dorset chiapas solidarity

November 30, 2013

Prehearing “CONVOCATION FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH” in Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas

Filed under: Repression, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:19 pm

Prehearing “CONVOCATION FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH” in Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas

With your signature, join the call for the prehearing “convocation for justice and truth” Tyempä Ysacla’tiel Melelä Ch’an (Chol) , Tzoblej ye’un xcholel chápanel ‘ jmelelil sun (Tzeltal) Tsomblej yu’un melelil xchi ‘ uk lekil chapanel (Tzotzil)

Date: 6 and 7 December 2013

Location: Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas.

Call by: the Session on the Dirty War (Guerra Sucia) – on violence, impunity and lack of access to justice – of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico Chapter and the Organizing Committee of the Pre-Hearing on the TPP Session on the Dirty War in Chiapas

November 20, 2013

To all popular, social, political and human rights organizations, family, friends and people in solidarity with victims of the counterinsurgency war in the state of Chiapas.

To the People of Mexico:

On 6th and 7th December 2013, in Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas, popular, indigenous, human rights, and victim organisations and people who participate in the “Session on the Dirty War – violence, impunity and lack of access to justice” of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP) Mexico chapter, we will meet especially with witnesses, survivors and relations of the communities in the Northern, Jungle Forest and Highlands areas of Chiapas, all victims of the strategy of a war of counterinsurgency and extermination in the ‘Plan of Campaign Chiapas 94′ implemented by the Mexican government after the armed uprising of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in 1994, which as a result led to dozens of enforced disappearances, killings, forced displacements, sexual violence and massacres, all crimes against humanity which still remain unpunished. The purpose of the gathering is to denounce and prove the serious violations of human rights that the Mexican government has committed against the people of Mexico, especially the indigenous peoples of Chiapas.

Tila Chiapas: Se reunirán víctimas de la estrategia de guerra contrainsurgente y exterminio contempladas en el Plan de Campaña Chiapas 94’ implementada por el gobierno mexicano.We ask the organisations convoked for the above events, that if it is your wish to do so, to ratify with your signature the call to this new prehearing .

Please note that the final hearing of the Session on the Dirty War = violence, impunity and lack of access to justice – will take place, with the presence of international judges, in May 2014.

More information, details about the TPP, activities and documents about the Dirty War Session can be found here:

Blog: http://tppmx-guerrasucia.blogspot.mx

email: tpp.guerrasucia.mx@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TppMexicoejeGuerraSucia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TPPGuerraSucia

Respectfully

The Session on the Dirty War – “on violence, impunity and lack of access to justice” – of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico Chapter and the Organizing Committee of the Pre-Hearing on the TPP Session on the Dirty War in Chiapas

Acción Urgente para Defensores de Derechos Humanos A.C (DF), Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas A.C (Chiapas), Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (DF y Guerrero), Colectivo de Mujeres “Tejiendo Resistencias en La Sexta” (DF), Comité Cerezo México (DF), Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos “Hasta encontrarlos” (DF y Oaxaca), Comité de Solidaridad y Derechos Humanos Monseñor Romero (DF), Estudiantes del Posgrado de DH de la UACM (DF), Red de apoyo a la salud en Acteal (DF), Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal (Chiapas), Telar de Raíces AC. (DF), and all the organisations, networks and individuals who are going to sign.

 

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November 14, 2016

Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:27 pm

 

Commemoration of 20 Years of Crimes against Humanity in Northern Zone

 

norteVictims’ relatives continue to seek justice 20 years later. Photo@SIPAZ

On October 22, victims’ relatives and survivors of the “counterinsurgency strategy operated in the northern zone of Chiapas” met in the community of Susuclumil, Tila municipality, to denounce “the lack of justice for crimes against humanity committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice (Paz y Justicia), with the complicity and responsibility of the Mexican State.”

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights, (CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) recalls in its press bulletin No. 21 that with the emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), on January 1, 1994, violence increased in the northern zone. It explains that the Mexican State implemented a strategy of counterinsurgency war against the civilian population, through the Chiapas Campaign ’94 plan, with the objective of eliminating support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. From 1995 to 1999, paramilitary groups responsible for crimes against humanity were formed: “In the north of Chiapas, paramilitary groups such as the Peace and Justice Development Organization (Paz y Justicia) appeared, with the training and protection of different levels of government, and who between 1995 and 1999 systematically committed serious human rights violations. “

The CDHFBC recorded a total of “22 cases of serious human rights violations in the north, of which 37 were forced disappearances and 85 extrajudicial executions and more than 4,500 people were forcibly displaced, followed by arbitrary detention, torture, sexual torture, harassment, intimidation, destruction of property, among others, committed by the paramilitary group Peace and Justice.”

Victims’ relatives and survivors continue to denounce, “constant harassment, intimidation and persecution with unjust arrest warrants and subpoenas, with threats of fines, by the justice administration system in Chiapas.” They request that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) continue its monitoring and determine the responsibility of the Mexican State for human rights violations committed in the context of the Internal Armed Conflict.

Posted  by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/chiapas-commemoration-of-20-years-of-crimes-against-humanity-in-northern-zone/

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July 21, 2014

There has been State violence against the Zapatistas, concludes the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples

Filed under: Human rights, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:41 pm

 

 

There has been State violence against the Zapatistas, concludes the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples

 

** It [State] is obliged to fully compensate for damages, it [TPP] resolves in the pre-hearing

** There is sufficient evidence available “to presume the commission of crimes against humanity”

By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, July 19, 2014

GetAttachmentIn El Limonar community, in the jungle north of Ocosingo, they held a pre-hearing this Friday of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP, its initials in Spanish), an international body whose Mexico chapter will culminate next November, when “it will denounce and make visible to national and international public opinion the grave human rights violations which the State committed,” to date unpunished.

The tribunal considers that there is sufficient evidence “to presume the commission of crimes against humanity” by the Mexican State, which “identified certain populations that constituted or were able to constitute a social base for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) and, based on that, defined an ‘internal enemy,’ the object of a counterinsurgency strategy, which included thousands of Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol and Zoque civilians, belonging to Las Abejas, Xi’nich [1], and sympathizers and support bases of the EZLN.”

The pronouncement emphasizes that State violence was not directed “only against combatants, but also against the non-combatant civil population, including children,” which “demonstrates that the only factor common to all the victims was their belonging to certain organizations,” and shows that these acts were committed “with the intention of totally or partially destroying” such groups.

Witnesses and survivors of acts of great violence in Chol communities of the Northern Zone participated in El Limonar (Jolnixtié Sección I, Miguel Alemán, Usipá, El Limar, Saquil, Susuclumil, Masojá Shucjá, Masojá Grande y Chuctiejá); Tzotziles of Chenalhó, members of Civil Society Las Abejas of Acteal, and those displaced from Viejo Velasco, all “victims of the war strategy of counterinsurgency and of extermination contemplated in the Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan and implemented by the Mexican government at the start of the EZLN’s armed uprising, which yielded as a consequence dozens of forced disappearances, murders, forced displacements, sexual violence and massacres: crimes against humanity that continue unpunished,” the pronouncement of the pre-hearing makes clear.

The pre-hearing was convoked by 50 national and international popular, student, social and human rights organizations, as well as the 74 organisations that make up the National Network of Civil and Human Rights Organisations All Rights for All, the Network of Community Radios (AMARC, its initials in Spanish) which groups together 35 radio projects, the 42 organizations from the National Campaign Against Forced Disappearance in Mexico, and the Chiapas Peace Network, made up of 10 organizations.

Alejandro Cerezo Contreras, Alejandro de Jesús Martínez Martínez, and the Tzeltal arrangers Carlos Núñez Ruiz and Juan Méndez Gutiérrez, Joel Heredia and Rubén R. García Clark participated as national judges. They decided that the three cases examined “are framed within the social and political struggles of the peoples and communities for the recognition and vindication of identity and indigenous rights.”

The tribunal resolved that: “violations were committed of the human rights of the indigenous peoples in the Northern Zone, Viejo Velasco [2] and Acteal, by conduct which derived from the behaviour of paramilitary groups like Paz y Justicia, or of residents of the Nueva Palestina community, or in Chenalhó, always “organized by the federal, state and municipal authorities.” [Emphasis added.]

The Mexican State “is obliged to fully repair the damages,” the tribunal determined. It recognized in the witnesses firmness, dignity, certainty of memory, and a search for justice and truth. It also recognized “their bravery faced with the threats that can emerge after pre-hearings.”

Finally, the TPP said it observed with concern the events in the La Realidad community, “where José Luis Solís López (Votán Galeano) was extra-judicially executed, signifying the continuity of the counterinsurgency policy in Chiapas.”

 

Footnotes:

[1] Xi’nich means “The ants” in Chol, a Mayan language. It originated as an indigenous Catholic campesino organization, similar to Las Abejas (the Bees). Its members lived in Viejo Velasco.

 

[2] For background on the Viejo Velasco Massacre in Chiapas, please see: http://compamanuel.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/murder-in-the-lacandon-jungle-background-on-viejo-velasco-massacre/

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, July 20, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/07/20/politica/017n1pol

 

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

Minor editing by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity. Posted 21/07/2014

 

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March 30, 2014

Frayba began to speak 25 years ago with the words “This shouldn’t be like that!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:55 pm

 

Frayba began to speak 25 years ago with the words “This shouldn’t be like that!

 ** Although it started in Chiapas, its action has contributed to local and national evolution

** With the Zapatista Uprising, the centre was in the eye of the human rights hurricane

By: Hermann Bellinghausen,

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, March 28, 2014

The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) is the pioneer in Mexico in the exercise of this defense, which today no State that calls itself democratic can ignore. Founded in March 1989, by Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, in 5 de Febrero Street of this city, the centre was born in a local context of alarming inequality, discrimination and exploitation towards the Maya peoples of a still feudal Chiapas. The life of an Indian was worth no more than that of a chicken, according to the expression of a cattle rancher at the end of 1993. Until very recently, serfdom, the droit de seigneur, deliberate brutalization and slavery existed here.

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Demonstration of Zapatista support bases in Chiapas against the “drug” war undertaken by the Felipe Calderón government in the last six-year term. Photo: Moysés Zúñiga Santiago

But an every day less isolated process was also developing, of conscience, organization, vindication of identities and collective rights among the Tzotzil, Chol, Tzeltal and Tojolabal peoples. The bishop and the very original organization of his diocese were key players in this process, in the initiative from the Vatican II Council that in time would be known as “of liberation”; also independent campesino organizations linked to national movements. Another actor, controversial, were the Christian Churches, the majority initially spread through US missionaries, promoting the search for prosperity under individualistic values, in contradiction to the ancestral communitarianism that Catholicism did not eradicate.

Presided over by the combative Raúl Vera López, former auxiliary bishop to Samuel Ruiz and now the bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, Frayba has become independent of the church structure and inserted itself into the citizen space in the mountains of Chiapas without betraying its original objective of 1989: “the defence of the rights of persons in their individual and community dimensions, with a preference for the poor.” The six-year term of Carlos Salinas de Gortari begins, and in Chiapas also the term of Patrocinio González Garrido.

The first thing that Frayba denounces is “the undemocratic and unconstitutional character of the December 1988 reforms to the penal code” in Chiapas, and describes the situation of the hour, taking as a turning point the National Indigenous Congress held in San Andrés Larráinzar in 1974, where many analysts place the beginning of the process of liberation of the peoples. It cites the reprisals: “This situation finds its high point at the beginning the decade of the eighties, when the population in Wolonchán is savagely repressed resulting in several deaths (there is no one to count them) and injuries. In El Paraíso, Venustiano Carranza, nine campesinos are cruelly massacred.”

The “black history” of Chiapas, Frayba said on its first day, “is difficult to measure.” According to “public sources,” just between January 1974 and July 1987 “4,731 cases of repressive actions were presented: of the murdered, injured, wounded, detained and imprisoned, kidnapped and tortured, disappeared, attacks, expulsions of families, rapes, beatings, evictions, home break-ins, looting of offices and archives, police cordons, robbery of agrarian documentation, repression of marches and meetings, destruction of houses, churches and schools;” all on a theme. The work would be to combat the silence.

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Señor José Torres López shows the photo of his murdered son, José Tila García, when participating in the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples, which met last December in the community of Susuclumil, municipality of Tila, where the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia perpetrated crimes against the Chol population. Photo: Moysés Zúñiga Santiago

Indignation and Rebellion

“We face an unjust and dehumanizing reality which provokes an indignation and a rebellion in us that makes us say: “That cannot be, it should not be like that!” These are the first words of Frayba 25 years ago, when a team, in which Concepción Villafuerte, Gonzalo Ituarte and Francisco Hernández de los Santos participated, begins to tell the stories and awaken memories of the offence and illegality of power.

Similar centres emerged in the country’s capital. The same “modernizing” government had to establish its National Human Rights Commission. But the defence in Chiapas was almost as dangerous as the struggles and the mere existence of the Indian peoples. Without the umbrella of the Catholic Church it would not have been viable. In January 1994 the centre’s circumstances changed dramatically with the EZLN Uprising and the Bishop’s participation in the mediation between the rebels and the government. Frayba, directed by the then priest Pablo Romo, was in the eye of the hurricane. Now it had to defend the rights of the peoples in the middle of a war which, while the fighting lasted 12 days, the militarization and covert war had been developing without respite for 20 years on multiple fronts.

In recent days Gonzalo Ituarte, a close collaborator with don Samuel, celebrated Frayba’s contribution “to the evolution of Chiapas and of Mexico, to the action and thinking of the peoples, the communities, civil society and the Church itself.” Besides covering the field of the promotion and defence of human rights, “it has contributed with its action to the strengthening of popular initiatives, non-governmental organisations, mediation efforts –particularly with the Conai (National Commission of Intermediation)–, with a very relevant and not sufficiently analyzed role in the complexity of the unresolved armed conflict in Chiapas and its multiple collateral effects.”

Increasing legitimacy

Since 1996, Frayba is made up only of lay people, some of them indigenous. Two women in succession (Marina Patricia Jiménez and Blanca Martínez Bustos) directed it. It faced the great tragedies of the period (Chenalhó, El Bosque, the Northern Zone) and increased its legitimacy with the poor, including the Zapatista peoples. The State is obliged to take it seriously and it becomes an obsession of successive governors, like everything that comes from their propaganda radar. Roberto Albores Guillén, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía and Juan Sabines Guerrero, as well as the federal intelligence services, spare no effort to watch, threaten and defame it. The attempts at co-optation are intense and two former directors (Marina Patricia Jiménez and Diego Cadenas) join the state governments, which only reinforces the independence of the collective project as voice, companion, advisor, legal defender of peoples and individuals determined to shake off oppression, abuse and humiliation.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, March 29, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/03/29/politica/013n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

 

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February 26, 2014

Mexico: Paramilitary Action Continues

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Frayba, Paramilitary — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:50 pm

 

Mexico: Paramilitary Action Continues

By Orsetta Bellani

The front porches of the homes in Ejido Puebla, in the southern state of Chiapas’ Chenalhó municipality, are covered with coffee beans. Since October, the residents of this indigenous Tzotzil Maya community in a corner of the Chiapas highlands have been harvesting the seeds that are now drying under the sun.

On January 17, after five months of exile, 14 of 17 Catholic families from the community who were displaced returned to Ejido Puebla, accompanied by international observers.

“In April 2013, the Presbyterians knocked down the chapel we were building and in July 2013, without proof, the commune’s commissioner [of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)] Agustín Cruz Gómez accused the two Zapatistas in town of poisoning the communal water tank. Since then, the priístas [members of the PRI], started harassing us,” Nicolás Cruz Pérez, spokesman for the displaced residents, told Latinamerica Press. “Today we returned to our community and found our land and our homes ransacked.”

The displaced families of Ejido Puebla — a base of support for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and members of Pueblo Creyente and the Civic Organization Las Abejas de Acteal, both Catholic pro-Zapatista organizations — sought refuge in the town of Acteal. There, in Dec. 1997, approximately 100 militants from PRI affiliate group Máscara Roja, or Red Mask, attacked about 300 indigenous Tzotzil. Forty-five of them were killed: 9 men, 15 children, and 21 women, four of whom were pregnant.

The region was in upheaval at the time due to paramilitary violence following the uprising of the EZLN on Jan. 1, 1994, in defense of the rights of the indigenous communities; the landowners, known as hacendados, had organized vigilante “shock groups” to confront them.

The killers next door

According to a petition filed in 2005 before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) by Las Abejas and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), which was accepted in November 2010, Public Security Police operatives were 200 meters from the chapel and did nothing to stop the massacre in 1997. Moreover, the complainants denounced the existence of a state policy “designed to commit widespread and systematic attacks against civilians carried out by paramilitary groups financed, trained and protected by national authorities to weaken the bases of the EZLN and the communities that have expressed their sympathy.” The government has always denied a role in the massacre, instead claiming the event was the result of religious conflicts between indigenous groups.

Of the 75 Máscara Roja paramilitaries imprisoned for the Acteal massacre, 69 were freed in Aug. 2009 due to irregularities in due process, such as suspects arrested without warrants. Many of them returned to the area, according to Las Abejas; the group is concerned they could attack again.

“Some of the paramilitaries who participated in the Acteal massacre are originally from Ejido Puebla. Among them is Jacinto Arias, who at that time was president of the Municipality of Chenalhó; he was incarcerated for 14 years, today he is free and returned to the town,” Víctor Hugo López Rodriguez, director of Frayba, told Latinamerica Press. He believes there is a link between Arias’s return to the community and the displacement of Catholic families.

Likewise, the residents of Chiapas’ Zona Selva Norte, about 120 miles north of Acteal, must live alongside their relatives’ killers: paramilitaries from the group Development, Peace and Justice, who have operated in the area since the 1990s. Armando Díaz, an ex-paramilitary with the group, provided a statement to Frayba in 2004, saying that the irregular militia is portrayed as an organization of farmworkers, therefore receives government subsidies, which it in turn uses to buy arms.

Low-grade war

From Dec. 6-7, 2013, in the Chiapas community of Susuclumil, the pre-trial hearing of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) took place — an international, non-governmental court that sets out to denounce the perpetrators of human rights violations, although their decisions are not binding, in its chapter devoted to the low-grade ongoing conflict in Chiapas.

Speaking to the PPT, Frayba attorney Pedro Faro claimed that from 1995 to 1999 — a period in which the militias were most active — Development, Peace and Justice and other paramilitary groups were responsible for 81 extrajudicial killings, 36 disappearances, and the displacement of more than 3,500 residents of communities around Tila, Sabanilla, Tumbalá, Yajalón and Salto de Agua, in northern Chiapas.

Faro said the counterinsurgency plan from the Secretariat of National Defense, named “Campaña Chiapas 94,” took root locally and expanded into the highlands, favoring “paramilitary action with the goal of crushing the increasing influence of the EZLN, [by] committing systematic attacks against the civilian population.” The paramilitary groups, he added, were made up largely of indigenous campesinos that belonged to the PRI, and their crimes included extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, threats, robberies, forced displacements, and arson.

After 2000, when the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) came to power, the counterinsurgent strategy shifted and focused on government assistance projects with the objective of dividing communities and buying off their leaders, added Faro.

The TPP, which will next hold a session in May 2014 in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, concluded that the Mexican government and the Armed Forces are responsible for human rights violations committed in Chiapas since 1994, following the EZLN uprising, because it covered up and contributed financially to the paramilitary groups.

From: Latinamerica Press

 

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January 13, 2014

The Permanent People’s Tribunal and the Counterinsurgency War in Chiapas

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:28 pm

 

The Permanent People’s Tribunal and the Counterinsurgency War in Chiapas

 

Written by Orsetta Bellani, Translation by Nancy Piñeiro

Minerva Guadalupe Pérez López was 19 when, on June 20, 1996, she was arrested in the Miguel Alemán community (Chiapas) while on her way to visit her sick father. According to the testimonies, she was locked in a house where she was repeatedly beaten and raped during three days, by more than thirty men, who then took her to the countryside to dismember her.

Minerva is still missing, like 36 other people from the communities surrounding the villages of Tila, Sabanilla, Tumbalá, Yajalón and Salto de Agua –all victims of the paramilitary group Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia (Development, Peace and Justice) between 1995 and 1999. “This and other groups affiliated to the PRI (the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party) operated in the northern region of Chiapas. During this period of time, paramilitary violence resulted in 81 extrajudicial executions and more than 3,500 displaced, and only some of them could return to their lands,” said Pedro Faro from the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba) in Chiapas.

Being close to Miguel Alemán, operational base of the paramilitaries of Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia, the small Chol Maya community of Susuclumil (Municipality of Tila) had been chosen to host the pre-hearing of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (TPP, as per its Spanish acronym), in a chapter that is focused on the counterinsurgency war unleashed in Chiapas after the 1994 Zapatista uprising. “The TPP is an institution with no jurisdiction, but it wants to be the voice of those who have suffered injustices by the government or armed groups. We will take these cases to the highest levels of international justice,” said Guillermo Villaseñor, one of the jury members.

The pre-hearing took place on December 6 and 7, 2013. It concluded by finding the State of Mexico guilty of providing “protection, security and financial support to the paramilitary forces.” Moreover, according to the judges of the TPP, the State has not guaranteed access to justice for the victims and “there exist elements to hold the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) responsible for collaborating with the law enforcement structures to conceal violations to human rights.”

The judges’ conclusions stemmed from the testimonies given by the victims’ relatives, who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons. It can be known from the testimonies that the paramilitaries never attacked guerrilla members but chose instead the unarmed population: EZLN support bases; affiliates of the PRD (Democratic Revolution Party, a social democratic political grouping); and members of popular organizations that did not support the Government. The people involved thus tell about killings, dismemberments, rapes, torture and house burning, which they experienced in first person. After twenty years and sleepless nights the memory is still alive, the pain is not gone.

Before the TPP jury a women recounted how, as an adolescent, she saw his father being dismembered. Some recalled the moment when they found a loved one murdered in ambush, and others, the hard days endured out in the open in the mountains, while the displaced escaped from the violence in their communities to find refuge in other villages of the region, many times leaving behind their parcels of land and their houses which had been burnt by the paramilitaries with all belongings inside. A man said that in 1995, in the Limar community, he remained fifteen days with other people inside a house surrounded by illegal armed groups, until finally some could run away to the city of Palenque, and others, to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas.

Many people affected by paramilitary violence have turned to the tribunals of Tuxtla Gutiérrez to seek justice. In fact, the names of those who killed and those who ordered to kill are known. Also known are their faces, which the victims’ relatives still see in the streets or the palaces of power, where they have become mayors or congressmen, having formerly integrated the ranks ofDesarrollo, Paz y Justicia.

As a matter of fact, crimes committed by the paramilitaries remain unpunished. That is the case of the massacre of Viejo Velasco community, where on November 13, 2006, about 40 members of the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Farmers (OPDDIC, as per its Spanish acronym), joined by 300 local Police officers, murdered 5 people, disappeared 2, and displaced 36, who could never return to their lands.

Another example of impunity is the case of the Acteal community, in Los Altos de Chiapas (Chiapas highlands), where on December 22, 1997 some members of the paramilitary group Máscara Roja (Red Mask) – affiliated to the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) – killed 45 people of the association Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal during a prayer service. Of 87 imprisoned paramilitaries, 51 were released. “They were released on bail and received money, housing and lands,” Rosendo Gómez Hernández, president of the board of the Sociedad Civil Las Abejas de Acteal, denounced before the TPP. The association also denounced that community leaders were manipulated by the authorities through the giving out of money or presents, which Rosendo defines as “bullets of sugar.”

Moreover, according to the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, the implementation of government welfare projects is another stage – started after 1999 – of the counterinsurgency war that the Mexican authorities are waging against the organized Chiapas communities, with the aim of dividing them and buying off their leaders. However, even with varied intensity, paramilitary violence has not ended: the counterinsurgency manuals of the 90s –“Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan” and “Chiapas 2000” – are still applied both in the Lacandona jungle and the Altos de Chiapas.

 

Visiti Orsetta Bellani’s blog at http://www.sobreamericalatina.com.

 

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/4639-the-permanent-peoples-tribunal-and-the-counterinsurgency-war-in-chiapas

 

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January 3, 2014

DECEMBER 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:38 pm

DECEMBER 2013 ZAPATISTA NEWS SUMMARY

HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY!

Compiled by the Chiapas Support Committee

As the Zapatistas and their supporters around the world celebrate the 20th anniversary of the EZLN Uprising, the Chiapas Support Committee wishes all our friends and compañer@s a Happy New Year!

20th anniv2

In Chiapas

1. EZLN Issues 3 Comunicados – The Zapatistas released 3 comunicados: Two Important Notices; Rewind 2; and Rewind 1. In the first comunicado, Moisés provides some information for those attending the Escuelitas in December and January and for those who did not receive an invitation. The EZLN say that there will be a fourth Escuelita in either April or August 2014. In Rewind 2, Marcos offers comments about the recent privatizations (the government calls them “reforms”) of energy, education and justice and compares them to the Article 27 land “reform.” In Rewind 1, Marcos discusses “for profit” media in a postscript. It may be the EZLN’s way of answering the recent article in El País by Maite Rico, and perhaps others, who incorrectly claim that the Zapatista communities are no better off now than they were in 1994. In both Rewind 1 and 2, Marcos is also remembering those who gave their lives for the movement.

2. Good News! San Sebastián Bachajón Prisoners Released Miguel Demeza and Antonio Estrada, both residents of San Sebastián Bachajón and both unjustly incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, were released from prison in Chiapas. They were political prisoners whose unjust imprisonment was considered to be part of the repression against those resisting dispossession because of the massive tourist project proposed for the area surrounding the Agua Azul Cascades.

3. The TPP Holds Hearings in Chiapas – On December 6 and 7, the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP, its initials in Spanish) held important hearings in Susuclumil, a Chol community in Tila municipality, Chiapas. The Tribunal’s purpose was to take testimony from witnesses, survivors and relatives, all victims of the “dirty war” (counterinsurgency or “low-intensity” war) in Chiapas against the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). Those affected by the human rights abuses gave testimony about forced disappearances, murder, forced displacement, sexual violence and 2 massacres perpetrated by paramilitary groups; all of which remain unpunished.

In other parts of Mexico

1. New Guerrilla Group Emerges in Guerrero – Around December 1, the Revolutionary Armed Forces-Liberation of the People (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias – Liberación del Pueblo, FAR-LP) emerged publicly in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Commanders of the FAR-LP met with members of the press somewhere in the mountains of Guerrero, where they read from a comunicado. Among the armed group’s demands are the liberation of CRAC leaders Nestora Salgado García and Gonzalo Molina González, as well as the coordinator of the house of justice of El Paraíso, Bernardino García Francisco and 12 Community Police members. The FAR-LP claims to have a presence in the areas of Acapulco, La Montaña and Costa Chica.

In the United States

1. Covert CIA Operation Killed FARC Leaders – The Washington Post (WP) ran an extensive article about how “smart” bombs, made in the USA, were used to kill various FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) leaders as part of a covert CIA operation to kill FARC leadership. The Colombian military and the CIA were aided by intelligence from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which also operates in Mexico. The issue raised in this article concerns the “ethical” justifications used for directing smart bombs at a human target. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2013/12/21/covert-action-in-colombia/  OR en español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/23/mundo/033n1mun

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December 24, 2013

In the absence of justice in Mexico, the alternative of the Peoples: Frayba

Filed under: Acteal, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:44 pm

FrayBa statement for Sixteenth anniversary of the Acteal Massacre

In the absence of justice in Mexico, the alternative of the Peoples: Frayba

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
December 22, 2013

Bulletin No. 37

*Sixteenth anniversary of the Acteal Massacre

*Historical memory: a tool for truth and the construction of justice

In the absence of justice in Mexico, the alternative of the Peoples

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the day when, in Acteal, municipality of Chenalhó, a group of men with guns and machetes perpetrated the murder of 45 indigenous Tzotzil (14 girls, 19 women, four children, eight men, and a further four who were not yet born), members of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas (henceforth Las Abejas). While these events were taking place, members of the then Public Security Police were passively located 200 metres away.

Throughout these years, members of Las Abejas have witnessed the actions of “official” justice exercised by the Mexican government, which is at the service of interests which seek to deprive the Peoples of justice. From this view, the government’s actions are aimed at weakening them [the peoples] so that, once subjected, they do not claim or exercise their right to truth, to integral reparation of damage and to the non-repetition of this crime against humanity anywhere else in the world.

Against Impunity, the Peoples safeguard memory, they reflect and seek alternatives grounded in truth for the construction of justice. In this sense, family members, witnesses and victims of state crimes committed in the North, Jungle and Highland regions of Chiapas, met on 6 and 7 December, in the community of Susuclumil, Tila in the prehearing of the section on the Dirty War as violence, impunity and lack of access to justice, of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, whose session was entitled “Meeting for justice and truth,” where the judges ruled:

“It is not the institutions of the Mexican state to which we are looking for justice, but to alternative spaces to build and demand our own justice, and to help the convergence and union of original peoples.”

It is important to remember that as part of these alternatives, Las Abejas continue with the process before the American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), where the Mexican State is sued for violations of human rights; this case has been accepted by the Commission (Case 12.790 Manuel Santiz Culebra and others – Massacre of Acteal) showing that the Mexican State is likely to be responsible for violating several articles of the American Convention on Human Rights.

On this anniversary, we want to recognize the members of Las Abejas for their persistence in the struggle for justice, in not forgetting and for their strength in walking to build alternative ways of life.  Memory remains, memory lives in the hearts of the people and will be a tool to achieve truth, justice and build another possible world.

http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/boletines/131222_boletin_37_boletin_xi_aniversario_actea.pdf

 

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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December 11, 2013

The TPP Declares the Mexican State “Guilty” of “Provoking” Inter-Community Violence

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Paramilitary, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:16 pm

The TPP Declares the Mexican State “Guilty” of “Provoking” Inter-Community Violence

 ** The state broke the social fabric in the mountains of Chiapas through the use of police and military forces, it says

** The UNDP “worked with law enforcement authorities to conceal human rights violations.”

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, December 10, 2013

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP, its initials in Spanish) declared the Mexican State “guilty” of “provoking inter-community conflicts in order to break the social fabric, and contain and control the organization of resistance” in the mountains of Chiapas over the last 20 years, through the use of state and municipal public security bodies, and the federal Army, which in the Northern Zone gave “cover, security, and economic support to the paramilitary forces of the group Development, Peace and Justice (Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia).”

In addition to fostering violence and criminal acts, the State “has not fulfilled its responsibility to guarantee access to justice,” the TPP maintained when presenting the pronouncement from the pre-hearing that it held this weekend in Susuclumil, a Chol community in Tila.

According to the testimonies, reasons also exist “to hold the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) responsible for collaborating with the structures for the procurement of justice to hide human rights violations,” as well as the state and national human rights organizations for “their failure to investigate the facts.” The evidence and facts that prove the violations constitute crimes against humanity in the “policies of genocide perpetrated against the Chol, Tzotzil and Tzeltal peoples,” through actions that continue even today.

The pre-hearing was convoked by fifty organizations and three big national networks. Its seat, Susuclumil, was the “scene of injustices, deaths and persecution.” Witnesses, survivors and relatives from communities in the Northern Zone attended, as well as members of Civil Society Las Abejas from Acteal, also “victims of the strategy of the war of counterinsurgency and extermination described in the Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan and applied by the Mexican government at the start of the armed uprising of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in 1994, which brought as a result dozens of forced disappearances, murders, forced displacements, sexual violence and massacres; all crimes that remain unpunished.”

In the hearing “testimonies poured out about the extra-judicial executions committed during the second half of the 90s in the Tila lowlands,” as well as the disappearances and the displacement from the Chuctiejá communities: Miguel Alemán, Jolnixtié, Masojá Shuchá, El Limar and Masojá Grande, “an example of the horror that took place against the population which was sympathetic to the EZLN” in Paz y Justicia actions.

Testimonies were also presented about acts prior to the Acteal Massacre and about the generalized violence which was experienced during 1997 in Los Altos, with murders and displacements caused by PRI paramilitaries, in collaboration with the municipal and state police. Now the search for justice by Chenalhó communities has been halted by the release of 51 imprisoned paramilitaries, who were “rewarded with lands, social projects, reparation for ‘damages,’ and the continuation of the integral war.”

Other testimony was about the Viejo Velasco Massacre on November 13, 2006, during an attack by the state police, the Organization for the Defence of Indigenous and Campesino Rights, and inhabitants of Nueva Palestina, in Ocosingo, “in order to displace and exterminate the residents.” Impunity continues, as well as the criminalization of the displaced families.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/11/politica/021n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

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The Pre-Hearing of the Peoples’ Tribunal about a Massacre in Chiapas begins

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Paramilitary — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:13 pm

 

The Pre-Hearing of the Peoples’ Tribunal about a Massacre in Chiapas begins

 ** More than 120 indigenous people were killed in Tila municipality during 1998

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Susuclumil, Chiapas, December 9, 2013

There is profound grief. A clamour that does not stop. More than 120 indigenous from the Northern Zone lost their lives in atrocious conditions. Unarmed, peaceful, intolerably free. José Torres Torres, the brothers Matías, Plácido and Pablo López Pérez and Eulalio López Girón, with the complicity of others, assassinated José Tila López in 1998. José was an active promoter of indigenous self-determination, participated in the struggle of the Zapatistas and had testified about the genocide that was occurring in his land. They killed him with machetes on a bridge, when he was returning from testifying before an international observation commission.

The crime was so brutal that the government, for once, tried to do something. They offered the family money. Today his father remembers that he told the (government) officials: “My son is not a business.” The image of José presides on an altar with flowers and his portrait at the pre-hearing of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP, its initials in Spanish) in this community of the Tila municipality.

The elders, authorities and prayer reciters burn incense before posters with the photos, the names and places where their compañeros, relatives and neighbours died or disappeared. One elderly man, through the glow of the candles, says in Chol: “The fallen are a memory that we cannot forget; they will always be in our memory; they continue with us. We are here to remember that they died unjustly. God saw that assassination and ambush, that dirty war. He saw our brothers dying. He knows. Not all appeared. Some were ‘quartered,’ others disappeared.”

The TPP encountered live wounds

By holding the session here, the TPP did not come to remove wounds, but rather to find the wounds alive, without relief or justice. One of the judges at the hearing, held in this Tila community, said that “faced with the state of emergency in the country, it is important to know about the Chiapas cases.” The violence against women was brutal. Even today, the women in the region are very vulnerable. In the years of horror many groundless “apprehensions” by police bodies were the beginning of permanent disappearances.

They “quartered” Nicolás Mayo Gutiérrez with machete blows on August 1, 1997 at Cruz Palenque, “where he was renting land,” as his daughter remembers. “The family was left damaged, with an unbalanced conscience.” They never recovered from the horror. The fear persists today. The offenders are still here, always at the side of power, many recycled in the Green Ecologist Party Mexico, which currently governs the state with a strong “flavour of the PRI,” as Carlos Monsiváis would say.

Mateo Vázquez Sánchez was murdered in Masojá Sucjá, at the age of 17, in June 1996. Ambushed by Sabelino Torres, Cristóbal and Ernesto Gómez Torres, the leaders of Paz y Justicia: with 18 shots. They had kidnapped his brother Cándido in 1995. Everyone knows, everyone saw. Juan Domingo Regino and other well-identified individuals killed Antonio González Méndez on January 19, 1999, in El Calvario. Mateo Torres Pérez, a human rights defender, was executed in January 2005. And the story continues.

This war was also in Chenalhó, against the support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional) and against Las Abejas. Due to the Acteal Massacre it has been talked about more, and there have been attempts to do justice. Antonio Vázquez, representative of Las Abejas, said here, cuttingly: “The war against our communities was by order of the government. Therefore, it is a State crime.” He explained: “The young paramilitaries were trained by the soldiers in their barracks, and they wore police uniforms; some were themselves former military or former police officers.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/10/politica/015n1pol

 

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

 

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December 10, 2013

The TPP Documents the Low-Intensity War in Chiapas

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:34 pm

 

The TPP Documents the Low-Intensity War in Chiapas

 ** It was presented in the lowlands of Tila

FotoMargarita Martínez Álvarez, a catechist from El Limar community, participates in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, which met this Saturday in community of Susuclumil, in the Chiapas municipality of Tila, where the paramilitary group Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia allegedly perpetrated crimes against indigenous Chols. Photo: Moysés Zúñiga Santiago

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Susuclumil, Chiapas, December 8, 2013

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal of the (TPP, its initials in Spanish) went to the Tila lowlands, in the state’s Northern Zone, to listen to and collect testimony and denunciations from the indigenous victims of the low-intensity war. The escalating covert war, which the federal government organized since 1995, was run for years by the paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice (Desarrollo, Paz y Justicia), with the support of all the government, military and police apparatus, and a deafening media silence. Its effects were far-reaching and continue to this day.

It is known that PRI neighbours from Paz y Justicia ambushed Emiliano Martínez Pérez in his milpa in Masojá Grande on September 10, 1996. His widow Faustina Torres, who affirms that she continues in resistance, educated five children by herself, and 17 years later she not only sees Emiliano’s murder unpunished, but also that the piece of land appropriated by the killers has never been returned. Being a woman, the ejido authorities don’t take her into consideration. Overall, it is a perfect crime, even more so if the intention was to disrupt the environment of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) in spite of the existence of a Law of Peace for Dialogue and Reconciliation which the government has systematically violated in the Chol Zone ever since the day it was signed.

The escalation of the counterinsurgency war in Tila, Sabanilla, Tumbalá, Yajalón and Salto de Agua was a suspicious counterpoint to the peace dialogues in San Andrés during 1995 and 1996. The massacres and pillaging at gunpoint belied any real negotiating intention of the Ernesto Zedillo government. The failure to fulfil the accords would confirm it.

During the moving meeting in the town of Susuclumil, survivors from the Northern Zone presented dozens of individual cases, Las Abejas documented the escalation in Chenalhó in 1997, up to the Acteal Massacre, and witnesses talked about the Viejo Velasco Suárez Massacre in 2006 in the Lacandón. Pedro Faro, from Frayba, gave the TPP judges a comprehensive report on the low-intensity war in Chiapas: “19 years after the Uprising of the EZLN, everything seems to be completed as laid down in the manuals to combat the insurgency. The manuals developed by the Sedena, ‘Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan’ and ‘Chiapas 2000’, continue to be applied.”

Faro stated that declassified archives in Washington “corroborate the assertions of victims and survivors about the creation of paramilitary groups.” In 2009, the investigator Kate Doyle made public documents from the United States Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) “in which the role of the Mexican Army in support of the paramilitary groups in Chiapas is described”. Secret cables “confirm reports about military support to the armed indigenous groups who carried out attacks against communities sympathetic to the EZLN.”

In a telegram sent to the DIA on May 4, 1999, “the Office of the US Defence Attaché in Mexico points to the Mexican Army’s direct support to armed groups in the mountainous areas of Chiapas, where the massacres took place.” The declassified documents describe “a clandestine network of ‘human intelligence teams (Humint),’ created in the middle of 1994 with the approval of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, that were working inside indigenous communities to promote armed anti-Zapatista groups.” The captains and sergeants were the ones who trained them and protected them from police arrest or from the “military units that patrol the region.”

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, December 9, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/09/politica/020n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

 

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December 9, 2013

The TPP holds Pre-hearing in Chiapas with survivors of the “hidden war”

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, Paramilitary — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:19 pm

The TPP holds Pre-hearing in Chiapas with survivors of the “hidden war”

 ** The operations resulted in the death of 85 campesinos and the disappearance of 37 others

** They blame the violence on the PRI group Desarrollo Paz y Justicia, as well as on police and soldiers

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Susuclumil, Chiapas, December 7, 2013

Chiapas: “Reunión para la justicia y la verdad”In few parts of the troubled national geography is a “case against the Mexican State” for deliberate crimes against humanity more well-founded and relevant than in the Northern Zone of Chiapas. This weekend, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP, its initials in Spanish) held a pre-hearing in this Chol community in the lower zone of Tila, in which it received testimony from dozens of victims and survivors of the worst years of the covert war that was unleashed in the mountains of the southeast after the armed uprising of the EZLN in 1994.

The war operation deployed by the Mexican government in the Chol zone between 1995 and 1999, during the presidency of Ernesto Zedillo, was to serve as an exemplary case in the military academies where covert wars are studied. It led to the deaths of 85 campesinos and the disappearance of 37 others. Villages were destroyed, churches were burned and brothels were brought in, just like the manuals teach. The natives were expelled. (There were 3,500 displaced in the Northern Zone in those years). A reign of terror was established, without shades or cracks, a well-identified paramilitary group in charge: the PRI organization Development Peace and Justice (Desarrollo Paz y Justicia), which always operated from the hand of the federal, state and municipal police. They were carrying out joint “patrols” which were becoming terrifying for the communities of Tila, Sabanilla and Tumbalá. Whoever was not displaced stayed locked up in their houses. The region was militarized from the third month of the Zedillo government, and the link between Paz y Justicia leaders and the high military commanders was immediate and to a certain degree public.

Rape, dismemberment, executions, ambushes, torture, armed robberies. Never fights, always attacks on a defenceless and peaceful civilian population. The impunity which all those involved in the crimes still enjoy today –even those who have set foot in prison for other crimes– signifies the cherry on the cake for the so-called “Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan,” whose existence has never been accepted by the government, despite the fact that it is well documented, and that its fruits bathed these mountains in blood during the last five years of the 20th Century. In fact, the existence of a clandestine network of Army officials who operated “in the field” is now known.

In the TPP’s pre-hearing the names are heard of many of the material authors of the chain of crimes that occurred here; of the intellectual authors, in other words the leaders and officials of the PRI government; of the police commanders, agents of the Public Ministry and federal Army battalions who systematically hid and supported these paramilitaries. The presidency of these municipalities and some deputy positions were distributed among members of Paz y Justicia. The Northern Zone belonged to Samuel Sánchez, Diego Vázquez, Marcos Albino Torres, Sabelino Torres Martínez, Mayor Carlos Torres López, José Torres Torres and many others.

The interim Governor Julio César Ruiz Ferro hid and financed the counterinsurgent group. Their ringleaders passed for teachers’ leaders (some were in the SNTE) or agrarian representatives of the PRI apparatus. And, a structure parallel to the occupation of the federal Army was established. They were dedicated to indiscriminately pursuing villagers from independent organizations (Abu Xú), deacons of the San Cristóbal Diocese –then in charge of Samuel Ruiz García–, PRD members, EZLN sympathizers and support bases, and in general all those who did not belong to their group or would not participate in government programmes.

Susuclumil (“White Land” in Chol), the host community for the TPP’s “Justice and Truth” pre-hearing, also suffered this counterinsurgency offensive for years and its effects are still felt to this date. The women continue “dreaming nightmares,” the men can’t shake off the terror.  Indignation comes each time that they remember. They have not forgotten. The Miguel Alemán settlement is located close by. It is referred to as the principal headquarters of Paz y Justicia. It was the scene of atrocities; a lot of “patrols” left from there, not a few of them lethal. On June 20, 1996, in Miguel Alemán, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez López was kidnapped, harassed, murdered and “disappeared.” “Until the dawn of today no one has been punished,” say her relatives.

The indigenous have spent 18 or 19 years, on roads or in government offices, crossing paths with the killers, expellers, rapists and assailants of their family members, in Usipá, Masojá Grande y Chico, Jolnixtié, Tila, Sabanilla, Limar, Aguascalientes, Cruz Palenque, Crucero, Calvario and many more communities: identified, unpunished, prosperous, government-supporting as always.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, December 8, 2013

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/08/politica/016n1pol

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the International Zapatista Translation Service

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December 7, 2013

Las Abejas will denounce rights violations before the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Paramilitary, Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:13 pm

 

Las Abejas will denounce rights violations before the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal

By Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada, Thursday, December 5, 2013

DESPLAZADOS041213MZS11.jpg

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. Las Abejas of Acteal announced on Wednesday that they will testify to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal about serious violations of human rights. The chairman of the board of the organization, Rosendo Gómez Hernández, recalled the context of the cases which will be presented at the prehearing of the TPP in the community of Susuclumil, municipality of Tila, on the 6th and 7th of this month.

“On the first of January, 1994, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) rose up in arms against the Mexican government and the federal army, in support of the indigenous communities and the people of Mexico. At this time, the State launched the Chiapas 94 Plan of Campaign, with the aim of putting an end to the EZLN. Under this counterinsurgency strategy, militarization increased in the jungle, north and highland regions in the state of Chiapas, along with violations of the human rights of the population, mainly indigenous.”

“This strategy,” added the Tzotzil representative, looked at paramilitarisation, “which means using our own indigenous brothers to do the dirty work of the army and police, and commit executions, enforced disappearances and forced displacements.” Thus the violence increased between 1995 and 2000 in the traditionally Chol northern region, “with the operation of the paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice [Desarrollo Paz y Justicia], which was responsible for 37 executions and 85 disappearances.”

In the Highlands, a paramilitary group affiliated to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) “committed the forced displacement of thousands of people and assassinations.”  The “strategy of death”, was “made ​​visible” by the massacre at Acteal on 22nd December, 1997. The paramilitaries “were identified”. Besides “they acted with weapons reserved for the exclusive use of the Mexican Army, with the consent and protection of the different levels of municipal, state and federal government.”

The current representative of Las Abejas recalls: “Faced with the constant denunciations, openly released, for example to the law enforcement authorities, the government did not act, and there was an increase in human rights violations, committed both by paramilitary groups and by the police and the federal army.” This led to more than 12,000 displaced persons        “in the northern and highland regions of Chiapas alone,” who fled “in the face of the continuing executions, disappearances, house burnings, theft of crops, looting, harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and torture.” Today, these acts “remain unpunished”.

In the session of the TPP, Gómez Hernández anticipates, the murders, also unpunished, which took place on November 13th, 2006 in the Tzeltal village of Viejo Velasco, in the Lacandón jungle, within the municipality of Ocosingo, will be presented. “So far there has been no sign of the whereabouts of two of the four missing”, who must be added to the killing of six others during that police attack. Of the other two missing, their skeletal remains have been found.

Under the pretext of expelling them from the Montes Azules reserve, endorsed by the government to the so-called “Lacandón community,” the displacement of its inhabitants was provoked, “in the context of the struggle to establish the right to the territory and to safeguard and manage the natural resources of the communities in the Lacandón jungle.”

For Las Abejas, the presentation of this evidence at the prehearing of the TPP “Mexico chapter” will be “a historic event” where “the word of the survivors, witnesses and family members about the grave human rights violations” committed in the Northern Zone, Acteal, and Viejo Velasco will raise “the demand for justice and truth.”

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2013/12/05/las-abejas-denunciaran-violaciones-a-derechos-ante-tribunal-permanente-de-pueblos-2208.html

 

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December 4, 2013

The TPP in Chiapas addresses the aftermath of the Dirty War, according to the experience of survivors

Filed under: Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:48 pm

The TPP in Chiapas addresses the aftermath of the Dirty War, according to the experience of survivors

 ** Participants in the gathering interviewed inhabitants of the Northern Zone, the Jungle and the Highlands

** It seeks to prove grave violations committed against the people of Mexico by the government

Hermann Bellinghausen

La Jornada, Wednesday, December 4, 2013

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, December 3rd, 2013

cartel_preaudiencia_reunion_justicia_verdad_chiapasIn the coming days of 6th and 7th December, in the Chol community of Susuclumil, in Tila, the popular, indigenous, human rights and victims’ organizations who are participating in the Hearing on “the dirty war as violence, impunity and lack of access to justice”, of the Permanent Tribunal of the Peoples (TPP, its initials in Spanish), Mexico Section, will gather together witnesses, survivors and relatives from communities of the Northern Zone, the Jungle and the Highlands, “all victims of the strategy of the war of counterinsurgency extermination referred to in the Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan, implemented by the Mexican government at the beginning of the armed uprising of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) in 1994.”

This war, according to those convoking the TPP (not to be confused with the trans-pacific treaty which has identical initials), had as a consequence dozens of disappearances, murders, displacements, sexual violence and massacres; “all crimes against humanity which remain unpunished.” The gathering seeks to “prove the grave violations of human rights that the Mexican State has committed against the people of Mexico, especially against the original peoples in Chiapas.”

Lack of access to Justice

This pre-hearing is called Reunion for Truth and Justice. It will document with direct testimonies, many of them already known, yet still unpunished, the situation of the state’s indigenous regions, and will centre on “the dirty war as violence, impunity and lack of access to justice.”

Groups and individuals from the Maya peoples of Chiapas will go to the meeting to tell their truth and to denounce the murders and massacres against them. It is convoked by the TPP and a total of 59 popular, social, national and international human rights organizations, among them the National Network of Civil Human Rights Organisations All Rights for Everyone, with a presence in 20 states of the Republic; the Network of Community Radios, which groups together 35 projects; the National Campaign Against Forced Disappearance in Mexico (42 national and international organizations), as well as families, activists, students, academics and artists.

The TPP (heir to the famous Russell-Sartre Tribunal) has held numerous meetings in our country since the climax of the Calderón “War.” It is presented as “an ethical tribunal of an international and non-governmental character that, as such, examines the causes of the violation of the peoples’ fundamental rights, determines if in effect such rights have been violated, and finally denounces to international public opinion the perpetrators of these violations.” It is made up of “persons of recognized moral authority coming from different countries, disciplines and ideological horizons.”

The mission of the TPP is: “to promote universal and effective respect for the fundamental rights of peoples, minorities and individuals.” Its interest “concentrates on the flagrant and systematic violations of the rights of peoples, minorities and individuals, which have been perpetrated by states, by other authorities or by groups or private organizations.” In Chiapas, recent history has been full of these kinds of episodes; under cover of an intense militarization, paramilitaries and criminal gangs devastated hundreds of Chol, Tzotzil and Tzeltal peoples during the last two decades, and their offshoots are repeated even today. The war has not ceased and it takes place every day, as the writer Carlos Montemayor always predicted. It can vary in intensity, but it is continuous.

The guarantors of the Mexico Section of the TPP are Magdalena Gómez Rivera, Bishop Raúl Vera López, Javier Sicilia, Jorge Fernández Souza, Clodomiro Siller Acuña, Gilberto López y Rivas and Andrés Barreda Marín.

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/12/04/politica/023n1pol

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