dorset chiapas solidarity

January 26, 2014

Displaced people from Chiapas still have no guarantees for a final return

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:10 pm


Displaced people from Chiapas still have no guarantees for a final return

– They left ejido Puebla six months ago, following attacks by the PRI authorities

State officials have already documented damage to land plots and houses, as well as thefts

Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada
Wednesday, 22 January 2014

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Jan 21st

desplazados colonia pueblaThis Wednesday marks five days since the (“temporary”, according to the displaced indigenous) return to the ejido Puebla, Chenalhó, but there are still no safe conditions for the final return.

The displaced families abandoned the village six months ago, following assaults and false accusations from the PRI ejidal authorities. Last Friday [17th January], 14 of the 17 families currently taking refuge in Acteal went in a caravan to recover their land and harvest their coffee, preceded by state and federal officials who came to meet with the dominant group of the ejido, headed by evangelical pastor and commissioner Agustín Cruz Gómez.

On this occasion the following attended, escorted by state police: the Government Secretary, Enrique Ramírez Aguilar, and the undersecretaries Mariano Díaz Ochoa (Regional Operations), Belisario Rodríguez (Indigenous Peoples and Culture) and Víctor Hugo Sánchez Zebadúa (Religious Affairs) as well as Francisco Yáñez, federal envoy, and the mayor of Chenalhó, José Arias Vázquez. They met amicably with the Commissioner Cruz Gómez and other ejido authorities responsible for the violence, displacement and dispossession.

16 officers of the Public Ministry (MP) came with them, along with two expert surveyors to visit the plots of the displaced, who have reported thefts and destruction. They were coordinated by Rigoberto Jiménez Carrillo, deputy director of Process Control from the Agency Specializing in Indian Affairs.

Subsequently, the brigade of observation, which from that day was accompanying the displaced people, released the testimony of one of them: “we went to my plot with the MP and there we saw piles of earth. Previously, when all was quiet, we had an agreement that we would not dig up land when there were productive plants growing there. But when the problem began, they no longer respected my rights. The patronato of this community sent the driver of the machine to dig up my plot. But only this one. Then, when it rained, the small orange and guava trees were uprooted from the earth. There they remain, and I cannot plant anything. Then we went to the second plot and found eight coffee bushes cut down with a machete. In the third plot we found eight more fallen bushes.”

A brigadista reports that, “indeed, there is damage to some houses and plots. In five of them, “the water has been cut off, and wood and coffee have been stolen from the plots of land.” The indigenous “have found horse tracks, and we listened to families who have lost their entire harvest, such as pumpkins, and alternative crops.” In addition, during the six months of forced displacement, they have not been able to weed the “farms” of the aromatic crop. The displaced are expected to conclude the work of collecting the coffee on the 27th.

Meanwhile, several indigenous organizations expressed their “solidarity and support for the displaced brothers” of ejido Puebla and condemned the forced displacements in Banavil, Tenejapa and the ejido Aurora Ermita, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán. “We demand that the federal, state and municipal governments take action on the matter; that they give attention to the background of forced displacement in Chiapas and that all actions are based according to international treaties, since the state laws do not protect the displaced but are only designed to disguise all kinds of impunity.” These consist of the El Bosque Movement for the Defence of the People, Civil Resistance Light and Energy of the People (adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle), the Private Agricultural Executive Committee of Chiapas, former prisoners of La Voz del Amate, Santo Tomas Civil Resistance, the displaced people from Banavil and Aurora Ermita, Ricardo Flores Magon Front and LakLumal Ixim. (In Spanish: Movimiento del Bosque por la Defensa del Pueblo, Resistencia Civil Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo, Comité Particular Ejecutivo Agrario de Chiapas, ex presos de La Voz del Amate, Resistencia Civil Santo Tomás, desplazados de Banavil y Aurora Ermita, Frente Ricardo Flores Magón y LakLumal Ixim.)



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