dorset chiapas solidarity

November 30, 2015

Movement in Defence of Life and Territory Denounces Megaprojects in Chiapas

Filed under: Indigenous, Mining, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:49 pm



Movement in Defence of Life and Territory Denounces Megaprojects in Chiapas


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Today, 25th November, the “International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women,” as Maya and mestizo peoples we have come to the municipal headquarters of Tumbalá, San Cristobal de las Casas, Yajalón, Huixtán, Cancuc Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo Altamirano, Salto de Agua and the communities of Bachajón-Chilón, to unite our voices and thus make more visible the situation of our peoples.

As the Movement in Defence of Life and Territory, which is part of the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, we are making a pilgrimage peacefully asking for respect for our constitutional right to speak out and protest; we want to lift the hearts of our people to seek better ways to live well (buen vivir) and we want our problems to be heard and addressed by the municipal, state and federal authorities.

On this day, we wish to come together with our mothers, daughters and sisters who have been physically and psychologically beaten, excluded, exploited, abused, raped, and discriminated against; and we wish to commit ourselves to respect and defend them against those institutions or individuals who intend to violate their rights; starting inside our homes.


In this pilgrimage, our main demand is the care of the Mother Earth, which is not only a place to live, it is also part of us, we come from her and we owe her. And she, our mother, is being plundered, ravaged and devastated with impunity by economic interests expressed in megaprojects which threaten to destroy her. The following are some plans and projects which injure our mother earth:

The Chakté Hydroelectric Dam in the municipality of San Juan Cancuc.

The Jatzá Dam on the Jataté River, which crosses the municipalities of Ocosingo and Altamirano. This megaproject will flood 2,900 hectares of forests and communal lands, it will affect the Las Tazas canyon, and will cause communities such as La Sultana and Rómulo Calzada to disappear, and will also affect more communities.

The Central Nancé Dam on the Tzaconeja river in the municipality of Altamirano.

The “Salto de Agua” dam on the Tulijá river which will flood 396 square km of forests and lands.

The dam at Bajatzén on the river Shamulhá within the municipalities of Yajalón, Tila and Tumbalá. This dam if carried out will flood 10,000 hectares of lands.
Ecotourism projects in the communities of Ulubil and Pocolnao’, in the municipality of San Juan Cancuc.

The ecotourism projects in the ejido Candelaria, municipality of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Ecotourism project in Laguna Ocotal in the municipality of Ocosingo.

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Mine in the municipality of Tenejapa.

Mine in the community of Emiliano Zapata in Yajalón, on the hill of Ah Cabalnaj.

Mine in the community of Ocotal in the municipality of Yajalón.

Mine in the ejidos Carranza and Macedonia in the municipality of Ocosingo.

Mine in the Ejido of Guquitepec in the municipality of Chilón.

Construction of the superhighway from San Cristobal to Palenque which will affect different communities in the municipalities of Candelaria, Chilón, Yajalón, Salto de Agua, Tenejapa, Cancuc, Oxchuc and Ocosingo. This mega-project through its branch roads will also affect small communities of the ejido Sibacá, Patria Nueva and the community Lucum Mil ha, among others.

Oil wells in the municipality of Tenejapa.

Oil well in Xaquilá in the municipality of Chilón.

Oil wells in Ocosingo, in the Jardín area and another in the San Miguel area.

Oil well on the boundary of Ocosingo and Chilon in the lands of the ejido Carmen.

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These projects and others affect our communities, they are works that are destroying or will destroy Mother Nature and will enrich big companies, but will not benefit the vast majority of the poor people. The Structural Reforms which protect megaprojects are just a strategy to enrich those who have most, and to impoverish the original peoples of these lands.

It is a mockery to say that these works will serve to improve our lives. How can life improve if you do not have land? The Government did not ask us if we agree that these works should be built, and this is a violation of our rights as indigenous peoples.

As the International Labour Organization states, in Convention No. 169, we have the right to be consulted and to be involved in the decisions about policies and programmes affecting us, we have the right to determine our own way of development and have the right to be respected in our integrity, our culture and our land.

Therefore, we join the voice of Pope Francis saying “No to an economy of exclusion and inequity where money rules instead of serving. That economy kills. That economy excludes. That economy destroys the Mother Earth” (Pope Francis, Bolivia, 9th July, 2015).


We demand that the municipal and state authorities STOP THE CORRUPTION. That they do not have deaf ears and blind eyes, and continue to allow, despite the hundreds of signatures and demonstrations against them, the increase in permits sale of alcohol and illegal outlets; prostitution in bars or similar places; as well as the cultivation and sale of drugs. We have experienced first-hand, in our homes, that drink and drugs are the cause of domestic violence, murders, suicides and they make our people increasingly poor.

We also make this pilgrimage in solidarity with the more than one hundred thousand victims of organized crime and, particularly, with the families of the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero; and with the victims of Acteal to whom, nearly 20 years after the massacre, the government has not given justice.

Pope Francisco, in the encyclical Laudato Si’, states that politics reacts slowly, far from being up to the collective challenges, and that it is responsible for its own discredit, through corruption and the lack of good public policies. This was confirmed to us in the recent elections where political parties left only corruption and division, damaging the communal harmony instead of seeking a good way of life in our towns. Therefore, it is indisputable that we need to seek new forms of organization. We need to unite in the ways of peace and justice.

We need and we want to continue to analyse the signs of the times, to care for and defend Mother Earth, to denounce the structures of injustice and sin which “are killing our people” (Pope Francis) and at the same time to build alternative models of economy and social organization which will create another new, possible and necessary world (Mother Earth Congress, January 2014).

May the Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth, owner and creator of man, woman and nature, enlighten and strengthen us in all our actions in favour of living well, because, as we well remember Archbishop Oscar Romero said, “everyone who struggles for justice, in an unjust environment, is working for the Kingdom of God.”

Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 25th November 2015.



Candelaria, Huixtán, Tumbalá, Cancuc, Tenejapa, Oxchuc,

Ocosingo, Altamirano, Bachajón-Chilón, Yajalón, Salto de Agua.




November 28, 2015

Leaflet distributed at the Climate March today by groups from the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:58 pm



Leaflet distributed at the Climate Change March in Edinburgh


edin 1

edin 2

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Defending their lands and opposing the new airport in Mexico City

On the front line of Blockadia, resisting climate change

Solidarity with the people of San Salvador Atenco

British companies are involved

Take action!

In her book THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING – CAPITALISM VS THE CLIMATE, Naomi Klein writes of the central importance of Blockadia.  She describes how round the globe local people are taking direct action to resist extreme extractive industries and mega-projects which cause great damage to the environment and contribute significantly to climate change.  One such struggle is happening now in Mexico.


In 2001, the indigenous common landholders of San Salvador Atenco were successful in their fight against the building of a new airport in Mexico City on their ancestral farm lands. The Peoples Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT) became emblematic for their highly symbolic machetes, and their determined direct action resistance.

In May 2006, the government seized its chance to punish the community for defeating this megaproject. Following an attack characterised by extreme police brutality and violent repression, 2 young people were dead, 26 women raped by the military police, many injured, and 217 people arrested. 9 leaders of the Atenco farmers were illegally sentenced to 31 years, 2 for 67 years, and one for 112 years. The people organised, and a national and international campaign for the liberation of the prisoners was launched with the support of the Zapatista-inspired Other Campaign; the prisoners were finally absolved and freed in 2010.

The man responsible for ordering this repression and the rape of the women was the former governor of the State of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. He is now the President of Mexico, and the Atenco issue was the shame of his presidential campaign. On 3 September 2014, he announced the plans for a new, much larger, international airport in the same area to the east of Mexico City. The new airport – being built on a nature reserve – will have six runways and be able to handle 120 million passengers a year, four times the capacity of the existing airport; it will cost an estimated £9 billion, and have an associated large scale urbanisation project, known as Future City.


The people of Atenco have known this was coming for a long time, and were ready to renew the fight in defence of their lands. For years the National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has been using pressure tactics to convince people to sell their lands – now this land is to be used for the new airport.  The FPDT are currently calling for the intervention of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to stop the airport’s construction.  Works are now underway – this autumn local people have been evicted from their homes in order to build roads for the airport.

The violence and the threat to the local people’s lands has never gone away. Now they are asking for our help again.  The resistance of the people of San Salvador Atenco is symbolic of struggles going on throughout Latin America, where the indigenous peoples are defending their lands, their mother earth, against megaprojects being set up by their governments for the benefit of transnational corporations. They are struggling for land, life, freedom, for communal and collective values.

The land is not for sale. She is to be loved and defended.”

They know they succeeded before because they had worldwide support. Again, they say:

We need the hands of everyone”

The UK Connection:

The architect: The design for the airport has 2 chief architects; one of these is Norman Foster, also known as Lord/Baron Foster of Thamesbank. Norman Foster, as well as being a very famous architect, is British, with his company’s headquarters in Central London:

Foster + Partners, Riverside, 22 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN
T:  +44 (0)20 7738 0455
F:  +44 (0)20 7738 1107 (a post on 24.11.15 boasts of the company’s involvement)

Perhaps he doesn’t know the history of blood, rape, years of illegal imprisonment and misery; perhaps he doesn’t know how many people the airport will displace. Perhaps we should tell him.

The engineering consultants, supervising the master plan for the airport:

Much of the project is hidden behind government secrecy, but according to El Financiero, the consultants and technical specialists for the new airport are the ARUP Group, whose British CEO is Sir Gregory Hodkinson, and whose headquarters is also conveniently situated in Central London:

13 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ,
T+44 (0) 20 7636 1531

They also have offices in many UK cities, including:

225 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4GZ

T+44 (0) 141 332 8534


What to do:                                                                   

*Inform yourselves – see the links below

*Share the news – the situation is urgent – through all your networks

*Contact other groups

*Write to Norman Foster and Gregory Hodkinson

*Organise an action at one of the offices above. Link up with others!


Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group and other groups in the UK Zapatista Solidarity Network wish to initiate co-ordinated actions against the British companies involved in this destructive project – eg a demo at ARUP’s Glasgow offices.  We would very much like to work with climate change campaigners on this – if you or your group are interested please contact

Further information

FPDT blog (in Spanish):

Recent information in English:

Solidarity action in London:

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network


















November 24, 2015

The Second Level of the Zapatista Escuelita III

Filed under: Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:07 am



The Second Level of the Zapatista Escuelita

By: Gilberto López y Rivas / III

Video for Level 2 of the Escuelitas


Diego-de-Mazariegos 2

EZLN members brought down this statue of Diego de Mazariegos on October 12, 1992, more than a year before the 1994 Uprising.

Students of the Zapatista Escuelita (Little School) who hope to pass the second level had access to a video more than three hours long, a significant part of which demonstrates the less known history of the EZLN: the history of the years prior to the 1994 Uprising. This memorable film document, which offers an extraordinary lesson of how to organize in the most adverse conditions, begins with an introduction from Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, the current spokesperson of that political-military organization. Around 30 local responsables coming from the five Zapatista Caracols give talks.

In these testimonies they announce, live and in the various languages of the peoples, the difficulties of clandestine work from the crucial years of 1983 and 1984; the slow and tortuous process of taking consciousness, explaining the 13 demands, the exploitation, capitalism, imperialism, the bourgeois State, criticism and self-criticism. They talk about the first recruitment of members, about the forms of secret communication and discretion, meeting with each other in the milpa or in the coffee field, in the mountains, avoiding the travelled roads, walking along the dirt paths, at night, many times in the rain, enduring hunger, mud, cold and heat, all for the struggle.

They detail the security rules for not disclosing the presence of the organization in its infancy, including sharing it with family members, neighbours and friends, “burning the notes so that the enemy would not know about us.” They remember the sacrifices and zeal of the first militants, of the initial desertions and treasons of the splits, as well as the compas that continue firm in the struggle. They describe the tasks of the local and regional responsables throughout the years, as well as the sacrifices and the conditions in which the military preparation of the insurgents and milicianos took place. They looked for secure places for the trainings and, at the same time, the militants bought their weapons, machetes, boots, hammocks, uniforms and batteries; they had “reserves,” because they didn’t know how long the war would last. There was a bakery, a tailor shop, and later a radio. They cooperated among the support bases for that and they worked collectively; the rebellion was assumed as a great task for everyone, while the insurgents gave training to the milicianos and, in the midst of all this hustle and bustle, which finally led to the 1994 Uprising, there was time to “raise spirits,” above all by realizing that more were convinced every day, that there were concentrations of thousands, with those who joined the platoons, battalions and regiments of what would be the Zapatista National Liberation Army. The Indigenous Revolutionary Committee was composed of the zonal and regional spokespersons. Compañerismo and unity, information and formation, the economy of resources destined to mobilization were followed in all these organizing efforts. When the armed and uniformed insurgents arrived in a village, they would make welcoming fiestas with marimba music and dancing.

In the expositions they identified values and qualities for eventual members of the organization; that is, they chose those who “were well-spoken,” demonstrated punctuality, discipline and completion of work, were without addictions, with irreproachable conduct and, above all, who had no contact with the government and the finqueros. [1] The best of these were selected to be local and regional responsables. In these years they were forging the organization’s basic principles: don’t surrender, don’t sell out, don’t give up and don’t deceive the (support) bases.

The reference to the work of the women in the guerrilla organization was very instructive: their first incorporation into peripheral tasks in the beginning, and their passage towards positions and duties with greater responsibility, including those directly related to the war that was being prepared; that is, as milicianas and insurgentas. In the 1993 consultation to decide the start of the war, they also signed the agreement, prepared the food for the milicianos and milicianas who marched at the front. They even made known a military action at an airplane landing strip, in which the women brought down the antenna and expropriated a radio transmitter. Now, they proudly affirm that they have learned a lot: that they are agents, commissioners, midwives and health promoters, education responsables, members of the autonomous governments, commanders and, above all, self-sufficient human beings with rights backed up by the Women’s Revolutionary Law. They maintain that the war is never going to end because “the fucking bad government is always going to betray us.”

It’s also interesting listen to the stories of how the EZLN combined the forms of struggle before the Uprising, with open organizations that answered to their commanders, one of which brought down the statue of Mazariegos [2] on October 12, 1992, in which the indigenous peoples aired their protest against the “celebration” of the invasion of our continent and, at the same time, a general rehearsal for the taking of San Cristóbal de las Casas in 1994.

What shows through is the pride and affection for the “organization,” for the history that its supporters are unravelling, each one in their fashion, from their particular experience and in their own forms of oral expression. They declare that they will never give themselves up as conquered, that the Zapatistas, 20 years after the declaration of war, have their autonomous governments, without depending on the bad government, and that this future they are constructing is forever.

They conclude by pointing out that they prepared the Second Level course for the Escuelita Zapatista with a lot of love, and starting with a commitment to the people of Mexico, to the millions of Mexicans, to whom they deliver this seed of organization and resistance.


[1] Finqueros – Ranch owners

[2] Diego de Mazariegos was a Spanish colonizer who invaded Chiapas.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Friday, November 6, 2015

En español:




November 22, 2015

Escuelitas Zapatistas, an invitation for us to organize

Filed under: Autonomy, Ethics, Indigenous, Zapatista, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:08 pm



Escuelitas Zapatistas, an invitation for us to organize



Sub Galeano (aka Marcos) at the Seminar on Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra

By Carolina Dutton

The EZLN, through its Sixth and International Commissions, will announce a series of initiatives, of a civilian and peaceful character, to continue walking together with the other Native Peoples of Mexico and the whole continent, and together with those who, in Mexico and in the entire world, resist and struggle below and to the left.” (The EZLN announces its next steps) Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, December 30, 2012.

From the beginning the vision of the Zapatistas has been to construct their autonomy together with the people of Mexico and the world. Massive support from the Mexican public and world opinion saved them from being wiped out by further massacres in 1994. Later that year they organized a national democratic convention in Chiapas. In 1995 they held a consultation with the people of Mexico to ask the people in all parts of the country about indigenous culture and the steps Mexico needed to take towards dialogue and democracy from below. They also presented their 13 demands for land, housing, work, food, health, education, culture, information, independence, democracy, liberty, justice and peace, which are not just for them, but rather for all people from below. More consultations were done throughout Mexico in 1999 and the March of the Colour of the Earth visited 13 states of Mexico in 2001. Then came the 6th Declaration and the Other Campaign in 2005-6. The Escuelitas (Little Schools), which began in 2013, are their most recent way of reaching out to others struggling against capitalism and working to create another world. In Level 1 of the Escuelitas, the Zapatistas permitted us to participate in their resistance and thus be directly connected to them. In Level 2, they connect with us by sharing online, so that the many who can’t go to Chiapas can learn from the Zapatistas’ experience organizing and building their organization in clandestinity.

In the first level of the Escuelita, we lived in Zapatista villages and the compas shared with us their everyday resistance and their construction and practice of autonomy, mostly from 1994 to the present. We worked with our host families on their everyday economic activities, everything from carrying water and collecting firewood to tending the cattle, cultivating the milpa [1], coffee and sugar cane. We visited their autonomous schools and health centres and learned about autonomous government. Our host families sometimes shared their history with us around the dinner table, how things have changed for them now that they live autonomously, and their participation in the uprising. We were given readings, which were testimonies of many Zapatista women and men who had served in various levels of civilian autonomous government.

The second level of the Escuelita has been conducted entirely online. The readings emphasize the need to organize our communities to resist the capitalist hydra economically and politically. We were given the link to a video where the Zapatistas shared how they formed their organization and how they organized and recruited new members, educated, encouraged, and protected each other as a clandestine organization beginning as early as 1983 up until the 1994 uprising, when they became public. The video consisted of testimonies from those who had been and some who still are both local and regional responsables [2] during clandestinity. Responsables spoke from each of the five Caracoles, or centres of Zapatista regional government: Caracol 1 La Realidad, Caracol 2 Oventic, Caracol 3 La Garrucha, Caracol 4 Morelia, and Caracol 5 Roberto Barrios.

The Zapatistas made it very clear their reasons for sharing this precious information. They hope that learning how they went about organizing will give us ideas and help us organize in other parts of Mexico or in our own communities in many parts of the world.   They are very aware that they cannot do it alone, that they need us to organize too, but that we may need to do it in our own way depending on our unique situations. We are all in this together and we need not only each other’s support but also each other’s vision.

In the Escuelita 2 video the local and regional responsables during the EZLN’s 10 years of clandestine formation shared with us their tasks and sacrifices. The local responsables coordinated the organization’s work in the communities. They observed how people participated in the community and recruited new members who exhibited responsibility and understanding. They were in charge of orienting new members and raising their consciousness to understand why their lives were so hard and the necessity to struggle and to study in order to prepare the struggle.

The responsables also coordinated local security. Women were especially important for security since they usually stayed in the community and were aware when people who didn’t belong there were present. The responsables, both men and women, also convened meetings and assemblies. Sometimes meetings took place in the middle of the night on stormy nights when people would not be seen or heard as they left home and travelled to a safe meeting place.

Local responsables also organized the training and equipping of the milicianos. [3] They also organized collective work, which was necessary to free up time for those with other responsibilities in the organization as well as to earn money to buy necessities for the struggle including boots and weapons. The sewing collectives sewed uniforms. The women collectively made tostadas and women and men collectively grew the food for the milicianos and insurgents. Many women and men had responsibly for this collective work and for security but the responsables oversaw the collectives in their area and communicated information about any problems and needs to the regional responsables.

The regional responsables oversaw the work of the organization in wider regions. They oriented the local responsables, prepared and encouraged the milicianos and raised the consciousness and understanding of members of the organization. In isolated areas compas often became discouraged so the responsables organized fiestas so that the members in a region could meet each other and see how many hundreds and thousands of compas were committed to the struggle. The Zapatistas love parties, all without drinking alcohol, which was against the EZLN’s rules.

So why have the Zapatistas decided to share this information with us now? They want us to organize too in our own way. They need people all over Mexico and the world to organize and to be in touch with them. It is the only way our movements can resist the capitalist hydra whose tentacles reach all corners of the earth and all aspects of life. I think they also want to share this history with their youth. An entire generation has grown up since the uprising that did not participate in building the organization and preparing for war. Zapatista resistance now requires creativity and sacrifice but it is very different. It is important that the youth know what came before, what has changed, and the ingenuity, discipline and sacrifice that went into building the organization they have always known.

Our exam to pass Escuelita 2 consisted of 6 questions, questions which each of us had to write and ask the Zapatistas. As Subcomandantes Moisés and Galeano explain: “The questions are important, as is our Zapatista way, they are more important than the answers… What interests the Zapatistas are not certainties but the doubts because we think that certainty immobilizes, that one is still, content, sitting still and not moving, as if we had arrived or we already knew. On the other hand, doubts, questions, make one move, search, not be still, not be in conformity, like day and night don’t pass, and the struggles from below and to the left are born of inconformity, of doubts and restlessness. If one conforms it’s that one is waiting to be told what to do or has already been told. If one is not in conformity, one searches for what to do.” (Second Level of the Little School, July 27, 2015).


[1] A milpa is much more than a field of corn. It is a diverse area of cultivation. The dominant plant is the basic grain of the people, corn. Beans grow up the corn stalk, different forms of squash creep along the ground and many medicinal and culinary herbs grow in and around the milpa.

[2] A responsable is the person responsible for a certain task or group of tasks. In the context of early EZLN organizing the responsable seems like more of a political operative or organizer.

[3] The milicianos were and still are somewhat like the National Guard in the US. They have military training, but are not insurgents, and can be called to active duty in an emergency.



“Sowing autonomy” for 32 years

Filed under: sipaz, Zapatistas — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:53 pm



“Sowing autonomy” for 32 years


@Paisà García

On 17 November, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) observed the thirty-second anniversary since its founding. Its creation occurred after the arrival of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) to the Lacandon Jungle and following the indigenous congress of 1974, as well as within the context of a struggle over land, upheaval by indigenous and campesino social organizations, as well as the ecumenical work of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese in accordance with liberation theology and the preferential option for the poor, as endorsed by Vatican Council II. It was not for another 10 years of a clandestine accumulation of strength that on 1 January 1994 the EZLN rose up in arms against the Mexican Army, demanding work, land, housing, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace.

Several groups released pronunciations congratulating the EZLN for its more than 32 years of struggle, such as the General Confederation of Work (CGT) Chiapas and the Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR). In this way, several collectives organized events to celebrate the date, both at the national and international levels.




Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, sipaz — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:47 pm



Annual report from Frayba on “Human-Rights Insurgency”


Participation by Estela Barco during presentation of report @ SIPAZ


On 5 November, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC) presented its annual report that carries the title “The Human-Rights Insurgency,” which deals with the “perspective, questions, and situations” that the CDHFBC has documented and monitored in Chiapas from March 2014 to March 2015. During the presentation of the document, several members of the directive council of CDHFBC spoke, including Blanca Martínez Bustos, director of the Fray Juan de Larios Centre for Human Rights; Jorge Santiago Santiago; Estela Barco Huerta, general coordinator for the Social and Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans; and the president of the council, jtatik Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo.

The CDHFBC described the present context as a moment that “is a dark time, amidst the implementation of saddening repressive measures that constitute State terrorism, whereby military occupation and the state of siege are normalized. With this, the violations that make up crimes against humanity such as torture, forcible disappearance, extrajudicial executions, femicide, and forcible displacement, among other crimes, are daily occurrences in Chiapas and Mexico.”

The document proclaims the comprehensive defence of human rights that is the work of the CDHFBC. The questions it addressed include torture, impunity, defence of land and territory, as well as the ongoing war context, which in the report corresponds to four chapters: Torture, an implicit negation; A look at the cracks of impunity; War in Chiapas, territory, and peoples; and Reality of war-context.

The CDHFBC expressed that torture “is engrained and generalized in the Mexican justice system, and it is not only denied but even rationalized.” From the perspective of historical memory, remembrance is the principal pillar “of the struggle of victims and their families in the cases of crimes against humanity […]. They collectively protect and transmit memory against forgetting and impunity.” With regard to the “internal armed conflict in Chiapas,” the “communities and organizational processes persist and resist in defence of their autonomy and territory amidst State policies that seek to plunder land, spirit, and culture.” Lastly, the chapter on “Reality” is dedicated to the Zapatista teacher Galeano, who was murdered on 2 May 2014 in La Realidad, official municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas.



Day of action for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal

Filed under: sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:30 pm



Day of action for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal



Event for the release of Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Photo: @Sipaz.

On 7 November there was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas an event for the release of political prisoners Alejandro Díaz Sántiz and Mumia Abu-Jamal. The event was organized by the “We Are Not All Present” Work Group (GTNET), together with the participation of relatives of prisoners who organize to affirm their rights in different Chiapas-state penitentiaries. At the event, there was read several communiques and an art-making activity was installed to express support for the liberation of both prisoners.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a U.S. journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. He was incarcerated in 1982, accused of having murdered a police officer, though there is no evidence for this, and indeed there is testimony from witnesses who have come forward to declare that they were pressured into holding him responsible for the killing. Mumia was condemned by the judge “who is known to have condemned more Blacks to death than any other judge in the U.S.,” according to Nodo 50, in a country gripped by racism. During his 33 years in prison, Mumia has written nine books and produced more than 2,000 radio addresses. In March of this year, Mumia suffered serious health problems that were caused by a diabetic crisis, as the administration had denied him the necessary medical treatment. At present, he is slowly recovering.

Alejandro Díaz Santiz is an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle issued by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), being the only member of those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate who continues behind bars. Incarcerated since 1999, “he has not given up and while in prison he politicized himself and organized […] by participating in hunger strikes. To date, he has lent his voice to denounce the abuses that the authorities commit in the prison,” notes the GTNET. On 10 September, Alejandro was transferred without warning to the Federal Centre for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) in Villa Comaltitlán, close to Tapachula. GTNET theorizes that “this forcible transfer is political vengeance from the bad government against Alejandro, punished for having supported and raising the consciousness of other prisoners. This brutal way of changing one’s prison, after having remained many years in the same place, is psycho-physical torture because it distances the prisoner from his family and network of friends.”

During the event, the conditions experienced at the state and national levels were also denounced, given that, according to a report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), “there is at present a 25.4% over-crowding of the prisons,” meaning that Mexican prisons hold more than 51,000 people beyond their capacity. In this way, the third visitor general of the CNDH argued that the crowding of prisons “is the result of the unmitigated use of imprisonment” amidst “excessive penal sentences,” leading to “violence, torture, abuse, and lamentable states of health and hygiene.”




Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:21 pm



Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre




Beginning at dawn on 13 November, members of the XINICH organization, which belongs to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in their own communities began a day of prayer and fasting that will last for 13 Sundays in commemoration of the nine years since the Viejo Velasco massacre. Relatives of victims and survivors of the massacre called on “all brothers and sisters from civil society to join this action so that, with your families, organization, and communities, you carry out symbolic actions to accompany us.”

Nine years after the massacre, they manifested that they have not “found justice. The government has not punished those responsible, and there has been no effective or efficient investigation of those intellectually and materially responsible for these human-rights violations.” Beyond this, they denounced that the “bad government has not sought out and thus does not know the whereabouts of our brothers Antonio Peñate López and Mariano Pérez Guzmán, who continue to be forcibly disappeared.”

On 13 November 2006, at 6am, in the community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, Chiapas, adjacent to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle, a group of 40 persons from the New Palestine community, accompanied by 300 units from the sectorial police, invaded the community and attacked its indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Ch’ol residents, leaving four dead, four others disappeared, and 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children forcibly displaced, being survivors of the assault.




Las Abejas de Acteal remember Manuelito

Filed under: Acteal, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:59 am



Las Abejas de Acteal remember Manuelito


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Manuelito by Kristina Steiner


Three years after his death, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal commemorated Manuel Vázquez Luna (Manuelito), who died on 10 November 2012 in the “badly named ‘Hospital of the Cultures’ in San Cristóbal de Las Casas Chiapas, after having suffered 18 days of discrimination and victimization by medical negligence.” The commemoration took place in Acteal, “House of Memory and Hope.”

“Manuelito left us to reunite with his parents, sisters, grandmother, and uncle,” who were killed on 22 December 1997 “by PRI and Cardenist paramilitaries from the official municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas.” Las Abejas of Acteal recalled that “that day of the Acteal massacre, Manuelito remained below the bodies of those killed and was bathed in blood. He saw how the paramilitaries opened fire against women and children.” Despite having experienced the pain of the near-total loss of his family, he decided “not to life in pain, but rather to convert pain and cries into hope and joy […] by means of stories, jokes, songs, and riddles.”

Las Abejas assured that Manuelito “is now in all parts of Acteal. He is in the clouds that rest on the mountains of Acteal, in the air that embraces us upon arriving here to Acteal, in the wind that blows and refreshes our memory and hope. He is in each raindrop that falls on the sacred lands of Acteal, and in each tree-leaf and in the foliage that grows around Acteal, House of Memory and Hope. He is in all parts of the cosmos. He is in our heart.”




Believing People of Simojovel continue to defend “life, peace, justice, freedom, and democracy”

Filed under: Indigenous, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:43 am


Believing People of Simojovel continue to defend “life, peace, justice, freedom, and democracy”


On 3 November by means of a public denunciation, the Believing People from the San Antonio de Pádua parish in Simojovel expressed gratitude for the accompaniment by all those who have walked beside them, reviewing the different meetings of the past few months as well as the mass-pilgrimage from Simojovel to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Furthermore, they reported on the present situation that they are experiencing, noting that they are “disappointed with the different levels of government” and that despite their “peaceful actions, the situation remains the same” amidst their demands. They denounced that “the number of bars has actually increased,” and furthermore that “these firms have more power than state and federal officials, such that it is clear that the governors are not governmental but rather financial […].”

In light of a situation that “does not improve,” the Believing People will continue to organize themselves “so as to find the true freedom for our people, as we see clearly the complicity due to the omission of the authorities at the three levels of governance in terms of the beer-making firms and the drug-traffickers.” They assured that “true change does not come from a political party, because the major problem is the governmental and political-economic system,” adding that they will not “keep silent, because to do so would be to become complicit.” The principal demand made by the Believing People continues to be “the closure of all bars, legal and clandestine.”




November 21, 2015

Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastian Bachajón, Adherents to the Sixth, 20th November, 2015


Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastian Bachajón, Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, 20th November, 2015


“We want to tell the bad government that we are not afraid of their repression, imprisonment and death”

“On this day we remember with dignified rage the struggle and great example of the revolutionary life of our General Emiliano Zapata who gave his life to defend the Mother Earth and to achieve better living conditions for the people of Mexico.”


To the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

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

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Compañeros and compañeras of good heart, and with honest and combative hearts, we demonstrate from the bottom of our hearts through this communique the commitment we have to defend our territory as an indigenous and united people, and to those people and  communities who resist day by day the repression of the bad government, their cursed war which they wage on the peoples and communities of Mexico and the world who struggle for a better world, a world where many worlds fit, free of the lords of money, the lords of power who destroy everything in order to make more money in the name of progress and development, which the Tzeltal indigenous of Bachajón call death, destruction, dispossession and discrimination.

Our people are aware of your struggle to defend the life and dignity of your communities, peoples and the Mother Earth, we would like to do more for all of you sisters and brothers in the struggle but we are also fighting our own battle for the defence of our land, which the bad government wants to take away with violence and repression, our land which was left to us by our ancestors; at the same time we demand the release of our political prisoners and other prisoners of Mexico and the world who are unjustly imprisoned for the great crime of  defending life and Mother Earth. Although we are not with you compañeros and compañeras, our prayers, thoughts and struggle seek to make a contribution to the defence of life and human rights that the bad government always wants to exterminate because it does not care about the dignity of the people, but only about money to be rich and powerful, as if all that money and power could overcome death. Our thinking is very different from that of the bad government and so they are upset that we have this love and respect for Mother Earth and all that she gives us so we can be able to live.

On this day we remember with dignified rage the struggle and great example of the revolutionary life of our General Emiliano Zapata who gave his life to defend the Mother Earth and to achieve better living conditions for the people of Mexico.

ssb_Mx_Chiapas_Bachajon_w1024_par_ValK (1)We want to tell the bad government that we are not afraid of repression, imprisonment and death, because Mother Earth is everything for our people, because the land belongs to those who work it, not those who destroy it, and we are ready to give our lives to defend it, whatever the cost, just like our compañero in struggle, the human rights defender and former Secretary General of the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, Juan Vázquez Guzmán gave his life; he was killed on 24th April, 2013 and compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, regional coordinator of the organization, was killed by more than 20 shots from high calibre firearms on 21st March, 2014 near the Virgen de Dolores community.

We call on the compañeros, compañeras, communities and peoples in resistance to unite their forces and join our struggle so that together we can work to stop so much evil and injustice from the bad government, from a capitalist government, and build a world where there is life, peace and justice. It does not matter if we have different ideas and thoughts or if our ways of doing things are different, we respect difference and consider it a necessary strength to build that world where many worlds fit. We are tired of so much deprivation, forced disappearance, murder, detention and discrimination from the bad government, we raise our voice and hands to demand the immediate release of our political prisoner compañeros  Esteban Gómez Jiménez prisoner in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate No 14), Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (cereso No 17) who were imprisoned for having the commitment to fight and defend the mother earth and also for the freedom of other political prisoners of Mexico and the World.

From the northern zone of Chiapas the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón  send combative greetings to all the compañeras, compañeros, communities and peoples of Mexico and the world who are in resistance, we greet the dignified struggle of San Francisco Xochicuautla, Coyotepec, Atenco, Tocuila, Acuexcomac and neighbouring communities in resistance in the State of Mexico, communities in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca struggling against the theft of their land and to defend their autonomy as Binissa peoples and Ikoots peoples, the Chol people of Tila, the people of Banavil, los Llanos, Viejo Velasco, Acteal, the towns and communities of Semilla Digna, the peoples of Guerrero from the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities in Guerrero and their political prisoners who are imprisoned for defending a dignified life, the Yaqui people and all the compañeros and compañeras who, without our knowing their name or their struggle, are resisting and fighting and looking for a better way of living, with justice and peace.


Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No dispossession of indigenous territories!

The state police out of our indigenous territory!

Immediate presentation of the disappeared and assassinated compañeros from the Normal School  Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of our Chol compañeros y compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the dignified struggle of our compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla!

Long live the peoples who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!





November 20, 2015

Commanders of the EZLN recognise the work of the philosopher Luis Villoro.

Filed under: Indigenous, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:09 pm


Commanders of the EZLN recognise the work of the philosopher Luis Villoro.

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San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. November 19. “Luis Villoro was a companero who did not waver, he did not sell out and he did not give up,” emphasized Comandante David of the EZLN, accompanied by Comandantas Yolanda and Florencia, remembering the philosopher of Catalan origin during the presentation, in Cideci Unitierra Chiapas, of his last book, called Alternative: Perspectives and Possibilities for Change, which includes correspondence with the then Subcomandante Marcos.

In his book, Villoro Toranzo explains how to say no to domination, and also describes a new form of social relationship, taking into account the views of the other, thereby creating the conditions to eliminate confrontation, stated the economist Sergio Rodriguez. The political class has lost any real chance to represent the people, so it is necessary to seek new forms of democracy, the social activist added, in allusion to the words of Zapatista philosopher.

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“The book we present today is of a testamentary character,” shared Juan Villoro, the son of Don Luis Villoro. The writer recalled that at 91 years his father never stopped wanting to learn, and was nurtured by contact with the communities, which is why he always called for a society where respect for the other prevails, where ethics and politics are linked.

Meanwhile Fernanda Navarro, compañera of the late Villoro Toranzo, shared that he wrote about the indigenous and became one of them, finding in indigenous communities an alternative to the world that we live in, which is thought or said to be “civilized” .

Video presentation:




Ejidatarios from Chicoasén initiate hunger-strike against Chicoasén II dam-project

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:16 pm


Ejidatarios from Chicoasén initiate hunger-strike against Chicoasén II dam-project



Hunger-strike against the construction of the CFE (@Educa)

On 3 November, elder males and females who have been affected by the construction of the Chicoasén II dam in the Chicoasén municipality undertook a hunger-strike to demand the release of their lawyer Arturo Ortega Luna, who was arrested on 21 October. In an urgent communique, the campesinos reported that “those who will be on hunger strike are at risk of having charges fabricated against them by the government, as it did the last time with the State Attorney General’s Office, given that municipal and state police and the Mexican Army are patrolling through our streets.” They indicated that the detained lawyer, who was assisting them in their defence against the construction of the dam-project, “was arrested unjustly, accused of a mutiny by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).” The ejidatarios demanded that the more than 10 arrest-orders against other members of the ejidal committee and associated lawyers be suspended.

With their hunger-strike, the ejidatarios denounced the judicial persecution and threat against their agrarian rights, in light of the looting of land implied by the project. They have demanded just reparations for the loss of their lands as well as respect for the legal motion affirmed by a federal judge in May 2015 mandating the suspension of the dam-project. Avisaín Solís López, an ejidatario who has been affected by the dam’s construction, added that the state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, “said that he would not allow the construction of any more dams that would violate the rights of peasants in Chiapas, but now we defend our rights, having received only lies.” Those affected seek to maintain their hunger-strike until the government attends to them, releases their lawyer, and respects their rights as indigenous people.




Lawyer of the ejidal committee of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam arrested



On 21 October, state police arrested Arturo Ortega Luna, an activist opposed to the construction of the Chicoasén II hydroelectric dam and lawyer for the affected ejidatarios, “accused of the crime of mutiny following an investigation headed by the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office (PGJE).” This was the denunciation made by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC) in a communique of 23 October. The lawyer was arrested at a checkpoint in Tuxtla Gutierrez and is currently being held in the El Amate prison in the Cintalapa municipality. According to the communique, the penal denunciation was submitted by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which “seeks to criminalize protest amidst the arbitrariness perpetuated by the federal and state governments.”

Arturo Ortega Luna has joined the defence of the ejidatarios to prevent the construction of the dam, which would affect more than 180 hectares of ejidal lands used for agricultural purposes by Zoque indigenous people. Ecologists have denounced that “the project will deteriorate and fragment the Grijalva River, this only to satisfy the energy demand of the eastern region of Mexico.” According to a bulletin published by the CDHFBC following a press conference on “Violations of agrarian rights and the judicialization of those affected by the Chicoasén II dam” on 27 October, “the ejidatarios affected by the Chicoasén dam have carried out various peaceful and legitimate actions to avoid the progression of the construction of the hydroelectric project that would affect their lands.” On 9 October, the ejidatarios won a legal motion before the Collegiate Tribunal that demanded the suspension of the existing construction plan, though this ruling has gone ignored to date. 52 individual legal motions in process remain pending, and all involve the detained lawyer. The CDHFBC has held that his arrest “is an act of criminalization and harassment that corresponds to his actions in defence of the lands amidst looting […] which if carried out would imply the displacement of dozens of families.” The ejidatarios are confronting harassment due to their defence of their agrarian rights, though there exist formal agreements that were signed in July 2015 whereby the Chiapas state government committed itself to not prosecute those who defend their agrarian rights.





Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:57 pm


Provisional return of displaced families from Banavil for Day of the Dead

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Gravesite for Antonia López Méndez. Photo: @Sipaz

From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, returned provisionally to their homes. During these days, they visited the gravesite of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, 11 years of age.

It bears recalling that the families were displaced at the beginning of December 2011, following an attack carried out by militants from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) carrying firearms. During the events, Alonso López Luna was forcibly disappeared and, to date, his whereabouts remain unknown. In this way, the attack also caused the death of Pedro Méndez López, while six others were injured. Beyond this, Lorenzo López Girón, the son of the disappeared, was arrested, as was Francisco Santiz López, a Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN). Both of these have since been released.

In a communique, the displaced families affirmed that “we returned well during our provisional return, though the bad governments (federal, state, and municipal) did not guarantee our security.” The displaced continue to hold the three levels of government responsible for the aggression that provoked the displacement, and they have demanded the revelation of the fate of Alonso López Luna, the carrying-out of ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the displacement and forcible disappearance, the return of families, the cancellation of two arrest-orders, the compensation of losses incurred, and the presentation with life of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa.




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