dorset chiapas solidarity

March 28, 2013

The Self-Defence Groups are the Result of the Impunity in the Country, say Las Abejas

Filed under: Acteal, Political prisoners — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:31 pm

 

The Self-Defence Groups are the Result of the Impunity in the Country, say Las Abejas

 ** “The law enforcement agencies are at the service of the powerful”

By: Hermann Bellinghausen,

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, March 25, 2013

884578_591253070887800_1035232225_o“Impunity spreads like a bad weed in our country”, declared the Civil Society Las Abejas. “What we are seeing now in Mexico confirms what we have always said: the bodies for the procurement and administration of justice in Mexico are serving not justice, but the interests of the powerful.”

The Tzotzil organization of Chenalhó emphasizes that, a week after refusing to accept the request for the recognition of innocence of the social activist Alberto Patishtán, “the first chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) agreed the immediate release of Marcos Arias Pérez, accused of participating in the Acteal Massacre on December 22, 1997.”

Fifteen years and three months after that massacre, “the perpetrators and masterminds still have impunity”. Las Abejas “do not want revenge”, they only want justice, because if there is no justice, “cases like that of Acteal are going to be repeated”. And they stress the comparison with the cases of the freed paramilitaries, which are founded on “failures and violations of due process: a pretext for the authorities to twist justice to suit themselves”.

They recall that in 2009 the SCJN decided that the perpetrators of the Acteal Massacre, some of them already convicted, should be freed because of a lack of due process. “Since then they have been releasing the others little by little.” One of the reasons for doing this, according to the Court’s ministers, was that the PGR “had shown a list of names with photos of the alleged paramilitaries to the witnesses.”

Las Abejas provide a comparison: last year, a French citizen, convicted of kidnapping, asked the SCJN for a protective order alleging due process violations. “The authorities had done something worse than the PGR did with the photos of the paramilitaries: they had recorded a fake video of the foreigner’s detention. But as the then president Felipe Calderón wanted her to remain in prison, the ministers denied the protective order, despite the failings in due process.” The ministers alleged that they must also consider “the rights of the victims” something which “they never did in the Acteal case.”

At the beginning of the year the French citizen again asked for the SCJN’s intervention, “but the difference was that now the president was Enrique Peña Nieto, “and he wanted her to leave prison; the ministers forgot about the victims’ rights and once again pulled out the ‘due process’ words and set her free.”

On the other hand, professor Patishtán, an indigenous man unjustly imprisoned for more than 10 years, also filed before the Court for a protective order, because his judicial process has been plagued with irregularities. “But as his case does not interest the President, the ministers denied him legal protection.”

The SCJN years ago refused the request from the “true” Civil Society Las Abejas to deal with the case of the massacre, “but since 2009 the Court has been destroying what little justice we had achieved”. Some “false Abejas,” the indigenous add, “are playing the game of Carlos Salinas de Gortari in order to get revenge on Ernesto Zedillo, and a collegiate tribunal has immediately granted a protective order to allow the case against Zedillo in the United States to remain open”.

For the organization, “the lack of justice and the way in which the authorities use the laws for their own benefit have led some communities in other parts of the country to organize their own armed self-defence, as is the case of our friends from the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities of the Montaña and Costa Chica of Guerrero.” Now, the National Human Rights Commission “has declared that this is illegal and has confused it” with the behaviour of the paramilitaries.

“We want to remember that before the Acteal Massacre, the PGR endorsed this confusion, but in the opposite direction. Now they say that the community self-defence groups are like the paramilitaries.

“Before, the PGR said that the paramilitaries of Chenalhó were nothing more than community self-defence groups. They cleverly ignore the link between the paramilitaries and the government. It is one thing when the people, in the face of impunity, organize to apply justice through their own means, and another very different thing when the government, not satisfied with having its own apparatus of repression, also resorts to deceiving people into repressing their own brothers.”

 

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/03/26/politica/008n1pol

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

 

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