dorset chiapas solidarity

November 17, 2012

The Government Continues to Inhibit Resistance Movements among Indigenous Communities

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:03 am


The Government Continues to Inhibit Resistance Movements among Indigenous Communities

** It reactivates armed groups like Paz y Justicia; the attacks in Chiapas continue: Frayba

** The government does not recognize those displaced due to the conflict and the counterinsurgency, it indicates

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

In Chiapas, those people internally displaced by the armed conflict and the counterinsurgency are not recognized as such by the government. In addition, sustained militarization in the state is part of “the scenarios of the strategy for the Security and Prosperity Alliance of North America (Aspan, its initials in Spanish), through the Merida Initiative,” and includes “permanent and itinerant checkpoints that violate the right of freedom of movement, with a particular presence in the border zone and in Zapatista territory,” the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) maintains in an evaluation of the conflict.

Communities within the EZLN’s zones of influence (“the objective to be destroyed”) continue to be militarized. To this is added the implementation of government social projects which, “together with agencies like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN, have been complicit in the counterinsurgency in this last six-year term,” says the study, which appeared in the new edition of Yorail Maya, Frayba’s regular publication.

The government “seeks to inhibit the resistance movements with social programmes aimed at dividing the communities, immobilizing the peoples through military occupation and the actions of the authorities in complicity with organizations of a paramilitary character and of groups linked to the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero, for the purpose of striking the communities in resistance.” Concerning the reactivation of the armed groups, it identifies “a pattern of direct confrontation from pro-government organizations with a paramilitary history, such as Paz y Justicia, which attacks the communities in the La Dignidad autonomous municipality.”

Over the course of the years, the authorities have denied both the concept of displacement as a consequence of the war and the existence of these displaced. Consequently, it was a “contradictory and utilitarian” action that, on the governor’s initiative, the Congress would approve, on February 14, a Law for the Prevention of and Attention to Internal Displacement within the state, with the support of the UNDP, with the intention of addressing this historically unsettled problem, which has left an open wound, irreparable losses and impunity.”

Nevertheless, testimonies received by the Frayba point out that the UNDP and Unesco “have caused community division, due to the continuance of a counterinsurgency policy driven by the federal and state governments to confront and exclude both the internally displaced and the returned-displaced.” That is how the authorities respond to the demands [of the displaced] for “attention under the guiding principles for displacement  of the United Nations.”

In the Census for Attention to the Displaced, the UNDP and the Chiapas government calculate that there are 24 to 30,000 people in that situation. This census, Frayba clarifies, “was created by the government with groups close to it, those looking for land with a history of exclusion and marginalization diametrically different from those who suffered forced displacement due to the State’s counterinsurgency.” The institutions involved “seek to misrepresent the crimes against humanity committed in Los Altos and the jungles of Chiapas”, and leave them unpunished.

Among others, it mentions 170 Zapatistas from San Marcos Avilés, 87 from Comandante Abel and several families from Unión Hidalgo who are not recognized as displaced. In addition, there are four families from Banavil, 36 people from Viejo Velasco Suárez –where there was a massacre in 2006–, four families from Busiljá and a minor, kidnapped by paramilitaries despite the precautionary measures requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Frayba emphasizes that these displaced people were never recognised as such, and concludes: “Internal displacement is not an isolated event, but rather a manifestation of the military and counterinsurgency strategy applied in Chiapas, which directly violates the territory of indigenous peoples.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

En español: 




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