dorset chiapas solidarity

February 1, 2014

Impunity Prevails 7 Years after the Massacre in Viejo Velasco Suárez

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:13 pm

 

Impunity Prevails 7 Years after the Massacre in Viejo Velasco Suárez

 ** Criminalization of the neighbours in Nuevo Tila continues

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Palenque, Chiapas, January 30, 2014

viejo velasco sipazSeven years after the ignored massacre of defenceless and peaceful indigenous in the community of Viejo Velasco Suárez, in the Lacandón Jungle in the northern part of Ocosingo municipality, there is only government disdain, and not only impunity for the material and intellectual authors of the act, but also criminalization of the neighbours from the Nuevo Tila ejido who aided their compañeros, the victims. This, while it is known through numerous direct testimonies that the crime was perpetrated by Tzeltal residents of the so-called Lacandón Community, coming from Nueva Palestina, and agents of the state police, in the presence of the Lacandón authorities of Lacanjá Chansayab.

In a Kafkaesque logic, the Prosecutor General of Justice of the state (PGJE) blamed the innocent ones who helped out. Thus, they tortured and held prisoner for a year Diego Arcos Meneses, from Nuevo Tila, and there are arrest warrants current against more residents of the same ejido. The Chols Antonio Álvarez López and Juan Peñate Díaz have amparos (protective orders) in process. Two others are about to do the same. In all four cases their innocence is obvious, and above all their “guilt” was that of being in solidarity with the Viejo Velasco Suárez victims, a town now lying abandoned and destroyed in the Lacandón Jungle.

On November 13, 2006, during the government of Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, around 40 individuals, dressed in civilian clothing, coming from Nueva Palestina, accompanied by some 300 agents from the then Sectorial Police, attacked with firearms the Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Chol families who used to live in Viejo Velasco. The attack resulted in seven dead from these families, two disappeared (very probably dead, which would be nine assassinated), and the displacement of 20 men, eight women, five boys and three girls. Petrona Núñez González, a survivor of the massacre, died in 2010, as a consequence of post-traumatic stress.

Seven years after the acts, a dozen social organizations and human rights centres pointed out that the violation of guarantees continues, “since the 36 people who fled on the day of the massacre remain displaced from their community of origin in different Chiapas municipalities, in a vulnerable state and in continuous violation of their rights indicated in the United Nations’ Guiding Principles in Internal Displacement.”

Demanding that the State must do, “everything necessary to find out the truth of what happened, and so that those responsible are punished,” they reiterated that Mariano Pérez Guzmán and Juan Antonio Peñate López continue to be disappeared, “and the police investigations have been stopped, due to a lack of interest from the PGJE in finding their whereabouts.” Meanwhile, the state authorities continue without investigating or arresting those responsible for “this paramilitary-type action.” According to investigations by the state prosecutor himself general, add Frayba, Desmi, Serapaz, Xi’Nich, Sadec and others (13/11/13), the responsibility belongs to members of the Organización For the Defence of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (OPDDIC) from Nueva Palestina and to members of the state’s Sectorial Police.

Meanwhile, the PGJE continues the judicial harassment against residents of Nuevo Tila, a neighbouring community to Viejo Velasco. “They were the first to offer help to the injured, to receive the displaced people and to give support in the search for the disappeared.” These ejidatarios even received the K’anan Lum “jTatic Samuel Ruiz García” human rights award in 2011. Nevertheless, they are the ones who have arrest warrants against them. It is the compañeros of those who were killed who are pursued, not those who are known to have carried out the massacre. Their motive is known, and that of their Lacandón accomplices. And the sectorial police did not act on their own account, they were obeying orders.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, January 31, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/01/31/politica/021n1pol

 

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

 

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