dorset chiapas solidarity

April 29, 2016

RvsR: Three years later Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:33 pm



RvsR: Three years later Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!




To the compañeras and compañeros of Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle:

To the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán:


Compañeras and compañeros:

Please receive a fraternal and collective embrace from the Network against Repression and for Solidarity. We want you to know through these words that our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán is still present in our struggles, in our steps and in our hearts.

The image of Juan represents all that is signified by the rebellion and resistance of the dignified Tzeltal people who decided to organize to defend their land, their territory, their memory, and their history, so that their life will not be a legacy of despair, but instead their heritage continues to be the struggle for freedom and for justice.

Freedom and justice are more than just two simple words, they are values filled with the life in community, the collective work and the strength of the women of San Sebastián Bachajón. With their hands, their toil and their sweat they have been fuelling the possibility and the necessity to continue in the construction of another world.

The pains that you carry and you bring are many. What calls us together today is the life of Juan Vázquez, yesterday it was Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, tomorrow it will be our political prisoner compañeros, but it will always be the need to continue towards the horizon of the world which we long for and deserve.

Compañeras and compañeros of Bachajón, we do not forget your pains, they are ours too. Nor do we forget your struggle, which for years you have fought in order to make life something where you get up every morning with your only concern that of returning to work, to the milpa, to the stove, to school, to rest, to love, so that resistance and rebellion can continue to flourish in your community, which is the only way to have a dignified life.

We have no doubt that in the north of the state of Chiapas the Tseltal seeds of San Sebastián Bachajón will continue to grow down below, your roots like your hearts are strong, your fruits like your gaze continuing to illuminate the darkness of the storm in which we live. One of those seeds is called Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

These are the seeds and fruits that will enable Emilio Jiménez Gómez, Esteban Gómez Jiménez and Santiago Moreno Pérez to return to their community; where memory is not only a date to commemorate, but also an act of elemental justice.

So freedom and justice will not come from above, from those who have been our tormentors, they will come as a result of our daily struggle in community.

If the capitalist hydra seeks to put an end to life on the planet, this then is our main battle in this war: to continue weaving life, bonds of solidarity, paths of freedom where we, the peoples and organized communities, will decide the course of our lives.


Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Liberty and Justice for San Sebastián Bachajón!


Against dispossession and repression:


Network against Repression and for Solidarity (RvsR)









Las Abejas de Acteal, in support of Xochicuautla, denounce the great capitalist megaprojects

Filed under: Acteal, Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:06 pm



Communiqué from Las Abejas de Acteal, April 22, 2016




Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal,
Sacred Land of the Martyrs of Acteal,
Chenalhó, Chiapas, Mexico

To the independent organizations, movements, and collectives of the world

To the independent defenders of human rights

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI)

To the national and international Sexta

To the councils of good government (JBG)

To the free, alternative, and autonomous media or whatever they are called

To los Tercios Compas

To the national and international media

To the national and international civil society


Brothers and sisters

The shadow of darkness is marked in the history of the people. All that bears fruit is planted and harvested, in the long, short and medium term. Thus we have protested before and after the massacre of Acteal, and until now violence has dominated in our municipality, but the majority of men and women of our population do not know where the violence, corruption, discrimination, incarceration, injustice and death comes from.

Sisters and brothers, the civil society organization Las Abejas is concerned and saddened for the uncertainty and violence generated in our municipality at least during the last couple of weeks results from ideological differences and the people are becoming very confused.

A state government can allocate a great deal of support and projects but that is not the solution when the people are not in agreement. It can generate more violence and death, but we as people of god and a peaceful organization, our commitment, our mission, and our vision is to announce the truth, and denounce the injustices and the violence because the governors are not willing to give a prompt and equitable solution so that peace can be established. They can only deceive the people to gain more time to bring violence.

And it is when we do not allow ourselves to be directed and used by the projects of the bad government, because the root of evil is money, because everyone wants to earn like the high officials, because ambition brings us to wickedness, as Pope Francisco says.

“We speak of the earth, of work, of homes…we speak of work for peace and care for the environment…but why are we instead accustomed to see the destruction of dignified work, the eviction of many families, the expulsion of campesinxs, the making of war and the abuse of the environment? This is because this system has taken the man, the human being, from the centre, and replaced him with something else. Because there is a worship of money, because all that matters is the logic of profit.”

And not only in the pueblos neighbouring Chenalhó and Chiapas do we see this destruction, but also in other parts of our country like what is happening in the indigenous Otomí community of San Franciso Xochicuautla, state of Mexico, where the machinery of the rich in alliance with the government has entered to continue the construction of a highway megaproject destroying the houses of campesinos.

How many compañeros suffer today through the total destruction of their homes and the plundering of their territories by the megaprojects of the great capitalists who have attempted to destroy our mother earth!

It is urgent to address the demands of the people, because in our constitution are enshrined the right and the individual and social guarantees, and also the convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (OIT) of the right to land and territory.

Compañeras and compañeros, it is necessary to be attentive and to stand in solidarity with our brothers who have suffered so much through displacement, incarceration, violence, and dispossession from their lands. We also have the cases of the compañeros of the community “Primero de Agosto” in the municipality of Las Margaritas who have already completed a year of forced displacement, and the case of those unjustly imprisoned from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, the repression against the teachers’ movement in Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal. Beyond the borders of Mexico is the case of Berta Cáceres assassinated in Honduras, her relatives were in April 7th of San Cristóbal on their way to the United Nations to present their demands and petitions. The people in general are tired of so much violence and injustice.

Sisters and brothers we must have love for our people and be aware in our peaceful struggle. Because justice doesn’t come from above but is constructed by the people from below. It is necessary to maintain unity and harmony so that the future of our children will be one of peace that they can enjoy, as well as remembering the great heroes who defended our land, like Emiliano Zapata, whose birthday we remembered on April 10, who struggled and gave his blood so that we the campesinos can have “land and liberty.”




Justice for the Acteal Case!

No more crumbs to deceive the people!

No to the megaprojects that destroy the environment and displace the campesinos!

Freedom to the prisoners of Bachajón and all of the political prisoners

No more massacres and persecutions of our people!

Justice in the case of Berta Cáceres!

Love live resistance and autonomy!



The voice of the civil society organization of Las Abejas!

For the board of directors:

Sebastián Pérez Vásquez José Ramón Vásquez Entzin

Mariano Jiménez Gutiérrez Vicente Sánchez Ordóñez

Juan Pérez Gómez


Based on a translation by Palabras Rebeldes



Armed with machetes, residents protest road

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:08 am



Armed with machetes, residents protest road


Obras-pista240416-600x390Connector road for new Mexico City airport crosses community-owned lands

The machete-wielding foes of Mexico City’s new airport are back.

When the government of Vicente Fox attempted to build a new airport for the city in 2002, residents of ejidos, or community-owned lands, successfully quashed the plans.

Fourteen years later, inhabitants of San Salvador Atenco are protesting once again.

On Saturday, protesters blocked construction of what is to become a 17-kilometer connecting road between the new airport (NAICM) and the Pirámides-Texcoco highway.

After noting the start of preliminary work the previous night, they turned up with machetes at noon on Saturday to prevent workers from continuing.

Residents of both San Salvador Atenco and Tocuila, under the banner of the People’s Land Defense Front (FPDT), claim the road will cross community lands. They said the towns have filed an amparo against construction of the road.

“We’ve grown tired of warning the government, asking them to stop harassing us and to stop trying to take our territory.”

Earlier this month the FPDT removed a group of workers who were placing posts to mark the road’s path. The workers at the time were accompanied by military officials, a detail FPDT leader Ignacio del Valle considered “a provocation.”

“We remain calm because what [the government] wants is to break that tranquility; they’re engaging in something we do not want, and still we remain respectful,” he said.

The people from Atenco and Tocuila managed to seize several front-end loaders and steamrollers, and stopped 15 dump trucks from reaching the construction site and depositing their loads of gravel.

After some tense moments between FPDT members and construction workers, the latter decided to withdraw and remove their machinery and construction supplies from the site.

Work on the 17-kilometer-long road started over a year ago. A four-kilometer stretch has been completed and is now in use. The remaining 13 kilometers cross the ejidos of Tocuila, La Magdalena, Francisco I. Madero, Atenco, Acuexcomac and Nexquipayac.

The company in charge of the construction, Pinfra, said work will continue in order to fulfill its contract. “We’re sure that the government will do its part, we only request that the safety of the workers be guaranteed,” an anonymous representative told the newspaper La Jornada.

The construction budget for the US $9.4-billion airport this year is 5 billion pesos, or $288 million. The first phase should be largely finished by 2020 when the terminal building and three runways are expected to be in operation.


Source: Reforma (sp), AlianzaTex (sp)

The journey’s only just begun: The ejido Tila

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:30 am



The journey’s only just begun: The ejido Tila




By Ratarrey

It’s been five months since the ejido Tila (area of common land) gave their local government the boot and declared ejidal autonomy. Five months of self-determination, of organised community restructuring, of thinking about how to create a government where the people are in charge, of making collective decisions about the direction the community is going in. Nearly half a year on the path to autonomy. “Autonomy is a lifelong process. The fight never ends. And the journey’s only just begun”, said a compañero ejidatario (common land shareholder).

Three compañeros ejidatarios tell us about the progress they have made, the accomplishments and the obstacles. When the community realised they couldn’t keep waiting for the local government coup and the police and paramilitary forces that would accompany it, the idea for a new kind of self-governance and territorial take-over began to take shape. The assembly’s first decision was to name security commissioners and coordinate surveillance of the entrances into the town. It’s a surveillance rota in which women and young people also participate; every citizen takes their turn at some point. The community is looking out for itself: “On the 16th of January there was a dance and we commissioned 50 people to act as security, in the end there were 150 of us. People were surprised that the dance was so safe. Before, when the local government was here, anything from mobile phones to children would be stolen, and people were scared. But this time, nothing happened.”

Another decision taken by the assembly, suggested in a proposal put forward by the compañeras, was to close the cantinas and stop the consumption of drugs in the community. “Before, when the [municipal] police were here, they were the ones who sold [drugs] and after a year here they’d already have their brand new car.” Today, if the security commission of the ejido finds anyone taking drugs, they ask them where and who they bought them from, in order to get to the person responsible.




Like so many other decisions taking by the assembly, this way of resolving internal problems comes from one of the community’s fundamental beliefs: that they must educate young people to defend their territory, to be alert and to be focused. For now, state schools and their curricula are respected; the community understands that community training and territorial defence can be learned collectively: on guard duty, doing community work, around the kitchen table. Young people also have an obligation to participate in community work. The ch’ol language and organised defence of the land can be learned and shared outside the school walls, in daily community life.

To administer justice, the assembly designated an ejidal judge (judge of the common lands). Punishment consists not of fines and prison sentences but of community work. Instead of an irrefutable and corrupt legal system, decisions are made according to customs and experience, case by case. “If a man hits his wife, he’ll be sent to work as a cleaner or carry wood; others are sent to clean drains. If somebody steals, he has to repay what he took. The punishment is given according to the crime. For example, drunks are shut away for a night, but in the morning their personal possessions are returned to them. Respect underlies everything. Not like when the local government was here, who would take away their things and even charge them a fine.”

The assembly also created designated cleaning and water committees. Apart from taking care of administrating rubbish collection and looking after the drains and pipes, these committees are responsible for keeping an eye on how rubbish is being dealt with: making sure people don’t produce too much waste and that they don’t leave it outside. Self-governance also means looking after the streets, being aware that space is shared and must be looked after by everyone.




The different commissions and committees alternate, the men and women of the ejido describe themselves as ‘multi-use’. Sometimes someone is a policeman and then he collects rubbish, or sometimes it’s his turn to go and collect wood for cooking. Each family in the community contributed fifty or a hundred pesos towards the purchase of a three-ton truck, for use by the collective workforce.

And the building where the town hall used to be? The assembly gave permission for all the street-sellers who had stalls around the main square to set themselves up in it. “The local government actually wanted to expropriate the ejido casino to turn it into a shopping mall, and, well, we decided that the town hall would become a place where people could sell their products.”

There was an example of the new collective organising last March. Every year, hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to the alter of the Black Christ (Cristo Negro) in Tila. This year, members of the Partido Verde ran a smear campaign about the state of the town. “They said there were fights, that there was no water, no electricity, that it was dirty.” Yet everyone duly came, from Tabasco and all over the northern part of Chiapas. The visitors were surprised to see a Tila that was so safe and so clean; a Tila, furthermore, were there was no police intimidation or corruption, as in previous years. “We wanted to give people a good impression of Tila, so they know that life is better for us in autonomy.” Tila showed the visitors that without the government, life is better.

The gradual building of ejidal autonomy has been achieved, furthermore, in the midst of a constant climate of threats and harassment: on the 8th of February last year, the state government of Chiapas gave orders for the arrest of twenty ejidatarios on the charge of riots and breach of the peace. The assembly decided to increase vigilance across the ejido to make sure, at all cost, that no compañero was taken prisoner. This involved implementing a radio communications system between the different look-out points and installing speakers in different parts of the town to keep the whole community informed.




“Loud speakers are our greatest weapon, not the weapons the paramilitaries have”, says one ejidatario. “And, well, they also say we have sticks with nails in. That’s true too. But that’s just to put punctures in the wheels of any cars used to try to abduct a compañero.” They’ve also dug trenches at the entrances into the town so that military and federal vehicles can’t get out – their tyres withstand nails without puncturing. The guards are on watch all night and people know that we have to be on constant alert, because our enemies don’t sleep either. “As the saying goes, you’ve got to be more of a tiger than the tiger (hay que ser más tigre que el tigre)”, says another ejidatario.

Thus the assembly is vigilant. As one compañero ejidatario says, “the storm is coming”. The paramilitarisation of the area has increased because of a uranium mining project which, rumour has it, is already in construction. The seam is 25km from the town, in the ejido of Tumbalá, inside the official limits of the municipality of Tila. This mine does not appear on maps available to the public because uranium mines come under the remit of ‘National Security’. The mine is in the so-called highlands of Tila, which seriously worries the ejidatarios: it’s highly probable that the land and water will be contaminated, threatening their health and their way of life. Faced with this prospect, the assembly have started talking about what to do and how to respond to it. The compañeros recognise that they’re at the start of a long journey: health, education and an increased involvement of women are some of the key areas to work on. Even so, the ejidatario men and women know that the path to autonomy is long and must be taken step by step. That the struggle never ends.


Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service



April 28, 2016

Letter from Gustavo Esteva for Juan Vázquez Guzmán of Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:44 am



Letter from Gustavo Esteva for Juan Vázquez Guzmán of Bachajón



From Oaxaca, Mexico: Letter from the writer and social activist Gustavo Esteva

We do not forget, compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán. We will never forget.

Every year there are more of us who remember. And there are also more of us who find in your story inspiration to live, that is, to struggle. There are increasingly more of us who turn their indignation over your murder into the energy and strength to move forward.

Thanks to you, compañero, the Bachajón struggle became ours. We are not going to give up. It is the fight back we are giving everywhere against criminal governments and against those who own them, who maintain a war of plunder and aggression against the people and use all means at their disposal to oppress and take away what is ours. It is they who have been destroying Mother Earth, causing damage that can no longer be tolerated.

Your example is spreading, compañero. It is true that your death hurts, and that all murders affect us, all aggression, all the dispossessions that are committed daily. But it is also true that they do not intimidate us. They want to control us by fear, they want to paralyze us with anxiety, they want us to sink in our pain. They have produced the opposite. As it is said, they took away so much that they took away the fear. We are still standing. We are getting better at organising. We’re are interweaving to gather all our struggles together, to circulate among us so that we will be united when the time comes to reconquer all that is ours and to build, as you said, that world in which many worlds fit, a world that dawned with our Zapatista compañeros…

Your death and that of many other compañeros and compañeras does not discourage us. Quite the opposite. Our heart is made strong, it takes courage, it is reinforced in your example, in your life. Because ours is and has always been a struggle for life against the campaign of death waged by governments and capital.

We do not forget, compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán. We will never forget.

Gustavo Esteva







April 27, 2016

Juan Vazquez Guzmán – Letter from Uruguay from Raul Zibechi

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:00 am



Juan Vazquez Guzmán – Letter from Uruguay from Raul Zibechi


3 (1)


From Uruguay: Letter from the writer and social activist Raúl Zibechi

The family, friends and compañer@s of Juan Vasquez Guzman:

Receive a greeting from southern Latin America, full of solidarity and appreciation.

Receive also congratulations for continuing to honour the memory of compa Juan, three years after his death.

Keep on, despite all the difficulties, resisting and challenging the powerful from our collective dignity, it is the only way we have to keep being who we are: peoples who struggle and work for another world where the Juans do not have to give their life for something as basic as life with dignity,

Raúl Zibechi





From Peru: Message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vazquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Movement for Justice in el Barrio, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:51 am



 From Peru: Message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vazquez Guzmán




I confirm, through Movement for Justice in El Barrio, my solidarity with the third annual commemoration of the death of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, killed on April 24, 2013.

The murder was committed by the Mexican authorities and large corporations who are seeking to seize the communal land for tourist megaprojects.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán is a symbol of the defence of the indigenous community, of the defence of life and nature against the large transnational corporations that rule the world, killing nature and humanity, with the only sacred goal they have: “to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible.”

Long live the undaunted struggle of the ejido Bachajón in defence of nature and humanity!


Hugo Blanco







April 25, 2016

From New York: Message from Movement for Justice in El Barrio in honor of Juan Vásquez Guzmán

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:28 pm



From New York: Message from Movement for Justice in El Barrio in honor of Juan Vásquez Guzmán



Dear compañeras and compañeros ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón:

We send loving hugs to you all from El Barrio, New York.

Across the borders which those from above impose on us, by means of this letter we want to share our humble word to the family and all the compas of our beloved brother, Juan Vásquez Guzmán in this commemoration that you have organized to celebrate the memory and life of our compa Juan.

After three years we still feel a lot of pain and rage at the savage murder of Juan Vásquez Guzmán which took place on April 24, 2013.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán was and remains an inspiration for the migrant people of El Barrio and every day here we keep his memory alive.

Your struggle is our struggle because the land belongs to those who work it and housing belongs to those who live in it.

You struggle against those who want to take away your lands, while on this side in the north, we struggle against those who want to take away our housing.

Today, three years after the death of compa Juan Vásquez Guzmán, we remember his great legacy of struggle in defence of your land and our people.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán is not dead because he still lives in our hearts.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, a great fighter who for his love of community and the land belonging to them made it a priority in his daily life to defend the land of his birth, the same land that saw him fall.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, a man who well knew that the Mother Earth has no price.

Juan Vásquez Guzmán who fought tirelessly until his death.


Dear brother Juan Vásquez Guzmán:

You are still a great example for us to follow here in New York.

You will never be alone.

Nor will your beloved compas in struggle from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón be alone.

There are no barriers or frontiers that separate our support and feelings for you our compa Juan and your parents, siblings, children and compas in struggle.


Compañeros ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón:

We remain in struggle and together we will continue to build a better world where many worlds fit,


This week in Canada, we will have an event in commemoration of Juan Vásquez Guzmán where we will share the dignified struggle that you continue to carry out.

We also continue to demand the punishment of those responsible for the death of compa Juan so his death does not go unpunished.


We demand justice! Their murderers cannot go unpunished! No more impunity!

Land, freedom and justice for the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón!

Juan Vásquez Guzmán lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Vásquez Guzmán, Presente!


With love and solidarity,

Movement for Justice in El Barrio



Ejido Tila Chiapas denounces attempt of attack and solidarity with Xochicuautla and Ostula

Filed under: Indigenous, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:40 pm



Ejido Tila Chiapas denounces attempt of attack and solidarity with Xochicuautla and Ostula


new MarchaContras




Public denouncement

Ejido Tila, Chiapas, Mexico 14 April 2016

To the general public,

To national and international adherents of the Sixth,

To the mass media nationally and internationally,

To non-governmental organisations fighting for justice and dignity,

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity,

To non-governmental human rights defenders,

To the National Indigenous Congress (CNI),

To resistance in Mexico and worldwide,


A cordial greeting to you from the comrades of Ejido Tila, Chiapas, Mexico. We want to tell you we remain as firm as ever in our resistance against the Bad Government’s efforts of dispossession.

We publicly denounce the cowardly and treasonous behaviour committed against our comrades, the Ñatho indigenous community of San Fransisco Xochicuatla, on Monday 11 April 2016. They resist the construction of a motorway between Toluca and Naucalpan and despite the fact they won an injunction against the expropriation of their lands, their peace camp was destroyed and their dignified resistance assaulted. We condemn this aggression against our comrades and now clearly see that the Bad Government’s laws only serve to dispossess and repress people. On 18 February 2016 a protection order, number 1123/2015 and 771/2015, was granted to our indigenous brothers and sisters of the community San Francisco Xochicuautla and most of the authorities notified. The marauding behaviour of the Bad Government and businesses violates this injunction.

We also condemn the 10 April 2016 assault on our comrades in the community of Santa Maria Ostula, in the vicinity of San Juan de Alima, Michoacan. One community member, Francisco Grajeda was murdered and another, Abraham Giron, was injured. This cowardly attack clearly shows that the Mexican Government’s laws only serve the powerful.

We publicly denounce Arturo Sanchez Sanchez, brother of Samuel Sanchez Sanchez, the ‘Paz y Justicia’ paramilitary leader currently incarcerated in Amate Prison. The family is made up of murderers. Arturo Sanchez Sanchez’s son, the teacher Francisco Arturo Sanchez Martinez is another one of these agitators seeking to disrupt the peace of Ejido Tila. The disruptions go back to when the grandparents, from Jolsibaquil, burned Doctora Adelaida Martinez Parcero and Evaristo Gutierrez Martinez goods in 1980 and five orders of apprehension were made, but today remains a community leader. Domingo Gutierrez Ramirez, Mariano Gutierrez Lopez, Dizque Profesor Caralampio Lopez Sanchez, Juan Lopez Lopez, Martin Decelis Guillen, Delmar Avenamar Hernandez Trujillo, brother of ‘Paz y Justicia’ paramilitary member Raymundo HernandezTtrujillo, teacher Jose Ramirez Jimenez,  from  El Limar and the teacher Florentina Jimenez Vazquez, and Mercedes Bonifaz Gutierrez, whose grandparents are from Amatan, Chiapas. All of these people mentioned here are the new paramilitaries who with high caliber weapons blocked access to Ejido Tila, Chiapas during the contentious elections of 19 July 2015, and who up until today disrupt the peace, and want to continue doing so.

We want it known that for the security of the inhabitants of Ejido Tila, and as agreed by the ejido general assembly, two entrances were blocked, and two were left open for access. This was owing to the terrible conditions the local government allowed – a growing number of ‘cantinas’, bars, and shops selling wine and spirits which was leading our young people to drink, join gangs, and become addicted to drugs.  But these agitators are bothered by this same government project and they arrived to unblock access to the ejido. The truck drivers, people with money from Tila and Yajalon, Chiapas came on 13 April 2016, but they have no reason to be here as no one is being bothered. It is the truck drivers as well as these agitators who are disturbing the peace of the ejido, for example shooting high calibre weapons into the air at 17.00 (5 o’clock in the afternoon). They are also the same ones who organised a march on 10 April, all dressed in white and saying we are people of peace but in reality they are the ones destabilising the community. They said 900 people participated in the march, but in reality it was less than 200.

In this atmosphere of anomalies and provocation by these people, we will continue to govern using our traditions and customs and the same community members are witness that no one is bothering these people. In fact it is those provoking us who encourage other community members to join their movement, threatening them otherwise to burn their houses. We also want to unveil the truth to the lies Doctor Adelaida Martinez Parcero is making about us blocking roads and charging tolls for passage. This is totally false, the ejido residents do not do this, but these people use lies even to trick the Supreme Court of the Nation, which is what they are accusing us of now. This indicates these people are prepared only to trample on and exploit our indigenous brothers and sisters.

We are immensely grateful to the townspeople and neighbours who have supported us and our struggle with food and supplies, and who did not join the troublemakers’ march on 10 April. They know that Ejido Tila is acting within it legal framework.

We alert the diverse social and non-governmental organisations who fight for justice and in defense of Mother Earth and land rights that they keep watch on what might happen to Ejido Tila. The situation is very tense. The above mentioned people have hired people with weapons to murder and upset the peace, and we put the responsibility on them about whatever might happen here. We know these people are capable of murder. Further it should be noted that strategy of provocation has been organised by the mayor Edgar Leopoldo Gomez Gutierrez who meets in the party hall ‘Delyben’ with Moises Alberto Cornelio Trujillo, who is the current municipal secretary.


Yours sincerely,

The Representative Body of the Ejido

Never again a Mexico without us




Day of Action for the Liberation of Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Political Prisoners

Filed under: Political prisoners, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:32 pm



Day of Action for the Liberation of Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Political Prisoners

Presos.pngDuring the cultural event in Plaza de la Resistencia y la Paz in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Photo: @Work Group “No estamos todxs”


In the framework of International Political Prisoners Solidarity Day, relatives of Alejandro Diaz Santiz organized a cultural event, a sit in and press conference for the freedom of the unjustly imprisoned [man] together with collectives and sympathizers. Diaz Santiz, who has been deprived of his freedom for 17 years, is an adherent of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and from prison has been organizing to denounce violations of his rights and those of other prisoners. Last September he was moved to the Federal prison at Villa Comaltitlan in Tapachula in spite of the fact that he had been sentenced for a local and not federal jurisdiction crime as well as not being a highly dangerous prisoner. According to his attorney, Leonel Rivero Rodriguez, he was transferred “in a totally arbitrary manner” and the move “had no type of basis.”

Antonio Diaz Velasco, Alejandro’s father, stated in the press conference that, in spite of the fact that his son’s visual health is deteriorating, he is not receiving medical attention in prison. “I saw that he is ill, his eyes are discolored, I asked him what was wrong, he said that they don’t give him medication, little food, beans and five tortillas.” He confirmed that the transfer is making family visits difficult because the distance from his community to the prison is long and they do not have the economic resources to pay for transport. Pedro Lopez Jimenez, member of the Supporters of the Voice Amate organization, added that they hope that “the authorities fulfill their promises and free Alejandro” as the State Government signed an agreement in February for the liberation of Diaz Santiz. For his part, Rivero pointed that Alejandro was subjected to an irregular trial, having “a bad or no defense” following his arrest. It should be recalled that Diaz Santiz is a Tsotsil indigenous who “at the time of his arrest did not speak Spanish, was tortured, never had access to an interpreter, and did not have enough money for an adequate legal defense”, the Work Group “No Estamos Todxs” (GTNET) statement said.

According to the attorney, Alejandro would currently have the right to parole for partial remission of the sentence – a reduction of his sentence for good behaviour and participation in social reinsertion activities – for which a legal protection was lodged and is awaiting verdict. Lopez Jimenez announced that they expect the legal protection move to be successful and if it is not, they will continue with actions to demand the immediate release of their compañero. The release of Roberto Paciencia Cruz was also called for, unjustly imprisoned in the State Center for Social Reinsertion of Prisoners (CERSS) No. 5 at San Cristobal de Las Casas, and the San Bachajon prisoners at Amate CERSS, municipality of Cintalapa.




Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán



Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón about Juan Vázquez Guzmán





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 


Jmololabex ants winikewtik, icháh spatil a wotanik ta pisilik ta ini ka´kal yuun yotik nokolonkotik ta spasel te snahojibal Juan Vázquez Guzmán ta Bachajón te laj ta milel yuun skoltabel slumal sok te lum k´inal.

Yaj jkabeyexcotik mukul hokolawalik yuun te laj ha jokinonkotik ta spasel in tsakayik yoxebal ahbil yuun te laj ta milel te jmololtik Juan Vázquez.


Compañeros and compañeras, today 24th April, 2016, the third annual commemoration of compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán is being held.

The family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of the Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón thank you for your presence and participation through written letters.

We express once again our gratitude to the organizations and social activists for their cooperation, hoping to have the opportunity of your participation again in future gatherings.


From New York: Movement for Justice in El Barrio, to the family and compañeros of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.

From England: letter from the Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group. 3 years after his assassination Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives!  

From Peru: message from the indigenous social activist Hugo Blanco for the commemoration of Juan Vázquez Guzmán. 

From Uruguay: letter from the writer and social activist Raúl Zibechi to the family, friends and compañeros of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.  

From Oaxaca, Mexico: letter from the writer and social activist Gustavo Esteva for the commemoration of Juan Vázquez Guzmán.


Receive combative greetings from the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and the members of La Sexta Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

Land and Freedom

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!





3 years after his assassination, Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives!

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Movement for Justice in el Barrio — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:10 am



3 years after his assassination, Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives!




To the family of Juan Vázquez Guzmán

To the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón

To members of the community


Compañeras and Compañeros

We send you our warmest greetings from our humble corner of the world.

We would like to send you a few words for the third annual commemoration of the beloved compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, who was killed in front of his home on 24th April, 2013, by a group of assassins from the bad government.

Juan Vázquez Guzmán was an authority of the ejido, who fought with all his good heart to defend the lands and territory of San Sebastián Bachajón from the ferocious appetite of the bad government and the transnationals in Mexico and the world who want to dispossess the ejidatarios, take over their ancestral lands, plunder the mother earth, and transform the area of Bachajon in to a luxury tourist megaproject. These agencies ordered his murder because they knew he would never give up the struggle, but we all know that, in Juan’s memory and following the dignified example of love and commitment that he gave us, the struggle continues. It will never end.

It is now three years since Juan Vázquez Guzmán was cruelly assassinated, and the demand for justice continues. The crime still remains unpunished, there have been no investigations and no one has been arrested, but Juan is with us all in our hopes and dreams of a better world.

We honour his memory and remember his dignified struggle for his people and the land. Juan is a light of hope and dignity accompanying all our struggles, and we know that he continues to live in the hearts of all his compañeras and compañeros in the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón. Those who give their lives for the land do not die but live on in every act of freedom and resistance.

We send you an embrace of solidarity


Hasta siempre compañero.

Land and Freedom!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives! The Bachajón struggle continues!


Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group







April 23, 2016

60 Chiapas communities reject dam on the Usumacinta River

Filed under: Dams, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, water — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:58 pm



60 Chiapas communities reject dam on the Usumacinta River




“According to researchers, the construction of dams across Mexico has displaced some 200,000 people, while advocacy groups warn that the country’s new water law will just continue to make the situation worse. Many of Mexico’s 4,462 dams registered in official records are in Indigenous and campesino communities.” TeleSur


By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

Representatives of more than 60 communities from seven municipios in the Northern Zone and Jungle regions of Chiapas and from the Petén Front Against Dams of Guatemala issued statements against the construction of the bi-national Boca del Cerro hydroelectric dam, on the Usumacinta River, because it will invade their lands and the communities will be evicted.

In a statement published this Saturday, the almost 300 attendees at the Fourth Forum of resistances and alternatives of peoples of the Northern Zone of Chiapas said that construction work has already started on the containment walls on both sides of the Usumacinta, which divides Mexico from Guatemala, for an expanse of 40 kilometres.

The gathering, called by the Peoples Light and Power Civil Resistance Organization of the Northern Region, an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, was held on April 6 and 7 in the Victórico Grajales Ejido, Palenque Municipio, Chiapas, one of the municipios affected together with Tenosique, Tabasco, and communities in the Department of El Petén, Guatemala.

The bi-national Boca del Cerro hydroelectric dam is one of the five dams planned on the waterway that divides Mexico from Guatemala. According to data from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the works are planned over four years and will have a maximum height of 55.5 meters (approximately 182 feet).

The total surface of the reservoir contemplates 4,443 acres; 1,746 acres are within the municipio of Tenosique and 2,697 within the municipio of Palenque.

Those who attended the Forum pointed out that the start of the work will immediately result in: “the San Carlos Boca del Cerro community, Tenosique, will disappear because it will be converted into the offices and camp of the company that constructs the dam’s curtain.”

Their concern, they stated, is because in addition to all the damage that the dam will cause, “the government will not indemnify us for our lands, the cost of living will increase and we, Chols and Tzeltals, will disappear from the region as indigenous peoples.”

They made clear that the federal government is imposing the dam on them and violating Article 2 of the Mexican Constitution and Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which refers to the autonomy of Native peoples and their right to consultation.





Due to the above, they committed to applying a work plan for stopping construction of the Boca del Cerro Dam and pledged solidarity “with the actions of sister organizations that are fighting to stop projects for mining, highways, hydroelectric dams and to expel from our lands the owners of the big companies who want to dispossess us of our territory.”

They reported that they agreed to apply actions that permit them to put into practice the control and care of their territory, because this project would contaminate the river and the fish.

They also stated their opposition to the construction of other dams projected for Chiapas territory, because “they would affect the life of the peoples, and the profits that they would generate would be used to enrich foreign companies, the result of the energy reform, at the expense of the eviction of our peoples and of our lands.”

They also demanded justice for the murder of the activist Berta Cáceres Flores, coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, “and for respect of the human rights and the lives of those that fight against the megaprojects and against dams, in Mexico, Central America and other places in the world.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, April 10, 2016

En español:

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



Human Rights Defenders in Simojovel continue to be at risk

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:22 pm




Human Rights Defenders in Simojovel continue to be at risk


-Federal and local Deputies are protecting Juan Ramiro Gómez Domínguez 

-The protective measures implemented by the Mexican State have not been efficient, effective or dissuasive



This Human Rights Centre wants to make clear its concern regarding the imminent risk experienced daily by the members of the Parish council and the Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel, specifically Marcelo Pérez Pérez (hereafter Marcelo Pérez) the parish priest of the area.

Despite the precautionary legal measures file number MC-506-14 (hereafter MC) granted to Marcelo Pérez and ten other people by the Inter-American commission of Human Rights (hereafter CIDH), these measures have not been effective, efficient, or dissuasive.


According to information in the possession of Frayba, both institutions: the Attorney General’s office of the Mexican Republic (PGR) and the Attorney General’s Justice office of the State of Chiapas (PGJE), failed to act with due diligence in the actions of investigation, in fact to the contrary, they have acted by not investigating the crimes and activities of Juan Gómez.

Last January Mr. Juan Gomez Dominguez, who has been accused of being one of the perpetrators of [the attacks on] Marcelo Pérez, was released by the PGR.  He had been charged with the crime of carrying firearms which are for the exclusive use of the army and the air force, and was released through the revocation of the charge, due to the fact that the PGR did not carry out the actions necessary for the investigation, even though it is considered a serious charge, and one that is prosecuted ex officio. For their part, the PGJE though the Ministry of Public Affairs abandoned the prosecution for the crime of drug dealing (Crime against Health). All this allowed the perpetrator Juan Gomez to walk free.

It is important to mention that the recipients have reliable information that both Juan Gómez (previous mayor of Simojovel) and his brother Ramiro Gómez, who are both powerful political caciques (chiefs) in the region, had ties of friendship with the upper echelons of the Green Ecological Party of Mexico in Chiapas, as well as with the congressional representative Juan Romero Tenorio of the parliamentary group of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) who pushed before the congress[i] the point of agreement demanding the liberation of Juan Gómez. This is a demonstration of the power of the political friendships that the brothers Gómez Dominguez brothers have as political caciques.

Since the release of Juan Gómez, the information that we have is that the life of father Marcelo is in grave danger, as there are rumours that the “execution of the parish priest of Simojovel is worth one million pesos

The protection measures implemented by the Mexican government have not been dissuasive, since, on two different occasions, the Gómez Dominguez brothers have both written asking for a dialogue with Marcelo Pérez in the presence of politicians who protect them and promote impunity. The recipients of precautionary measures confirm that the release of Juan Gómez has revived and reactivated the acts of violence in the Simojovel with the protection of the authorities, putting the community defenders in even greater danger.

Last March, a member of the Pueblo Creyente was “lifted” in one of Simojovel’s Streets. Inside the vehicle which took him there were four hooded men with high powered firearms who interrogates him about the activities of Marcelo Pérez, his security measurements as well as the names of the members of his security team. After interrogating him and stealing his money and personal documents, they let him free with the warning that “all the people that come to the parish will be closely observed.”

The recipients of precautionary measures have informed of a sudden increase in unknown people watching the Parish house. They have also informed that Marcelo Pérez is being followed and is under constant surveillance.


The night of 30th March, in the headquarters of the municipality of Simojovel, an unidentified person tried to break in to the house of Mrs. Cielo Asunción Mendoza Blanco, a beneficiary of the precautionary measures. This is in addition to the constant surveillance that she and her family face.

This Human Rights Centre expresses its concern regarding the release of Mr. Juan Gomez, who we identify as a source of risk for the community defenders of Simojovel. We regret the lack of appropriate actions by the Mexican State to provide protection to the beneficiaries of the precautionary measures granted by CIDH

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, AC

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

7th April 2016

Bulletin No. 08


[i] information available in:



Click to access 070416_boletin_08_consejo_parroquial_simojovel.pdf




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