Chiapas: Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

November 21, 2015

ViejoVelasco

Beginning at dawn on 13 November, members of the XINICH organization, which pertains to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in their proper communities began a day of prayer and fasting that will last 13 Sundays in commemoration of the nine years since the Viejo Velasco massacre. Relatives of victims and survivors of the massacre called on “all brothers and sisters from civil society to join this action so that, with your families, organization, and communities, you carry out symbolic actions to accompany us.”

Nine years after the massacre, they manifested that they have not “found justice. The government has not punished those responsible, and there has been no effective or efficient investigation of those intellectually and materially responsible for these human-rights violations.” Beyond this, they denounced that the “bad government has not sought out and thus does not know the whereabouts of our brothers Antonio Peñate López and Mariano Pérez Guzmán, who continue to be forcibly disappeared.”

It bears mentioning that on 13 November 2006, at 6am, in the community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, Chiapas, adjacent to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle, a group of 40 persons from the New Palestine community accompanied by 300 units from the sectorial police invaded the community and attacked its indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Ch’ol residents, leaving four dead, four others disappeared, and 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children forcibly displaced, being survivors of the assault.

For more information (in Spanish):

Noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Frayba, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (Rostros de Despojo, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

Chiapas “Civiles armados, policías, funcionarios y servidores públicos, cometieron la Masacre de Viejo Velasco en Ocosingo”, DDHH. (Radio Pozol, 13 de noviembre de 2015)

A nueve años de la masacre de Viejo Velasco, pobladores anuncian jornada de oración y ayuno (14 de noviembre de 2015)

Jornada de oración y ayuno en el noveno aniversario de la Masacre de Viejo Velasco (CGT Chiapas, 16 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Pilgrimage in Palenque, eight years after the Viejo Velasco massacre; beginning of “Faces of looting” campaign (6 December 2014)

Chiapas: 7 years since the Viejo Velasco massacre (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: 5 years after the Viejo Velasco massacre (26 November 2011)

 

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Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State

October 25, 2015

Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretario de la Mesa Directiva de Las Abejas de Acteal, ante la CIDH sobre la masacre de Acteal @Daniel Cima para CIDHJuan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH

On 20 October, two days before their monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society, together with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), participated in a public audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC, regarding impunity in the case of the Acteal massacre. In this audience, allegations were presented regarding the basis of the case that evidences “the responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre and the lack of investigation, sanction, and compensation for the victims.” Las Abejas assured in the voice of Juan Vásquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table, that for the Tsotsiles of the Chiapas Highlands, “this massacre was planned by the Mexican State.” Before the IACHR, Las Abejas requested “that a profound report be prepared to investigate the Acteal massacre, declaring the Mexican State responsible for this crime.” For his part, the official representative of the Mexican government rejected all responsibility for the atrocity, using the argument that there is no report or recommendation that claims the State to have been responsible.

Subsequent to the audience before the IACHR, in the offices of the CDHFBC in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a press conference was held denouncing the “cynicism of the Mexican State in denying its responsibility for the Acteal massacre. We say as our comrade Juan Vázquez manifested before the IACHR today in Washington, that we will NOT accept coming to any friendly resolution with the Mexican State.”

On 22 October, during their monthly commemoration, Las Abejas recognized that they are not surprised “by the response of the Mexican State during the public audience […] not accepting its responsibility for this massacre […] because for nearly 18 years, it has denied its participation and planning of this massacre. On the contrary, with its policy of attrition toward the survivors and victims of Acteal and toward our organization of Las Abejas, it has attempted to use several means and faces to divide us and silence us.” They assured that, despite the “attempt by the Mexican State to exterminate our children on 22 December 1997, the children of today are now seeds and immortal hopes for the just and humane world that we Tsotsils and Tseltals are building, being men and women of different colors, thought, and struggle.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la Organizacion de las Abejas 22 de Octubre de 2015 (Las Abejas de Acteal, 22 de octubre de 2015)

México: Caso Masacre de Acteal (Youtube, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Audiencia ante la CIDH sobre la Masacre de Acteal (Frayba, Intervenciones, 20 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano (Las Abejas de Acteal, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Acteal en audiencia ante la CIDH (Frayba, Boletín de prensa, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Rechaza Estado mexicano responsabilidad en masacre de Acteal (La Jornada, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Abejas de Acteal rechazan “conciliación” con el “Estado criminal” (Regeneración, 20 de octubre de 2015)

Masacre de Actal planeada por el Estado mexicano; lejos de castigar a responsables los premia con pensiones: Frayba (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 20 de octubre de 2015)

“Nuestra memoria es inmensa, más que la impunidad sembrada por el Estado mexicano”, Abejas de Acteal. (Radio Pozol, 23 de octubre de 2015)

NO aceptamos llegar a una solución amistosa con el Estado mexicano: Sociedad Civil las Abejas de #Acteal (Koman Ilel, 20 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Monthly commemoration by Las Abejas de Acteal (8 October 2015)

Chiapas: Las Abejas of Acteal denounce 6 years of release of paramilitaries (10 September 2015)

Chiapas: A member of the Las Abejas Civil Society is murdered (2 July 2015)

Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity (27 July 2014)


Chiapas: Call for the 2015 jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum Award

February 8, 2015

© SIPAZ convocatoria Jcanan Lum 2015

Jcanan Lum Award call 2015 © SIPAZ

On 23 January, the 2015 public call to propose candidates for the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award” was launched.  The announcement was made by Monseigneur José Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo and the honorary president of the organizing committee.

The call recalls that the award has the goal of “making known and inspiring the work of women and men, organizations, and collectives that have distinguished themselves by their contribution to the people in the creation of communal and/or regional alternatives, as well as by their work directed at unity and peaceful social transformation […].  We want to recognize their love for the people, their resistance, their service, their search for alternatives amidst the suffering and marginalization of their communities, amidst the destruction of the Earth, the defense of human rights, the defense of the dignity of all, and their struggle for peace, justice, and liberation.”

“jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” is a charge that the Mons. Samuel Ruíz García received in the community of Amatenango del Valle by Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Zoque peoples on 14 October 2009.  There, he was recognized as the protector of their people, who love and defend him for being someone who cares for life, nature, and the Earth.  With reference to the same, the jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award seeks to support individuals or groups and stimulate them by giving voice to their social work.

The proposals must be made in writing, physically, or electronically before 31 October 2015 to the following address: Calle Brasil No. 14, Barrio de Mexicanos, CP 29240, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. Tel. and fax: 967 6787395, 967 6787396 E-mail: jcananlum@gmail.com

The awarding of the next wave of Recognitions will take place in January 2016 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in observance of the Episcopal Anniversary of jTatic Samuel Ruiz García.

For more information (in Spanish):

Convocatoria jCanan Lum 2015

“Reconocimiento jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum”, lanzamiento de convocatoria, Koman ilel, 23 de enero de 2015

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: Burial of Don Samuel Ruiz and presentation of the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)


Chiapas: Commemoration of the murder of Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez and other victims of femicide

April 26, 2014

Evento de conmemoración en San Cristóbal. Foto (@Arte Acción)

Commemorative event in San Cristóbal. Photo (@Arte Acción)

On 14 April, to coincide with the second anniversary of the murder of female youth Itzel Janet Méndez-Pérez, there was held an action/altar in the Cathedral Plaza of San Cristóbal de las Casas with the slogan “Itzel is not forgotten.”

The event, beyond recalling the murder of Itzel, sought to organize civil society to commemorate all murdered women who have been victims of femicide and to revindicate the ongoing struggle for the memory and justice for femicide victims.

Itzel Méndez Pérez, a Tsotsil student of 17 years of age, was killed on 14 April 2012 in San Cristóbal de las Casas.  Her body was found with signs of sexual abuse and beatings.

Due to the increase in the numbers of femicides and the existing impunity in the state of Chiapas, women’s and human-rights organizations from San Cristóbal de las Casas have recently proclaimed a permanent Gender Alert.

According to data from the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, between January and October of 2013, 84 murders of women were documented, 52 of which should be categorized as femicides, with the remainder still under investigation to determine.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ni perdón. Ni olvido. 14.04.’14 (Arte Acción, 14 de abril de 2014)

A dos años del feminicidio de Itzel Yaneth Méndez Pérez (Campaña Popular Contra la Violencia hacia las Mujeres y el Feminicidio en Chiapas, 14 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Amidst increase in femicide and impunity, civil organization proclaims permanent Gender Alert (19 de marzo de 2014)

National: Multiple activities for International Women’s Day (16 March 2014)

Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero: Activities to observe International Day of Non-Violence toward Women (8 December 2013)

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Conmemoration of femicides during Day of the Dead (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Women declare alert over gender violence (20 July 2013)

Chiapas: Justice is demanded in the case of the feminicide of the youth Itzel Yanet Méndez Pérez (16 May 2012)


Chiapas: Awarding of Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Recognition

February 3, 2014

(@koman ilel)

(@koman ilel)

On 21 January 2014, the jTatic Samuel, jCanan Lum Award was given to the Migrants House, the House of the Wandering jTatic Samuel Ruiz García of Pakal-na, based in Palenque, Chiapas; to Fray Tomás Gonzales Castillo, responsible for the “72” Migrant Home in Tenosique, Tabasco; and to the Ecumenical Group of Organic Agriculture belonging to Pablo L. Sidar, from Chicomuselo, Chiapas.

The nomination of the jCanan Lum (a term that in Tseltal signifies caretaker of the people and land) is a charge that Samuel Ruiz García, bishop of the San Cristóbal diocese, received in Amatenango del Valle from the Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Zoque people in 1999.  The award now recognizes work in favor of the people and Earth as taken on by individuals, groups, and peoples.

This year, the award committee was led by the bishop of Saltillo, Raúl Vera López, and by Professor Alberto Patishtán, who received this recognition from the bishop himself in 2010, while he was incarcerated.

For more information (in Spanish):

Entregan reconocimiento fundado por Samuel Ruiz a la casa de migrantes La 72 (La Jornada, 22 de enero de 2013)

Activistas de apoyo a migrantes y conservacionistas recibirán el Reconocimiento jTatik Samuel jCanan Lum (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Launch of call for 2014 jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum (5 February 2013)

Chiapas: First anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruiz García; third award of the Jtatik Samuel jCanan Lum recognition (2012) (8 February 2012)

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)