dorset chiapas solidarity

October 31, 2015

State Racism Condemns Mexican Indigenous to Prison and Poverty

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:06 pm


State Racism Condemns Mexican Indigenous to Prison and Poverty


"Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society, when native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent," said Leticia Aparicio Soriano. | Photo: EFE

“Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society, when native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent,” said Leticia Aparicio Soriano. | Photo: EFE

Stereotypes in Mexico exclude indigenous people from developing policy to address their problems, rights activists say.

More than 8,000 indigenous people are serving sentences in Mexico’s state and federal prisons because of institutionalized racism, indigenous rights advocates said Tuesday.

At the conference “Indigenous Peoples: Social Disadvantages, Access to Rights and Justice,” various indigenous leaders convened to discuss the structural problems their people face in Mexico, home to nearly 16 million indigenous people.

“Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society,” said Leticia Aparicio Soriano from the National School of Social Work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “Native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent,”

These forces of discrimination mean indigenous people are not considered social actors who can also propose, organize and develop public policies to protect and enhance their rights, Aparicio said.

The Mexican state’s unwillingness to shape policies in consultation with indigenous communities has produced higher levels of poverty and limited access to social services while keeping native languages unprotected, organizers mentioned, according to news agency Notimex.

In addition, the lack of judicial assistance, cultural sensitivity and due process has led to thousands of indigenous people serving sentences in judicial and federal prisons, explained Maria Amparo Gutierrez Reyes, legal representative of the Mexican Indigenous Women’s Network.



GMO Ban Pending, Monsanto Hopes to Double Sales in Mexico

Filed under: Maize — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:01 pm


GMO Ban Pending, Monsanto Hopes to Double Sales in Mexico



A Mexican woman protests against genetically modified corn in Mexico City as part of a larger national movement against Monsanto. | Photo: Xinhua This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: “–20151028-0016.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article.


A pending court decision on whether to uphold a ban on GM corn will be crucial in determining the corporation’s fate in Mexico.

Monsanto wants to double its sales in Mexico over the next five years, but the agribusiness giant’s hopes may be dashed if the country decides to uphold a ban on genetically modified corn crops.

Monsanto’s announcement on Tuesday of its goals to increase business in Mexico by 2020 come as Mexican courts consider whether to allow GM corn in the country’s agricultural sector. Meanwhile, ecological, Indigenous, and farmers’ movements are pushing for a ban, continuing a longstanding resistance against genetically modified organisms and in defence of biodiversity in Mexico.


A Mexican women carries cobs of different corn varieties during a protest in Mexico City. I Photo: AFP

A Mexican women carries cobs of different corn varieties during a protest in Mexico City. I Photo: AFP


Although Mexico prohibited Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations from planting GM corn in the country in 2013, a Mexican court overturned the ban in August, opening the door for a possible surge in Monsanto’s business.

But with a final ruling still pending while appeals are heard, strong public opposition to GMOs could still push for a decision to uphold the ban. Mexican courts could soon release their decision, according to Reuters.

Mexico is considered the birthplace of domesticated maize, with the first crops planted more than 8,000 years ago by ancient Mayan and Olmec civilizations. There are dozens of maize varieties native to Mexico, whose protection from GMO takeover is considered critical to cultural, seed, and food sovereignty, according to land and environmental defenders.

Anti-GMO campaigns have also raised concerns about the impact of Monsanto’s products on human health. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization ruled that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, glyphosate “probably” causes cancer.

The majority of Monsanto’s profits in Mexico, 70 percent, come from genetically engineered corn, which the company claims will increase local farmers’ yields. Opponents, however, argue that traditional agroecological farming methods and native seeds can boost small farmers’ harvests and protect biodiversity.

In fiscal year 2015, Monsanto reported $US400 million in sales in Mexico of a total $US15 billion global sales.

The movement against GMOs in Mexico is part of a larger mobilization of social organizations and researchers across Latin America that have also spoken out against Monsanto products in pursuit of wider ban of the biotechnology company in the region.–20151028-0016.html



Honey and GM Soya Beans Cannot Co-Exist

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:50 pm


Honey and GM Soya Beans Cannot Co-Exist




La Jornada, 29th October, 2015

Rémy Vandame*

On June 12, 2012, in this newspaper, we posed the question: “Honey and Genetically-Modified Organisms: An Impossible Coexistence?” At that time, the concern was about the contamination of honey by pollen from genetically modified soya beans, a crop that had just been authorized for large-scale planting in Mexico.

Today we can assert with much scientific evidence that coexistence is impossible: honey production will be irremediably and negatively affected by cultivation of GM soya beans. This assertion is supported by scientific, environmental and social arguments.

From the scientific point of view, it has been shown that contamination of honey with pollen from GM soya beans is inevitable. Based on the research itself, we know that the bees visit soya bean fields up to two kilometres from their hives. There have been no serious cases of pollution of Mexican honey until now, because soya is still cultivated in limited extensions (up to 16,000 hectares in Hopelchén, Campeche), and the bees still rely on other non-GM crops. But by expanding the areas planted with GMOs or extending the planting in approved sites, eventually what happened in Argentina will occur here. In Argentina, 28-percent of honey contains GM pollen. Therefore, it is not possible for honey cultivation to coexist with the planting of GM crops without GM contamination.

From an environmental point of view, the most serious is that the soya bean monoculture is grown on recently deforested land, without permission to do so, and it involves the use of glyphosate with undesirable short, medium and long-term effects. Data from SAGARPA [Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food] shows that between 2013 (the year after permits were issued for GM Soya bean) and 2014, the agricultural area increased to 9,594 hectares, and the soya bean area has increased to 9,449 hectares, quickly making up 24.7-percent of the cultivated area in this vast Municipality of Hopelchén.

Not only does the extension of soya bean cultivation coincide with the expansion of agriculture, but these extensions are taking place at the expense of original vegetation due to the immoderate, illegal logging of the forest. Losing forest area means the loss of a crucial resource for the bees. This loss affects both the production of honey and the bees’ diversity. [But it also affects] the biodiversity that is one of Mexico’s great riches and the basis for equilibrium in this agro-ecological system and many other systems. Finally, there are other harmful environmental impacts: water runoff [on deforested hillsides], soil loss, and so on.

The use of glyphosate in all the fields approved for GM-soya bean and others on offer today implies very negative impacts on the environment and health. Soya beans tolerant to this pesticide accumulate it in their tissues and it gets into food and also in to the pollen that, by contaminating the honey, also arrives in our diet. The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic in humans. By planting any GM crop resistant to this pesticide, its concentration is increased in food, water, and other implements for common and close use (e.g., cotton, among others). In Argentina it has been shown that exposure to glyphosate seriously affects learning and also the health of the bees. In short, the cultivation of GM soybean implies adverse impacts not only on the health of bees and humans, but on the environment as well.
The planting of GM Soybeans also has negative impacts on society. Their monoculture requires large areas, encouraging the concentration and dispossession of land. A prime example of this process was the purchase in 2008 of 5,695 hectares in the ejido of Xmaben, also in the Municipality of Hopelchén. In this way the territories and communities are being broken up at the expense of the agribusiness fields which only want to increase the scale of their businesses and obtain greater profits. This also undermines the sovereignty of the pueblos, their independence and their ability to produce their own food.

In short, after three years of careful studies and rigorous scientific analysis, we can say, without any doubt, that it is not possible for the planting of GM soya beans to take place alongside the production of honey without GM contamination and carcinogenic pesticide contamination. In addition, the planting of these GMOs leads to high rates of deforestation, harm to the health of bees, farmers and consumers, and negative environmental impacts one after another. Planting GMOs abolishes food sovereignty, promotes land grabbing and dispossession, and the disintegration of territories and peasant communities, with all the negative social consequences and injustice that this implies.

*Rémy Vandame is coordinator of Apiculture (Beekeeping) in the Program of Agriculture and Food with the Union of Scientists Committed to Society.

Translated by Jane Brundage



Activists gatecrash BP-sponsored Day of the Dead event at British Museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:52 pm


Activists gatecrash BP-sponsored Day of the Dead event at British Museum




Last night, 50 Latin American and British activists joined together to mount a highly visual performance-protest during the British Museum’s ‘Day of the Dead’ festival. The evening event was co-sponsored by BP and the Mexican government, and campaigners accuse the museum of playing host to a ‘deadly partnership’ which is covering up a host of human rights and environmental abuses.

Six sinister characters, with deathly “Day of the Dead” painted faces, played the roles of BP and the Mexican government, striking dirty deals and stamping out dissent. Meanwhile, other performers created a “living shrine” to celebrate the communities fighting back against destructive oil projects and state repression in Mexico.




The performance was repeated around the museum, and at one point a group of campaigners invaded the Museum’s official stage with banners criticising BP and the Mexican government. The invasion received loud cheers and applause from the audience and visible support from the official performers, who laid one of the group’s banners out on the stage before it was removed by museum staff. Museum security were eventually forced to allow the rebel performance to happen beside the stage in its own agreed time slot, without interruption from the sound system or the scheduled entertainment.

The performers remained in the Museum until closing time, with the deathly BP characters roaming the space and interacting with Museum visitors. Campaigners distributed 1,000 flyers and found overwhelming support from the public.

The evening-long protest-performance aimed to embarrass BP as it attempts to sell itself to Mexican officials and the public. It was co-organised by the London Mexico Solidarity and BP or not BP? [1] and highlighted BP’s environmental destruction, human rights abuses and lobbying against climate action. It also accused the Mexican government of trying to distract attention from human rights abuses – including the disappearance a year ago of 43 students – and of co-opting arts and culture to attract foreign investors to its newly-privatised oil and gas sector.




A member of London Mexico Solidarity who took part in the performance said, “Tonight we exposed the reality of the dirty relationship between BP, the Mexican Government and the British Museum. We stood in solidarity with the many thousands of people in Mexico who are fighting back against destructive oil and gas projects and state repression.”




Jess Worth of BP or not BP? said, “The audience response to our stage invasion should leave the Museum in no doubt that BP is a deeply unpopular sponsor, and the Mexican government partnership is problematic, given its track record on human rights. It’s time the Museum listened to its visitors and ditched these dodgy partnerships.”

The British Museum event – part of a four-day Days of the Dead celebration – is part of the Dual Year of UK and Mexico 2015, ‘a year-long celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange’ between the two nations.




BP is currently trying to dramatically increase its access to Mexico’s oil and gas [2], in particular more deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, despite the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster which has polluted Mexico’s waters and coastline. As Mexico recovers from Hurricane Patricia – the strongest hurricane ever recorded – the country is also already feeling the effects of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels.

The British Museum is coming under increasing pressure over its 5-year sponsorship deal with BP. It is due to decide whether to renew the deal over the next few months, and protest performances regularly disrupt the museum.

London-Mexico Solidarity, BP or not BP?Movimiento Jaguar Despierto – MJDLondon Palestine Action

#MXUK2015 #UKMX2015




Celebrating the dead while silencing the living

BP and the Mexican Government sponsor the Day of the Dead




Claudio Garcia, from the London Mexico Solidarity Group, explains why the event was gatecrashed……

This week, BP and the Mexican government are co-sponsoring a four-day-long Day of the Dead festival at the British Museum. Both are trying to improve their public images by associating themselves with Mexico’s world-famous festival and London’s world-famous museum. But behind the sugar skulls and colourful shrines to the dead there is a much darker tale of greed, corruption, death and pollution. On Friday evening, the London-Mexico Solidarity group and BP or not BP? gatecrashed BP and Mexico’s deadly party to expose the truth.

The event is part of a much bigger and extremely expensive marketing strategy: the Dual Year of UK and Mexico 2015. Officially described as ‘a year-long celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange’ between the two nations, the #UKMX2015 (as it is known) gives a false image of democracy and economic progress. Made possible through two decades of collaboration between the UK government and a succession of mercilessly corrupt Mexican politicians, today it is using art and culture to further its underlying aim: to allow Mexican oligarchs and transnational companies like BP to privatise previously state-owned companies, and get hold of natural resources.

This economic consortium can only thrive in an increasingly militarized Mexico, in which drug cartels collaborate with the government and foreign corporations to ensure their profits. This is worsening a humanitarian crisis that has already taken the lives of more than 151,000 people, and seen the disappearance of more than 25,700 people, and the forced migration of millions, while 80% of Mexicans are trapped in poverty.


Read the rest of this article:

#MXUK2015 #UKMX2015


October 26, 2015

Mexican Farmers Accuse Mining Companies of Shady Tactics in Chiapas

Filed under: Mining — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:08 pm


Mexican Farmers Accuse Mining Companies of Shady Tactics in Chiapas

Renata Bessi and Santiago Navarro F., Truthout | Report


The status of Soconusco as one of the wettest areas of Mexico makes it a very important region, with a complex hydrological network containing many permanent rivers. (Photo: Renata Bessi)

The status of Soconusco as one of the wettest areas of Mexico makes it a very important region, with a complex hydrological network containing many permanent rivers. (Photo: Renata Bessi)


Alberto Villatoro, a farmer in the fertile region of Los Cacaos in Chiapas, Mexico, recalls, with a mixture of sadness and anger, how innocently he used to walk over the area’s silvery blue rocks.

“I can remember those metals in the river ever since I was a child,” he told Truthout. “We would kick them around on the paths, unaware that it was titanium.”

Now those same rocks have become highly sought after, and the Chinese mining company Honour Up Trading is seeking to gain control of large swaths of land in Villatoro’s community to exploit one of the biggest seams of titanium in Mexico. “We’ve already had open-pit titanium mining here [in 2009]. Now they want to build the tunnel and leave us living on land resembling an eggshell,” he said. “That would be the end of our shared land.”

Mexico’s government gave the green light for titanium mining to occur below 500 of the 530 hectares that make up the Los Cacaos community, via underground tunnels stretching from the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range up to the upper section of the town.

“We’ve already had open-pit titanium mining here. Now they want to build the tunnel and leave us living on land resembling an eggshell.”

Villatoro and his neighbors in Los Cacaos express acute fears about the potential environmental effects of Honour Up Trading’s plans. “If they build tunnels, the mountain will collapse, because it is a very wet area,” Villatoro told Truthout. He believes that local leaders “were tricked into signing off on the exploration process” by the mining company, he added.

Florentina Antonio Morales, a local farmer echoed this allegation. “They came here to trick us, that’s the truth,” she told Truthout. “They promised us a lot. They said they would build a market, a road, a park for the kids. But none of that went any further than just talk.”……..

The Global Imperative Behind Mining in Chiapas

The majority of concessions in the state of Chiapas are located in the region's Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains. (Photo: Renata Bessi)

The majority of concessions in the state of Chiapas are located in the region’s Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains. (Photo: Renata Bessi)

The push to increase titanium mining in Chiapas is part of a global response to the demand for titanium created by the increasing popularity of laptops and mobile phones, which require titanium to produce.

Hans Vestberg, the executive director of Ericsson, predicted in 2012 that by the year 2020 there would be 50 billion mobile phones connected. Manufacturing a single mobile phone requires at least 200 types of metals, including titanium.

Titanium is also used in the weapons, aeronautical, naval and nuclear engineering industries and is heavily sought after by the United States, the European Union, Japan and China.

Mexico is one of five Latin American countries where the presence of the material has been identified, along with Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Peru. Mexico’s Finance Ministry maintains that the country could meet a significant part of the world’s demand for titanium, pointing to deposits in the subsoil of Chiapas.

According to the Mexican government’s Comprehensive Mining Administration System (SIAM) and Infomex, 99 mining concessions have been granted by the federal government in the state of Chiapas in 2015, with operating licenses that are valid until 2050 and 2060. The peasant land and indigenous territory granted in concessions totals approximately 1,057,081 hectares, the equivalent of 14.2 percent of the state’s area.

To read the rest of this article, go to:



Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State

Filed under: Acteal — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:50 am


Las Abejas of Acteal reject “friendly solution” with Mexican State


Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH

Juan Vázquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table of Las Abejas of Acteal, before the IACHR to discuss the case of the Acteal massacre @DanielCima paraCIDH


On 20th October, two days before their monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society, together with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC), participated in a public audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC, regarding impunity in the case of the Acteal massacre. In this audience, allegations were presented regarding the basis of the case that evidences “the responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre and the lack of investigation, sanction, and compensation for the victims.” Las Abejas assured in the voice of Juan Vásquez Luna, Secretary of the Directive Table, that for the Tsotsiles of the Chiapas Highlands, “this massacre was planned by the Mexican State.” Before the IACHR, Las Abejas requested “that a profound report be prepared to investigate the Acteal massacre, declaring the Mexican State responsible for this crime.” For his part, the official representative of the Mexican government rejected all responsibility for the atrocity, using the argument that there is no report or recommendation that claims the State to have been responsible.

Subsequent to the audience before the IACHR, in the offices of the CDHFBC in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a press conference was held denouncing the “cynicism of the Mexican State in denying its responsibility for the Acteal massacre. We say as our comrade Juan Vázquez manifested before the IACHR today in Washington, that we will NOT accept coming to any friendly resolution with the Mexican State.”

On 22 October, during their monthly commemoration, Las Abejas recognized that they are not surprised “by the response of the Mexican State during the public audience […] not accepting its responsibility for this massacre […] because for nearly 18 years, it has denied its participation and planning of this massacre. On the contrary, with its policy of attrition toward the survivors and victims of Acteal and toward our organization of Las Abejas, it has attempted to use several means and faces to divide us and silence us.” They assured that, despite the “attempt by the Mexican State to exterminate our children on 22 December 1997, the children of today are now seeds and immortal hopes for the just and humane world that we Tsotsiles and Tseltales are building, being men and women of different colours, thought, and struggle.”



Indigenous people of Chiapas organize in Acteal to “continue the path of The Other Justice”

Filed under: Acteal — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:26 am


Indigenous people of Chiapas organize in Acteal to “continue the path of The Other Justice”


Forum “The Other Justice” in Acteal, Chenalhó, Chiapas @LasAbejasdeActeal

Forum “The Other Justice” in Acteal, Chenalhó, Chiapas @LasAbejasdeActeal


On 10 and 11 October, more than 200 indigenous persons from Chiapas met in Acteal, Chenalhó, Mexico, for the Forum on “The Other Justice” organized by the Las Abejas Civil Society, the X’INICH Committee for the Defense of Freedom, and Peoples United in Defense of Electrical Energy (PUDEE). The meeting served to “continue on the path of The Other Justice and to reconstruct our memory due to the pain we have confronted as victims of the counterinsurgent war. We will share our experiences from our cultures within a context of impunity.” The forum, which was organized with three meetings, ended in Acteal with the participation of members of national and international social organizations and “survivors and relatives [of survivors] of the war in the Northern Zone, Viejo Velasco, Banavil, the Primero de Agosto community, as well as other peoples who lived impunity in their own bodies, to speak and reaffirm our words and construct Lekil Chapanel and Bats’il meltsanel, that is to say, Dignified Justice, True Justice, which is righteous and humane.”

In their pronunciation participants declared that “due to such impunity, lies, cynicism, and hypocrisy on the part of the government, our eyes were opened and our ears began to hear the cries due to injustice, such that our heart and thought tell us that True Justice, dignified, long-lasting, humane, and righteous will not be given by the bad government.” Beyond this, they recognized that they must “struggle together without concern for cultural differences, or those related to age, profession, work, or religion. Only by walking together will we reach The Other Justice that is for women, men, children, students, workers of the city and countryside, migrants, lesbians, gays, and trans* individuals […] for all those who are humiliated, discriminated against, and oppressed and repressed by the neoliberal capitalist system.”



Femicides on the rise in Chiapas: six victims in fewer than 10 days

Filed under: Women — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:53 am


Femicides on the rise in Chiapas: six victims in fewer than 10 days




The increase in the number of cases of femicide has been called “one of the gravest problems in Chiapas,” according to the sociologist María del Rosario AlarcónIn fewer than 10 days, six women were killed: three of them were sexually assaulted, one was a minor, another was pregnant, and some of the corpses that were found showed serious signs of violence. These femicides were perpetrated in Chiapa de Corzo, Pujiltic (Venustiano Carranza municipality), and in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

On repeated occasions, the negligence of the State has been denounced in terms of applying justice in the cases of femicide. According to Contralínea, clear examples are seen in the covering-up of the cases of femicides, toward the end of maintaining a good political image; the impunity resulting from lack of investigation in the cases such as femicides, though nearly all the states include this crime in their penal codes; or the discriminatory prejudice and lack of efforts made by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the judiciary toward the end of applying the highest international standards in terms of human rights, where the majority of the statistics that are published originate from data provided by the monitoring of press carried out by the Group of Women from San Cristóbal. According to this group, “femicidal violence has increased in the past three years. During this period there have been registered 249 cases.” According to the same source, in Chiapas femicide is principally perpetrated by those close to the victims, in the majority of cases relatives with whom the women had had affective relations.

As a response, the Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas, presented on 25 November 2013—in observance of the International Day against Violence against Women—a request for the declaration of a Gender Violence Alert (AVG). This would be a mechanism that provides the National System to Prevent, Attend to, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women, to “guarantee the security of women, the cessation of violence against them, and the elimination of inequalities produced by the legislation that worsens their human rights.” The AVG has been denied by the Chiapas state government, which has not even investigated the possibility, using the argument that in this entity “femicide does not affect the social peace.”

The AVG mechanism has been a polemical issue. Following 13 requests denied in 10 states, the Alert was declared for the first time this year in July in 11 municipalities of Mexico State. Criticism from those like Alicia Elena Pérez Duarte, former federal special prosecutor for attending to violence against women, notes that the AVG “does nothing,” since it has failed to break with the “patriarchal agreement” whereby violence continues against women. According to the specialist, there are vastly different perceptions regarding the advances from the points of view of feminists and the legal system, for State officials “do not understand what femicide is.” Beyond this, she added that the mechanism is not functioning, but rather that it is only wasting money, the energy of organizations, and time, so that “nothing at the end changes.”



Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:42 am


Oaxaca: Residents of Juchitan win motion to suspend construction of wind-energy park

Press-conference @ Cencos

Press-conference @ Cencos

On 12th October, representatives from the indigenous Binni’zaa (Zapotec) community from Juchitán de Zaragoza reported that, due to the legal motion they had submitted against the construction and the operation of the megaproject advanced by the Southern Wind-Energy Corporation on their lands, a judicial order has been made to suspend all the authorizations, permits, approvals, licenses, and land-use changes awarded by local and federal officials. The demand for the motion had been presented by 1,166 Binni’zaa indigenous people, and the suspension was approved on 30 September 2015.

“We demand that all the authorities and firms involved in the Southern Wind-Energy project observe with the demand made by the judge to suspend this work, meanwhile we wish to denounce that as a consequence of this judicial resolution, harassment has increased against the people who had advanced the legal motion,” they indicated in a press-conference. Beyond this, they added that “there was no public consultation, given that last January the project had been approved by the Regulatory Commission on Energy and the Environmental and Natural Resources Ministry, but it was not until June of this year that the consultation was carried out. In any case, it was mere simulation.” Beyond this, it was recalled that the Southern Wind-Energy Firm belongs to the same groups of capitalists that in 2012 comprised the Mareña Renewables firm, against which the indigenous had won a different legal motion two years ago. But it has returned now with another name.



October 25, 2015

“Throughout these 6.512 days we have been worn down with exhaustion,” say the victims of the Acteal Massacre to the IACHR.

Filed under: Acteal, Autonomy, Paramilitary — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:04 pm


“Throughout these 6.512 days we have been worn down with exhaustion,” say the victims of the Acteal Massacre to the IACHR.




“This massacre was planned by the Mexican State itself. We will not accept an amicable solution; we ask for the case to continue in process until the truth is found.” Acteal.

“We recognize that the state was unable to prevent these events or to respond appropriately after them.” Campa Cifrián.




Chiapas, Mexico. October 20th. “We were given a blow, but today we are here to seek justice,” explained Juan Vásquez Luna, a member of the Civil Society Las Abejas of Acteal, at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC, to demand justice for the massacre perpetrated against 18 adult women, 4 of them pregnant; 16 adolescents; 4 children and 7 men, on December 22, 1997, 6,512 days ago, in the community of Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.

Vásquez Luna, a member of the board of Las Abejas, who lost nine of his relatives in the massacre, submitted to the Commission a study on the Massacre of Acteal, entitled: Psychosocial Study of the background, factors associated with the act and management of the emergency, psychosocial consequences and collective impact on the community of Acteal. “This psychosocial study will include a Forensic Expert Report,” he added.

“This massacre was planned by the Mexican State itself”, assured the indigenous of the Chiapas highlands through the voice of Vásquez Luna, for which reason they called on the Commission “to issue an in-depth report on the case of the Acteal Massacre, declaring the State responsible for the violations.” Las Abejas of Acteal were accompanied by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), as they have been since December 1997.

“The Mexican government continues to promote impunity through their corrupt system” stated the Las Abejas Civil Society, noting that “Far from punishing those responsible for the massacre, they have rewarded them with lands, houses and even monthly pensions”. “Those directly responsible for the Acteal Massacre have been released,” they said.




The representative of the indigenous Tzotziles and of Frayba, warned that “there is no will for guarantees of non-repetition” and that “the return of soldiers to Acteal is a time bomb.” “There are military incursions into territories in resistance where people are building processes of autonomy,” added the Abejas of Acteal, and stated that “in the territory there are 72 military camps who are in a state of war.”

Meanwhile, Commissioner Ortiz questioned the representatives of the Mexican government “on what the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) based the conclusion that the Acteal Massacre was not perpetrated by paramilitaries?” “If the state said that they did not preserve the scene of the Acteal Massacre, then what reliable conclusions could be drawn?” asked the human rights defender.

In his address to the hearing at the Commission, the envoy of the government of Mexico, Roberto Campa Cifrián, acknowledged that before the massacre in the community of Acteal, the State “was unable to prevent these events and respond appropriately after them.” And yet in spite of all this, “the Mexican State denies the internal armed conflict and low-intensity war that prevails in Chiapas,” said Frayba.

“Impunity is part of the counterinsurgency strategy, because it exhausts and divides the survivors, which has brought us great pain. The integral policy of attrition from the Mexican State is their weapon to kill our memory, thus leaving the crime unpunished,” the indigenous in resistance also expressed in a communiqué on October 2nd.




Following the hearing at the IACHR in Washington, the civil organization Las Abejas of Acteal held a press conference in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. “The Impact of the Acteal Massacre is manifested in chronic stress, lack of justice and community exhaustion,” shared the Indians in Frayba’s facilities.

“It was mostly women who died at Acteal,” stressed Maria Vasquez, a survivor of the massacre. “The Mexican government wanted to exterminate us, but here we continue to denounce this state crime”, emphasized the Tzotzil indigenous woman.

“Two years and nine months after the submission of comments on the case of the Acteal Massacre (30th January 2013), the petitioners have not received the alleged remarks of the Mexican state,” explained Frayba. “As discussed earlier in this audience we have asked the Commissioners of the IACHR to urge the Mexican state to submit its observations and for the Commission to issue the in-depth report in to this case,” said the human rights body.

“The counterinsurgency stage, during the government of Ernesto Zedillo, was to undermine support from the civilian population for the guerrilla, in the highlands and northern areas, by means of police and paramilitary actions, under the command of the Mexican army and its Rainbow Task Force commanded by General Mario Renán Castillo,” recalled Frayba. “This strategy was unveiled by the document ‘Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan’,” they explained.

Frayba bulletin:

Hearing before the Commission on the Acteal Massacre:

We do not accept a friendly settlement with the Mexican state: Abejas of Acteal:

Photo: Susana Montes



The second level of the Zapatista Escuelita part II

Filed under: Women, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:28 pm


The second level of the Zapatista Escuelita part II




By: Gilberto López y Rivas / II

The texts of the Zapatista women included in Chapter 1 of the book Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra, which students of the second level of the Zapatista Escuelita must analyze, are frightening, especially Comandanta Miriam’s narrative about the situation of the women before 1994: “Since the arrival of the conquistadores we women have had to endure a sad situation. They stole our land and took away our language, our culture. That’s where the domination of caciquismo [1] and the landowners came into being, along with triple exploitation, humiliation, discrimination, marginalization, mistreatment and inequality. Because the fucking bosses had us as if they were our owners.”

Her extraordinary description of acasillamiento [2] – being housed (on the haciendas) -touches on the different types of the women’s humiliation and forced work at the hands of the finqueros [3], to the extent that some decided to take refuge in the hills. “They got together, talked and formed a community where they were able to live. That’s how they formed a community. But again, once they are living in the communities, those ideas that came from the boss (or the acasillado) are brought in. It’s as if the men dragged these bad ideas with them and applied them inside the house, like the little boss of the house… It’s not true that the women were liberated. Now it’s the men that are the little boss of the house. And once again the woman stayed at home as if it were a prison. Once again, the women didn’t leave the house, they were shut in their houses again…”

Comandanta Rosalinda tells the story of the recruitment of the first women in the clandestine years, town by town, of the necessity of organizing and that there were both milicianas [4] and insurgents, “until ’94 arrives when we appeared in public, when we no longer endured the mistreatment that the fucking capitalists did to us. There we saw that it’s really true that we have courage and strength equal to men, because we were able to confront the enemy, without fear of anyone… Later we realized (that) making a revolution required both women and men.”



Comandanta Dalia continues the narration of women’s work with the EZLN, of the talks in each town, of the problems that they confront when even today some men become cabroncitos [5], of how they passed through all of the jobs with responsibility until they attain being on the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee. She asserts that they are going to continue organizing themselves “because there is still sadness, pain, incarceration and rape, as well as the mothers of the 43 disappeared… Men and women must struggle 100 percent. Having a new society in which the people are the ones that command.”

The young support base Lizbeth and the listener Selena maintain that they didn’t know the life of the haciendas and now they have the freedom and the right as women to express their opinion, discuss, participate in the multiple tasks of the resistance and autonomy, resisting the counterinsurgency and the mirages of capitalism that they show on television, trying to use cell phones and the very same television for their struggle. They distinguish the poor-poor, the party members, materially poor and poor of thought, from the Zapatistas, who are also poor but rich because of their work for the good of the people and so that there are no dominators or exploiters.

For his part, Sub Galeano, in his “Vision of the conquered,” points out how those generations of Indigenous women now say their word in the genealogy of their struggle. “Three generations of rebel Zapatistas –he emphasizes–, not only against the system, also against us… Zapatista men.” He declares defeat because of that struggle, although like the capitalist hydra he maintains that the males always try to regain their lost privileges. He again takes up the origin of that struggle and describes that everything started with the insurgents. He reiterates that non-indigenous women also participate in the EZLN, and in the main part of his unique narrative-testimony the various opinions of these compañeras are transcribed, which refer to the very intimate man-woman relationship and to the characterization of the dominant and violent male, a schizophrenic hunter who, however sensitive and receptive he may consider himself, cannot be a feminist, because he represents the same system against which he supposedly struggles.

The three parts of the notes on resistances and rebellions, presented by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, constitute key texts for understanding the Zapatista struggle. He begins by remembering that the Zapatistas are an armed organization, but contrary to the militarist tradition of some Latin American guerrillas, in this case guns don’t become a fetish, rather they are seen as one more tool, like the machete, the axe, the shovel, although one is conscious that each tool has its function, and the purpose of the gun is to kill.

After the ’94 withdrawal, it was understood that the struggle could take many forms and that resistance and rebellion could be expressed in various ways. “Resistance is becoming strong, tough, responding to everything, to any attacks from the enemy, from the system; and rebellion is being brave to take actions, or whatever we must do… One must resist the provocations of the Army and the police, the media reports and the psychological bombardments.” They discovered that with resistance and rebellion it is possible to govern and develop initiatives. In fact, the Zapatistas have not carried out a single armed attack since January 1994. “It doesn’t mean, compañeros and compañeras, brothers and sisters, it doesn’t mean that we are renouncing our arms, but rather that it’s that political, ideological, rebel understanding, which gives us the way to see how one must really convert this resistance into an arm of struggle.” Political work and explanation are required for all this, and that governing is not conducted with orders, but rather with agreements.


  1. Caciquismo – Local despotism
  2. Acasillamiento – A type of indentured servanthood
  3. Finqueros – Ranch or estate owners
  4. Milicianas – Female political organizers with military training that can be called up in an emergency, somewhat like a national guard.
  5. Cabroncitos – little bastards


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

Friday, October 23, 2015



October 21, 2015

BoCa En BoCa #37 in English October 2015

Filed under: Boca en Boca — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:17 pm


BoCa En BoCa #37 in English October 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.

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The other cry from Simojovel

On 15/09 the Believing People of Simojovel made their own cry [the commemoration of the cry for independence in Mexico – translator]: “We wonder: Are we free and sovereign? If we are free, then why are there so many dead? Why the criminalization of social protest? Why are there many displaced people in Chiapas? Why so much corruption of the authorities? Why has organized crime taken great force and is gradually controlling the people? Why so much poverty, increasing to more than 2 million poor people?” They added: “We have to recognize that we cannot shout Viva Mexico! because there is widespread cry in our country, expressed by the bishops of Mexico: “Enough! We need a new face and heart for Mexico, we need a change, but a change of system. Pope Francis is so right to say: ‘This system cannot last.’”

Again they asked: “Who will make this change? The freedom and independence that the priest Miguel Hidalgo began, he did not do it with governments, with the powerful, the ambitious, and the corrupt. He did it with the poor, the slaves, the simple and humble people.” They ended by stating clearly: “We want this change to happen by peaceful means that do not lead to bloodshed.” y y

Takeover of Tila Town Hall

On 16/09, Chol Indians in northern Chiapas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, after a huge march and rally demanded the “immediate departure of the municipal council of Tila, located illegally inside the ejido”. The men and women ejido members also spoke in favour of a halt to the presence of state police who have been in the area since the elections in July. Similarly they demanded “the disappearance of paramilitary groups” which they say, “are created by the Mayor, in complicity with the state government.” During the symbolic takeover of the Town Hall, the descendants of the Maya made it clear that their lands are for the Chol people, and the Mayor “is not well seen in the ejido”. “The Mayor should go to Petalcingo” they added, “because it is in that community that he should legally be.”

Adherents to the Sixth also expressed solidarity with the families of the student teachers who were disappeared from Ayotzinapa by the State, and with the struggle of the Yaqui Tribe, the community of Ostula, Michoacan, as well as with the resistance in San Sebastian Bachajón, Cruztón and Candelaria el Alto in Chiapas.

A special mention was made of the social activist Nadia Vera, originally from Comitán, murdered in July along with four other people in Mexico City, for whom they demanded justice.

Attacks and harassment against Zapatistas

On 15/09, the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Centre documented facts about death threats, physical attacks and harassment against EZLN Support Bases in Tzakukum community, official municipality of Chalchihuitan.

Witnesses confirmed that PRI supporters threatened a Zapatista with “being hacked to death” and cut the “water hose belonging to another Zapatista who was threatened with death with a machete.” On 14/8 at night, one was “insulted and assaulted in a road by a PRI supporter”. On 26/07 “a group of party supporters stopped 4 Zapatistas, and threatened to burn them with gasoline; 8 more people were beaten and have injuries.” On 18/08 a woman Zapatista Support Base was beaten and left “with very serious injuries to her face and her whole body, and 4 other EZLN Support Bases were physically assaulted.” On 02/09 an EZLN Support Base was attacked: “after beating him, they put him in the boot of a vehicle, and he was taken one kilometre away from Tzakukum, where they again beat him and left him.” They pointed to a group of 25 people that are harassing them. Finally they said: “These human rights violations in Tzakukum are taking place in a context of counterinsurgency, implemented by the Mexican state against Zapatista autonomy, and there have been several recent attacks on EZLN Support Bases.”

Fierce attack on the right to inform and to be informed!

On 20/09, men and women compas from Regeneración Radio reported the cessation of broadcasting in the face of escalating violence by violent groups.

Desinformémonos published the news on 8/09, that the home of two journalists was raided.

On 04/09, the Autonomous Communications Agency SubVersiones issued a statement denouncing death threats against three of its members.

On 26/08, while compas from Mas de131 were documenting an action with Ayotzinapa families, they reported that police “stopped us by force and then beat us and removed us from the premises. They asked us to switch off the cameras.”

In Chiapas, several independent media reported attacks or threats on social networks, or in their emails. The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), which maintains a blog, reported that between Friday 14 and the early morning of 17 August 2015, its offices were raided.


01/09- A communiqué released a year after the plunder and theft from Mrs. Carmen Portillo, denounces “Abuse of power by the governor’s mother.”

10/09- the Agrarian Council and CFE raise tensions in Nueva Esperanza, Tila.

11/09- Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón carry out a roadblock.

13/09- The forcible transfer of Alejandro Díaz Santiz and three of his colleagues to a high security prison, CEFERESO, is denounced.

13/09- For their ninth anniversary, the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas evaluate their movement.

14/09- Immigration authorities detain three indigenous women from Chiapas and threaten to deport them to Guatemala, despite their being identified as Mexican.

15/09- Salomón Vázquez Sánchez, indigenous Chol, from Salto de Agua municipality, denounces his unjust incarceration.

20/09- Inhabitants of the lower area of ​​Tila make an invitation to commemorate the victims of the counterinsurgency war.

20/09- The PUDEE denounces the reactivation of paramilitary groups, and demands self-determination for their peoples, and justice.

(Link missing)

22/09- Las Abejas announce their attendance at the  demonstration taking place in Mexico City, in support of Ayotzinapa and also in Acteal.

26 / 09- Las Abejas of Acteal declare their support for Ayotzinapa. “Because our heart is much bigger than the pain the bad government has sown in Ayotzinapa, in Acteal, and throughout Mexico.”


03/09- Displaced families from Banavil denounce the release of one of the authors of the disappearance of one of their members. “We will not stop until we find him.”

06/09- The community of San Vicente recover their taxis after a strong mobilization.

14/09- The Public Ministry protects three federal police, who tortured a Salvadoran migrant sentenced to ten years imprisonment.


Memory: Communiqué from the CCRI of the EZLN, 15 September 1994

Today we are gathered here to remind the people of Mexico who we are and what we want. 184 years ago a handful of indigenous and some mestizos took up arms against the Spanish crown to demand the freedom that the arrogant oppressed with slavery, to demand the democracy that the arrogant choked with dictatorship, to demand the justice that the arrogant chained with exploitation. Today, 184 years after the first insurgents began the struggle for democracy, liberty and justice, for the flag of independence, for the right of the peoples to govern and to govern themselves according to their mind and reason, the flag which passed from the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe to that of the eagle devouring a snake with the three colours, the flag of Mexico, the flag of the workers, peasants, indigenous, teachers and students, of all the poor all of these lands, our flag, is raised with dignity by the Zapatista troops.

Today the troops of usurpation parade on the streets of Mexico City. They would deceive the people of Mexico, presenting themselves as an army of the people, like the Mexican Army. Here the only Mexican army is the Zapatista one of National Liberation. The other is an armed group in the service of the powerful, lacking in military honour and in shame for serving the lie.

Today we have gathered here to turn our hearts and our pain to the mountain, so that our heart is good ground for the seed of the word of those who walk in the night, of those who are mountain.

We, the dead of always, come to tell our dead that we are ready, the long night of the lie that refuses to become dawn needs more blood to fertilize the seed that will be the light tomorrow, we come here to talk to our dead. We have no life now, death walks in our steps since the dawn of the year, from history. There will be no tomorrow for the men and women without face, those of the armed step, those of the true word.

Group of Experts scientifically destroys the Mexican State’s truth about the Ayotzinapa case.

“We are fully convinced that they were not incinerated in that waste dump.”

On 6/09, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, Ayotzinapa (GIEI), made up of lawyers from Colombia, Guatemala, Chile and a psychologist, presented their report Initial Conclusions about the disappearances and deaths of the Ayotzinapa students.

In the statement of one of the detainees in this case, who would have participated in the “cremation, Miguel Landa Bahena, said they used between 10-15 tyres, and for the rest they used wood. However, one of the experts maintains that ‘A simple calculation shows that the amount of wood necessary to supplement the tyres in order to be able to burn a body would require a minimum of 675 kg.’

Following in the same statement, he [the expert] said the pile of bodies must have reached, with a conservative estimate, at least 1.5 metres in height, and the area of burning would cover an area around ​​12m x 2.5m. The PGR report indicates that the burned area in the dump is 15m x 8m.”

“If the members of the 27th Battalion, including the commander JMC, were aware that the young students had been arrested by the Municipal Police of Iguala, a fact that was reported by EM “under their command,” and later on confirmed that they were not detained in the police station, What did they do with this information? What urgent actions did they take? Was the information shared with the highest State Authorities at the time? What instructions were they given? Otherwise, why did they not report it? Why did they handle restricted information in C4 on that night?”

The GIEI reported the existence of a fifth Red Star bus, also transporting students of the Rural Teaching School on 26/09, which is not included in the PGR’s investigations “The invisibility of this bus had serious consequences, since they did not investigate the possible presence of the Federal Police at the scene of the crime at the ‘Palace of Justice,’ nor were necessary and appropriate inquiries made  to clarify the facts, such as the clearing up of the crime scene in the colonia 24 February, the lack of inquiries into the presence of ministerial authorities in the area, alongside local police, as indicated by surviving witnesses, the bus driver’s statement and the recognition of the bus.”

Nicaragua, state violence against organized producers

15/09, the Ministry of the Economy for Families, Communities, Cooperatives and Associations (MEFCCA) of the Ortega Government in Nicaragua announced the “dissolution and suspension of the National Federation of Agricultural and Agroindustrial Cooperatives (FENACOOP). The Fenacoop, which brings together more than 400 cooperatives representing about 15,000 producers had already complained that on 11/09 “a group of men burst into their offices in a violent manner (…) without notice and [the intervention] was led by the legal adviser of MEFCCA (…)” said the president of FENACOOP Sinforiano Cáceres. He added that “They came to open up by force and then brought a number of people wanting to enter and take all the information in here without telling us why.” The president said he does not understand this violence on the part of the state, “why we are trying so, when there are militants and historic collaborators with the Frente [Sandinista] in this organisation?”

The government justifies its actions by referring first to the statement of the official daily Gazette, which certifies that “FENACOOP has not complied with the delivery of financial statements since 2013 and its list of partners since 2012, and is in a state of illegality and in breach of legal requirements” and secondly to a demand for repayment of funds provided by the Austrian Cooperation for Development due to FENACOOP’s failure to submit complete documentation.

In one video, the supporters of FENACOOP explain that all the papers and payments are in order, except for those for 2015, which are in process. Conversely they say they have not received any information from the government to explain its actions and in an article to the newspaper Confidencial, President Caceres explains the illegitimacy of the act saying: “The law states that if they are going to close us they must give six months to remedy the causes of closure, but they have not given us a minute.”



Capitalism, war and counterinsurgency in Chiapas III

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:52 pm


Capitalism, war and counterinsurgency in Chiapas III


By: Gaspar Morquecho

In the jungles and mountains of the Mexican southeast 46,000 indigenous families are resisting the most prolonged counterinsurgency war in the recent history of Mexico. They are grandparents, men and women, youths, girls and boys of four generations of those that a half century ago were abandoning the path and long walk of resistance per se to construct another, the Resistance for its own sake… The task was not simple… In the Chiapas of the Indians, war has been systematic, practically permanent.

The war strategy that comes from far away… a brief summary

We can place one part of the War against the People in Mexico a half-century ago. The workers and teachers experienced it in 1958. As students, we experienced brutal repression of the Student Movement in the Plaza of the Three Cultures in 1968. The CIA, the federal government and their armed forces were the intellectual and material actors of the massacre. In the 1970s, the federal government and the armed forces created the Halcones (Falcons) paramilitary group that was present near the Mexico City International Airport the day that a group of exiled Mexicans returned from Chile. They attacked us on two occasions: the first near the Casco de Santo Tomás, and the second in San Cosme, where they murdered dozens of students on June 10, 1971.

Those State crimes encouraged and gave way to a growing number of movements and armed groups in Mexico. In the mountains of Guerrero, Lucio Cabañas commanded the armed forces of the Party of the Poor. On August 6, 1969, on 5 de Mayo Street in Monterrey, N.L., a group of 7 persons founded the National Liberation Forces (FLN, their initials in Spanish), three more witnessed the act. The Cuban Revolution, the guerrillas and the figure of Che, the National Liberation Movements in Asia, Africa and in Latin America and the revolutionary wars in Central America were the referents that spirited the armed struggle in Mexico. The United States and the USSR were bottled up in World War III, the Chinese communists were confronted with the Russians, and the Yankees were headed to the defeat in Vietnam. To guard its backyard patio, the US imposed the dictatorships, gorilla governments in Latin America.

Within that context, the government of Luis Echeverría Álvarez (LEA) adopted the Counterinsurgent War Strategy in which were conjured up, alternatively, the Dirty War (military and paramilitary violence), the Democratic Opening and the programmes derived from the Social Policy. LEA’s international policy was characterized by the defence of the Sovereignty of Nations, Self-determination of the Peoples and political asylum to the persecuted from the military dictatorships. In that way, LEA projected a democratic, humanitarian and Third World image.

With the Dirty War, the federal government and its armed forces disarticulated and/or annihilated the main body of the armed movements, urban and rural, in Mexico. The result of the Dirty War was 10,000 disappeared persons. In Chiapas, the federal government militarized and populated the jungle and the border with Guatemala with Indians, and started the construction of the Border Highway. With those measures, LEA’s government constructed El Yunque for containing the Guatemalan guerrillas.

In the region of Los Altos (the Highlands), with the majority of the population being indigenous, the Social Policy was concretized in the Socioeconomic Development Programme of Los Altos of Chiapas (PRODESCH); a preventive programme for social containment. United Nations agencies such as FAO and UNICEF intervened in it, and the three levels of government. The PRODESCH was a product of the global policy designed by McNamara at the World Bank, whose objective was: “avoid the political costs of a rebellion.”

Within that context of war, the National Liberation Forces (FLN, their initials in Spanish) were discovered on February 13, 1974. The police were looking for guerrillas of the Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre (September 23 Communist League) who had murdered the impresario Eugenio Garza Sada one year before. That operation led them to an FLN safe house in Monterrey. They arrested and tortured two of its members. On February 14, the Mexican Army attacked the headquarters in Nepantla. Five combatants died there and two were detained.

The soldiers found data in the Nepantla house about the foco established in Rancho El Chilar in the municipio of Ocosingo, Chiapas. Later, 3,000 federal Army members carried out Operation Diamante. Between February and March they extended a circle to locate, occupy and destroy the camp of the FLN’s first Emiliano Zapata guerrilla nucleus in Ocosingo, Chiapas. Seven combatants were murdered and disappeared: Elisa Irina Sáenz, Raúl Pérez Gasque, Carlos Vives, Juan Guichard Gutiérrez, Federico Carballo Subiaur, César Germán Yáñez and Fidelino Velázquez. After a very complicated decade, the FLN was in the position to found the second guerrilla nucleus in the Lacandón Jungle.

Meanwhile, the Programmes to Combat Poverty were grouped together with the violent repression against the indigenous and campesino movements in Chiapas in which the PRI governments, the federal Army, the police and the private armies of the ranchers known as Guardias Blancas (White Guards) systematically participated.

Here are some cases: 1974, 40 soldiers of the 46th battalion burned 29 huts in the Colonia San Francisco in Altamirano municipality. 1975, Tzotzil leaders of Venustiano Carranza were murdered by pistoleros of the ranchers Augusto Castellanos and Carmen Orantes; 1976, confrontation for several hours between the federal army and comuneros [1] of Venustiano Carranza. The result was 2 comuneros dead, 3 injured, 13 detained, 6 women raped and several dead soldiers; 1977, the federal Army extended a military circle in Simojovel, Huitiupán and Sabanilla, 16 ejidos were evicted and the schools were converted into barracks; 1978, in Ocosingo, the Army evicted the indigenous residents of Nuevo Momón, destroyed and burned 150 homes, resulting in 2 Tzeltals dead and 6 tortured; 1979, paid gunmen carried out attacks on campesinos of Venustiano Carranza and Villa de las Rosas and murdered 7 campesinos; 1980, encirclement, intimidation and military manoeuvres in charge of 9,000 soldiers in the Tojolabal municipio of Las Margaritas; 1981, 45,000 soldiers effectuated counter-guerrilla manoeuvres and simulations in the Chol region – Tila and Sabanilla -, in the Lacandón Jungle and on the border with Guatemala; 1982, finqueros and police attack the Tzeltals of Flor de Cacao village; 1983, the indigenous caciques of Chalchihuitán organized the massacre of 11 indigenous and the destruction and burning of homes in the village of Tzakiuc’um.

In that scenario of Social Policy and a war against the peoples, Bishop Samuel Ruiz and the pastoral agents had opted “for the poor among the poor.” Committed people accompanied their resistance and their walking in the Construction of the Kingdom of God. They did not walk blindly. The 1974 Indigenous Congress had profiled a programme of struggle that would be in effect for the next two decades. A programme that guided their accompaniment and the movement of the peoples: Land, health care, education and housing. In the midst of the war against the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples of Chiapas, the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas was found also among the communist, revolutionary, political military social activist organizations that forged the Kiptic ta Lecubtesel, the Independent Central of Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC), the Organización Campesina Emiliano Zapata (OCEZ), the ARIC Union of Unions, Solidaridad Campesina Magisterial (SOCAMA) and the Organización Indígena de Los Altos de Chiapas (ORIACH).

On November 17, 1983 the FLN finally established, after five attempts, the Second Emiliano Zapata Guerrilla Nucleus in the Lacandón Jungle. They came with two decades of experience and the teachings that the hard blow of February 1974 had taught them. The jungle, the mountains and the canyons gave them cover. Nevertheless, the social movements were the best cover in the decade for the silent accumulation of forces. With intelligence, they moved under and among the fallen leaves of the social movements, and “they put a trigger to hope.” They had in their favour the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution and the wave of revolutionary wars in Guatemala and El Salvador. The FLN would resolve the challenges that various changes in the juncture imposed within the international ambit and their national and local impact, the differences between the groupings that opted for the mass movement and that of arms and the changes of direction among the pastoral agents and their bishop.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the federal government intervened decidedly in the peace processes in Central America: Contadora Group (1983), in the Mexico Accord prior to the de-mobilization of the Guatemalan guerrilla in (1991); in 1992, the El Salvador Peace Accords were signed in the Chapultepec Castle. Those peace processes fell upon the orientation of the San Cristóbal Diocese and fundamentally estranged it from accompanying the rebels who were preparing for war in the jungle and the mountains of Chiapas. The signs of the times had changed. For sure, the withdrawal from the communities was no minor thing.

Programmes derived from the Social Policy continued systematically in the state. If with LEA (1970), the PRODESCH was the point of departure for the preventive programmes and for social containment in Chiapas, López Portillo created the General Coordination of the National Plan for Depressed Zones and Marginalized Groups (COPLAMAR) (1976). With Miguel de la Madrid the price of a package of basic products was subsidized (1982); and Carlos Salinas designed the National Solidarity Programme – PRONASOL (1988-1994).

On the way to the armed uprising

While the FLN’s guerrilla nucleus moved like the fish in the water, we have to take into account that the waters were not quiet; they were turbulent. Other cases: 1984, ranchers and state police attacked Indigenous in Simojovel. Eight people were injured. In 1985, 2,000 police, 35 ranchers and police evicted housed peons from the Medellín and La Soledad fincas who were demanding lost wages. In 1986, Judicial police and Enrique Zardain’s bosses burned and levelled for the second time 50 houses in Muc’ulum Bachajón in the municipality of Chilón. In 1987, caciques and police burned the town of La Independencia in the municipality of Ocosingo. In 1988, the police kidnapped four campesinos from the CIOAC in Las Margaritas. In 1989, the rancher Roberto Zenteno murdered PMS local deputy and former leader of the CIOAC Sebastián Pérez Núñez. In 1989, Arturo Albores, the founder of the OCEZ was murdered. In 1990, the San Cristóbal Diocese denounced that in the absence of Joel Padrón, the parish priest of Simojovel, several unknown persons set fire to the Parish House. In 1991, ten police detained Father Joel Padrón. He was accused of rebellion, robbery, dispossession, conspiracy, carrying illegal weapons, criminal association, an apology for crimes, threats and gang activity… The priest’s arrest was directed at the Bishop. Patrocinio did that. In 1992, Ocosingo cattle ranchers founded the Union for Citizen Defence in order to defend against the “destabilization” that the pastoral agents promoted. In 1993, the commanders of the XXXI Military Zone reported that an Air Force captain and an Army lieutenant were murdered and later burned on lands of San Isidro el Ocotal in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. In May of that year, the federal Army discovered a guerrilla training camp and clashed with a group of combatants in the Sierra de Corralchén.

In 1993, the presence of the guerrilla in Chiapas was no longer hidden. The aggressiveness of PRONASOL in the state was notable. Patrocinio González Garrido had increased the budget for the indigenous municipios and hardened the escalation against the movements, social organizations and, above all, against the Diocese of Samuel Ruiz and the pastoral agents. Carlos Salinas dedicated a Day of Solidarity to Chiapas and inaugurated three hospitals; one of them in Guadalupe Tepeyac…


Originally Published in Spanish by POZOL COLECTIVO

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Friday, October 16, 2015



October 18, 2015

A more local prison is denied to political prisoner from San Sebastian Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:04 pm


A more local prison is denied to political prisoner from San Sebastian Bachajón




October 17, 2015

The Chiapan, Estaban Gómez Jiménez, imprisoned since 2013 and currently held in the Social Rehabilitation Center (Cereso) No. 14, El Amate, denounced in a communiqué that the state authorities of Chiapas have denied him a transfer to a prison near San Cristobal de las Casas, where he could be nearer to his family.

“In September I called the technical area of human rights where I was denied a transfer where I could be close to my family in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas; for this reason I ask for my freedom soon, I am asking the relevant authorities immediately, as it is explained to me all the time that we all have the right to defend ourselves and to be close to our visiting relatives,” wrote Gómez Jiménez.

The campesino claims that his arrest was a police set-up, and that they accuse him of an assault and murder he never committed. The prisoners’ support website,, explains that the case of Esteban Gomez arises from an accusation by the Green Party member, Manuel Jimenez Moreno, from the Pamalha community, for which he was arrested, and they then started to accuse him of other crimes.

The conflict in San Sebastián Bachajón, ejido adherent to the Sexta, has led to the death and arrest of several members of the community, like Juan Vázquez Gúzman, killed on 24th April, 2013 and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, coordinator of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, who was killed with 20 bullets in 2014. Currently, apart from Esteban Gómez Jiménez, also imprisoned are: Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Cereso 17, Playas de Catazajá.


A Cancun in Chiapas

The Bachajón conflict began in 2007 when they learned of the economic development plans of the state government through the Palenque Integrally Planned Centre (CIPP), a network of megaprojects to attract tourism to the northern part of the state. The idea of the CIPP is to build hotels, a theme park, a golf course, shopping areas, residential lots, to which has been added the Palenque airport, inaugurated in 2014, and the San Cristobal-Palenque highway. All this infrastructure directly affects at least seven municipalities: Catazajá, Chilón, Ocosingo, Salto del Agua, Tumbalá and Palenque.

The Tseltales of San Sebastián Bachajón are located at a crucial point in all this tourist business plan, where part of their lands were given to the government of Chiapas and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), where they set up a toll booth on the common land on the border with the municipality of Tumbalá.

In this context, explains an article on, one of the strategies used to ensure territorial control has been the co-optation and intimidation of ejido authorities and the prosecution and targeted assassinations of those opposed to being dispossessed.




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