Zapatista News Summary for August 2015
- Level 2 of the Zapatista Escuelita: The “second grade” of the course is now available online for students who passed the first level, held in Chiapas in 2013 and 2014. Groups of approved students are gathering together to watch the video and prepare their questions. Only those who passed the first level have the password for the video.
- Anniversary of Caracoles: The twelfth anniversary of the birth of the Caracoles and the creation of the Good Government Juntas (JBG) is celebrated in all the Caracoles on August 8th.
- Two murderers of Galeano are free: On August 18th the EZLN denounce in a communique, signed by Subcomandantes Moisés and Galeano, that two of the intellectual authors of the murder of the Zapatista teacher José Luis Solís López, Galeano, on May 2, 2014 in La Realidad, have been declared innocent and freed, “despite that fact that they and their accomplices in the CIOAC-Histórica know that they are guilty of organizing the crime.” They have returned: “fat and happy, to their homes in the village of La Realidad. They were supposedly being held prisoner for the murder of our teacher and compañero….they have been declared innocent of this crime by the same people who financed and supported them: the federal and Chiapas state governments.” “Truth and justice will never, ever come from above. We will have to construct them from below.”
- EZLN new book; More presentations of the book “Critical Thought against the Capitalist Hydra” volume 1 are made at places like Cideci and Nemi Zapata in Chiapas, in other parts of Mexico, and internationally.
- Banavil: On August 3rd, the forcibly displaced families from the community of Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa, return temporarily for a period of 15 days to work their lands, in order to be able to sustain their families. Frayba denounce that this return is happening without the agreed guarantee of minimum safety conditions from the Mexican State. While they are there, the Tseltales denounce that the women and children have become ill with cough and fever, and that they found that their lands have been invaded, trees and fences cut down, and the boundaries moved. The return is accompanied by 100 people, including human rights observers and independent media. A new film is released about their struggle.
- Primero de Agosto: The 17 forcibly displaced Tojolabal families denounce new threats from members of CIOAC-H from Miguel Hidalgo, including firing shots in the air from close by.
- Las Abejas de Acteal: The civil society organisation calls a press conference for the anniversaries of 2 months since the murder of Manuel López, which has not been investigated, and of 6 years since the release of paramilitaries responsible for the massacre. “In Mexico there is a pestilential disease called impunity.” A photographic exhibition on the process of the construction of justice is opened. Confusingly, a group of ex-members of Las Abejas, called “Council of Pacifist Sowers of Peace, Voice of the Civil Society Organisation of ‘Las Abejas,’” set up in 2014, also mark the same occasion, with a “Day for Historical Memory, Justice and against Impunity.”
- No medical treatment for the Selva Lacandona: The air ambulance service to 11 remote indigenous communities in the Selva Lacandona ceases operation because the Chiapas government has failed to make the promised payments for the service for the last 2 years, owing nearly 2 million pesos. This leaves over 20,000 people without access to emergency medical care, medical staff, medication or vaccines. To reach the nearest hospital, in Ocosingo, requires a 9 hour walk across the mountains to reach the nearest track. The journey is then another 6 hours in a pickup truck over a dirt road.
- New road from San Cristobal to Palenque: Press sources say that following the failure of the new super-highway project, due to the amount of local opposition, the federal government will invest three thousand million pesos in modernising the existing road.
- Attacks on the offices of Sipaz: Between Friday, August 14 and midnight August 17, 2015, the office of the organization of international observation and accompaniment, the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, was trespassed. Money was stolen and an intimidating note left. On the night of August 17/18, the office was broken into again. Human Rights organisations demand guarantees of the personal safety and integrity of members of Sipaz.
- Three Bachajón political prisoners released: Three young Tseltales from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández, are released from the prison in Yajalón on 18th August, following an amparo which recognised that they were detained illegally and tortured. They were arrested on 16th September, 2014. Three other indigenous men from Bachajón who are imprisoned unjustly remain incarcerated.
- New threats in Simojovel: The Pueblo Creyente from Simojovel denounce an increase in threats, attacks on the Casa Parroquial, and death threats to Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez, and to the President and members of the Parish Council. In a letter of 24th August, they list the most recent incidents.
- Frayba: The lawyer Pedro Faro Navarro becomes the new director of Frayba.
14: Cideci: Celebrates its 26th anniversary
- Confrontation in Ocosingo: The paid media is carrying stories of an argument with bullets over land in the community of “El Nuevo Paraiso” in the municipality of Ocosingo. We must await confirmation/elucidation/denial from the JBG.
- Murders in Mexico City: Alejandra Negrete, Yesenia Quiróz. Mile Virginia Martín, activist Nadia Vera and journalist Ruben Espinosa, who collaborated with Proceso magazine and other media, are murdered in Mexico City. The killing of Espinosa marks a new level of violence against journalists, as he is the first to be killed while in exile in Mexico City. Vera is the 36th women’s rights defender to be murdered in Mexico since 2010. Since the attack on Vera and Espinosa, two more journalists have been assassinated in Veracruz and the offices of a local newspaper have been firebombed. In total, 12 journalists who cover Veracruz have been killed since December 1, 2010. Mexico today is the second most dangerous country in the world for journalists, at least 107 having been killed since 2000. Less than 10 percent of the cases have resulted in the sentencing of a responsible party. Mexico also has the second highest rate of impunity in the world.
- Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who helped uncover mass graves around Iguala, is found shot dead inside his taxi on the outskirts of Acapulco. Miguel was a political activist who played a prominent early role in the search for 43 missing students and others in southern Mexico.
- Threats to native corn: A court decides to lift the preventative (precautionary) measure that for the last two years has halted the process of authorizing planting permits for GM corn, and that has prevented transnational businesses, including Monsanto and Syngenta, from planting GM corn in Mexico. An appeal against this decision is filed immediately by Demanda Colectiva, who brought the original lawsuit that blocked the sowing of GMOs in the country. This means that GM corn cannot yet be sown.
- Ayotzinapa: After eleven months of searching, on 26th August the 15th Global Action for Ayotzinapa is held, with a presence at the embassies of several countries and a march in Mexico City marked by police aggression. The demonstrators demand that the federal government extend for another six months the time for the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to continue its investigations into this crime. This has now been extended by 2 monhs.
- Tlachinollan: The Human Rights Centre of the Mountains of Guerrero reaches its 21st anniversary, demanding truth and justice for Ayotzinapa.
- Yaqui leader free: Fernando Jiménez, leader of the Yaqui tribe, is released on 27th August, after a year of unjust imprisonment. He was imprisoned together with Yaqui spokesperson Mario Luna, who remains in prison.
- 25,000 disappearances since 2007: On August 27th, Amnesty International presents a report to mark the International Day of the Disappeared. The report states that since 2007 almost 25,000 people have disappeared in Mexico. AI reports that almost half the disappearances, 12,500, have occurred during the current administration. They cite the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students as a case with great impact worldwide. AI has organized a campaign of letters in Spanish called #Noesnormal, urging the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, to adequately investigate the thousands of disappearances.
The latest edition of Boca en Boca is available here: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/boca-en-boca-35-august-2015-english/