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: Indigenous people of Chiapas organize in Acteal to “continue the path of The Other Justice”

October 25, 2015

Foro La Otra Justici en Acteal @LasAbejasdeActealForum “The Other Justice” in Acteal, Chenalhó, Chiapas @LasAbejasdeActeal

On 10 and 11 October, more than 200 indigenous persons from Chiapas met in Acteal, Chenalhó, Mexico, for the Forum on “The Other Justice” organized by the Las Abejas Civil Society, the X’INICH Committee for the Defense of Freedom, and Peoples United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE). The meeting served to “continue on the path of The Other Justice and to reconstruct our memory due to the pain we have confronted as victims of the counterinsurgent war. We will share our experiences from our cultures within a context of impunity.” The forum, which was organized with three meetings, ended in Acteal with the participation of members of national and international social organizations and “survivors and relatives [of survivors] of the war in the Northern Zone, Viejo Velasco, Banavil, the Primero de Agosto community, as well as other peoples who lived impunity in their own bodies, to speak and reaffirm our words and construct Lekil Chapanel and Bats’il meltsanel, that is to say, Dignified Justice, True Justice, which is righteous and humane.”

In their pronunciation participants declared that “due to such impunity, lies, cynicism, and hypocrisy on the part of the government, our eyes were opened and our ears began to hear the cries due to injustice, such that our heart and thought tell us that True Justice, dignified, long-lasting, humane, and righteous will not be given by the bad government.” Beyond this, they recognized that they must “struggle together without concern for cultural differences, or those related to age, profession, work, or religion. Only by walking together will we reach The Other Justice that is for women, men, children, students, workers of the city and countryside, migrants, lesbians, gays, and trans* individuals […] for all those who are humiliated, discriminated against, and oppressed and repressed by the neoliberal capitalist system.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento conjunto del Foro Caminando La Otra Justicia (Las Abejas de Acteal, 11 de octubre de 2015)

“Construyan esa Justicia Digna, humana, duradera, cabal. La Verdadera, el Lekil Chapanel y Bats’il tusanel”. (Radio Pozol, 12 de octubre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Forum on “The Other Justice” (10 October 2015)


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: Controversial arrest warrants in the case of the Viejo Velasco Massacre

January 29, 2015
(@ProDH)

(@ProDH)

In a bulletin issued on January 8, the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (CDHFBC) reported that the new arrest warrants against those allegedly responsible for the Viejo Velasco Massacre, Ocosingo municipality, “violate the right to fair trial, including the presumption of innocence”.

It noted that in September 2014, the suspects, members of the Xi’Nich organization and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), obtained Court Protection. However, the District Judge of Ocosingo dictated new arrest warrants, although the prosecution has not collected sufficient elements to establish the existence of the alleged crimes nor the responsibility of those indigenous persons.

The CDHFBC complained that “the investigation of the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas has been ineffective: they have accused the victims as if they were the perpetrators”, and they have been “criminalized and judicialized “. It warned that from the beginning, the investigation “of this crime against humanity” was distorted.

Giving more context to this new facts, the CDHFB recalled that “on November 13, 2006, in Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo municipality, about 40 people from Nueva Palestina, Frontera Corozal and Lacanjá Chansayab, communities of the Lacandon Community, accompanied by 300 elements of the State Police of Chiapas, five Prosecutors of the Public Ministry, two experts, the Jungle Zone Regional Commander of the State Investigation Agency (with 7 more persons) and a representative of the Ministry of Social Development, assaulted the Viejo Velasco community. They broke into the houses, stole people’s belongings, and caused the forced displacement of 36 people, the extrajudicial killing of four persons and the forced disappearance of four others. “

The day of the incident, the alleged perpetrators were in the ejido Nuevo Tila, where actually arrived the displaced persons from Viejo Velasco. The inhabitants provided them support and organized a brigade of observation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictan nuevas órdenes de aprehensión en el caso Viejo Velasco, Red Todos los Derechos para Todos, 7 de enero de 2015

Órdenes de aprehensión en masacre de Viejo Velasco, violatorios de los derechos humanos: Frayba, centroprodh, 8 de enero 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

(December 6, 2014)

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


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

December 6, 2014

DSCF3090

Participants present names of victims, Photo@Sipaz

On 13 November there was held a pilgrimage to commemorate the victims of the Viejo Velasco massacre, Ocosingo municipality, and to demand justice amidst the impunity that prevails.  The same day in 2006, 40 civilians from the Lacandon community together with sub-communards from Nueva Palestina who were accompanied by approximately 300 armed members of the now-defunct Sectorial Police of the State attacked the community of Viejo Velasco, leaving four dead and another four disappeared.

The pilgrims demanded justice and the immediate clarification of the case, as well as compensation for damages incurred by the 36 persons displaced by the massacre.  Death-threats and harassment against the affected communities, as hailing from the agrarian offices of Ocosingo and Palenque, were detailed.  Furthermore, participants expressed their solidarity with the 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa and with their relatives in their struggle for justice.

In parallel terms, seven organizations for the defense and promotion of human rights in Chiapas began a campaign called “Faces of Looting” this same day, which seeks to “make visible the ways in which indigenous peoples are violently displaced from their territories.”  Viejo Velasco is an emblematic case that the campaign will highlight during its estimated 6-month run.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo (Pozol Colectivo, 13 de noviembre, 2014)

Organizaciones exigen justicia y el esclarecimiento de la masacre de Viejo Velasco (Chiapas Paralelo, 14 de noviembre de 2014)

Campaña “Rostros del Despojo”

Inicia campaña Rostros del Despojo en Chiapas (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 March 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)

Chiapas: Viejo Velasco, a year after the unjust detention of Diego Arcos Meneses (24 November 2007)


Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity

July 27, 2014


Foto (@SIPAZ)

Photo (@SIPAZ)

On 18 July in El Limonar, Ocosingo municipality, there was held the pre-audience for the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), “With Justice and Peace We Shall Find Truth.”  As part of the work on “Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice” covered by the Mexican chapter of the TPP,  the Viejo Velasco massacre was addressed.  This atrocity, which took place on 13 November 2006, resulted in the execution of four persons and the disappearance of four others.  Two of the disappeared were found dead some months later.  Furthermore, 37 residents of the community were forcibly displace, seeking refuge in the neighboring community of Nuevo Tila.

After having reviewed the relevant documents and the declarations of victims and witnesses, the judges declared that the “The fact that these acts of violence from the State did not solely target combatants but also the civilian, non-combatant population–including boys and girls–shows that the only common factor among the victims was that they pertained to certain ethnic groups and social organizations.  It also shows that said acts were committed ‘with the intention of destroying’ these groups ‘totally or in part,’ thus qualifying these as crimes against humanity.”  For this reason, they judged the Mexican State to be culpable of having violated the rights to life and personal integrity as well as the right not to experience forced disappearance in the cases of Viejo Velasco and Acteal in the Northern Zone of Chiapas.

In conclusion, the tribunal declared that “the State must use the appropriate means to observe its obligation to investigate the acts that have been denouned, as well as to identify, judge, and sanction those responsible and the beneficiaries of these crimes.”  It stressed that “the Mexican State is obliged to comprehensively compensate the damages caused by these crimes against humanity.”  Lastly, it recalled that the cycle of the Mexican chapter of the TPP will end in November 2014, a time in which the “grave human-rights violations committed by the Mexican State that to date enjoy impunity” will be denounced and made visible before the national and international public.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dictamen Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (TPP blogspot capítulo México, 19 de julio de 2014)

Estado mexicano, culpable en masacre de Viejo Velasco: TPP (Chiapas Paralelo, 21 de julio de 2014)

BOLETIN DE PRENSA “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad”(Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

Ante la falta de justicia del Estado familiares de víctimas de la masacre de Viejo Velasco exigen verdad (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 16 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace we will find truth” (19 July 2014)

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

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

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)


Chiapas: Invitation to the TPP preaudience, “With justice and peace, we will find truth”

July 19, 2014


140702_TTP_limonar_cartel

On 18 July will be held the pre-audience of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP) “With justice and peace, we will find truth” in the El Limonar community, Ocosingo municipality.  The invitation made to “all popular, social, political, and human-rights organizations, as well as all families, friends, and persons in solidarity with the victims of the counterinsurgent war in the state of Chiapas” was made within the Dirty War, impunity, and lack of access to justice track covered by the TPP’s Mexico Chapter.  The idea is to address the case of Poblado Viejo Velasco which on 13 November 2006 experienced a massacre that left four executed, another four forcibly disappeared, and thirty-six displaced.
The invitation indicates that “this massacre took place within the context of counter-insurgent war as designed and implemented by the Mexican State by means of the Chiapas Campaign Plan ’94, which had the result that the paramilitary group Peace and Justice engaged in the following crimes: 85 executions, 37 forcible disappearances, and more than 12000 people forcibly displaced in the northern Zone, and the Acteal massacre in the highlands, when PRI paramilitaries murdered 45 persons, the majority of whom were women and infants–4 of them yet to be born–as well as provoking the forced displacement of more than 6000 persons.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Con tu firma, súmate a la Preaudiencia “Con Justicia y Paz encontramos la Verdad” (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 2 de julio de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Chiapas: Mexican government hides remains of Viejo Velasco massacre (25 de marzo de 2011)

Chiapas: The Viejo Velasco massacre three years later (19 November 2009)