Chiapas: Mobilizations against the planned San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque highway

September 29, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ SIPAZ

On 16 and 17 September, there were held new mobilizations against the planned construction of a highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, both in the Tseltal ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, Chilón municipality, as in the Tsotsil ejido of La Candelaria, San Cristóbal municipality.  The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory was created through the mobilizations organized against this project.

On 16 September, banners and signs were raised in communities and parishes to express popular opposition to the highway project.  On 17 September, ejidatarios from San Jerónimo Bachajón blockaded the Temó crossways en route to Palenque to demand “the cessation of harassment and threats against our ejidal authorities and other comrades, in light of the decisive defense of our territory and our disagreement with the highway project.”

Furthermore, on 17 September there was held in Laguna Suyul, La Candelaria ejido, a ceremony and joint declaration of more than 2,000 Tsotsil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, and Tojolabal persons from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Zinacantán, San Juan Chamula, Huixtán, San Pedro Chenalhó, San Pablo Chalchihuitán, San Juan Cancuc, Tenejapa, Amatenango, Chilón, Tila, Salto de Agua, Comitán, and Las Margaritas municipalities expressing opposition to the highway project.  In the declaration of Laguna Suyul, considered sacred land of the peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, the writers indicate that “we will defend the environment, the fabric and veins of mother earth: rivers, lakes, springs, mountains, caves, and hills.  We will defend the lives of animals, sacred places, the ecosystem of Mother Nature, and the lives of human beings.”

Also, on 21 September, some 3000 Ch’ol indigenous persons from the Tila parish carried out a pilgrimage in the municipal center against the planned highway projects between San Cristóbal and Palenque as well as between Villahermosa and Palenque, as against the plundering of lands for mineral extraction, and they denounced the increase in drug addiction rates, alcoholism, and prostitution.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acciones de protesta contra la Autopista Sancris-Palenque (Chiapas Paralelo, 15 de septiembre de 2014)
Anuncian nuevas protestas contra construcción de supercarretera San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Palenque (La Jornada, 14 de septiembre de 2014)
Casi 3000 personas rechazan la autopista y organizan la resistencia a la autopista. + historia de Suyul(Espoir Chiapas, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Chiapas: Desde Laguna Suyul indígenas manifestan su rechazo a la Supercarretera San Cristóbal – Palenque (Pozol Colectivo, 17 de septiembre de 2014)
Denuncian en Bachajón acoso y persecución judicial por protestar contra autopista (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de septiembre de 2014)
Peregrinación en Tila contra autopista San Cristóbal-Palenque, megaproyectos y cantinas (Chiapas Paralelo, 22 de septiembre de 2014)


Ejido La Candelaria: “No a la autopista San Cristóbal – Palenque (Koman Ilel, 12 de septiembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Ejidatarios from Candelaria express their opposition to the construction of the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway (16 September 2014)

Chiapas: An assembly of Tzeltal communities from Chilón municipality reject the SCLC-Palenque highway (9 September 2014)

Chiapas: Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir reject passage of highway from San Cristóbal to Palenque through their communities (14 February 2014)

Chiapas: Enrique Peña Nieto’s visit creates conflict in Zinacantán

May 17, 2013


The residents of the Navenchuac community (Zinacantán municipality), where President Enrique Peña Nieto led an act on 19 April for the so-called Crusade Against Hunger, recalled the municipal agent Antonio Pérez Gómez by means of popular assembly, with his having been accused of not having reported on the destination of the economic resources received for the transport of persons and works.

“The problem began when the people asked the municipal agent where he had left the money he had received to feed the residents during the president’s visit, and since he denied having received any such money, the assembly decided to call the mayor, José Sánchez de la Cruz, who confirmed that Pérez Gómez had received ten thousand pesos, and that he would also give another ten thousand,”  noted the residents of the community.

The protestors say it is necessary that the governor call the mayor to accounts, given that he has not reported on the amount of resources received by President Enrique Peña Nieto following his visit to the Navenchuac community.  They indicated that “what is known in the community is that the mayor and his agent have received much money [unclear how much] so as to give to the people of the communities during the act, but the only actual beneficiaries were members of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, who received 200 pesos cash each, as well as chicken to eat,” but others “did not even receive soda.”

“We know that the President left money after his visit […] which was only received by those who are close to him, a total of 1.2 million pesos, also for productive projects that were advanced in a very discreet and personal manner.  There supposedly are agents who had access to this reunion which had 16 million at its disposal, and this has not been reported either to the municipality or to municipal agents,” noted the protestors.

For more information (in Spanish):

Dinero dejado por Peña Nieto para obras y acarreo, genera pleito en Navenchauc, Mirada Sur, 7 de mayo de 2013

Acusan a edil de Zinacantán, Diario de Chiapas, 7 de mayo de 2013

Presidente de Zinacantán se quedó con toda la paga, Noticias, 2 de mayo de 2013

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Chiapas: EPN in Navenchauc, Zinacantán launches actions for the National Crusade against Hunger (22 April 2013)

National/Chiapas: EPN in Navenchauc, Zinacantán launches actions for the National Crusade against Hunger

April 22, 2013

Enrique Peña Nieto y Da Lula Silva (@Animal Político)

Enrique Peña Nieto and Da Lula Silva (@Animal Político)

On 19 April, accompanied by the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto visited the community of Navenchauc in the Zinacantán municipality in the Highlands of Chiapas, where he launched actions for the National Crusade against Hunger.  In January of this year, the Las Margaritas municipality in Chiapas had been selected for the inauguration site of this campaign.

In his comments, EPN defended the Crusade against Hunger and called on Rosario Robles Berlanga, Secretary for Social Development, to “weather” the criticisms of those who “only concern themselves with elections.”  He added that “for us, for this government, we have a clear objective, a task of commitment to Mexicans, which is to put an end to hunger.”  It should be recalled that the previous day, Robles Berlanga fired a delegate of this institution in Veracruz, Ranulfo Márquez, so that he could be investigated for the presumed utilization of the resources of the Crusade to the benefit of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the upcoming state elections.  On 23 April, he will present testimony before the federal Senate regarding the supposed advances of this program.

At the event was also present Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, former president of Brazil and initiator of the program “Zero Hunger” which allowed 33 million people to leave poverty and another 40 million to ascend to the middle class of Brazil.  Lula noted that the “Zero Hunger” program gave rise to many criticisms: “They said that the program had welfare characteristics.  They said it was populist, that it thought nothing more than of elections.  They said that this program was merely to give handouts to the people, and that people would then become lazy.”  He assured on the other hand that “Hunger does not exist because of lack of money, agricultural production, or technology.  It exists due to the lack of shame on the part of the authorities in this world […].  So for this reason, President, the poor do not have reason to have patience, but instead should be present and trust in their government.  They have you; do not fail them.”

For more information (in Spanish):

“Hay hambre por falta de vergüenza de gobernantes”: Lula (Proceso, 19 de abril de 2013)

Lula acompañará a Peña en Cruzada contra el Hambre (El Universal, 19 de abril de 2013)

Espaldarazo de Peña a Rosario Robles: hay que aguantar (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2013)

EPN: nos critican los que sólo piensan en elecciones (La Jornada, 20 de abril de 2013)

Chiapas: denunciation from the Oventic JBG regarding provocations directed Zapatista support bases in Zinacantán

October 19, 2012

In a communiqué published on 15 October, the Good-Government Council (JBG) Corazón Céntrico de los zapatistas delante del mundo, located in Caracol II (Oventic), denounced that PRI groups from the Zinacantán municipality who just previously had been affiliated with the PRD have once again come to harass the Zapatista community of Jechvó, denying them access to water by means of violent actions, like those taken in 2004 in this community, as in Elambó Bajo, Elambó Alto, San Isidro Chaktoj, Jechch’entik, and others.  The JBG reported also that the PRI militants had imprisoned an autonomous representative.

The JBG demanded that the rights of the Zapatista support-bases be respected, warning that “We will not remain silent or merely have our arms crossed; we will defend what is ours, and what pertains to us: our resources and lands.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado completo de la JBG de Oventic (15 de octubre de 2012)

Reanudan priístas hostigamiento a comunidad zapatista Jechvó (La Jornada, 17 de octubre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Oventic JBG once again demands release of Francisco Sántiz López (17 June 2012)

Chiapas: Autonomous authorities demand compensation for damages

April 19, 2012

Autonomous authorities of the Elambó Bajo and Elambó Alto communities of the Zinacantán municipality have demanded that the PRI City Hall of that municipality “pay for the damages on homes” of Lorenzo Pérez Sánchez, of the La Grandilla community, which occurred a month ago.

On 8 March Pérez Sánchez was going to repair the roof of his home, for which reason he had contracted a PRD worker to do the work, according to documents signed by autonoous agents from Elambó Alto and Elambó Bajo.  PRI members then came to detain the worker and “destroyed the materials of the home of comrade Lorenzo, who had asked the authorities to allow him to finish the work because he had already paid for it, but they did not respect this, instead ordering him not to speak because if he did they would also incarcerate him for being an adherent to the Other Campaign.”

The autonomous authorities affirm that “this is not the first time that this type of aggression takes place” against Pérez Sánchez, given that on 28 February 2010 “there was an invasion of land belonging to adherents of the Other Campaign.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncia de Elambó Alto y Bajo en Zinacantán, Chiapas, 12 de marzo de 2012

Exigen reparación de daños, Cuarto Poder, 13 de marzo de 2012

Chiapas: Pre-election conflict in Nachig, Zinacantán leaves two dead

July 5, 2010

On June 26th, in the community of Nachig, municipality of  Zinacantán, near San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the Chiapas highlands, violent events resulted in the deaths of two people, two dozen injured, as well as 15 houses and 30 vehicles burnt. Behind the conflict lies a dispute over the municipal presidency with elections scheduled for July 4th. To date, Zinacantán is governed by the PRD and Nachig is the largest community of this municipality.

On the morning of Saturday the 26th, an act of proselytizing for PRD mayoral candidate Domingo Hernández Pérez led to a confrontation involving various weapons (presumably on the part of the PRI) before resulting in a shooting (allegedly by the PRD). The events left two people dead: Martín López Sanchez (PRI) and Antonio Pérez López (PRD). After these events, around 5000 sympathizers of the PRI burnt at least 12 houses and 30 vehicles, and cordoned off a house containing some 57 supporters of the PRD who had been threatened with lynching. One hundred police intervened to rescue them. The Attorney General of Chiapas initiated a preliminary investigation of the crimes of homicide and injury. 61 people were arrested, including Jose Perez Conde, cousin and aide Zinacantán PRD mayor, Antonio Conde Vázquez.

Two days later, the PRD released a communique assuring that the events were provoked by the PRI supporters and that the previous night, the candidate for the municipal presidency of thier party had announced that he was preparing for an attack against him. The PRI supporters, for their part, reiterated that it was the PRD who led the provocation “because they know that they will lose the elections on July 4.”

On July 1st, PRD supporters of  Zinacantán succeeded in freeing 5 of their sympathizers, who were imprisoned for alleged involvement in the fighting of Nachig. They also requested that the authorities provide safe conditions for the return of more than 400 PRD supporters, who after the clashes, were forced to leave Nachig community, and have allegedly received threats from supporters of the PRI.

For more information (in Spanish):

After attack, 61 arrested (Cuarto Poder, 27 June)

Electoral climate ignited in Nachig (La Jornada, 28 June)

PRD members demand release of imprisoned comrades (Cuarto Poder, 2 July)