Chiapas: San Isidro Los Laureles Community reclaims lands that “our grandfathers, grandmothers and parents worked as serfs”

January 4, 2016


Members of the community of San Isidro Los Laureles, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, decided to reclaim “about 165 hectares from various properties: “Tres Picos” (property of Octovín Albores, owner of 30 hectares), “Las Delicias” (property of Francisco Javier Ruíz, owner of 60 hectares), and “El Refugio’ estate (property of Rodrigo Ruíz, owner of 75 hectares)” on December 20th. The members of the community declared that, “our grandfathers, grandmothers and parents who were serfs worked these lands. Since 1940 they have worked on minimum wage and have never received loans or bonuses. We reclaim these lands for our families because we no longer have anywhere to live or work for the livelihood of the families as indigenous people.”

They also mentioned that in 1994 they had already used these lands after a failed attempt to reclaim them in which they were evicted “with convoy, the marine and helicopter,” and explained that “today the need has arisen for the families that have nowhere to live of work, nor livelihood for the family, where they can have beans to eat.”

In a communiqué issued after December 29th, ten days after reclaiming the lands, they reported they could be evicted between January 2nd and 5th from the lands that “legitimately belong to us, by those who say they are the owners, Francisco Ruíz, Rodrigo Ruíz, Octovin Albores, along with Jesus Orantes Ruíz, and other smallholders, from the three properties we have reclaimed.” Furthermore “we fear that the same eviction could occur with excessive violence as happened in 1994 when we decided to reclaim the same properties when the state intervened unleashing repression, violently evicting our people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Para inicios de enero, amenazan de desalojo a campesinos de Chiapas que recuperaron las tierras de sus ancestros (Colectivo Pozol, 30 de diciembre de 2015)

Comunidad de San Isidro Los Laureles, se pronuncia por recuperación de tierras en municipio de Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas (Koman Ilel, 20 de diciembre de 2015)

Recuperan tierras comunales en Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas (Desinformémonos, 23 de diciembre de 2015)

Tsotsiles adherentes a La Sexta recuperaron tierras de manos de caciques priístas en Carranza, Chiapas (Más de 131, 27 de diciembre de 2015)

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

August 16, 2015



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)

National/Chiapas: Day of actions for Ayotzinapa to observe the Mexican Revolution

December 7, 2014


March in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo @SIPAZ

On 20 November, in observance of the Day for Global Action for Ayotzinapa, protests were held in solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzianapa in many cities throughout the world.  From three points in Mexico City, thousands of persons marched, accompanying caravans of students and relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa to arrive at the rally in the Zócalo of the capital.  After the rally, when the mobilization that had been peaceful to that point ended, a group of youth launched rockets and attempted to break down the principal entrance of the National Palace.  Riot police intervened against them, as against the rest of the protestors who had not participated in this intensified phase.  People were injured and arrested, but the authorities have not released any official data.  Meanwhile, on social networks photographs emerged demonstrating presumed infiltrators in the protests, who were placed there supposedly to destabilize the protests.

The parents of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa expressed, before hundreds of thousands of people assembled in Mexico City’s Zócalo, that “this is not just about Guerrero: all throughout Mexico there are secret graves full of persons who have been executed outside the law and forcibly disappeared.”  This was their conclusion following the tour they carried out in several states of the country during the previous week, including the north and south of the country.  At the act at the Zócalo, one of the organizers reported that in more than 185 cities of the world, people had come out to the streets to demand the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared students.

In Chiapas, thousands of students, teachers, campesinos, and citizens in general marched in a dozen municipalities to demand the presentation of the students who were disappeared on 26 September.  At least 4000 marched peacefully in the capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, a protest was organized that counted with the participation of a thousand people.  After a group of presumed infiltrators burned down shops after looted them, a strong police presence was deployed, leading to the arrest of several protestors.  Regardless, the police had been nowhere to be seen until 2pm; the morning of the protest progressed without any visible police presence.  The protestors distanced themselves from the counter-violence that was exhibited at the beginning of the march, when some set an Oxxo and part of a Soriana store on fire.  They accused the government of sending agents provocateurs.  Later, authorities announced the arrest of 13 “anarchists.”  Also in Comitán, Venustiano Carranza, Ocosingo, Tapachula, as elsewhere, protests were held.  Dissidents shared similar slogans, including, “You took them alive; alive we want them back,” and “Zapata lives; the struggle continues!”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Les decía ‘no me peguen, ya nos vamos’”; múltiples agresiones policiacas en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Marcha pacífica realizan en la capital chiapaneca (Diario de Chiapas, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Videos: Histórica marcha por Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Culmina la Jornada de Acción Global por Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

La refriega en el Zócalo después de una marcha pacífica (Proceso, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Identifican en redes a encapuchados, antes de la marcha en DF (Aristegui Noticias, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Fosas por todo el país: padres de los 43 normalistas (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

Multitudinarias movilizaciones de solidaridad en ciudades del mundo (La Jornada, 21 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico/Chiapas: National Brigade for the presentation with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Police beat journalists during protest for Ayotzinapa (6 December 2014)

Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration (13 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Chiapas: New actions by the EZLN to support Ayotzinapa (26 October 2014)

National/International: Multiple mobilizations and marches for the “Pain” and “Rage” of Ayotzinapa (12 October 2014)

Chiapas: OCEZ-RC installs sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

April 10, 2014


On 31 March, some 200 members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) held a march and installed an indefinite sit-in in downtown San Cristóbal de Las Casas.  They demand that the state authorities respond to their series of demands, denouncing “the politics of closure to dialogue on the part of the government led by Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Said demands include among others the regularization and redistribution of 1000 hectares of land from the Venustiano Carranza municipality; the cancellation of arrest-orders; the “retirement of nocturnal patrols of the specialized forces of the Army and Navy in our communities, as well as overflights performed by airplanes and even drones as well as helicopters belonging to the security forces and the Army”; the regularization of transport concessions from MOTO-TAXI, in addition to several productive, educational, and health projects.

Mariano Díaz Ochoa, subsecretary for Governance in the highlands region, has signed a document in which he committed himself to a dialogue between an OCEZ-RC commission with governmental authorities, to take place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez on 7 April.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado de la OCEZ-RC al instalar su plantón (OCEZ-RC, 31 de marzo de 2014)

OCEZ instala plantón en San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas Paralelo, 31 de marzo de 2014)

Se plantan ocesistas en la plaza de la paz (, 3 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)

Chiapas: confrontation in Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza (28 September 2011)

Chiapas: More than three thousand maize producers confront police

December 8, 2013


Photo @Chiapas Pararelo

Maize producers who demand a better price for their products were intercepted by hundreds of state police when they attempted to move the protest they had been sustaining for a week in the capital of Chiapas to the region of Venustiano Carranza.  The members of the Union of Maize Ejidos and Communities of the State of Chiapas demand that they be paid 5,000 pesos per ton of grain, but the authorities offer them only 3,600.  The campesinos confronted the police, resulting in the burning of several patrol-vehicles, 10 injured police, and 2 arrested campesinos.  Human-rights organizations denounced that the Chiapas state government is practicing repression in place of engaging with the legitimate demands of social groups.  In a 27 November bulletin, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights calls on the state government of Chiapas to cease its criminalization of social protest and at all moments guarantee and respect the rights to physical security as well as freedom of expression, assembly, thought, and association.  Thus, it calls for the immediate release of those who were arbitrarily arrested by the police and for medical attention to the injured.

For more information (in Spanish):

Uso desproporcionado de la fuerza pública en operativo policiaco en contra de productores de maíz (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, 27 de noviembre de 2013)

Más de tres mil productores de maíz se enfrentan a policías en Chiapas: 11 heridos (La Jornada, 28 de noviembre de 2013)

Reclamaban precio de garantía a la tonelada de maíz y les mandaron policías (Chiapas Paralelo, 28 de noviembre de 2013)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Visita de Oliver De Shutter, relator especial de la ONU sobre el Derecho a la Alimentación (17 de junio de 2011)

Chiapas: Civil society organizations publish report “Generalized violence in Venustiano Carranza”

August 20, 2013

Venustiano Carranza, mayo de 2013 (@CDHFBC)

On 6 August, civil organizations published the report “Generalized violence in Venustiano Carranza” which, according to information collected during a civil observation mission, “seeks to clarify the violent acts which took place in Venustiano Carranza on 5 Mayo 2013” between campesinos from the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization-Casa del Pueblo, associated with the National Front for the Struggle toward Socialism (OCEZ-CP-FNLS), and the Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization-Chiapas (OCEZ-Chiapas).

The organizations indicate that these acts derived from the “lack of interest on the part of the state government in resolving these demands from both sides.  The government’s actions before, during, and after 5 May have generated polarization and a wave of violence in the municipality.”

The report recalls that “the result of these [factors] are the following: the murder of two persons, Sebastián Martínez Gómez and José Luis Gómez Gómez; the displacement of 49 families, who to date live in a highly vulnerable situation without the government working to guarantee conditions for their return or relocation; damage to 42 homes, 22 vehicles, and 8 shops; the arbitrary detention of 19 campesinos by the State Police and Public Ministry under the orders of the General Secretary of Governance; nine persons arbitrarily incarcerated; two tortured persons; and 167 arrest-orders which are still to be carried out.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe: Violencia generalizada en la cabecera municipal de Venustiano Carranza (OSC, 6 de agosto de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Worsening of situation in Venustiano Carranza (24 June 2013)

Chiapas: 5 are arrested for violence in the Venustiano Carranza municipality (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Conflict erupts in Venustiano Carranza, with two dead and several injured (17 May 2013)

Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: Worsening of situation in Venustiano Carranza; confrontations with public forces and various arrests

June 24, 2013

Mural en la parroquia de Venustiano Carranza @ SIPAZ

Mural in the parish of Venustiano Carranza @ SIPAZ

The situation of tension in the municipal head of Venustiano Carranza, which originates in a conflict between two campesino groups, has worsened in recent days with the entrance of different security forces, including the Mexican Army and Navy.  According to several denunciations and journalistic information, on the morning of 17 June were arrested Miguel Hidalgo Vázquez and Juan Noé Vázquez de la Torre, communards of the ejido of this community, by state police, the Mexcain Army, and the Navy.  On the afternoon of 18 June, confrontations were seen in several neighborhoods of the community between residents and the police, leaving several injured and arrested, according to media reports.

The National Front for Struggle toward Socialism (FNLS) in a 17 June denunciation indicates that the arrests which occurred on that day had been planned during a table of negiation between the state government and the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Casa del Pueblo (OCEZ-CP).  The FNLS noted that the detention of Hidalgo Vázquez took place in the house of the commissar for the ejido, whom the security forces had been searching without success.  For its part, the OCEZ-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) reported that on 17 June Juan Sebastián Espinoza Arias was arrested in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. The OCEZ-RC indicated that Espinoza Arias was part of a delegation of the OCEZ-RC which found itself in the Chiapas state capital to meet with the General Secretary of Governance, Noé Castañón León, when he was beaten by members of OCEZ-Chiapas and subsequently handed over to the police.

Fort its part, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights on 19 June released a bulletin in which it found the state government responsible for hte violent acts, indicating that these took place “precisely within the realm of a negotiation initiated by cabinet members, including the present Secretary of Governance, Noé Castañón León, who must be regarded as a perpetrator of these senseless actions.”

According to journalistic information, presently the members of OCEZ-CP have blockaded access to the municipal head and are holding a commander of the State Preventive Police hostage, toward the end of demanding a negotiation table with the state government.

For more information (in Spanish):

Proceso: Policía entra a desbloquear pueblo tomado por comuneros (18/06/2013)

La Jornada: Dos heridos y varios detenidos en riña de agentes con OCEZ (19/06/2013)

Boletín del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (pdf) (19/06/2013)

La Jornada: Mantienen integrantes de OCEZ CP bloqueos en Chiapas; piden mesa de diálogo (19/06/2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: 5 are arrested for violence in the Venustiano Carranza municipality (7 June 2013)

Chiapas: Conflict erupts in Venustiano Carranza, with two dead and several injured (17 May 2013)

Chiapas: Denunciation of residents of Candelaria El Alto, Venustiano Carranza regarding the “El Desengaño” territory (25 March 2012)

Chiapas: new public denunciation from the Candelaria El Alto community (16 January 2012)