dorset chiapas solidarity

February 22, 2015

In San Sebastián Bachajón the struggle for life and territory continues: autonomy, resistance and organization.

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:02 pm

In San Sebastián Bachajón the  struggle for life and territory continues: autonomy, resistance and organization.


Ejidatarios from the PRI threaten to evict the new Regional Headquarters

After several years, the conflict in San Sebastián Bachajón has reached a moment of high tension. On the one hand, ejidatarios both adherents to Sixth and independents, hold their positions in the area of ​​Agua Azul, defend the territory from the new Regional Headquarters of Bachajón and demand the formal resignation of the old government-supporting (officialist) commissioner. On the other hand, the national government keeps public forces in the area and supports the ejidatarios co-opted by the PRI who threaten to evict the Regional Headquarters.

Independent ejidatarios and adherents to the sixth depose the officialist commissioner

acta-de-asamblea-EjidatariosBachajOn-375x500After several assemblies held in the centres of population of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, the ejidatarios from the three centres met together in an assembly held on 7th February 7 outside the ejido house of San Sebastián Bachajón. In this assembly it was agreed to dismiss the officialist ejido commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez, and Samuel Díaz Guzmán, president of the vigilance council, for the mismanagement of economic and natural resources, and their formal resignation was demanded. In their place, the ejidatarios declared representatives from each population centre of the ejido: Chich, Alan Sacjun and Bachajón.

The minutes of the meeting were given to the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, on 9th February in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, along with other public officials, in order to report the changes occurring in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

The withdrawal of CONANP and public forces are formally demanded

At the assembly, those attending read the agreement approved, on February 11 of 2011, in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez by Francisco Jiménez Guzmán then ejidal commissioner and agreed to its cancellation. The agreement, which the ejidatarios never had knowledge of, declared the Treasury of the State of Chiapas to be the sole administrator of the income from the toll booth located at the entrance road to the waterfalls of Agua Azul. The management was undertaken through the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, beyond the limits of the protected natural area within its jurisdiction and within the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón.

Indeed, that same year CONANP altered the plan of the Natural Protected Area, modifying the limits of the area established by the Decree of 1980, thus violating the territory of the ejidatarios to the benefit of the federal government through the control of the region. In this way they were exerting their activity, despite the warning of the ejidatarios and the report of independent experts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, showing that they were transgressing the limits of ejido. This exercise of CONANP also meant the continued presence of public forces within the territory of the ejidatarios.

The assembly also agreed the obligation of the former commissioner to hand over the cash box and the audit of the accounts of the toll booth located on the road to Agua Azul. It also decided that from now onwards both the toll booth and the gravel bank would be managed by the ejido representatives of the three centres of population and by the ejidatarios adherents to the Sixth, without the intervention of government authorities.

Collusion between municipal authorities and national government

The interest of the state and national government in controlling the disputed territory needs to be mentioned, since thanks to its natural resources it is proposed as a strategic area for the tourism sector, and therefore a source of income. It is no coincidence that the arrival of the ejido commissioner that is to say, the ejidatarios from the PRI, in Bachajón, took place in 2007, just when the Palenque Integrally Planned Center (CIPP) was introduced. The CIPP is a macroproject for the construction of infrastructure and the equipping of areas for tourist development in the area around Palenque. The entrance of the PRI into the role of ejido commissioner brought new conflicts, including the lack of transparency in the management of the toll booth on the road to Agua Azul. It also created a social divide between pro-government and independent ejidatarios which is heightened day by day through some counterinsurgency strategies of the state. Strategies known as aid programmes, basic food baskets or even the handing over of housing in poor condition to party supporters and voters in order that they remain faithful to the party political leaders, and in extreme cases, that they will participate in forced evictions.

PRI ejidatarios agree to evict the Regional Headquarters

Specifically, an assembly of officialist political leaders and ejidatarios from the PRI decided to evict the Regional Headquarters after Tuesday 10th February if the national public forces had not done so by then. The assembly was held on Sunday 1st February 1 in Bachajon, in the municipality of Chilón and was attended by the officialist ejido commissioner and by several political officers of the PRI from the municipality of Chilón and the region.

In the assembly, the PRI leaders accused the ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth, and the independent ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón of having regained control of the territory located around the community of Agua Azul, in the ejido San Sebastián. Likewise, the local leaders insisted to the PRI ejidatarios that they themselves should be the ones to evict the organized ejidatarios if the federal government did not do so during the ten-day period ending on Tuesday 10th February. This agreement was made with the complicity and consent of political officers from Yajalón and neighbouring municipalities, and the Undersecretary of Government of the fourteenth region, which includes the municipalities of Chilo, Yajalón, Ocosingo and Tila.

asambleaPriistas-500x493As shown in the photograph, several political officers were present during the making of the agreement, including members of the officialist ejidal commission of San Sebastián Bachajón such as Alejandro Moreno Gómez, ejido commissioner; Samuel Diaz Guzman, from the vigilance council and Manuel Moreno Jiménez, training adviser to the officialists and lawyer to the officialist commissioner of San Sebastián. But also members of neighbouring municipalities such as Oscar Miguel Sánchez Alpuche, undersecretary of government of Yajalón and Francisco Demeza, government delegate of the government of Chilón in the Undersecretariat of government in region XIV.

Precedents in 2011

It would not be the first time that this happened. In February 2011, Carmen Aguilar Gomez and Francisco Guzman Jiménez, the ejidal commissioner at the time, were the officials who led the PRI ejidatarios to evict the organized ejidatarios from the area around Agua Azul. Their intervention was supported by the state government at all times. Proof of this was when the following day, national and state public forces entered the territory and arrested 117 ejidatarios adherents to Sixth under the pretext that it was all an intra-community conflict.









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