned six thousand voting booths, 97% were installed.

The Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won in 91 of the 122 towns of Chiapas, according to the Program of Preliminary Electoral Results (PREP). The PVEM and the PRI are maintaining the same number of towns that they govern at the present time. United Chiapas and Move Chiapas, sponsored by the local governments, will administer 18 towns. The MORENA Party did not win anywhere, according to the PREP.

The Institution of Elections and Citizen Participation (IEPC) reported on the burning and robbery of four voting booths in the town of Las Margaritas and on the robbery of two voting booths located in the section La Hacienda in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In two communities of Tila the voting booths could not be installed due to fighting during the last few days. In Pueblo Nuevo Solistahaucan an armed group stole the ballots of 4 voting booths and filled them with artificially marked ballots. The conselors of IEPC confirmed that nn Chenalhó, the electoral process was temporarily suspended because the ballots were not completed. According to the executive direct of the IEPC Jesus Moscoso Lorenca, in Ocosingo five voting booths were not installed for security reasons. In Venustiano Carranza the District Counsel had been taken and the protestors threatened to burn the building down. In Suchiate a voting booth had to be closed down because the people that had been registered there were migrants that received their birth certificates from the Civil Registry that had to be closed down for selling birth certificates.

For more information (in Spanish):
Chiapas: ganan PRI y PVEM 91 de 122 alcaldías (La Jornada, 22 de julio de 2015)
Las elecciones en Chiapas concluyen con casi 200 incidentes (CNN México, 20 e julio de 2015)
Elección en Chiapas: reportan robo de urnas, coacción del voto, acarreo y enfrentamientos (El Proceso, 19 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections (22 July 2015)
Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)


Chiapas: Climate of violence between PRI and Green Ecologist Party in days before elections

July 22, 2015

comitan-grupos-de-choque

Photo @Juan Orel

The final days in the run-up to local elections in Chiapas were marked by violence. In terms of the alliance for local deputies, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are in coalition for 16 of the 24 electoral districts. However, in at least 12 Chiapas municipalities there have been documented incidents and attacks between members of the two parties: in Playas de Catazaja, Oxchuc, Tzimol, Tumbala, Chilón, Cacahoatán, Tila, Frontera Comalapa, Ocotepec, Tuxtla Chico, Huixtla, and Mapastepec.

During the night of 16 July, a group of masked men armed with sticks, stones, and rockets (presumably allied to the PVEM) robbed photographic equipment and cash, and beat the journalist Juan Orel, during his coverage of an incident in the Boulevard of the Federations in the Comitán municipality. The incident in question occurred when the reporter was covering an attack by the masked men against a group of PRI militants. Another case of aggression took place in Tila. The Committee on Human Rights Digna Ochoa made public that residents of the Tila municipality denounced that “there prevails in the Tila municipality a climate of generalized terror among the population, provoked by the presence of armed groups that serve the PRI and PVEM.” Beyond this, the communique from the Digna Ochoa Committee mentions that “among the residents there exists a fear that the electoral process will end with a massacre, given that, to date, the Chiapas state government led by Manuel Velasco Coello has been totally absent in terms of guaranteeing the right to life, integrity, and personal security of the people of the Tila municipality.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Grupo de choque ligado al PVEM agrede y roba equipo de reportero (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Se confrontan PRI y Verde en Comitán (Chiapas Paralelo, 17 de julio de 2015)

Conflictos entre PRI y PVEM marcan elecciones en Chiapas (Red Política, 8 de julio de 2015)

Comunicado Comité de Derechos Humanos de Base de Chiapas Digna Ochoa (15 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured (21 July 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)


Chiapas: CAM, SADEC, and X’inich demand a home for ill residents of their communities

July 21, 2015

Presidencia municipal de Palenque @ Revista Poderes

Palenque City Hall @ Revista Poderes

The organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s Home, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), and X’inich published an open letter to the Palenque mayor, Marcos Mayo, calling on him to “observe his electoral-campaign commitment that is of great importance to the people: the construction of a home for the relatives of the ill residents of our communities (we know it is very late, but the idea is that a budget will be assigned, and construction begun).”

The document recalls the primacy of the right to health, emphasizing the “problems that women face in pregnancy, labor, and the post-partum period, as many have nowhere to go after their children are born. They are told that it isn’t yet time for the child to be born, and so they are returned to their communities, and this has been the reason for major complications in labor or perinatal deaths.” Beyond this, they added that the Palenque hospital must attend to 400,000 residents from 9 neighboring municipalities, including Tila, Sabanilla, Salto de Agua, and Tumbalá, all of which have more than 90% indigenous populations with few resources. Additionally, Palenque itself has a 50% indigenous population.

For more information (in Spanish):

Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic, SADEC y Xinich, Exige al Presidente Municipal de Palenque cumplimiento de promesas de campaña ante constantes violaciones a derechos de la salud y la vida (Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic, )


Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce confrontation between PVEM and PRI, with 4 injured

July 21, 2015

80 aniversario del Ejido Tila, octubre 2014 @ SIPAZ

80th anniversary of the Tila ejido, October 2014 @ SIPAZ

The ejidatarios from Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced that on 20 June, groups pertaining to the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had a confrontation, given that members of the PVEM “blockaded the crossroads of Jolpokitioc and Yajalón, using all the trucks from the City Hall” on the orders of the PVEM candidate, Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez, with the participation of masked youth who created “social intimidation because they have been seen on the paths near the ejido,” as the public denunciation noted.

Furthermore, on 6 July, the ejidatarios reported that the PRI candidate, Eliseo Trinidad Trujillo, was attacked with a firearms, provoking the arrival of eight cars “full of masked men carrying sticks, rocks, and firearms, as guided by the municipal police director, Jorge Antonio Decelis Guillén, the son of the cacique Gustavo Decelis.” “All of this was taking place within our ejido due to the action of the political parties and their elections, which always end in mutual death, because it is a choice between criminals […]. We want to say that in our Ch’ol indigenous people settled on ejidal land, we have spent 72 years confronting attacks on our land and territory, and it is not a legal space for political parties to come to fight, because the ejido is protected by a presidential resolution from 30 July 1934, published in the Official Diary of the Federation on 16 October of the same year,” they added in their denunciation.

State media mentioned that the PRI candidate had submitted a complaint before the State Attorney General’s Office (PGJE). Trinidad Trujillo was injured, but a youth who was accompanying him on tour was injured in the head. Official sources also reported that they had received reports that three youth were injured by gunfire in the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood, being three PVEM militants who were presumably attacked by PRI members.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Tila denuncia sobre la violencia armada partidista (La Otra Ejido Tila, 8 de julio de 2015)

Un candidato a alcalde de Tila, Chiapas, es baleado tras acto de campaña (CNN México, 7 de julio de 2015)

Disputa entre militantes del PRI y PVEM en Chiapas deja cuatro heridos(La Jornada, 7 de julio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation (21 January 2015)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila receive threats following march to commemorate 80th anniversary of the ejido (26 October 2014)

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce new attempt to loot land (22 January 2014)