Chiapas: Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

November 21, 2015


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)


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: Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido from Palenque denounces police invasion

September 10, 2015

Foto de la zona Norte de Chiapas @ archivo SIPAZPhoto of northern zone of Chiapas @ SIPAZ archive

The ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community, Palenque municipality, denounced that on 2 August two municipal police trucks arrived to the community.  “Of these patrols, 6 municipal police came out and approached the Ejidal House, where an extraordinary communal assembly was being celebrated with the three organization SERPAJ (Services for Peace and Justice-Morelos), the Ixim Antsetic Women’s House, and two coordinators from the Xi’nich organization.  These police did not identify themselves or provide any documentation even though we requested this of them,” noted the public denunciation.  The police expressed that they had received an emergency call from the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, affirming the existence of injured and burned persons due to a confrontation between Catholics and Evangelicals in the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community.

The ejidatarios indicated that “this is not the first time that police arrive without identifying themselves in our community.  On other occasions they have arrived on the pretext that there were confrontations in the community.  In April they arrived saying that they came to protect 4 families, and that they would be conducting patrols due to a supposed threat of displacement.”  “We grow weary of these lies.  The police come to intimidate and provoke due to the internal conflict that has existed for the past 5 years, of which all the governmental institutions are well-aware.  They use the lie that it is a religious conflict as a pretext to continue manipulating and terrorizing the organized community in defense of our Mother Earth, whom we will continue to defend,” they added in the document.

For their part, the organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s House of Palenque, SERPAJ-Morelos, Xi’nich, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), the Center for Women’s Rights in Chiapas, and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights demonstrated their concern for “this type of intimidation on the part of the government.  We know that it is a means of provocation that seeks to terrorize the community and lead it to give up its struggle for Mother Earth and life.  It is for this reason that we will continue to accompany this process that demands justice and respect for the rights to autonomy of indigenous peoples.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian incursión policiaca en ejido Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas, Palenque (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 7 de agosto de 2015)

#Chiapas Denuncia de #IncursiónPoliciaca en ejido Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas, #Palenque (Koman Ilel, 9 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, northern zone, denounce harassment and death-threats (4 August 2013)

Chiapas: CAM, SADEC, and X’inich demand a home for ill residents of their communities

July 21, 2015

Presidencia municipal de Palenque @ Revista Poderes

Palenque City Hall @ Revista Poderes

The organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s Home, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), and X’inich published an open letter to the Palenque mayor, Marcos Mayo, calling on him to “observe his electoral-campaign commitment that is of great importance to the people: the construction of a home for the relatives of the ill residents of our communities (we know it is very late, but the idea is that a budget will be assigned, and construction begun).”

The document recalls the primacy of the right to health, emphasizing the “problems that women face in pregnancy, labor, and the post-partum period, as many have nowhere to go after their children are born. They are told that it isn’t yet time for the child to be born, and so they are returned to their communities, and this has been the reason for major complications in labor or perinatal deaths.” Beyond this, they added that the Palenque hospital must attend to 400,000 residents from 9 neighboring municipalities, including Tila, Sabanilla, Salto de Agua, and Tumbalá, all of which have more than 90% indigenous populations with few resources. Additionally, Palenque itself has a 50% indigenous population.

For more information (in Spanish):

Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic, SADEC y Xinich, Exige al Presidente Municipal de Palenque cumplimiento de promesas de campaña ante constantes violaciones a derechos de la salud y la vida (Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic, )

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: indigenous organizations and communities also affected by “counterinsurgency and war of extermination” express their solidarity with the EZLN

June 9, 2014
La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

La Realidad (@SIPAZ)

On May 24, in La Realidad, Chiapas and in many parts of Mexico and the world, a tribute to the Zapatista support base José Luis Solís López, alias “Galeano,” will be performed. Galeano was killed in La Realidad on 2 May. For several weeks, statements and actions of solidarity have been organized.

This past week, Chol and Tsotsil organizations and communities of the Northern Zone and of the Highlands regions of Chiapas have joined the protests. The United People in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE), adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in the Northern Region, proclaimed in a statement that “We are all Galeano,” and that: “It is the same way and strategy that was used in the Northern region of Chiapas with the low-intensity warfare, which was operated through [the paramilitary group] Peace and Justice. There are still witnesses, survivors and victims’ families in the communities, that were victims of this counterinsurgency and extermination warfare. This strategy was designed in the 94 Plan of Campaign for Chiapas, and implemented by the Mexican government after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994. Such a strategy resulted in dozens of forced disappearances, murders, forced displacement, sexual violence and massacres; all crimes against humanity that remain unpunished. (…) This is why we condemn the violence in autonomous regions nowadays. “

Also from the Northern zone, members of the Committee for the Defense of Indigenous Freedom (Xinich) stressed that “We understand these events as an attack against our organized people and against all the indigenous peoples that are struggling for freedom and peace. Furthermore, these actions are performed in order to plunder the wealth that runs through the veins of our mother land and our natural resources. We have protected and taken care of what has belonged to our people for millennia.”

From the Highlands of Chiapas, on May 22, the Las Abejas Civil Society held a day of prayer and fasting in the framework of the monthly commemoration of the massacre of Acteal. In a statement, it denounced the paramilitary aggression against our Zapatista brothers and sisters and the killing of Galeano. It is very clear that this is the product of the dirty war or counterinsurgency war in Chiapas, designed since 1994. We already know the speeches or rather the lies of the the bad governments: when their paramilitaries massacre women and children, they say that “they were confrontations” due to “inter-community conflicts.” And when these liars and criminals are politically challenged and pressured by international men and women, once again they make a speech or a lie to try to convince, saying that the government “condemns the regrettable facts and will apply the full weight of the law against those responsible “etc”.’

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunidades choles y tzotziles se suman a protestas por agresiones al EZLN (21 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas: También sentimos dolor y rabia por el ataque paramilitar a nuestros hermanos bases de apoyo del EZLN (22 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del Comité de Defensa de la Libertad Indígena y X’inich (20 de mayo de 2014)

Comunicado del PUDEE (18 de mayo de 2014)

New analytical articles on the aggression in La Realidad

La agresión de la CIOAC en La Realidad se suma a casos de hostilidad antizapatista (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2014)

El gobierno federal apoyó en 2010 a un hombre arrestado por asesinar a zapatista (La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

Chiapas: la Cioac-H y sus paramilitares (Luis Hernández Navarro, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2014)

For more information of SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: EZLN announces homage to Zapatista murdered in La Realidad and announces primary results of investigation on the case (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: EZLN communiqué “Pain and rage” (May 18, 2014)

Chiapas: Attacks on EZLN support bases leave one dead and 15 injured among Zapatistas (16 May 2014)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH

February 25, 2011

On Saturday 19 February, in the community of Limonar, municipality of Ocosingo, there was celebrated the presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordiantion of Indigenous Social Organizations Xi’nich.  The event was attended by around 80 representatives of 25 communities and of 5 visiting organizations.  The selection committee, comprised of members of several civil organizations from Chiapas and the individuals and organizations who received the award last year, decided to present the award this year to Xi’nich, among others, for its long-standing peaceful defense of the land and the rights of indigenous communities of Chiapas’ northern zone and jungle zone.

The event began at night on Friday 18 February with the showing of several videos regarding the work of Xi’nich, the life and burial of Don Samuel Ruiz, and the presentation of the jCanan Lum Award to all those recognized this year in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 26 January, after the celebration of the burial of Don Samuel.  The presentation of the award, which took place on Saturday, began with the presentation of the organizations of the jCanan Lum commission that were present: Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI), Commission of Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO), Service and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), and SIPAZ.  Later, youth from different communities put on a theater-work prepared with the assistance of L@s Zapay@s, a collective of critical clowns who dedicate their work to the political education of children by means of theater.  The work emphasized labor exploitation and discrimination against campesin@s and the indigenous with regard to migration to cities.  By means of theater, the youth defended the importance of the traditions and ways of life of indigenous communities.

The jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award was received by Margarita Parcero Álvarez and Miguel Martínez Gutiérrez, both of whom are members of the coordination of Xi’nich.  Miguel Martínez thanked the jCanan Lum commission for having bestowed the award on Xi’nich in the name of all the members of the organization.  Another member of the organization specifically invited the youth of the communities to participate in the activities promoted by the organization, so as to assure that its processes continue on into the future.  Similarly, coordinator Magdalena González Velasco requested that the youth join the struggle of Xi’nich, mentioning that “hopefully the youth will continue developing its consciousness so as to continue struggling.” She also stressed that the path of Xi’nich had been difficult especially for women, but that they continue to struggle, although they be but few.

A representative of Xi’nich read a text regarding the trajectory of the organization and what Don Samuel Ruiz had meant for them.  “… And thus was born Xi’nich in the year 1992, by walking 1100 kilometers to the city of Mexico.  Before embarking on that journey, jTatic Samuel gave us his blessing and lent us his hat to make the first collection with which we began to walk.  From then, jTatic Samuel was our jCanan Lum: the caretaker of the People.” Father Xel (Jerónimo Hernández), priest of the area, made a call to all to take on the role of defender of the land, given the death of jTatic Samuel: “it is not only jTatic Samuel that is jCanan Lum but all of us together who must defend the land.” Similarly, the Xi’nich text regarding its trajectory emphasizes this responsibility to defend the people: “Upon receiving this grand embrace of solidarity, this recognition as members, as part of the great work of jTatic Samuel, Canan Lum, we recognize our great responsibility: to love, care for, serve, and defend our peoples and communities and to make ourselves brothers of all those who would struggle for a world that is more just, more human, and truer.”

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

Chiapas: visit to Alberto Patishtan to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Award denied (2 August 2010)