dorset chiapas solidarity

October 25, 2016

Worldwide Pronouncement in Solidarity with Domingo Pérez Alvaro and the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration



Worldwide Pronouncement in Solidarity with Domingo Pérez Alvaro and the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration



We energetically denounce the fierce aggression against Domingo Pérez Alvaro, indigenous Tseltal, ejidatario and adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, which took place on Monday, October 17th, at approximately 4 pm, at the top of the crossroads of Alan Sajcun in the territory of the ejido.

According to a statement from the ejidatarios, the aggressors are people belonging to the group of supporters of the officialist Ejidal Commissioner, who are government supporters and enemies of the struggle carried out by the ejidatarios for their land and territory, which the bad capitalist government wants to take away from them in order to build a luxury tourist resort. This group of supporters of the officialist Ejidal Commissioner of San Sebastian Bachajón, Manuel Guzman Alvaro, detained compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro and physically attacked him with heavy blows so that today he is still in a very delicate state of health.

The supporters of the Ejidal Commissioner accuse Domingo Pérez of taking part in collective works on the lands of the neighbouring community of Bolom Ajaw and of participating in La Sexta Bachajón. In fact, compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro has participated since the founding of La Sexta Bachajón, he has walked in promoting human rights and participated in the National Indigenous Congress; he also took part in the 20th anniversary of the CNI. On the day of the attack, Domingo was returning from the prison of CERESO 17 in Playas de Catazaja, where he went to visit one of the political prisoners of Bachajón, Santiago Moreno Pérez, on behalf of the organization.

The brutal and serious attack on compañero Domingo Pérez Alvaro certainly took place because of his participation in the struggle of his people to defend their territory. As the ejidatarios say about the attackers: “We reject their actions of dispossession which only serve to confirm their agreements with the bad government to hand over ejido lands to them …. We condemn the actions of the Ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro who we hold responsible for the integrity of our colleague Domingo Pérez Alvaro and any attack on the compañeros and compañeras of La Sexta Bachajon.”

Compas of good heart all around the world, we hereby ask for your solidarity with and support for La Sexta Bachajón. Please denounce these acts and disseminate this information, because it is reported that the compañero is in a grave condition following this attack.

We ask you to remain alert as to the situation in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.


Land and Freedom!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Compas of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, you are not alone!



Hermann Bellinghausen, Mexico

Movement for Justice in El Barrio, United States

Raúl Zibechi, Uruguay

Sylvia Marcos, Mexico

Jean Robert, Mexico

Gustavo Esteva Figueroa, Mexico

Hugo Blanco Galdos, Peru

Malú Huacuja del Toro, United States

Circulo de las Primeras Naciones, Canada

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:

-Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Kiptik (Bristol)

-London Mexico Solidarity Group

-Manchester Zapatista Collective

– Meso-America Solidarity Action Liverpool

-UK Zapatista Education, Culture and Communication team

-UK Zapatista Translation Service

-Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex




RvsR Following the attack on a member of the Sixth from San Sebastián Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Repression — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:12 am



RvsR Following the attack on a member of the Sixth from San Sebastián Bachajón



Yesterday, October 17th, our comrade Domingo Pérez Álvaro, a member of the Adherents to the Sixth from San Sebastián Bachajón, was stopped by a gang of thugs led by the official commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón, Manuel Guzmán Álvaro. He was beaten up after having visited the political prisioners in Playas de Catazaja. Our comrade is seriously injured.

Since May of this year, our comrades, women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón, have denounced the bad administration of the official commissioner, how his administration has collaborated in the destabilization of the area, provoking clashes with the partisans and accusing the men and women who are adherents to the Sixth of holding road blocks and other actions in which they have never participated. The official commissioner has also allowed the Preventative State Police to estabish itself in the area, in spite of promises not to allow its presence in Bachajón. It is clearly a strategy that intends to slow down the process of autonomy being undertaken by our comrades; this is the real threat to those on ‘top’, since we know the area’s juicy economic potential for ecological tourism and big hotel businesses. The dispossession strategy is also evident.

Sadly, police repression, the incarceration of political prisoners and murders have accompanied the autonomous process of our comrades, women and men, of San Sebastián Bachajón. It pains us once more to hear the news of this attack on Domingo, our comrade Domingo. It fills us with indignation and anger towards those responsible: the official commissioner MANUEL GUZMÁN ÁLVARO, the municipal president of Chilón, the governor of the State of Chiapas MANUEL VELASCO COELLO, the president of Mexico ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO, all of them puppets in the hands of corporate interests in the area, those interested in building a new Cancun in Agua Azul, with dispossession, repression and death.
Let us remain vigilant, spread the word, demonstrate our solidarity with the Tzeltal dignity being constructed in San Sebastián Bachajón.





Against dispossession and repression: Solidarity!

Network for Solidarity and against Repression (RvSR)


Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



October 24, 2016

Zapatistas Respond to Criticism Regarding Election Proposal

Filed under: CNI, gal, Indigenous, Marcos, Other Campaign, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:24 pm



Zapatistas Respond to Criticism Regarding Election Proposal


submarcoshorsefromafar-jpg_1718483346EZLN Subcomandante Marcos, now known as Galeano, in Chiapas in 1996. | Photo: Creative Commons


The Zapatista response appeared to reaffirm that their goal in presenting a candidate would be to expose the contradictions of the Mexican political system.

Not long after the Zapatista National Liberation Army and the National Indigenous Congress resolved to present an Indigenous woman as an independent candidate for the 2018 presidential elections, the rebel group began to receive criticism.

The decision made at the Fifth National Indigenous Congress caught many by surprise, as the Zapatistas had long rejected any formal participation in electoral politics.

One of the first to respond was leftist former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who suggested the EZLN, as the Zapatistas are also known, were trying to divide the left.

Lopez Obrador is widely expected to run for president a third time in the upcoming election and an “independent candidate” could draw away votes that might otherwise go to him.

In the 2006 election, Lopez Obrador lost in a disputed, though tightly contested, election. That year the Zapatistas organized “The Other Campaign,” which called on Mexicans to participate in political activity that went beyond voting.

During “The Other Campaign,” Zapatistas — including the group’s most recognizable figure, Subcomandante Marcos — travelled throughout Mexico meeting with activists and social movement leaders in order to build a broad front against capitalism.

In a letter posted online, Marcos, now known as Subcomandante Galeano, responded to the criticism.

“How solid can the Mexican political system be, and how well-founded and reliable the tactics and strategies of the political parties, if, when someone says publicly that they are thinking about something, that they are going to ask their peers what they think of what they are thinking, the entire political party system becomes hysterical?” read the letter.

When the decision to consider running a candidate was first announced by the Zapatistas, they specified that it was not being done as a means of securing power.

“We confirm that our struggle is not for power, we do not seek it,” read the joint statement from the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatistas.

Galeano’s letter appeared to reaffirm that their goal in presenting a candidate would be to expose the contradictions of the Mexican political system.

Referring to Margarita Zavala, the wife of ex-president Felipe Calderon and likely candidate for the presidency in 2018, Galeano presented a juxtaposition.

“You who are reading this: would you be bothered by watching and listening to a debate between the Calderona (Zavala) from above, with her ‘traditional’ luxury brand clothing, and a woman below, of Indigenous blood, culture, language, and history? Would you be more interested in hearing what the Calderona promises or what the Indigenous woman proposes? Wouldn’t you want to see this clash of two worlds?” asked Galeano.

The letter gave no indication the EZLN and the National Indigenous Congress intend to withdraw their proposal.

The idea of running a candidate must still, however, be approved by the grassroots of the organization.



CNI and EZLN to Hold Consultation to Appoint Female Indigenous Candidate for 2018 Presidential Elections

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, sipaz, Women, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:32 pm



CNI and EZLN to Hold Consultation to Appoint Female Indigenous Candidate for 2018 Presidential Elections


ez1CNI at Oventik Caracol (@SIPAZ)


From October 9 to 13, within the framework of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI), the “Fifth National Indigenous Congress” was held at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristobal de Las Casas. About 500 delegates from 32 nations, peoples and indigenous tribes of Mexico, as well as members and support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and other guests participated. It worked in thematic working groups around the following themes: dispossession and repression; our resistances and rebellions; a review of the CNI; proposals for strengthening the CNI. On October 12, Columbus Day, a political-cultural event in Oventik Caracol was also held.


ez2Zapatista militia on the arrival of the CNI at Oventik, October 12, 2016 (@SIPAZ)


On closing the event, the CNI and the EZLN published a statement entitled “May the Earth Tremble at its Core” (paraphrasing the national anthem), in which they reported 27 grievances dispossessions indigenous peoples in the country are facing. What created the biggest stir was the announcement of the start of a consultation to examine the convenience of appointing an indigenous council of government and inviting an indigenous woman to participate in the upcoming presidential elections to be held in 2018. The statement says: “Given all of the above, we declare ourselves in permanent assembly and we will consult in each of our geographies, territories and directions the agreement of the Fifth CNI to appoint an indigenous council of government whose word will be materialized by an indigenous woman, a delegate of the CNI as an independent candidate who contends on behalf of the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the 2018 election for the presidency of this country.”

The statement says that “It’s time to attack, to go on the offensive” and clarified that “our struggle is not for power, we do not seek that; but we will call on indigenous peoples and civil society to organize to stop this destruction, to strengthen us in our resistance and rebellion” the Zapatistas said in a statement in which they made a call to organize “from below.”

The joint statement ends by emphasizing “It is time for rebel dignity, to build a new nation for all people, to strengthen the power from below and the anti-capitalist left, and for those who are to blame for the pain of the people of this multicolor Mexico to pay.”



Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, sipaz — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:14 am



Unjustly Imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz Denounces the Denial of Visits for Second Time


pacienciaPilgrimage of the youth of Chenalho in support of the unjustly imprisoned. Photo @SIPAZ


On October 14, unjustly imprisoned Roberto Paciencia Cruz, Tsotsil indigenous, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN, held in CERESO No. 5 of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, again suffered unfair treatment. In a letter, he publicly denounced that the prison director, Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa, along with his guard, Ernesto Guzman Lopez, denied entry to his visits “although the director had authorized permission the day before so they could go inside the prison”. Roberto reported threats and intimidation on the part of the prison director in order to deny the inmates their right of expression and to [make them] suffer in silence the ill-treatment both to prisoners and their visitors “[…] he tells us, if we complain to some dependency he can move us to another CERESO (sic.)”. It is the second time in less than two months that Roberto has been denied his “sacred visits” arbitrarily. In his letter, Roberto declares that, “the injustices, humiliations, threats, psychological torture, is the daily bread that the authorities give us in different jails of the state (sic.)”.

It should be recalled that despite the numerous pieces of evidence of his innocence, more than three years after his detention Roberto Paciencia Cruz has still not had his sentence delivered, given that the prosecution has not presented [its case], although it has been called several times to testify before the judge.

According to the NIV News Group, the current director of CERESO No. 5, Jorge Antonio Muñoa Utrilla, had already been denounced by guards and custodians for mistreatment and abuse of authority while he was director of CERESO No. 8. Through a letter they sent to local media, the complainants claimed that Utrilla “behaves in a despotic and rude manner with the staff of the prison and the families of inmates”, that, under threat of dismissal or being moved to another prison if orders are not carried out, he makes guards do personal work of the direction, neglecting the security of the jail, that he uses “the prison vehicle for emergency transfers of inmates as if it were his personal bus” so that they have had to “bring the inmate in private cars to hospital, a situation that puts the safety of the transfer at risk .” According to the complainants, the worst is that Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa “blames them for mistakes that he deliberately causes.” On February 22, 2015 in CERESO No. 8, “several inmates went on hunger strike and sewed their mouths to denounce Utrilla Jorge Antonio Muñoa’s abuse.” According to the NIV News Group, during Antonio Jorge Utrilla Muñoa’s term as head of CERSS Comitan No. 10 “there was evidence of corruption and drug trafficking.”

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



Community of Las Brisas Denounces Threat of Dispossession

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:31 am



Community of Las Brisas Denounces Threat of Dispossession




Community of Las Brisas, Municipality of La Trinitaria, Chiapas

October 17th, 2016

To the sister organizations that have accompanied our struggle

To the adherents of the sixth declaration of the Lacandona jungle

To Chiapas civil society

To the EZLN

To the Indigenous Tojolabal, Tzeltal, and Tsotsil peoples

Brothers and sisters, compañeras and compañeros, we want to denounce the threats that we have faced in the “community Las Brisas” in the last few months. Since June, our representatives have received telephone calls from Sr. Oscar Arranda, with support of Sr. José Alfredo Espinosa López, to intimidate us. Aranda has asked us to give up the land for which we have struggled for 11 years. He says to us that if we do not give in and sell the lands, they will come to displace us and will also cause us to lose our harvest.

José Alfredo Espinosa knows of our struggle and of the forces we have gathered to better organize ourselves. We do not have another profession. We are campesinos, but we have the capacity to fight because the land is not for those who buy it, but for those who work it. We are campesinos who know how to care for the land because we live for the land, and thus, we think that the land does not have a price.

During all of this time of struggle, we recognize ourselves as the descendants of the labourers who were exploited by the landowners of the Palestina Ranch, afterwards named Esmeralda, and then La Yuria. Right now, those lands make up our community of Las Brisas.

For 11 years, we have received many threats from diverse people that all have the same interests: for us to leave our lands. And in the face of all of these threats, we have always responded that the land is not a commodity, it won’t be sold, and we will maintain the land for our families. We want to send a public message to Aranda and Espinosa saying that they are wasting their time. We will not be willing to take money for something that does not have a price because the land is the value of our community and that which sustains our children.

We thank those that listen and understand our message. We also invite you to be attentive to what could happen next.

We also want to say that as adherents we join and support the initiative of the Fifth National Indigenous Congress because we believe that an Indigenous woman presidential candidate could have the necessary voice to represent us.

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



October 23, 2016

EZLN: Questions Without Answers, Answers Without Questions, Councils and Counsel

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:40 pm



EZLN: Questions Without Answers, Answers Without Questions, Councils and Counsel




(Pages from the Notebook of the Cat-Dog)

October 20, 2016

To Whom It May Concern:

Questions without answers:

—So what about the women murdered for the grave crime of being women? Will the fact that they have demanded that the attacks stop and, with their blood, raised the topic not just to the national agenda but the global one, make them the object of mockery, disdain, and accusations that they are playing to the right? Because they aren’t dying, they are being killed. What if they refuse to accept that this is a problem that can be solved by addressing corruption? And if they dare to say that the origin of this murderous hate is located in the system itself? What if they come up with the crazy idea to side-line men with regard to the most vital decisions (yes, as in questions of life of death)? And if they decide to take their destiny into their own hands? Would any part of that, or all of it, be a governmental manoeuvre to avoid… etcetera?

—What about the others (loas otroas)? Must they wait for the political class to turn its haughty gaze on one of the most vilified peoples below? Must they resign themselves to be knocked off until the murder rate finally gets high enough to attract attention? And what if they organize themselves and demand respect, if they decide they’ve had enough of the fact that being disrespected means being killed? Would they be told that their problems are not a priority, that their position is not generally politically correct and is in fact counterproductive with regard to the electoral race, and that their demands should unite and not detract?

—The parish priests, nuns, and laypeople of the progressive church see and feel first-hand, without intermediaries, the pain, angst, and desperation of migrants, the families of the disappeared, and entire peoples under attack, as well as the rage concerning impunity and the frustration of suffering injustice which has been made law with pomp and circumstance. Are they trying to use this pain to their own benefit? What would they gain by making those cries theirs, by identifying themselves with that rage? And if from that perspective, formed not just in the face of threats of all kinds but at the risk of their own earthly lives, they claim openly and reflectively that the solutions offered on the horizon are not sufficient, are they thus opposed—being who they are and accountable to what they are—to a real change?

—If the mere possibility of an indigenous woman existing as a citizen (with all of its rights and obligations) has the effect of causing “the earth to tremble at its core,” what would happen if her ear and her word travelled through all of Mexico below?

—You who are reading this: would you be bothered by watching and listening to a debate between the Calderona [i] from above, with her “traditional” luxury brand clothing, and a woman below, of indigenous blood, culture, language, and history? Would you be more interested in hearing what the Calderona promises or what the indigenous woman proposes? Wouldn’t you want to see this clash of two worlds? Imagine, on the one side, a woman from above, born and raised with every luxury, educated to feel superior in race and colour, complicit and promised heiress of a psychopathic enthusiast of alcohol and blood,[ii] representative of an elite that is steering the Nation toward total destruction, and chosen by the Ruler to be his spokesperson. Imagine on the other hand a woman who, like many, made her way working and struggling every day, every hour, and everywhere, not only against a system that oppresses her as indigenous, as poor, and as a worker, but also as a woman who has faced a system reproduced in the image and likeness of the brains of men, and not just a few women. Wouldn’t she, with everything against her, today, without yet knowing it, have to now aspire to represent not only herself, her collective, or her originary people, tribe, nation, or barrio, but also millions of women who are distinct in their language, colour, and race but equal in their pain and rage? Would this not be a situation in which on one side would appear a white criolla woman, the symbol of oppression, mockery, scorn, impunity, and shamelessness, and on the other a woman who would have to lift her indigenous spirit above the racism that permeates every level of social strata? Isn’t it true that, almost without knowing it, you would cease to be a spectator and desire, from the deepest part of you, that the victor of this debate, after a good battle, would be the one who had everything against her? Would you not applaud that, in the name of this indigenous woman, it was truth that won and not the power of money?

—Are you worried that the indigenous woman won’t speak Spanish well, but not that the current head of the federal executive branch doesn’t know how to speak at all?

—How solid can the Mexican political system be, and how well-founded and reliable the tactics and strategies of the political parties, if, when someone says publicly that they are thinking about something, that they are going to ask their peers what they think of what they are thinking, the entire political party system becomes hysterical?

—To what degree does the proposal that an indigenous governing council (concejo with a “c”),[iii] that is, a collective and not an individual, be in charge of the federal executive bolster-presidential-rule-become-complicit-in-the-electoral-farce-contribute-to-reinforcing-bourgeois-democracy-play-to-the-oligarchy-and-to-Yankee-Chinese-Russian-Judeoislamic-millenarian -imperialism-in-addition-to-betraying-the-highest-principles-of-the-global-proletarian-revolution?

—Should we follow the inertia of the political class, “thinking” heads and acrobats of all kinds, and respond to the unfounded criticism—as well as well-founded critiques that challenge us and provoke thought—with dismissals that, in addition to being lazy, are boring (like peñabotspaniaguadospejezombisperderistas,[iv] and etceterists)?


—A million-dollar idea (or an effort to raise money to collect signatures and for the campaign—oh, oh, looks like they’re serious): an application that self-censors on twitter when one writes something stupid. Handy, because the screen shots are unforgiving. What? That’s already occurred to you? Well, get to it, because when the CNI authorizes us to explain, erasing those tweets will be useless.


Rankings for the first week:

Finalist for the best meme: El Deforma [v] (not really much of a prize for them, because El Deforma is like the Barcelona F.C. of memes).

Finalist for the best tweet on a well-founded suspicion: “What seems most suspicious to me is that the #EZLN always becomes fashionable in the winter and then the fucking ski masks get really expensive.”

Finalist for the best series of tweets on the topic: “Hey listen, with regard to all this, do the Zapatistas even use Twitter?/ I’m asking because we’re here scolding them, mocking them, ridiculing them, telling them, ordering them what they should and shouldn’t do/ and if they aren’t even paying attention/ if they aren’t hearing us, then it’s like/ masturbating while watching, aroused, a box of cereal, you know/ heads up, don’t forget to erase this series of tweets/. Warning! Your Twitter account has suffered an attack by a screen shot.


Listen, a bit of well-intentioned counsel (consejo with an ‘s’): a lesson in reading comprehension wouldn’t hurt you. And speaking of letters, a composition lesson wouldn’t be a bad idea either… providing it is one with a limited horizon of the 140 characters.

—A non-Confucian maxim: “although it may seem unbelievable, it seems there is not just one but many worlds outside of social networks.”

Defensa Zapatista, Chicharito Hernández, and Lionel Messi.




I don’t know how the hell the ball ended up in my tent, but the thing is that behind it came a little girl about… how old? I estimate between 8 and 10; in the communities that could be years or decades. It’s not the first time that the irreverent and happy tone of Zapatista childhood erupts in the solitary room where I at times stay, so I didn’t pay too much attention and continued reviewing and reading the storm across social networks and free and paid media. I wouldn’t even have noticed the little girl’s presence if she hadn’t said, in a knowing voice, “it’s like the thing with Chicharito and Messi.” I realized that the little girl was looking over my shoulder at the screen of my laptop. Remembering that old maxim that the best offense is defence, I asked her: “And you, who are you? I don’t know you.” The little girl responded, “my name is Defensa Zapatista,” as if stating the obvious, as if she had said “energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.” Pointing to the screen she added, “Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona and Messi doesn’t play for the Chiapas Jaguars.” I turned back around to see if I had switched hashtags without realizing it, but no, the header still read #ezln. What occurs in the head of a Zapatista little girl is not so much a world but rather a Big Bang in continual expansion. Nevertheless, I asked her, “And what the hell does that have to do with anything.” The little girl answered with a face that says, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

“It’s like they’re criticizing Chicharito for not scoring goals for Barcelona and Messi for not doing anything to help the Jaguars. Some say that Chicharito is going to recover; others say he’s done. Some say that Messi is sad because his home country doesn’t support him; others say it’s that his shoe is too tight and if he changes it he’s going to shoot well again.

But the thing is Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, nor Messi for the Jaguars. Meaning, they’re getting all worked up for nothing.”

I was evaluating the change in paradigm underlying Defensa Zapatista’s line of reasoning when she started in again: “Hey Sup, why don’t we organize a soccer game for when those who are like us show up here? Well, we haven’t actually finished putting together our team and sometimes Pedrito, the little jerk, thinks he’s really tough, and the cat-dog barely obeys orders, and the one-eyed horse falls asleep a lot, and the other players, well sometimes they come and sometimes they go. But look, I already thought about what song we should play we win the final. Do you know the tune? What would you know, you’re the sup!” I advise you to study the sciences and the arts, so that you can see clearly that the problem is that Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, and Messi doesn’t play for the Jaguars, and so you shouldn’t worry, to hell with the lot of them. I have to go now because the team isn’t complete yet and what if we’re up to play for, like they say, the inauguration.”

Already at the door, the little girl turned around and said: “Hey Sup, if my mom comes and asks if you saw me, you just tell her clearly that Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona and Messi doesn’t play for the Jaguars. I mean don’t tell lies, because mothers always know when you’re lying. So what you have to do is change the game, pretend you’re headed one way, but really you’re going in another. I can explain that to you later, but study first, because if you are going to go to the autonomous school they are going to make fun of you, and Pedrito will be the worst, because the little jerk is bragging that he finished grade school. But he’ll see that I’m going to finish too and then get outta here, to hell with him. About the team, don’t worry, there will be more of us. Sometimes it takes a while, but there will be more of us.” The little girl left.

SubMoy showed up and asked me, “Do you have the text with the explanation ready?”

No, but Chicharito doesn’t play for Barcelona, nor Messi for the Jaguars,” I answered, following Defensa Zapatista’s advice.

SubMoy looked at me and took out his radio, giving the order, “send someone from the health commission with an injection.”

I ran, what else could I do?



[i] A reference to Margarita Zavala, the wife of ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) and likely PAN candidate for the presidency in 2018.

[ii] A reference to her husband, ex-president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012).

[iii] Concejo with a “c” means council, often referring to some level of governing council. Consejo with an “s” means advice or counsel, or is used to refer to an entity like a board of directors.

[iv] Derogatory terms used to discredit supporters of the various institutional political parties.

[v] A reference to the Mexican national newspaper Reforma.


October 22, 2016

Ethnic groups in Chiapas have almost no water, but are drowning in Coca-Cola

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, water — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:00 pm



Ethnic groups in Chiapas have almost no water, but are drowning in Coca-Cola




By Marco Appel, 5th February, 2016.

Coca-Cola, the Secret Formula, a French documentary aired on Belgian television three years ago, really put a bee in the bonnet of the fizzy drink giant. They even issued a complaint to the ethical advisory board of the Belgian press. The documentary relays the investigation of a French reporter to find out the precise recipe of the fizzy drink. Among her discoveries was that one of the main ingredients is…water. Lots of it. One litre of the sugary drink requires three litres of liquid. And one of the places where the multinational obtains this raw material, for next-to-nothing and to the detriment of local provision, is Chiapas.

Brussels (Proceso).

Coca-Cola: The Secret Formula is the title of a documentary that tells of the ups and downs of French journalist Olivia Mokiejewski in her mission to find out the ingredients used in the making of this fizzy drink, kept secret by the company with a military seal.

One of these ingredients is water. For this reason, part of the documentary is filmed in the area of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, where it is nothing if not plentiful.

The journalist, who made the journey to this part of Mexico, reveals that to produce one litre of Coca-Cola, you need three litres of water.

“There’s no shortage of water”, Mokiejewski’s voiceover tells us. “The region is one of Mexico’s reservoirs: a paradise for the makers of fizzy drinks. It’s no coincidence that Coca-Cola decided to build a factory here in the 1980s.

The journalist interviews hydrologist Antonino García, who explains that the fizzy drink giant moved in “strategically” to extract the water directly from San Cristobal’s underground channels. He tells us that every day they take 750,000 litres – enough to give daily drinking water to a population of 10,000 people.

“I suppose Coca-Cola must pay a high price to compensate the region for all the water it uses”, the young journalist remarks.

Laughing, Garcia tells her that no, Coca-Cola paid just €25,000 in 2003, all thanks to then-President Vicente Fox, who was also president of the company’s Mexico branch.

“€25,000 for hundreds of millions of litres of water”, Mokiejewski repeats. “The main ingredient of Coca-Cola costs the company practically nothing”,

The documentary explains that there are five communities that that depend on the same underground channels used by the fizzy drink company. There, the water is scarcer every day.

A family from one of these communities shows the journalist that they don’t currently have any running water, and the shortage is happening ever more frequently. They turn on the tap and nothing comes out. They must use rainwater or water from the well, which isn’t clean and makes the children ill.

Mokiejewski talks into the camera: “Deprived of water in a region in which it abounds, the residents contacted Coca-Cola. But the multinational insists that there is no link between their intensive extraction and the water shortage. And the most ironic thing about it? When there’s no water, the children are given fizzy drinks. It’s a vicious circle, one in which the indigenous people of Chiapas are trapped”, Mokiejewski reflects. Accompanying her final words is the image of a little boy, almost a baby, drinking coke from a feeding bottle.

This extract of the report specifically is included in a complaint the company Coca-Cola Belgian Services presented on the 22nd of May last year to the Belgian Ethical Advisory Board for Journalism (Conseil Déontologique Periodique de la Belge – CDPB) against the company Belgian Francophone Radio Television (Radio Televisión Belga Francófona – RTBF), which aired the French documentary in the country.

The board, created in 2009 and formed of 20 journalists and editors, receives complaints and proffers its opinion on cases related to the treatment of information in the Belgian media. Its general secretary, André Linard, told Proceso that the board had never before received a complaint of this kind.

In it, the fizzy drink giant told the CDPB that the investigation relating to Mexico contains “inexact information”, and that furthermore, the whole report demonstrates “a desire to destroy the reputation of Coca-Cola”.

Last December 1st, the ethical standards board published its conclusions: the documentary, it stated, followed a “correct” method of journalistic investigation and the journalist who carried out the work, Olivia Mokiejewski, respected professional ethical guidelines.

The board found in the documentary no violations of the Belgian ethical code; no “flaws in the investigation or respect for the truth” (article 1), no “absence of source-checking” (article 4), and no “deforming of information or deletion of essential information” (article 3).

“Factually accurate” Documentary
The documentary Coca-Cola: the Secret Formula was made in 2012 by the French producer Nilaya, and was coproduced by France Télévisions, the audiovisual organization of the French State. It was filmed in France, the USA and Mexico, and was originally aired on the French public television channel France 2 as part of the journalistic investigation programme Infrarouge. It is 65 minutes long; the part about Mexico lasts 12 minutes.
In Belgium, the documentary was shown on four occasions on the RTBF channel Uno in January 2013. Coca-Cola has stated that it was in communications with the RTBF to demand that it correct the supposedly erroneous information before the fourth reshowing of the documentary, on May 13th 2015. The television company refused the demand.

A significant part of the report takes place in the USA (Atlanta, New York and California), where through interviews with first hand sources the journalist manages to get hold of the secret Coca-Cola formula. These ingredients include coca leaf extract (imported from Peru and Bolivia and used to give the fizzy drink its bitter aroma); an amount of sugar equal to ten dessert spoons per can, and a caramel chemical, one such E.150D, which in 2007 was revealed to be carcinogenic (causing leukaemia in animals).

The public health authorities in California limited the use of E.150D to 29 micrograms per can of Coca-Cola, the French reporter is told by Mike Jacobson, director of the California Centre for Science in the Public Interest. In the documents that the expert shows the camera, we can see that in Mexico, they allow 147 micrograms of the chemical per can.

The fizzy drink company says it lost €1.6 million in sales in Belgium as a result of the first four showings of the documentary.

According to the CDPB’s conclusive statement, which the writer was able to access, the television provider argued in its defence that it had not produced the report and could not, therefore, answer every question about it in detail.

It also claimed that “the aim of the documentary was nothing other than to inform” and considered that “the (informative) result is sufficiently credible for France Télévision to air it without modifications, in spite of its criticisms”.

The Belgian television provider underlines the fact that during her investigation, Mokiejewski was given no straight answers by the firm when she sought them: “Refusing to give interviews is always risky and then it’s all too easy to complain afterwards”, the RTBF points out to Coca-Cola, who, in their statement of complaint also insisted that it was untrue that the fizzy drink company had refused to respond to her questioning and that in any case, “she had not asked the right people.”

In the documentary, the journalist mentions that for two months she requested interviews with directors of the company, to which end she sent 21 emails and made 12 phone calls. In one of them, we hear someone from the company’s PR department clearly deny her a statement of any kind.

In another scene, we see Mokiejewski go to a house in the USA to look for the president and executive director of the firm, Muhtar Kent. On the intercom at the gate of the house, she explains that she has spent two months trying to get an interview with Kent, but the person on the other end rudely hangs up on her, leaving her no choice other than to leave a note on top of the intercom, stating her request for interview.

Fizzy drink paradise
Another scene filmed in Mexico, and which Coca-Cola also include in their complaint in Belgium, is about the price of the fizzy drink, which is mentioned in the documentary.

This episode begins when Mokiejewski tells us that “Mexicans have become the top consumers of Coca-Cola in the world. And in Chiapas, they have broken records: three cans per person, per day.”

While they travel along a local road in a van, Marcos Arana, doctor and public health expert, tells the journalist that mothers in the region give Coca-Cola to their children before they reach two years of age, which damages their nutrition habits and makes them addicted to sugar. Arana invites the journalist to count the shops selling Coca-Cola: they find 166 in the 42 kilometres they travel.

We see images of indigenous young people grouped around one of these shops. “A country painted in red and white,” Mokiejewski reflects, “the perfect economic model for Coca-Cola. Even in the most remote town in Chiapas, the multinational has set in motion an unbeatable strategy.”

The journalist is talking about the rental of refrigerators exclusively for the use of products made by the fizzy drink company, which she hears about from a shop-owner she interviews.

Outside one shop there is a kind of sign, which the companies give them, with photos of the different drinks and their respective prices. It says a litre of Coca-Cola costs seven pesos, one of water costs eight. The three litre bottle of Coca-Cola is sold at 21 pesos. Arana notes that three litres of water must therefore cost 24 pesos. “Water is more expensive than Coca-Cola; that’s the problem”, the journalist concludes.

Then a voiceover tells us, “Today the indigenous people of Chiapas cannot live without Coke. It has gone so far as to insert itself into religion, replacing pox, the traditional drink, in sacred ceremonies.”

The journalist attends a family prayer where they are asking for the good health of a little boy with a fever. She describes the scene as follows: “To satisfy the gods, there are no less than seven bottles of Coke in the offering.”

The patriarch of the family, an elderly man, confirms proudly that the drink is now part of the region’s “culture”, and explains that the burps it causes shoo away bad spirits. His words are accompanied, in the documentary, by images of members of the family drinking Coca-Cola from small glasses with a ritualistic attitude, even closing their eyes.

Mokiejewski’s last comment in the Chiapan episode of her documentary is frightening: “In Mexico, 70% of the population are overweight or obese. According to the Mexican body for Monitoring Health, in 2020, this will apply to 100% of the population.”

Unfinished business
Proceso contacted Mokiejewski, who said she knew nothing about Coca-Cola’s complaint in Belgium.

For his part, André Linard, general secretary of the Belgian Ethical Advisory Board for Journalism, explains: “We do not repeat the journalist’s investigation; what we examine is how she worked: whether all the ethical rules of the journalistic exercise were respected. In this case, we won’t be going to Chiapas to check.

However, during the 80s and 90s, Linard did travel to Chiapas some seven or eight times as a journalist. Specifically, he was in San Cristobal, so he can say he “knew the context of [Coca-Cola’s] complaint”.

Linard does not understand the reasons behind Coca-Cola’s attempt to discredit the journalistic work of the French report in Belgium, but he does highlight that, “In the six years that the board has existed, we’ve dealt with more than 300 cases and I cannot remember a single one by an internationally recognised business in relation to the production of journalistic content aired in Belgium.”

Among journalists, the CDPB’s verdict has moral weight; it deals neither in sanctions nor fines.

“If the opinion of the board had been unfavourable to the RTBF, what would have happened?”, Linard is asked.

“A negative ruling means that we find an ethical misdemeanour and at that point the media in question is obliged to inform its audience of our decision through a notice on their website. There is no censorship; we’re not going to ban future showings of the report, but the RTBF would have to take our decision into account when considering further airings of the documentary. The media organization is responsible for taking that decision. We do not hold the right to ban the publication of anything. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right.

The conclusions of the board concerning the information conveyed in the Mexican episode of the documentary states, “the subject discussed sparks debates, both about the amount of water necessary and the effects of the manufacture in Chiapas on the local population.”

And finally: “The overall tone is critical, but the media has the right to be so, since they constitute a system of checks and balances. Just because a report is critical doesn’t necessarily mean it is taking sides or remaining neutral.”

Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



The EZLN, the CNI and the elections

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:26 pm



The EZLN, the CNI and the elections




Luis Hernández Navarro

La Jornada, 18th October, 2016

The EZLN and the CNI [Indigenous National Congress] agreed to consult with peoples and communities about the nomination of an indigenous woman as candidate for the Presidency of the Republic in the elections of 2018. The decision has raised a huge debate. Some see it as a complete u-turn; others as an entry into politics; and yet others, as a manoeuvre in the formation of a coalition against Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

These three opinions are not only mistaken but also prejudiced. They are based on misinformation and an analytical scheme that has as its starting point: who is not with me is against me. These views ignore the history and political trajectory, of both the EZLN and the indigenous organizations that are part of the CNI.

Since the EZLN emerged into public life it has not been a force for abstention. It has not called for abstention or electoral boycotts, but to organise and struggle. And, at least on one occasion, it promoted the vote for a candidate.

In presidential elections on 21 August 1994, it called for a vote against the PRI, as part of its fight against the state-party system and presidentialism. Moreover, on 15 May of that year, in Guadalupe Tepeyac, the Zapatistas and Subcomandante Marcos received the PRD candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and his entourage. The rebels welcomed them and recognised that the then candidate had listened to them with attention and respect. Incidentally, they criticized the Aztec Sun.

A few days later, in the Second Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, they called a National Democratic Convention leading to provisional or transitional government, either through the resignation of the federal Executive or by the electoral process. This process – they then said – should lead to the drafting of a new constitution and the holding of new elections.

Soon, the EZLN supported the nomination of journalist Amado Avendano as a civil society candidate for governor of Chiapas. And, following the electoral fraud that blocked his triumph, they recognized him as governor in absentia and treated him as such.

In late 2005 the Zapatistas called for the organisation of a large national movement to transform social relations, develop a national programme of struggle and create a new political constitution. In this context, they launched the other campaign, an initiative of popular politics from below and to the left, independent of official political parties and with an anticapitalist stance.

Although the other campaign never called on people to abstain or boycott the elections, it sharply criticised the candidates of the three main political parties, including Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. In the run-up to the elections of 2 July, 2006, and following the repression in San Salvador Atenco (on 3 and 4 May of that year) which changed the dynamics of this political initiative, at a ceremony at the Revolution cinema in Mexico City, Subcomandante Marcos personally opposed any questioning of people who were thinking of voting. Whoever wants to vote, let them vote, he said.

Some wanted to hold the Zapatistas responsible for the final outcome of the 2006 elections and even for the fraud that snatched victory at the polls from Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. A few days ago, the leader of Morena reported that in those days, the EZLN and the progressive church had recommended not voting for him (which never happened), indirectly helping to steal victory from him. Since then, the debate has been bitter and intense. It has not ceased to be this way although more than 10 years have passed.

For years, the position of the Zapatistas did not change. This was corroborated by what  Subcomandante Moises said in the communique entitled On elections: Organise, dated April 2015. There he warns: “These days, each and every time there is this thing they call ‘electoral process’, we hear and see people saying that the EZLN calls for abstention, in other words the EZLN says not to vote. They always come out with that and other kinds of nonsense.”

Later on, he clarifies the rebel position on the electoral situation of that year: As Zapatistas we do not call on people to vote or not to vote. As Zapatistas what we do, whenever possible, is to tell people to organise to resist, to struggle, to have whatever is needed.

The recent joint document from the EZLN and the CNI, ‘May the earth tremble at its core’ [quote from Mexican national anthem] represents a change in the rebels’ position. But not 180 degrees, because they have never been abstentionists.

The document calls for a new form of action, whose central theme is direct participation in the electoral context, as a form of resistance, organisation and struggle. Placing indigenous people and their problems at the centre of the national political agenda. Making visible the attacks against indigenous peoples. Building the power of those at the bottom. The decision does not mean the entry of the EZLN in the political struggle. The Zapatistas have always been there. They have never stopped doing politics since they burst into public in the armed uprising of 1994. One may or may not agree with the politics they have done, but to reduce political participation to electoral activity is nonsense.

The same can be said of the organisations that make up the CNI. The mobilisation of the Purepecha people of Cheran (a key experience in the new course of the indigenous struggle) for recognition of their self-government and autonomy is essentially political. Also the experience of self-defence by Nahuatl people in Ostula, or the Otomi community’s defence of its territory and natural resources in Xochicuautla.

Nobody has a monopoly of political representation of the Mexican left. This representation is won day by day in the struggle. Accusing the Zapatistas and the CNI of playing the government’s game because they intend to participate in the 2018 elections, outside the political parties, it is a sign of arrogance and intolerance. Ultimately, it will be Mexican society in general and indigenous peoples in particular who will decide whether this path is useful or not in order to transform the country.



San Sebastián Bachajón Denounces The Deeds Of The Officialist Ejido Commission

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:54 am


San Sebastián Bachajón denounces the deeds of the officialist Ejido Commission


Communiqué from Bachajón: “They are allowing the Police and Army into our territory!” 11th October 2016

Our organisation, the autonomous ejido San Sebastián Bachajón has been defending the Earth and our territory for many years. We have been struggling in defence of Nature since the 14th of March 2007. That’s 11 years of dignified struggle. A lot of compañeros have lost their lives defending Mother Earth and other people have also been unjustly imprisoned for doing the same. The bad government has incarcerated 130 of our compañeros simply for their uncompromising commitment to defending Mother Earth. At the moment 3 compañeros are unjustly held as prisoners in different penitentiary centres, where they are denied their freedom. For all of this, we demand that you respect our struggle, our organisation, our autonomous authorities and the spilled blood of our fallen compañeros.


To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To all compañer@s in Mexico and the World, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

To the mass media and alternative media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in el Barrio, New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world.

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Combative greetings to all compañeros and compañeras and your organisations and communities in resistance from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Indigenous Congress and send a combative greeting to all compañeros and compañeras who are present in Chiapas for this.

We want to use this opportunity to tell you what’s been happening in our community San Sebastián Bachajón. We want to share our outrage about what the official commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, elected by the ejidatarios’ general assembly 18 April of this year, has done. As an indigenous and organised community we are aware that the bad government wants to displace us and that Manuel Guzmán Álvaro is part of that plan. On the 23rd of September 2016 the officialist ejido commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, along with a group of ejido residents, entered into our ejido’s territory, which has access to the Agua Azul waterfall, with the intention of displacing us. Another group of compañeros headed up by Manuel Jiménez Moreno, Juan Álvaro Moreno, Daniel Moreno Gómez, Carmen Aguilar and others had been collecting the fee to visit the Agua Azul waterfalls. This is the same place where our organisation had had its headquarters until it was burned down on 21 March 2015.

Immediately after Commissioner Manuel Guzman Alvaro’s arrival, the State Preventive Police took control of our headquarters, and for this we declare our rejection of police presence and the fact that the commissioner facilitated this incursion. This act demonstrates the desire to displace us from our land, and sends signals that Manuel Guzmán Álvaro is a servant of the bad government and a threat to the autonomy of San Sebastián Bachajón.

This is the same commissioner Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, who along with his supervisory board, publicly circulated on the 30th of September 2016 via the web page “Chiapas denuncia pública” ( his version of what happened at the Agua Azul Waterfall toll booth. They demand to be recognised as the authorities and are carrying out blockades in various points in order to be heard. But in reality, they are not respecting our dignified struggle, our territory and autonomy as a community. Nor does the commissioner respect his own campaign commitment when he said he would not permit the bad government and their police entry to our land. But in reality what is happening is a trick to fool public opinion that this movement is one for truth, when in reality it is follows the same interests of the out-going commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez and the former commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as “el goyito”. Their actions are moving in the same direction as the bad government, and follow the lines as signed in agreement by Francisco Guzmán Jiménez with Juan Sabines Guerrero.

Our organisation, the autonomous ejido San Sebastián Bachajón has been defending the Earth and our territory for many years. We have been struggling in defence of Nature since the 14th of March 2007. That’s 11 years of dignified struggle. A lot of compañeros have lost their lives defending Mother Earth and other people have been unjustly imprisoned for also defending Mother Earth. The bad government has incarcerated 130 of our compañeros simply for their uncompromising commitment to defending Mother Earth. At the moment 3 compañeros are unjustly held prisoner in different penitentiary centres, where they are denied their freedom. For all of this, we demand that you respect our struggle, our organisation, our autonomous authorities and the spilled blood of our fallen compañeros. The dignified struggle is not for sale. It is built day after day, it is built in the memory of compañeros. We will continue standing and we will not permit the bad government to continuing buying the conscience of our indigenous communities.  This is actually what is happening when the ejido commissioner allows the police and army to enter into our territory. We are aware that what he wants to do is create a paramilitary force to finish off our struggle. He wants people to think that his struggle is also dignified when in reality what he does is contrary to what he says. Further he has no knowledge about what the bad government really wants to do to our community and territory.

No more unjust imprisonments. We demand immediate freedom for our compañeros Esteban Gómez Jiménez imprisoned in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate #14) Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (ceress #17) who were imprisoned for having a commitment to struggle for and defend Mother Earth. We also demand freedom for all men and women political prisoners in Mexico and the world.

The women and men from the northern zone in the state of Chiapas, from the community of San Sebastián Bachajón send combative greetings to all of you compañeros and compañeras, communities and people of Mexican and the world who struggle and resist against the bad governments.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Lives!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for Political Prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Struggle for Bachajón continues!

No to the Dispossession of Indigenous Lands!

State Police Out of Our Indigenous Territory!

Immediate return of our disappaired and murdered compañeros from the Teachers School – Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Long live the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the Ejido Tila’s dignified struggle!

Long live the compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla’s dignified struggle!

Long live communities that fight for autonomy and freedom!




October 21, 2016

Government of Velasco Threatens Indigenous Prisoners

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:52 pm



Government of Velasco Threatens Indigenous Prisoners

Announcement of Roberto Paciencia Cruz




Centro Penitenciario No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

October 17, 2016

Unjustly imprisoned, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle of the EZLN, is held in the prison No. 5 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The injustices, humiliations, threats, and physical torture are the bread that the authorities give us each day, in different prisons of the country.

Unfortunately, this is the case in CERESO, where they want to prohibit the little that we have previously had, specifically our visitors.

For example, on October 14th, 2016, the director Jorge Antonio Utrilla Muñoa together with the guard Ernesto Guzmán López, completely ignored my visitors who wanted to see me and share breakfast that they have prepared with me. The employees did not give access to my visitors.

The director had authorized the permit a day before so that they could pass into the prison. But he did not value his word. He tells us that if we complain he can transfer us to another CERESO. Because of this I make this public announcement, asking the governor of Velazco Coello that he take account of the aforementioned problem, because it is not just that a worker prohibits our rights and intimidates indigenous prisoners.

On the other hand, I demand the president of the Republic, Enrique Peña Nieto, to urge the governor of Veracruz and Chiapas to release compañero Alejandro Diaz Sántiz.

Lastly, I invite all of the independent, local, national and international organizations to join in this cause and to demand the liberty of all of the political and unjustly incarcerated prisoners of the country.

Justice and Liberty!


Roberto Paciencia Cruz


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Translated by Palabras Rebeldes

October 20, 2016

Urgent: adherents to La Sexta from San Sebastián Bachajon denounce military presence in their area.

Filed under: Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Repression, Zapatistas — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:38 pm



Urgent: adherents to La Sexta from San Sebastián Bachajon denounce military presence in their area.




19th October 2016

800 public security police and 400 paramilitaries are presently near to Zapatista territory and the ejido Bachajón

Compañeros and compañeras, organizations, receive our combative greeting.

We ask for your help to share this urgent information.

This morning, at about 9:00 am, the presence of public safety officers at the crossroads to the access road to the Agua Azul waterfalls was observed; it was reported that there were 5 buses of public safety officers, 7 large trucks and 8 small trucks which were accompanied by 25 small trucks of paramilitaries; a helicopter from the state police is flying over Zapatista territory, there are approximately 800 officers of public security and 400 paramilitaries, which makes 1200 people in total who are going to participate in the eviction of a group of ejidatarios headed by CC. Daniel Moreno Gómez, Manuel Jiménez Moreno, Juan Álvaro Moreno and  Carmen Aguilar, among others, who are in possession of the toll booth; this action is not only the eviction of those groups, but also represents a major threat to the adherents to the sixth and the compañeros support bases of the EZLN, since they are situated in indigenous territories and Zapatista territories, which favours the dispossession of our land; it should be noted that this work is organized by the ejidal commissioner C. Manuel Guzmán Álvaro, because they have held roadblocks at different points on the 17th and 18th of this month to demand the intervention of the state authorities to attend to ejidal problems; the same people issued a communiqué on 15th October this year which demands that arrest warrants are executed and requests the intervention of state authorities to evict groups of ejidatarios and address the problems of the community of Agua Azul. We as adherents to La Sexta reject the police presence in our territory, because many of the indigenous compañeros are unaware of what the ejidal commissioner is doing, making it easy for the bad government to enter into indigenous territories.


Long live autonomy.

The police of the bad government out of indigenous territories.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



October 19, 2016

Violent attack on indigenous Tseltal defender of the land from San Sebastian Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, CNI, Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:21 pm



Violent attack on indigenous Tseltal defender of the land from San Sebastian Bachajón

October 18, 2016


14695551_1800877260127828_8900945864639347493_nEjidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and participants in the CNI, reported a fierce attack against Domingo Pérez Álvaro, who is now in delicate condition. According to a communiqué from the ejidatarios, on Monday 17 October, at approximately 4 pm, people belonging to the group of the officialist ejidal commission, who are pro-government and against the struggle being carried out by the ejidatarios for land, detained and assaulted Domingo Pérez at the top of Alan Sajcun when he was on his way home.

Domingo Pérez, an indigenous Tseltal, was imprisoned for five months, along with other ejidatarios, in 2011 in the prison CERESO 17 at Playas de Catazajá on false charges and multiple violations of their human rights, for his actions in defence of the land. On the day of the attack, Domingo was returning from the same prison, where he went to visit another political prisoner from Bachajón, Santiago Moreno Pérez, on behalf of the organization.

According to the statement, the people of the ejido accused Domingo Pérez of participating in collective works on lands of the neighbouring community of Bolom Ajaw and of participating in la Sexta Bachajón. Indeed, Domingo has participated in la Sexta Bachajón since its founding, acting as a promoter of human rights and participating in the National Indigenous Congress.


Here is the communiqué:

Urgent. Deprivation of liberty and physical assaults on compañero from la Sexta Bachajon

October 18, 2016




URGENT. Domingo Pérez Álvaro, one of the adherents to the Sixth from the Ejido San Sebastian Bachajon and a CNI participant, has been seriously assaulted; he is our Tseltal compañero and has struggled with his people to defend their territory against the bad capitalist governments; they attacked him when he was returning from his work visiting the prisoners from Bachajón in Playas de Catazajá. We ask please for your denouncement of the acts, and dissemination of the information, because the compañero is reported to be in a grave condition following the attack, so we send you this message:

“We hereby inform you that today at about 4 pm a group of people, followers of the officialist Ejidal Commissioner of San Sebastian Bachajon, Manuel Guzman Alvaro, arrested and physically assaulted compañero Domingo Pérez Álvaro, when he was at the top of the crossroads of Alan Sajcun travelling towards his home after performing work for the organization visiting compañero prisoner Santiago Perez Moreno at CERSS 17, Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas.

Compañero Domingo Pérez Álvaro is in a delicate condition after receiving strong blows from the people of the ejido, who claim he allegedly participated in collective work in the lands of Bolom Ajaw and participated in La Sexta Bachajón.

Comrade Domingo Pérez Álvaro participated ever since the founding of La Sexta Bachajon; he has walked in promoting human rights and participates in the National Indigenous Congress, he also participated in the 20th anniversary of the CNI.

We give this urgent word to let you know and to ask for your support through the dissemination of information. We condemn the actions of the ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzman Alvaro who we hold responsible for the integrity of our colleague Domingo Pérez Álvaro and for any attack that may take place on the compañeros of La Sexta Bachajon. We ask you to remain alert for more information we will publish.

We reject their acts of dispossession which only serve to confirm their agreements with the bad government to deliver ejido lands to them.

combative greetings

Land and Freedom


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



CNI, EZLN and the power from below

Filed under: CNI, Indigenous, Women, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:40 am



CNI, EZLN and the power from below


14641984_376377792751912_2813650712869700631_nZapatistas at the Fifth National Indigenous Congress.


By: Neil Harvey*

The recent comunicado from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), “May the earth tremble at its core,” published on, has the virtue of placing at the centre of attention the defence of land, forests, water, and everything that is threatened by the development megaprojects and the dispossession of the commons. It also represents a call to society as a whole to organize for supporting a new political initiative that would be expressed in the independent candidacy of an indigenous woman, a CNI delegate, in the 2018 presidential elections.

The comunicado was issued at the end of the 5th National Indigenous Congress, held in Cideci-Unitierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, on the 20th anniversary of the CNI and on one more anniversary of the resistance of the indigenous peoples throughout more than five centuries. The CNI continues being an expression of hope for a new nation, despite the government’s refusal to implement the San Andrés Accords signed in 1996. The resistance struggles against the economic model continue, with the arduous construction and defence of their own spaces that now form the basis of this new group of the CNI and the EZLN.

Although this proposal will be based on these experiences of struggle, it will not be limited only to ethnic demands, but it will also include civil society in general. What’s new is that it proposes another view of national politics; in other words, it represents an invitation to re-think the nation from the experiences of dispossession and repression lived by the indigenous peoples in the countryside and in the city. It’s not about something external or additional to the nation’s defence, but rather that it forms the central part of that. Nor is it about seeking power, but rather of constructing one more solid, articulated and national defence against the megaprojects and dispossessions all over the country. Finally, what it seeks is to reaffirm the value of life, as the Zapatistas declared in January 1994, when they rose up to not die in abandonment.

The proposal not only assures that there will be an indigenous woman as an independent candidate in the presidential elections, but it also seeks to give a new political form to ancestral demands and the new ones that were expressed in the last Congress. As the same comunicado points out, it’s “the power from below that has kept us alive.”

The method of selecting the independent candidate is based on the organization of this “power from below.” The CNI and the EZLN have declared themselves in permanent assembly with the proposal to take the agreement of the 5th Congress to consultation “in each one of our geographies, territories and directions” to name an indigenous government council. From that council will emerge the proposal that will declare an indigenous woman as a candidate for the Presidency of the country.

The proposal is also different from other experiences in Latin America where indigenous peoples have not always had favourable results when they decide to participate in the electoral ambit in alliance with political parties. In Ecuador, for example, in the middle of the “90s, the Coordinator of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) decided to participate in the elections, taking advantage of a 1994 electoral reform that permitted candidacies of independent organizations and removed a law that obliged registering members in at least 10 provinces and registering candidates in 12 provinces. In that new context, the Conaie decided to form the party of the Movement of Plurinational Unity Pachakutik, or the MUPP, which participated in alliances with other parties to remove corrupt presidents, attaining spaces in the government headed by Lucio Gutiérrez in 2002. Nevertheless, Pachakutik remained marginalized when that same government, once elected, decided to adopt austerity policies and other unpopular measures that derived into the resignation or removal of the Pachakutik representatives. Such a situation also negatively impacted that same indigenous movement and led to a re-evaluation of the importance of local and community organization versus alliances with candidates of national parties, which tend to impose their own agenda, as has happened in the case of the government of Rafael Correa. Something similar has occurred in Bolivia, where the emergence of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) as a political party, based in great part on the indigenous mobilizations, has led to contradictions and tensions between the momentum the MAS governments have given to the extractivist economy and the resistances to said model because of its damaging effects for self-management and the environment in indigenous territories.

In the case of Mexico, the CNI and EZLN’s proposal is not about forming a party or allying with political parties, but rather creating an “indigenous government council” and, from there, promoting its proposals through an indigenous woman, a delegate of the CNI, as an independent candidate in 2018. It’s an initiative that seeks to assure that the relationship between the peoples that compose said council and its candidate is stricter and less inclined to co-optation. It’s a different way of confronting the political dilemma of how a popular movement can gain a national presence without losing the relationship with the social bases that support it. Also, as is to be expected, the proposal of the CNI and the EZLN is going to compete with that of other candidates and parties, which could derive into mutual disqualifications, or into a necessary debate about the country’s direction and the role of the indigenous communities, barrios and towns in the process of defining that direction. We still don’t know the reception this proposal will have. For the moment, it is necessary to recognize that it is an idea that guarantees that the problems of dispossession, impunity, violence and repression expressed by the CNI and the EZLN will be inescapable in the national debates and, for that very fact, the proposal constitutes an opportune and welcome contribution.

*Professor-researcher, New Mexico State University


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, October 17, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




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