dorset chiapas solidarity

September 17, 2014

Urgent Information from the community of Virgen de Dolores, ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:20 pm




IMG_9440At 1.00 am on 16/9/14 police from Chilon detain three Tseltales, adherents to the Sixth, from Virgen Dolores…….

Their whereabouts is unknown: Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hdz

An amparo has been filed for possible detention, torture and forced disappearance……..

The community of Virgen de Dolores fears for the safety of the three and asks for solidarity.


Urgent Information from the community of Virgen de Dolores




Compañeras and compañeros,

We inform you that today at 1 am the compañeros JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ, from the community of Virgen de Dolores (official municipality of Chilón, Chiapas,) were attacked with firearms by members of the Municipal Police from Chilón when they were walking towards Virgen de Dolores from the municipal seat of Chilón community, and taken to an unknown destination.

Two compañeros managed to escape the aggression of the municipal police and managed to get to the community to report what had happened, but so far the whereabouts of the three compañeros is unknown. Today we looked for them at various police units in Chilón and Ocosingo and also filed an amparo for their disappearance, but so far we do not know where they are or whether they are well.

One of the missing compañeros is the brother of the deceased compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano who was brutally murdered the morning of March 21, 2014, by more than 20 gunshots fired by a group of people who acted with impunity. A few weeks after the murder, two of the people who attacked compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano were detained by compañeros from the community and handed over to the ministerial authorities, now these two people are undergoing criminal proceedings in El Amate, their names are: Sebastián Méndez Hernández (an officer of the municipal police in Chilón at the time of the murder) and Jerónimo Hernández Gómez.

The organization has a well-founded fear that this attack on the three compañeros may be in retaliation for the arrest of the municipal police officer Sebastián Méndez Hernández who took part in the murder of our compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

We hold all three levels of government responsible for anything bad that happens to our compañeros JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ, from the community of Virgen de Dolores, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle.

We ask you to support us by disseminating this information, and send combative greetings.

Land and Freedom


Land and Resistance in Virgen de Dolores, ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle of the EZLN 


To understand a little more about what is happening in Virgen de Dolores, ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, video-documentary “Land and Resistance in San Sebastián Bachajón”

Land and Freedom!!



La Sexta Bachajón carries out a road block in defence of their territory and autonomy

Filed under: Bachajon, Corporations, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Political prisoners, Repression, Tourism — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:39 am


La Sexta Bachajón carries out a road block in defence of their territory and autonomy


bachaluchaespwebMonday, 15 September. Adherents to the Sixth from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón organized a road block on the road from Ocosingo to Palenque at the high point of the turning to Agua Azul, to express their rejection of the tourism megaprojects planned by the government, which include the construction of a motorway which is planned to cross the territory of the ejido. (More information on this)

Through this action, they also seek to demand justice for the murder of two of their compañeros, Juan Vazquez Guzman and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano, and the freedom of their compañeros who are prisoners, Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez held in the prison at Playas de Catazajá and Esteban Gómez Jiménez, imprisoned in El Amate.








To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world 

Compañeros and  compañeras, today we are going to block the road from Palenque to Ocosingo at the high point of the turning to Agua Azul, to express our strong opposition to the dispossession of our territory, we will not allow the government to take away our mother earth for their projects of death which are for the benefit of the capitalists and not for the benefit of our people.

We demand that the government-supporting ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez stops betraying the people by handing over the lands of our people to the bad government for tourism projects and the construction of the highway from san cristobal de las casas to palenque, we will not allow him to continue giving away the lands we inherited from our grandfathers and grandmothers.

This mobilization we are carrying out is to remember that our murdered compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán (24 April 2014) and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano (March 21, 2014) gave their lives in defence of the Mother Earth and defended their people from the ambition and corruption of the bad governors. We also demand the freedom of our unjustly imprisoned tseltal compañeros Santiago Moreno Pérez (2009) and Emilio Jiménez Gómez (2014) in the prison at Playas de Catazajá and compañero Esteban Gómez Jiménez (2013) a prisoner in El Amate.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas we send a combative embrace to all the struggles and resistances in Mexico and the world. Never again a Mexico without us.


Land and Freedom! Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territories!



September 16, 2014

EZLN and Indigenous Mexicans Demand Release of Yaqui Tribe Leader

Filed under: water, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:06 pm


EZLN and Indigenous Mexicans Demand Release of Yaqui Tribe Leader



15 September 2014
Both groups assert leader Mario Luna was framed by the Sonora government.

The Mexican guerrilla group Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN, for its acronym in Spanish) and the Native Mexican Culture Congress (CNI) demanded on Monday the release of Mario Luna, leader of the Mexican Yaqui tribe.

Both organizations released a joint statement in which they assert that Luna was arrested for his fight against the Independence Aqueduct, built in the Mexican state of Sonora, and along a vast area that belongs to the Yaqui tribe.

The powerful “have failed in killing our people. Like seeds we keep growing. They tried to kill us with guns and, because they failed, then they tried to kill us with diseases and again they failed. The powerful have used several ways to wipe out indigenous people,” reads the statement.

Last week, the tribe members announced that Luna was detained by several men dressed as civilians and travelling in unidentified cars.

Later, the authorities said the officers who detained him were carrying out an apprehension order that was issued against Luna on June 14, 2013 by the Third Justice of the First Criminal Court of Hermosillo Sonora.

Luna was charged with kidnapping and robbery for a series of events that occurred June 8, 2013 during a roadblock when a person drove through a Yaqui barricade at a Sonora highway to protest the construction of the aqueduct.

However, Luna and the Yaqui tribe denied the charges. After being accused, Luna ran away to Mexico City, but he returned to Sonora several months later.

Luna, according to the EZLN and the CNI, was framed for his fight against the construction of the aqueduct.

Monday’s statement also recalled that the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice said that the Sonora government violated the Yaqui tribe rights and ordered local authorities to compensate the tribe for the damage done over the aqueduct construction.


CNI and EZLN Demand Freedom for Mario Luna, Yaqui Tribe Spokesperson

Filed under: Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:21 pm

CNI and EZLN Demand Freedom for Mario Luna, Yaqui Tribe Spokesperson



September 2014

To the Yaqui Tribe:

To the People of Mexico:

To the National and International Sixth:

To the Governments of Mexico and the World:

“We demand the immediate cancellation of all arrest warrants and fabrication of crimes against members of the Yaqui Tribe, and we condemn the criminalization of their struggle. We say to the bad governments that come from the political parties: the Yaqui River has served as the historical carrier and ancestral continuation of the Yaqui Tribe’s culture and territory. We who make up the National Indigenous Congress reiterate that if you touch any of us, you touch all of us, and we will respond accordingly to any attempt to repress the Yaqui’s dignified struggle or any other struggle (Joint communiqué from the CNI-EZLN, July 7, 2013, Caracol of Oventic).

They have not been able to kill our peoples. Like seeds, we continue to grow. They tried to kill us with guns, and when they couldn’t, they tried to kill us with diseases, and again they failed. The powerful have tried many ways to kill off the indigenous. 

Today they want to kill us with wind turbines, highways, mines, dams, airports, and narcotrafficking. Above all, today in particular, we feel the pain of the attempt to kill us in Sonora, with aqueducts.

This past Thursday, September 11, people who apparently belong to the Sonora State Attorney General’s office detained our brother Mario Luna, spokesperson for the Yaqui Tribe, falsely accusing him of crimes that they themselves planted. With this action they intend to imprison the very struggle of the Yaqui Tribe for defending its waters, which, after a long war, were recognized as theirs in 1940 by Lázaro Cárdenas. Since 2010, the money-owners want to again take these waters by way of the Independence Aqueduct, in violation of a resolution emitted by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and violating all of the rights given us by International Conventions on such matters.

It is a joke to say that the Independence Aqueduct is so that the poor have water and progress, as those above say; it is so that the rich can take possession of the water that for centuries has belonged to the Yaquis. Instead of feeding fields and crops, they want to divert the water to large industrial companies in Sonora.

This plunder has been the banner of progress for the bad governments, with State Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías and Supreme Paramilitary Chief Enrique Peña Nieto at the head of the project. Just as the dictator Porfirio Díaz proclaimed the extermination of our peoples in the name of this kind of progress, in particular the extermination of the Yaqui Tribe, we know that the words of Padrés and Peña Nieto are lies. For these megaprojects to exist, we originary peoples must disappear, and once and for all we tell those above that we have no plans to disappear. They detained our brother Mario Luna because he refused to sell out or give in, because he has been a brother in struggle to all of us who want this world to change below and to the left.

We don’t ask anything of the bad governments, and at this moment we want to tell them clearly one thing: ourcompañero Mario Luna’s freedom does not belong to them and they cannot take it away just like that. We want to make clear that his freedom belongs to him and his people, and that what was taken by force must be returned.

venadoTo our compañero Mario we want to say that we have walked together for more than 500 years. His tribe walks the path of struggle; even if the cowardly government sends them as slaves to the other end of the country, the Yaquis return to Vícam, Pótam, Tórim, Bácum, Cocorit, Huiriris, Belem and Rahum, because that is where their blood flows. We want to say that we are Yaquis, even though we might also be Zoques or Mames or Tojolobales or Amuzgos or Nahuas or Zapotecos or Ñahto or we speak any other language, and as the Yaquis that we are we will not let them rob us of our water or our freedom.

We demand Mario Luna’s immediate release, and we demand the cancellation of all arrest warrants and fabrication of crimes against members of the Yaqui tribe. We also demand the freedom of all of our prisoners, in particular our Nahua brothers Juan Carlos Flores Solís and Enedina Rosas Vélez, who were imprisoned by the bad government in April of this year and falsely accused of crimes in order to stop the struggle of the Peoples Front in Defense of Water and Land of Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala, organized against the Integrated Morelos Project.

Mexico, September 2014.

Never Again a Mexico Without us.

For the Holistic Reconstitution of our Peoples.





Update: Mexico – Detention of human rights defender Mr Mario Luna Romero

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:06 pm



15 September 2014

Update: Mexico – Detention of human rights defender Mr Mario Luna Romero

On 11 September 2014 at 9:40 a.m., human rights defender Mr Mario Luna Romero was arrested by a group of men dressed in civilian clothing who were driving 3-4 white pick-up trucks. Though they did not identify themselves at the scene, the men were members of the State Police and escorted the human rights defender to the Ciudad Obregón office of the Attorney-Genreal of Sonora State, where he was held incommunicado until about 3:30 p.m. At around 6:45 p.m., the human rights defender was permitted an hour-long visit by his lawyer. The detention of Mario Luna Romero was confirmed by the Attorney-General of Sonora State who explained at a press conference late on 11 September 2014 that an arrest warrant had been executed against him in connection with the abduction of another Yaquí community leader.

Mario Luna Romero is the Secretary of the traditional authorities of the Vicam town of the Yaqui tribe in Sonora. The human rights defender is also the spokesperson for the Yaqui tribe and others, defending their rights in the context of the construction and operation of the Independence Aqueduct. The community has been working to prevent the diversion of water from the Yaqui river, over which the tribe has 50% ownership, to the Independence Aqueduct.

The arrest warrant issued by the Third Tribunal of the Criminal First Instance Court of Hermosilloes concerns the charges of abduction of a member of the Yaqui community who was detained for committing a crime on the tribe’s territory as an indigenous person. To read more these allegations, please read the Urgent Appeal dated 13 June 2014.

The arrest of Mario Luna Romero follow a Yaqui tribe protest on 28 May 2013 on Federal Motorway 15 to call for compliance with a decision of the Supreme Court when, on 8 May 2013, it found a violation of the tribe’s right to be consulted in the granting of the Environmental Impact Authorisation for the Independence Aqueduct, and ordered that a consultation be held. The consultation process is ongoing and Mario Luna Romero has an important role within it as spokesperson of the community. Between 4 and 6 September 2014, Mario Luna Romero led a delegation of the Yaquí tribe to Washington DC to raise the case and the request for protection measures before the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights (MC452/2013).

According to the constitutional limit, Mario Luna Romero will be released on 17 September 2014 at 12:00 p.m. However, the authorities have requested that he be detained beyond this time so that the authorities can analyse the evidence for longer.

It is believed that the arrest and detention of Mario Luna Romero is part of an ongoing stategy of criminalisation of human rights defenders who are promoting and protecting the rights of the Yaquí tribe in its campaigns against the Independence Aqueduct.


Mexico: Indigenous Activist Detained, Risks Unfair Trial: Mario Luna Romero

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:08 am


 Mexico: Indigenous Activist Detained, Risks Unfair Trial: Mario Luna Romero

images (5)UA: 230/14 Index: AMR 41/034/2014 Mexico Date: 15 September 2014


indigenous activist detained, risks unfair trial

Indigenous activist Mario Luna Romero is at risk of unfair trial after being arrested in Sonora State, northwest Mexico. There are concerns that the case against him may be politically motivated due to his leading role in protests against an aqueduct which affects the Yaqui Indigenous community’s access to water.

On the morning of 11 September, Mario Luna Romero, a leading member of the Yaqui Indigenous community in Sonora State, was arrested by state judicial police in Ciudad Obregón. He was denied access to relatives and his lawyers until late afternoon, by which time he had been transferred to a prison outside the state capital, Hermosillo. Mario Luna Romero was detained on the basis of an arrest warrant issued in 2013 for his alleged involvement in the supposed car theft and kidnapping of Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo, a member of the Yaqui community with links to the Sonora State government.

Mario Luna Romero is a translator and spokesperson in the Yaqui Indigenous community based in the town of Vicam and has led protests and legal measures to stop the construction and operation of the Independence Aqueduct which draws water from the Yaqui River at the Novillo damn. The Yaqui community argues that the aqueduct directly places their traditional culture and livelihoods under threat. The state and federal government failed to seek the free, prior and informed consent of the community via a transparent consultation process. On 4 September Mario Luna Romero had travelled to Inter American Commission of Human Rights to highlight the case.

In June 2013 Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo apparently drove his car at demonstrators participating in a roadblock against the aqueduct. He was detained by community members and held for two days before being released. Following a complaint filed by Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo’s wife, the Sonora State public prosecutor filed charges of kidnapping (privación illegal de la libertad) and car theft against Mario Luna Romero and three other community leaders. Amnesty International has reviewed the evidence presented against Mario Luna Romero and is concerned that the case against him is biased and may be politically motivated. He is currently waiting for results of his indictment on 17 September. Mario Luna Romero may be denied his right to a fair trial and, if committed to trial, he will not be eligible for bail and may face prolonged detention, putting his safety at risk.

Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:

Calling for the safety of Mario Luna Romero to be guaranteed while in custody;

Expressing concern at the detention of Mario Luna Romero and urging the authorities to ensure his right to a fair trial, including ensuring the impartiality of all criminal investigations and upholding the right not to be subject to politically motivated criminal charges;

Calling on the authorities to ensure the safety of all members of the Yaqui community and respect their right to peaceful protest against Independence Aqueduct.


Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernación

Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, C.P. 6600, México D.F., México

Fax: +52 55 5093 3414 (keep trying)


Salutation: Dear Minister / Señor Ministro

Governor of State of Sonora

Guillermo Padrés Elías

Comonfort y Dr. Paliza

C.P. 83260, Hermosillo

Sonora, México

Fax: +52 662 212 0001 (keep trying)


Salutation: Dear Governor / Señor Gobernador

And copies to:

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental

Mexico D.F.


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. 


On 25 August, Francisco Antonio Delgado Romo, who was reportedly under investigation by the Federal Attorney General’s Office, was reported missing by his family. His remains are believed to have been located near Vicam, a town in Sonora State, but not yet officially identified.

In 2010, the government of Sonora, a drought afflicted state, begun construction of the Independence Aqueduct without consulting Yaqui Indigenous communities that live by the river. Members of the community have sustained protests and legal actions to halt the construction, to ensure full environmental impact assessment and uphold indigenous rights to a transparent consultation process in order to obtain the community’s full prior and informed consent. In 2013, the National Supreme Court recognised the failure of federal and state authorities to meet their obligations to the Yaqui community and required remedial actions, particularly regarding a new environmental impact assessment and a consultation process with the Yaqui community. Despite various judicial orders suspending the project, construction continued allowing the aqueduct to enter operations resulting in a significant drop in water levels. Members of the Yaqui community continue to call for full compliance with the National Supreme Court ruling.

Indigenous activists, such as Mario Luna Romero, have frequently faced spurious criminal charges in order to deter their legitimate human rights demands. The use of politically motivated charges remains relatively common at state level where the public prosecutor’s offices often operate under influence of local political issues.

Name: Mario Luna Romero

Gender m/f: m

UA: 230/14 Index: AMR 41/032/2014 Issue Date: 15 September 2014


September 15, 2014

Call for Solidarity with the people of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Ethics — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:36 pm


Call for Solidarity with the people of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico

Defending their lands and opposing the new airport in Mexico City!

British companies are involved!

Take action!


lands not airplanes



In 2001, the indigenous common landholders of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico were successful in their fight against the building of a new airport in Mexico City on their ancestral farm lands. The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) became emblematic for their highly symbolic machetes, and their determined resistance.-

In May 2006, the government seized its chance to punish the community for defeating this megaproject. Following an attack characterised by extreme police brutality and violent repression, 2 young people were dead, 26 women raped by the military police, many injured, and 217 people arrested. 9 leaders of the Atenco farmers were illegally sentenced to 31 years, 2 for 67 years, and one for 112 years. The people organised, and a national and international campaign for the liberation of the prisoners was launched with the support of the Zapatista-inspired Other Campaign; the prisoners were finally absolved and freed in 2010.

The man responsible for ordering this repression and the rape of the women was the former governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. He is now the President of Mexico, and the Atenco issue was the shame of his presidential campaign. Two years later, on 3 September 2014, he announced the plans for a new, much larger, international airport in the same area to the east of Mexico City. The new airport will have six runways and be able to handle 120 million passengers a year, four times the capacity of the existing airport; it will cost an estimated £5.5 billion, and have an associated large scale urbanisation project, known as Future City.

The people of Atenco have known this was coming for a long time, and were ready to renew the fight in defence of their lands. For years the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has been using pressure tactics to convince people to sell their lands. The FPDT and their lawyer are currently denouncing the illegal changing of the titles to the lands from social (communal) to private as a means to evict the original inhabitants. The FPDT are currently involved in a legal struggle to reverse this procedure. Members of the group were physically attacked by hired thugs, resulting in fifteen people being wounded.

The violence and the threat to their lands has never gone away. Now they are asking for our help again.

The struggle and resistance of the people of San Salvador Atenco is symbolic of struggles going on throughout Mexico and Latin America, where the indigenous peoples are defending their lands, their mother earth, against megaprojects being set up by their governments for the benefit of transnational corporations. They are struggling for land, life, freedom, for communal and collective values.

“The land is not for sale. She is to be loved and defended.”

They know they succeeded before because they had worldwide support. Again, they say:

“We need the hands of everyone”

The UK Connection:

The architect: The design for the airport has 2 chief architects; one of these is Norman Foster, also known as Lord/Baron Foster of Thamesbank. Norman Foster, as well as being a very famous architect, is British, with his company’s headquarters conveniently situated close to the Thames in Central London:

Foster + Partners, Riverside, 22 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN
T:  +44 (0)20 7738 0455
F:  +44 (0)20 7738 1107

Perhaps he doesn’t know the history of blood, rape, years of illegal imprisonment and misery; perhaps he doesn’t know how many people the airport will displace. Perhaps we should tell him.




The engineering consultants, supervising the master plan for the airport:

Much of the project is hidden behind government secrecy, but according to El Financiero, the consultants and technical specialists for the new airport are the ARUP Group, whose British CEO is Sir Gregory Hodkinson, and whose headquarters is also conveniently situated in Central London:

13 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ,
T+44 (0) 20 7636 1531

They also have offices in many UK cities, including:

225 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4GZ

T+44 (0) 141 332 8534

63 St Thomas Street, Bristol, BS1 6JZ

T+44 (0) 117 976 5432

6th Floor, Three Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BN

T+44 (0) 161 228 2331


Atenco land grabbing


What to do:

*Inform yourselves – see the links below

*Share the news – the situation is urgent – through all your networks

*Contact other groups

*Write to Norman Foster and Gregory Hodkinson

*Organise a protest or an action at one of the offices above. Link up with others!

*Organise a video screening



Current situation:!en/video/interviews-from-mexico-282557


Further information

FPDT blog (in Spanish):

Latest information in English:




Here is a sample letter proposal that you can use, modify, and send to Norman Foster or Gregory Hodkinson etc:

Sir Norman Foster,

Perhaps you don’t know the history of blood, rape, years of illegal imprisonment and misery; perhaps you don’t know how many people the airport will displace and how much and for how long the people of Atenco have been opposing to the construction of the airport you want to build there. In 2001, the indigenous communal landholders of the municipality of San Salvador Atenco in Mexico were issued with an expropriation order to dispossess them from more than 80% of the lands they inherited from their grandparents, in order to build a new airport for Mexico City, in exchange of an inacceptable payment which could only last a few years, to guarantee their silence. They said NO to the displacement and they are still saying so. For the people of Atenco their whole identity, customs, traditions, history and existence are bound up with the land.

The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) was formed, with national and international support, and succeeded after 9 months in having the expropriation order withdrawn. In May 2006, the Mexican government seized its chance to punish the community for defeating the megaproject. A government dispute with flower vendors in the nearby town of Texcoco progressed into an attack infamous for the extreme police brutality, as 3500 officers from the local, state and federal police and the army surrounded the town of Atenco. The violent repression resulted in 2 young people dead, 26 women raped by the military police (who were authorized to do so by President Enrique Peña Nieto, as accepted by him, you can see in this video that surely Carlos Slim’s son-in-law did not show you: many injured, and 217 people arrested. 9 leaders of the Atenco farmers were imprisoned and illegally sentenced for 31 years, 2 for 67 years, and one for 112 years. The people mobilized, and a national and international campaign for the liberation of the prisoners was launched; they were finally absolved and freed after 4 years and 59 days.

We want to let you know that we don’t want more suffering for the people of Atenco. They did not vote in favour of being displaced so that you build an airport there. The elections were rigged. Once again, people were brutally beaten. Do you really think that “the future” in the airport industry is to have poor people displaced, beaten and incarcerated so that you build your “dream”?

The history of how the Atenco people have been beaten will haunt your “dream” airport forever. Do you really want to have that horrible reputation in your career?

You can still do the right thing and stop that nonsense. We, friends of the Mexican people, urge you to do so.



With thanks to OWS Zapatista



Farmworkers Are the Lowest Paid Workers in Mexico

Filed under: Migrants — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:21 pm


Farmworkers Are the Lowest Paid Workers in Mexico

Migrant farmworkers work under the hot sun for long hours says  Luis Magaña Acevedo, leader of the Organization of Agricultural Workers of California.  (Photo: Especial)


Migrant farmworkers work under the hot sun for long hours says Luis Magaña Acevedo, leader of the Organization of Agricultural Workers of California. (Photo: Especial)

13 September 2014
Downward pressure on real wages in the agricultural sector and NAFTA related destitution of Mexican farmers is likely to increase migration to the United States.

Mexican farm laborers earned less than three dollars a day in 2013 in Mexico, according to information released on Friday by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI by its Spanish acronym).

Farmworkers’ wages do not represent any more than 1.5 percent of the earnings of those who work in large corporations in Mexico, according to Inegi.

In fact, the gap between the two sectors is so wide that a corporate executive only needs to work 5.6 days to earn what an agricultural worker earns in a year.

Seventy percent of the field workers earn less than US $2 per day. Ninety-five percent do not enjoy any health or social security benefits. That puts Mexican field workers after China as the most exploited in the world, according to the World Bank.

With conditions like these, it is no wonder that the United States federal minimum wage of US $7.25 is attractive. The National Council on Population (Conapo by its Spanish acronym) indicated that 400,000 people immigrate to the United States per year, many as undocumented workers. While many go to urban centers to work in restaurants and sweatshops, others continue working on farms all over the United States.

Of all farmworkers in the United States, 75 percent were born in Mexico, 53 percent of farmworkers in the United are undocumented (without legal authorization), 25 percent are United States citizens, and 21 percent are legal permanent residents. According to U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, farm work generally pays more than US$9,  but due to colder winters, the work is usually seasonal, strenuous and dangerous. And since more than half of the workers don’t have papers, growers can get away with paying less than $9.

Immigration to the United States has markedly increased  since the 1994 passing of NAFTA, a free trade agreement that has driven over two million Mexican farmers out of business. And the downward pressure on post-NAFTA real wages for farmers in Mexico will only serve to drive migration numbers up even higher.



September 14, 2014

Indigenous in Mexico Denounce ‘Racist Campaign’

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:31 pm


Indigenous in Mexico Denounce ‘Racist Campaign’

Yaqui River

13 September 2014

The Yaqui tribe of Mexico have denounced the “racist, hate campaign” against them by Mexican authorities.

The Yaqui Tribe Observatory denounced attacks by Sonora State government, calling it “a racist campaign of hate” against indigenous people who are opposed to an aqueduct project.

In a press conference Friday, members of the group said “since the beginning of the struggle against the establishment of Independent Aqueduct, there has been a racist campaign of hate especially in regards to indigenous communities who are labeled as criminals for defending their right to water.”

On Thursday, one of the tibes most visible spokesmen was detained by four men dressed as civilians.

The Independence Aqueduct aims to bring about 75 million cubic meters of water from the Rio Yaqui to the city of Hermosillo.

Last year, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that the Government of Sonora must suspend the operation of the aqueduct where it is shown that it would otherwise cause irreparable harm to the Yaqui community.



Persecution and Plunder of the Yaqui

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:50 pm


Persecution and Plunder of the Yaqui


La Jornada, 13th September, 2014

bloqueo yaquiYesterday tens of members of the Yaqui tribe and the Citizen Movement for Water set up a roadblock on a stretch of the Ciudad Obregón-Guaymas highway in Sonora in protest against the arrest of Mario Luna Romero, designated spokesperson of this community (governed under uses and customs). Luna Romero is accused of robbery and kidnapping by the government headed by PAN [National Action Party] Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías.

The disagreement of members of that community in southern Sonora seems justified in light of irregularities that occurred during Luna Romero’s detention, which was carried out by people in civilian clothes traveling in unofficial vehicles and is based on alleged crimes that have not been proved. Moreover, the event has an unavoidable political and social context: the Yaqui people’s rejection of construction of the Independence Aqueduct. Designed by the Sonora government to divert water from the Yaqui River, presumably to supply the city of Hermosillo, in reality the Aqueduct responds to and favours corporate interests–car assembly plants, breweries and soft drink bottling plants. The Aqueduct also favours influential politicians in the region and the country.

Just like the arrest of the leader, construction of the Aqueduct has been marked by irregularities that evoke the tradition of dispossession that original peoples throughout the country have been subjected to since time immemorial. The above work was built without consulting the Yaqui tribe, despite the existence of a decree in 1940 [issued by President Lázaro Cárdenas] granting the tribe’s use of 50 percent of the river’s waters. Such arbitrariness led the Yaqui community to initiate a legal dispute to ensure their right to be consulted. This legal action resulted in the granting of an amparo [injunction] that ordered, as a preventive measure, suspension of further work on the aqueduct. That’s when the Sonora government initiated a campaign of disparagement and criminalization of the Yaqui community and its leaders, which has included threats of repression and direct threats by state public security officers against protesters.

TribuYaqui2-2With these precedents, it can be assumed that the arrest of Mario Luna is not due to a desire for justice by the Sonora state government, but that it is part of a campaign of persecution. That campaign, in turn, is part of the history of dispossession that the Yaqui people have historically suffered at the hands of the State, at least since the 1870s when the notorious Yaqui War took place that resulted in the mass killing of the people at the hands of the liberal governments.

In its contemporary version, historic harassment is accompanied by repressive policies and actions that criminalize social dissent, wage smear campaigns in the media and on social networks, and systemically refuse to recognize the Yaquis’ right to decide about their natural resources.

Counter to government calculations, however, that course of action has done nothing but multiply social tension and encourage ungovernability in the region. Perhaps there is still a route to prevent this outcome: the government might desist from its persecution of the Yaqui and acknowledge its error in promoting construction of the aqueduct without dealing with the disagreement and the damages caused to different sectors, predominantly to members of the Yaqui community.

Translated by Jane Brundage



September 13, 2014

25th Anniversary of Frayba: Walking with the Peoples

Filed under: Ethics, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:24 pm


25th Anniversary of Frayba: Walking with the Peoples

Dearest compañer@s of Frayba:

25 anniv fraybaWe thank and congratulate you and celebrate your 25 years of dedication and commitment to walking with the poor and oppressed peoples of Chiapas, with the most marginalised, discriminated, excluded and forgotten, the most screwed, following the path of the beloved jTatic Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia and of the jTatic Bishop Raul Vera, and in giving a voice to the voiceless, the dispossessed, the displaced, the victims, the migrants and the refugees, who now know they are not alone.

Your work is difficult and puts you at constant risk. We strongly denounce the recent acts of surveillance and harassment and the threats made against your director, Víctor Hugo López, and other members of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre. In spite of all this you continue to fearlessly denounce injustice, impunity, and the human rights violations and repressive and brutal acts of the governments and the powerful.

Your efforts in the defence of hope have been fundamental to the inspiration of the indigenous communities of Chiapas to organise in resistance and to walk towards a better life. We send you our small and humble words of admiration, gratitude and respect in honour of your ethical stance, your work of service and your tireless commitment to all of those from below and to the other world which people like yourselves continue to make possible.

We send you our most affectionate solidarity and our warmest good wishes

Adhesiva, Espai de Trobada i Acció, Barcelona

Agencia Prensa India API, México

Asociación Connexió de Recursos per a l’Acció Comunitària, Barcelona

Asociacion Q’anil, Guatemala

Associació Solidaria cafè Rebeldía-Infoespai, Barcelona

Caracol Zaragoza, Estado Español

Casa Nicaragua de Liège, Bélgica

Ce-Acatl, A.C., México

Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas, A.C., México

Centro de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos del Sur de Veracruz Bety Cariño A.C., México

Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo -CEDOZ-, Estado Español

Centro de Investigación y Acción de la Mujer Latinoamericana, CIAM, A.C., México

Cercle des Premières Nations de l’UQAM, Canada

Colectivo Azcapotzalco, adherente a la Sexta Declaración de la Selva Lacandona, México

Colectivo de Aprendizaje y Enseñanza Zapatista del Reino Unido

Colectivo “Pensar en voz alta”, México

Colectivo La Flor de la Palabra, México

Colectivo “Pirtas X Tierra Mojada” de Córdoba Argentina

Colectivo Tierra y Libertad de Cuautla, Morelos México

Colectivo Zapatista, Manchester, Inglaterra

Collectif Chiapas, Bélgica

Comitato Chiapas “Maribel” – Bergamo, Italia

Comité de la Palabra Verdadera de Calcuta, India

Comité de la Palabra Verdadera de Suroeste Inglaterra

Comité por los Derechos Humanos en América Latina-CDHAL, Canada

Coordinadora Valle de Chalko, México

CGT – Estado Español

Espoir Chiapas / Esperanza Chiapas, Francia

Fundacion Akina Zajji Sauda (Conexion de Mujeres Negras), Colombia

Grupo Solidaridad con Chiapas, Dorset, Inglaterra

Grupo Solidaridad con Chiapas, Edimburgo, Escocia

Grupo Solidaridad con México, Londres, Inglaterra

Grupo Solidaridad con los Zapatistas – Essex, Inglaterra

Gruppe B.A.S.T.A., Münster, Alemania

KIPTIK, Bristol, Inglaterra

Latin America Solidarity Committee Aotearoa, Nueva Zelanda

Melel Xojobal A.C., México

Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, Estados Unidos

MUT VITZ 13, Francia

Organización Zapatista “Educación para la liberación de nuestros pueblos”, México

Períódico “Lucha Indígena”, Perú
Proceso de Articulación de la Sierra de Santa Marta, México

Red Contra las Violencias Hacia las Mujeres “Mariposas de Alas Nuevas construyendo futuro”, Colombia

Red de Mujeres Chiapanecas en contra de la Violencia y por el Derecho de Vivir en Paz, México

Red de Solidaridad con los Zapatistas del Reino Unido

Red YA-BASTA-NETZ, Alemania

SERPAJ, México

Servicio de Traducción Zapatista del Reino Unido

Sexta para NIñoas-DF, México

Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca, México

Wellington Zapatista Support Group, Nueva Zelanda

Zap Sol UK, Reino Unido

Raúl Zibechi, Uruguay

Gustavo Esteva, México

Dra. Sylvia Marcos

Hermann Bellinghausen, director de Ojarasca, México

Mercedes Olivera Bustamante. Investigadora del CESMECA-UNICACH, México
Guillermo Villaseñor, México

Hugo Blanco, Perú

Leonor Hurtado, Guatemala.

Danilo Quijano, Perú

Bruno Baronnet, Veracruz

Chantal Ferreux, Francia

Magdalena Ixquiactap Tuc, Guatemala

La Elvia del Estado de México, México

Nicte Ha Dzib, México

Jose Luis Estevez “Gato” – Obrero, Pais Vasco
Gaia Capogna, Italia

Pietro Ameglio, México

Jorge Torres V., México

Julie Webb-Pullman – Periodista/Activista, Observadora de los Derechos Humanos, Nueva Zelanda
Myriam Michel, Francia

Patricia Vega, México

Lucina Jurado, México

Gina, Philadelphia, Estados Unidos



Sonora Governor Escalates Confrontation With Yaqui Tribe

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:21 pm


Sonora Governor Escalates Confrontation With Yaqui Tribe


Francisco López Bárcenas

La Jornada, 13th September, 2014


ImageProxy (6)

Sonora is burning. Contamination of the Bacanuchi River from the spill of toxic substances used by the Buenavista del Cobre [Copper] mine owned by Grupo Mexico; statements that the fire at the ABC Daycare Center (which claimed the lives of 49 children and permanently injured another 76) could have been caused by officials of former Sonora Governor Eduardo Bours; disagreements between current Governor Guillermo Padrés Elías and the federal government over statements by delegates from the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) and the Federal Prosecutor for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) that the governor might have built a private dam while the people of Sonora suffer from a lack of drinking water–to all this is added escalation of the confrontation with members of the Yaqui tribe, which for five years has been fighting in defence of their territory and water.

On September 11 at 11:40 a.m. Mexico City (9:40 a.m. in Sonora) Mario Luna Romero, secretary of the Yaqui authorities and the tribe’s spokesman during their struggle, was arrested in Ciudad Obregón. According to his colleagues, his arrest was made by people in civilian clothes who used four non-official vehicles to transport him. Moreover, fifteen hours passed before Luna Romero was presented at the Centre for Social Rehabilitation [prison] in Hermosillo.

According to Carlos Navarro Sugich, Sonora Attorney General, the detainee is accused of kidnapping and theft, two crimes that according to the authority he committed on June 8, 2013, against Francisco Delgado Romo. The context was closure of the Mexico-Nogales Highway in protest because the authority refused to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice, which recognized that if the Independence Aqueduct violated their rights, it had to be cancelled.

There are many reasons to believe that the representative of the Yaqui tribe was not arrested because he committed a crime, but because he is the link between his pueblo and other movements in solidarity with the tribe’s struggle to defend their land and water. This land was deeded to them in 1940 by President Lázaro Cárdenas; this is the same land that the Sonora government is now seeking to strip from them in order to deliver it to businessmen in the state capital. This is the perception of more than 75 organizations in 20 states of the Mexican Republic, which immediately declared that the allegations against Mario Luna Romero “are part of a strategy of criminalization against the struggle of the Yaqui tribe; this is taking place in the context of the defence of their water, before the construction and operation of the Independence Aqueduct.”

Consequently, they demanded that the state government immediately release Luna Romero, stop the escalation of repression against the representatives of the Yaqui tribe and open pathways of dialogue to find ways out of the conflict.

The timing of the arrest also causes suspicion. Why was Luna Romero arrested just now when the state government faces the problem of contamination of the Bacanuchi River, one of the most serious caused by mining activity? Why now does Governor Padrés Elías accuse his predecessor of having responsibility for the fire at the ABC Daycare Center, where 49 children died and 76 suffered permanent injuries? Why now when the governor himself is accused of misappropriating water for personal gain, while many Sonorans go without [adequate access to water]? Will the governor want to create a distraction to divert public attention from the above problems? Will he want to use Luna Romero as a bargaining chip to silence other voices?

It’s too early to tell. What I can say is that with this action the government is adding more fuel to the Sonoran countryside, which is already hot, because knowing the Yaquis it is certain that they are not going to be silenced, and they are going to mobilize to achieve the release of their representative.

Viewed from another perspective, the detention is an historic error. While the detainee holds the position of secretary of tribal authorities, he is not a subordinate less than them, as someone from the outside might think. Among the Yaquis, the secretary is a kind of representative of the people with the rest of society; thus, they all feel aggrieved by Luna Romero’s detention.

It is a lesson that they [governments] should have learned from the historic Yaqui wars, many of which were caused by offences that the yoris, as the Yaquis call white people, committed against their [Yaqui] authorities. A politically sensible approach would be to deal with the proposals of the organizations calling for the detainee’s release, stop criminalizing the struggle, recognize the justness of the Yaqui’s struggle and seek solutions. … The other approach is to keep adding fuel to the fire.

Translated by Jane Brundage



Claim for amparo against the sale of their land by residents of Atenco is admitted

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:34 pm


San Salvador Atenco: the amparo, and the current legal situation


Claim for amparo against the sale of their land by residents of Atenco is admitted

By Javier Salinas Cesareo, correspondent

La Jornada, Fri 12 Sep 2014

reportadaMarch of residents of San Salvador Atenco to ask the judges of the higher Agrarian Court to admit the amparo they have filed against the change in the ejidal rules to private land ownership, on 08 September 2014 Photo Alfredo Dominguez

San Salvador Atenco, Mex . The twelfth district judge based in Nezahualcoyotl, José Manuel Angel Torres, has admitted the writ for amparo brought by members of the Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) from San Salvador Atenco, in which they demand the restoration of measures in the Agrarian Court to prevent the continuation of the proceedings for the titling and sale of more than a thousand hectares of the ejidal nucleus of Atenco.

The FPDT’s lawyer, Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca, reported that the judge assigned to their request for amparo number 1016/2014, at the same time gave notice that the Agrarian Court of Texcoco and the delegation of the National Agrarian Tribunal in the state of Mexico, based in Toluca, must provide a report on why they threw out this measure which the people of Atenco relied on to prevent the sale of their lands.

He also noted that the judge set a constitutional date of 15th October for conducting the hearing about the request for amparo.

“We are asking the judge to admit the amparo so that the protection can be restored because it is necessary to preserve the land judgement, 400/2014, because to continue with the processing of the minutes of that assembly, the sales will become ongoing and it will be legally difficult to prevent them; what we want is for these transactions not to be performed until the agrarian lawsuit is resolved and to determine whether the minutes of that meeting minutes are valid or not, from the agrarian point of view and from that of the international law of indigenous peoples,” he said.

The members of the FPDT had presented judgement 400/2014 last June at the Unitary Agrarian Court, demanding the annulment of the last assembly held on the first of the month, where the change of land use was approved for more than a thousand hectares of land, changing from common use, to individual private ownership, held in individual freehold, in order to be able to dispose of the land.

The members of the FPDT had already won an amparo and provisional suspension against this assembly, arguing that serious irregularities occurred. But on Monday, Judge Daniel Magaña Méndez determined to annul this suspension.




In Atenco the State attempts to destroy common property in order to hand it over to the transnationals: Lawyer


atenco_nuevo-1.jpg_2002894772The defence lawyer of the ejidatarios of San Salvador Atenco, Ricardo Lagunes, said that this is so because, by legal means, “the authorities intend to privatize the land” to use it for the construction of the new airport.

“The case of Atenco is an emblematic example of how the Mexican government seeks to dismantle social (common) property in order to put it at the service of the interests of the market and the capitalists,” stated the legal representative of the ejidatarios in opposition to the construction of the new airport terminal in San Salvador Atenco, Ricardo Lagunes.

This is how “the authorities aim to privatize the land” by legal means.

This is what the lawyer said during the last meeting with officials of the Higher Agrarian Court in which he sought the admission of this case.

Moreover Lagunes said that recently the 12th District Judge of Nezahualcoyotl admitted an amparo that will start the case 1016/2014 to validate or discard the minutes of the ejidal assembly held on 10th June which would change the land use of the hectares in dispute in San Salvador Atenco.

“It was submitted that the consideration of the assembly in favour of private ownership is a serious violation of the rights of the ejido and that what the ejidal commissioner of San Salvador Atenco is promoting is committing very serious offences”

The truth is that it remains clear to Lagunes that after the issuing of this ejidal resolution changing the land use, it not clear how many hectares could be part of this process of alienation of land by the state.

“They are behaving with a total opacity and lack of transparency so that not even the ejidatarios know how many hectares of land the commissioner is processing in to private ownership, according to the document signed by the Notary 113 of the State of Mexico which was handed over on 8th September.”

He said that it is clear that the Ejidatarios of Atenco are now defending all the common use lands between the boundaries of Atenco with the Federal District and the so-called Cerro de Tepetzingo, since they risk being dispossessed of what they currently own, through illegal acts or records of illegal assembly.

“It’s like defending themselves from complete legal uncertainty,” he said.

They will get an answer from this appeal on 15 October, in this context they announced that they will present necessary evidence to sustain the invalidity of the ejidal assembly.




The site of the new airport: water and ancient remains

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Corporations, Displacement, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:16 pm


The site of the new airport: water and ancient remains


Texcoco Airport: It is not clear how they are going to manage the water: Oscar Monroy Hermosillo

It will involve “throwing away” 60 years of construction of hydraulic works


atenco-aeropuerto-09493 (1)


On 3rd September, Enrique Peña Nieto presented the project of a new airport, which will cost one hundred sixty-nine billion pesos.

Oscar Monroy Hermosillo, the former rector of the UAM Iztapalapa and Chairman of the Amecameca Rivers Basin Commission and the Company, explained that the airport is planned to be built on land which would represent a third of the area of the Nabor Carrillo Lake, which since the fifties “has shown great efficiency in regulating the water flow to the Federal District and has benefited biodiversity by being attractive to migrating birds.”

He said that building in this area would “throw away” 60 years of the construction of hydraulic works; “It is not clear how they will manage the water and how they will supplement this great lake … there is no serious study of how they will dispense with Lake Texcoco as big vessel of regulation.”

This new airport proposes to move 120 million people, Monroy Hermosillo said that it is not necessary to concentrate everything in one airport and that this should be seriously discussed.

He estimated that the budget for the construction of airfield could be a budget for smaller airports such as Santa Lucia, in Tizayuca in Toluca, etc. “Three points which would make the city more viable.”

Another proposal that would make air traffic efficient is both to invest in the airports of the city of Mexico and to the north of the City in Tizayuca, but also in nearby airports such as Cuernavaca and Toluca and create transport networks for rapid transit connection between airports using trains.

He invited Oscar Monroy to include and discuss with the public, “more air transport is necessary, but at best that there is more than enough, it just needs to be done efficiently;” engineers and planners from Mexico City of Mexico were not consulted, he finished.



The airport will destroy archaeological and paleontological remains

Javier Salinas Cesareo, Correspondent

La Jornada, Thursday, 11 September 2014

Texcoco, Mex., September 10.


The construction of a new airport on the site of the former Lake Texcoco would destroy a vast area rich in archaeological and paleontological remains, along with evidence of the ways in which ancient human communities took advantage of the lake’s resources, said Luis Morett Alatorre, researcher at the Autonomous University of Chapingo.

The archaeologist said that the federal authorities have a quantity of information from research carried out in the lake bed in May and June 2003, along with specialists from the United States and India, who located more than 280 sites with traces of settlements or temporary or permanent camps, fragments of prehispanic pieces, ceramic and lithic material, construction debris, stilt houses for rituals and offerings and paleontological evidence.

“The area where they want to build the new airport is a vast area rich in archaeological and paleontological remains. The bed of Lake Texcoco, where the airport is planned, is an insufficiently explored area, only a small fraction at the south of the caracol was worked on 15 years ago,” the specialist said.

He stressed that he is aware that the federal government has already done some preliminary works on some internal roads on the bed of Lake Texcoco to begin constructing the conditions for the airport project, and that they could have destroyed remains.

“One can see how they have built banks, there are already new rough roads and they have built earthworks in this area; it should have been necessary prior to these works to inform the National Institute of Anthropology and History so they could, as appropriate, undertake the necessary rescue and salvage work.”



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