dorset chiapas solidarity

November 15, 2014

Different faces of Dispossession: Banavil

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:23 pm


Different faces of Dispossession: Banavil

What happened in Banavil



On December 4th , 2011 in the community of Banavil, in the municipality of Tenejapa, Chiapas, members of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) armed with firearms, assaulted families sympathizing with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN). This assault led to the forced displacement of 13 people, who´ve lost everything and, with current threats, they are still being prevented from returning to their community. The attack resulted in the murder of Pedro Méndez López, six people injured, and the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna. In addition, there were two arbitrary detentions: Lorenzo López Girón, who was injured by firearms and accused of aggravated assault; and Francisco Santiz López, member of the Zapatista support base, who was in another location during the incidents. They later regained their freedom; in the case of Francisco, this was achieved thanks to the impulse of a special campaign with actions of international solidarity.

Due to the serious violations of human rights, the demand for justice and penalty for the persons responsible of the assaults continues. It is necessary to know the truth about the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna and to demand his reappearance alive.

The families demand the repair of the damage of their stolen belongings and dispossession of the land in their community; to return as soon as possible to their homes of the forced displacement, who live in a situation of vulnerability in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, without health services, nor homes, without possibilities to work, and are in a state of unworthy conditions.

Legal Situation

After almost three years of this forced displacement and disappearance, justice has not been achieved for the affected families of Banavil. The aggressors are still free and without punishment, while the government refuses to arrest them in spite of 10 existing warrants. In October 2014, the Federal Judge of the Fifth Tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez released Alonso Guzmán López of the PRI, murderer of Alonso López Luna.

Who are the offenders?

The displaced families accuse the state government of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello and federal government of President Enrique Peña Nieto of being accomplices to the offenders, as well as the prosecutor specialized in indigenous justice, Cristóbal Hernández López and proprietary judge, Alonso Méndez Gúzman of direct participation for protecting the offenders. Also including evangelic preacher of the organization Alas de Águila (Eagle Wings), Esdras Alonso Gonsalo, and Alonso Hernandez Lopez who also collaborated in the protection of the murderers.





November 14, 2014

Sign the Different Faces of Dispossession Petition

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, San Marcos Aviles — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:44 pm


Sign the Different Faces of Dispossession Petition


Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the Republic,
Mr. Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Secretary of the Interior,
Mr. Jesús Murillo Karam, Attorney General’s Office of Mexico,
Mr. Manuel Velasco Coello, Governor of the State of Chiapas,
Mr. Oscar Eduardo Aguilar Ramírez, Secretary General of the State Government of Chiapas,
Mr. Raciel Lopez Salazar, Attorney General of Chiapas,

The Faces of the Dispossessed is born in the context of governmental policies throughout the last decades that have commercialized the natural resources of the ancestral territories of the Peoples of Chiapas. They are part of the Mexican government’s historical refusal to recognize the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples.

One of these Faces is the situation of internal displacement in Chiapas, part of the territorial dispossession that is occurring systematically. The Mexican government is one of the persistent violators of human rights.

For many years now communities have been building the defense of their rights, demanding justice, and the return of their lands and territories, without a satisfactory response from competent authorities.

We join the Faces of the Dispossessed Campaign that in its first phase shines light on the displacement of three communities:

Viejo Velasco, in the municipality of Ocosingo; Banavil, in the municipality of Tenejapa; and San Marcos Avilés, in the municipality of Chilón. These three cases are related to the causes and the consequences of the Internal Armed Conflict in Chiapas, from the time of the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation on January 1st, 1994.

We demand that the Mexican government respond to the following petitions:

  • Adopt all of the necessary measures to guarantee the return of community members who have suffered forced displacement; who have the right to their property, freedom of movement and residence, and the true enjoyment of their lands and the natural resources found within them.
  • Guarantee the safety, the psychological and physical integrity, and the very lives of the displaced families.
  • Conduct a complete investigation that is impartial, effective, and immediate with the goal of identifying and sanctioning those intellectually and materially responsible for forced displacement and other human rights violations.
  • Justice and reparation within the framework of international treaties signed and ratified by the Mexican government, as well as the application of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
  • Implement all measures necessary to ensure that these grave human rights violations are never repeated.


Sign the petition here:



“The Different Faces of Dispossession” Campaign

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, San Marcos Aviles — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:29 pm



The Different Faces of Dispossession” Campaign




The Different Faces of Dispossession


Our Lands, Our Rights 

Native and Indigenous peoples of the state of Chiapas, Mexico speak out against the Different Faces of Dispossession they experience on a daily basis.

Native Peoples and their territories ARE AT CONSTANT RISK due to forced internal displacement and infrastructure projects that put their community, lives, and their identities as peoples at risk.

They organize to exercise their collective and individual rights through the right to justice and the collective defence of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Different Faces of Dispossession are stories and events from native and indigenous communities that are fighting for justice and against impunity. It also identifies and makes visible those responsible for human rights violations in order to demand that the Mexican state comply with its human rights obligations.


“The Different Faces of Dispossession” Campaign


DSC5167-500x333The reason behind the Campaign “The Difference Faces of Dispossession” is that governments and national and international investors are determined to commercialize the Land and Territory of Native Peoples.

These same Peoples are today confronting dispossession from indigenous communities that refuse to be accomplices in investment projects that prioritize the production of biofuels, the concession and exploitation of mining projects, dams, the reactivation of the Mesoamerica Project’s infrastructure plans, and energy reform as a platform on which to legalize territorial looting and pillaging. All of this brings with it the destruction of the human and biological diversity of their ancestral lands.

The different faces of dispossession are framed in the government policies that, over the course of the last few decades, have commercialized the natural resources of Native Peoples’ lands in Chiapas. These policies are all part of the long-standing refusal of the Mexican State to fully recognize the collective rights of indigenous Peoples.

Forced displacement in Chiapas

One of these Faces is the situation of internal displacement in Chiapas, which is due to systematic territorial dispossession, and in which the Mexican government is one of the most consistent violators of human rights.

For several years community defense projects have been constructed to demand justice – the restitution of their lands and territories. The repsonse from the Mexican government has been unsatisfactory.

The Different Faces of Dispossession campaign’s first stage begins by exposing the forced displacement resulting from three events in the indigenous communities of: 1) Viejo Velasco, in the municipality of Ocosingo; 2) Banavil, in the municipality of Tenejapa; and 3) San Marcos Avilés, in the municipality of Chilón. The causes of these human rights violations are related to the Armed Internal Conflict in Chiapas.

  • The first event is related to a paramilitary-type action which, along with the actions of Chiapas government officials, casused the Viejo Velasco Massacre of November 13, 2006. The results were six extrajudicial executions, two forced disappearances, and the forced displacement of 36 people: 20 men, eight women, five boys, and three girls.
  • The second event ocurred in the community of Banavil. Here, because members of this community were Zapatista sympathizers, they were attacked by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), with the complicity of the municipal authorities of Tenejapa. The result was the forced disappearance of one person and the forced displacement of four families who, since December 4th 2001, continue to live in a situation of vulnerability.
  • The third event ocurred in the community of San Marcos Avilés, with attacks at the hands of members of the following major political parties: Mexico Green Party (PVM), National Action Party (PAN), and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Along with the municipal government of Chilón, they perpetrated a systematic attack against a project for autonomy being built by the Support Bases for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (BAEZLN). On September 9th, 2010, this culminated in 170 people being forcibly displaced: 50 women, 43 men, and 77 boys and girls. Currently they remain displaced from their arable lands.

These events of forced internal displacement have one factor in common: they are caused by the widespread violence generated by the effects of the unresolved Armed Internal Conflict. The displaced individuals were never attended to under the legal category of internally displaced persons, the issue of justice was never addressed, and this situation of total impunity is preventing them from returning to their communities. Because of this, their safety, personal physical integrity, and lives remain at extreme risk. The Mexican state permanently violates international human rights instruments, and likewise fails to observe the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Guiding Principles -UN).

The majority of the displaced population is made up of women, girls, and boys [...], displacement disproportionately affects women. Therefore they are in a situation of greater vulnerability because, in addition to being displaced, they face the historical domination through which they live due to their gender, ethnicity, age, and social status.


Federal and state governments have demonstrated in administration after administration their contempt for Mexico’s indigenous Peoples. They are currently deepening their policies of dispossession in order to cleanse the land to facilitate the implementation of strategic projects that necessarily imply the disappearance of social, political, and cultural forms of organization carried out by communities and peoples that are the very source of human diversity.

Why this Campaign?


The Different Faces of Dispossession campaign aims at promoting human rights in Chiapas through social advocacy. It aims to capture the attention of civil society in Mexico as well as other parts of the world. This includes men, women, collectives, organizations, movements, organizational processes, groups that know about and/or are interested in the situation of risk and impunity that daily affects the indigenous communities of Chiapas. These communities are facing displacement and their ancestral territories are being affected by various infrastructure projects.

With The Different Faces of Dispossession campaign, we hope to generate movement and public acts of solidarity on a national and international level that identify and make visible those responsible for human rights violations. We hope that these actions assert pressure and demand that the Mexican government fulfil its obligations.

Go to the petition.

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April 1, 2014

NGO in defence of the displaced is created in Chiapas

Filed under: Displacement — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:58 pm


NGO in defence of the displaced is created in Chiapas 

 ** They denounce abuses dating back to 2011

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, March 31, 2014

Made up of indigenous organizations and groups, the Coordination Table for the Defence of

aurora ermita

Aurora Ermita

Human Rights was announced today; it denounced the conditions of displacement and dispossession of families which are originally from Banavil (Tenejapa municipality) and Aurora Ermita (Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán municipality).

The new organisation announced that this is only the beginning, and demonstrated concern for “innocent prisoners, the disappeared of whom it is not known whether they are alive or dead because they raised their hand to ask for justice, the torture that does not end, the dispossession of our lands, the persecution of representatives,” Martín Ramírez López said in the name of the Coordination Table.

“There are many violations of the rights of the population in communities, barrios, towns, colonias, cities. We are very concerned,” added Ramírez López, from the El Bosque Movement for Defence of the People, which makes up part of the coordination to which the following belong – as well as the displaced from Banavil, EZLN sympathizers, and those from Aurora Ermita –, the Agrarian Executive Private Committee of Chiapas, the town Nueve de Abril (Venustiano Carranza), the ex prisoners of the Voice of El Amate and the Voice of Los Llanos, the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Front, the Indigenous Movement in Resistance, the People’s Power and Light Civil Resistance (adherents to the Sixth) and Civil Resistance of Santo Tomás (Oxchuc).

IMG_4913-660x330In a comunicado read by Pedro Jiménez, ex prisoner of the Sixth, they announced that next April 4, “as a coordination table, we will go out to march in San Cristóbal de las Casas demanding the rights which have been violated. Years have gone by and the government has no response.” The comunicado points out that the Banavil families “were attacked with firearms by the PRI members from the place on December 4, 2011. From this date they have continued seeking for justice” and they remain exiled in this city. Now that one of the aggressors, Alonso Guzmán López, is finally a prisoner “the PRI members threaten the displaced, to the degree of inventing crimes,” because they say they have contact “with people from the government who sell incarceration of the innocent for money.” Meanwhile, 10 more arrest warrants against the aggressors remain without being executed.

The Coordination Table (mesa de coordinación) also demanded clarification of the acts of June 16, 2010 in Aurora Ermita (Pueblo Nuevo), when 75 people were displaced who since then have been sheltered in Jitotol. After the murder of Alfonso López Montejo, “the families no longer wanted to return” faced with rumours that a group was waiting for them on the road “to kill all of them.” They denounced it to the state prosecutor in Pichucalco, and “because of this there are nine arrest warrants against the aggressors; two are in prison, seven are not.” Of those, “three work for the municipal president Enoc Díaz Hernández, of the PRD, contracted as his pistoleros: Juan Montejo Hernández, Marcelo Montejo Hernández and Fernando Montejo Hernández”.

Return and security

The Coordination Table, which will be installed in the next few days in San Cristóbal and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, “for the defence of human rights,” demanded from the government the prompt return of the Banavil and Aurora Ermita displaced; that it guarantee their security on return so that the acts are not repeated; and that justice be applied to the individuals with arrest warrants [against them] for aggressions and crimes. It demanded clarification of the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, an EZLN sympathizer from Banavil, and the full reparation of damages to the two groups of displaced.

Taking advantage of the space opened by the Coordination Table, one hundred persons from displaced last August from the Puebla ejido (Chenalhó), members of Las Abejas, and 50 people from Socoltenango expelled in October, belonging to the MOCRI-CNPA-EZ, currently occupying the central park in Tuxtla Gutiérrez presented their respective cases. “We are part of this cause,” they said.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

En español:


English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service



January 22, 2014

Forced Displacement in Chiapas

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:06 pm


Forced Displacement in Chiapas

Chiapas, January 20, 2014


To public opinion

To the national and international media

To Independent Human Rights organisations

Sisters and Brothers of the peoples of Mexico and the world


Forced displacement in Chiapas: We express our solidarity and support for the displaced brothers of Ejido Puebla and condemn the forced displacement of people from Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa, and from the ejido Aurora Ermita, in the municipality of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan.

1607116_591403007602384_873290989_nIn early 2014 the displaced people from the Ejido Puebla announced that for ten days they would be cutting their coffee; we as organized peoples of Chiapas express our solidarity and support and invite you to remain alert for any emergency that may arise, and we appeal to the national and international community.

We demand that the federal, state and municipal governments take action on the matter; that they give attention to the background of forced displacement in Chiapas and that all actions are based according to international treaties, since the state laws do not protect the displaced but are only designed to disguise all kinds of impunity.

1. Forced displacement from Banavil. On December 4, 2011, 13 people abandoned their homes due to armed aggression from members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), supported and protected by the municipal government of Tenejapa from the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), under Esteban Guzmán Jiménez.

2. Forced displacement from the ejido Aurora Ermita. For the last 3 years, since June 17th, 2010, 75 people have been displaced; they are currently living in Jitotol and in Pueblo Nuevo  Solistahuacán, there Alfonso López Montejo, aged 22, was killed and afterwards his family was displaced, currently the attacking group is protected by the municipal government of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), under Enoch Pérez Díaz.

We demand and denounce:

- We denounce the deaf ears and inattention of the State Government.

- We denounce the dispossession of the land and territory of the peoples in Chiapas, since for the governments these only serve as commodities.

- We demand that the human rights officers of the government do their jobs regarding the displacement, since they manipulate information and do not propose any solution, they just delay it.

- We urge the federal and state government to comply with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement of the United Nations.



Movimiento de El Bosque por la Defensa del Pueblo

Resistencia Civil Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo-adherentes a la Sexta

Comité Particular Ejecutivo Agrario de Chiapas

Former prisoners from la Voz del Amate – adherents to the Sexta.

Laklumal Ixim-Norte Selva (Nuestro Pueblo de Maíz)

Resistencia Civil de Santo Tomás, Oxchuc – adherents to the Sexta.

Displaced people from Banavil, Tenejapa.

Displaced people from the ejido Aurora Ermita, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán

Frente Ricardo Flores Magón de Ixtapa




July 19, 2013

Tzeltales Displaced from Tenejapa Demand the Government’s Attention

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:20 am


Tzeltales Displaced from Tenejapa Demand the Government’s Attention

 ** They have spent a year and a half in San Cristóbal; PRI members expelled them

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

banavil mistPro-Zapatista families who have been displaced since December 4th, 2011 from the Tzeltal community of Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, Chiapas, denounced that, after living displaced in precarious conditions for one year and seven months in San Cristóbal de las Casas, “the government pays no attention to us.” Their expulsion stemmed from an armed attack by PRI members from this [Banavil] as well as other communities; it also involved the disappearance of the López Girón family patriarch, Alonso López Luna, who everything indicates was murdered at that time. One of the aggressors, Pedro Méndez López, died there. In relation to this deed, and under false accusations, Francisco Santiz López, an EZLN support base, was incarcerated for one year.

“We demand that the government of Manuel Velasco Coello and President Enrique Peña Nieto resolve our problems as soon as possible; How long will it be before they take us into account?” the expelled indigenous stated this Tuesday.

“We also demand justice (for) those responsible for the disappearance of our father Alonso López Luna, and that they tell us where they hid his remains. Those responsible are free. Cristóbal Hernández López, prosecutor for the Public Ministry is their accomplice, and therefore has not done justice,” Lorenzo, Miguel, Petrona and Amita López Girón maintain. Finally, they demand: “that they free Compañero Alberto Patishtán Gómez as soon as possible.”

On December 4th,2011, around fifty members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) attacked four families who sympathized with the EZLN with firearms and threw them out of their homes and out of the village. Six people were injured. Initially, one of their members, Lorenzo, was jailed. He also had a bullet wound and was accused of causing bodily injuries. A little later, Santiz López, EZLN support base, was arrested in the municipal headquarters, even though he was not at the scene of the crime, so that “someone” would pay for the death of Méndez López, because everything indicates that this was due to a shot fired by his own compañeros.

López Luna did not appear but 20 days later, in the Mercedes ejido, which borders on Banavil, an arm was found. The family identified a scar on one finger, which corresponded to their father. State police, the municipal judge and the Public Ministry (district attorney’s office) let several days pass by before going to the location of the find; they did not yet find anything.

In January 2012, Frayba reported the following facts: “the false accusations and violence generated by the group of PRI caciques from the Banavil, Mercedes and Santa Rosa ejidos, in Tenejapa, have caused the forced displacement of four families who sympathize with the EZLN, and the death of a PRI member.”

The organisation then highlighted: “the continuous and systematic attacks on Zapatista bases and EZLN sympathizers,” and demanded that the Chiapas government locate López Luna, clarify the death of Méndez López, take precautionary measures for the return of the displaced, undertake a real investigation of the facts, and disarm the cacique group. None of this has happened.

Harassment against the Zapatista sympathizers who are opposed to the caciques’ arbitrary acts dated back to 2009: land grabs, illegal cutting of wood, charging of unfounded taxes and payments, break-ins, physical attacks and the denial of the right to education. As of this date the authorities have not even attempted to do justice.



Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

En español:


English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the: International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the: Chiapas Support Committee, California, Wellington Zapatista Support Group, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network






April 3, 2013

The 13 displaced EZLN sympathizers from the community of Banavil remain in a precarious and inhuman situation

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:29 pm


Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

April 2, 2013

Bulletin No. 9

The 13 displaced EZLN sympathizers from the community of Banavil remain in a precarious and inhuman situation

The Office of Indigenous Justice obstructs and denies actions for justice to restore the rights of the internally displaced people


Desplazados BanavilAccording to information documented by this Human Rights Centre, the men, women and children displaced from the community of Banavil, supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), from the municipality of Tenejapa, are in a precarious health  situation due to their forced displacement, in addition to the constant threats to their freedom as a result of the dispossession of their lands, the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, and the unsolved murder of Pedro Méndez López. In response, the state government, through the Office of Indigenous Justice, has unreasonably delayed the actions for justice, thus systematically violating their human rights.

On December 4, 2011, the 13 people from Banavil had to leave their homes following attacks by members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Currently the displaced are in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where their conditions are inhumane and precarious, living in a habitation made of wood and cardboard, with a tin roof, 3 metres square, with an earth floor. Given the lack of hygiene or enough food to support human life, the women and girls are sick, unable to rebuild their lives, without the means to maintain their livelihood, in addition to the lack of basic services such as education and health.

Concerning the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Indigenous Justice, headed by Cristóbal Hernández López and the man who is in charge of the case, the Public Prosecutor Cesario Crúz Mendóza, have obstructed  investigations into the events of December 4th and have refused to execute the 11 arrest warrants against the aggressors including the public servants from Tenejapa, Pedro Méndez López y Manuel Méndez López, identified as the perpetrators.

According to witnesses, the attackers from the PRI have recently stolen five and a half acres owned by the displaced, one part of the land has been kept by the aggressors and the other part of the land was sold, new actions which worsen the situation of the EZLN sympathizers.

refugio para 13 personas BanavilFrayba has made various public and private interventions on several occasions to ask the Government of Chiapas to meet the requests of the internally displaced persons from Banavil. However to date there has been no response; the state is therefore not meeting its obligation to guarantee and protect the human rights of indigenous peoples in Chiapas, and it has violated international conventions signed and ratified by the Mexican government, such as Article 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights, Article 14 of ILO Convention No. 169, Article 10 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the application of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement in relation, among others, to Article 1 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States.

Therefore we demand:

  • An end to all forms of threats and harassment towards the displaced persons from Banavil ejido.
  • The execution of the 11 arrest warrants against the aggressors.
  • That a serious, prompt and speedy investigation be conducted into the whereabouts of Alonso López Luna.
  • A guarantee of the right to the land and the right to return, along with guarantees of the personal integrity and life of the displaced persons from Banavil.
  • That the Government of Chiapas, as part of the Mexican state, guarantee and protect the human and indigenous rights of the 13 aggrieved people.


Since 2009 there has been harassment by the cacique (chief) group of the PRI towards families of EZLN sympathizers, due to their opposition to the arbitrary actions of these same caciques, such as: dispossession of land, illegal logging, collection of taxes and arbitrary contributions, raids, beatings, and denial of the right to education, among others, which have been denounced by the victims to the appropriate government agencies, who have failed to respond.

According to documentary information, on December 4, 2011, in Banavil, Tenejapa, a group of members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) attacked four families who are supporters of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) with firearms. The attacks resulted in: the death of Pedro Méndez López, the disappearance of Alonso López Luna, the forced displacement of four families accused of being Zapatista sympathizers, the arrest of Lorenzo López Girón, who was wounded by gunfire and charged with aggravated assault, the arbitrary arrest of Francisco Sántiz López, EZLN support base (BAEZLN), who was elsewhere at the time, and injury to six others.

Lorenzo López Girón and Francisco Sántiz López have now been released, and so far there have been no results from the investigation into the death of Pedro Méndez López, the disappearance of Alonso López Luna or the displacement of the four families of Banavil ejido.




April 30, 2012


Filed under: Political prisoners, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:23 pm


 ** They blame pro-government caciques for taking away Alonso López Luna

** They also ask for the freedom of Francisco Sántiz López, imprisoned without basis

by Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, April 28, 2012

Families from the Tzeltal community of Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, Zapatista sympathizers who were displaced on December 4 (2011) after being attacked by pro-government caciques at the head of some 30 people, demand the appearance of their father, Alonso López Luna, and the immediate release of Francisco Sántiz López, Zapatista support base falsely accused of attacking the mentioned attackers, seeing that he was not even at the scene of the acts.

Lorenzo López Girón, son of the disappeared, received two bullet wounds from PRI caciques Alonso López Ramírez and Diego Méndez López, and stayed in prison more than three months accused of injuries. They also ‘disappeared’ Alonso. “As of today, we have no results on the investigation of where he is,” say the relatives, who had to abandon Banavil.

On December 23, they found an arm in the Mercedes ejido. The Public Minister (similar to a district attorney) for the Indigenous Office went to pick it up. “We identified that it was our father’s arm. As of today we don’t know what the aggressors did with the body and we demand an investigation to yield its whereabouts.” They identify those that beat up and took him away as Méndez López and Guzmán Méndez, as well as Agustín Méndez Luna, Manuel Méndez López, Alonso and Agustín Guzmán López, Antonia Girón Gómez, Lucía López Ramírez and Antonia López Pérez (de Banavil), together with Pablo López Intzin, Antonio and Alonso López Méndez.

The family members recall that the Good Government Junta of Oventik already denounced that Alonso was beaten up when the party-member aggressors broke into his house on December 4, and they testify: “We saw them take him away, and according to comments from the people of Banavil, they killed him, cut him into pieces and hid the remains.” To the contrary, the disappeared (Alonso López Luna) is accused of having killed Pedro Méndez López, a PRI member who died in the attack.

The legal office promised family members “that when it assigns the preliminary investigation it is going to deliver our father’s arm to us,” and they warn: “We are not going to accept anything until they deliver the complete body to us, we have the right, we demand respect and the punishment of those responsible for everything that we have suffered.”

They tell that PRI member Pablo López Intzin “came to our house and with kicks and punches took out our father, Alonso; now we have established that he [Pablo] is very much afraid that they are going to detain him and he has fled north, leaving his wife and children; he knows very well that he is responsible.”

Family members of Alonso López Luna (Lorenzo, Petrona, Antonia and Miguel López Girón, María and Petrona Méndez López, and Lucía López Méndez) denounce that the evening of the attack, December 3, the PRI members “had already entered our house to beat up Lorenzo, and they advised the Government delegate of those facts. He said that he would advise the magistrate and suggested that: ‘they investigate well and tomorrow we see,’ but the authorities were not capable of intervening to avoid the bloody acts.”

From their displacement, the indigenous demand the freedom of Francisco Sántiz López (Zapatista base currently in prison) “who was not at the place of the acts,” and they reiterate: “We did not attack the party members, they came to beat us up.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Translation by Chiapas Support Committee

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