BoCa En BoCa #36- September 2015
BoCa En BoCa is an independent newssheet that aims to disseminate what happens in the organized communities in Chiapas. The aim is to generate solidarity among communities, through summaries or extracts of their publications transmitting their words.
Boca en Boca No. 36 – September 2015
17/07– FNLS denounce the kidnap of a fellow member and money stolen by an unknown group in Altamirano. http://fnls.mayfirst.org/spip.php?article1878
30/07– EZLN and CNI send a statement in solidarity with the community of Xochicuautla, and against police and military harassment. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/cni-and-ezln-support-for-xochicuautla/
30/07– Indigenous Tzotzil from the region denounces torture and arbitrary detention for an alleged kidnap. His rights have been denied. http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.fr/2015/07/indigena-tsotsil-denuncia-tortura-y.html
07/08– The Community of Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, Palenque, denounce a raid on their ejido house by police officers who didn’t identify themselves. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/cuauhtemoc-cardenas-ejido-from-palenque-denounces-police-invasion/
10/08– Further invasions in the communal territory of Chimalapa, under the sovereignty Oaxaca, seriously jeopardize social peace in the region. http://maderasdelpueblo.org.mx/?q=urgente-nuevas-reinvasiones-y-riesgo-estallido-social-en-chimalapas%E2%80%8F
10/08– The family of Nadia Vera Pérez, who was murdered alongside other journalists in Mexico City, deliver their questions and statements at a ceremony in Comitan. http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.fr/2015/08/nuestra-nadia-en-defensa-de-la-memoria.htm l
22/08- Las Abejas of Acteal denounce impunity in the country, towards their organization and towards the Zapatistas. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/monthly-commemoration-of-las-abejas-of-acteal-august-2015/
24/08– The Civil Organization SIPAZ denounces threats and burglary in their offices in San Cristobal de Las Casas. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/new-burglary-in-the-office-of-sipaz/
24/08– Relatives of victims in Tila denounce impunity of Chiapas PGJE office, and threats by armed groups and government staff. http://www.elcentinela.com.mx/municipio/familiares-de-tony-reynaldo-ejidatarios-y-pobladores-denuncian-amenazas-de-funcionarios-del-ayuntamiento-de-tila/
25/08– Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjust prisoner since 2013, calls for an investigation into his case. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/prisoner-from-san-cristobal-roberto-paciencia-denounces-that-his-charges-were-fabricated/
25/08– Alexander, Salvadoran migrant, denounces torture by the police, and the fabrication of offences against him. http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.fr/2015/08/policias-torturan-y-fabrican-delito.html
26/08– FNLS denounces the violent eviction of their members, while they were reporting on disappearances on Tuxtla’s motorway. http://fnls.mayfirst.org/spip.php?article1921
27/08– The colonia San Vicente, in La Trinitaria, calls for the free use of their rickshaw taxi-bikes and collective taxis. http://komanilel.org/2015/08/27/la-colonia-san-vicente-municipio-de-la-trinitaria-chiapas-pide-el-libre-transito-de-sus-mototaxis-y-taxis-comunitarios/
28/07- To mark the first Pilgrimage for Peace and Against Violence and Displacement in Las Margaritas, families from the community of Primero de Agosto make a declaration. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/indigenous-peoples-in-chiapas-are-in-favour-of-life-and-peace-and-against-violence-and-dispossession/
29/07- Displaced families from Banavil add their support to the demands from the Pilgrimage for Peace in Las Margaritas. http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.fr/2015/07/desplazados-de-banavil-en-solidaridad.html
12/08- 6 years after the freeing of paramilitaries, Las Abejas denounce impunity. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/the-justice-system-continues-to-operate-as-it-did-before-the-acteal-massace-warns-the-civil-society-las-abejas/
20/08- New threats are made against the displaced families from Primero de Agosto. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/at-nearly-half-a-year-of-forced-displacement-the-poblado-primero-de-agosto-denounces-new-threats/
Justice will never, ever come from above.
On 16/08 Sub Moisés and Sub Galeano issued a statement with the title “Truth and Justice Will Never, Ever, Come from Above.” “As Zapatistas we have realized that two of the masterminds of Galeano’s murder have returned, fat and happy, to their homes in the village of La Realidad. They were supposedly being held prisoner for the murder of our teacher and compañero.” They denounced that the “judge” of Comitan” declared that Mr Carmelino Rodríguez Jiménez and Mr Javier López Rodríguez are innocent, even though they and their accomplices in the CIOAC-Histórica know that they are guilty of organizing the crime.” Although “they were told not to be out and about much and be discreet ” “they are declaring to anyone who wants to listen, that they were not prisoners, but were kept in a house where they received all the attention and congratulations from the state government of Manuel Velasco and leaders of CIOAC-Histórica for the murder of the teacher Galeano;” They were told that they would have to wait for a time before returning to their village “to continue the work left pending.”
They went on to express their solidarity with various social movements and against other injustices in the country, and in the world. They warned “It is now the time when those from below ask why they are attacked,” and the answer from those from above is “because of who you are.” “Because in this world, in which we hurt, the criminal is free and the just is in prison. The murderer is rewarded and the dead are slandered. But we also hear and see that there are more and more voices who don’t believe, who don’t give up, who rebel.” Finally, they warned: “Truth and justice will never, ever, come from above. We will have to construct them from below.”
On 08/08 all the caracoles celebrated the twelfth anniversary of their foundation with the participation of thousands of Zapatista support bases. https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/your-job-is-to-give-life-you-are-an-example-to-many-of-the-young-message-to-the-zapatista-jbgs/
3 unjustly incarcerated prisoners are freed, long live Bachajon!
On 19/08, ejidatarios from San Sebastian Bachajon celebrated the freeing of three of their imprisoned comrades. “Political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández, all imprisoned in Yajalón, were set free on 18/08 in accordance with a successful appeal that recognised their illegal detention and torture”. At the same time, they demanded “the freedom of Esteban Gomez Jimenez, imprisoned in Cintalapa, Santiago Moreno Perez and Emilio Jimenez Gomez, imprisoned at Playas de Catazaja,” and “the freeing of other prisoners in Mexico and the world.”
In the same way, they declared their solidarity with those imprisoned for “defending the waters of the Yaqui Tribe,” and with “the community of Santa Maria Ostula.” They denounced “those responsible for freeing the intellectual authors of the assassination of our comrade and teacher, Galeano.” At the end, they declared solidarity with the indigenous Otomi community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, who are fighting against the construction of motorways “without regard for nature.” “They are not alone, because all of us are aware of their struggle; it enrages us that the accursed government wants to use violence to get hold of their lands, just as it does with our own lands in San Sebastian Bachajon.”
The Believing People are still under threat
In a new report, published on 24/08, the Believing People (Pueblo Creyente) of Simojovel announced that “during the elections we are experiencing a tense and apparent calm, because silently and more cautiously some priista leaders continue to organize, waiting for the moment to attack Father Marcelo Perez or some members of the Parish Council.” They presented a series of worrying developments of high risk to their lives: on 19/07, “several people threw stones at the Father’s house”; on 20/07 an ally of the PRI threatened “the Father will also go to jail”; on 31/07 some priistas said “because of bloody Marcelo the PRI lost here and we will kill him”; on 03/08 a member of the ex parish council was threatened by telephone; on 07/08 a priista threatened to “burn alive” the father; on 11/08 a priista threatened and killed a turkey belonging to one catechist; on 14/08 some people beat up some women, servants of the church. Finally, they denounced the sale of drugs, alcohol and weapons, and invited “all the peoples of Chiapas to organize themselves to defend and protect the lives of our peoples,” and ended with a question: “very soon the independence of Mexico will be celebrated. Let us ask whether we are free and sovereign.”
EZLN announces the second stage of the Little School
On 27/07 the Zapatistas announced the second stage of the Little School. Because of economic difficulties and repression it has been decided to hold the next levels of the school (2 to 6) once a year. This will allow those who can’t pay, or who have to work in the own lands, to attend, and ensure that the event is not limited to those who have the money for it or the time. Those invited will receive an email with a link to a video. They will be asked six questions, and will be asked to respond collectively, in the Zapatista way. The end of the communiqué affirms the Zapatistas’ solidarity with other struggles in Mexico and the world, “because resistance can overcome geography, and the calendars of those from above”.
Displaced people from Banavil, temporary return
“We currently live with my family, 19 people, in San Cristobal LC, since 4/12/2011 when an armed priista group entered my house, and forcibly disappeared my father Alonso López Luna and we have not been able to go back but we want to go and work our land and we will go to our community on 03/08 to mark out the boundaries of our land, clean our houses and the cemetery where Antonia López Méndez is buried, who died in the forced displacement, and our other girls,” said Loreno Lopez Giron, displaced person from Banavil.
On 03/08, the day of their provisional 15-day return after 3 years and 8 months of displacement, they reported that “We are returning temporarily, not because our complaints are already resolved […] but because life in the city is very hard, because we have no land to work and no house to live in.” “In the guiding principles of internal displacement it is written that every human being has the right to protection from displacement and that national authorities are obliged to provide protection to internally displaced persons,” they recalled.
On 11/08 they shared information about the development of their return. “Before leaving the caravan, on 03/08 they informed us that government representatives [came] to say that for our temporary return there is no security and how that when we were in a meeting in Tuxtla G. we were told that we can come back.” They reported that they found their land and their houses looted and the inhabitants of Banavil had cut off water which as of 11/08 had not been restored. “On our lands in Santa Rosa, Tenejapa we started work on the boundaries and we found 4 felled trees belonging to us […] they have cut the wires in different parts of our lands […] we found 2 trees and 2 sections of cut wire […] when we started working the boundaries [in Banavil] we found they had been moved: they are invading our land.”
On 17/08 they completed the provisional return. “To date the State government has shown lack of will and interest to attend to our situation […] After 3 years and 8 months, on 13/08 the sub-director of preliminary investigations of indigenous prosecutions and others came to our houses to take pictures and evidence of the looting and damage […] we demand that they repair the damage because it is our right”. They expressed gratitude for all the support, both human and material, and to the free media and the health promoters of Las Abejas of Acteal.
“We will continue fighting for our 7 demands for Truth, Justice and return. We ask you not to leave us isolated.”
The indigenous uprising in Ecuador sheds light on communal struggles in Guatemala
“Once again, the struggles of women and men in the indigenous communities of Ecuador succeed in questioning the system of exploitation and land-grabbing headed by the government of Rafael Correa, and at the same time, produce meanings that fuel the resistance of the peoples and communities in Guatemala, also facing an openly extractive national policy.
Just as 25 years ago, in 1992 in the indigenous uprising they said: “1992 not one more hacienda in Ecuador” when communities of Amazonia, the mountains and the coast rose up to dismantle the hacienda system which concentrated land; at the same time they demanded the regularization of bilingual education for their sons and daughters, and the validity of justice systems. In short, they struggled for the material and political autonomy of the communities; this was an extraordinary moment when they, together with communities in Guatemala who – at the same period – were fighting for the defence of their lands. ”
In Ecuador, “they announced that they would start an uprising which ‘will be progressive’, to quote Don Jorge Herrera president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador -CONAIE-, who also said that the activities were planned and decided at a meeting […] the march and the uprising are against the extractive policy, and also against the signing of the Free Trade Agreement”.
“In Guatemala we know what the president of CONAIE is talking about […] we know about the plunder of communal lands, and how human and natural forms of life which were developed there were destroyed in order to build mines […] as a result of the Free Trade Agreement which Guatemala signed with the United States nearly 20 years ago already. It reaffirms the forms of land-grabbing”.
“The struggle is for the means of life, for territory and for the structures of municipal government that are the strategies to control material wealth which the communities produce; that has been the historical struggle and that is the future that we want. For that reason, the struggles of the nationalities of Ecuador embody the continental struggle of indigenous communities against capital and against progressive governments.”