dorset chiapas solidarity

December 31, 2015

Invitation to the Encuentro for Humanity and against Displacement

Filed under: Displacement, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:10 pm


Invitation to the Encuentro for Humanity and against Displacement

An invitation from Movement for Justice in El Barrio:

To members and families of organizations, community members, and people of good heart, who are resisting in their communities.

To all those fighting for dignity and against displacement & rezoning.

To those who fight for humanity.


Encuentrologo Jan 31 2016

An Encuentro is a space for people to come together; it is a gathering. An Encuentro is not a meeting, a panel or a conference; it is a way of sharing as another form of doing politics: from below and to the left. It is a place where we can all speak, we will all listen, and we can all learn. It is a place where we can share the many different struggles that make us one.



We are here. We are a community in resistance. We feel a new moment.

Around the city, the country, and the globe, the system is heaving and shaking. We see it showing thin cracks in its concrete walls. Here in the city, we see dignified people coming together in opposition to racist policies that threaten to displace us – low-income tenants, the homeless, small businesses – from our homes and communities.

The Mayor, backed by real estate and large corporate interests, attempts to strengthen his grip on the reins of power, by designing, promoting, and approving racist policies such as rezoning and luxury housing plans that displace our communities.

Those from above seek to sell off public housing by privatizing and annexing the land where the city’s poor live.

The powerful target and criminalize our marginalized homeless sisters and brothers through brutality and harassment.

Politicians, at the service of corporate interests, and real estate developers belong to a culture that uses the power of money to take control of that which belongs to our communities.

The powerful want to displace poor families to renovate their buildings and rent the apartments to rich people, to white people with money. They want to build tall temples of wealth, huge amounts of luxury housing in our poor communities of color with the excuse of “developing the community.”

They want to remove the street vendors, who earn an honorable and dignified living, the families that have their small restaurants, small clothing stores, and the small bodegas on the corners in our neighborhoods. They want to displace us to bring in their luxury restaurants, their large expensive clothing stores, and their supermarket chains. They want to change our neighborhoods.

The powerful want to change our culture using their oppressive plans. They want to change that which makes us Latin@, Black, Asian and/or Indigenous.

They want to destroy everything that makes us vibrant communities of color and replace us with their culture of money.

We know that these imposed oppressive plans cannot be reformed or revised to work in service of the people.

Local politicians use their power, influence and money to try to buy off resistance in our communities and pacify dissent under the guise of “community engagement,” to make their racist rezoning plans more palatable and “acceptable” and there are those that choose to accept the money of the powerful and ride on the currents of their power. They want to create illusions on the side of the powerless and benefit from the powerful.

Power seeks to divide and marginalize us as people of color, as women, as transgender, lesbian and gay, as youth, as the elderly, as workers, as the homeless, as immigrants, as tenants. We must resist division. We must seek to come together.

As we struggle here, we do not forget our sisters and brothers resisting in the far corners of the world. Nor do we forget where we come from and that many of us have already experienced displacement from our homelands. We join the humble and simple people across the world in their resistance as we stand up and join the fight against those from above who have pushed us to this dignified rage.

So once again we invite to our corner of the world those who are struggling for housing, for freedom, for justice, for love, for a voice, for a space to exist, for the preservation of our communities, for peace, for respect, for themselves, for their community, for dignity…for humanity.

We invite those who will build something new and beautiful…

Groups fighting for humanity & against displacement across New York, the country and the globe will share our struggles and use this gathering to find ways to mutually support each other. We will share whatever form of expression we choose, whether it be verbally, through song, poetry or rhyme, through artwork or however people can best express their struggle.

P.S. Children are especially invited to come break open the “REZONING = DISPLACEMENT” Piñata!

We will provide childcare and Spanish/English translation.

Please RSVP by January 20th with the number of adults and children that will be attending, their names and an address at which you would like to receive your tickets.

Once you have sent an RSVP you will receive your tickets and more details on the Encuentro.

For more info or to RSVP please contact us at

Who We Are

Movement for Justice in El Barrio is an immigrant women- and people of color-led, grassroots community organization in East Harlem that fights for dignity and against displacement. For eleven years, Movement has built a local movement for dignity that has taken on and defeated multi-national corporations and corrupt politicians. Committed to the principles of autonomy and self-determination, Movement practices participatory democracy and horizontal decision-making on a community-wide scale. Movement fights for the liberation of women, people of color, transgender people, lesbians and gays, immigrants and poor people.



Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the struggle of the compañeros and compañeras of the Ejido Tila

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Indigenous, La Sexta, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:47 pm



Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón in solidarity with the struggle of the compañeros and compañeras of the Ejido Tila




Compañeras and compañeros

We ask for your support in circulating this communiqué in solidarity with the ejido Tila. At the moment our organization is operating a roadblock to demand respect for our rights as Tseltal people from San Sebastián Bachajón and respect for the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the ejido Tila.

combative greetings



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 in Mexico and the world

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, through this communication we would like to say to our compañeros from the ejido Tila that they are not alone because we join their struggle; our community raises its voice in solidarity with the ejido Tila, which is now experiencing a time of repression and harassment from the bad government which has a habit of attacking, killing and disappearing those who defend the land; the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón raise their hands to support our compañeros from the ejido Tila, we call upon them to unite their strength and finish with this injustice; we as humble people of good heart defend and support those who defend the natural resources of our territory, we fight every day for the good of our children and grandchildren in the future; this is why the bad government pays paramilitaries to seek to divide us, and sends them to assassinate, disappear or take the land defenders to prison in order to intimidate us so they can take away our lands; we will say that we are ready to fight against the politics of the bad government, so the ejido Tila can hear in our voice that they are not alone, their fight is our fight and we stand ready to support our compañeros, that our organization is ready to support and defend the struggle, because that way they will not be afraid of the bad government and its repression, its imprisonment and its death, because the Mother Earth is all our people and we are ready to defend her at any cost.

We greet the indigenous community of Ostula and celebrate the freedom of compañero commander Semei Verdia. We demand the immediate release of Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas (amate #14) Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoners in Playas de Catazajá, Chiapas (cereso #17) who were imprisoned for having the commitment to fight and defend the mother earth, as we also demand the freedom of other political prisoners of Mexico and the world.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas the women and men of San Sebastián send militant greetings to all the compañeros and compañeras, communities and peoples of Mexico and the world who are in resistance.

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!


600 version




December 30, 2015

Mexico Indigenous Group Accuses Authorities of Land Grab Plot

Filed under: Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:24 am



Mexico Indigenous Group Accuses Authorities of Land Grab Plot



Residents in Tila, a town in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, protest an eviction attempt against their community in 2014. | Photo: Facebook / Tila Ejido Sexta


The communal lands in Chiapas’ community of Tila have long been threatened by authorities’ attempts to arbitrarily expropriate and privatize the land.

Members of the small town of Tila in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have accused municipal authorities of harassing local residents as part of a plan to rob more than 320 acres of the communal land from the community, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported Tuesday.

According to community representatives, Tila residents have suffered attempted land grabs for decades as municipal officials have tried to convert the collectively-owned indigenous territories into private land to be bought and sold, La Jornada reported.

Community activists in the local Tila Ejido Supporters of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, a Zapatista declaration of revolutionary movements’ vision for Mexico, have already slammed municipal officials for abusing their power to repress and control indigenous communities.



“In Chiapas, reports of re-start of Peace and Justice paramilitaries.”


In a recent statement, activists accused Edgar Leopoldo Gomez, president of the Tila municipality, of supporting the resurgence of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group, which was responsible for killing 122 indigenous people and displacing 4,000 between 1995 and 2000.

Tila residents also marched earlier this month to protest municipal officials after many activists received threats and suffered other arbitrary action by authorities.

Agressions against the community have included an incident of security forces opening fire on local residents on Dec. 20, injuring several people.



Police shot at a Ch’ol Indigenous resident (Dec. 20) in Tila, Chiapas after recording him.


Community members say that paramilitary presence that all but disappeared in the area has resurfaced in recent months in the form of roadblocks that harass residents.

In the face of such threats and suspicions that local politicians are deliberately acting against the community, Tila residents have taken action to try to expel municipal officials, including municipal President Gomez, La Jornada reported.

Community members say they simply want to live in peace, free to make their decisions using their own customary methods free of harassment from authorities.



December 29, 2015

Mayor of Tila accused of reactivating the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:15 pm



Mayor of Tila accused of reactivating the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group



Members of the Tila ejido set county offices on fire.


From the Correspondents

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Tila ejido owners, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, accused municipal president Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez of reactivating the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) “in his service” and for “his ambition to control” the inhabitants of that Chol town.

In a comunicado, the president of the commission and the vigilance council of the Tila ejido place responsibility on Mateo Rey, from the Cruz Palenque community; Mateo Guzmán, of Agua Fría, and Don Pascual, of El Limar, for incentivizing the armed group’s activities.

The death or disappearance of 122 indigenous in Northern Chiapas and the displacement of more than 4 thousand indigenous Chol and Tsetsal people in that region between 1995 and 2000 is attributed to Paz y Justicia.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), representative of the families of the victims, asserted that the paramilitary group’s actions responded to the Army’s low-intensity war against the Zapatista insurgency.

In November 1997, members of Paz y Justicia ambushed a pastoral caravan composed of the then Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García; the Bishop coadjutor, Raúl Vera, two catechists and the majordomo of the Señor of Tila Sanctuary, Manuel Pérez. Ruiz García and Vera López were not injured, but three others were.

“As of this date they have remained unpunished and they once again want to impose the (municipal) president by blood and fire; these people live from our taxes, they are aviators that get paid without working, and because of that the public works that the politicians promise are not finished in the communities, because part of the money is used for maintaining these shameful acts,” Tila’s ejido authorities exposed.

They pointed to Regino, from the middle zone of Tila, and to Nicolás, the rural agent of Unión Juárez community in the Tila ejido annex, as being some “spongers and traitors” and placed responsibility on them, together with three cited previously, for what might occur in the ejido.

They denounced that utilizing the Tile municipal government’s communications equipment, these individuals have started to coordinate the paramilitary group (named) Paz y Justicia for the purpose of submitting whoever may be in disagreement with the mayor’s decrees.

The comuneros (who are) adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) expressed their fear of suffering an armed attack, because of which they alerted social and human rights organizations to be on the lookout for what may occur in the Tila ejido, located in the municipal capital.

The ejido owners demand the return of 321 acres that belong to them, according to the 1934 presidential resolution, because 72 years ago the county offices were illegally built on 128 acres of their land.

Last December 16th, hundreds of ejido members, who asserted having suffered harassment and arbitrariness, held a march that culminated in the burning and destruction of some areas of the county building.

They remembered that in 2008 the agrarian tribunal issued a resolution in favour of the ejido owners, but as it was not executed they went to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which has not resolved the case, allegedly because it would occasion a social problem, because it would be necessary to relocate practically all of the county seat.

In the comunicado the president of the Tila ejido commission and the vigilance council accused that rural agents from other ejidos that support the country council are provoking them.

“If they want the county council so much that they bring it to their communities, we will expel them because of the constant violations of our individual rights, as well as the violation of protective order number 73/2014, which was won so that the casino of the people would not be destroyed, without the permission of the general assembly of ejido owners,” they stated.

The Tila ejido owners agreed not to undertake any dialogue or negotiations with the governments, “because our lands are not negotiable or for sale and we will continue fighting to avoid any dispossession or against any imposition.

“In Mexico, the three levels of government always create violence, hiding behind the paramilitary groups at their service so that they can say afterwards that it is a conflict between communities,” they concluded.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, December 28, 2015

Re-published with English interpretation by



December 28, 2015

The Peace and Justice paramilitary group, accused of being supported by local government, is responsible for killing 122 and displacing 4,000 in Chiapas.

Filed under: Paramilitary, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:09 pm



The Peace and Justice paramilitary group, accused of being supported by local government, is responsible for killing 122 and displacing 4,000 in Chiapas.



Indigenous Zapatista activists protest in Chiapas. | Photo: Reuters

A Mexican paramilitary group that killed or forcibly disappeared 122 indigenous people between 1995 and 2000 is on the rise again in the southern state of Chiapas with suspected links to local politicians, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported Monday.

In a statement, activists in Chiapas accused Edgar Leopoldo Gomez, president of the Tila municipality, of supporting “in his service” the resurgence of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group with the goal of “controlling” local indigenous residents.

The statement was issued by the Tila Ejido Supporters of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, a Zapatista declaration of revolutionary movements’ vision for Mexico.


CXQ9iALWwAEhWrU       In Chiapas, reports of re-start of Peace and Justice paramilitaries


The group also accused other Tila municipal officials of supporting the rise in paramilitary activity.

Aside from being behind the deaths or disappearances of over 120 indigenous people, the Peace and Justice paramilitary group also has forcibly displaced some 4,000 Ch’ol and Tzeltal indigenous residents in northern Chiapas.

According to the activists’ statement, paramilitary perpetrators of historical human rights abuses have long enjoyed impunity for their crimes.
The group accused municipal officials of wanting to bring back the “blood and fire” of paramilitary activity in support of local officials’ interests and of using municipal communication resources to organize the Peace and Justice group.

The accusations come after Tila residents marched earlier this month to protest municipal officials after many activists received threats and suffered arbitrary action by authorities, La Jornada reported.

The statement also comes after hundreds of indigenous people held a demonstration last week in the small Chiapas village of Acteal to mark the 18th anniversary of the slaughter of 45 people including pregnant women and children. Activists and survivors have labelled the massacre a “state-sanctioned crime” and accused the government of supporting the paramilitary group behind the attack.



18 years ago, death came to Acteal.


According to the local human rights organization known as Frayba, which focuses on the rights of Indigenous communities in Chiapas, paramilitary violence toward indigenous people in the region has been part of low-scale warfare between the Mexican military and the EZLN or Zapatista resistance movement.

Tila residents fear an armed paramilitary attack against their community, according to the activists’ statement.

The group accused different levels of government in Mexico of “hiding behind” paramilitary groups that carry out their dirty work.

Tila residents also called upon all social organizations to be watchful for what could happen in Chiapas in the face of the paramilitary resurgence.



Esteva: It was an atrocious year

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:11 pm




 Esteva: It was an atrocious year


Indigenous peoples protest climate change in Paris.

By: Gustavo Esteva

In Mexico, the moral degradation, cynicism and corruption of the political classes became more and more evident, while the combined violence of legal and illegal forces continuously increased. Thus, a structure was consolidated that inside and outside the institutions seeks to subject the population to control and smother resistances and rebellions, inside of an undeclared state of exception.

Something similar, with very different degrees and modalities, occurs in the world. In the face of the political changes in Argentina or Venezuela, the persistent Brazilian political crisis, or events in Greece or France, betrayals, errors or weaknesses of the “lefts” are denounced or it warns about restorations or assaults on power from the “rights.” It characterizes what occurred as a setback of popular forces and a rise of capital, of its state administrators and the social sectors that support them. Trump would confirm this interpretation: millions of Americans support positions that even The New York Times classifies as fascist, at the same time that, in the United States and Europe, social behaviours that clearly have that character multiply. Just as 12 million Germans voted for Hitler in 1932 and 17 million in 1933, the media and other factors would be leading large groups to support governments and politicians of the “right,” even against their own interests. Thus the popular forces would be turned back and the neoliberal constellation would continue winning.

The Paris Agreement can be useful for illustrating what occurs and for trying to explain it. The conference that produced it was the result of the prolonged public demand to confront climate change. What they signed wasn’t good; the governments publicly proclaimed its merits and many applauded it without reservation, but it was rather a deceptive farce. Grain, for example, which represents a very qualified and respected opinion, pointed out that the agreement it not legally binding in the goal of reducing emissions, does not advance de-carbonization, it supports the industrial agricultural model, the generator of 50 percent of the emissions and protects that these will continue by means of actions that supposedly compensate them. The most serious is that, under the excuse of carbon “seizure,” it will now be openly supportive of geo-engineering, which for many is the principal cause of climate change.

Grain, as well as a good part of the demonstrators present in Paris, emphasized that what’s important is changing the “system,” not the climate. Since we’re talking about that, it doesn’t seem reasonable to ask it of the very same “system,” ensnared as it is in a destructive logic that it cannot stop by itself. As is continuously denounced, it’s killing the hen with the golden eggs and rapidly undermining its own basis for existence. The problem is that its suicidal behaviour increasingly puts at risk the survival of the human species and life on the planet and can only be instrumented with a growing authoritarianism. First, an immense global effort was exerted to hold the conference, and later to make the decisions that are lacking. Does that make sense? Why continue trusting in the superstition that those governments and institutions are going to make decisions contrary to the interests of those who control them, that 1 percent that Occupy Wall Street denounced?

That would be the year’s principal lesson, which we are far from having learned. Awareness is more general all the time that the current predicaments cannot be overcome inside the framework of ideas, policies and practices that they produce; in other words, inside the current “system.” It’s not enough to change policies or modify the ideological composition of those who are in charge of the institutions. Nor is it sufficient to reform them. It’s illusory and superstitious to continue hoping that the “system” will correct itself, with the same or other leaders, as Paris and all the other cases prove. Therefore, we need to withdraw our trust from the same representation regimen and its electoral dispositive. We also need to withdraw from mere social mobilization, if it is only capable of producing the replacement of leaders, as the result of the Arab Spring demonstrated or of inducing marginal changes in the orientation of policies, as is proven everywhere and was proven in Paris.

At this point, the atrocious year allows a crack of hope. It’s underway everywhere, a reorganization from below that step by step transforms resistance into emancipation. The need for the apparatuses of capital and the market is dismantled and for its state administrators and new social relations are forged. Little by little, devices capable of stopping the dominant horror are established, so that the organized people themselves, not their representatives, leaders or delegates, realize the changes that are lacking. It’s not about another superstition or about mere utopias. It begins to be reality.



Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, December 21, 2015

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




18 years since the Acteal massacre

Filed under: Acteal, Frayba, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:49 am



18 years since the Acteal massacre



Acteal, 22 December 2015 (@SIPAZ)


On 22 December 2015, 18 years since the massacre of 45 indigenous persons in Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, the Las Abejas Civil Society (organization to which the victims had pertained) carried out a pilgrimage and a commemoration of the events to denounce the impunity that continues to prevail in the case.

In a communique, Las Abejas stressed that, “the bad government investigating the intellectual authors of this crime through the badly named ‘Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation,’ that is to say, the ‘Supreme Court for the Rich and Criminals,’ has ordered the massive release of the paramilitaries who performed the massacre. As far as we can tell, only 2 are left incarcerated, and at any moment will they also be released. Thus it remains clear to us that justice will not be granted by the government, because the Mexican State is the one that gave the order for the massacre, such that it is a criminal party and cannot rightfully be judge in the case. The Mexican justice system is expired and rotten. It is very clear that, if we wish to have true justice, we organized peoples of Mexico must construct a true, dignified, thorough, and humane justice.” Las Abejas ended the communique stressing that “Memory is an act of Justice!”

For his part, the director of the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Pedro Faro Navarro, denounced that in the Acteal case, “there has been no justice, and the wall of impunity persists.” He added that “state officials, including Ernesto Zedillo, clearly knew what was happening in Chenalhó, in terms of the precedents and the moment at which the massacre was happening, due to reports from the Mexican Army which had been deployed in the Highlands region, thus confirming the direct participation of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre. The national context shows us that justice will not come from above, nor from those in power or those who administer the State, let alone the existing power-groups or anyone who manipulates and corrupts [the people], who are the owners of the justice system in Mexico.” He noted that for this reason, the Las Abejas Civil Society “is building for another justice,” such that “one possible conclusion is that the future of the people who have been degraded and discriminated against will need no justice from the State.”



Frayba denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:24 am



CDHFBC denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN



In a bulletin published on 18 December, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC) reported on the arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process during the arrest of José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a support-base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN). Since December 2012, the Good-Government Council “The Path of the Future”at La Garrucha (Caracol III, “Resistance for a New Dawn”), which administers the region to which Cruz Espinosa belongs, denounced the fabrication of charges against his person.

According to the CDHFBC, the BAEZLN was arrested on 10 November 2015 in Ocosingo by “police dressed in civilian clothes who did not identify themselves, specify the reason for arrest, or even show an arrest-order. They simply put him on a truck and transferred him to the command centre of the specialized police in the centre of the municipality.” After being incarcerated in the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 16, El Encino (CERSS no. 16), he was transferred via helicopter the next day to the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 14, El Amate.

The CDHFBC reported moreover that “at all times we were denied access to the detainee and our credentials as his counsel were also rejected. The State argued that he had already been transferred, which was untrue.” The CDHFBC added that “the charges placed against him are ecocide and looting due to the events that took place on 16 November 2012 […]. However, José Alfonso was not at the place of the incidents that took place that day.” The Centre stressed as well that Cruz Espinoza was placed at the disposition of those judged for serious crimes, this despite the fact that none of the charges against him are serious. Bail was set for him at 136,122.96 pesos for both charges, being “an excessive amount that prevents bail from being posted,” as the CDHFBC noted. On 20 November, he was released with caution after bail was posted, such that the process in his case will continue.



December 27, 2015

Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:49 pm


Public proclamation on the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in San Cristóbal



Public proclamation in San Cristóbal of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power (@SIPAZ)


On 5 December, more than 15,000 people, the majority of them indigenous, as well as representatives from seven countries in Central and South America, marched and held a rally in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to proclaim the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power. This initiative seeks to establish the basis for a new political Constitution in Mexico, which would refound the nation and lead to a new social contract.

Raúl Vera López, former assistant bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas and present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, led the event at which the indigenous protestors gave him a command scepter. The bishop acknowledged that the Zapatista uprising of 1994 represented the “ferment” of a new constitutional power, but that at present “it is not just our Mayan brothers and sisters who seek a new social contract, but rather all Mexicans.” He asserted that “we do not want this deviation of power whereby the authority we delegate to a government becomes perverse, placing our resources and lands in the hands of multinational corporations and their home governments and states. Instead, these must be placed at the service of all Mexicans who want peace with justice and development with dignity.”

The Council of the Popular Citizens’ Constitutional Power in Chiapas stressed that “today is a historic day that will be remembered throughout Chiapas and Mexico, because the presence of thousands of people is a clear demonstration that the people have recognized how disastrous our living conditions are, and have armed themselves with valour and dignity, taking on the responsibility of transforming this reality.”




Ch’ol indigenous people occupy Tila City Hall after decades of having been ignored

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:18 pm



Ch’ol indigenous people occupy Tila City Hall after decades of having been ignored




On 16 December, as they had announced they would do in accordance with communal agreement in assemblies, indigenous Ch’ol people from the Tila ejido recovered the lands on which City Hall is located. Protestors indicated that it had been more than 5 decades during which they had appealed to different governmental institutions without success. “If there is no solution, there will be demolition,” warned the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle during a march held on 16 December. The campesino members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) made a call for national and international solidarity in terms of the possible repressive responses that could be taken by the three levels of government, which in recent days had carried out military and police operations in the community.

Protestors indicated that in 2008 the ejidal authorities of Tila had won a motion promoted “against one of the several attempts at plundering that we have suffered since 1964, due to the different actions taken by City Hall, the state government, and the local congress.” The motion orders the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands. However, using the argument that the sentence cannot possibly be implemented, City Hall has failed to observe the ruling.

The “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez” Center for Human Rights, which has for years accompanied the Tila ejido of Ch’ol persons in their actions before the Supreme Court, expressed in an Urgent Action that “we hope that by exercising their constitutional and legal rights, this conflict in the Tila municipality of Chiapas be resolved through mediation, and that the state’s reaction not be through criminalization or repression of any kind.” The Centre requests that civil society send this Urgent Action to the officials who appear in the document, with copies to .



 Tila ejido denounces “military-police” operation in Tila



On 19 November, authorities from the Tila ejido denounced a “military, police, and paramilitary” operation on their lands, “WHICH […] IS STILL CIRCULATING INSIDE THE EJIDO.”

The operation began on 18 November, when the soldiers and police besieged the populace, establishing checkpoints at the entrances to Tila.  According to Radio Zapatista, “this operation takes place within the context of a growing demand for the withdrawal of City Hall, which is illegally settled on ejidal lands and has been clearly linked to paramilitarization in the region.”  The ejidatarios also denounced the false commissars who have been named by the state government by means of illegal processes and documents, “including a paramilitary leader who was incarcerated for five years for having participated with the Paz y Justicia group.” 

In parallel, the ejidatarios denounced that groups of youth were being armed and trained as a “paramilitary force” which in the context of the recent elections clarified that “ALL THOSE WHO ARE WORKING IN CITY HALL ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO MASK UP TO CARRY OUT VIOLENCE DURING ELECTORAL SEASON SO AS TO CONTINUE HOLDING ON TO POWER LIKE THE PARAMILITARIES THEY ARE.”  Radio Zapatista claimed that the operation launched on 18 November “makes evident the complicity among the government, the Army, and different police forces with paramilitarization in the region.”





Las Abejas of Acteal denounce harassment of members of their organization

Filed under: Acteal, Autonomy, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:58 pm



Las Abejas of Acteal denounce harassment of members of their organization




On 2 December, the Las Abejas Civil Society of Acteal denounced that three families from its organization had been harassed in the Chenalhó municipality by the agent Antonio Vázquez Gutiérrez and the popular assembly of Los Chorros. As residents of the Jordan River neighborhood of the Miguel Utrilla district of Los Chorros, the families were obliged to accept a governmental project “service” involving sanitation drainage. Furthermore, two men of these families were punished with a fine of 5,000 pesos for having refused communal responsibilities. As members of the Las Abejas Civil Society, an autonomous organization, they do not receive any support from the government and do not pay taxes. In place of this, they demanded that their posture be respected, but the threats on the part of leaders of the assembly and the municipal agent have continued.

In this sense, on 24 November Las Abejas submitted a letter to the mayor of Chenalhó, Rosa Peréz Pérez, requesting her urgent intervention to avoid greater threats and violence. Pérez Pérez “has not observed her obligation of protecting the human rights of those under her jurisdiction, even when she had the information at hand to resolve the problem. For this reason the intervention never took place.” This made it possible that on 30 November, residents of the Jordan River presented themselves at the homes of three families to cut their water and electricity services. Las Abejas indicated in its communique that the action was led by the municipal agent, and that ex-members of the organization and paramilitaries who participated in the Acteal massacre in 1997 also took part. “The action provoked great fear among the children and the women due to the precedent that exists in the community […]. We find ourselves confronting a human-rights violation.”

The case of Los Chorros is not an aberration: in the Puebla neighbourhood a member of Las Abejas has been imprisoned for having refused charges. Other members of Las Abejas from the Kexaluk’um neighborhood who belong to the Xunuch community “are threatened with this month having their electricity cut, if the Directive Table does not ‘convince’ the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) […].” The demands of Las Abejas are unequivocal:

1.) Urgent reconnection to electricity and water services for the affected families, and that the free self-determination of persons and organizations be respected.

2.) Respect for the resistance and autonomy of the comrades.

3.) Determination of the non-approach of those involved in the Acteal massacre to the communities, families, and individuals associated with our organization.”




Nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams

Filed under: Mining, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:42 pm



 Nine municipalities declare their lands free of mining and dams



Public reading of the declaration
Photo: @DesInformémonos


Nine municipalities of the Sierra Madre and the Soconusco in Chiapas state have ratified the declaration that their lands have been freed of mining operations and dams. Using the III Declaration of Tapachula for Lands Freed of Dams and Mining in the Sierra Madre and Llanura Costera of Chiapas, some 40 indigenous and campesino ejidos, communities, and social organizations reaffirmed their commitment (adopted in 2013) to the defence of their territories against plundering as carried out by transnational corporations. The municipalities of Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Motozintla, Tapachula, Escuintla, Acacoyagua, Chicomuselo, and Comalapa denounced the collusion of municipal and state governments with the companies to obtain permits for the exploitation of lands and rivers. They also rejected the models of development, water management, and energy policy that have been imposed in Mexico by structural reforms, particularly the energy reform.

“In light of the opposition against extractive projects on our lands, we propose to organize and link ourselves with other struggles that seek to defend their rights and the natural resources of water and land.” In this way, the representatives of the municipalities affirmed that they have ties with other movements, especially in Jalisco, Nayarit, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Veracruz. These are alliances with other struggles over the right to decide what happens on their lands, in favour of living well and strengthening oneself amidst the repression meted out toward defenders of the Earth.

It bears recalling that on 30 November the Union of Campesinos and Fisherfolk of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas also declared their municipalities free of dams and mining operations.



Four years of impunity for those displaced from Banavil

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:31 pm



 Four years of impunity for those displaced from Banavil




On 4 December, 4 years since the forcible displacement from their community, the families from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, once again raised their voices to demand that the Chiapas state government compensate their losses, cancel the two arrest-orders against Antonio and Pedro López Girón, and carry out the ten arrest-orders against those responsible for the forcible disappearance of Alonso López Luna and of the forcible displacement they experience.

In a press-conference which involved the participation of the displaced, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC) indicated that “the Mexican State is responsible for the forcible disappearance of Alonso due to its omissions and its complicity with the perpetrators. According to testimony from the family, they had presented denunciations before the appropriate authorities due to death-threats, harassment, plundering, physical attacks, and denial of the right to education, without an adequate response from the governmental institutions, thus allowing the perpetrators to feel they were protected, in turn leading to further human-rights violations.” The CDHFBC indicated as well that there has been no “search and corresponding investigations that conform with the basic standards of judicial investigation, such that impunity and complicity with the attackers dominates […].” The CDHFBC added that the only person who had been arrested in the case, Alonso Guzmán López, was released in October 2013.




La Pimienta protest over lack of observance of agreements made after the death of two infants due to negligence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:24 pm


La Pimienta protest over lack of observance of agreements made after the death of two infants due to negligence



March by La Pimienta in Simojovel. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo (Cortesía)


Close to a thousand residents of La Pimienta, Simojovel municipality, Chiapas, occupied City Hall and marched in protest due to the failure of justice for the deaths of two infants and the sequelae suffered by another 29 following the application of expired immunizations by the Mexican Institute for Social Insurance (IMSS) last May.

Following this tragedy, locals from La Pimienta demanded that the state government clarify the events, and it responded by committing itself to offering “medical attention, rehabilitation of the clinic, changes in institutions, improved functioning, supply of medicines, and the finishing of the asphalt road to Simojovel from La Pimienta, beyond constructing two vehicular bridges and the rehabilitation of schools and other educational institutions,” according to Revolución Tres Punto Cero. Despite having signed the agreement, the government has not followed through to date. In the words of a resident from La Pimienta, “we realized that the accords that were signed are only compromises, because six months after the deaths of the two infants and the 29 others who continue to suffer sequelae, the government has no intention of observing any of its ‘promises.’”

After six months of failure to observe the accords, residents of La Pimienta mobilized to express their repudiation of the Chiapas state governor, Manuel Velasco Coello, as well as the mass media, “because they have offended and hurt us, beyond attacking our human dignity, by assuring that the authorities have in fact observed their word. For this reason we call on the government to implement its agreements, but above all to guarantee the health of the 29 infants and to compensate damages incurred,” noted the spokespeople.




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