dorset chiapas solidarity

August 20, 2014

Frayba: Counterinsurgency Continues to Operate in Chiapas

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:30 pm


Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

August 18, 2014


Counterinsurgency Continues to Operate in Chiapas




The federal and state governments have demonstrated their disdain towards the original peoples of Mexico from one presidential term to the next. In this phase of neoliberal capitalism their policy of dispossession for implementing projects that carry with them the disappearance of forms of social, political and cultural organization of communities and peoples, resistances that are the breath of human diversity. One example of this are the peoples organized in the National Indigenous Congress. (1)

Since the conception of neoliberalism, poverty is greater and a juicy business for governments and national and international investors. Poverty as State policy represents the pretext for exploitation and looting of the peoples. By means of the North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Mesoamerica Project (formerly the Plan Puebla-Panamá) and also the military and territorial control strategy through the Security Agenda Plan contemplated in the North American Security and Prosperity Alliance (NASPA), the governments of the Alliance (United States, Canada and Mexico) close the pincers.

In recent months, the unresolved Internal Armed Conflict in Chiapas has been characterized by continuous aggression towards the Bases of Support of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN, their initials in Spanish) with the actions of some regional social organizations at the service of the State that, since various years ago, are disputing recuperated lands. Several of these social organizations have impelled their leaders to become public officials and servants, in many cases betraying the principles from which they emerged, subjecting their plans for struggle to the government budgets and interests. In Chiapas, the integral war of wear and tear persists towards the peoples who struggle and resist, using media tactics that include the use of concepts of human rights, inter-cultural activities, collective rights of indigenous peoples and emptying them of content.

There is continuity in the state government’s posture in a public discourse about the recognition and respect for the autonomous communities, the Good Government Juntas and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), as a media action, in opposition to the absence of direct actions to change the situation of constant risk in which the Zapatista communities live, especially those displaced and threatened like San Marcos Aviles and Comandante Abel.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre has made constant interventions before the gravity of attacks on BAEZLN and the response has been governmental parsimony and its inability to act. This attitude of indifference maintains and provokes conflicts that are called inter-community as a way of hiding the counterinsurgency. The objective is to generate fatigue among the population that resists, that struggles, that is transforming their reality from their culture and their rights.

The events that occurred in La Realidad on May 2 are evidence of the counterinsurgency in Chiapas: a strategy of provocation and repeated attack towards the EZLN and its Support Bases, with paramilitary actions like the murder of José Luis Solis López, Galeano, a teacher at the Zapatista Escuelita, with rage, by means of machetes, blows, firearms, including the coup de grace, and the destruction of the autonomous school and clinic.

The latest acts documented by this Center, about the attacks on the BAEZLN from the communities of Egipto and El Rosario (2) confirm the climate of constant aggression and provocation that operates behind each celebration of a space for dialogue and meeting, like the Sharing (Exchange) with the National Indigenous Congress on August 4-9 in La Realidad.

These acts represent a new attack on the project of Zapatista autonomy, with the pretension of eroding the construction of systemic change that they are impelling from below, walking projects of life from the community and the collectivity, from the concept of good living.

This Human Rights Centre keeps documentation of the attacks on the Zapatistas and the denunciation that corresponds to the human rights violations. We will continue accompanying the peoples that demand the rights that belong to them and that, due to hidden interests, seek to take them away. We repeat our call for national and international solidarity to show their support for the threatened BAEZLN. (3)
(1). Declaraciones del Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI), available in Spanish here:
(2). Boletín de Prensa “Desplazamiento de Bases zapatistas ante riego de ataque”, available in Spanish here:
(3). Frayba  Urgent Action “Amenazas de muerte, hostigamiento con arma de fuego, desplazamiento forzado y agresiones a Bases de Apoyo Zapatistas”, available in Spanish here:




Originally Published in Spanish by the

Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Monday, August 18, 2014


With many thanks to our companera for her translation




Mexico’s Political Prisoners

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:47 am


Mexico’s Political Prisoners

Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 19th August, 2014




Adam Smith is a Democratic Congressman from the state of Washington in the United States. On August fifth he reported on a meeting he had with Anthony Wayne, his country’s ambassador to Mexico, in which he asked him to pressure the authorities of Guerrero to free Nestora Salgado immediately.

This is not the first time that Congressman Smith has advocated for Salgado. On the thirteenth of April he sent a letter to the Secretary of State, John Kerry, asking him to demand of the Mexican government guarantees for due process and better care of Nestora, because “her jail conditions are deplorable”.

Two months later he insisted upon the matter once again. On the sixteenth of June, in a statement from the School of Law of Seattle University in Washington, Smith warned: “I am worried about Nestora’s detention and I am outraged by the reports of the deplorable detention conditions and treatment that violate her human rights.”

Nestora Salgado, the woman the Congressman is advocating for, is commander of the community police of Olinalá, in the La Montaña region of Guerrero. She was unjustly detained on the twenty-first of August of 2013 under the false accusation of aggravated kidnapping. She was transferred to the maximum security prison in Tepic, 3,000 kilometres [1,864 miles] from her town.

Congressman Smith’s demand for her freedom is not capricious. Nestora has ties to the state of Washington. When she was 20 years old she went to the United States with her husband as a bracera [guest worker], without immigration documents. She worked hard as a maid, cleaning houses and as a nanny in Washington, until she obtained legal residence in 2000 and became a citizen in 2008. She is a resident not only of Olinalá, but also of the city of Renton in King County.

Back in Olinalá, Nestora encountered the climate of public insecurity that is devastating La Montaña and the government’s involvement with the criminals. Instead of standing around doing nothing, she organized the town to take on the problem. She formed a citizen police force and made the crime rate fall 90 percent in 10 months. On the fifteenth of November of 2012, Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero took a picture with her and called the efforts of the town’s inhabitants heroic.

But Nestora made a “mistake”. First, without hesitation, she denounced the threats that partners of corrupt politicians were making to local business owners so that they would stop selling materials and goods, to thus monopolize the market. Then she published a statement in which she denounced the involvement of the mayor and other public servants in drug trafficking. The commander’s challenge ended up being unacceptable.

Salgado is not the only commander of the Guerrero community police that is imprisoned. Since a year ago when in Guerrero the operations against the Regional Coordinating Committee of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC) began, at least 10 of their members have found themselves in similar circumstances and for similar reasons. That is the case of Gonzalo Molina, Bernardino García, Arturo Campos and the opponent of the La Parota dam, Marco Antonio Suástegui.

Doctor José Manuel Mireles Valverde, leader of the Michoacán self-defence groups, was sent a little further away than Nestora: to the federal prison in Hermosillo, Sonora. He is accused of carrying firearms exclusively permitted for military use and of an offense against health, under the category of drug dealing, for the simple possession of marijuana and cocaine.

The truth is that, as Commissioner Alfredo Castillo and Secretary of Government Relations Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong have declared, Dr Mireles is in prison for not having fulfilled the agreements made in May, signed by the federal government and the self-defence groups. That is, he refused to demobilize and disarm.

Dr Mireles defines himself as a political prisoner. His lawyer, Talía Vázquez, agrees with him. As she explained to journalist Sanjuana Martínez: “The one who did not follow any of the agreements was Castillo. He did not free the 517 prisoners from the self-defence groups, just in Michoacán. And, above all, he neither carried out the arrest of La Tuta nor re-established the rule of law. Nothing happened. The one who broke the pact was Alfredo Castillo and not Dr Mireles. This also shows that he is a political prisoner.”

Along with Dr Mireles, 319 other self-defence group members from Michoacán have been imprisoned. Their true crime was guaranteeing security for themselves and their families, at the risk of their own lives, before the omission (or the open complicity) of the State.




The list of jailed social warriors goes far beyond those who come from the ranks of the community police or the self-defence groups of Guerrero and Michoacán. On April sixth Enedina Rosas, commissioner of the ejido of San Felipe Xonacayuca, in Puebla, was arrested. Just two days later they arrested Juan Carlos Flores, the spokesman of the Front of Towns in Defence of Water and Land, Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala, and Abraham Cordero, a member of Those from Below and the Campesino Front of the Valley of Texmelucan and Sierra Nevada. They are being accused of ridiculous charges. The reason they are behind bars is that they opposed the implementation of the Comprehensive Morelos Project, which involves the construction of a thermoelectric power station and a gas pipeline that crosses Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos, near the base of the Popocatépetl volcano.

Mixe activist Damián Gallardo has been imprisoned for 15 months in the El Salto high security prison in Jalisco. Under torture, he was forced to confess that he had kidnapped two minors in Oaxaca. He was not the only one. Mario Olivera Osorio, Sara Altamirano Ramos, Leonel Manzano Sosa and Lauro Grijalva are being accused of the same crime. The authorities got the “self-incriminations” out of them the same way they got one out of Damián.

The list of social leaders unjustly arrested is much longer. The jails of Mexico are full of political prisoners.

Translated by Sally Seward



August 19, 2014

Frayba denounces a counterinsurgency strategy against the EZLN in Chiapas

Filed under: Frayba, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:14 pm

Frayba denounces a counterinsurgency strategy against the EZLN in Chiapas

Isaín Mandujano
Proceso, August 18, 2014


Zapatistas in Oventic. Photo by Germán Canseco

Zapatistas in Oventic. Photo by Germán Canseco


Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. – The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) denounced today that the support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) are subjected to a systematic aggression from regional social organizations in the service of the State, in a type of counterinsurgency strategy.

In a statement, the civilian agency said in this state “a comprehensive war of attrition persists against the peoples who struggle and resist, using media tactics which include the use of human rights concepts, [such as] multiculturalism, and the collective rights of indigenous peoples, emptying them of meaning.”

According to Frayba, “there is a continuity in the position of the state government in its public discourse about recognition and respect for the autonomous communities and the Good Government Juntas and the EZLN, as a media action, as opposed to the absence of direct action to change the situation of constant risk experienced by the residents of Zapatista communities, especially those who are displaced and threatened such as San Marcos Avilés and Comandante Abel.”

In the view of Frayba, the developments reported in La Realidad on May 2 are evidence of counterinsurgency in Chiapas:

“A strategy of provocation and repeated attack against the EZLN and their support bases, with paramilitary actions such as the vicious killing of José Luis Solís Lopez, Galeano, teacher at the Escuelita Zapatista, with machete blows, firearms, including the coup de grace, and the destruction of the autonomous school and clinic.”

The latest events documented by Frayba are the attacks on the communities of Egipto and El Rosario, which confirm the climate of constant aggression and provocation, and which were launched after each holding of space for dialogue and exchange, with the Indigenous National Congress, held from 4 to 9 August in La Realidad.

These actions represent a new onslaught on the Zapatista project of autonomy, with the aim of undermining the construction of a change of system which they are promoting from below, “walking projects of life from the community and the collective, from the conception of living well”.

Nevertheless, Frayba warned that it will continue to document attacks on the Zapatistas and correspondingly to denounce human rights violations; in addition, it will accompany the “people who demand the rights that belong to them, which for obscure interests they try to take from them.”



August 18, 2014

Second part of EZLN Press Conference: the Words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moises

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:50 pm


Second part of EZLN Press Conference: the Words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moises

AUGUST, 2014




Well, compañeros, compañeras, you heard what Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano said. This is what we see; this is what we think.

We need one another’s strength, because if we understand how life is, then we must also understand that we need to link ourselves together.

You saw and heard some of the other compañeros who were here as part of the free media but also part of the CNI. Now you [from the free media] should have an exchange amongst yourselves, because sharing in an exchange is not the same thing as speaking without having listened.

It is through sharing that we realize that we have to link ourselves together, that we have to grab onto each other’s hands.

The question is, as we asked the compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress, what is it that we have to grab onto together, indigenous and non-indigenous people, can we speak in one voice? Yes. The [indigenous] compañeros understand the life of those who are not indigenous. So how will we do this? How will we struggle?

In other words, our already large task is even greater, and we think that it is even more difficult for those who live in the city, although it is also hard for those of us who live in communities, like those of the National Indigenous Congress. At least in the communities there is still a life in common, but in the cities there isn’t.

There, in the city, behind the fences where one lives, people don’t know their neighbour’s problems, sometimes they don’t even know who their neighbour is. Even sharing three walls—I might live here, and some other neighbour lives over there, and someone else over there—my neighbour isn’t concerned about what is happening with me and I am not concerned with him or her. One after another people live like that.

And so it is a very large task, especially given what is coming, what the compas call “the coming beast.” But among all of us we will destroy it. The question we have to answer then is: how can we do this work? That’s what we think. We are not asking you to become indigenous, but you also shouldn’t ask us to think like or be like the people who live in the city.

No. Each of us struggles, but we are united. Remember what the late SubMarcos used to say: for all we have heard and all the listening we have done in the different caracoles where we have held encounters, and where we have tried to determine and say what is  most important, even then—certainly it has happened multiple times here—we don’t manage to create an agreement. Everyone thinks they have the best idea and there is no agreement because everyone wants their particular idea to be accepted. But for us compañeros, all that we can do is see what works, and we can only figure this out if we listen and observe.

So some of you saw—those of you who had already arrived during the last session, the closing of the CNI—the compañeros were thinking that someone would officially close the conference. But we hadn’t decided that; those who witnessed this saw that it was the compañeros themselves who closed the congress, we hadn’t arranged this beforehand.

So you who were here saw that someone came up thinking to himself, “oh, I want to say something too.” He started off with something adequate for the exchange part of the conference, but people realized this wasn’t the time and place for that, that this was the closing. Soon they got things back on track and closed the exchange. Why? Because this was the will of the compañeros of the assembly, and it is the assembly members who have to close the assembly. These are just some examples of what I’m talking about.

We have to figure out what works best and what assures that we feel that we are all equal. None of this business of “I am the most important, or he is the most important.” We don’t think that works. We think this exchange has been an example of how we can do this among ourselves. This is how we go about figuring out how this thing we call a new world is going to be.

We have to continue to work on this. As the compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress said: yes, we need to share our experiences, and not only among indigenous people. We also need to share with the compañeros and compañeras of the national and international Sixth. Then we have to figure out how will we share. And we also have to think about those who aren’t part of the Sixth, how will we share with them?

That is, how will we respect one another? How will we construct this respect? Because respect is something that we have to build, just as we are doing right now. And I think that we have to provide this example – the compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth in the city, and the compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth in the rural areas – when we come together: to feel as one without losing what we are. Rather, we unite in order to build this world that we want.

For example, when we were preparing for this exchange with the compañero bases of support, they thought that (we as authorities) were going to tell them “this is what you are going to be doing.” But no, we had an assembly right where you are sitting now, and ideas started to emerge until we found what felt right, as the compas say, and from that we determined the points to be covered.

But tons of ideas emerged in the meantime until together everyone said, “this is it.” That process enriched our ideas so much. For example, our compañeros said: in Leninist Marxism they say that the primary base of capitalism is the means of production, and that is land – or what we call mother earth. But the compañeros disagreed.

And we asked them, why not? Because, [they said], we know that capitalism thinks of the land this way, and these guys did us the favour of writing down this idea, but we have to understand that our struggle is to say, hell no! We are not going to allow land to be the means of production for capital.

And so what came out of the conversation for those of us who were sitting here then was that the land, mother earth, is the fundamental basis of life for living beings.

“So, let’s see, compañerocompañera, how would you make this argument?”

“Yes,” they said, “because in the country and the city, human beings live on the land, and everything on the land and under it, down to the bugs and worms, is the basis of life. Why would we allow these beasts [capitalists] to come and destroy it?”

And the discussion continued:

“Oh shit! How are we going to do this? Because we are saying that this is their means of production and that we have to take it away from them.”

That’s what we said, because you might remember in one of the encuentros in CIDECI, the late SubMarcos presented a discussion about a can of coke, and in that discussion we said that whatever is a means of production for us we have to take back. And so how are we going to communicate to the compas from the CNI that we have to understand that we must take back the means of production. And so we started to discuss this again. The problem that we face here is has to do with who has the best lands and who takes all of the richness that the land possesses. That is the point from which we began the discussion.

“Well, it is the transnational corporations and the landowners that take the land’s richness, and that is why we need to get rid of them.”

We do have to get rid of them, but now all of us who live on this earth, on mother earth, have to care for it. And there are compañeros who said:

“Yes, because think how many tons of excrement those who live in the cities produce and release into the river, contaminating it. And the businessmen have completely screwed mother earth.”

But okay, that is just a little part of our conversation, so that you can see how rich it is when we share our ideas in common. I am telling you this because you need to have exchanges. I don’t know how you will do it; it requires organization, work, and thought.

But I think that in the space where the compañeros have already agreed to work together, in the space created as compañeros and compañeras of the Sixth, this can be organized, and everyone will have to struggle to communicate their struggle there.

You can sense when someone is communicating what they have observed or worked on or lived with the people. And you can tell the difference between that and someone who presumptuously starts from: “the thing is that I,” or that “he” or that “she” and so on. That is, you can tell when an individual is being glorified, but this isn’t really how things work. This is what we have been discussing among ourselves in the CNI, that what we have to do is strengthen the way we were before, to truly represent the compañeros and compañeras.

Because they still exist. It is true that capitalism wants to destroy them completely, but it hasn’t been able to. Yes, it has been able to destroy a lot, because it is doing its job.

And so we believe that something has to come, another task. You shouldn’t think that we [the authorities] planned this exchange. We didn’t plan it; the compañeros and compañeras did it themselves. The compañeros shared this fact near the closing of the assembly.

And this also is something that we want to share with you, the free media, because we realize that when our bases, our people, speak, all that we have to do is support and assist them so that others can see the fruits of their participation.

This is what we were doing here, passing on what we call the inheritance. And the only inheritance that we have to pass on is about how to work and to take care for things is our organization as the EZLN and our autonomy.

So then, the compañeros and compañeras said “you are forgetting something, because we don’t know what we are going to do with respect to this,” talking about the Other Campaign. And that reminded us that we needed to say something about the Other. And so we said to them:

“Well, its better if you do it. Our hope for the Other is that the people organize themselves so that one day it is the people who command, that is, that others do what you are already doing. So you have to share this with our compañeros from the Sixth, with those who do the work of the Sixth. The Other was a campaign that we carried out, that is why it was called the Other Campaign. But with regard to those who actually do the work of what is called the Sixth, which is to organize themselves, struggle, and be anticapitalist, you are the ones who have to share with these compañeros and compañeras.

This is what we were discussing, among everyone, and that is where this idea came from.

“Well, then, we have to have a little school,” the compas said.

And that is how the idea was born, and we decided that we would call it ‘the little school’ because that is how the compañeros thought about it, as a little thing, a little school. And so we were going to give it a try, we were going to do it. And yes, it helped a lot, and many of the compañeros and compañeras, the students who came, now have another way of thinking because they saw things here with their own eyes, not because someone told it to them, not because they saw it in a film, but because they lived it during those hours that they were here.

And so certainly these compañero and compañera students who came, maybe they want to share something with us.

That is how we see it.

But often when we have this type of exchange, sometimes it gets quiet for a few minutes and then we start to ask questions about all of the things that we have already discussed. What did we see? What do we think? What do we believe?

So now, compañeros who were here as part of the National Indigenous Congress and those who listened again now, how did you see things? What do you think? And to the media who came and listened to what the compañeros presented in the closing, maybe you have some questions, so that through your questions we can help and clarify whatever isn’t clear. So if you have questions, ask them, and if not that means that everything was clear…or that you didn’t understand anything.

(End of Sub Moisés’ intervention. The questions and interventions of the free media and the comp@s from the world Sixth who were present followed.)




(Transcription of the original audio by the “Odd Ones Out,” [Los Tercios Compas])

Copyleft: “los tercios compas” August 12, 2014. In vitro reproduction, vehicular circulation, and wasteful consumption permitted.


Translated by  El Kilombo Intergaláctico



Denouncement from the Caracol Resistance Towards a New Dawn of attacks by ORCAO in several communities of BAZ in La Garrucha

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:11 pm


Denouncement from the Caracol Resistance Towards a New Dawn of attacks by ORCAO in several communities of BAZ in La Garrucha




Caracol of Resistance Towards a New Dawn

Good Government Junta

The way of the future

La Garrucha Chiapas


Mexico, August 14, 2014.


To all the compañeras of the National and international sixth

To the national and international alternative media of the sixth

To the people of Mexico and the world


These events started on Friday, July 25, 2014. We did not want to make them public, because of the exchange which took place in the Caracol of La Realidad from 4 to 9 August, so as not to disrupt the great exchange between the original peoples of this country.

We just informed the Fray Bartolome de las Casas human rights, Chiapas.

But the provocations continued and these are the facts.

1.-A group of 19 people, from the community of Pojkol in the municipality of Chilón, from the organization ORCAO, of the Chiquinaval neighbourhood. We mention some names of these people, they are Andres Gutierrez Guillen, Andres Gutierrez de Meza, Eliceo Ruiz Gutierrez, Guillermo Perez Guillen, Vidal Gutierrez Gomez and Juan Ruiz Gutierrez, the last two names are of those who have vans which transport people; they arrived in the San Jacinto community, which is a community of Zapatista support bases, in the Municipality of San Manuel in the autonomous caracol of La Garrucha.

At 6 am, on the 25th of July, they arrived armed and took the reclaimed land, firing into the air.

They destroyed the sign which we put up about the assassination of Compañero Galeano.

They installed their roofs making out that they would be staying there. At all times they were verbally threatening our compañero support bases with shouts. As there are other communities of compañero Zapatista support bases close by, the villages of Egypt and El Rosario, there were threatening with cries that they were going to displace them and return to where their roofs are. On the morning of July 26, at 1:30 am, they left.

2.-On 30th July, they entered again at 6 am, spraying the paddock of 3 hectares with a substance which we do not know, and this is where the collective livestock of the municipality of San Manuel are located, they herded the other animals to take them where they sprayed so the animals would eat the sprayed grass.

They wounded a young bull with a knife, near the horn which is the place for killing. They left the legend “Pojkol Territory” written in the earth, in the middle of this area they left the bushes burned in the form of a cross, of a 22 gauge cartridge and 20 gauge shotgun.

At 4 pm they left.

3.-On the 1st August, at 11.30 pm, the same people from Pojkol, barrio santiago, entered again, armed as usual; we mention some names of those people they are Bersain Gutierrez Gomez, Victor Gutierrez Gomez, Valdemar Gutierrez Gomez, Romeo Gutierrez Gomez, they went back into the same place; Which is to San Jacinto. These paramilitaries killed a young bull, while the others fired shots in the air and headed towards the Zapatista community of Egipto, all with lamps in their hand, for this reason the compañeros organized and the women and children left at 12.30 am, to go to another Zapatista village where they still are now

Those who killed the young bull, arrived on 2 motorcycles, 4 people and they just took away the meat, leaving the bones.

4.-On 6 August, at 7.30 am, the same people from Pojkol arrived with 2 nissan vans, with 15 people with a chainsaw, they arrived firing shots and cut down a large tree, as the tree was falling they began firing into the air, threatening in this way so that no one would come to see them and on leaving they started shooting again in the afternoon.

On passing the community of support base compañeros of El Rosario, they fired 5 shots. Again passing the community of support bases of Kexil, 2 shots were fired on the roof of the home of one of base of support compañeros, fired from inside the Nissan vehicle which was heading towards the village of Pojkol.

5.-On Thursday14th August, at 4:50 am, the same 18 people, armed members of ORCAO, came from Pojkol and surrounded the community of compañeros of San Jacinto.

They fired guns of different calibres, firing bullets into the walls of the houses, and on to the roofs of the houses, where the compañer@s were sleeping and at the same time the compañer@s had to leave in the early hours of the morning to seek refuge in another Zapatista community, leaving everything, they just took what they were wearing.

This was how they avoided being massacred, murdered like in Acteal.

When they were leaving the compañeros were hearing the damage that these paramilitaries were doing.

To date we know that:

5 houses are cut down, the sheets of laminated metal are cut to pieces with machetes, 50 sheets of laminate.

7 zontes of corn and 130 kilos of corn grains have been stolen.


Where is the peace which Peña Nieto speaks so much of? Is this the peace Manuel Velasco talks about? If this happened to the Municipal President of Ocosingo, Octavio Albores, what they are doing to the compañero Zapatista support bases, would he believe that this is peace?

They should think if they want peace. Because they are responsible for everything that may happen or will happen.

If they are governments as they say, why do they not control those paramilitaries from Pojkol from the barrio of Chiquinival in the Municipality of Chilón?

They do not control them because they are the ones who fund, organize and execute these attacks against us.

We say to the government and the paramilitaries, who are made of blood, bones and flesh, like us, that we are not drug addicts, like these paramilitaries and yourselves. We say do not manipulate people, do not pay thugs, do not spend money to worsen the lives of the poor which are already bad enough.

We truly want peace, if there is no peace we will struggle until there is peace.

We do not sell out, we do not give up, we do not surrender.

We are organized for a just and dignified peace. You the 3 levels of bad government do not want peace, we know that you do not repent, but you will be condemned by the poor people of Mexico and we are with them.

So, compañeras and compañeros from Mexico and the world, we must be vigilant, these savages will come against us and we will be watching.

This is our denuncia.


Authorities of the Council of Good Government of La Garrucha

Jacobo Silvano Hernandez
Rudy Luna Lopez
Fredy Moreno Rominguez
Elizabeth Ruiz Camera
Yornely Lopez Alvarez






People’s Organizations Agree on Plan of Action in Defense of Their Land and Against Reforms

Filed under: Displacement, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:12 pm

People’s Organizations Agree on Plan of Action in Defense of Their Land and Against Reforms

Javier Salinas Cesareo
La Jornada, 18th August 2014
San Salvador Atenco, State of Mexico – Representatives of about 100 farmers, unions and social organizations defined a plan of action in defense of the land, water and against the dispossession of peoples and the adopted structural reforms. It includes mobilizations during the national Days of Corn and of the Electrical Industry and to commemorate 100 years of the encounter between Zapata and Villa.It also includes the formation of a front for resistance and the formation of a legal strategy against the recent constitutional amendments, as well as the promotion of collective injunctions against the reforms.One of the first actions to be taken will be a march on August 22 from San Salvador Atenco to the courts in Texcoco [east of Mexico City], which the People’s Front in Defense of the Land (Frente) will lead, to participate in a hearing following the provisional suspension granted by a judge against the assembly of the ejido of the village of Atenco, held last June, in which there was an approval of the change use of over 2,470 acres of land now in common use to private property in order to sell it.

This approval is the first step towards selling the land to the federal government so it can carry out the Future City project, road construction, the area of water ​​mitigation, the rescue of Lake Texcoco and the building of a second airport for the Mexico City.

Final Declaration

During Saturday and Sunday, some 400 activists participated in the Meeting and National Conference in Defense of the Land, Water and Life, and in five working groups, they defined an action plan and formed committees to monitor it.

The final declaration of the meeting stated:  “Plundering is an everyday reality that we all suffer: the dispossession of land, water, air, biodiversity, of our knowledge and our family and community assets, common property, and individual and collective rights. It is not something new, but in these times of neoliberalism, the plundering has intensified. Megaprojects are imposed without the consent of communities; mining projects, dams, roads and pipelines strip us.

“In the past 30 years, government and the powers that be have been systematically dismantling of the State and the regulatory framework in Mexico. A series of amendments to the Constitution and structural laws have been imposed, as well as ratifications and deepening of free trade agreements that have destroyed the laws allowing people to defend the social fabric and communal life
“The latest manifestation of this attack is the flood of reforms driven by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. This whole package of amendments has put everything in the country up for sale.”

Translated by Reed Brundage



Indigenous Mexicans Are Not Opposed To Progress

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:42 pm


 Indigenous Mexicans Are Not Opposed To Progress




Animal Politico Margarita Warnholtz Locht (“La Tlacuila”)*
Translated by Catriona McDermid Representatives of 28 indigenous groups from different parts of Mexico attended a meeting held last week in La Realidad, Chiapas. The meeting, entitled Sharing CNI-EZLN, was organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). In the event’s closing statement, the groups once again condemned the dispossession faced by indigenous Mexicans all over the country, specifying 29 distinct cases where indigenous people are fighting to defend their land and resources. Many of these cases have been going on for years.

Among the cases mentioned, six involve mining licenses and land exploitation, four are related to the destruction or threatened destruction of sacred sites, and four involve road construction. Other cases involve the construction of dams and wind farms, the planting of transgenic crops and the expropriation of water resources.

Some cases are more urgent than others, but it is undeniable that all are worthy of concern. The Wixárika (also known as the Huicholes), for example, are fighting various attempts to dispossess them of land and resources. Five different companies have applied for licenses to mine on Wirikuta, their most important sacred site, and several roads have been built across their land. Various groups are finding it difficult to have their land rights recognized. Additionally, although this was not mentioned in the CNI-EZLN statement, another Wixárika sacred area, Tatei Haramara on the Isla del Rey, Nayarit, is currently threatened by a proposed tourist development.

According to the statement, mining licenses have been granted for 18% of the land in Puebla’s Sierra Norte [Northern Mountains], where there are also six hydroelectric projects in the pipeline. Meanwhile, indigenous people from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec [Oaxaca] have been fighting wind energy developments for several years, and now find their land threatened by various proposed mining projects.

These are only a few examples of the cases condemned by the CNI and EZLN; there are many more all over Mexico. The Commission for Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico currently lists 175 grievances in areas including agriculture, mining and waterworks, environmental issues and indigenous rights. In short, the majority of indigenous Mexicans are facing dispossession and/or the violation of their rights.

Indigenous people are not generally consulted about projects that affect their land, and only very rarely do they receive fair or adequate compensation. Their forests are exploited by outsiders, their land is contaminated and they are exposed to the risk of “environmental emergencies”, as happened recently in Durango [spilling of cyanide from a mine into a river]; this is just one example of the potential effects of mining. And it is becoming more and more usual for the authorities to respond to indigenous people’s protests with further repression.

Someone suggested to me the other day that indigenous people in Mexico are opposed to “progress” and the country’s development. I replied that this is not the case: what they are opposed to is the destruction of natural resources, the exploitation of their land in the name of progress without them seeing any of the benefits, the disappearance of their tribal groups, and remaining in poverty while others profit from resources that should belong to them.

If indigenous people were given the opportunity to participate in development they would not oppose it, but over the years they have had to watch as others take what is theirs and give them nothing in return. If the megaprojects offered them the chance to become associates and gave them a large enough percentage of the profits to truly improve their living conditions they would not fight against them, as long as the proposed projects did not damage the environment. Caring for the environment is a priority for indigenous Mexicans, as they know that they, and everyone else, depend on it for survival. No, they are not opposed to progress, only to injustice and the destruction of the planet.

*Margarita Warnholtz Locht (La Tlacuila) is an ethnologist who graduated from the National School of Anthropology and History. She has worked for many years with indigenous organizations on issues of communication. She writes regularly for various periodicals. @yotlacuila


August 17, 2014

“They avoided being massacred, murdered like in Acteal,” denounces the Zapatista Good Government Junta

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:22 pm


“They avoided being massacred, murdered like in Acteal,” denounces the Zapatista Good Government Junta




Published by: POZOL COLECTIVO  August 16, 2014

Chiapas, Mexico. August 16. “They avoided being massacred, murdered like in Acteal,” denounces the Good Government Council (JBG) The Way of the Future of La Garrucha, in the municipality of Ocosingo, in respect of the Zapatista support bases in the communities of San Jacinto, Egipto and El Rosario, who as a precautionary measure took refuge in other Zapatista villages after being attacked with firearms by the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO) since last July 25.

“Where is the peace which Peña Nieto speaks so much of? Is this the peace Manuel Velasco talks about?” the JBG asks and emphasises” they are responsible for everything that may happen or will happen, because it is they who financed, organized and executed these attacks against us”.

In its denuncia, the Caracol of Resistance Towards a New Dawn, explains that the first attack occurred on 25 July, when a group of 19 people, from the community of Pojkol in the municipality of Chilón, from the organization ORCAO of the Chiquinaval neighbourhood, came to the Zapatista support base community of San Jacinto, in the autonomous municipality of San Manuel in the caracol of La Garrucha, verbally threatening the population. Among the attackers identified by the JBG are: Andres Gutierrez Guillen, Andres Gutierrez de Meza, Eliceo Ruiz Gutierrez, Guillermo Perez Guillen, Vidal Gutierrez Gomez and Juan Ruiz Gutierrez.

The Good Government Junta The Way of the Future states that on the 1st August at 11:30 pm, armed men returned and entered San Jacinto, they were from the settlement of Pojkol, in the Santiago neighbourhood, among them were:  Bersain Gutierrez Gomez, Victor Gutierrez Gomez, Valdemar Gutierrez Gomez and Romeo Gutierrez Gomez. “These paramilitaries killed a young bull, while others fired shots in the air and headed toward the Zapatista community of Egipto, all with lamps in their hand, for this reason the compañeros organized and the women and children left at 12:30 am to go to another Zapatista village where they still are now” it explains.

The Zapatistas of La Garrucha, Chiapas, reported that on Thursday, August 14, at 4:50 am 18 armed people came from the same community of Pojkol, surrounding the community of San Jacinto. “They fired guns of different calibres, firing bullets into the walls of the houses, and on to the roofs of the houses, where the compañer@s were sleeping and at the same time the compañer@s had to leave in the early hours of the morning to seek refuge in another Zapatista community, leaving everything, they just took what they were wearing” they explained.

“We truly want peace, if there is no peace we will struggle until peace is achieved. We do not sell ourselves, we do not give up, we do not surrender,” says the Zapatista Good Government Junta, and invites all those in solidarity in Mexico and the world to remain alert, “if these savages come against us, we will be waiting,” it says.




Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 17/08/2014



Midwives mix tradition, science to curb maternal deaths in Chiapas

Filed under: Ethics, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:07 am


Midwives mix tradition, science to curb maternal deaths in Chiapas


Dona Mercedes, a traditional midwife, checks on Maria Lopez Mendoza, then six months pregnant, shortly before she declared Lopez's baby "una nina" - a girl.

Dona Mercedes, a traditional midwife, checks on Maria Lopez Mendoza, then six months pregnant, shortly before she declared Lopez’s baby “una nina” – a girl.

BOCHIL, Chiapas, Mexico – “Una nina,” the old woman said with a smile. A girl.

Known simply as Dona Mercedes, the midwife had made this diagnosis after pressing wrinkled hands down hard on the swollen brown belly of the woman sprawled beneath her. The examination table was a deflated mattress topped with rumpled blankets and mismatched sheets; the examination room was strewn with clothes, toiletries, dirt and an odd string of Christmas lights.

Maria Lopez Mendoza, the pregnant woman on the bed, nodded in agreement. A health worker in San Cristobal de las Casas, Lopez had been checked by ultrasound just a few weeks earlier. She already planned to name her baby Marisol.

While Lopez has access to both modern and alternative prenatal care and reproductive services, many women in this state – where 70 percent of residents live in poverty – have little to none.

That has contributed to an alarmingly high maternal mortality rate. In Chiapas, 61 women die per 100,000 live births, according to the United Nations Millennium Summit Goals, 11 more deaths than the Mexican national average and three times the maternal mortality rate in the U.S.

Among Mexico’s 31 states, Chiapas’ maternal mortality rate in 2012 trailed only Guerrero, another state in the impoverished south.

The numbers have drawn the attention of Mexico’s government and a host of international non-governmental organizations like Marie Stopes International, which Lopez is a “promotora de salud” – a health promoter – and advocates for sexual health and reproductive rights.

All the organizations are committed to making childbirth safer, but they disagree over how best to do it. The government wants all births to be medically supervised, but NGOs say the problem needs both modern and traditional methods, including midwifery, since many villages are difficult to reach and few have medically trained clinicians.

A long road to care

Geicel Yamileth Benitez Fuentes, projects coordinator for Marie Stopes International in Chiapas, wiht some of the contraceptives that are distributed at the clinic in the poverty-stricken state of Chiapas.

Geicel Yamileth Benitez Fuentes, projects coordinator for Marie Stopes International in Chiapas, wiht some of the contraceptives that are distributed at the clinic in the poverty-stricken state of Chiapas.

Lopez’s trip to see Dona Mercedes, for example, required a two-hour taxi ride through the jungle on a precariously curved road, often cloaked in fog, to reach Bochil – a city of fewer than 25,000 in the highlands northeast of San Cristobal.

The taxi was 60 pesos – just under $5 – each way. Most villagers are farmers making a subsistence living, meaning taxis are a luxury not often utilized, even for a woman in labor.

Even if they could get there, many indigenous people are wary of outside influences, let alone government-run hospitals and clinics staffed by doctors who often don’t speak their languages or understand their culture and rituals.

Dr. Marcos Arana of CCESC-DDS, a health advocacy group in Chiapas, said the government policy may be well-intentioned but is woefully uninformed, particularly in regard to the poor and indigenous communities in largely rural Chiapas. Arana said that has led to overcrowded hospitals, low-quality care and a huge spike in cesarean sections.

Arana said the government has taken aim at traditional midwives, claiming they are not qualified to take care of pregnant women. “This has dismantled the liberty of health services in small communities,” Arana said.

He called that policy wrong for Chiapas, where indigenous traditions can conflict with the 21st-century ideals of the government and mestizo upper classes. Arana says a more multicultural approach would “build links of trust” between doctors and traditional healers like midwives.

The government has voiced support in recent years for more professional midwife training to complement hospital births under a doctor’s care. And Mexican officials signed on to Salud Mesoamerica 2015 (SM 2015), a multicountry, public-private partnership partially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In Chiapas, it aims to reduce infant and mortality rates by improving access to quality health care by 2015 and promoting “midwife incentives.”

Neither Lopez, her coworkers at Marie Stopes nor other NGOs that support midwives had heard of SM 2015. But some pointed to the work being done at CASA, Mexico’s only government-accredited midwifery school, more than 1,000 kilometers north of Chiapas.

Nina Weber, a development coordinator with CASA, said it has graduated 79 professional midwives since opening in 1996, six of whom were from Chiapas. Even with training, however, Arana said professional midwives still face obstacles when seeking work in the health system back in Chiapas.

“You would need an army of professional midwives to change the situation,” he said.

The old and the new

Mexican MidwivesProfessional midwives get formal medical training and are licensed to practice in clinics and hospitals while a traditional midwife – a “partera” – has long been regarded as a respected, sometimes divinely chosen, member of Mayan society, including among the Tzotzil and Tzeltal peoples of Chiapas.

OMIECH, an NGO that runs the Maya Medicine Museum in San Cristobal, said midwives are traditional healers who pass down wisdom of herbal remedies and safe childbirth over generations. Indeed, Dona Mercedes’ mother was a midwife, although none of her 10 children plan to follow in her footsteps.

“They don’t want to be, they’re scared,” Dona Mercedes said.

Traditional midwifery and health care is prioritized at K’inal Antzetik (“Land of Women” in Tzeltal), an NGO and women’s cooperative on the outskirts of San Cristobal.

Claudia Vasquez Perez, a traditionally trained midwife who works at K’inal as a volunteer coordinator, said they grow medicinal plants on site and turn them into teas and tinctures in their “lab” – a collection of plastic beach pails and old pots on a shelf in K’inal’s examination room.

Holding up a large plastic bag labeled “la cola de caballo,” (horse’s tail), Vasquez explained that the yellowed, brittle herbs inside cure urinary tract infections. Hands caked in dirt from a morning spent tilling the K’inal garden soil, she argued that such traditional remedies have worked for centuries, relying on the faith of the caregiver and the recipient.

“The plants listen to you,” she said.

Though K’inal promotes traditional medicines, volunteers do learn a handful of modern procedures such as taking temperatures and giving injections. They host multiday sessions in indigenous communities for midwives and local women to learn this kind of hybrid health care.

Participants are also taught to spot warning signs that a pregnant woman’s life or the life of her baby is in danger. At those times, K’inal uses proceeds from medicinal herb sales to help pay for transportation to a hospital. Vasquez sees that as indicative of K’inal’s realistic approach to women’s health.

“Cancer will not be cured by herbs,” she said.

Changing minds

Susana Patricia Lopez, left, says her Tzotzil her family generally supports her goal of becoming a nurse while fellow student Maria Luna says her Tzeltal farmer parents would rather she become a wife and mother.

Susana Patricia Lopez, left, says her Tzotzil her family generally supports her goal of becoming a nurse while fellow student Maria Luna says her Tzeltal farmer parents would rather she become a wife and mother.

But some see more scientific intervention as necessary to reducing maternal deaths and improving sexual health and awareness in Chiapas. Increasingly, young indigenous women are advocating for sex education, using birth control and even receiving medical training to integrate modern health care into their communities.

Maria Luna and Susana Patricia Lopez, both 21, are nursing students in San Cristobal on scholarships from La FOMMA, a nonprofit that helps support indigenous people in professional pursuits.

Luna, a soft-spoken Tzeltal woman of tiny stature with striking features, said she enjoys learning the technical aspects of obstetrics, noting that traditional medicine and herbal remedies are not always enough.

Luna left her small community after primary school to go to high school in San Cristobal and then applied to nursing school. Her independence was not viewed favorably by her parents, farmers who would have preferred her to stick around, get married and have babies.

“I don’t have communication with my father,” she said, forlorn but resolute.

But Luna – who works nights at a local hotel to help pay for her tuition – hopes to one day return to her village, find a nursing job and focus on educating women about their rights to medical care and sexual health.

“Education in birth control and general health is the most important thing” in improving maternal health, Luna said.

Susana Lopez, the more demonstrative of the pair, said her studies span the scope of primary care, though she is specifically interested in prenatal care and assisting during labor and delivery. Like Luna, she would rather work in her Tzotzil community in the highlands outside San Cristobal than a hospital, which is “less personal.”

When asked why she chose to become a nurse rather than a professionally trained midwife, Lopez said that, despite the license, “midwives are not valued as much.” Plus, they earn far less money.

As a nurse, Lopez said she would have access to better equipment and resources than a traditional midwife, but could still have a personal relationship with patients.

Unlike Luna, Lopez said her parents are supportive and she goes home most weekends. Still, she said they were originally skeptical of her decision to pursue an education, which she said is typical of most people in her community. Acculturation, she said, is “a big process.”

Despite a younger generation that’s making gains in scientific training and awareness, there are still cultural barriers to sexual health in Chiapas. Mistrust of government-run hospitals and clinics lingers in indigenous communities.

Vasquez, the K’inal volunteer coordinator, said husbands may even forbid hospital visits because they are worried about how their wives will be treated or where they’ll be touched. This machismo, she said, contributes to the high maternal death rate, because pregnant women are not getting needed medical intervention.

Vasquez and the nursing students also pointed to ingrained societal taboos about sex. Parents and teachers do not talk to children about sexual health and reproduction, leaving generations of women who do not know their options when it comes to pregnancy and, on a larger scale, their well-being.

So it has been left to NGOs to educate women about sexual health in a country that has long preferred to sweep such matters under the rug, they said.

NGOs like K’inal Antzetik and Marie Stopes say training and small-scale, volunteer sexual education networks are all they can do with the government that will not give such education in schools or provide enough contraceptives in clinics and hospitals, yet expects all births to take place under medical supervision.

Another path

Mexican Midwives

Bundles of herbs waiting to be processed in to traditional medicines at the “lab,” some shelves in the sole examining room at K’inal Antzetik clinic in Chiapas.

In lieu of going to government-run hospitals, uninsured or otherwise distrustful women in Chiapas can receive birth control and gynecological exams at low costs at the impeccably clean and modern Marie Stopes clinic in San Cristobal.

Hovering over a table filled with an impressive mound of individual birth-control boxes, projects coordinator Geicel Yamileth Benitez Fuentes said they carry everything from daily contraceptive pills to intrauterine devices (IUDs) that can last five years. She said women often seek out private clinics like theirs over the government ones because of the more-personal care.

“Government clinics don’t treat people with respect,” she said.

Benitez said Marie Stopes also does a lot of work outside the well-manicured cobblestone streets of San Cristobal. In indigenous towns, what Benitez called “the communities,” Marie Stopes health promoters explain how contraceptives work, demonstrate condom use and review the risks of sexually transmitted infections.

“There is a lot of unprotected sex because kids don’t receive sex education,” Benitez said. “There is not much awareness in the communities.”

Marie Stopes has used its international funding and the community connections of midwives to build a network aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality.

Health promoters like Maria Lopez Mendoza sell contraceptives in communities around Chiapas to traditional midwives like Dona Mercedes, who then sell them to their own patients for a small profit.

Marie Stopes’ goal, as stated in the stacks of brochures and framed pictures throughout the clinic, is “hijos para eleccion” – children by choice – something pregnant health promoter Maria Lopez Mendoza has fully embodied.

‘They do it to serve the people’

Geicel Yamileth Benitez Fuentes at the Marie Stopes Clinic, one of several non-governmental organizations working to improve a maternal rate of deaths during childbirth in the Chiapas state that is among the highest in Mexico.

Geicel Yamileth Benitez Fuentes at the Marie Stopes Clinic, one of several non-governmental organizations working to improve a maternal rate of deaths during childbirth in the Chiapas state that is among the highest in Mexico.

At 43, Lopez said this is her last chance to have a baby. With the father out of the picture, Lopez is prepared to raise the child on her own – single motherhood by choice.

Six months along, Lopez seemed as comfortable on the disheveled bed in Dona Mercedes’ dilapidated house as she was in the Marie Stopes Clinic in San Cristobal. Despite the ease with which she straddled both worlds, she said she planned to deliver her baby girl in a hospital, where doctors can intervene quickly in case anything goes wrong.

She laughs and quickly dismisses praise that she is brave for going it alone, noting that many mothers in similar situations don’t have the luxuries of a paying job or cash for a taxi ride to faraway clinics. In these instances, they have no choice but to rely on a local partera like Dona Mercedes.

Prior to her check-up, Lopez and Dona Mercedes had some business to transact: Lopez made the two-hour trip from San Cristobal to Bochil to deliver just three contraceptive kits the midwife had ordered for her patients.

Each kit cost 280 pesos, or about $20. Lopez explained that the midwife would mark up the kits by as little as 50 pesos so that her poorest patients could afford them, as opposed to similar kits sold at hospitals for as much as 2,000 pesos.

“That is the work of the partera. They earn almost nothing,” Lopez said. “They do it to support the people. That is the way it is.”



Ya Basta: How Zapatismo has influenced the US

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:42 am


Ya Basta: How Zapatismo has influenced the US



A black-masked Zapatista playing a three string Mexican bass guitar. Photo by Jose Villa

The Zapatistas are a group in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico working to bring democracy to their country and their local communities. 20 years after their founding, the group’s influences has spread far beyond Mexico’s border through music and art. On this edition of Making Contact producer Alejandro Rosas explores how Zapatismo has influenced those in the U.S. –including himself.

Special thanks to Claire Schoen and the University of California Berkeley, School of Journalism.


  • Hector Flores, Las Cafeteras member
  • Margaret Chowning, University of California at Berkeley professor of Mexican history
  • Emory Douglas, former Black Panther Party Minister of Culture


Listen to the programme here:



August 16, 2014

Indigenous from Chilón municipality, Chiapas, reject road construction

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:32 pm


Indigenous from Chilón municipality, Chiapas, reject road construction




By Elio Henríquez, correspondent

Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:01

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Residents of the ejidos San Sebastián Bachajón and San Jerónimo Bachajón, in Chilón municipality, and of the community of Tierra y Libertad, belonging to Yajalón, expressed their opposition to the construction of the highway which will link this city with Palenque.

“We express our total rejection of the construction of the highway, because it will bring great problems to our lands which we inherited from our parents and grandparents, and which we have achieved through much hard work and years of struggle,” they said in a public letter.

They added that “the interests of the three levels of government and national and foreign companies want to destroy our cultivated land plots, springs of water, mountains, homes, lands for harvesting, sacred places, medicinal plants and above all our own culture, by imposing, without informing us and hearing our words, their great projects like the construction of the highway, hydroelectric dams, exploitation of mines, and various programmes” of the governments.

They pointed out that according to the information they have, “the federal government has granted licence and permission to foreign companies for the construction of the San Cristobal-Palenque highway, which will affect seven municipalities in the state of Chiapas: Huixtán, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Chilón, Palenque, and Salto de Agua, where we, women and men, indigenous Tzotzil, Tzeltal and Chol, are living.”

Against “this violent dispossession (invasion) which the three levels of government and foreign companies are carrying out in complicity with the ejido authorities, we, the women and men of the ejidos San Sebastián Bachajón, San Jerónimo Bachajón, and Tierra y Libertad, those who live in this land where we work sowing and cultivating our food to sustain family life, express our total rejection of the construction” of the road, which, according to official information, has already cost about 10 billion dollars, and the work would not begin until later this year.

They said that the government “violates our human rights, although it has signed and ratified  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization and the International Agreement on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” among other international treaties obliging the State to monitor, observe and protect the basic rights of indigenous peoples and communities.

Therefore, they demanded that the authorities of the three levels “hear our requests and demands, for, should they fail to take into account what the people say, we will hold marches, roadblocks, and all that is necessary to defend our Mother Earth and the future of our children.”


Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 16/08/2014




Displacement, risk of dispossession and threats to support bases of the EZLN

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:43 pm





25 anniv fraybaThe Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

August 15, 2014

Urgent Action No. 03



Displacement, risk of dispossession and threats to support bases of the EZLN

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre has documented further acts of aggression perpetrated by members of the Regional Organization of Coffee Growers of Ocosingo (ORCAO) against support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) which occurred on the land for collective work (1) of the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality (MAREZ) San Manuel (official municipality of Ocosingo), belonging to the Good Government Council (JBG) “The Way of the Future”, of Caracol III, La Garrucha, Selva Tzeltal Zone, Chiapas .


  • On August 13, 2014, by agreement of the Zone of the JBG, nine families of BAEZLN built nine houses (one of them containing a grocery shop) and in this way founded Nuevo Poblado “San Jacinto” on the reclaimed lands for collective work belonging to the MAREZ of San Manuel, which adjoin the communities of Egipto and El Rosario; on that day 250 BAEZLN were also present to perform clearance tasks to prepare the ground for planting.
  • On 14 August, at approximately 3.50 am, a group of 18 people armed with shotguns and .22 calibre weapons, from the community of Pojcol, municipality of Chilón, belonging to ORCAO, surrounded the field and lands for collective work and began firing their weapons into the air for about 40 minutes. According to testimonies of the people who slept there that night, the attackers shouted “these weapons we use are from the government”, “this land is ours and does not belong to those fucking Zapatistas”, warning the BAEZLN at the same time that they had 6 hours to leave the place.
  • To avoid being attacked, the nine families (a total of 40 people, including girls, boys, women and men) together with 250 BAEZLN who were resting there, decided to leave in different directions. After the displacement, the members of ORCAO from the community of Pojcol destroyed the nine houses (including the grocery shop), stealing the merchandise that was in the shop and the cash that was in the houses; they also burned the clothes left by all the people who were at the scene, destroyed 150 nylon and canvas roofs, and stole the machetes with which they were working the land. The assessment of the damage so far has not been completed.
  • The same August 14th, at approximately 20.30 pm, information was received that the women and children of El Rosario community, belonging to ORCAO, had abandoned the community leaving only the men, while, according to testimony, the BAEZLN were being threatened with immediate eviction. As a result, the women and children from the same community, but belonging to the BAEZLN, also decided to leave due to the risk of a possible attack, also leaving only the men.


frayba UADuring the last few hours it has been reported to us that the threats from ORCAO against the BAEZLN of the community of El Rosario are intensifying and threatening to potentially result in dispossession.

In this situation, we express our concern at the imminent risk to the life, personal integrity and safety of the BAEZLN of the communities of El Rosario, Kexil, Egipto and Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto, belonging to the MAREZ of San Manuel.

Faced with the displacement of the BAEZLN communities of Egipto, Nuevo Poblado San Jacinto and El Rosario through acts of harassment, threats, aggression and destruction of their property, we hold the government of Chiapas responsible for ignoring the facts which were initially reported, allowing a gradual continuation of increasingly serious flagrant Human Rights violations to be committed.


Given these facts, this Human Rights Centre calls on the authorities of the state and federal government to:

  1. Stop the death threats, harassments, assaults, damages and attempts at dispossession which have led up to now to the displacement of the three BAEZLN communities.
  1. Guarantee to take the necessary measures and investigations aimed to promote conditions to protect the life, personal integrity and safety of the BAEZLN from the MAREZ San Manuel, respecting their process of autonomy which they are constructing under the right to self-determination of the peoples, referred to in the San Andrés Accords, and established in international treaties such as Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

To national and international civil society we repeat the call to solidarity to circulate the denunciations and express outrage at the systematic attacks against the BAEZLN belonging to the JBG of La Garrucha (official municipality of Ocosingo).


We thank you, in solidarity, for sending your appeals to:

Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto

Presidente de la República

Residencia Oficial de los Pinos

Casa Miguel Alemán

Col. San Miguel Chapultepec, C.P. 11850, México DF

Tel: (52.55) 2789.1100 Fax: (52.55) 5277.2376


Lic. Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernación

Bucareli 99, 1er. Piso, Col. Juárez,

Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06600 México D.F.

Fax: (52 55) 50933414;




Lic. Jesús Murillo Karam

Procuraduría General de la República

Av. Paseo de la Reforma #211-213 Col. Cuauhtémoc, Deleg. Cuauhtémoc

Distrito Federal CP. 06500,

Teléfono: 5346-0000 ext. 0108 Fax: 5346-0000 ext. 0908


Lic. Raul Plascencia Villanueva

Presidente de la Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos

Periférico Sur 3469, Col. San jerónimo Lidice,

Delegación Magdalena Contreras, C.P. 10200, México D.F.

Teléfonos: (55) 56 81 81 25 y (55) 54 90 74 00

Lada sin costo 01800 715 2000



Lic. Manuel Velasco Coello

Gobernador Constitucional del Estado de Chiapas

Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 1er Piso
Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México

Fax: +52 961 61 88088 – + 52 961 6188056; Extensión 21120. 21122;



Lic. Oscar Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar

Secretario General de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas

Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Chiapas, 2do Piso

Av. Central y Primera Oriente, Colonia Centro, C.P. 29009

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México

Conmutador: + 52 (961) 61 2-90-47, 61 8-74-60; Extensión: 20003;



Lic. Raciel López Salazar

Procuraduría General de Justicia de Chiapas

Libramiento Norte Y Rosa Del Oriente, No. 2010, Col. El Bosque

C.P. 29049 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Conmutador: 01 (961) 6-17-23-00. Teléfono: + 52 (961) 61 6-53-74, 61 6-53-76, 61 6-57-24.



Lic. Octavio Elías Albores Cruz

Presidente Municipal de Ocosingo

Domicilio Conocido , Centro C.P. 29950 Ocosingo, Chiapas.

Teléfono: (919) 67 3-05-06, 67 30015, 67-30500 Fax: 67-30015


Lic. Leonardo Rafael Guirao Aguilar

Presidente Municipal de Chilón

Domicilio Conocido S/N, Presidencia Municipal C.P. 29943 Chilón, Chiapas.

Teléfono: (01 919) 6710115, 6710230, 6710116, 6710030, Fax: 6710034


Send a copy to:

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, A.C.

Calle Brasil 14, Barrio Méxicanos, CP: 29240 San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

Tel: 967 6787395, 967 6787396, Fax: 967 6783548





Translated and posted by

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 16/08/2014





TELEFAX + 52 (967) 678 3548, 678 3551, 678 7395, 678 7396



BoCa en BoCa No 23 English version August 2014

Filed under: Boca en Boca — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:53 am


BoCa en BoCa No 23 English version August 2014

BoCa En BoCa 23, English.


beb23inglogo (1)

What matters is not who we are, but what we do.
The struggles for peace and freedom – whatever the location or time – have never had borders. In Chiapas, where people continue to suffer from imposition, conflict, war, and numerous other injustices, valuable people with different faces keep standing up to make their voices heard. They are determined, in the name of their ancestors and their descendants yet to come, to gain the recognition and freedom they deserve.
In edition 23 of the BoCa En BoCa magazine, we continue to support all of those who have marched, spoken, and organised with the aim of defending Life and resisting imposed death.
This month, the majority of the Believing People (or Pueblo Creyente), along with representatives from the different parishes of the San Cristóbal diocese, marched against brothels and the sale of drugs and alcohol – just as Father Marcelo had previously done in the parish of Simojovel. The group also denounced the megaprojects imposed on their communities (such as the San Cristóbal-Palenque motorway) and the various forms of corruption, oppression, and death present in the State.
And it is in this climate of a counterinsurgency war (which has seen displacement, massacres, the promotion of internal conflicts for external interests, and the destruction of communities and forms of organisation) that numerous groups have raised their voices, including: the Xinich organisation; the families of Banavil and Viejo Velasco; the Abejas de Acteal; and communities like Mitzitón and San Francisco (among others) which are adherents to the Sixth Declaration.
We also remember the people on the coast who have also been suffering repression, imprisonment, and violation of their freedoms and rights. A special mention goes out to the Digna Ochoa Centre for Human Rights, the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Area(Consejo Autónomo de la Zona Costa), and the thousands of migrants and the activists who defend them.
But death, “low intensity” war, displacements, and the imposition of megaprojects are not unique to Mexico. The can be seen across the globe and, in the month of July 2014, two cases in particular came to the fore: first with Brazil’s World Cup, and then with the thousands of civilian deaths and injuries in Palestine. The Gazan martyrs are just further examples of the corruption and repression rife in the world today. In many countries, though, this intolerable situation has led people to demand Freedom and Justice for the People of PalestineIn this month’s magazine, we represent the world in all its variety through texts of Mumia Abu-Jamal and SCI Marcos, which give us hope that people will continue to stand up against injustice.
We also remind you that, in the pdf format, you can access the article links directly if you want more information about the communiques, and that you can also follow us on Facebook at “Kolectivo BoKa En BoKa”. Meanwhile, if you need the magazine in a different language or are able to propose such a translation, please send us an email.
Greetings and Resistances
Kolectivo De BoKa En BoKa
Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service and Dorset Chiapas Solidarity for Kolectivo BoKa En BoKa

August 15, 2014

Committee Formed to Free Nestora Salgado, Former Guerrero Self-Defence Leader

Filed under: Human rights, Political prisoners — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:16 pm

Committee Formed to Free Nestora Salgado, Former Guerrero Self-Defence Leader

César Arellano

La Jornada, 15th August, 2014



Defenders of the rights of women, students, artists and feminists announced the formation of a committee for the freedom of Nestora Salgado, former coordinator of community police in Olinalá, Guerrero, who, on August 21, will complete a year “of unjust imprisonment”.

The activists denounced the “deplorable conditions” under which Nestora is being held in the federal prison in Tepic, Nayarit [far from Guerrero]. They said that she is the only prisoner who is handcuffed, she is hardly allowed to communicate with family members and just a few days short of 12 months as a “political prisoner” she was allowed to see her lawyer for the first time.

Saira Rodriguez Salgado, Nestora’s daughter, demanded that her mother be transferred to a prison in Mexico City during the process, not one in Guerrero, because it would represent a risk to her safety.

Meanwhile, Trinidad Ramírez Velázquez, wife of the leader of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land, Ignacio del Valle [of Atenco, State of Mexico], said it is “absurd” that the former coordinator of the Community Police in Guerrero is accused of several crimes, including kidnapping, simply for speaking out. “Nestora, like other women and men who were arrested, is dangerous to the state because she does not bend over and she does not accept the corruption.”

At a press conference, which was also attended by anthropologist Marta Lamas [leading Mexican feminist] and Beatriz Louvre, of the Front of Resistance for Mexico and Gloria Muñoz, journalist and La Jornada contributor, Ramírez Velázquez said Nestora’s case “unfortunately, isn’t an isolated one, as there are many throughout the country. It is the application of force by the state against the social activists of the rest of the territory, against men and women who have dared to go against official policies.”

The attendees called on society to join in solidarity with those affected, and they placed photos on social networks with the hashtag #NestoraLibre .

Translated by Reed Brundage


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