dorset chiapas solidarity

January 31, 2016

Public apology from the Mexican government for El Aguaje case (2000)

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:01 pm



Public apology from the Mexican government for El Aguaje case (2000)




On January 28, there was an act of recognition of responsibility of the Mexican State and the signing of an agreement of amicable settlement in the El Aguaje case, a community located in Rancho Nuevo, some ten kilometers from San Cristobal de Las Casas, where a child died and two more were wounded in 2000 when a grenade exploded, which had been left by members of the 31st Military Zone, which borders the community. The event took place in the auditorium of the Faculty of Law of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) in San Cristobal.

Jose Lopez Cruz, representing his family (his children were wounded) and Cristina Reyna Cruz Lopez (mother of the deceased child), said at the event, “The authorities never recognized that we were civilians and that our case should be seen to by a civil and not a military court, as they only cared about the type of weapon that exploded but never cared for our human rights. […] The days were long, have been long, as we have sought justice during these 15 years. Up to now, we do not know who was truly guilty of causing this tragedy and even less what their punishment was.”

For their part, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), which took on the defense of this case and took it to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, pointed out that the actions of the judiciary in Mexico came “late and in partial form, mutilated, incomplete and somewhat battered.” They highlighted that no representative of the army was present at the event saying that, “Today the main character of this story is missing […] The Mexican Army is not present because it is untouchable in Mexico; it is clear to us that it is a power above civil government.”

Representing the State, Roberto Campa Cifrían, sub-secretary for the Human Rights division of the Ministry of the Interior, recognized the responsibility of the State for not having adequately taken charge of and guarded artifacts as dangerous as rifle grenades, used for practice in security institutions. He specified that the agreement that was signed during the event includes promises of transparency in the case, acts of rehabilitation, guarantees of non-repetition, and economic compensation “fair and calculated according to the highest national and international standards in this subject”, the provision of health care, productive projects, and grants among other things. He added that the clinic in the community of El Aguaje, part of the agreement, will bear the name of Angel Diaz Cruz, the child who died when the grenade exploded.




Community of Faith pilgrimage to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of jTatic Samuel

Filed under: Indigenous, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:48 am


Community of Faith pilgrimage to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of jTatic Samuel




On Monday, January 25th, some three thousand members of Community of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage to remember the struggle and path of jTatic Samuel Garcia, ex-bishop of Chiapas, who died five years ago. They reiterated their identity as Catholics and their defence of land, autonomy and social justice. In their pilgrimage they carried banners with texts rejecting structural reforms, the privatization of electricity, mining, dam building, the San Cristobal-Palenque motorway, and they recalled the disappearance of the 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa.

Before mass, which was held outside the Cathedral of San Cristobal, some members of Community of Faith read out a letter sent to Pope Francis in which they asked him to join the project for life of the communities: “Above all we want to ask you that you continue to pray for us, for the State of Chiapas, that you do not abandon us as the indigenous people of Chiapas, that you do not tire of supporting the poor, that you continue to encourage and give hope to the community of faith, that you continue to denounce injustice, that you go forward, that you continue to drive and motivate us in the struggle for the poor, that you do not forget your indigenous brothers and sisters. We also ask that you engage in dialogue with the government so that it is aware and that it is capable of seeing the extreme poverty in which the people live and that it stops deceiving them.”

Community of Faith and the priests of the diocese of San Cristobal preached and practiced the teachings that over 40 years Samuel Ruiz left, and for whom the point of evangelism was not just to announce the Gospel, “but to build a new community, a new community where we live in justice and peace.”



January 30, 2016

Chiapas, the darkness they won’t show the Pope

Filed under: Frayba, Indigenous, Paramilitary, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:57 am



Chiapas, the darkness they won’t show the Pope




Flor Goche, Desinformémonos

Pope Francis (Papa Francisco) will arrive in Chiapas on February 15th.  He will first visit San Cristobal de las Casas, a place emblematic in Mexico for the racism that is practised there on a daily basis, while paradoxically, the city is located in a valley surrounded by a combative indigenous population.



Isaac Guzman / Colectivo Tragameluz


Here he will officiate mass in the municipal sports centre, where in the entrance they will re-create the frontage of the Cathedral of San Cristobal, colourful standard of the city with its plaza full of craft workers from the area.  The official protocol is that, following the homily, the head of the Catholic church in the world will receive a Bible translated into Tsotsil from a select group of indigenous.

Afterwards, Pope Francis, during his first official visit to Mexico, will be visiting Tuxtla Gutierrez, the city that is the headquarters of the public authorities of Chiapas, where he will meet with an equally select group of believers in a sports centre of 60 thousand square metres.

Representing Mexican society, the “good indigenous” and the “good Mexican” will be there: the fragmented reality that the Mexican government wants to show the pope.

Around 100 million pesos have been allocated for the organization of the visit, all that money coming from the public purse. This represents another paradox because in Chiapas the poverty index is rising, while the education, health and infrastructure index is falling, according to the national statistics. However, the government is working hard to embellish the image of the urban city; in the field trips to identify and attack possible risks; and in the recruitment of more than 30 thousand volunteers.

However, the Catholic church no longer has hegemony in Chiapas. 60 per cent of the indigenous population are not Catholic – the indigenous population represents 50 per cent of the total population and they live in more than 70 per cent of the territory of Chiapas. Many of the indigenous are now evangelical, “an important growth” said the anthropology expert in Chiapas, Arturo Lomeli Gonzalez. In fact, the municipal president of San Cristobal de las Casas, Marco Antonio Cancino, is an evangelical.



Noe Pineda / Colectivo Tragameluz


Given that the discourse of the leadership of the Catholic Church is one of forgiveness and forgetting, we will have to be attentive to the main paradox of the papal visit to Chiapas, an entity which like many other regions of Mexico and Central America carries long-term problems, the resolution of which has been postponed for the convenience of interests of a diverse nature.

One of the main examples of this paradox is the specific case of the Maya-Tsotsil group Las Abejas of Acteal. According to Arturo Lomeli, Las Abejas is the most vulnerable organization in the whole state because, even though they keep up a fight of resistance against the government, they are not Zapatistas.

The basic demand of Las Abejas is for justice for the massacre that took place on December 22nd 1997, when 45 members of their community who were praying in church were brutally murdered. The ideology of Las Abejas “has gone beyond evangelical Catholicism” to “create their own form of religion.” They have incorporated indigenous elements and some elements from the classical Maya into traditional Catholicism.

Catholic discourse is based on the principles of forgiveness and forgetting, but Las Abejas go further and include the principle of justice. However, conservative preachers tell them that they have to leave their dead to rest in peace without justice. This is the main paradox. The Pope speaks of justice “but let’s see what happens with this case,” says Arturo Lomeli, author of Las instituciones político religiosas de los pueblos indios de Chiapas.

According to Pedro Faro Navarro, Director of the Human Right Centre Fray Bartolome de las Casas (Frayba) located in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the Chiapas of governor Manuel Velasco Coello -current president and member of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM)- “the whole picture is fairly dark and it seems to be getting more complicated through a sustained, corrupt and evil institutional action to generate violent scenarios.”

As a consequence, among the 13 indigenous Maya and Zoque peoples in the state there is “a strong humanitarian and human right crisis and a persistent denial and concealment of the conflicts, which are being administered, instead of resolved.”

This dark scenario is one that the Pope Francis is not going to see. Nor will he see that of the control and continuous plunder of their land, which exists today due to the imposition of the structural reforms, and is worsening and becoming “fertile ground.”

However, faced with this difficult situation, different ways arise of defending territory, which is “the backbone of the indigenous communities” and life: the ways of the Zapatista movement, and those of the adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, and, in general, all the movements and efforts that support autonomies.



Carla Morales / Colectivo Tragameluz


In contrast, with the leadership of the Catholic Church far away from the reality of the people, Frayba –a secular organization inspired by Catholic Church and founded by Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia- articulates itself with “the church of the faithful people (el pueblo creyente)” which according to Pedro Faro “is strong, dynamic and active because it is a church that asserts the historic demands of the indigenous communities.”

In an interview with Desinformémonos, both Arturo Lomeli and Pedro Faro talk about the main problems of the southern Mexican state and its people, who are mainly indigenous. This scenario, however, is not going to be shared with the Pope in his visit.

Territorial dispossession caused by mega-projects, militarisation, paramilitarism, ungovernability, forced displacement, surveillance and harassment against those who defend human rights, torture, unjust imprisonment, feminicide, migration, presence of criminal groups.

Arturo Lomeli said that “not even with all the prayers of the Pope, will the violence and all the problems stop.”


Over the Chiapas landscape an increasing number of mega-projects that involve dispossession are currently being planned. Mining, infrastructure, tourism, highways and renewable energy, these projects are reinforced by the new structural reforms.

Referring to mining concessions, it is well known that already 200 concessions have been given, mainly in the region of the frontier with Guatemala and the northern part of the state. According to Arturo Lomeli, mining itself is not the main issue, but the way they exploit the landscape. It is “extractive capitalism that destroys the territory.”

Pedro Faro says that mega-projects violate the communities which defend their autonomy. They also violate the rights of the indigenous communities, such as the right to consultation, which have been granted by national and international laws. “Indigenous communities are clear that they don’t want these projects because they mean that their sacred territories, their ancestral lands and their forests will be taken away.”


Even though, as Arturo Lomeli says, “in political terms there is a respectful discourse towards Zapatismo, the reality is different.”

Frayba affirms that incursions by the Mexican Army, particularly in Zapatista territory, continue, along with the monitoring and military harassment towards the Zapatista Junta de Buen Gobierno in la Realidad.

To date, Pedro Faro confirms, Chiapas is the state which has the largest number of military camps. Just in the grey area or conflict zone there are around 72 camps. The military occupation is like the “war strategy of the hammer and the anvil, whose main objective is to fence in the Zapatista movement.”

Paramilitarism and new forms of counter-insurgency

At least six paramilitary groups have been acknowledged in Chiapas since the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Their worst actions date from the 1990s, a period in which they were strongly supported by the State, when paramilitary groups were responsible for the displacement, execution and disappearance of people, but they were never fully dismantled.



Noe Pineda / Colectivo Tragameluz


Paramilitarism is maintained thanks to the “wall of impunity” which is sustained by the Mexican State. The groups and the weapons are still there and they reappear when the government considers it necessary, as in the case, for example, in the municipality of Tila, says Pedro Faro.

Since 2000, Frayba has identified a change in the official counter-insurgency strategy, which in the past was operated in a privileged manner through paramilitary groups. Now co-optation and social programmes are the favourite tools used by the government.

In respect of co-optation, Pedro Faro says that several organizations that previously were identified as left wing, have dramatically changed the orientation of their politics in exchange for handouts. This, for example, is the case with the Central Independiente de Obreros Agrícolas y Campesinos Histórica, which in 2014 declared itself to have self-defence groups, which today, with all the support of the government, are responsible for aggressions and displacements against various communities.

These groups prevail, above all, “in Zapatista regions or where there are new projects claiming autonomy or generating an alternative to the capitalist system”, he points out.

Arturo Lomeli elaborates on this theme. He says that in the 1990s, around 70 thousand hectares were occupied by Zapatista groups. Some of them were occupied with the help of certain left wing organizations. However, following the co-optation by the Government of the leaders of these organizations (among them, the Organización Campesina Emiliano Zapata, the Coalición de Organizaciones Autónomas de Ocosingo and the Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo), at the beginning of the year 2000 they started evicting Zapatista families from around 70 places located in the municipalities of Chilón, Tila, Yajalon, Sitalá, Ocosingo and Las Margaritas.


In seven communities in Chiapas: Oxchuc, Chanal, Huixtan, San Juan Chamula, Ixtapa and Altamirano, there is, to a greater or lesser extent, a situation of ungovernability and violence perpetrated by the State.

The conflicts originate in struggles between the political elites that have to do, for example, with the imposition of various municipal presidents from the PVEM, the political party that is governing the state.

These are places where “simulated democracy”, “neo-liberal democracy”, is more apparent. Places where the official positions are inherited between families, either congenitally or through political relations; in addition, in these places the manipulation and purchase of consciences rules, in line with the worst practices of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), says Pedro Faro.

In this regard, Arturo Lomeli clarifies that alongside the indigenous world of the Zapatista left, there is also an important sector articulated with the political system, which depends on the projects and on government support. It is the indigenous pro-government world; the one that participates in the “receiving things fairs” in exchange for votes.

Forced Displacement

According to Frayba, there have been at least four recent forced displacements in Chiapas which involved some 70 families: Viejo Velasco (2006), San Marcos Avilés (2010), Banavil (2011), Primero de Agosto (2012). These displacements are mainly related to internal armed conflicts organized by the State through power groups.

There are other displacements related to religious conflicts or the imposition of mega-projects.

As a consequence of the construction of the Chichoasen II hydroelectric dam, the people of the municipality are currently living with the risk of forced displacement

Monitoring and aggression against defenders

A symbol of “State terrorism”, in 2015, Frayba was aware of the following cases of vigilance and aggression against defenders of human rights: harassment toward the Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Mujer de Chiapas; three raids and various damages against the Servicio Internacional para la Paz; a raid on the home of Julio Ortega, member of the Comisión Sexta of the EZLN; assaults, death threats and defamation against Father Marcelo Perez and the Parish Council of Simojovel, who have revealed the criminal powers that operate in the region; infiltration by some members of the Army in order to engage in espionage, as happened in a caravan of solidarity with La Realidad.

Frayba, in fact, has many precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, due to the constant surveillance they have experienced, not to mention the obstruction of their work documenting the inside of the prisons.


In 2015, Frayba documented 17 cases of torture, mainly against males. The pattern identified is as follows: before the torture begins, local authorities use excessive physical force to make an arbitrary detention. Their main objective is incrimination for certain prefabricated criminal offences.

Previously, the favourite targets for torture were the social fighters. Today it is generalized and used indiscriminately against anyone who expresses any claim, or even against those who were accidentally just passing by a protest.

Unjust Imprisonment

Although Frayba is not aware of any recent case of political prisoners in the state, Pedro Faro says that prisons in Chiapas are full of people who are unjustly imprisoned. Many of them, he explains, are indigenous imprisoned because they don’t have a lawyer, through false accusations, or simply because of their condition of marginalization and poverty.

The defender highlights the poor prison conditions and the violations of due process which are characteristic of these cases. And he adds: “The state prisons are being transformed into areas of torture and terror to break a human being”.


Currently Frayba is following two cases of feminicide perpetrated in the state. Pedro Faro comments on the increasing number of these cases where “government actions are derisory” since the state institutions, “grounded in a patriarchal system”, allow and tolerate violence toward women.



Fabian Vidal / Colectivo Tragameluz



Although migration took an upturn at the end of the 1990s, between 2000 and 2005 the phenomenon has seen a decline, derived from various causes. Even so, most of the income of families in Chiapas comes from remittances, comments Arturo Lomeli.

Migration is an excuse for the prolongation of the military presence in Chiapas and also brings other problems as a consequence, such as crime and people trafficking.

Criminal groups

Despite the official discourse that Chiapas is one of the safest states in Mexico, Frayba states that the presence of criminal groups is evident, particularly in the border area: in Tapachula and Palenque. Pedro Faro says: “state authorities are not doing anything to dismantle these groups. The Army and the local government protects them and the local press hides them.”

Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Collective



“Armed group of CIOAC-H attacked” community in the municipality of Las Margaritas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:34 am



 “Armed group of CIOAC-H attacked” community in the municipality of Las Margaritas



@Periódico Enfoque


On January 15, members of the Historical Independent Centre of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H), led by Andulio Hernandez Hernandez, son of the leader of CIOAC-H, Luis Hernandez Cruz, entered the November 20 ejido in the municipality of Las Margaritas. According to sources, “The events occurred due to the non-fulfilment of agreements by a minority group of women from CIOAC-H, who refused to carry out health-related activities, included in the ‘Prospera’ program of SEDESOL, resulting in the application of a sanction used in the community as practices and customs.” The residents of the ejido specified that, “some hundred members of CIOAC-H from the village of Justo Sierra entered on November 20 in Toyota trucks with firearms […] They fired their weapons in the attack and Aquiles Jiminez Luna was shot down.” Ten other people were injured, seven of them seriously, who had to be transferred to the public hospital in Altimirano, a neighboring municipality of Las Margaritas. Another of the wounded died on Saturday as a result of the violent incidents.

It is noteworthy that for a number of decades CIOAC-H was a campesino organization that fought for the rights of this sector. Now the organization “has split, and it violently disputes transport rights and social programs with other social groups.” The National Committee of the Independent Centre of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos Jose Dolores Lopez Dominguez (CIOAC-JDLD) condemned the actions and demanded in its statement “respect for the agreements, for practices and customs, we reject any intervention by violent groups and murdering leaders in the communities and ‘ejidos’ of the state of Chiapas and the country in general.” Finally, members of CIOAC asked the authorities for the immediate installation of a dialogue table to deeply revise and solve the persistent problems in a number of communities, as is the case in the November 20 ejido.




Roberto Paciencia reports lack of food and denial of visits

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:23 am


Roberto Paciencia reports lack of food and denial of visits




Roberto Paciencia’s letter. Photo: @Kolektivo Zero

This January, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, unjustly imprisoned in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, has reported a scarcity of food as well as denial of visits. Through his first letter he reported that the accountant of the Centre for Social Reinsertion (CERESO) No. 5 “has never cared about the welfare of the prison population, we lack our blessed foods, the meals which they gave us before have been progressively reduced.” According to Paciencia’s letter, the prisoners have protested this lack to the accountant, who has promised improvements that haven’t materialized. On the same note, “He says that if we complain, it could be worse in another centre, as happened to Alejandro Diaz Santiz, who was transferred to another prison for simply telling the truth.”

On another note, he made it known that a commander and a guard of the prison did not allow his visitors to enter. “They didn’t take into account the time, money and the efforts of my visitors. As poor indigenous people, you totally humiliate us”, he reportedHe also demanded that his case be analysed, that the government take note of the issue of the officials named and he invites independent organizations to continue to demand freedom for persons unjustly imprisoned.



January 29, 2016

A Latin American meeting will be held with the participation of Indigenous representatives and local communities: “With the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ we are defending the rights to the land, territory, and forests”

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:00 pm




A Latin American meeting will be held with the participation of Indigenous representatives and local communities: “With the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ we are defending the rights to the land, territory, and forests”



Representatives of Indigenous and local communities from Latin America will assemble in San Cristobal de las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico), within the framework of Pope Francisco’s visit, to discuss the encyclical “Laudato Si” which calls to seek alternatives to the ecological crisis we all are facing.

January 20th, 2016.
Managua, Nicaragua.

Indigenous people, local communities, and groups involved in social processes representing 15 countries in Mesoamerica and the Amazon will meet in San Cristobal de Las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico), in the context of the Pope Francisco’s visit to this town, to talk about the content of the encyclical “Laudato Si” and to send a message to the world regarding the invaluable contribution made by the people and communities to protect nature through the defence of territories, biodiversity, ecosystems, and cultural diversity.

This meeting titled “With the encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ we are defending the rights to the land, territory, and forests”, will be held on February 13th and 14th, considering that the Pope’s visit will be developing on Monday, February 15th. This encounter will be organized by the Human Rights Centre Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba), the Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests (AMPB), the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) and the Mexican Network of Forest Peasant Organization (Red MOCAF).

Through the Encyclical “Laudato Si” Pope Francis has called to the union of the whole human family in the search for a sustainable and comprehensive development against an ecological crisis of our common home: planet Earth, where the strength of the proposals of modernity turn against us. Undoubtedly, one of the most visible expressions of this crisis is climate change. In the context of the global ecological crisis, the protection of rainforest is part of the core solution.

The Amazon Basin and Mesoamerica represent approximately 45 % of tropical forests worldwide; the Lacandona jungle, located in Chiapas, is the centre of highest biodiversity in the tropics of North and Central America. There is a growing amount of scientific evidence demonstrating the clear match between areas of tropical forests -and its conservancy- and territorial presence of ancestral indigenous people and local communities.

On the other hand, the preservation of tropical forests is considered the main strategy to address climate change. Indigenous people are being successful in protecting the forests through their traditional practices despite the many pressures that represent the global development and the voracious consumer appetite which drives the expansion of mining projects, hydroelectric dams, roads crossing the jungle, and monocultures among many other threats that negatively impact territories and ecosystems.

Justified as progress, these pressures are easily supported by irresponsible public policy or the impunity that almost always goes hand in hand with corruption. Also becoming more frequent are the use of violence, the murder of indigenous and community leaders, and the criminalization of actions implemented by the territories in defence of life.

For the organizations calling to this rendezvous, the Papal Encyclical is a precious moral and political contribution, in which can be found new arguments in the struggle for the protection of their territories and the life they host. Indigenous people and local communities expect the papal message to gradually spread worldwide, accomplishing with this that even more people gain awareness about the impact of our actions on nature and life itself.



Oxchuc: From a postelectoral conflict to a social one

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:47 pm



Oxchuc: From a postelectoral conflict to a social one

by Chiapas Support Committee


Protesters paint: “Maria Gloria Out” on Oxchuc municipal building.


By: Isaín Mandujano

The Oxchuc Rebellion…

Many weeks ago Oxchuc went from being a post-electoral conflict to being a social conflict.

The post-electoral protest that the ex-candidates for mayor of the Nueva Alianza and the Chiapas Unido started after the July 19, 2015 elections was rebuffed in the beginning by state authorities, but with the passing of months spread like foam.

Little by little more and more of the 115 communities that make up the Tzeltal Indigenous municipio (county) of Oxchuc added themselves to the protest.

The entire town rose up to put an end to the political bossism (cacicazgo) that the husband and wife Norberto Sántiz López [1] and María Gloria Sánchez Gómez have maintained for more than a decade, all with the support of the PRI and now of the PVEM.

According to the Institute of Elections and Citizen Participation Ciudadana (IEPC, its initials in Spanish), María Gloria Sánchez Gómez won at the ballot box in accordance with the local and federal tribunals. But the residents are convinced that if she won, it was not cleanly and transparently. She did everything in the purest style that characterizes the PRI and the PVEM, bullying and conditioning delivery of government aid, buying votes, bussing in voters, stuffing ballot boxes, cloning ballots, etcetera.

From the Secretary General of Government, all of the PRI structure encrusted in important positions moves and covers up for Norberto Sántiz López and María Gloria Sánchez Gómez, who started a political boss system in that municipio dating from the time of ex-governor Roberto Albores Guillén. [2]

They support and defend her insistently from the Government Palace. They don’t leave María Gloria and her husband alone. They defend their interests, the political interests, the economic interests and those of her party.

For the time being, those in the General Ministry of Government are looking for someone to blame in order to hide their inefficiency. They accuse the PVEM’s local deputy, Cecilia López Sánchez, of being behind it and she has firmly denied that accusation. Nevertheless, they now want to take away immunity.

State authorities believed that it was going to be easy to sway and negotiate with Oxchuc’s residents. They thought that it would be the same as with the Chamulas, that offering them municipal government posts and public works would silence them.

In Oxchuc they are decided to not let them govern more. The entire population said: “Ya basta!”

And as the days pass the movement doesn’t diminish, it gets stronger. The most recent support is from the parents of the 43 Ayotzinapa disappeared. And, many other local social groups locales now start to come and give them backing.

That’s because what was started here was a fight against political bosses [caciques) that proliferate in the majority of the 122 municipios de Chiapas just like they do in Oxchuc. Oxchuc is just the tip of the iceberg of all the conflicts that are there and haven’t yet broken out.

The State Congress del Estado resists letting her fall and installing a municipal council as residents demand.

We’ll see how much more time passes and how it continues to grow.

“It’s no longer post-electoral, but rather social as many people lead it, since the communities of this municipio have expressed their opposition in a single voice and demand the immediate dismissal of Sánchez Gómez and her town council,” says Oscar Gómez López of the Permanente Commission of Justice and Dignity of Oxchuc.


Translator’s Notes:

[1] Norberto Sántiz López was a former mayor of Oxchuc. Agents of Mexico’s Attorney General arrested him as he was trying to leave the country in 2005. The charges against him were related to misappropriating municipal funds for his personal enrichment. He was also alleged to be the leader of a paramilitary group known as the “Anti-Zapatista Revolutionary Indigenous Movement” (Movimiento Indígena Revolucionaria Antizapatista, MIRA). Before going to prison, Santiz López arranged for his wife to replace him as mayor. Her installation was widely publicized as the election of Mexico’s first Indigenous woman mayor.

33c76f6d-150c-4d50-97eb-de3fba75d4b6[2] Roberto Albores Guillén was appointed substitute governor of Chiapas on January 7, 1998. His predecessor had been forced out following the Acteal Massacre. He remained interim governor until December 2000 when his successor took office. Albores Guillén did a lot of anti-Zapatista stuff and is the ex-governor the Zapatistas call “Croquetas” (Dog Biscuits).

See also:

Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee




Human Rights Defenders demand justice for journalist killed in Oaxaca

Filed under: Journalists, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:31 pm



Human Rights Defenders demand justice for journalist killed in Oaxaca




On January 21, 2016 another journalist was gunned down in Mexico recently, his name is Marcos Hernández Bautista, 38 years old, journalist from “Noticias – Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca”. Hernández Bautista was killed in San Andrés Huaxpaltepec, in the coastal district of Santiago Jamiltepec, Oaxaca. They found his body slumped by his car. He’s the fifth journalist killed under Gabino Cué’s term as governor. According to police forces, the communicator was killed instantly by a 9mm bullet in his head.

The deadly attack occurred on the Federal Coast Highway 200 leading to Santiago Jamiltepec. The deceased, also served as councillor for culture in Santiago Jamiltepec, and was a contributor to radio stations in Santiago Pinotepa Nacional and Jamiltepec. The newspaper “Noticias” demands that judicial authorities “thoroughly investigate the bloody deed which goes against freedom of expression, and also to punish the person or persons responsible.” Marcos Hernandez Bautista was also an activist of the leftist Party “National Regeneration Movement” (Morena). According to a study conducted by Reporters without Borders, Mexico was the most dangerous country for journalists in Latin America in 2015.

Press statement by the Council of United Peoples in Defense of the Green River (COPUDEVER, who struggles for the cancelation of the “Paso de la Reina Project” for Hydroelectric Exploitation in the coastal region of Oaxaca):


The murder of Marcos Hernandez joins a long list of violent incidents in the coastal region of Oaxaca, most have gone unpunished.

There are interest groups with economic and political power in the region which continue to control the life of communities.

Marcos Hernandez was a journalist close to the people, he always supported our fight for the defence of territory, always gave us a voice in the media, was always on our side, always accompanied us in our demonstrations, events, festivals, in our lives.

We regret that our region’s voice Marcos has been silenced, as he was among the few who dared to denounce, he believed in the organization of the people and their rights.

Thanks Marcos for your presence, we join the pain of your family.

As the Council of United Peoples in Defence of the Green River: We demand that the murder of Marcos does not go unpunished!

Punishment for those responsible!

We demand that the Mexican government provides guarantees for the work of journalists, defenders of human rights!

San Antonio Río Verde, Oaxaca January 23, 2016


Read more:

More about COPUDEVER (Information by Sipaz)

Reporters without Borders (Press Freedom Barometer – Mexico)

Press statement  COPUDEVER (Pdf in Spanish) 

Article by “Commitee to Protect Journalists”



Oaxaca, the fight for the air

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:13 pm



Oaxaca, the fight for the air




By Jaime Quintana Guerrero
January 20, 2016
Translated by Scott Campbell

Bi, in the Binnizaá or Zapotec language, means “air”, means “spirit.” “For us, air not only represents life, it also carries loved ones who have died. When one dies, their spirit becomes air and returns to the people.”

The struggles against the wind farms that abound throughout the state also, then, contain this element: “They want to change the path of the wind, of the air, of our spirits, of our loved ones.”

Carlos Martínez Fuentes, a member of Radio Totopo in Juchitán, Oaxaca, is the one who explained the above. Radio Totopo, with its nine years transmitting together with the spirits in the air, also belongs to the Popular Assembly of the Juchitecan People.

The emergence of the radio was a result of sheer necessity. On the one hand, as a tool in the resistance struggle to Plan Puebla Panama, which includes the wind farm system being put into place between those two locations.

As well, because the tradition of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca (as with most) is oral. The radio fits perfectly, then. “In Oaxaca, 16 different languages are spoken. The indigenous oral tradition is the key reason behind the existence of community radio stations and community assemblies, their main supporters,” explains José Juan Cárdenas, member of the Integral Community Communication organization.

This organization works to strengthen and promote communal means of communication, above all, facilitating community access to the technology necessary to occupy the air: radio booths, antennae, microphones, and FM transmitters (which they install).

Specifically, spoken in Oaxaca are Mixtec, Zapotec, Chinantec, Chatino, Mazatec, Chontal, Chocholtec, Ixcatec, Amuzgo, Mixe, Triqui, Cuicatec, Huave, Zoque, Nahua, and Afromestizo, among others.

Its 94 municipalities are governed by Internal Normative Systems, through which the communities participate in the election of their authorities, using ancestral methods specific to each locale.

“The air is part of the territory, and therefore it is one way to remain and to survive as a people.”

The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca

Oaxaca shook in 2006: from the teachers’ movement to the street barricades in which thousands of people and organizations of all types participated. From that ferment the first community radio station, Radio Plantón, emerged as a tool.

The rise of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) allowed the people to reclaim their voices and later, to seek to spread them. “It was through that that the people understood the importance of the media and of the necessity of taking them,” explains José Juan.

It is also the case that the Binnizaá or Zapotec peoples (as well as many others in Mexico) rely more on speech than on text. “The most successful means of communication are radio and video, we feel more comfortable receiving information through those mediums,” explains Martínez Fuentes.

In spite of its centrality to the dissemination of information, as explained in the above quote, there is no data on how many radio stations exist in Oaxaca. It is known that the use of the radio spectrum has grown like never before in the last ten years.

“If you scan the radio dial when you’re in Oaxaca, you’ll always come across a community radio station from a nearby community, although not all of them are communal, there are many commercial ones. In Tehuantepec, for example, there are twenty stations among which few are communal,” says José Juan.

Air is the centre for Oaxacans. “It’s an element of mother earth, key for the survival of living beings on the earth. We began to fight for the air because it’s unthinkable that they want to privatize it.”

The air, private


Private investment plans (and the displacement that follows) are abhorrent to the people, as understood from the land. Neftalí Reyes Méndez, from the Service for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), gave some information to that effect: “Just for the generation of electricity and the extraction of minerals they plan to put into place 60 hydroelectric dams and 40 mining projects.”

In the community of Magdalena Teitipac, they banned mining after driving out the company that was exploiting the area, as decided by the Council of Elders, the local Committee for the Defence of Territorial and Cultural Integrity, and, who else?, the community radio station Teiti Radio-Lova.

There are different forms of financing the stations. In the case of San Juan Tabaá it comes from the municipality, elected by the Internal Normative System of each community. Another way, as in the case of Santa María Yaviche, they created a foundation to sustain it. In the case of Villa Tálea de Castro it was the community itself that pitched in to get the radio going.

Radio Totopo, an example of resistance

“In 1994, national and international businesspeople appeared, trying to commercialize the air, they started putting a price on it. This was a cause for reflection by our peoples.”

Radio Totopo inherited the name of that form of consuming maize, as shared by five First Nations: Chontal, Ikoo, Ayuuk, Zoque, and Zapotec. Each has its own way of making and eating the totopo.

“Also, among us there has been discrimination, there have been conflicts. But facing that we have united in order to defend our territory, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. One way of expressing this common nationality is to appeal to the totopo, which represents cultural diversity as well as unity among the nations of southern Oaxaca and Veracruz,” says Carlos Fuentes. “We took the name Totopo to unite the people.”

Businesspeople and some anthropologists attack the community stations, saying their argument has no scientific basis, that there is no way to prove that there are spirits in the air. “It is part of our cosmovision, which we have preserved for thousands of years, we don’t have to support it scientifically,” he adds.

Since 2012, the Ikoos and Zapotecs have united to confront the company “Eólicas del Sur” (formerly Mareña Renovables), responsible now for trying to extend wind farm projects into the urban area of Juchitán.

From the microphone to the air or how to start a community radio station

sistema-radio-oaxaca-300x225Integral Community Communication is not the only organization which promotes (through training people) these kinds of radio stations in Oaxaca. Ojo de Agua, Palabra Radio and Acción Comunitaria do as well.

They warn that lack of knowledge can sometimes cause communities to break their equipment, “as they don’t know how to get it started, but it’s also not their fault for not knowing.”

They give some suggestions:

  • From the microphone, the audio enters through a channel on the mixer. What does that do? It is a tool that serves to mix different sources of audio that come from microphones, recorders, computers, MP3s, etc.; it mixes them and converts them into one: the output channel. “The mixer is like the brain of the radio, where all the sounds converge and it processes them.”
  • The single signal goes through the limiter compressor, which is important to maintain the signal at good audio quality, listenable, without harmonics (echoes). From the compressor to the transmitter: the device that turns the audio into electromagnetic waves. The transmitter determines the frequency on the radio dial and allows people to find it and listen to it. Identify it.
  • From the transmitter the waves pass to an amplifier, which gives power to the exciter, which through a cohesive cable finally sends the signal to the antenna.
  • The antenna, this is the key element: it controls the energy the transmitter uses and sends the message to the air. Thanks to something called a “superheterodyne receiver,” the signal stops being a wave and turns into a frequency. Only the message passes. The message sent by our radio, which we listen to in our home.



January 28, 2016

Zibechi: A Left for the 21st Century

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:58 am



Zibechi: A Left for the 21st Century 



By: Raúl Zibechi

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, those who joined the militancy often heard a phrase: “Being like Che.” With that, an ethic was synthesized, a conduct, a mode of assuming collective action inspired by the personage which –through giving his life– became the compass for a generation.

“Being like Che” was a motto that didn’t expect militants to follow point-by-point the example of someone who had become an inescapable reference. It was something else; not a model to follow, but rather an ethical inspiration that implied a series of renunciations in the image and resemblance of Che’s life.

Renouncing comforts, material benefits, including the power won in the revolution, being willing to risk your life, they are central values in the heritage that we call “Guevarismo.” For a good while, those were the axes around which a good part of the leftist militancy, at least in Latin America.

That left was defeated in a brief period that we can situate between the State coups of the 1970 and the fall of real socialism, a decade later. It didn’t come out of the big defeats unscathed. Just as the fall of the Paris Commune was a parting of waters, according to Georges Haupt, which led the lefts of that epoch to introduce new themes on their agendas (the party question moved to occupying a central place), the defeats of the Latin American revolutionary movements seem to have produced a fissure in the lefts at the start of the 21stCentury.

It’s still very early to make a complete evaluation of that turn since we are at the beginning of it and without sufficient critical distance and, above all, self-criticism. However, we are able to advance some hypotheses that connect those defeats closely with the current conjuncture we experience.

The first is that we’re not talking about turning back the clock to repeat the old errors, of which there were many. Vanguardism was the most evident, accompanied by a serious volunteerism that impeded our comprehending that the reality we sought to transform was very different from what we thought, which led to underestimating the power of the dominant classes and, above all, to believing that a revolutionary situation existed.

But vanguardism didn’t cede easily. It is solidly rooted in the culture of the lefts and although it was defeated in its guerrilla version, it seems to have mutated and remains alive as much in the so-called social movements as in the parties that pretend to know what the population wants without the need to listen to it. A large part of the governments and progressive leaders are good examples of the perseverance of a vanguardism without a proclaimed vanguard.

The second has a relationship to the method, armed struggle. The fact that the generation of the 60s and 70s had committed gross errors in the use and abuse of violence is not saying that we have to throw everything out. We remember that at least in Uruguay it was thought that: “action generates conscience,” thus granting an almost magical ability to the armed vanguard to generate action in the masses only with its activity, as if the people could act by mechanical reflexes without the need for organizing and preparing themselves.

The armed organizations also committed indefensible atrocities, using violence not only against their enemies, but often also against their own people and also against those compañeros who presented political differences with their organization. The assassinations of Roque Dalton and Comandanta Ana María, in El Salvador, are two of the gravest deeds inside the rebel camp.

However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to defend ourselves. We must not go to the opposite extreme of trusting in the system’s armed forces (as the Vice President of Bolivia points out), or stripping the repressive forces of their class character. The examples of the EZLN, of the Mapuche people of Chile, of the Indigenous Nasa Guard in Colombia and of the Amazonian Indigenous of Bagua in Peru demonstrate that it’s necessary and possible to organize collective community defence.

The third question is the most political and also ethical. Within the legacy of Che and within the practice of that generation, power occupies a central place, something that we cannot deny, nor should we. But the conquest of power was for the benefit of the people; never, never for one’s own benefit, not even for the group or party that took state power.

There is an open discussion about this theme, in view of the negative balance of the exercise of power by the Soviet and Chinese parties, among others. But beyond the errors and horrors committed by the revolutionary powers in the 20th Century, even beyond whether or not it’s appropriate to take State power in order to change the world, it’s necessary to remember power was considered a means for transforming society, never an end in itself.

There’s a lot of cloth to cut about this issue, in view of the brutal corruption encrusted in some progressive governments and parties (particularly in Brazil and Venezuela), questions that few now dare to deny.

The left that we need for the 21st Century cannot help but have present the history of past revolutionary struggles. It’s necessary to incorporate that motto “being like Che,” but without falling into vanguardism. A good update of that spirit can be: “everything for everyone, nothing for us.” The same thing can be said of the “to govern obeying,” which seems like an important antidote to vanguardism.

There is something fundamental that it would not be good to let escape. The type of militants that the 21st Century left needs must be modelled by the “will to sacrifice” (Benjamin). It is evident that the phrase sounds fatal in the current period, but we cannot obtain anything without doing away with that tremendous fantasy that it’s possible to change the world voting every five years [or four] and consuming the rest of the time.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, January 22, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee







January 25, 2016

Xochicuautla community condemns highway project and expresses its solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who face eviction

Filed under: Frayba, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:47 pm



Xochicuautla community condemns highway project and expresses its solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Chiapas who face eviction



@Resistencia indígena otomí (Miguel Ángel Xenón)


On 12th January, 2016, at a press conference at the offices of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC, better known as Frayba), authorities of the Otomí-Ňätho indigenous community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, located in Mexico State, and members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Front in Defence of Mother Earth condemned the “illegal imposition of the Toluca-Naucalpan highway project by Enrique Peña Nieto and the Higga Group.” 

They stated that the project would destroy 3,900,000 square meters of Bosque Sagrado. Xochicuautla community, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and part of the National Indigenous Congress, also condemned the constant aggression suffered by the community “from the State: political prisoners, persecution, attacks, death threats, military encircling of the community and the continuation of works in spite of the protection orders that oblige the company to stop.”

They also expressed their solidarity with various struggles in defence of land and territory in Chiapas. They condemned “the murders of indigenous Tsotsils and Tseltals in Bachajon”, in Chilon municipality, “with the objective of imposing a tourist complex” at Agua Azul waterfalls. Moreover, they demanded the immediate release of Santiago Moreno Pérez, Emilio Jiménez Gómez y Esteban Gómez Jiménez from San Sebastián Bachajón, “political prisoners” and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. They recalled that San Isidro Los Laureles community, in Venustiano Carranza municipality, that decided to reclaim some 165 hectares of their land “as is their right, in accordance with that stipulated” under Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries of the International Labour Organization.

They greeted Las Abejas de Acteal,  who were recently victims of an ambush against three of its members in San Joaquin community, Pantelhó municipality, on December 29, 2015, and the attack resulted in the murder of Manuel López Pérez. “The thirst for justice of our people is a channel that waters and keeps our hearts moist”, they addedFinally, they acknowledged “the efforts for autonomy” of “our sisters and brothers in Tila”, who in their search for freedom had decided on the autonomy of their ejido and “their right to govern themselves.”

They called on “indigenous and campesino communities, students, teachers, feminist organizations, and in general, the collectives of Mexico and the world to declare themselves against the ecocide in San Francisco Xochicuautla.



January 24, 2016

Ejidatarios of Simojovel demand better medical care and warn of possible “more radical actions”

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:04 pm



Ejidatarios of Simojovel demand better medical care and warn of possible “more radical actions”




Enough of so many lies, deception and mockery from the state and federal government and the institution the IMSS.

Enough now of deaths due to lack of medical care.

Enough now of despotic treatment from the doctors in the hospitals.

Community La Pimienta, Simojovel.

Chiapas, Mexico

January 18, 2016.

To public opinion.

To the free media.

To the local, state, national and international press.

To the defenders of human rights.

To the various religious denominations.

To the different social, state and national organizations.

To the United Nations (UN)

To the World Health Organization (WHO)

To the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

To the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

To the native peoples of Mexico.

To all the men and women of goodwill who have tirelessly defended life.

To the teaching establishment in general.

In the ejido La Pimienta, Simojovel, Chiapas, Mexico, the government continues not to fulfil its commitments.

On 8th May,2015, 31 babies were vaccinated by the IMSS, of whom 2 died and 29 are still suffering the consequences of that negligence by the Mexican state.

Following this negligence, the community of La Pimienta demanded that the federal and state government clarify what happened; the government proposed a dialogue with the community, we agreed, with the desire to find a better alternative form of care. In the early days the government tried to give attention and even offered personal benefits to parents to allay public discontent; We interpret this as the government’s attempt to divide the community. Today we go out to inform the public and to demand the government fulfil what is written in the minutes.
As a continuation of this struggle, on June 5, at a table of dialogue we signed a minute with the following commitments.

  1. Construction of a hospital equipped with trained staff to provide medical care in La Pimienta.
  2.  Completion of the paving of the road from Simojovel to La Pimienta and the construction of 2 road bridges suitable for vehicles.
  3. Construction of classrooms for the primary school “JOSE GOROZTIZA” and the COBACH.
  4. Donation of a new ambulance equipped by the IMSS.
    After the signing of this minute we believed there would be time to wait for the execution of the works, so we were waiting for what was agreed in this first minute.

Again last October 14, we met to raise the situation that prevailed in the face of the agreements signed earlier, so likewise another minute was signed with the following agreements:

  1. Installation of EMSAD in the community.
  2. The health sector and the City Council agreed to give a date for the construction of the clinic and donation of an ambulance to the community.

As the community of La Pimienta gathered together in general assembly we analysed what in reality we see and what is happening in our community and in many other parts of the state. That the minutes signed are only paper commitments because eight months after the two babies died and the 29 who continue to suffer consequences, the government does not intend to fulfil these commitments.

In the meetings we have attended with the government they only sign minutes and execution of the work is minimal which serves to control the community, the evidence is as follows:

1. In the completion of the paving of the road from Simojovel to La Pimienta and the construction of two vehicular bridges, there is no progress, they have only postponed the starting date.

2. as regards health, they have only painted the facade of the clinic; currently it does not have basic medicines and supplies, for healthcare we have to turn to private medical care services in the county seat because the health centre in Simojovel is still in the same conditions [as it was when the babies fell ill.]

The babies affected by the vaccine are now no longer offered the same attention as at the beginning, now they receive poor care and abuse offending our dignity as indigenous today, the costs generated are borne by the parents, when we had raised the topic of “lifelong care for the 29 babies.”

On Friday January 15, 2016, the federal, state, and local government and the authorities of the IMSS made ​​a ceremony of handing over a very out-of-date model of ambulance, the community strongly rejected it for being in a poor condition, and repudiated the bad attitude of the government. When the staff of the IMSS were told that we were demanding a new ambulance, they simply replied that the government has no money. How is it possible for them to say that they have no money when they are buying the world’s most expensive personal aircraft?

Given the above, we reject the television and media images manipulating the social reality in which we live, trespassing, assaulting, threatening and damaging our human dignity.

Therefore, we demand that the government comply with the following:
1. – Completion of the road from Simojovel to La Pimienta
2. – Construction of the 2 road bridges
3. – Construction of a hospital
4. – Provision of a supply of medicines and medical equipment and the delivery of a new ambulance of premier quality
5. – Construction of classrooms for the primary school “JOSE GOROZTIZA”
6. – Lifelong healthcare for the 29 babies
7. – Reparation of damages.
8. – That the government ensure it does not repeat what happened on 8 May 2015.


We warn: if governments continue with their lies and deceptions, we will take more radical actions. And we will hold responsible Peña Nieto, Manuel Velasco and the IMSS institution.


For the dignity of the indigenous peoples

Mexican Peoples wake up now, Mexico is enslaved by so much corruption of the bad governments

Ejido La Pimienta.




January 23, 2016

Mexico is Suffering an Epidemic of Disappearances – Amnesty International

Filed under: Human rights — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:20 pm



Mexico is Suffering an Epidemic of Disappearances – Amnesty International



Members of Amnesty International and other invited human rights defenders present the report: “Treated with Indolence: the State’s response to the disappearances in Mexico” at a press conference in the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City Photo: Francisco Olvera

La Jornada: José Antonio Román

Mexico City – Amnesty International (AI) claims that Mexico suffers from an epidemic of disappearances fed by the attitude of “incompetence, inertia and indifference” shown by the government. They are more concerned about giving “relevant political answers” than creating real and effective public policies aimed at confronting this phenomenon.

In their recent report, “Treated with Indolence: the State’s response to the disappearances in Mexico”, the international organisation for human rights emphasized that almost half of the 27,600 disappeared or unfound people have been reported missing during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. According to official statistics, this number was 3,425 in 2015.

The 52-page document published by AI emphasizes that many cases have derived from police arrests or army detentions. Furthermore, the fact that Mexican police and army do not keep a record of arrests, “allows authorities to deny complete responsibility and wash their hands of the situation.”

The document also warns of how the Mexican State needs to urgently recognize the magnitude of the problem and to take on the responsibility of investigating all cases of disappearance and forced disappearance which have taken place in the country. Additionally, they need to force those responsible for the crimes to face up to justice and comply with the due process guarantees, as well as, ensure an opportunity for comprehensive reparations of the harm caused to any victims and their families.

AI used their report to highlight two symbolic cases showing various facets of the problem. Firstly, the much reported Cuauhtémoc City, in Chihuahua, where 351 people have disappeared since 2007. The other case was the incident of 43 students disappearing from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.

The document, which was officially presented yesterday in the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City [el Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia], claims: “In Mexico, it does not matter whether the disappearance case is a hidden one or a high profile one, as either way, the authorities seem incapable of a giving solid institutional response which leads to finding out the truth about the case and guaranteeing justice.”

Amnesty International brings to our attention the incompetence, which affects the entire system and the State and Federal authorities’ lack of desire to investigate the disappearance of thousands of people and find them, further feeding the human rights crisis of epidemic proportion.

The director of the Amnesty International Programme for the Americas, Erika Guevara-Rosas, stated, “The incessant wave of disappearances that has taken over Chihuahua and the completely irresponsible way in which the investigation of the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students is being handled demonstrates the Mexican authorities’ absolute disregard for dignity and human rights.”

She highlighted that in many reported cases of disappearances, the victim was seen for the last time when they were arrested by members of the police force or the army. However, “the Mexican Government does not keep a detailed record of arrests, which therefore allows the authorities to deny any responsibility and to wash their hands of the forced disappearances.”

As a result of an investigation, interviews and testimonies from victims’ families linked both to the Cuauhtémoc City case and the Ayotzinapa case, AI claims to have established that neither of the searches carried out have been adequate or well planned.

AI adds that in both cases the authorities have dealt with the information in an irresponsible manner and that the way in which the authorities in charge of the investigation have treated the families is unsatisfactory, hurtful and with a deep disinterest.

The report concludes with 21 recommendations for the Mexican State regarding needed legislation, the search for disappeared persons and investigation of the facts, the comprehensive reparation to victims for damage and other measures of public policy.

Translated by Amy Johnston



January 20, 2016

San Francisco Teopisca defends its land

Filed under: Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:50 am


San Francisco Teopisca defends its land

After 19 years of defending their land, provocations continue against San Francisco Teopisca, an adherent to the sixth


dsc_0480 (1)

San Francisco Teopisca, Chiapas, Mexico.

“We place responsibility on the 3 levels of government for what can happen to any one of our compañeros for not giving priority to our land demands that we demand as campesinos. We also place responsibility on Señor Pedro Hernández Espinoza for any physical harm that any of our compañeros may suffer.” (Campesinos and campesinas of San Francisco, municipio of Teopisca, Chiapas México, January 10, 2016.)

To the EZLN

To the CNI (Congreso Nacional Indígena, National Indigenous Congress)

To the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

To the alternative communications media

To the human rights defenders

To national and international society

We are a group of men and women adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle since 2009, when we started in the struggle as the Other Campaign. Currently, we are part of Semilla Digna (Dignified Seed), which is a group formed by communities of the Sixth in Chiapas, belonging to the CNI. Our struggle is the defence of land and territory.

In 1995, we campesinos started to take steps with the state government of Chiapas to legalize the piece of land called “El Desengaño,” approximately 170 hectares (421 acres) owned by Pedro Hernández Espinoza. But the government never gave us a solution to our need for land. Much time passed and we saw that it was impossible that the government would attend to our request. We decided to occupy these lands because we have the legitimate right being the original peoples and the right to free determination as Convention 169 of the ILO points out.

We have been defending these lands for 19 years, organizing men and women and after several years we decided to formally work these lands. In 2012, we placed a banner on which it says that these lands are ours for the reasons mentioned on March 24, 2014. We placed various hand-painted signs (letreros) to declare and demand our legitimate right. On July 19, 2014, we declared ourselves to be in formal possession of “El Desengaño.”

On September 24, we campesinos once again pronounced that we would continue working it. We, the campesinos of this San Francisco group, have been looking for the most kind and peaceful way to dialogue with Señor Pedro Hernandez Espinoza. We have extended various invitations in various ways, but he never accepted or fulfilled any invitation we made. Now, Señor Hernández Espinoza’s animals are kept in a smaller space and we gave him 5 days to come and take them out, because we hold to our word that we don’t want the animals, WE WANT THE LAND.

We place responsibility on the 3 levels of government for what could happen to any of our compañeros because of not giving priority to our demands for the land that the campesinos urgently need. We also place responsibility on Señor Pedro Hernández Espinoza for any physical harm that any of our compañeros may suffer.


Organized Group of Teopisca, Chiapas, Mexico

Adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration

Members of Dignified Seed, 
a space for struggle

Members of the National Indigenous Congress



Originally Published in Spanish by: Pozol Colectivo

Monday, January 11, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



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