dorset chiapas solidarity

September 9, 2016

Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez Reappears after 52 Days Missing

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Migrants — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:36 am



Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez Reappears after 52 Days Missing




In a joint statement published on September 2, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC), Meso-American Voices and La 72 Shelter for Migrants, reported that the youth Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, who was missing since May 7 when he was stopped at a checkpoint of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tabasco, reappeared alive.

Located on August 29, Maximilian is now with his family. They denounced that “since his arrest by INM federal agents on May 7 last at the immigration checkpoint at Chablé, Tabasco, until the day of his location on August 29, Maximiliano -a youth of 18 from the municipality of Socoltenango- was the victim of crimes and serious violations of his human rights, through the blame of the Mexican state. “

They claimed that “the documenting and analysis of the case continues in order to define the terms of the follow-up”, while asking for “sensitivity and respect to the processes of healing and strengthening as concrete ways of expressing solidarity”.

They stated that “what Maximiliano lived through reveals the magnitude of the structural, institutional and social violence suffered by Mexicans and people from other countries during their movements to migratory destinations within our country. But it also reminds us that the demand for and realization of truth, justice and full reparation imply a conscious and mobilized civil society.”


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity on 09/09/2016



August 29, 2016

Demands Continue for Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, Forcibly Disappeared in May, to be Presented Alive

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Migrants — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:44 am



Demands Continue for Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, Forcibly Disappeared in May, to be Presented Alive


maxPress conference to demand that Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez be presented alive (Photo @AFPTV)


Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo, 18, who left his home in the municipality of Socoltenango for Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo in search of work, was forcibly disappeared “at the hands of immigration agents” last May. Since then, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC), along with Mesoamerican Voices (Voices), Home 72 – Refuge for Migrants (La 72), and the disappeared boy’s parents have been seeking his whereabouts. On August 21, Maximilian turned 19 and he is still missing. As part of the efforts being made to demand Maximilian be presented alive, parents, CDHFBC, Voices and the 72 have joined forces to hold several press conferences in Chiapas, Tabasco and recently in Mexico City, where they claimed that on May 7 last, the National Migration Institute (INM) “in conjunction with Tabasco State Police took Maximilian from the bus he was migrating on to another state of the republic in search of work, he was arrested, intimidated and disappeared.”

The arrests of migrants from Central America, Mexico and people on their way to the United States of America, is nothing new. The CDHFBC, Voices and 72 reported in a press conference in Mexico City that, “according to official figures, from October 2014 to April 2015, the US stopped 70,440 people, while 92,889 migrants were deported in the same period by the Mexican State. Meanwhile, in 2015, Mexico deported approximately 150,000 migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras primarily, representing an increase of 44% over the previous year, making it the biggest “deporter” of people at global level.” They also say that this hardening “is added to the crime of organized groups that steal from, extort, commit sexual crimes against and kidnap migrants. There have also been documented cases of trafficking for sex work and cases of young people who are forced to work for organized crime itself. These criminal groups operate in the territories under constant and staunch presence of the immigration authorities and public security bodies; from this the participation and responsibility of the authorities of the Mexican state is inferred, although they deny it, there is an abundance of testimonies from residents and victims, who constantly point out both direct participation of public officials across all hierarchical levels in these crimes, as well as complicity, tolerance and ineffectiveness in prosecuting those responsible.”

Given this panorama, human rights organizations, together with the family, made an urgent call for national and international solidarity to demand the immediate presentation with life of Maximilian, and “a comprehensive investigation into those responsible.” Among other actions, they invited people to sign and share the urgent action on the Avaaz website, and to widely share the story of Maximilian.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity29/08/2016



June 20, 2016

Press Conference on the Forced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez

Filed under: Frayba, Migrants, sipaz — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:26 am



Press Conference on the Forced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez


maxPoster for the search for Maximiliano Gordillo Martínez


On June 13, one month and six days since the forced disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, his relatives, representatives of his community parish (Socoltenango), members of “La 72” Refuge Home for Migrants, Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (Frayba), called a press conference to denounce the negligence of the authorities in this case.

In their statement entitled “Between Ineffectiveness and Concealment” they expressed their worries above the integrity and safety of Maximiliano given that his whereabouts are unknown to this date. They declare that they have “gone to the competent authorities, demanding that they fulfil their duties in the prompt, complete and impartial investigation that this event deserves.” Nevertheless, they indicated that they received no reply. They explained that have “lodged a formal complaint with the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), in which we have provided the necessary elements to indicate the participation of agents of the National Institute for Migration (INM) and the Tabasco State Police in the forced disappearance of Maximiliano”; and they report that “to date, the behaviour of the PGR has been insufficient, inefficient and slow, given that instead of getting down to an exhaustive search for Maximiliano and an investigation of the responsible officials, they have subjected their action to excessive bureaucracy […] which leads us to ineffectiveness and government concealment.” The PGR and INM have “closed ranks to deny that the name of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez appears in their national and regional registers at any moment as a declared or deported migrant.” They also reveal that they have been “denied access to complementary information that allows elucidation of what happened that night on the route he was traveling, consisting of the identification of the agents who carried out the operation at the stated checkpoint, the collaboration agreements between the INM and Tabasco State Police, videos from the various installations of the INM, among others.

The relatives of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, along with the organizations who are accompanying the case, closed the press conference demanding that the Mexican State Authorities implement “all of the search mechanisms to find and present young Maximiliano.”



May 31, 2016

Enforced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez by INM Agents Denounced

Filed under: Frayba, Migrants, Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:38 pm



Enforced Disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez by INM Agents Denounced



In a [call to] Urgent Action on May 18, 2016, the civil organizations Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples A.C., the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba), and The 72 Hogar Refuge for Migrants, denounced the enforced disappearance of Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo, an 18-year-old native of Tzinil community, Socoltenango municipality, Chiapas.

On 7 May, he was detained by people who presented themselves as agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) and unidentified elements of the police, on the road from Comitan de Domínguez, Chiapas, to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, to where he was travelling to look for work. Six or seven people who did not have official voter identification were taken off the vehicle, including Maximilian. Realizing that he was being accused of being an undocumented migrant, he showed his original birth certificate and CURP as proof of his Mexican nationality, as he had no voter identification. However the agents claimed that they were false documents. The last time Maximiliano was seen was in the migration office, where there were between 15 to 20 more people detained by the INM.

The INM has denied registration of Maximilian in the national system of INM, and has not provided more information to assist in his search. A complaint was filed with the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), a body that reported the INM denial that there was any detention of migrants on the date referred to along the entire said route. A complaint was filed with the District Attorney’s office of the Highlands, Chiapas.



October 3, 2016

Zapatista News Summary for September 2016

Filed under: CNI, news, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:14 pm



Zapatista News Summary for September 2016 


A. Zapatistas and CNI

1. CNI and EZLN announce Fifth Indigenous National Congress: The CNI and EZLN announce in a communiqué that the Fifth Indigenous National Congress will be held at Cideci in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, from October 9-14, 2016. The announcement also includes the programme of events, and information about how to register. October marks the 20th anniversary of “uninterrupted work” by the CNI.


2. One House, Other Worlds: In a communiqué released in the middle of the month, Subcomandantes Moises and Galeano, on behalf of the Zapatistas “invite you to participate in the festivals ‘CompArteand ConCienciasfor Humanity’,” in order to build “a house so big that it holds not one but many worlds.”



3. Alternative grito given in Palenque: Before the mayor could give his grito (Cry of Independence,) in Palenque on September 16th, to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, hundreds of masked Zapatista supporters took over the zócalo, used a ladder to reach the balcony where the grito would have been given, and gave a cry against the state and capitalism instead. Meanwhile the governor of Chiapas Manuel Velasco Coello had to give his grito in Tapachula, because the zócalo in Tuxtla was full of striking teachers.


4. CNI and EZLN: War and Resistance Dispatch #44: The EZLN and CNI release a joint communiqué, before the second anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa on September 26th, in support of the Ayotzinapa struggle for truth and justice. It is a very powerful document, scathingly critical of the Mexican government, which they say “rewards those responsible for lying and trying to distort the truth even more, and it pursues and incarcerates those who seek truth and justice.” In it, the two organisations also jointly state their support for the Indigenous struggle based at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access oil pipeline (No DAPL.)


B. Chiapas News:



1. San Sebastián Bachajón: The ejidatarios, adherents to the Sixth Declaration from San Sebastián Bachajón, issue a communiqué on 15th December, announcing that their dignified struggle continues, and sending their support to the teachers, to “our Chol compañeros and compañeras from the Ejido Tila,” and “to all the communities and people in Mexico and the world who are in resistance. They also demand the release of their prisoners. One of these, Esteban Gómez Jiménez, sends a letter calling for his freedom. He says he is innocent, his crimes were fabricated, and “they imprison me for organising and for defending Mother Earth.” On 21st September the ejidatarios report a phone call from him informing them that he has been attacked, beaten and harassed in prison. At the same time, Santiago Moreno Pérez, imprisoned in Playas de Catazajá, calls for solidarity and demands his freedom. He explains that he is sick and in pain.

On 26th September, the ejidatarios release a communiqué in support of Ayotzinapa. They say they are holding a peaceful action on the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque. Following this, they release a message denouncing police presence in their territory and the takeover of their headquarters on 23rd September. “This act further demonstrates the desire to drive us from this land and shows that the ejidal commissioner is a servant of the bad government, which works to destroy the autonomy of the community San Sebastián Bachajón.” On 30th September, the ejidatarios send another urgent message, warning that a communiqué issued by the officialist [government-supporting] commissioner of San Sebastian Bachajon, just published on the website of Chiapas Denuncia Pública [Frayba] does not represent the thinking and the struggle of the ejidatarios of La Sexta Bachajon. They have been misrepresented.




2. Ejido Tila:  In the autonomous municipality of the Ejido Tila, gunmen attempt to assassinate Manuel Martínez Pérez, a local organizer from PUDEE (Peoples United for the Defence of Electrical Energy) from the community of Masoja Shucja, firing 11 rounds through the window of his home.In a statement released on September 7, the ejidatariosof Tila denounce that two siblings (a man aged 20, and a woman aged 19), whose grandparents are originally from Tila ejido, were attacked and killed with machetes and the young woman raped on August 27. They denounce drug dealing and alcohol, and say this is another attempt to destabilise their autonomy.


3. San Francisco, Teopisca:  Organised families from the community of San Francisco, in the municipality of Teopisca, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, denouncea blockade of the exit road from their reclaimed land of San Francisco, put in place against their community by militants belonging to the Green Party, the ruling party in the Chiapas. They say their land has been invaded by shock groups.


4. Oxchuc rejects the restoration of the mayor: The 115 Tzeltal communities in the Oxchuc region who recently kicked out their elected officials, in particular the mayor, Maria Gloria, and decided to return to indigenous forms of governance, mobilise to oppose the reimposition of these officials following a federal court ruling.


5. roberto-pacienciaPrisoners: On 24th September 24, as part of International Prisoners Day, Roberto Paciencia Cruz, who has still not been sentenced after three years of imprisonment, calls for support for all those unjustly imprisoned. Earlier he has denounced that he was denied visitors. Alejandro Diaz Santiz, the indigenous Tsotsil prisoner held for seventeen years, now in the CEFERESO No. 15, Villa de Comatitlan, also reiterates his demand for freedom and confirms his innocence.


6. Maximiliano is found alive: In a joint statement published on September 2, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights, Meso-American Voices and the La 72 Shelter for Migrants, report that the young man Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, who has been missing since May 7 when he was stopped at a checkpoint of the National Migration Institute (INM) in Tabasco, has reappeared alive.


7. Teachers’ strike: This is now over in Chiapas, after the federal government promised to honour the 11 points it had offered verbally. The occupation encampments have been taken down and the teachers have returned to the classrooms. The teachers in Chiapas held out the longest, with great public support, and gained the most concessions. On September 19, teachers of Sections 7 and 40 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) in Chiapas began the 2016-2017 school year after four months of work stoppage to demand the repeal of the education reform bill, passed in 2013. Section 22 in Oaxaca had done the same since September 7.


C. Other News.

1. For more news: on Ayotzinapa, the teachers’ strike, independence, political prisoners etc, please see:


2. 13925236_10154399648091085_2488033852233749480_nWixarika: Over 1,000 Indigenous Wixarika people, also known as Huicholes, reclaim a section of their ancestral land from ranchers in the western state of Nayarit on 22nd September, enforcing a court decision upholding Wixarika rights to the land. This long story is mentioned by the EZLN and CNI. The enforcement targets a 184-hectare plot in the Nayarit community of Huajimic, a relatively small tract of the Wixarika’s total land claim of some 10,000 hectares of territory that the group argues is under “irregular possession.” Ranchers obtained titles to the land in the early 1990s, but courts have ruled in the Wixarika’s favour on 13 out of a total of 47 land claims, the remainder of which remain pending.


3. Atenco: International opposition to the new airport for Mexico City continues, with a day of action on 1st October. In Tocuila an 89-year-old and his 56-year-old son are attacked and beaten in their home by armed men due to their opposition to the construction of the new international airport and their refusal to sell their lands for that purpose.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



July 1, 2016

Zapatista News Summary June 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:51 pm



Zapatista News Summary June 2016






1.CompARTE for Humanity: Adherents to the Sexta continue to organise events in advance of the festival, which is to be held from 17th to 30th July, first in Oventic and then in Cideci. It is noticeable that there is a general increase in the number of activities and statements promoting different art forms as a means of resistance and struggle.


2. Notes on the War: On 17th June, the EZLN release Notes on the War against the Teachers in Resistance (The Hour of the Police 3) taken from the notebook of the cat-dog. The government is losing the media war about the education reform in Chiapas, the communiqué says, and goes on to discuss how the resistance movement is growing. Foreseeing what is to come next for the teachers, it continues: “They have beaten them, gassed them, imprisoned them, threatened them, fired them unjustly, slandered them, and declared a de facto state-of-siege in Mexico City. What’s next? Will they disappear them? Will they murder them? Seriously? The ‘education’ reform will be born upon the blood and bodies of the teachers?”


3. From Within the Storm: On 20th June, a joint communiqué, “From Within the Storm,” is released from the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN on “the cowardly police attack against the National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers and the indigenous community of Nochixtlán, Oaxaca.” In this, the peoples, nations and tribes of the CNI and the EZLN “say to the dignified teachers that they are not alone, that we know that reason and truth are on their side, that the collective dignity from which they speak their resistance is unbreakable, and that this the principal weapon of those of us below.” They demand an end to the repression and call for solidarity in the face of the storm that is upon all of us.


4. More from the cat-dog: On 23rd June, the EZLN release The Hour of the Police 4, from the Cat-Dog’s spoiler notebook. This short excerpt is about Aurelio Nuño, Minister of Public Education, who has refused to negotiate. “All memory of you will disappear.”


 B. Chiapas


1. Bersaín Hernández Zavala: The sad death in a car accident is announced of the teacher, social activist and adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, Bersaín Hernández Zavala, who founded the Autonomous Regional Council of the Coastal Zone of Chiapas in September 2006. This Council covered the municipalities of Tonalá, Pijijiapan and Mapastepec. A moving farewell and memorial is held on 3rd June, at the secondary school, where he taught in Tonalá, in honour of his important work. He is remembered for his contribution to the construction of a culture of peace.


2. The Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel: declare their full and active support for the teachers in resistance, and call for a pilgrimage on 8th June in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, against the repression and the so-called reforms, calling on the government to stop the violence, on the police to protect and not to repress, and on the teachers to continue to struggle peacefully. Thousands of indigenous peoples from the municipalities of Simojovel, El Bosque, Huitiupán, Amatán and Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán came down from the highlands for this pilgrimage, led by Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez. Further pilgrimages follow.


3. Las Abejas of Acteal open a collection for the 81 people, from 14 families, members of their organisation, who were displaced from their homes by the shooting and violence in Colonia Puebla, Chenalho, on 26th May. The displaced people are currently living in the headquarters of Las Abejas, and were previously displaced in August 2013. During their monthly commemoration of the fallen, the group denounce the repression and the context of violence towards the indigenous peoples, seen for example in the increase in mineral exploitation (mining.) On 22nd June they say “”The governments of Chiapas and Mexico have never had the mentality to establish peace. They only encourage violence and defend their own interests and those of their bosses who want to impose structural reforms.” These reforms, they add, are only to privatise education, and all the national resources.


4. Ejido Tila: Ejidatarios from the newly autonomous community of Tila denounce how “the expelled town council is still looking to finish us off and return to bad government.” For example, “a member of the municipal police cut an ejidatario with a razor,” and supplies of fuel for the ambulance at Tila have been cut. “Also the threats continue and the town council gave money to the caciques to pay thugs to kill our authorities and destroy our self-government. But here we continue resisting and slowly building our autonomy and the self-government of the ejido.” On 12th June they further announce that they have completed 70 metres of drainage by hand.


5. Prisoners: Ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajon demand the release of the Tseltal Santiago Moreno Pérez from the prison at Playas de Catazaja. They say he is not receiving medical attention for various diseases resulting from the conditions of his detention over the last seven years. The Tsotsil prisoner Alejandro Díaz Santiz denounces the mistreatment of prisoners through threats and abuse of power by the prison guards, as well as verbal and physical humiliation at the federal prison No. 15, Villa Comaltitlán, Tapachula. In Cereso No 5, the Tsotsil prisoner Roberto Paciencia Cruz begins a short hunger strike in solidarity with the teachers. Roberto also writes a letter of solidarity to Alejandro, to break his isolation.


6. The Lacandon Gap: Ejidatarios from the Ocosingo area, members of ARIC (not adherents to the Sexta), gathered at Ejido Candelaria, announce their complete rejection of the proposal to delimit the Lacandon Gap, a fight that has gone on for 40 years, because “the delimitation of the Lacandon Gap is about transnational companies that want to take possession of the land to exploit its valuable natural resources, found in the depths of the Lacandon zone and the Montes Azules biosphere.” “The Government does not intend to regularise this land; rather its main objective is to delimit the gap, in order to expropriate the Lacandon zone.”


7. San Isidro Los Laureles: The organised group of San Isidro los Laureles and communities in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration, known as Semilla Digna, release a communiqué informing that, during their eviction from their recuperated land, their houses and cornfields were destroyed. The 50 to 60 hectares of maize they had planted, which was almost ready to harvest, has been cut by the attackers and fed to their cattle, leaving 60 families without food. They announce their intention to return and recover their lands and territory.


8. San Francisco Teopisca: The organised group of adherents to the Sexta from the ranchería San Francisco, in the municipality of Teopisca, denounce, on 13th June, that the police are searching for seven of their members as a result of arrest warrants which were issued against them last August. This is part of an attempt to seize and sell their recuperated land, “El Desengaño,” by a shock group led by two local caciques.


9. Forced disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez: On 13th June, one month and six days since the forced disappearance of Maximiliano Gordillo Martinez, aged 18, his relatives, representatives of his community parish of Socoltenango, along with members of “La 72” Refuge Home for Migrants, Mesoamerican Voices, Action with Migrant Peoples and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights, call a press conference to denounce the negligence of the authorities in this case. Maximiliano was travelling in search of work because of the poverty of his family, when he was wrongfully detained as a migrant at a checkpoint in the state of Tabasco; since then he has disappeared.


10. Banavil: The families forcibly displaced from Banavil report that Alonso Lopez Ramirez was arrested on 9th June, on the charges of homicide and wounding. He is one of those responsible for the aggression of December 4, 2011, that caused the forced displacement of 13 people and the disappearance of Alonso López Luna. The displaced families demand that Alonso Lopez Ramirez is not allowed to go free, that the seven other outstanding arrest warrants in this case are implemented and that a search is conducted to find the disappeared Alonso López Luna, because Lopez Ramirez knows what happened to him.


11. An example of autonomous justice: In a communiqué dated 14th June, ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajon report that after a group of around 10 people assaulted and killed a young campesino on the road on the night of 12th June, the Ch’ol and Tseltal communities of the region, “decided to organize ourselves autonomously and mobilised around 800 men to track and capture the criminal gang.” The operation was carried out by fifteen communities from different municipalities, among them the municipality of Bachajón, “knowing that there will be no justice from the state due to the complicity of the police forces with the bad government and organised crime.” The aim was “to prevent the bad government from utilizing these types of situations, with the help of the mass media, and presenting them to civil society as the result of a prevailing insecurity and division among indigenous peoples, advocating police and military intervention in territories that are the focus of government interests.” The “organized intervention of the Ch’ol and Tseltal communities to detain the criminals,” was conducted “using our customs and traditional practices and the ways and modes of community policing.”


12. Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres: 20th June 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of the forced disappearance of the indigenous Ch’ol Minerva Guadalupe, who was arrested at a checkpoint of the paramilitary group Desarrollo Paz y Justicia (Development Peace and Justice) in the municipality of Tila. This case, says Frayba, “falls within the systematic pattern of forced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and forced displacement in the Northern region of Chiapas, which was part of the counterinsurgency strategy operated by the Mexican State.” The call for justice continues.


13. Second and third pilgrimages called: Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez from Simojovel announces that the base ecclesiastical communities from the parishes of San Fernando de Guadalupe, Salto de Agua, San Mateo, Tila, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Palenque and the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, along with the Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel, will hold a pilgrimage on 20th June in support of the teachers of Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. They have to do this because their march of 8th June fell on deaf ears, he says, and to show their support for the teachers and to repudiate the violent acts that occurred in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca. “With such events we cannot remain on the sidelines, as a church we will always be on the side of the oppressed and we will raise our prophetic voice.” Father Marcelo also extends an invitation to a mega-pilgrimage in support of the teachers on 1st July with around thirteen parishes from the diocese of San Cristobal participating.


14. Healthworkers strike in Chiapas: In Chiapas, more than 2,000 workers of Health Jurisdiction Number II, which covers 18 municipalities in the Highlands of Chiapas, declare a strike on 7th June to demand equipment and medicine for patients as well as social benefits:  they have neither medicines nor equipment to tend to the patients. Thousands of health workers march in San Cristobal de Las Casas on June 14th, requesting that their demands be addressed and siding against the Health Reform Bill and in support of the teachers. They began a sit-in in the city on that date. On June 22nd, the health sector called for a national strike against the new Universal Health System, a proposal of President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose first phase came into effect the previous week.


C. Other


1. Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth: The first national video message from the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory is released online as part of the campaign’s overall goal to connect different urban and rural grassroots struggles in Mexico who make their priority the defence of territory, natural resources and the rights of indigenous peoples. In this message artists, poets and intellectuals amplify the voice of the more than 97 peoples who are resisting the imposition of megaprojects in their territories. “Without land and territory, life is not possible.”


2. Tata Juan Chávez Alonso: is remembered on the fourth anniversary of his death. “Corn is our blood, corn is our life, corn is our child, the corn boy and girl. It is the young person, the young corn, it is the sister and the brother corn, it is the father and the mother corn, it is the grandmother and grandfather corn. We are the people of corn who like all humanity are all the colours of the earth, because we were born in the land of all the colours that we are. Corn is represented in each of the colours of the world.”


3. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) explains that it is facing a serious funding crisis which could result in the loss of 40% of its personnel by the end of July, and would have a devastating impact on its work. The IAHCR is the main recourse for indigenous groups facing violations of their rights and the impacts of its loss would be very severe. The organisation is essential for the scrutiny of press freedom, political violence and indigenous rights.


4. World Poetry Gathering of Indigenous Peoples: It is announced that nearly a hundred poets from different native peoples of the five continents will meet in Mexico in October 2016 as part of the first World Poetry Gathering of Indigenous Peoples: Voices of Colours for the Mother Earth, an event that aims to be a cry of warning about the environmental crisis on the planet. The festival, which will be presented in different pre-Hispanic archaeological sites in Mexico, will be adapted to the nature of ancestral cultures, where poetry plays a key role in oral culture which is used to transmit knowledge and traditions.


5. GM soya in Campeche: Beekeepers, Mayan communities and environmentalists warn of the possible planting of transgenic soybeans in Campeche despite the suspension of this activity decreed by the Supreme Court of Justice. They demand that the law enforcement authorities ensure that businesses and private producers comply with the ruling, and warn that they will initiate citizen monitoring in high-risk areas in Campeche and denounce any cases found.


6. Shocking new report from Amnesty International: Torture is widespread in Mexico’s “war on drugs”, but the impact on women has been largely ignored or downplayed. This report analyses the stories of 100 women who have reported torture and other forms of violence during arrest and interrogation by police and armed forces.


D. The Teachers’ Strike


The Mexican government’s neoliberal education “reform” represents the privatisation of education, the removal of workers’ rights, the weakening and even criminalisation of trade unions and the virtual exclusion of poor and indigenous regions from the educational system. The teachers have been on strike since 15th May. Huge protests continue despite violent clashes, police brutality and arrests. The arrests of the CNTE leaders along with a dozen other teachers led to mass demonstrations across Mexico, particularly in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacan – the poorest states with the largest indigenous population.

On 19th June violent repression by the Peña Nieto government and a brutal attack lasting over four hours on demonstrators at a roadblock in the southern state of Oaxaca resulted in the killing of at least 12 people, including nine people in the town (population 15,000) of Nochixtlan. See the report by John Ackerman here and an article about the teachers movement in Oaxaca here. Following this attack, residents of Nochixtlán are living in a virtual state of terror. The massacre has sparked a local and global condemnation against state repression in Mexico.

There are also great fears of further acts of repression and indiscriminate violence by the state, in an atmosphere of impunity, and there are many calls for dialogue.

You can sign an urgent action humanitarian alert issued by civil society in Oaxaca following the armed attack by the state on the civilian population here.


Massive support for the teachers

Thousands of local and international social organizations and grassroots movements have endorsed the teachers’ cause.

More than 200,000 doctors and nurses joined the teachers in a 24-hour strike against Peña Nieto’s administration attempts to privatize the federal social security and health systems, and students at major Mexican universities boycotted classes to mark the massacre and to oppose the ongoing efforts by the government to increase costs of higher education.

Generalized roadblocks against the education reform are set up throughout Chiapas, in Tuxtla, San Cristobal, Comitan, Ocosingo, Oxchuc, Ixtapa, and Suchiapa, and a succession of indigenous and cultural groups are joining the marches. On 29th June, more than eighteen roads in Chiapas were reported as having been blocked for three days, and by 30th June, twenty in the state of Oaxaca. The mobilisations continue, because no agreements have been reached through negotiation. Osorio Chong is talking about removing the roadblocks by force. However, on 30th July, Mexican authorities agreed to pay reparations for the dead in Nochixtlan.

Indigenous groups have come out very strongly in support of the teachers, notably the Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel, Las Abejas from Acteal, the Mixe from highland Oaxaca, who are carrying out massive mobilisations, and, of course, the Zapatistas, along with the Indigenous National Congress.


Finally, a summary of the situation from the Manchester Zapatista Collective:

Teachers in different parts of the world are fighting against what neoliberal governments are doing to education: governments abandon education for the most marginalized sectors of societies, they privatize education for everyone else, they remove critical thinking from
curricula and turn education into their own tool for forming compliant and obedient servants of the existing system. We’re seeing it in Britain, in the U.S., and in Mexico. Dispossession is not only about land; it is also about knowledge which should be there for everyone. As
Gustavo Esteva puts it, ‘the teachers’ territory is the classroom.’

In Mexico teachers have been striking in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. This last weekend (18/19 June) the police cracked down on them; as far as we know nine people have been killed and over 100 injured. This is an extension of the crack-down on teachers and teacher training students in Guerrero, another part of Mexico, which led to the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa two years ago.

Here is an interview with Gustavo Esteva, who has been with the Sixth, on the reasons for the actions of the teachers in Oaxaca, on the abandoning of education by the government, and on the links between education and the struggle for land and territory:


Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



September 2, 2016

Zapatista News Summary for August 2016

Filed under: news, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:10 am



Zapatista News Summary for August 2016





A. Zapatista News

1. CompArte: On Saturday 30 July The Festival “CompArte for Humanity” finishes in CIDECI-Unitierra, with great joy, celebration, colours and flavours. Having been celebrated at Oventic on 29th July, in August it moves to the other caracoles. CompArte brings a great deal of happiness and positivity: “Without doubt this week of art and sharing was full of life, hope and creativity, wherever we are, we can feel it, and it touches our hearts and thoughts.” The festival aims a to highlight the role that creativity, imagination and art has historically played in revolutionary movements, “perhaps it could be the Arts that remind humanity that people not only kill and destroy, impose and dominate, humiliate and doom to oblivion, but can also create, liberate, and remember.” The day in Oventic is celebrated in a photo-essay and an article.


2. Opening words: The opening words of Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés at CompArte in Oventic are published, slating the lack of justice, speaking of how we need to organise, and telling some of the true story of the massacre in San Juan Chamula.


3. Closing words: The closing comments made by Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés to mark the conclusion of the Zapatistas’ contribution to the CompArte, in the Caracol of Oventic, on July 29, 2016, are also published, under the title “The Art That Is Neither Seen Nor Heard.” Speaking of their support for the teachers, he says: “We Zapatista men and women don’t ask for anyone to come and struggle for us. Each person must struggle, and we should mutually support one another, but that support cannot replace each person’s struggle. Whoever struggles has the right to decide the direction of their path and with whom they walk that path.” He concludes; “We Zapatistas think that now more than ever, we need ART, ORIGINARY PEOPLES, AND SCIENTISTS in order to give birth to a new world.”


4. CompArte in the other caracoles:



The festival is also celebrated in La Realidad, 3rdAugust, La Garrucha, 6thAugust, Morelia, 9th August, where the celebrations, opened by Comandanta Esther, include the celebration of the 13th anniversary of the birth of the Zapatista caracoles and the Juntas de Buen Gobierno, and finally, Roberto Barrios, on 12th August where it closes. During this time, the Zapatistas share their path from the 1970s to the present with us through theatre, poetry, music, paintings, and photos. At the conclusion of CompArte, Subcomandante Moisés states “22 years later we [EZLN] are showing that we don’t want to use these weapons, that it isn’t necessary. We are demonstrating that there is [another] way to achieve freedom, justice and democracy; that it isn’t necessary to kill.”


5. 20th anniversary of CNI:



In a joint convocation, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announce the forthcoming celebration of the 20th anniversary of the CNI, to be held from 9 to 14 October in the premises of CIDECI- Unitierra, the Indigenous Integrated Training Centre in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. They say that this Fifth National Indigenous Congress will be a space of unity, reflection and organization to continue “promoting the integral reconstitution of our peoples and the construction of a society into which all the cultures, all the colours, all the peoples who are Mexico will fit.” Given the adverse context of violence in our country, the CNI calls on the authorities and direct representatives of the peoples, nations, tribes, neighbourhoods, communities and indigenous organizations to meet together and, with the love and ancestral commitment to the mother, join the resistance, autonomy and rebellion “which shine in every one of the indigenous peoples”, spinning the threads of new worlds from the very bottom, walking towards collective, autonomous and rebellious hope.


6. Books II and III of Critical Thoughtversus the Capitalist Hydra have been for sale in Spanish in Mexico for several months. Gilberto Lopez y Rivas reviews vol II in two articles for La Jornada.



B. Other Chiapas News


1. 3rd anniversary of the founding of the community Primero de Agosto:


The members of this community remain displaced as they celebrate the third anniversary of the founding of their community. The 17 Tojolabal families were displaced on August 23, 2014, by an armed group from the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos – Historical (CIOAC-H).


2. Attack on Ejido Tila: In a communiqué issued on 3rd August, the autonomous Chol community of Ejido Tila denounces an incursion into its territory by Marines. They were photographing and taking notes, but fled when people started to gather. The National Indigenous Congress (CNI) also denounces this harassment. This month the Ejido Tila reaches its 82nd anniversary.


3. The Movement for the Defence of Mother Earth and Territory: The Movement holds a march and rally in the municipality of Pijijiapan, rejecting the establishment of toxic mining schemes, dams, wind farms, monoculture, biofuels, GM, REDD projects, predatory oil and gas schemes, and against any extractive mineral projects.


4. Roberto Paciencia Cruz, marks three years in prison: On 7th August, Roberto Paciencia Cruz has been incarcerated in CERESO 5 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for three years for a crime didn’t commit. Sociologist Aida Cipriano writes: “The prisons of Chiapas are full of indigenous, who, for lack of knowing how to read and express themselves, have been prisoners for years, because the first thing the authorities care about is to lock them up, then they just have to leave the file in the rubbish and keep them there for life. In Chiapas, when the governor isn’t covering up or causing dispossession, extrajudicial executions, persecution, torture or fabricated crimes against the indigenous, he is covering up any violation of human rights of the prisoners.” On 27th August Roberto denounces that his visitoe have been turned away and denied permission to see him. He also calls for the liberation of fellow prisoner Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, who repeats his call for freedom.


5. Risk to life of Patricia del Carmen Paniagua Gomez, prisoner and victim of torture: On August 16, 2016, Frayba reports that it has requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights for Patricia del Carmen Paniagua Gomez, a woman prisoner since April 2014, whose life is in danger after the torture she was subjected to when arrested. The inadequate and insufficient medical care by the prison authorities, “represents an imminent threat to Patricia’s life and physical and psychological integrity.”


6. Shock group threatens to invade the lands of adherents to the Sixth in San Francisco, Teopisca:


san francisco

Seven arrest warrants have been issued against members of the group in defence of land and territory, members of Semilla Digna and adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the EZLN, despite their being protected by an amparo (injunction). A shock group has visited their reclaimed lands showing false documents of ownership, and threatening to displace them.


7. Community of Cruztón denounces invasion of its territory and aggression: The adherents to the Sixth Declaration, and members of Semilla Digna from the municipality of Venustiano Carranza denounce a group from Guadalupe Victoria who are invading and attempting to privatise their ‘holy field’ where the community leave flowers for their dead. The invading group are blocking the path to this holy field, and a member of the Cruztόn community is beaten and taken hostage by the attacking group from Guadalupe Victoria.


8. The community of Cinco de Marzo denounce intimidation and plunder:




Members of this community, adherents to the Sixth in San Cristobal de Las Casas, say they are being threatened with having their lands dispossessed and privatised by the government, the Federal Electricity Commission, and some other people from the same community. They recuperated their land 22 years ago in 1994. The residents are now being threatened with eviction if they do not pay a large amount of money.


9. Oxchuc expels political parties: Following disputes over the mayoral elections in the municipality of Oxchuc, and after a long period of preparation, 105 indigenous communities from the municipality jointly decide to expel the political parties and elected officials from their lands and return to electing their authorities according to the indigenous practice of usos y costumbres. However, despite this decision, on 1st September the electoral tribunal orders the return of the previously-expelled mayor, María Gloria Sánchez.


10. The Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel convoke people to a megamarch in support of the teachers. On 22nd August, the Pueblo Creyente from Simojovel join another huge march in solidarity with the CNTE in Tuxtla, on the supposed day of the return to classes. Las Abejas offer their support to this march.


11. Disappearance of Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo: Frayba, Mesoamerican Voices, the La 72 hostel and Maximiliano’s parents hold several press conferences to draw attention to the forcible disappearance “at the hands of immigration agents”last May of Maximiliano Martinez Gordillo, who would now be aged 19. In May, he left his home in the municipality of Socoltenango to go to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo in search of work. During the journey, he was arrested and he has not been seen since. Good news! On 1st September the news was released that he has been found.



C. Other


1. Atenco and the airport:


Well-known environmentalists Vandana Shiva and Sebastiao Pinheiro visit Atenco on August 13th, and tour their lands with members of the FPDT. Vandana Shiva calls on people to join the movement against the NAICM which she says will lead to a shortage of drinking water. Although it was announced on July 27 that the highway being built for the new international airport for Mexico City had been definitively suspended, crews and machinery begin operating again on 16th August in Tocuila. The people drive the crews off their land but they return escorted by a “shock group” who on August 19th tear down and burn the encampment in Tocuila. The camp is reconstructed and reoccupied.


2. The teachers’ strike: There is an excellent summary of the current situation here.




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