Chiapas: CFE cuts off 14 communities from Tila, provoking tensions

June 30, 2015

(@SIPAZ)

In a communique published on 21 June, the organization Peoples United for the Defense of Electricity (PUDEE) denounced that the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) suspended service on 17 June to residents in 14 communities from the Tila municipality, northern zone of Chiapas. Some of the affected homes find themselves in a position of resistance to paying for electricity, due to high prices.

In light of these events, PUDEE has reported increased “tensions in the communities that struggle and resist to defend their rights” and that “amidst the situation and the rise in violence that could take place in the communities of the northern zone, we hold the three levels of government responsible.”

PUDEE indicated that “if it is this way that CFE will treat the communities in resistance, we will organize ourselves by means of the self-determination of our peoples. The way they are privatizing the electricity, we too will privatize our lands, and the CFE will have to pay us for the use of our lands. If this does not happen, they can take their light-posts and transformers. We will not allow them to plunder our land, which belonged to our parents and is for our children.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo del PUDEE (Denuncia Pública, 21 de junio de 2015)

CFE corta el servicio a comunidades ‘en resistencia de pagos’ en Chiapas (La Jornada, 24 de junio de 2015)

CFE suspende energía a 14 comunidades indígenas de Chiapas (El Financiero, 25 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Communique from PUDEE regarding structural reforms (2 September 2014)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces “climate of violence” generated by the CFE in the zone below Tila (15 April 2013)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment and electricity cut-off by CFE (24 March 2012)

Chiapas: PUDEE denounces harassment by the CFE (25 February 2011)

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Chiapas: Minerva, half of her life disappeared, with no justice

June 29, 2015

Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres

Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres

On 20 June 2015, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres would have had her thirty-eighth birthday. That same day in 1996, she was “headed to the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, Chiapas, to visit her ill father. On her route, in the Miguel Alemán community, she was intercepted by members of the ‘Development, Peace, and Justice’ paramilitary group, who kidnapped her, tortured her sexually and otherwise for three days, and then forcibly disappeared her. Nearly two decades after, her whereabouts are entirely unknown,” indicates the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBLC). Beyond this, a public bulletin reported that the relatives of Minerva and other forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed persons are receiving notes “to confront their aggressors, the paramilitary leaders of Development, Peace, and Justice: Diego Vázquez Pérez, Sabelino Torres Martínez, Marcos Albino, and Samuel Sánchez, who are ordered to appear before a judge or face a fine of $2,048 [Mexican pesos] if they fail to comply.”

This aforementioned group was trained and protected by the State Police and the Mexican Army in the 1990s as a counter-insurgency weapon, as demonstrated in the Chiapas Campaign Plan 94. The CDHFBLC documented that Development, Peace, and Justice carried out 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and forcibly displaced more than 4,500 people.

For more information (in Spanish):

Minerva Guadalupe: Verdad y Justicia hasta encontrarte (CDHFBLC, 23 de junio de 2015)

La indígena chiapaneca Minerva Guadalupe Pérez, lleva desaparecida más de la mitad de su vida (Desinformémonos, 23 de junio de 2015)

Desaparición forzada en Chiapas, bajo una loza de impunidad (Centro Prodh, 23 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: 16 years of impunity in the case of the forced disappearance of Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres (25 June 2012)

Chiapas: Masojá Shucjá, commemoration of the victims of the victims of the conflict of ’95 and ’96 (7 October 2011)


Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour communities of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

June 29, 2015

Delegación de Ayotzinapa en Palenque, Chiapas @OmarEl44

Ayotzinapa delegation in Palenque, Chiapas @OmarEl44

On June 16, a caravan of relatives and comrades of the disappeared and murdered students from Ayotzinapa arrived to Chiapas to meet with indigenous communities organized within the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle. Doña Bertha Nava and Don Tomás Ramírez, the parents of Julio César Ramírez Nava, who was murdered on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Doña Cristina Bautista Salvador, mother of Benjamín Ascencio Bautista (disappeared), and Omar García, a student from the Rural Normal School, comprised the caravan. The caravan began its first day in the community of San Francisco, municipality of Teopisca, with the participation of Semilla Digna, a collective from the Chiapas highlands, the Network in Defense of Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, and the Las Abejas Civil Society. Omar García noted that “Ayotzinapa has united many of us, and if we are not all against the system, we still work together, because we do not count ourselves by number, but rather by strength of relationships that are weaved in this struggle.Regarding the pain of Acteal, he said, what you have suffered, we too have suffered. Now we must confront that pain, together, with you.”

On June 17, the caravan continued onto San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, with the presence and participation of members organized in the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, representatives of communities that make up the People United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) and the ejido of Tila. In Cumbre Nachoj, the headquarters of the ejido where the meeting took place, Doña Berta expressed that “in Tixtla Guerrero, we thought it was just us, but all of us have been beaten down by the government in one way or another.” The conclusion of the caravan took place in Palenque with the organization XINICH that is comprised of indigenous communities of the northern Lacandon jungle, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone, human-rights defenders, and the civil society in solidarity, demanding justice for Ayotzinapa and also for the case of the massacre in the Viejo Velasco community in the Ocosingo municipality that continues in impunity and took place in 2006.

For more information (in Spanish):

Que no nos pisoteen, que no somos gusanos, somos seres humanos y estamos en pie de lucha”, madres de Ayotzinapa, en Palenque Chiapas.(Radio Pozol, 20 de junio de 2015)

#Ayotzinapa visita CNI Chiapas: San Francisco (Koman ilel, 19 de junio de 2015)

Encuentro entre familiares de los normalistas de Ayotzinapa y comunidades del CNI en Chiapas – San Sebastián Bachajón (Radio Zapatista, 17 de junio de 2015)

#Ayotzinapa visita a las comunidades del CNI en Chiapas: Día 1, San Francisco (Koman Ilel, 16 de junio de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)


Chiapas: Misopá ejido denounces unauthorized exploratory work by CONAFOR

March 22, 2015

Municipio de Tila, foto de archivo @ SIPAZ

Tila municipality, archive photo @ SIPAZ

On 3 March, a denunciation was made public by the Misopa Chinal ejido, Tila municipality, which pertains to the People United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, which accuses the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR) of having entered “to our ejidal lands” to carry out studies and explorations: “they seek to apply the badly named agrarian reforms in our lands and territories.”

The denunciation mentions that on 27 February, several people arrived representing “the AMAREF S.A. de C.V. firm […] to work in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.”   The ejido declared that said firm has been contracted by CONAFOR and “has as its proposal to extract information regarding the conditions of trees, foliage, and soils” to carry out a reforestation in the area.  On 28 February, the ejidatarios of the 7 annexes of Misopa Chinal ejido expressed their disagreement with the “foreign persons in our ejido” doing this type of work, and they added that “the ejidatarios can plant trees from the region that are desired to manage their lands and territories.”  They also asked the authorities not to enter with their equipment “which have been taken by the ejidal assembly.”  The communique indicates that “we will hold the bad government of EPN responsible for any type of demand made against the ejidatarios and the ejidal authorities.  We never requested the presence of these people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 3 de marzo de 2015)

Ejido Misopá denuncia exploraciones no autorizadas de CONAFOR en su territorio (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, 3 de marzo de 2015)


Chiapas: mining reactivation is reported in the state

March 3, 2015
Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

Demonstration against mining activities, Pantelho, February 2015 (@Espoir Chiapas)

In a statement released on February 14, the Human Rights Committee Digna Ochoa in Chiapas affirmed that it had received a copy of a letter addressed to the priest of Simojovel, Marcelo Perez Perez, which was signed by Dr. Juan Carlos Salinas Prieto representative of the Mexican Geological Service and of the firm Geochemistry and Drilling Company SA de CV (GYMSA). In this letter, the priest was asked to intercede with the representations of the indigenous communities “to access their private and communal territories, and where, in a period of time of three months, he “has programmed to carry out geological mapping of the region comprised of the municipalities of Jitotol de Zaragoza, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán, Bochil, San Andrés Duraznal, El Bosque, Simojovel, Huitipán, Tapilula, Rayon, Pantepec, Allende Esquipulas, Las Maravillas, Union Zaragoza, Carmen Zacatal,Álvaro Obregón, Rincon Chamula, Competition, El Bosque, Sabanilla, Tila, Tumbalá, Yajalón, Sitalá, San Juan Cancuc, Pantelhó and Chalchihuitán”.

The Committee Digna Ochoa expressed that it “confirms that the government of Chiapas and mining companies are going for more territories and municipalities in the Northern region and Highlands of Chiapas and that the threat of looting and plunder is at the door of peasants and indigenous territories’ lands. (…) A door is opened to legalize the dispossession of land and resources belonging to hundreds of communities and indigenous and peasants peoples without an effective tool of legal defense such as the community consultation supported by ILO Convention 169”.

On February 11, the Believing People of the parish of Santa Catarina Pantelho organized a demonstration in the county seat of this municipality to announce its total rejection of the company GYMSA arrival.

In the last three governments in Chiapas, 144 mining concessions for exploration or exploitation have been granted (some of them for up to 50 years). Recently, in the natural reserve “El Triunfo”, municipality, and after months of opposition, the landowners gave up some plots to a Chinese company it is said for three million pesos per hectare.

For more information (in Spanish):

Se reactiva amenaza minera en municipios del norte de Chiapas, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 16 de febrero de 2015)

Pantelho se moviliza en contra de los proyectos de minas (Espoir Chiapas, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Amenaza la minería a Chiapas; más de un millón hectáreas concesionadas (Reporte Ciudadano, 10 de febrero de 2015)

Tras meses de oposición labriegos de Chiapas aceptan vender parcelas a una minera china (La Jornada, 8 de febrero de 2015)

Carlos Slim, empresarios extranjeros y presta nombres, los dueños de concesiones mineras en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English)

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)



Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Tila denounce attempt at usurpation

January 21, 2015

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 7 January, the representatives of the Tila ejido, the president of the ejidal commissioner, and the president of the council of vigilance denounced the usurpation of the ejidal authority in their community, accusing Arturo Sánchez, Juan López López, and Evaristo Gutiérrez of naming their own commissioner and having ordered them “to make their seal and […] giving them services, thus presenting these three as though they were the new ejidal authorities.  They have thus made the grave mistake of illegally usurping the ejidal authority that is the general assembly and the ejidal authorities.”

In this way, the ejidatarios affirmed that on 2 September and 22 December 2014, these three persons met “to plan this action, and they have been supported by the Chiapas state government and City Hall” in this.  They also indicated that organized crime is in collusion with the municipal government, in light of the fact that “City Hall has served as refuge for criminals, murderers, and ex-convicts who engage in a power-struggle over the position every three years.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Usurpación de la Asamblea ejidal y Autoridades por el mal gobierno y su grupo caciques (La Otra ejido Tila, 7 de enero de 2015)

Ejidatarios de Tila acusan intento de usurpación de autoridad (Centro Prodh, 9 de enero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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 (January 22, 2014)


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)