dorset chiapas solidarity

May 24, 2016

Parents will reject Substitute Teachers if the SEP fires CNTE Teachers

Filed under: Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:13 pm



Parents will reject Substitute Teachers if the SEP fires CNTE Teachers


asamblea-de-padres-de-familia-600x338Parents hold assembly in Chiapas. Photo: Chiapas Paralelo.


By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas. – After nine days of the work stoppage, teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and parents’ committees from at least 60 municipios of Chiapas formed alliances for continuing the teachers movement in the state.

After an assembly held on Sunday and the big march held this Monday morning, parents promised the teachers they would close all the schools that are still holding classes and said that they will not accept substitutes who arrive in the classrooms in case there are mass firings of teachers. [1]

Representatives of at least 60 Chiapas municipalities arrived at the assembly of parents that was held in the installations of Section 7 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE), with the attendance of at least one thousand personas.

On the weekend the mothers and fathers held different marches in support of the teachers in diverse municipalities. In Huixtla, on the Chiapas Coast, they closed the doors to the Municipal Palace; in San Cristóbal and also in Comitán they initiated the collection of provisions to take to the encampment of teachers. In the capital of Chiapas they held a large mobilization today, and they have constantly been taking food to the ones that are in the occupation.

The resolutions that the assembly of parents announced after the meeting with the teachers are: the closure of schools, public acts of support and not permitting substitute teachers to arrive in the classrooms; also “to seek the intervention of the UN and to promote a political case against Enrique Peña Nieto and Manuel Velasco Coello.”

Translator’s Note

[1] On Friday, May 20, 2016, the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) announced the firing of 3,119 teachers in Guerrero, Oaxaca and Michoacán that had 4 consecutive absences due to the strike. The next day, the SEP announced that 1,134 striking Chiapas teachers would be fired for having four or more absences due to the strike.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Monday, May 23, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee





May 23, 2016

Global demonstration convened for Berta Caceres next June 15th

Filed under: Dams, Displacement, Uncategorized, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:37 pm



Global demonstration convened for Berta Caceres next June 15th


Following the murder of indigenous leader Berta Caceres, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) has convened a Global Action on 15th June 15 to demand justice through demonstrations in that country and in front of the embassies of Honduras around the world.

The protests aim to demand the immediate establishment of an independent investigation group led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), to clarify the crime and ensure the prosecution of all those responsible.

In addition, the demand is for the immediate and definitive cancellation of the concession granted to the company DESA for the construction of the hydroelectric project “Agua Zarca” on the Rio Blanco.

Berta Caceres, coordinator of COPINH, was killed on 3rd March at her home in La Esperanza, when unknown individuals entered in the morning. The environmental leader fought for the cancellation of Agua Zarca project because it is a threat to the indigenous peoples and nature.



CGT Denounces the Repression against those who Defend the Earth

Filed under: Bachajon, Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:21 pm



CGT Denounces the Repression against those who Defend the Earth


bachajon_12 (1)


To the CNI and EZLN

To everyone that walks with the Sixth

To those who suffer displacement, torture, and violence for resisting power

To those who struggle, in their time, way, and geography

The repression carried out by the Mexican Government against those who construct alternatives unfortunately continues to be the order of the day. We have received numerous denouncements and alarming news in the last few weeks. As adherents of the space of struggle that is the Sixth and as fellow travellers of those who sow autonomy in Mexico from below, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) wants to send a message of solidarity and mutual aid to those who struggle.

We want to express our solidarity with the Binizza community of Álvaro Obregón in Oaxaca, members of the Indigenous National Congress. We want to send good spirits to the six people who were injured by the bullets of the municipal police of Juchitán, who had to deal with bullets trying to stop their dignified struggle to conserve their land. We demand an end to the project intent on constructing a wind farm on the land of this community, and we denounce the political imposition of megaprojects upon indigenous peoples.

With equal concern, we denounce the dispossession of the land of the compañerxs of San Isidro de los Laureles, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas. On May 12, members of the “white guards” serving the powerful expelled families of this community from their lands, a community that has embarked on a project of autonomy since December 2015.

In the same municipality, in the community of Cruztón, a member of the Indigenous National Congress was retained and tortured by members of the group Nuevo Guadalupe Victoria. We send a fraternal salute to the compañerxs of the CNI and Semilla Digna in Venustiano Carranza. We hope that soon they can return to cultivate their recovered land, and that justice is served for the injured and tortured.

After the recent three-year anniversary of the assassination of Juan Vazquez, attacks on the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth, continue frequently. The tourist project for the zone of Palenque plans to be constructed on the land of this community, which has always refused to give up without a struggle. On May 8th, Esteban Jimenez Gómez and his family were attacked in their house by a paramilitary and his two sons (both federal police). We condemn this attack and we mark the gravity of the fact that these actions were carried out by the repressive state forces, without any level of government doing anything to prevent such actions.

We want to denounce that the repression, orchestrated against all forms of dissidence, is carried out by elements of paramilitaries and vigilantes, who are not at all unrelated to the structures of power. We know that the entire war of attrition against organized rebellion converts the paramilitaries and the management of campesino organizations into tools of repression at the orders of the state. We name the political authorities and Mexican police as culpable for these episodes of violence and the violation of fundamental rights.

We want to send a fraternal salute, and our sincere solidarity to those who from the trenches of the Sixth and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) are still inexhaustible in defence of the land and territory and who never cease in their efforts to construct a better world.

We know that the struggle will bring justice for the displaced of Banavil and of the people of Primero de Agosto. We know that justice will be served and reparations will be given to victims of the massacre of Acteal. We are confident that there will be a cease to the harassment of the Zapatista communities. We do now something we have already learned from the Zapatistas and this space of struggle that is the Sixth. Which is, that for those who do not give up, do not sell themselves out, and have resistance as their way of life, it is a long road, but it guarantees its fruits to those who continue to walk it.

Stop the aggression against the Indigenous peoples!

Stop the megaprojects imposed on the communities!

The land belongs to those who work and protect it! Enough of forced displacement!

Out with the paramilitaries of Chiapas, Mexico and the world!

Autonomy is life, submission is death!


From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes




May 21, 2016

Mining companies are continuing to threaten projects in Chicomuselo

Filed under: Corporations, Mining — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:43 pm



Mining companies are continuing to threaten projects in Chicomuselo





Faced with the intention of several mining companies to install their projects in the communities of the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, residents have requested urgent intervention by the state and federal authorities to prevent the corporations getting their work projects accepted in exchange for money and by means of deception and division of the peoples.

On May 17th, residents of the communities of Chicomuselo arrested four people who identified themselves as being from mining companies and who came to the region to promote one of their projects in the ejido Grecia.

The four detainees are being guarded by the communities, who have been in resistance since the murder of Mariano Abarca Roblero, who defended their natural resources against mining exploitation by the Canadian company BlackFire.

Similarly, since 2014 several agreements have been signed with representatives of the state government and environmental authorities, where the position of non-exploitation of mineral resources in Chicomuselo and the Sierra de Chiapas region was ratified. Moreover, several “minutes of work” were agreed between communities and the current city council and government delegation of Frontera Comalapa.

Despite this, mining companies continue to offer large amounts of money to convince the people and governments to enable them to set up their projects in the region, leading to the destruction of nature and of the resources for the livelihood of the communities.

The people of Chicomuselo have asked the government to intervene urgently to solve the problem, in order to prevent possible action by the companies in communities which have been in resistance for many years.






Zapatista Autonomous Justice

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:19 pm



Zapatista Autonomous Justice



Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 17th May 2016

The notoriety acquired by the Zapatista armed uprising in the mass media during its first years has diminished noticeably. The rebels have stopped being daily news. There is even one [representative of the media] which announces their extinction with approval.

That, of course, is not true. The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) continues to be a highly relevant political force inside and outside the country. However, the attention attracted by the glitter of their guns has been diluted by the epic of constructing from below, without asking permission and against all odds, another world.

Many books, theses and reports –some of them very good– have been written about the indigenous insurrection in the Mexican southeast. Very few have elaborated on the rebel feat of constructing a government and a system of autonomous justice in the broad territory under their control. Although thousands of people have visited and lived in the Zapatista communities for varying periods of time, there is very little literature that tells of what happens there.

Certainly, there are some very notable works that give an account of the vicissitudes of the rebel education project, of the experiences with collective organization for production on occupied lands or of the impact of the project for autonomy on the struggles of the indian peoples. Nevertheless, compared to the intellectual boom that accompanied the armed uprising, those who analyse and document the daily functioning of self-government are somewhat scarce.

download (1)One of those [scarce] books is Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone, from Doctor Paulina Fernández Christlieb. It is not just one more work, but rather by far the most complete and documented investigation about the way in which justice is imparted in four Zapatista municipalities.

Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone is a collective work done collectively, and which gathers the voices of the rebel support bases. Very far from a classic academic essay, the book makes a passionate radiograph of the construction of alternative institutions of government and justice, born from the bowels of the rebel communities, a counter-current to the logics of power.

Those institutions, already present in the January 1, 1994 uprising and in the laws that it produced, started to take on a finished form because of a government betrayal. On 16th February, 1996, the federal government signed the San Andrés Accords on indigenous rights and culture with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). However, the Mexican State as a whole (its three powers) betrayed its word and refused to convert them [the accords] into laws. Far from being intimidated, the rebels decided to put them into practice without the restrictions enforced by the negotiations.

This is what they have done, above all, within the autonomous territory established on the thousands of hectares which were occupied at the beginning of 1994, and shared out to be worked for the collective benefit. Within this territory in dispute, three administrative spaces have been constructed: the communities, the Zapatista autonomous rebel municipalities (MAREZ) and the Good Government Juntas. Their responsibilities vary according to the complexity of the problems that each one of them must solve. This is where they exercise justice, needed not only by the rebels, but also, surprisingly, by those who are not [rebels.] Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone narrates and analyses this challenge.

Paulina Fernández confesses that her book has a double purpose. The first is to show the ability of the Zapatista indigenous peoples to build a project of autonomous life in this contested space, one of government and justice, an alternative to those dominant in Mexico.

The academic idealization of the finca is in fashion. Some studies present it as a “harmonious” co-existence between indentured servants and the owners of the land. Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone de-mystifies this vision through the testimonies of those who endured the savage exploitation of this unit of production, and of their descendants.



“For those who were born and worked on those fincas,” Paulina Fernández writes, “what still matters to those old men and women is that they were treated like animals, the whip lashings they received as punishment; the working of more than 12-hour days without pay and the kilometres between the finca and the city far away where they had to go and from where they had to return carrying a burden of cargo on their backs.”

From the humiliating experience of the life they left behind on the fincas, and from the abuse of women, were born the courage and the obligation to change things, the will to rebel against an order which was not only unjust, but also gave them no dignity.

In the midst of an era of soft coups against progressive governments in Latin America, of a disenchantment with institutional politics felt among increasingly large swathes of the population, and of the deepening of the policies of dispossession against the commons, the experience narrated and analysed in Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone acquires enormous relevance. What the Zapatista bases describe in the book is not an abstract ideal to work towards, but another world that is right now being constructed.

Zapatista autonomous justice: Tzeltal jungle zone is an essential book, for understanding not only what Zapatismo means today, but also what the struggle for emancipation could be.





Note: The Tzeltal jungle zone corresponds to the Caracol of La Garrucha. The four Zapatista autonomous Zapatista municipalities are Francisco Gómez, San Manuel, Ricardo Flores Magón and Francisco Villa.


With thanks to the Chiapas Support Committee




Zinacantán mobilizes against water privatization

Filed under: water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:24 am



Zinacantán mobilizes against water privatization




On May 15, 2016, villagers from the pueblo of Zinacantán went on a pilgrimage which started from the church of San Lorenzo and went as far as the spring which is located in the area of the municipal headquarters. Here it ended with a Mass to thank the spring for providing the possibility for the population to have water.

The main reason for this action was to denounce the fact that the municipality wants to privatize water through the collection of a “tax” on water use. “We have never paid tax for water, water belongs to everyone. Whatever their religion, political party or ways of thinking, water is available to everyone here,” said one of the coordinators of the action in an interview.



May 20, 2016

Indigenous Mexicans Challenge Constitutionality of Mining Act

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Mining — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:41 pm



Indigenous Mexicans Challenge Constitutionality of Mining Act

  • The government reportedly granted nearly 2,173,141 hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000.The government reportedly granted nearly 2,173,141 hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000. | Photo: EFE
Me’phaa Indigenous communities in Guerrero urged the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent and declare the mining act unconstitutional.

Me’phaa Indigenous communities, in the state of Guerrero, urge the Supreme Court to set a legal precedent and declare unconstitutional the mining act.

During a press conference, the agrarian, municipal and traditional authorities of the Indigenous Me’phaa (Tlapaneca) community of San Miguel Del Progreso – Juba Wajiín announced that Supreme Court judge Norma Lucia will rule on a highly-anticipated case on May 25.

Accompanied by their advisers from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, they encouraged the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the mining act passed in 1992, arguing it was violating international treaties that Mexico had signed and ratified.

“Today, this normative framework is used to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their land, ignoring that from the indigenous worldview land is not a commodity; their territory is the material basis of the reproduction of their culture and is impregnated with their spiritual values,” they said.

The court has a historic opportunity to set a precedent for the protection of Indigenous peoples and communities’ rights against large-scale economic projects designed without prior consultation.

They stressed that a thorough analysis of the Mining Act not only will benefit the communities in the state of Guerrero, but many others which today are affected by mining concessions, as the government reportedly granted over 2 million hectares of concessions in Indigenous territories since 2000.

They also recalled that the federal government asked the supreme court dismiss a case of mining concessions in the state of Guerrero, allocated without prior consultation with local communities.

In February 2014, a district judge in Guerrero ruled in favor of the Mep’ haas communities, suspending mining concessions allocated to Hoschild and Zalamera. The landmark ruling referred to international treaties that Mexico had signed and ratified, such as ILO 169 Convention, and case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

The decision benefitted 240 communities living in 11 towns, until the Economy Ministry appealed the ruling.–20160519-0064.html



Chiapas: Escalation of violence against communities adherents to the Sixth

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:54 pm



Chiapas: Escalation of violence against communities adherents to the Sixth

By Aldo Santiago




The space for coordination and struggle Dignified Seed (Semilla Digna) of the Peoples of Chiapas, brings together some of the communities, families and groups of adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN. Formed by the community of San Francisco, the organized family El Chivero (Teopisca), the organized families of San Isidro Ocotal, Candelaria el Alto, the community of Cruztón and San Isidro de los Laureles (Venustiano Carranza) and the organized family of Alcanfores (San Cristobal de las Casas), as well as the Working Group No estamos todxs, they are all also members of the Indigenous National Congress. As examples of organization and struggle in the reclamation of land from landholders in Chiapas, the communities of Cruztón and San Isidro de los Laureles have suffered a wave of repression in recent days.


They were shooting to kill

On December 20, 2015, members of the Tzotzil community of San Isidro de los Laureles took possession of a total of 165 hectares in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza. The territory used for cattle and (sugar) cane growing, monopolized by caciques who dominate the sugar business in the region, was recovered because “these lands were worked by our grandparents and parents who were indentured peons. They worked since 1940 for a minimal wage, and they have never been given benefits and bonuses. Since we now have nowhere to live or work for the livelihood of our families as indigenous, we recuperated the lands for our families,” said the community members who are also adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, after receiving threats of eviction on subsequent days.




After 83 days defending the territory, in the morning of May 12, 2016, about 35 trucks with policemen and white guards entered the lands to violently evict the community of San Isidro de los Laureles. Among the civilians responsible for the aggression is Octavin Albores, a relative of the former governor Roberto Albores Guillen, who shot to kill with high-calibre weapons. “We then withdrew because it was already too much, we were already seeing the bullets passing close to us, and we felt death, the bullets were close to our heads, but thankfully nobody was hurt,” recounts a member of the Tzotzil community.

Among the material losses were almost 70 hectares of cornfield ready to harvest, which are being cut and taken away by the attackers. Nevertheless, after trying three times while they were being shot at, the 50 organized families managed to reposition themselves in the land of Tres Picos (30 hectares,) property of Albores, from where they are building strategies to recover the remaining 135 hectares, packed with white guards, owned by Francisco and Rodrigo Ruiz, relatives of Jesús Alejo Orantes Ruíz, leader for 23 years of the Local Union of Producers of Sugarcane (CNC) based in the Pujiltic mill, the third largest sugar producer in the country, belonging to the group Zucarmex that controls other mills in Veracruz and Jalisco.




Orantes Ruiz, in his turn, inherited the position of cacique from his father Carmen Orantes, who passed down to him control of PRI affiliated organizations such as the National Campesino Confederation and the National Confederation of Rural Producers. A member of the cacique family Los Orantes, he also owns 40 thousand hectares in the sugarcane region which includes the municipalities of Venustiano Carranza, Villas las Rosas, Socoltenango, La Concordia and Tzimol, among other locations where there are six thousand cane producers altogether.

Considered the country’s richest sugar cane producer, Orantes Ruiz, who is also a former local PRI deputy, has kept the majority of the ejidal commissioners and municipal authorities within his area of influence under his control, which has allowed him to avoid responsibility for crimes such as the fraud of nearly three million pesos against cane producers in the municipalities of Venustiano Carranza, Tzimol, Las Rosas and Socoltenango.

According to a publication by Notimex in June 2011, the fraud materialized through unjustified and arbitrary deductions made by Alejo Orantes and the businesspeople of the Pujiltic mill against campesinos at the end of the agricultural cycle, for supplies received during the period of planting, harvesting and delivery to the industry.




It is the custom for Orantes Ruiz to take over the production of the cane and, on the pretext of inputs delivered, only pay up to 40 per cent of the total value of the cane delivered to the mill, approximately 20 thousand tons of cane per production cycle, of which 53 percent of the value is paid to the campesinos, while accounting for the remaining 47 percent as alleged discounts. Coupled with the fact that the campesinos are not allowed to take their cane production to market with other buyers in the country, the fraud committed by Orantes violates the livelihoods of thousands of farming families.

The memory of almost 24 years ago, after the EZLN uprising, when they were evicted from these same lands by the shore (marina), was revived on 12th May last, when the caciques tried to retake the territory where communities carry out the work of construction of their autonomy. Neither the owners nor government officials have approached the adherents to the Sixth of los Laureles to reclaim the lands or to try to negotiate with them; instead they speak with the language of violence that supports the dispossession of ancestral lands in this region of Chiapas.






If they do not give justice, we will take it with our own hands

Days after the celebration of the ninth anniversary of the recovery of 249 hectares of their lands, the people of Cruztón, a community in Los Altos de Chiapas, in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, received the news that a member of the organization had been detained and tortured by the group Nuevo Guadalupe Victoria in the community of the same name. The origin of the incident dates back to 21st March, when they blocked the way to the cemetery (panteón: pantheon or mausoleum), a sacred place for the families.


cruz-2 (1)



Members of the community of Cruztón told how the denuncia which was raised in the Public Ministry was ignored. “Our own hands will be the ones that do justice, as we told the MP, if they do not do justice, what they have to expect is that the dead will be raised, because it is not right, it is unfair what they are doing, the cemetery is ours, the land is ours, it is our territory, it is ours by right, and will be ours whatever it costs.”

The history of attacks against the community of Cruztón extends from the blocking of the road that leads to their village, to the invasion of small holdings of five hectares by the same group from Guadalupe Victoria, without those responsible for the constant harassment yet being prosecuted and punished. “They even accused us of agreeing with the gringos to exploit the minerals (on the hill of the Mispia where they are trying to extract gold;) now we can see that Guadalupe Victoria is very conflicted; now our route to the pantheon has been closed to us and this process is now leading to much crime; the authorities say they are not stuffed, but yes they are stuffed, as they know perfectly well,” explains a member of Cruztón.




Finally, on 8th May last, inhabitants of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, which is located in the middle of the jungle in the Zapatista region of San José en Rebeldía, denounced the aggression against Esteban Jiménez Gómez and his family by the paramilitary group led by Carlos Jiménez Gómez and consisting of his sons, who also serve as state police, acting with impunity, protected by the police structure of the region.

The people who are adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Bachajón struggle to defend their territory against the government’s drive to impose a tourism megaproject in the region of Agua Azul. During the process of resistance, since 2008, in demand of the legitimate use and enjoyment of their territory by two thousand Bachajón ejidatarios, the coordinators of the Sixth, Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano (2014) and Juan Vazquez Guzman (2013,) have been killed. As of today, those responsible for the killings have not been punished.


Photos: Pandilla and Friends

Translation by the UK Zapatista Translation Service



May 19, 2016

Chiapas: Post-election Protests in Chenalho Municipality

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:59 am



Chiapas: Post-election Protests in Chenalho Municipality


chenalhoPeace and Transparency Commission press conference @sie7edechiapas


On May 2, members of the Peace and Transparency Commission, a group of Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas, held a press conference in front of the cathedral in San Cristobal de Las Casas, calling for the resignation of the mayor Rosa Perez Perez. Representatives of the nonconformist group acccused the mayor of Chenalho of “not keeping her campaign promises, not holding council meetings, not involving the municipal union or council members in government decisions and firing trusted workers.” During her campaign, she promised to carry out public works, and give monthly dispensations of 5,000 pesos to all women in the municipality for craft production. It should be noted that this group has had a series of protests against the mayor since the beginning of April.

The opponents took over the town hall, the System of Integral Family Development headquarters (DIF in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Peace and Conciliation Court in Chenalho; they closed roads to the municipal capital and took over the Tuxtla Gutierrez-San Cristobal de Las Casas highway tollbooth to demand her removal. The mayor handed in her resignation on April 13 in the face of these protests. Nevertheless, the deputies of the State Congress did not approve her request, ruling that her resignation was presented against her will. Given that Rosa Perez Perez remains in office, the nonconformists took over the State Congress on April 27 and chained its doors. Tomas Perez, spokesperson for the opposition stated in the press conference that they hope “the Congress accepts the resignation of the mayor this Tuesday 3, or on the contrary, on Thursday 5 some 15,000 indigenous from more than 100 communities will leave Chenalho and come to Tuxtla to present themselves at the doors of the State Congress.”




Joint CNI-EZLN communique on aggression against community of Álvaro Obregón, Oaxaca

Filed under: CNI, Corporations, Human rights, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:34 am



Joint CNI-EZLN communique on aggression against community of Álvaro Obregón, Oaxaca





MAY 18, 2016





To the media

To the solidarity organizations

To the Human Rights organizations

To the dignified Binizza community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca

Sisters and Brothers

Our peoples, tribes, communities, organizations, and neighbourhoods see with rage and indignation how the bad government boasts its total lack of shame, through its political parties of every colour, as it continues to attack our peoples and its political parties continue trying to divide our communities. Our voice will not tire of denouncing and shouting, Enough!

On May 14, brutally and shamelessly, the police and bodyguards of the PAN-PRD candidate Gloria Sánchez López dared to aim their murderous weapons at the dignified community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, injuring the six compañeros who were in an assembly, defending their physical and political territory from deadly wind energy projects, whose “clean” energy is filthy with blood, corruption, and death. The candidates from all of the political parties—who even though they are only candidates feel they can already benefit from the impunity they are granted for belonging to the band of criminals badly governing the state of Oaxaca and the country—believe that with bullets they will manage to change the conscience and kill the dignity of the Binizza people.

National politics makes it increasingly clear that the political class has no shame. They believe that they can attack, threaten and intimidate the dignified struggle of the people. With aggressions and violence they try to sow fear in the dignified hearts that defend the land, the water, and the wind. From the four cardinal directions of our indigenous territories we say to them: you cannot! You cannot stop the rage in our hearts from turning into solidarity; you cannot strip us of the dignity of struggling to defend our territories and the life of our peoples; you cannot intimidate the dignified struggle of the Binizza people, who have honored the National Indigenous Congress by being a member for many years now.




Therefore, brothers and sisters of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca, from the four directions of our territories we say to you, you are not alone! You are not alone! We declare ourselves against the acts that the bad government of Mexico and Oaxaca, through their henchman Saúl Vicente Vázquez, municipal president of Juchitán, carry out against the rights to self-determination and autonomy of the people of Álvaro Obregón.

We denounce that the cowardly aggressions made with firearms on May 14 and the ongoing threats. These are an attempt to intimidate the community of Álvaro Obregón, which opposes the installation of wind energy projects in their territory. The politicians get angry when they cannot make their profits by installing these projects of death and who believe that by intimidating the people they will be able to. They are mistaken!

Because of all of this we declare that:

We hold the government of Gabino Cue and Saúl Vicente Vázquez responsible for the aggressions that have occurred and continue to occur against the assembly of the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitan, Oaxaca.

We demand the investigation and punishment of those responsible for the shots fired by the municipal police of Juchitán and the bodyguards of Gloria Sánchez López.

[We demand] the cancellation of the wind energy projects that they are trying to impose on the territory of the Álvaro Obregón community.

We demand that Gloria Sánchez López and all of the candidates stop trying to impose their party system on the community of Álvaro Obregón.

We demand that they respect the legitimate rights of the Binizza people to elect their own authorities in an autonomous manner.

To the community of Álvaro Obregón, Juchitán, Oaxaca, we say, you are not alone; as the CNI we will be vigilant to make sure these events do not happen again and we will make our voice heard from every corner of our blood-soaked country.

For the full reconstitution of our peoples!

Never again a Mexico without us!

National Indigenous Congress

Zapatista Army for National Liberation










May 17, 2016

Thousands of Chiapas teachers initiate a strike

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:06 am



Thousands of Chiapas teachers in CNTE initiate a strike

Chiapas teachers march in the state capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chis. ( – This Sunday, on Teachers’ Day, thousands of members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) started an indefinite work stoppage to protest against the education reform.

Even with coercive economic measures like withholding paychecks and freezing the savings accounts, this Sunday teachers from Sections 7 and 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) carried out a mobilization that started on the east side of the capital and concluded at the central plaza, where they held a meeting.

The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Secretariat of the Treasury and Public Credit notified the teachers maestros in Section 7 of the SNTE by means of an official letter that “by disposition of the authority” the bank accounts of the Fund for Savings and Social Benefit were blocked, and therefore they would not be able to use them.

Alberto Mirón, one of the leaders of the CNTE in Chiapas, stated his rejection of this federal government arrangement and said that they would not stop the teachers movement in Chiapas, even with these repressive measures.

“To the contrary, they are only going to anger and disturb the Chiapas teachers more therefore, as was foreseen, beginning this Sunday we will be in an occupation and labor strike indefinitely,” Mirón said.

Thousands of teachers who had taken steps to obtain a loan prior to the strike were left without their checks, and therefore have to wait until the bank accounts are unfrozen.

They blamed the Secretary of Public Education (SEP), Aurelio Nuño, for being behind what they classified as a repressive measure, and because of which they will now radicalize their protest actions even more in the coming hours.

This measure is added to the withholding of their biweekly paychecks that thousands of teachers were not able to collect since last Friday. The teachers gave them until this Monday to pay them for the first two weeks of May, if not they will intensify their protests.

Pedro Gómez Bámaca, another leader of the CNTE’s teachers, said that faced with the arrival of Federal Forces in Chiapas, they would be on alert and that in case any teachers is arrested within the framework of their protests, they will start to retain functionaries and take them to the occupation located on the central plaza, where they will be displayed.

Gómez Bámaca asked the federal government to open the door to dialogue and negotiation, because “it ought to be clear that if in 36 years no previous government was able to make the CNTE disappear, even less will this government of Enrique Peña Nieto be able to do it.”

Other teachers’ unions from other levels and educational sectors accompanied the teachers, as well as campesinos and parents that were adding on to the march along its tour of some seven kilometers to reach the central plaza.

[More photos of the march here.]

As to the warning that they will be fired from their positions if they don’t present themselves at their workplaces in three working days, Gómez Bámaca said that the teachers would challenge the education authorities and would be in the occupation more than three days to see if they are able to fire them.

Whatever they do, whatever they attempt, for each one of us they fire we are going to respond with more spirit and organization, we are not going away, the teacher compañeros have no fear,” Gómez Bámaca said.

“All the members of Section 7’s Executive Committee have gone five months without pay, they haven’t paid us, and here we are, here we continue showing our face in the mobilizations,” Gómez Bámaca said.

He added that there are threats of capture and open preliminary investigations where they point to terrorists, but despite that he warned that they would in their movement.

Although the state government indicated that there were only 3,500 teachers; what’s certain is that there were tens of thousands that marched this Sunday in Tuxtla.

In Section 7 alone there are 45,000 teachers and 22,800 in Section 40; that’s without counting the thousands of workers from other unions that added onto the protest today.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



May 16, 2016

Insumisión: Reclaiming Life in a Panorama of Death

Filed under: news, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:15 am



Insumisión: Reclaiming Life in a Panorama of Death




Originally posted on It’s Going Down
By Scott Campbell

As the violence and repression instigated, permitted and perpetrated by the Mexican State continues to grow, it can become overwhelming to summarize it in these pages in a way that does justice to the victims and survivors of state terror and impunity. Yet as the grim tallies multiply and impact more and more lives, so does the clarity that what the state offers even in its best moments is no solution at all, and from that point resistance flourishes. The sparks of refusal and defiance despite the odds ignite around the country, making meaning out of that which seems so senseless, breathing reclaimed life into a panorama of death. As América del Valle of Atenco said earlier this month, “Even with everything they did to us, we don’t come here today as martyrs. We don’t come to cry…We’ve come here to say NO!” Lxs insumxs. Let’s see what they’ve been up to over the past two weeks.

May Day in Mexico was a fairly calm affair this year, though a few bits of news are included inIt’s Going Down’s roundup. Hopefully folks were just conserving their energy for today, May 15, when teachers affiliated with the National Coordinating Body of Education Workers (CNTE) begin an indefinite strike against neoliberal education reforms and many other issues, building to a planned boycott of the June 5 elections. The strike could impact the 23 states with CNTE affiliates, though the focus appears to be on Oaxaca, Chiapas and Mexico City. Tens of thousands of teachers will be camped around the Department of Public Education (SEP) in Mexico City.

The SEP has responded by saying that any teacher missing three days of classes will be fired. To which the CNTE said, “We dare them to try. We’re ready for what comes.” Teachers in Oaxaca go on strike annually at this time of year, though usually as a tactic to influence negotiations. This year, there are no current negotiations and Governor Gabino Cué has refused to receive their demands, a stance reminiscent of former governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz in 2006, before he sent the police after the teachers and kicked off a five-month rebellion in the state.

A report by Human Rights Watch from last October has been making the rounds in some Mexican media outlets this month, documenting two massacres by federal police in the state of Michoacán. One in January 2015 in Apatzingán left at least eight dead, while the other, in Tanhuato in May, left 42 dead. “In both cases,” the report reads, “multiple witnesses reported that they saw police officers shoot dead unarmed civilians after the initial confrontations were over.” No police have been held to account.

Since the launch of the so-called “war on organized crime,” much of Michoacán has been contested terrain as competing cartels, the police and military, and more recently, armed community self-defense groups – both legitimate and illegitimate, with some being incorporated into the new “Rural Police Forces” – have attempted to impose their will and entered into constantly shifting alliances. Meanwhile, indigenous communities such as Cherán and Santa María Ostula seek self-determination and autonomy in the midst of threats from cartels and the state. Since reclaiming 1,200 hectares of their land from the Knights Templar cartel in 2009, Ostula has seen 34 members of its community killed and six disappeared.

The National Human Rights Commission released the results of a survey this month finding at least 35,433 Mexicans have suffered forced internal displacement, a phenomenon not recognized by the state. The displacement is particularly concentrated in southern Mexico, where even locations previously considered “safe” are seeing drastic increases in violence, usually as the result of an increased presence of the army or federal police. Acapulco, in Guerrero, has experienced 347 killings related to the “war on organized crime” so far this year. A major shootout in the tourist center of the city on April 24 was extensively covered by reporter Francisco Beltrán Pacheco, who for his efforts was gunned down hours later in the doorway of his home.




Also in Guerrero, on May 12 six members of the Regional Coordinating Body of Community Authorities – Community Police (CRAC-PC) were freed after being held for nearly three years on false charges. Gaining their freedom was a major initiative of CRAC-PC commander and recently released political prisoner Nestora Salgado. Speaking of false charges, in another blow to the “historical truth” that the federal government has been offering as explanation for what happened to the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, an investigation found that 32 of those detained by the government for supposedly being involved in the disappearance and (they claim) killing of the students were systematically tortured into signing confessions corroborating the government’s version. This information corresponds with that already put forward by the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and Argentina’s Forensic Anthropology Team.

In another case of forced disappearance in Guerrero, one year ago this month, 300 paramilitaries, police and soldiers invaded the city of Chilapa de Álvarez for five days and disappeared 16 people. Local, state and national organizations working on the matter have released a call for all groups seeking justice for the disappeared in Guerrero to unite and organize jointly. Nationally on May 10, Mother’s Day in Mexico, the fifth annual march by the mothers of the disappeared was held in Mexico City and around the country.

In neighboring Oaxaca, the town of San José del Progreso installed a blockade at the main entrance to the Fortuna Silver mine, demanding its removal. Ten other indigenous communities in the state held a gathering at the end of April and announced they will begin, through community assemblies, organizing to oppose several mining concessions on their lands, build cross-community solidarity and strengthen their cultural identity.

Upon news that a major investor pulled out of plans to build yet another multinational wind farm on their lands, the Binni’za in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec noted, “Our struggle isn’t over, the debt that PGGM [the investor] and the rest of the multinationals that have invested in our region, that they have with our communities, is large and growing. We will not tire until they recognize our right to live with dignity as the indigenous peoples that we are.”

Also in the Isthmus, word is coming out of Juchitán that on May 14, local police severely beat two members of the community assembly of nearby Álvaro Obregón. When community police and others from the Zapotec community arrived to intervene, the local police opened fire, seriously wounding three, including a 14 year old.

To the east in Chiapas, attacks on defiant communities have become more frequent and violent. On May 4, as many as 150 paramilitaries entered the town of Simojovel, inciting panic as they stormed the streets and main park shooting fireworks and tear gas and throwing stones and Molotovs. The town has been organizing through its local church to eradicate corruption and combat drug trafficking.

San Sebastián Bachajón, a Tzeltal community adhering to the Zapatista’s Sixth Declaration, announced on May 5 it had recovered more of its communal lands from large landowners. Three days later, off-duty state police attacked a community member. In response, the community detained three state police, saying they would be held until those responsible were punished. At this time it’s not clear how that situation was resolved.

Also on May 5, the Tzotzil community of Cruztón, adherents to the Sixth, celebrated nine years since the recuperation of 249 hectares of its land. Again, days later, one of its members was detained and tortured by paramilitaries from a neighboring town. In response, a community member warned, “Our own hands are the ones that will administer justice, like we told the Public Prosecutor, if they don’t do it…The land is ours, the territory is ours, it is our right and this will be ours, whatever the cost.”

Most recently, on May 12, police and paramilitaries conducted a joint raid on the Tzotzil community of San Isidro Los Laureles. Mentioned previously in this column, this community – adherents to the Sixth – reclaimed 165 hectares of their land in December of last year. Thirty-five trucks entered the community and the passengers opened fire. The community’s homes were ransacked, belongings burned and crops destroyed. As of this writing, San Isidro Los Laureles’ residents are camped nearby and “creating strategies to recover the land taken by the White Guards [private gunmen].”

Not all is bleak in Chiapas, as the Chol community of Ejido Tila has been sending out inspiring updates and maps on its autonomous project. On May 1, it shared news about the collective work being carried out, as agreed upon by its community assembly. This includes: remodeling public buildings, cleaning up rivers, holding children’s festivals, street and highway cleaning, and community security. “Our town is now safer and cleaner, although there are filthy people belonging to political parties who continue to throw garbage in the street to screw things up and because their father, the bad government, got them accustomed to it. They don’t want to take out the trash when the truck comes, but to throw it in the street instead. We gave them a warning that a green pig will be wheatpasted on their homes if they keep acting uneducated, and although they say they are professionals and that it is us peasants who are dirty and ignorant, well, here it shows what their discriminatory, racist, and conflictive educational discourse is good for.” A second update shared improvements on access to water and the communal justice system, among other items.




Some final pieces of news to share. Earlier this month, San Salvador Atenco marked ten years since the brutal repression unleashed on the town by now-president Enrique Peña Nieto. With marches and concerts, they rededicated themselves to seeking justice for the attacks of 2006 and to continue resisting the latest effort to building an international airport on their lands. To that end, they started planting trees in the path of the new highway for the airport, as well as digging ditches and appropriating and destroying construction equipment.

In Chabelkal, Yucatán, the Maya community turned out to stop the eviction of an elder from his home on May 3. The police showed up in 30 to 40 trucks and began beating residents and firing tear gas. Seven were arrested but all were released after 48 hours following intense mobilization and a statement from the Zapatistas and the National Indigenous Congress denouncing the police violence.

On May 4, around 150 people were arrested at various metro stations in Mexico City during a coordinated action by #PosMeSalto (So I’ll Jump), a movement encouraging fare evasion that began in 2014 when the metro fare was raised from 3 to 5 pesos. Also on May 4, the Informal Feminist Commando of Anti-Authoritarian Action claimed responsibility for placing an explosive device at Sacmag de México, an investment and construction consulting firm in Mexico City. And lastly, a new report found that the minimum wage in Mexico should be 16,400 pesos per month ($903 USD), as opposed to the current amount of 2,191 pesos ($121 USD).

This edition has been a bit of a downer. To end with some ánimo, here are some compas discussing the anti-authoritarian practices being utilized in the struggle at the Scientific and Technological Studies Center Number 5 (CECyT 5), a vocational school in Mexico City.



May 15, 2016

Dam on the Usumacinta river: Hydroelectric Project or Environmental Catastrophe?

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, Displacement, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:40 pm



Dam on the Usumacinta river: Hydroelectric Project or Environmental Catastrophe?




In documents from the CFE (the Federal Electricity Commission) – Programme of works and investments in the electricity sector –  the Tenosique Dam project (formerly Boca del Cerro), is a reality, and it is planned to complete its construction in 2017
Under the argument “regional integration and development,” free entry is being given to various hydroelectric projects in Mesoamerica, promoted by the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), among others, all of these sponsored by various federal institutions and private companies.
This is no accident, as it responds to the historical negotiations between the governments of the region, from which the emergence of Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) stands out, and its current “strengthening” with the Project for the Integration and Development of Mesoamerica (PM). So, it is no accident that while [Mexico] is undergoing a process of the privatization of the state enterprise of water and therefore also its infrastructure, old projects of large-scale dams and water transfers are also being taken up.
The bowl of the River Usumacinta in Mexico forms part of one of these “renewed projects”. The possibility of building a dam on the Usumacinta River has been discussed since 1956, but according to official documents it was not considered feasible for Guatemala to grant permission to flood such a large area, so the project was abandoned in 1960.
In 1970, using the justification of an energy crisis, the Usumacinta Hydroelectric System Plan, in which five dams were planned along the river, was drawn up. The first and most important would be the Boca del Cerro Dam, but. a few years after, this plan was abandoned due to various political priorities of the time.


A few decades later, during the government of Vicente Fox (2000-2006,) the project was taken up as part of binational negotiations between the governments of Mexico and Guatemala, in light of the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP), and reactivated in full with the PM, which emerged from the Tenth Summit of the Mechanism of Dialogue and Agreement of Tuxtla held in Villahermosa in 2008.
In documents of the Federal Electricity Commission (Programme of works and investments in the electricity sector), the Tenosique Dam project (formerly Boca del Cerro) is a reality, and it is planned to complete its construction in 2017.
The Hydroelectric Dam will be located 9.5 kilometres southwest of the town. In a first phase, the direct impact of this work will affect the Canyon of the Usumacinta, because the curtain, initially planned to be at a height of 135 meters, would be in that area.
Sixty years ago – since 1956 – and still today, considerations and studies about both the environmental and social damage have been available, produced by various academic institutions, NGOs, and even by the government.


Following the construction and operation of the dam, the immediate consequences would be seen in the forced displacement of a large part of the population, and, for the few who managed to stay, their productive activities – fishing and cattle breeding – would virtually disappear. Needless to say, for the lower basin, specifically in the Centla Swamps, the damage would be irreparable.
Several social organizations in Mexico and Guatemala have been trying to mobilize against the threat posed by the construction of the dam, and in response to the numerous acts of harassment towards indigenous communities, a situation which has been documented for at least fifteen years.
With the imminent completion of the dam, the situation is one of great concern, because it requires urgent dissemination, and above all a strengthening in the mobilization of civil society. The construction of the dam would cause an environmental catastrophe in the entire basin of the Grijalva-Usumacinta river system. Nationally, the impact would also be terrible, because the Usumacinta is the most important reserve of fresh water in the country, which means that the hoarding of water resources would represent a direct attack on biodiversity and therefore an extensive socio-environmental conflict which cannot be resolved.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service




Velasco evicts women and children from San Isidro but allows CIOAC to operate a roadblock in Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:19 pm



Velasco evicts women and children from San Isidro but allows CIOAC to operate a roadblock in Tuxtla Gutierrez.


san isidro


Chiapas Mexico. 12th May, 2016. “They are shooting at us, shooting to kill” denounce members of San Isidro los Laureles, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, who through an audiomessage report that “the police along with white guards, evicted us from the land of our ancestors we had recuperated.”

“We are 60 families and are from the collective Semilla Digna, adherents to the Sexta,” explain the campesinos who were attacked, and say that the eviction began at six in the morning, when they 40 cars, vans and three local police trucks sector arrived.

“We are concerned about the physical wellbeing of the compañeros and compañeras, and their belongings, such as clothing, household utensils and tools and seeds for cultivation” share the people originating in central Chiapas. “We are concerned because we have our crops, our maize, our corncobs, which are for the support of our families,” he added.

“We are going to carry on. We are not leaving, we have always lived here, and we will get our land back no matter how long it takes us, “say the campesinos, members of the Indigenous National Congress, and made a call for national and international solidarity.

The violent eviction of the families from San Isidro los Laureles occurred just at the same time as the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC), an organisation close to the government of Velasco Coello, was holding, with impunity, a roadblock in the capital Tuxtla Gutierrez; he did not act against them like he acted against the children, women and elderly of the community in Venustiano Carranza.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service



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