National/Chiapas: INM offers public apology to four indigenous migrants from Chiapas

November 11, 2019
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@Proceso

On November 7, in the Hall of Fine Arts in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the National Institute of Migration (INM) offered a public apology to four Tzeltal indigenous people from Chiapas who were detained, tortured and almost deported by INM elements. In 2015, the two men and two women were on their way north, looking for work in one of the country’s several industrial crops. Presenting their birth certificates and their electoral identification at a checkpoint in San Juan del Río, Querétaro, “INM agents told them they were false, took them to a migratory station and told them they were Guatemalans; they mistreated them so that they would admit to being from Guatemala”, explained María Fernanda Pincus, director of the Legal Clinic of the University program of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). One of the victims was still a minor at the time of the arrest.

Accompanied by the Municipal President of San Cristóbal, Jerónima Toledo Villalobos, Francisco Garduño Yáñez, commissioner of INM, apologized to the legal representative of the victims, Gretchen Kuhner, for the violation of their human rights and the “damage to the image, honor and dignity“, of the 4 people. “They were not present at the ceremony because they want to maintain a private life, but it was very important that a public apology be made because it is not something that happens only to them; they said we don’t want it to happen to us, but neither to other people”, said María Fernanda Pincus. According to Gretchen Kuhner, the victims accept the apology.

As consequence and in an administrative process, two deputy directors, an agent, a coordinator and two heads of department were punished with suspensions between 15 and 30 days. “Through me, the Institute is committed to guaranteeing measures of non-repetition, so that the acts that violated the human rights of these people do not happen again”, Garduño Yáñez said. He added that the end of non-repetition “translates into prevention through the sensitization of public servants attached to the INM, on issues related to indigenous communities and the urgency of its members to migrate to other parts of the country.” According to María Fernanda Pincus, in addition, there will be “reparation of the damage in economic terms, because they were going to work in the north of the country as agricultural day laborers and they will be paid what they missed earning in those days.”

Mario Peña, also from the Legal Clinic of the UNAM’s University Program on Human Rights, pointed out that “there are no conditions to know who are Mexicans and who are foreigners. We have noticed that people in vulnerable conditions with little command of Spanish are more affected and that they are not provided with an interpreter of their language in migration procedures”.

For more information:

Pide el INM disculpas a indígenas tzeltales por agresión en retén (La Jornada, November 7, 2019)

El INM ofrece disculpa pública a indígenas chipanecos confundidos con migrantes (El Proceso, November 7, 2019)

Ofrece INM disculpa pública a 4 indígenas de Chiapas (El Heraldo de México, November 7, 2019)

Ofrecen disculpa pública a tzeltales torturados en 2015 (EL Universal, November 8, 2019)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/International: Effort to Protect Migrants “Lasted a Few Months”, UNHCHR (November 7, 2019)

Chiapas: Migration Authorities Stop Migrant Caravan in Tapachula (October 17, 2019)

National/International: CSOs Denounce Poor Conditions in Provisional Migration Centers in Chiapas (October 13, 2019)

Chiapas: African Migrants Clash with National Guard in Tapachula (October 8, 2019)

International/National: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ends Mexican Visit while African Migrants Protest in Tapachula (October 7, 2019)

National/International: Mexico and US Reevaluate Migration Agreement after Three Months; Disagreement over Desired Outcomes (September 23, 2019)

International/National: UNO Calls for Evaluation of National Guard as Migratory Control in Mexico (September 2, 2019)


Chiapas: The EZLN announces new activities, meeting of indigenous peoples, and “Ethics amidst looting”

April 10, 2014


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In a March 2014 communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities for the months of May and June.

From 26 to 30 May will take place the meeting of indigenous peoples: “At this meeting we will exchange our thought and history of struggle and resistance as indigenous that we are.”  Some 30 peoples have been invited, including the Wixárika, Nahua, Zoque, Purépecha, Mazahua, Afromestizo, Triqui, Peninsular Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol, Zoque, and migrants.  The letter stresses that the “invitation is closed and is ONLY for the indigenous peoples invited during this first round.  Those who are not invited will not be allowed to enter.”

In other news, “On Saturday 31 May 2014 in the Oventik caracol, we will announce together with our brothers and sisters from other indigenous communities our conclusions and a declaration for future plans in terms of resistance against the looting which we suffer, as well as our rights and indigenous culture.”

Furthermore, “Sunday 1 June 2014, also in the Oventik caracol, we will make a simple homage to our fallen comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This event is open and all are invited to attend.  The event will take place at approximately 2pm, and female and male commanders from the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN, the writer Juan Villoro, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will participate.”

In the end will be held a final activity: “From Monday 2 June 2014 until Sunday 8 June of this year, there will be held in the Oventik caracol and at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a seminar on the question of ‘ETHICS AMIDST LOOTING,’ which will also commemorate our comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This seminar is open and all are invited.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncia EZLN encuentro de pueblos; irá ‘Marcos’ “si su salud se lo permite”, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2014

EL EZLN ANUNCIA ACTIVIDADES CON PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS, HOMENAJE A DON LUIS VILLORO Y SEMINARIO SOBRE “ÉTICA FRENTE AL DESPOJO”, ASÍ COMO NUEVA INICIATIVA PARA LA SEXTA NACIONAL E INTERNACIONAL, Enlace Zapatista, 31 de marzo de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)


Chiapas: Presentation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

September 15, 2010

On 13 September the Chiapas section of Amnesty International Mexico and the Jesuit Mission of Bachajón presented in San Cristóbal de Las Casas the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Spanish and Tseltal.  It was then exactly three years after the date on which the UN General Assembly approved the declaration that establishes the right to self-determination, to indigenous control of lands and natural resources, and to the cultural traditions of indigenous communities.

Manuel de la Cruz, member of the Center for Indigenous Rights A.C. (Cediac) affirmed that “The UN declaration on our rights has proven to be a valuable tool for indigenous peoples, above all now that it has been translated into our language.  This way we can analyze and discuss it in courses and workshops held in communities.” He mentioned as an example that, thanks to the knowledge different communities have regarding their rights, they have organized themselves, succeeding in “momentarily” suspending the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway.  He added that “[t]his path would have affected the lands and natural resources of many ejidos, and it would not have brought us any benefits; indeed, it would only be for the movement of vehicles, as occurs on many such highways.”

For more information (in Spanish):

UN declaration on indigenous rights is presented in Tzeltal (La Jornada, 14 September 2010)

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (English version)

UN approves Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (La Jornada, 14 September 2007)