dorset chiapas solidarity

April 30, 2014

18 Cases of Torture in Chiapas to Be Presented to UN Rapporteur

Filed under: Frayba — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:31 am

 

18 Cases of Torture in Chiapas to Be Presented to UN Rapporteur

Isaín Mandujano, Proceso
Translated by Brittany Doss

downloadTuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas – At least 18 cases of torture perpetrated by state and municipal police in the last 12 months of Manuel Velasco Coello’s government will be presented to Juan Méndez, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, this Tuesday the 29th, when his working tour starts in the state. The international official will come to Tapachula as part of a visit throughout Mexico to learn about the allegations of documented torture by civil organizations and defenders of human rights, who say that this practice continues and that those responsible aren’t punished.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba) said that it expects to meet on Wednesday with the rapporteur, who will also hold meetings with the state government. In particular, he will see the attorney general, Raciel López Salazar, also identified as the main orchestrator of some serious torture cases since 2010, when he took office.

Frayba has documented at least 18 cases of torture from March 2013 to March 2014. Of these, 15 were reported by men-one of them a minor- and 3 by women. According to the Center, at least 2 of the tortured people died in municipal prisons in Tapachula and Acala. The first was Carlos Alberto Trujillo Ramos, 48 years old, and the second was Rolando Pérez Cruiz, 21.

Other torture cases, according to Frayba, are that of Gabriel Domínguez Escobedo, arrested and tortured to death by 13 members of the Special Police of the Attorney General of Justice of the State of Chiapas (PGJ), and that of Miguel Ángel Rosette García, whom members of the same unit tortured in 2011 for the alleged robbery of the Orantes Constanzo family, the owner of the second-division soccer team, Guerreros [Warriors] de Chiapas. Audentino García Villafuerte and brothers Andrés and Josué López Hernández, were tortured in the prisons of Bochil, Huixtla, and Pichucalco, respectively, forcing them to plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit.

On April 15th, Fraya said that in Chiapas, the practice of torture continues, including sophisticated methods to make people testify without leaving marks on the body. The tests have been obtained with the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol carried out by doctors and psychologists who are experts in the field.

The documented information “confirms the recurrence of torture as a method of criminal investigation, used by local, state, and federal police forces, as well as members of the Army and Navy,” said the organization.

They added that the main intention continues to be obtaining information or a confession signed by a victim. That is, in Chiapas, torture is used to obtain illegal evidence that is accepted by judges to make convictions, said the organization.
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Fight against Monsanto Enters the Courtroom

Filed under: Maize — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:19 am

 

Fight against Monsanto Enters the Courtroom

Alfredo Acedo,  28th April, 2014

The fight against genetically modified corn in Mexico began in the communities, leaped to the streets, spread to the printed page and now is being carried on in the courtroom. It is an uneven dispute in which the federal government has sided with the transnational corporation and against the majority of Mexican farmers and consumers. But in the latest battle the public good gained ground, under a strategy that combines effective mobilization with informational campaigns and legal cases.

The debate over GM corn isn’t an argument between fanatical followers and stubborn opponents, but rather a war of interests in which one side seeking maximum profits plays outside the rules. They hide information, smear researchers, activists and judges, take action to discredit serious studies and resort to misinformation. The other side, comprised of peasant farmers and consumers, has taken up the task of defending traditional knowledge, campesino autonomy, access to decent work and sustainable agriculture.

Recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists has been the most active in the defence of Mexican corn, although the GM invasion isn’t a scientific problem in essence. According to researcher Elena Álvarez-Buylla there is no longer a scientific debate given “the obsolescence of the gene paradigm” that posits that a gene behaves the same in a foreign organism as it does in its original organism. This has been promoted by genetic engineering at the service of the transnational corporations. It is a model that has failed to hold up although the corporations continue to use the label of “science” to justify it.

Álvarez-Buylla and Alma Piñeyro edited a recent book on the dangers to Mexican corn from genetically modified organisms. The book brings together nearly 50 specialists in more than 500 pages. It concludes that if Mexico authorizes the commercial cultivation of Monsanto’s GM corn genetic alterations will accumulate in native maize varieties, eroding the farm economy with negative effects on biodiversity and human health. In the preface, Jose Sarukhan, former dean of the national university (UNAM) and director of the National Commission for the Understanding and Use of Biodiversity, cites a landmark study by his commission in 2011 to state that “practically all national land” is a centre of origin and genetic diversity of corn, with some 60 native landraces and thousands of varieties across the country.

The federal government has issued more than 169 permits issued since 2009 for experimental cultivation in northern Mexico that now threaten the genetic diversity of native corn and teocintle (corn’s ancestor). In 2011, the government authorized the first permits for GM corn cultivation in the pilot phase. The transnational corporations have increased lobbying pressure in support of commercial planting since 2012. If commercial planting is authorized it would be impossible to stop genetic contamination in Mexico. The new book discusses the consequences on the sub-cellular level and the impact on environmental, human and economic levels. It also presents ethical, cultural and political considerations.

The Union of Concerned Scientists offers free Internet distribution of a book entitled “GM Corn in Mexico” to publicize the agro-genetic, economic and cultural importance of Mexico’s basic grain and the disastrous consequences of its genetic contamination.

The book was printed jointly by the Institute of Graphic Arts in Oaxaca and a foundation for the defense of cultural heritage headed by the painter, Francisco Toledo. Toledo recently launched a campaign for 1 million signatures against GM corn to persuade the federal government to revoke permits to plant GM corn. Besides the environmental risks, the patents on the seed lead to monopolization of production of the staple crop.

In a letter to President Enrique Peña Nieto, Toledo refers to a previous letter sent by scientist David Schubert in October in which the renowned researcher argues that there is no need to expose the country to environmental risks whose consequences would be irreversible. Schubert also identifies health hazards, higher costs, and the social and political dependency that GM corn would bring.

On a recent visit to Mexico, award-winning scientist and activist Vandana Shiva encouraged citizens to keep fighting to ban genetically modified crops. She was accompanied by attorney René Sanchez Galindo, who filed a class action suit that won a suspension of permits for GM corn in October. The class action suit, already in  effect and supported by 52 scientists and activists and 22 organizations, is still making its way through the courts after the Unified Tribunal threw out appeals from the Mexican ministries of the Environment and Agriculture and several private companies. There are 59 injunctions filed against the suspension, 10 by the government and the rest by Monsanto and other corporations in five different courts —two with federal judges, two in appeals court and one in a collegiate tribunal.

It will be a long process, Sanchez Galindo declared in an interview, but he remains optimistic because the corporations are losing the battle for public opinion. However, he has no illusions regarding the judiciary branch. Recently Mayan communities and organizations won a court battle to suspend cultivation of GM soybeans in the Yucatan Peninsula, a sign that Monsanto’s legal department is not invincible. But Monsanto has stooped to new lows, launching an offensive against Judge Jaime Manuel Marroquín who ruled to suspend the permits for GM corn cultivation by filing a motion to remove him from the bench for bias and ethics violations. The pressure tactics and attacks on judges are typical of the transnational giant’s legal strategy in these cases.

Sanchez Galindo revealed that opponents of GM corn in Mexico have also filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission, alleging that the permits violate constitutional guarantees to a healthy environment, health and food.

Meanwhile, in every region of the country indigenous and peasant communities continue to resist the GM corn invasion and sow their native seed.

http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/11926

 

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April 29, 2014

Red Contra La Represión: One year after the murder of Juan Vazquéz Guzmán, a letter to the members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:49 pm

 

Red Contra La Represión: One year after the murder of Juan Vazquéz Guzmán, a letter to the members of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido

To our friends from San Sebastián Bachajón, family members and friends of Juan Vazquéz Guzmán:

10173586_636329939776357_8832317130140690337_n (1)It is one year ago that Juan Vazquéz Guzmán was murdered. One year ago, and the crime still goes unpunished, as a taunt, as a sign, as a warning to those who have decided to walk the path towards freedom. Although we have only taken the first steps of the Sexta – with its stumbling blocks and lessons, with joy, with pain and rage – we are already an affront to those who want to see us immobile, to keep us within paternalism, dependent subjects of power, obedient, delegating our political and social responsibilities to those who will use them for their own gain – personal and family, party and power.

With you, we are walking and learning so much, and with you we also feel the pain, the rage and the unease of the crime. We cannot forget our dead, we cannot forget our friend Juan Vazquéz Guzmán, his joy, his spirit and his struggle. Neither can we forget the recent murder of our friend Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, our young friend, 22 years of age, or forget that their murders have been planned from some government or business office in order to halt the process being developed in its territory, so much does it bother, so much does it hurt the economic and power interests in the area and outside it.

Often, words in response to pain and death are limited; often they do not manage to communicate all that we feel. The poet Rafael Alberti expresses it well:

When so much we suffer sleepless for blood,
circulating in the air, they only hear rage,
that in the marrow, hate awakens and trembles
and in the flesh, vengeance continuously throbs
and words then do not work: they’re words.

Manifestos, articles, commentaries, discourses,
drifting smoke, patterned mists,
what paper pain that the wind must sweep away,
what ink mourning that water must erase!

Nonetheless, our word too, we believe, is not just confined to paper. It also trangresses the limits of discourses and ink and is incarnate, it lives in our acts, and in the building of worlds, as our Zapatista friends show us exemplarily, as do others in other parts of Mexico, of the continent, of the world, as do you from the corner of Chiapas called San Sebastián Bachajón.

Juan Vázquez lives!
Juan Carlos Gómez lives!
Our struggles continue!

Against dispossession and repression:
solidarity!
Red Contra la Represión y por la Solidaridad
(RvsR)

 

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From Dusseldorf, Germany: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The struggle of Bachajón continues!

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:42 pm

 


From Dusseldorf, Germany: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The struggle of Bachajón continues!

http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

 

 SolidaridadBachajon

 

To our friends from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido:
To our friends adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle:
To our Zapatista friends:
To our friends from the Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio (New York), from Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group (England), from the Committee of the True Word in Calcutta (India), and from the Committee of the True Word in Alisal (California):
To our friends in the entire world:

Dusseldorf, Germany, 26th April, 2014

Friends:

On the 24th of April, 2014, we held in our autonomous social centre an event about the so-caled “development policy” of the bad government of our country, Germany. This policy, which means nothing but development by plunder, traverses the world, defending the interests of power and capital. It is neo-colonial and exploitative. The event has been dedicated exclusively to the “Selva Maya” project which is being carried out in the south of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize: a project of biopiracy, through which our government and big businesses in Germany attempt to steal, in this zone, natural resources, as well as the ancestral knowledge of its inhabitants, with the aim of converting them into mere merchandise. This is a project against which innumerable communities and organizations in Chiapas and other affected areas are fighting (see http://www.aldeah.org/es/mexico-vuelve-la-biopirateria-nuestras-tierras).

During this event, we commemorated the cowardly murder of our friend Juan Vázquez Guzmán, from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido in Chiapas, Mexico, on the 24th of April, 2013. Juan was a community leader and spokesperson for his community, which struggles against the strategy of dispossession implemented by the bad government of Mexico and big tourism businesses, which threaten the community. The bad government and said businesses want to take control of communal lands in order to construct a luxury tourist complex in the very zone that the German government is carrying out its biopiracy project. Repressing and killing, they follow through on their interests to plunder. Recently, on the 21st of March, 2014, they also killed Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, regional co-ordinator of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in San Sebastián Bachajón.

At this event, we also reaffirmed our protest against this strategy of death and of capital. But above all, we reaffirmed our solidarity with the struggle of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido: Friends of San Sebastián Bachajón, with the murders of Juan and Juan Carlos, the oppressors tried to end your struggle, but we know that they failed. Your struggle continues, with strength and honour.

During these days, one year after Juan’s murder, we are with you and your struggle. With our action, and the photo that we attach to this letter, we want to give you strength, both to you and to your struggle: Continue to struggle! we here too are doing the same!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The struggle of Bachajón continues!
Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives! The struggle of Bachajón continues, and continues, and continues!

Fraternally,

¡Alerta!, group from Dusseldorf/Germany
Ya Basta Rhein/Main, group from Frankfurt/Germany
and visitors from the autonomous social centre, Linkes Zentrum – Hinterhof in Dusseldorf/Germany

 

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Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state

Filed under: Political prisoners — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:36 pm

 

 

Chiapas: release of indigenous prisoners and denunciation of torture in the state

Press-conference of those released. Photo (@Pozol Colectivo)

Press-conference of those released. Photo (@Pozol Colectivo)

The indigenous prisoners Audentino García Villafuerte (Hiber) and Andrés and Josué López Hernández have been released after nearly eight months incarcerated (Hiber) and three years, two months, and nine days (the López Hernández brothers).

After a trial that found no evidence to condemn them, the three prisoners were released unconditionally at the end of March.

According to repeated denunciations, national and international human-rights organizations note that the charges of these three were fabricated, and that their basic rights to freedom and personal integrity had been violated, given that they were subjected to torture during their imprisonment.

According to the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC), “Using their testimony, we can confirm that in jails in the state of Chiapas, indigenous peoples are discriminated against and insulted, but due to fear of reprisals against them and their families, they do not denounce the acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.  Furthermore, even when torture is obvious, justice is absent because it is not investigated.”

For the CDHFBC, torture is a method of criminal investigation used frequently in Chiapas by police units and the Army and Navy toward the end of obtaining information or forced confessions.

“Due to its acts of torture, the State is responsible both directly and by omission for the behavior of its officials, who, being cognizant of the act, do not intervene to punish those responsible and thus allow this grave human-rights violation to continue unchecked.”

 

 

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At Bard College in New York: We Denounce the Ongoing Repression of the Community of San Sebastian Bachajón!

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:58 am

 

At Bard College in New York: We Denounce the Ongoing Repression of the Community of San Sebastian Bachajón!

Compañer@s,

masde16A group of university students at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY, organized a screening of the most recent video regarding the ejidatarios (communal landholders) of San Sebastian Bachajón. The students who screened the video represented two organized campus groups, the Student Labor Dialogue (SLD), and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). Under the banner of the Student Labor Dialogue students and workers rally together for better wages and benefits for Bard employees. The Latin American Student Organization strives to represent Latin America and show different aspects of its culture from its traditions to its politics.

This video chronicled the experiences of the community and documented the violent, tragic death of Juan Vasquez Guzman a year ago and the recent death of Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano. Both of these men lost their lives due to the greed of the bad government and the corporations that they serve. They served as inspirations in their struggle against the wholesale theft of the land of the ejidatarios and violent harassment and repression of their peoples.

These students were appalled by the conditions and treatment that the community members face as depicted in the video. They were particularly shocked by the torture endured and described by one member of the community. They saw first-hand how the bad governments of Mexico seek to deny the people of San Sebastián Bachajón their right to self-determination, to the free enjoyment of their territory and its natural resources, and to a dignified life. It is clear that the bad governments and their corporate interests intend to seize the ancestral lands of the ejido. Regarding Bachajón, the LASO organization said: “We cannot begin to describe how much we admire the power and resistance of your community. Although we are far away, we are also fighting by your side for a more humane world and a land of freedom. Long live the struggle of San Sebastián Bachajón!”

A few days later, at their membership meeting, the Student Labor Dialogue wrote the following statement:

The Bard College Student Labor Dialogue stands in solidarity with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón. We stand by them in their struggle for indigenous autonomy and self-determination, and their right to their ancestral land.

We send our condolences to the friends and family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and all those who have sacrificed themselves in the struggle for justice against a government in service of corporate profits. We demand an end to the criminalization of resistance and an end to the use of violence by the state which has unjustly robbed the people of San Sebastián Bachajón. The world has seen your struggle and you are an inspiration to people fighting for justice everywhere, including our fight for economic justice on Bard’s campus.
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April 28, 2014

Colombia and England participate in the Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:15 pm

 

Colombia and England participate in the Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!


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The Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!, a demand for justice for the people of this community in Chiapas, Mexico, takes place from April 24th until 8th May, 2014.  It aims to show solidarity with, and disseminate information about, the struggle of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from San Sebastián Bachajón, and to remember and honour Juan Vázquez Guzmán, the assassinated activist and much-loved defender of the human rights, land and territory of this community.

As part of these two weeks, all around the world people are gathering together to watch a video entitled Bachajón – Dispossession is death, Life is resistance. The video shows the struggle of the common landholders of San Sebastián Bachajón to defend their ancestral lands and territory from dispossession to facilitate the building of an elite tourism development. As indigenous Tzeltales they experience discrimination, marginalisation and persecution as a result of their being original peoples of these lands, as well as for their love for their mother earth. Juan Vázquez Guzmán was murdered as a consequence of his leadership in this struggle, his love for his land and people, his passion for liberty and justice.

In two different towns in England, and in a community in Colombia, groups in solidarity with the compañer@s of Bachajon came together to watch this video, and to remember Juan, on April 24th, 2014, the first anniversary of his assassination. They met in the knowledge that other groups in the United Kingdom, Mexico and the United States were also joining together on that day for the same purpose. The video shows that, for his compañer@s, Juan still lives, he is still present struggling with them, and that his struggle will continue.

Tragically, a message at the end of the video tells of the recent assassination of another activist, Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, who was killed on March 21st this year. The video also tells the story of two of the men from Bachajon who were imprisoned unjustly for crimes they did not commit, and the former prisoners tell of the torture they were subjected to.

The video portrays the violence and repression experienced by this community as a result of their efforts to construct their autonomy and to live a dignified life according to their own customs and traditions, and the continual violation of their basic human rights. The three levels of government and their allies in transnational businesses use not only their police and military forces, but also fund and arm the development of local paramilitary groups to promote terror and violence. But, the ejidatarios say, they will carry on until they die, “defending what is ours, what belonged to our grandparents, the territory.”

The three groups each found the video very moving and the story very powerful. They also watched a short video of commemoration for Juan Vázquez Guzmán and his dignified life and work. We remember him, as his compañeros say, “so that his memory may remain alive and continue to give us the strength to resist the repression and the policies of death of the bad government.”  No one has been held responsible for his death by the authorities, there has been no justice.

All three groups wish to send greetings of sympathy, support and solidarity to the compas of San Sebastián Bachajón and the families of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano. They hope many other groups will screen the video and join the Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues! from Thursday, April 24th to Thursday, May 8th, 2014.

 

The Committees of the True Word from Southwest England and Western Colombia and Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

The video “Bachajón – Dispossession is death, Life is resistance.” Can be viewed on:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJkVziBk214

The video of commemoration can be viewed on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqvq9SSiGrw

 

For further information in English including reports of activities: http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

 

 

 

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The ejido San Sebastián Bachajón demands justice for their murdered compañeros.

Filed under: Bachajon, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:15 pm

 

The ejido San Sebastián Bachajón demands justice for their murdered compañeros.

April 27, 2014

10154087_638433129566038_5567348848013268356_n2-660x330

“With these killings the government thought it could put a stop our struggle, but it was wrong, the life and the path of our brothers lives on in our hearts and gives us strength to continue defending our mother earth.”

10155406_638366829572668_6593997420938474535_nApril 26, 2014. This Saturday morning in Cumbre Nachoj, headquarters of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle from San Sebastian Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, indigenous communities held an act to remember Juan Vázquez Guzmán, an indigenous Tzeltal who was assassinated a year ago for defending their land, but the authorities have not identified the material and intellectual authors of the murder.

The emotional ceremony in memory of Juan Vázquez began with a minute of silence for the political assassination of the indigenous leader and for the recent death of Juan Carlos Gómez, also a Tzeltal coordinator, who a month ago was killed on the outskirts of the municipal headquarters in broad daylight for being in the resistance. During the tribute the indigenous of northern Chiapas also raised their customary prayer, in their mother tongue, for their fallen compañeros.

Subsequently the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón invited all present to sing the Mexican national anthem and the Zapatista hymn, which were sung with firmness and dignity. Moments later the ejidal authorities one by one were giving their word in their Tzeltal language, where the constant theme was their conviction to defend the land and territory, and to oppose megaprojects as did Juan Vázquez and Juan Carlos Gómez.

In this act the women of the ejido also said their word in honour of the worldwide days for justice for San Sebastian Bachajón. “We thank you very much for following our struggle, with your support we are encouraged to continue to resist the politics of death and contempt of the bad government” they said. “Our people have suffered repression and death as a result of the struggle we started in 2007 against the imposition of tourist projects which seek to take over our land to give it to businessmen,” they continued. “With these killings the government thought it could stop our struggle, but it was wrong, the life and the path of our brothers lives on in our hearts and gives us the strength to continue to defend our mother earth.” said the indigenous in resistance.

During the commemorative event the ejidatarios adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle read letters of solidarity from Milan, Italy, Mexico, the Spanish State, France, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, The United States, the Basque country and Chiapas.

Shortly afterwards the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón read a communiqué which gave evidence of the dispossession which capitalism commits on indigenous communities, and denounced the “trickery and corruption of the ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez, his vigilance councilman Samuel Díaz Guzmán and the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez,  who are accomplices of the government’s dispossession.” Finally the Tzeltales stated unequivocally that they will continue to defend their land and territory despite the adversities they come up against.

 

http://www.pozol.org/?p=9332

 

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Homage is paid to the leaders and defenders of the land assassinated in Chilón, Chiapas

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:54 am

 

Homage is paid to the leaders and defenders of the land assassinated in Chilón, Chiapas

 ** Accusation of attempts to dispossess land for a toll road and a commercial centre

** “Our struggle is peaceful, but we demand respect,” say the ejido owners and adherents to the Sixth

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, a regional coordinator of the Sixth in Chilón, executed with more than 20 gunshots last March 21 on the road to his community, Virgen de Dolores. Photo: provided by the Gómez Silvano family

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, a regional coordinator of the Sixth in Chilón, executed with more than 20 gunshots last March 21 on the road to his community, Virgen de Dolores. Photo: provided by the Gómez Silvano family

In the message read today in the community of Nah Choj, the Indigenous said: “We know that capitalism doesn’t rest day or night in order to dispossess us of our culture and of Mother Earth, because it wants to make businesses and a lot of money that goes into the pocket of the big entrepreneurs. All that capitalism leaves us is poverty, misery, violence, prison and death; it wants to kill our hope and our way of life so that only capitalist life, individualism and the law of the strongest exist.”Tzeltal ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, in Chilón, Chiapas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, rendered homage this Saturday to two leaders assassinated in recent months, “who fell in the defence of their people and their territory,” Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

They remembered that Juan Vázquez Guzmán “understood the traps of the bad government and capitalism and because of that he embraced the struggle even more and the love for his people grew, working without rest for the liberation of political prisoners and for the defence of the lands. He dreamed about his people being free of the oppression of capitalism. Juan was not afraid of doing work for his people; he was always a brave compañero who struggled for his community to live well.”

The night of April 24, 2013, he was assassinated at the door of his house “by the bad government, to try to silence the voice and hope of our organization,” the ejido owners maintained; “as they also did last March 21 to Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano,” who was a regional coordinator, “still young and with a lot of participation in the organization.”

“Our struggle is peaceful, but we demand that the three levels of the bad government respect our people, because we are not going to remain seated watching how they continue violating our rights,” they emphasized.

The Tzeltal community of the Northern Zone denounced: “the contrivances and corruption of ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez, his vigilance councilman Samuel Díaz Guzmán and the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez, who are accomplices of the government’s dispossession and are not content with what they have done. They want to continue dispossessing more lands to make way for the toll road from San Cristóbal de las Casas to Palenque and for a Aurrerá [1] commercial centre in Bachajón, because they are government puppets and have done it completely behind the back of the community for personal interest.”

Lastly, they pointed out that the situation in the country “is more difficult all the time for the communities and for the peoples. They want to accelerate the privatization of our territories and exploiting them for the million-dollar benefit of the few; it is a lie that it is for progress and development, because it is only a pretext for taking our lands away from us. They are death projects.” Therefore, they called “to struggle organized and to defend the life of our peoples,” and they greeted “the peoples and communities of Mexico and the world in resistance against the capitalist megaprojects of dispossession.”

Meanwhile, dozens of solidarity organizations from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Spain demanded from the Mexican government “the return of communal lands to the San Sebastián Bachajón population; respect for the rights of these Tzeltal indigenous peoples over their lands and territories; respect for their right to free determination and their search for alternative ways of life.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, April 27, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/04/26/politica/013n1pol

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

 

[1] Bodega Aurrera is a Mexican discount-store owned by Walmart..

 

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April 27, 2014

In 19 years we have thrown off the bad system of 520 years of domination: Comandante Moisés

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:01 pm

 

In 19 years we have thrown off the bad system of 520 years of domination: Comandante Moisés

 ** Message from the EZLN’s spokesperson: We are now the owners of freedom and democracy

** The struggle is going to continue in the 20th year since the start of the war against oblivion, the Zapatista warns 

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

4contra “Who says this can’t be done?” Subcomandante Moisés asks in a new message from the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) released on Thursday evening. “As the compañeros and compañeras say in one of the “sharings” that we have had here, in just 19 years we have thrown off the bad system of 520 years of domination, and we now hold our own freedom and democracy in our hands. And we are just a few thousand women and men who govern our own communities. Imagine if we organized with the other millions from the countryside and the city!”

One month before an announced meeting, in one of the Zapatista Caracoles, with representatives of the national indigenous peoples, Subcomandante Moisés maintains: “The new bosses are foreigners, if we let them be and if we, the poor of the countryside and the city, allow it. Now is the time for the poor of the countryside and the city to organize and take their fate into their own hands. In other words, it’s time for the peoples to govern themselves instead of being governed by a few up there who are only trying to get rich. It is easy to see and easy to confirm what they are doing.”

Now, “other work is coming with the compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress,” Moisés indicates. “As you see, there is truly no rest. Rest is used for working to sustain the family, but also for thinking, studying, and making plans for work and struggle.” And we also do that, “for the simple fact that the neoliberal capitalists don’t rest from thinking about how to extend their domination forever.”

The Zapatista commander and spokesperson specifies: “As the Zapatista peoples say, our great-great grandparents, our great grandparents and grandparents were never given anything to eat. On the contrary, what they produced was taken away from them and they were given a few crumbs to eat today, so that they would work tomorrow for the boss. That’s how they spent their lives: exploited by the boss and the bad government. And why would we now think that those now in the bad government are very good, if they are the great grandchildren and grandchildren of the same exploiters and are the worst at selling out the country?”

In the writing, Moisés introduces the second number of Rebeldía Zapatista magazine, which includes a broad list of “the Zapatistas’ evaluation of the Escuelita.” He warns that they are “the words of the compañeras and compañeros, families, guardians and teachers as to how they saw you as students” of the Escuelita in December 2013 and the beginning of this year.

The indigenous peoples of Chiapas have attained their autonomy “thanks to organizing and understanding what dignity and resistance are. We no longer accept leftovers, handouts or crumbs amid deception after deception from the bad government.”

The Zapatista support bases “organized, dreamed and worked together to determine their own destinies and that destiny is in sight. Their manner governing themselves as peoples is totally different, in that they command and their representatives obey; in other words, their government obeys. This is real change, and not just a change of (political party) colours or logos,” he adds.

Moisés asks: “Why are we afraid to let the peoples themselves decide the new life that they want? How can we not fear the great atrocity that those three levels of bad government commit when they decide against the good of our peoples? That is where the compañeras and compañeros of the EZLN say that our peoples are going to decide, because they make decisions for the good of the people and not to benefit their own vices, and if there are errors, well they correct them.”

The struggle “is going to continue and will continue,” warns Moisés in “year 20 since the beginning of the war against oblivion.” He also calls: “Let’s leave that world, leave them alone to see if they can survive, and stop allowing ourselves to be exploited.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, April 26, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/04/26/politica/013n1pol

 

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

 

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A year later they ask for justice and remember Juan Vázquez in the ejido SanSebastián Bachajón, Chiapas.

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:17 pm

 

A year later they ask for justice and remember Juan Vázquez in the ejido SanSebastián Bachajón, Chiapas.

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April 26, 2014 was the anniversary of the death of Juan Vázquez from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón in the state of Chiapas, who was assassinated in the defence of the ejidal land and territory against tourism and highway megaprojects. His compañeros and family members met together in the community of Cumbre Na Choj to remember him and revindicate the struggle he defended until his death.

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Groups in solidarity with the indigenous campesinos attended the event and letters were read from people around the world who remembered Juan and greeted the just struggle of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle promoted by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The letters came from Italy, the US, France, Spain, the Basque Country, Sweden, Germany and multiple organizations in Mexico.

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During the act they also remembered compañero Juan Gómez, a Regional Coordinator of the Sixth who weeks ago was ambushed and killed, for which, as in the case of Juan Vázquez, they demanded that justice be done in the face of the impunity that prevails in both crimes.

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The Tzeltzales indigenous from Bachajón are committed to the path of autonomy and defending their land against the projects of dispossession with which capitalism threatens our people.

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For more information see the following links:

denuncia: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2014/03/25/en-ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon-aderentes-a-la-sexta-declaracion-de-la-selva-lacandona-chiapas-mexico-a-23-de-marzo-de-2014/

Videos:

Land and Resistance in San Sebastián Bachajón: http://youtu.be/rOq9bJy6lRY

Bachajón. Dispossession is death. Life is resistance. http://youtu.be/qJkVziBk214

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http://hijosmadretierra.blogspot.mx/2014/04/a-un-ano-piden-justicia-y-recuerdan.html

 

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FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, 26th APRIL 2014

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:22 am

 

 

Communiqué from the political act, 26th April, 2014

FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENT TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 26th APRIL 2014

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international collectives and committees of solidarity

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

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Compañeros and compañeras, on this day we join together our dignified rage to honor the memory of our compañeros who fell in the defense of their people and territory, Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano.

We thank those who joined us at a distance and those who are present today in these rebel and dignified lands of San Sebastián Bachajón, receive our combative greetings in solidarity from all the Tseltal men and women of San Sebastián Bachajón, we are in struggle defending our dignity as a people and the territory that we inherited from our grandmothers and grandfathers.

We know that capitalism will not rest day and night until it has dispossessed us of our culture and mother earth, because it wants to do business and make a lot of money to go into the moneybag of the big businessmen. The only thing that capitalism leaves us is poverty, misery, violence, prison and death, it wants to put an end to our hope and our way of life so that all that exists is capitalist life, individualism and the survival of the fittest.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán understood the trickeries of the bad government and capitalism, for this reason he embraced the struggle even more and his love for his people grew, working tirelessly for the release of political prisoners and for the defense of the lands, he dreamed of his people being free from the oppression of capitalism. Juan had no fear of working for his people, he was always a brave compañero who fought for the community to live well.

On the evening of April 24, 2013, he was killed by the bad government to try to silence his voice and the hope of our organization, as they also did to our compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano on March 21st, he was a regional coordinator, still only young and with a lot of participation in the organization.

The lives of our compañeros are an example to our organization, their work continues through all the compañeros who are still struggling with dignified rage every day for the liberation of the people and for respect for our way of life as indigenous people. Our struggle is peaceful, but we demand that the three levels of the bad government respect our people because we will not be sitting quietly looking while they continue violating our rights.

We denounce the deceits and corruptions of the ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez, his vigilance commissioner Samuel Díaz Guzmán, and the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Jiménez Guzmán, who are accomplices of the government plunder and are not satisfied with what they have done, they want to continue dispossessing more land to make way for the highway from San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque and for an Aurrera shopping centre in Bachajón, because they are puppets of the government and have completely turned their backs on the community for personal interests.

The situation in the country is increasingly more difficult for the communities and peoples; they want to accelerate the privatization of our territories and exploit it for the benefit of a few millionaires, it is a lie that is for progress and development because it is just a pretext to take away the lands, they are projects of death. For this reason, the compañeros and compañeras have to organize to fight and defend the life of our people.

From the northern zone of Chiapas we send combative greetings of solidarity to the peoples and communities of Mexico and the world who are in resistance against the capitalist megaprojects of dispossession.

Never again a Mexico without us

 

Attentively

Land and Freedom!

Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No dispossession of indigenous territories!

 

 

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April 26, 2014

From Europe: Pronouncement in Support of the Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:53 pm

 

From Europe: Pronouncement in Support of the Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues! from Thursday, April 24th to Thursday, May 8th, 2014!

To our sisters and brothers of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón:

To our compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle:

To our Zapatista sisters and brothers:

To the peoples of Mexico and the world:

To the independent media:

To the Committees of the True Word:

10155406_638366829572668_6593997420938474535_nWe know that the unpunished assassinations of our compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, are part of the war of extermination and dispossession against those from below which is being conducted by the governments and multinational corporations. Their aim is to eradicate the indigenous peoples of these lands, and to convert the water, the earth, even life itself into commodities, thereby plundering and destroying our mother earth in their greed and ambition to create yet more megaprojects.

The dignified struggle of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón to defend the territory which historically belongs to them, to reclaim the commonly owned lands illegally stolen from them, and to defend their way of life and the construction of their autonomy, is the reason for these vile murders. The governments and local authorities, with their state forces and their paramilitary groups, want to finish off the dignified defence of their territory by the ejidatarios of Bachajón through the use of terror, in order to build an elite tourism development.

But they will not succeed. The collective struggle for a dignified life, to “continue being what we are,” of the compañer@s from San Sebastián Bachajón continues, and we unite our struggles with theirs. We honour the memory and the continuing presence of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán who lives and struggles alongside his people for justice, liberty, the land, the people and the territory, a struggle that has no end.

We the undersigned demand justice. We denounce these cowardly murders. We insist on a fair and open investigation and the punishment of the material and intellectual authors of these crimes. And we demand that the Mexican Government adopt all measures necessary so as to guarantee the right to life, personal integrity and security of the members of the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, and to all human rights defenders.

Furthermore, we call for the return of their common lands to the people of San Sebastián Bachajón, respect for the rights of these indigenous Tzeltal peoples to their land and territory, and respect for their right to self-determination and the search for alternative ways of life.

We offer our most sincere respects to the families of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and send greetings of solidarity and fellowship to the women, men, children and old people of San Sebastián Bachajón. We will not forget them and we will remain watchful and alert as to what happens in their lands. We join their profound hopes that the memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán may remain alive and continue to give them the strength to resist the repression and the policies of death of the bad government, and to move forward in their struggles towards a better world.

In the demand for justice for the people of San Sebastián Bachajón and in honour of the memory of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, we offer our full support to the initiative Two Weeks of Worldwide Action: Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!

Signatures:

ASSI (Accion Social Sindical Internacionalista)

Caracol Zaragoza

Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo -CEDOZ-

CGT – Estado español

Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas de Aragón

Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid

anna pacchiani e massimo vecchi bergamo – italia

Associazione Jambo, commercio equo Fidenza –Italia

Associazione Ya Basta! Milano

Comitato Chiapas “Maribel” Bergamo, Italia

GAIA CAPOGNA, Italy

LaPirata:
– Nodo Solidale, Mexico y Roma
– Nomads, Bologna y Berlin
– Collettivo Zapatista Lugano
– Adherentes Individuales

caracol mundo-eco de latido en solidaridad

Casa Nicaragua, Lieja, Bélgica

Grupo Cafez, Lieja, Bélgica

Les trois passants, Paris, Francia

Mut Vitz 13, Marseille, Francia

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network:

-Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group

-Kiptik (Bristol)

-London Mexico Solidarity Group

-Manchester Zapatista Collective

-UK Education, Culture and Communication team

-UK Zapatista Translation Service

-Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex

Carol M Byrne, Birmingham

Committee of the True Word for South-West England

Zap Sol UK

 

For further information in English including reports of activities:http://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/en-ingles/

The video “Bachajón – Dispossession is death, Life is resistance.” Can be viewed

on:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJkVziBk214

 

 

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April 25, 2014

Editorial 2: Rebeldia Zapatista: The Word of the EZLN

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:06 pm

 

 

Editorial 2: Rebeldia Zapatista: The Word of the EZLN

Editorial by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés for the second edition of the magazine Rebeldia Zapatista: The Word of the EZLN.

 

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Compañeras and compañeros of the Sixth and the Zapatista Little School:

Here we continue to recount the words of the compañeras and compañeros, families, guardians, and teachers about how they saw and evaluated their students in the Little School.

As we say here in these rebellious lands, there is no rest, one must continue to work hard.

We mention this because there is another round of work coming up, with the compañeras and compañeros of the National Indigenous Congress. So you see, it’s true, there is no rest.

Even when there is a break from these tasks, it is used to work to sustain one’s family, but also to think, study, and make plans for the struggle.

This is important because of the simple fact that the neoliberal capitalists do not take a break from thinking about how to extend their domination into infinity.

As the compañeras and compañeros say in one of the “sharings” that we have had here: in just 19 years we have thrown off the bad system of 520 years of domination, and we now hold our own freedom and democracy in our hands. And we are just a few thousand women and men who govern our own communities; imagine if we organized with the other millions of people in the countryside and the city.

As the same compañeras and compañeros say, this is thanks to the fact that we have organized ourselves and understood what dignity and resistance really mean. We no longer resign ourselves to the leftovers, handouts, or crumbs thrown to us amid deception after deception by the bad government.

As the Zapatista people say, our great great grandparents, our great grandparents, and our grandparents were never given anything to eat. On the contrary, what they produced was taken away from them and they were given a few crumbs to eat that day so that they could return to work for the boss the next day. That’s how they went through life: exploited by the boss and the bad government. Why would we think that the bad government is different now, that it is good, when it is made up of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of those same exploiters, and who are the worst sell-outs of our time?

That is why the new bosses are foreigners, that is, if we let them be—if we the poor men and women of the countryside and the city resign ourselves to this.

It is time for the poor of the countryside and the city to organize ourselves—time for the peoples of the countryside and the city to take their destiny into their own hands. That is, it is time for the people to govern themselves instead of being governed by a few individuals up there who are just trying to get rich. It is easy to see and easy to confirm in practice that this is the only reason they are there.

That is why the compañeras and compañeros of the Zapatista bases of support organized themselves and dreamed and worked together to determine their own destinies, and this destiny is now visible. Their manner of governing themselves as peoples and communities is totally different; they rule as a people and their representatives obey, that is, their government obeys. This is true change, not just a change of colours or logos.

Who says this can’t be done, compañeras and compañeros of the Little School? It can be done, because it is the people themselves deciding, in organized fashion, what they want in all aspects of their lives.

Why are we afraid to let the people themselves decide how they want a new life to be? How can we not fear the great atrocity committed by the three levels of bad government in deciding our future against the good of our peoples? This is where the compañeras and compañeros of the EZLN say that the people must have the power of decision over their own lives, because they make decisions for the good of the people and not to benefit their own vices. And if they make a mistake, well then they correct it. But the three levels of bad government have no ears to hear or eyes to see, they refuse to acknowledge any error within their world of domination and deceit. Let’s leave that world, leave them alone to see if they can survive, stop allowing ourselves to be exploited, and a whole string of etceteras.

The compañeras and compañeros of the Zapatista communities have provided an example.

That is why we are continuing to share here the words of the compañeras and compañeros bases of support of the EZLN.

And this will continue and keep going.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.

Mexico, April 2014. Twentieth year of the war against oblivion.

 

Translated by  El Kilombo Intergaláctico

 

2indice3tercera

4contra

 

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