dorset chiapas solidarity

March 12, 2017

Bachajón Ejido closes Palenque-Ocosingo road and demands freedom for political prisoners

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Political prisoners, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:17 am

 

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Bachajón Ejido closes Palenque-Ocosingo road and demands freedom for political prisoners

14484915_1098830146872177_5291557481856906913_n-660x330

Published by Pozol Collective, 6th of March 2017, Chiapas.

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, this communication comes from the adherents to the Sixth Declaration from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, with greetings of struggle for your organisations and peoples in resistance.

In this communique, we raise our voice to demand justice and the immediate freedom of our three compañeros imprisoned in different detention centres.

Today the compañeros who are adherents to the Sixth, of the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, find ourselves in Nahilte, on the road between Palenque-Ocosingo, holding a road block. We are from the three centres that make up the Ejido, and we are determined to carry out this peaceful direct action, to demand the freedom of our unjustly imprisoned compañeros with immediate effect; prisoners of conscience Esteban Gómez Jiménez, imprisoned in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, (CERSS #5), and Santiago Moreno Pérez and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, imprisoned in Playas de Catazaja, Chiapas (CERSS #17). They were arbitrarily detained, their crimes were fabricated and they were imprisoned following false accusations for crimes they never committed, simply because they were committed to fight for and defend Mother Earth. This was their crime, speaking up and defending natural resources, territory and life.

We also denounce the actions of official ejidal commissioner Manuel Guzmán Alvaro to promote, together with the Agrarian Commission the advancement of PROCEDE and FANAR, to parcel off our land with the aim of privatising it and stripping our people of it, in the interest of Big Business (megaproyectos). We reject the ejidal commissioner’s work for the Bad Government and beseech the people of San Sebastián Bachajon not to be taken in by the lies of the commissiones and the Bad Government. We do not need PROCEDE or FANAR, because as peoples, we have learned how to defend our land and see autonomy as the solution to all problems within the community.

From the northern part of Chiapas, men and women of San Sebastián Bachajón send greetings of struggle to all the compañeros and compañeras, communities and peoples, of Mexico and the world, who fight and resist bad governance.

Never again a Mexico without us
Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!
Ever onward to victory!
Freedom for political prisoners!
Juan Vázquez Guzmán lives, Bachajón struggles on!
Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano lives, Bachajón struggles on!
No to the eviction of indigenous lands!
State police out of our indigenous territory!
Immediate presentation of the compañeros disappeared and assassinated in the normal school Raúl Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa!
¡JUSTICE FOR OUR COMPAÑERO JUAN VAZQUEZ GUZMAN, AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

 

 

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The San  Sebastián Bachajón Ejido:  6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

 6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

 

bachajon_17

THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017

To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.

In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.

This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.

This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.

The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment  to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.

Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.

 

We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.

 

Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.

Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.

Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.

Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.

From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.

 

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!

Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!

No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!

State police, Out of indigenous lands!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school  Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

 

 

 

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon-a-seis-anos-del-operativo-de-desalojo-y-despojo-de-nuestras-tierras-ejidales /

 

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March 10, 2017

The transition blossoms, although we may not see it

Filed under: Autonomy, Corporations, Human rights, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Maize, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:26 am

 

 

The transition blossoms, although we may not see it

 

artesania1 (1)Autonomous Zapatista cooperatives produce hand-woven artistry for the local market. Photo by Carolina Dutton.

By: Raúl Zibechi

We are transitioning towards a new, post-capitalist world. In the measure that it is a process we are experiencing, we don’t have sufficient distance to know which period we’re in, but everything indicates that we’re crossing through the initial phases of said transition. Although it has deep similarities to previous ones (transitions from antiquity to feudalism and from feudalism to capitalism), a remarkable fact is the inability to comprehend what’s happening before our very eyes: a true process of the collective construction of new worlds.

In emancipatory thinking and especially in Marxism, the idea that all transition begins with the taking of power at the nation-State level has been converted into common sense. This assertion should have been re-thought after the Soviet and Chinese failures, but above all since the demolition of the states by neoliberalism, in other words by financial capital and the fourth world war underway. It’s certain, however, that power must be taken in order to move towards a non-capitalist world power, but why at the State level, why at an institutional level?

This is one of the essences of the problem and an enormous conceptual difficulty in being able to visualize the transitions that really exist. The second difficulty, tied to the former, is that transitions are not homogenous, and don’t involve all of the social body in the same way. History teaches us that they usually begin on the peripheries of the world-system of each nation, in remote rural areas and in small towns, in the weak links of the system, where they collect force and then expand to the centres of power.

On the other hand, transitions not only are not uniform from the geographic point of view, but also the social, since they are processes guided by human need and not by ideologies. Those who first construct other worlds are usually the peoples that inhabit the basement, Indians, blacks and mestizos; the popular sectors, women and youth are usually the principal protagonists.

I want to give an example of something that is happening right now, since it has a degree of important development and that can hardly be reversed, except with genocide. I refer to the experience of the Unemployed Workers Union (Unión de Trabajadores Desocupados, UTD) in General Mosconi, in northern Argentina. The city has 22,000 inhabitants who worked at the state oil company YPF until its privatization in the 1990s, which left a lot of people unemployed. In those years a strong movement of unemployed workers, known as piqueteros, took off and forced social plans out of successive governments.

During the cycle of piquetero struggles, the UTD was one of the principal referents in the whole country and the other movements enthusiastically followed its memorable roadblocks. The UTD and its leaders enjoyed strong prestige, which carried over to hundreds of cases before the courts because of the roadblocks and other “crimes;” they were the most popular ones in Argentina.

Things changed very quickly. The arrival of Nestor Kirchner to the presidency in 2003, and the retraction of the movements, took the UTD out of the media scenario and away from the -attention of the social militants. News about what’s happening in far-away northern Argentina is as scarce as it is nebulous.

Nevertheless, the UTD took advantage of the social plans (now cut by Macri) to construct a new world. At this time 110 agro-ecological vegetable gardens function, of two hectares each, where an average of 30 people work and produce a large variety of vegetables, besides a chicken coop and pigs in each garden. They have a carpentry workshop that is nourished from the zone’s abundant wood, workshops for soldering, classification of seeds and recycling of plastics in the five large structures the movement has, as one can read in the reporting of Claudia Acuña in the magazine MU (July 2016).

They built nurseries that reproduce native flora with which they supply from the town squares to the woods, those threatened by the dizzying expansion of transgenic soy and woodcutters. They dedicate part of their work to sustaining public spaces in the city and in the surrounding forests, a region where drug trafficking is increasing under state-police protection and complicity.

A simple calculation shows that from 4 to 5 thousand people make their living in relation to the collective work the UTD organizes, which is equivalent to 40 percent of Mosconi’s active population. Those families forged food autonomy, they no longer depend on social plans, and they are aiming from the production of food to the construction of housing, in other words they are reproducing life outside the framework of the system, without relating to capital or depending on the State. In sum, they work with dignity.

cafe-zapatista-de-chiapasZapatista coffee cooperatives produce coffee that is sold in Chiapas, in Mexico and internationally.

It will be said that it is just a local experience. But the gardens and the UTD’s ways of doing things are already expanding to neighbouring Tartagal, which has triple the population. Many thousands of undertakings of this kind in Latin America, because the popular sectors comprehended that the system doesn’t need them or protect them, as happened during the brief years of the welfare states. There is an implicit strategy in this group of new worlds that does not pass through nation-states, but rather through strengthening and expanding each initiative, in sharpening the anti-systemic and anti-patriarchal traits, and in strengthening resistances.

A stroke of maturity of a good part of these new worlds consists of maintaining distance from the political party and state institutions, although they can always demand support and glean resources with one eye set on guaraneeing survival and the other on maintaining independence.

In the long transition underway, impossible to know whether it will be decades or centuries, the new worlds are facing one of the system’s most powerful offensives. What they have achieved up to now permits us to breathe a serene optimism.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, March 3, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/03/03/opinion/020a1pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

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February 20, 2017

The San Sebastián Bachajón Ejido: 6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Lacandon/ montes azules, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:27 am

 

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The San  Sebastián Bachajón Ejido:  6 years after the police operation to evict and dispossess us of our ejido land

 6 years after the dispossession of their land, Bachajón community members keep up the struggle

 

bachajon_17

THE SAN SEBASTIÁN BACHAJÓN EJIDO, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 8 FEBRARY 2017

To the General Command of the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle in Mexico and the world

To the media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

 

Jmololabex ants winiketik icha spatil a wotanik ta pisilik machatik nokol skoltabel te lum kinalik te yuun ta skuenta te nokol spojbel te chopol ajwalil.

Compañeros and compañeras, the Adherents of the Sixth Declaration from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón send you, your organisations and your communities in resistance combative greetings.

In this month of February 2017, we remember that 6 years have gone by since the operation ordered by Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noé Castañón León to evict and dispossess us of our territory was carried out by more than 800 agents from different state and federal police forces.

This violent, abusive and invasive police operation into our indigenous territory was with the clear objective of definitively appropriating our land for their economic gain. Among other consequences were the persecution of Sixth Bachajón comrades, the arbitrary arrest and unjust imprisonment of more than 100 of our comrades, who were separated from their families and deprived of their freedom. All on the whim of the bad government because we did not obey its order to release control of the collection booth and access to the Agua Azul Waterfalls, which we had built on our ejido lands. This access point is strategically located. The Bad Government seeks control of the booth to serve interests completely indifferent to the social benefits and the collective indigenous community of the ejido.

This mega police operation was being schemed and prepared since the end of 2010 in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas by Noé Castañón León and the San Sebastián Bachajón PRIist ejido commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez also known as ‘el Goyito’. ‘El Goyito’ is also the same person who threatened to kill our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán before his actual murder on 24 April 2013. For approximately a year before this operation was carried out, our organisation had maintained a land defense camp on the road that leads up to the Agua Azul Waterfall. This was done through collective training, organisation and work, we also charged tourists for the entry to our lands on the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, and this was for the general benefit of all the ejido and not just our organisation.

The operation took place then because the Bad Government took advantage of the moment  to repress, persecute and violate the human rights of our people. This was when Tatik Samuel Ruiz passed on to a better life and the director of the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Diego Cadenas Gordillo went to work with the Bad Government alongside Juan Sabines Guerrero in the State Human Rights Council just a few days after the death of Tatik Samuel. This is what the former director of Frayba Marina Patricia Jiménez Ramírez also did, and she earns approximately 100 thousand pesos per month. The death of Tatik Samuel created conditions which allowed the Bad Government to intensify attacks on indigenous communities living in resistance in Chiapas, including the defense of the land of San Sebastian Bachajón and all of this contributed to the chain of events that have so far occurred.

Our organization continues to stand up and defend our territory. We are more aware of our rights as an indigenous people, we seek to build an autonomy as an organization and as human beings. We support all people who live any injustice, whether you belong to the Sixth or not, Zapatista or not Zapatista, Catholic or non-Catholic. If you are a person who lives injustice as we do, we will do what we can to support you.

 

We also continue to fight for our prisoners who belong to everyone, not just us. And all other prisoners too; these prisoners can count on San Sebastian Bachajón’s word of solidarity and unselfish interests. It takes a lot of organization, coordination and solidarity to liberate our compañeros who have been in prison for many years, and becoming poorer, sicker and less hopeful. Despite our economic poverty we are full of pride and enthusiasm to provide legal and political accompaniment to our our compañeros and to contribute something to their freedom. We humbly ask for your support in your own way that allows them to get out of the Bad Government’s dungeon and to free other fellow prisoners in Mexico and the world.

 

Santiago Moreno Pérez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, is originally from La Pimienta and was serving as an Adviser to the Sixth’s Autonomous Security Council in 2009 when a serious problem occurred in the community. He and his son Sebastian were accused of murdering another La Pimienta resident. The community gathered to lynch them, but then decided not to kill them and turned them over to jail, but they also took all of their possessions before doing so. Some days later Santiago’s wife died and his children were orphaned. Apprehension orders have also been issued for the children accusing them of the same crime as Santiago. The compañero’s current situation is that he is still on trial. Many of his rights have been violated, and they rescheduled his case once, and that is why he has been unjustly detained for almost 8 years.

Emilio Jiménez Gómez, prisoner in Playas de Catazajá Prison, originally from Xanil, Chilón, Chiapas, is accused of assaulting an Italian tourist who was passing through Xanil community. Emilio, along with his father, were detained without an apprehension order by PRIista residents of the community. His father was released by the Palenque Public Prosecutor’s Office, but Emilio has been jailed since 2014. The compañero is awaiting sentencing and we expect that it may happen any day soon.

Esteban Gómez Jiménez, prisoner in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison in Chiapas. He is originally from Salto de Tigre, Chilón, Chiapas, and he is accused of several serious crimes, like felony homicide, two violent assaults on tourists, and possession of a weapon of exclusive use to military. So far, he has been cleared of the charge of murder and possession of the military weapon, but the two charges of assault are still pending. Because he was attacked by other prisoners when he was in El Amate Prison, he asked to be transferred to the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Prison, which is where he is at the moment.

Considering the local and the national situation, we reaffirm our commitment and belief in the preparatory work that we are carrying out alongside the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. The work is urgent and necessary in order to transform the reality of the country. Dispossession, repression, and contempt of the Bad Government is what will continue to be our reality unless we but brakes to their injustices.

From the Northern Zone in the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián, we send you combative greetings.

 

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Long live Juan Vázquez guzmán, and Bachajón’s struggle!

Long live Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, and Bachajón’s struggle!

No to the dispossession of indigenous lands!

State police, Out of indigenous lands!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered “compañeros” from the teachers’ school  Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa!

Justice for our compañero Juan Vazquez Guzman, Ayotzinapa, Acteal, ABC, Atenco!

 

https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon-a-seis-anos-del-operativo-de-desalojo-y-despojo-de-nuestras-tierras-ejidales /

 

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December 17, 2016

“Forum on Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory” Declares itself against Presence of Environmental Gendarmerie in Lacandon Jungle

 

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 “Forum on Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory” Declares itself against Presence of Environmental Gendarmerie in Lacandon Jungle

 

forumForum in Amador Hernandez (Photo@Noe Pineda)

 

On December 5, the “Forum on Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory” was held in the ejido of Amador Hernandez, in the Municipality of Ocosingo, Lacandon Jungle. About 1,000 people from communities in the region analysed the problems they are experiencing, including several agrarian conflicts.

In their final declaration, they said: “We are against the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie and their entry into our territory. From now on we state that in the case that the corresponding authorities do not take our disagreement into account … we will carry out more actions against the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie until we are heard.”

They questioned whether the presence of the Environmental Gendarmerie “for the supposed care and conservation of the environment” responds to other objectives: “We know that the true objective of this security force is a strategy for the destruction of our communities, our cultures and our organizations, it represents the violation of our rights and that its true intention is to guarantee the entry of transnational corporations dedicated to the extraction of natural resources for the benefit of big capital.”

According to the authorities, the Environmental Gendarmerie will “have the mission of preventing administrative crimes and faults in environmental matters, due to its security and police operational model.” It is envisaged that it will be installed in 61 points of the country, among others, the Lacandon Jungle, Montes Azules and the monarch butterfly reserves, Pico de Orizaba, Nevado de Toluca and Tulum.

It should be noted that on the same day, President Enrique Peña Nieto was in the Lacandon Jungle in the framework of an activity, which was part of the COP (Conferences of the Parties) 13 under the heading “Integrating Biodiversity for Wellbeing”. In that context, he instructed the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development to prevent the regularization of irregular settlements; and the Secretariats of Energy and Economy, to ensure that there are no hydrocarbon or mining explorations or holdings in the region.

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/chiapas-forum-on-defense-of-the-earth-life-and-territory-declares-itself-against-presence-of-environmental-gendarmerie-in-lacandon-jungle/

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December 14, 2016

Communities in Chiapas Say No to the Environmental Gendarmerie.

 

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Communities in Chiapas Say No to the Environmental Gendarmerie.

 

foro-amador1

They consider it a strategy to destroy their communities.

Mario Marlo, Noe Pineda

Ocosingo, Chiapas, 8th of December 2016.

As a result of the Forum for the Defence of the Earth, Life and Territory, which took place on the 5th of December 2016, communities of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules rejected the introduction of the Environmental Gendarmerie in their territory, as they consider it to be just another way Transnational companies are trying to make an inroad into the area. The communities Amador Hernández, Galilea, Benito Juárez, Pichucalco, Chapultepec, Candelaria, San Gregrorio, Betania, Santa Lucía, Nueva Ibarra, San Jacinto, San Francisco, San Salvador, Israel, Barrio Guadalupe and representatives of the 23 regions of the municipality of Ocosingo argued that the real objective of this security force is the destruction of their communities, cultures and organisations, as well as the violation of their rights and the beginning of the destruction of the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules.

They say that the Gendarmerie allow entry into the area to Transnational companies whose principal objective is the extraction of natural resources for the benefit of big business. They explained that the real contamination that exists on the planet comes from the world’s big cities, because of vehicle pollution, chemical substances, forestry exploitation and big monopolies that produce on an irrational scale.

In light of this, they questioned the step taken by the Government since they explained that the activities that they carry out in this area simply obey the subsistence needs of the people who live there. “Since the foundation of each of the communities located in the Lacandon Jungle and Montes Azules, we have created our own means of environmental conservation, such as the implementation of rules that include fines for those residents who cause unjustifiable harm to the ecosystem.”

30702808423_608c64fc64_n

They suggested that if the authorities concerned do not take their inconformity into consideration, they will take action against the Environmental Gendarmerie until they are heard.

The Gendarmerie plans to set up in 61 locations throughout the country, including the Lacandon Jungle, the reserves at Montes Azules and of the Monarch Butterfly, the Pico de Orizaba (the highest mountain in Mexico), the Nevado de Toluca (the largest stratovolcano in central Mexico) and Tulum.

 

Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service

 

http://www.somoselmedio.org/article/pueblos-de-chiapas-dicen-no-la-gendarmer%C3%ADa-ambiental

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November 20, 2016

10 years after the Viejo Velasco Massacre impunity continues

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:43 pm

 

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10 years after the Viejo Velasco Massacre impunity continues

15027481_1306111216107931_4773648644465663778_n

 

Ten years after the Viejo Velasco massacre the crime remains unpunished. On Sunday 13th November in Palenque, Chiapas, various people, some from organisations or on their own, marched together in the “Pilgrimage for Memory, Justice and Truth”

Participating in the Palenque march were communities such as Nuevo Tila, Lacanjá Tseltal, Limonar, Chamizal, Francisco León, Arroyo Granizo, Ojo de Agua, Chamizal, Nuevo Jericó and national and international human rights observers. More than 500 people came together to denounce impunity in the country.

“We march to commemorate our pain and our memory which fights and is justice.”

 

Viejo Velasco: Massacre, torture, disappearances and forced displacement

Ten years ago, on 13 November 2006, at approximately 6 o’clock in the morning, a group of about 40 civilians heavily armed and dressed in military- and Public Security-type uniforms violently entered the community of Viejo Velasco. Coming from the communities of Nueva Palestina, Frontera Corozal and Lacanjá Chansayab, they are members of the so called “Lacandona Community”.

These 40 armed civilians were accompanied by 300 agents from the Chiapas State Public Security forces, who were armed with high powered weapons that are for the exclusive use of the army and known as “goat’s horns” (AK-47) and R-15. They were also accompanied by 5 Prosecutors from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, 2 specialist detectives, the Commander of the State Investigation Agency Jungle Zone along with 7 subordinates and a representative from the Secretariat of Social Development. Displaced people’s testimony agrees that the coordination of this brutal aggression was led by Engineer Rafael Armando Arellanes (then Sub-secretary of Political Action for the Chiapas state government) and Professor Gabriel Montoya Oceguera (who was serving as a government delegate for the Lacandon Jungle).

All of these hostile parties encircled the community, where later they looted the houses and committed 4 extra judicial executions, 1 illegal detention along with torture, 4 people were forcibly disappeared, and the forced displacement of 20 men, 8 women, 5 boys, 3 girls who had to escape to the mountains to survive the attack.

 

15078510_1858139431085096_9058695910574950240_nCommunities from Palenque, Ocosingo and Chilon, and members of the X’inich organisation gather in the rain at the Mother Chol statue in Palenque from 8 in the morning to begin the Pilgrimage for Memory

 

Between the ecological pretext and the agrarian conflict in Montes Azules

 

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The goal of this massacre was to plant seeds of terror in the families living in the community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo municipality. The aggressors wanted these families to abandon their land, and they framed it as a regional agrarian conflict in the Lacandon Jungle. And this is also how state policy using the ecological pretext to “guarantee the conservation of the Montes Azules Biosphere Nature Reserve” has been transformed into an intense process of territorial dispossession. More than 30 indigenous villages – Tseltal, Tsotsil, Chol and Tojolabal communities – have suffered forced relocations and violent evictions. At the beginning of 2006, negotiations with this small village Viejo Velasco broke down, owing to the fact that the residents would not accept forced relocation. On the 28 of March 2006, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform announced its decision about this unjust agrarian process, and the beneficiaries were only the people belonging to the so-called Lacandon Community (whose members are Maya Caribe and Tseltal people from Nueva Palestina and Chol people from Frontera Corozal). The government then began a process of forced relocations and threats of violent eviction in all of the Lacandon Jungle. In the area of Valley of Santo Domingo and La Cojolita, the repression was concentrated in four villages:  Viejo Velasco, Flor de Cacao, Ojo de Agua Tsotsil and San Jacinto Lacanjá.

The State is Responsible

According to a denouncement before the International Tribunal of Conscience of the Peoples in Movement the state is responsible both in action and neglect.
On 4 November 2010, the Viejo Velasco massacre case was presented before the International Tribunal of Conscience of the Peoples in Movement to demonstrate and denounce the responsibility of the Mexican State in the events which took place on 13 November 2006. According to the compliant the State is responsible for:

– action, for ordering and carrying out on 13 November 2006, an operation in the community, as indeed the government itself confirms in response to an application for information by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This operation was provoked by the failure to resolve in a just manner, and one following international law the situation recognising and regularising the community lands of Viejo Velasco and the “Zona del Desempeño”.

– omission, further, despite all the calls sent to the Federal and State government bodies by the Xi’nich Committee for the Defence of Indigenous Freedom, “Maderas del Pueblo”, and the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre among other organisations about the risk of violent aggression in the area, the State neglected to respond and never intervened to prevent this violence and resolve a situation which every day grew more tense. In addition to all this, after these horrendous events, the official investigations have proven to be insufficient and ineffective. There was a long, unexplained delay in sharing the findings of the analysis of the skeletal remains found 6 July 2007, as well as obstacles planted by the intervention of independent specialists.

 

15078640_1306098326109220_7146175537536653577_nSymbolic act in front of the Jungle District Attorney General’s Office. “Justice will not come from above. We, the people, are the peace-builders. Here we have only seen impunity. It was from here that the protectors of the 40 civilians dressed in official uniforms left to go massacre our brothers and sisters in Viejo Velasco.”

To finish, a communique was read:

Communique Ten Years after the Massacre

Palenque, Chiapas

13 November 2016

“…it is very hard to remember that terrible violence that we lived through, because the day it all happened, I was there.”

“…I was four months pregnant, I left running towards the mountains, in the road I met some people from Palestine community, and they began to shoot at me. I don’t know how many shots they fired at me, but thanks to God none of them hit me.” (Testimony from the families and victims)

 

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To the General Public:

Ten years after the cruel massacre in the community of Viejo Velasco in Ocosingo municipality, Chiapas, we are making this pilgrimage with pain and outrage in memory of our brothers and sisters who were murdered at dawn on the 13th of November 2006. This massacre was perpetrated by 40 civilian sub-comuneros from Nueva Palestina and from the Lacandon community. They were accompanied by a group of 300 agents from the Chiapas State Sectoral Police, five Prosecutors from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, two specialist detectives, the Commander of the State Investigation Agency Jungle Zone along with 7 subordinates and a representative from the Secretariat of Social Development. They carried high calibre weapons. The outcome of this injustice was the death of:  Antonio Mayor Benito Pérez, Filemón Benítez Pérez and María Núñez Gonzáles and four people missing:  Miguel Moreno Montejo, Antonio Peñate López, Mariano Pérez Guzmán and Pedro Núñez Gonzáles. All are indigenous Ch’ol and Tseltal community members who lived in Viejo Velasco.

Owing to these violent events, one day after the attack, health promoter Diego Arcos Meneses, and other good-hearted residents from the community of Nuevo Tila, which is located an hour away, came to help the victims. They cleaned the wounds of the injured; fed people with beans and fruit from the countryside. They brought clothing to cover the children and adults. During this, the community was overcome by surprise by the State Police who unjustly detained our brother Diego Arcos Meneses.  Arcos Meneses was in jail for a year accused of homicide, and arrest warrants were issued for Juan Peñate, Antonio Álvarez, Domingo Álvaro and Alejandro Álvaro, all from Nuevo Tila community.

Eight months after the massacre, in June 2007, skeletal remains along with a rope and clothing were found covered in overgrowth on the road from Viejo Velasco to Paraíso. The Public Prosecutor’s office took charge of recovering the remains. Without respect or compassion they collected the bones, treating them like animal bones. The two remains were put in a single blanket and taken away, then they denied us the right to know the truth for four years.

As a first attempt, we pushed our petition to the Public Prosecutor that they give us the studies of the skeletal remains that they had found. They only thing they told us was that the disappeared from Viejo Velasco massacre had gone to the United States to work. On top of that, they give us bones with bits of fresh flesh on them, which did not match what we had found in June 2007. For us, this was a complete mockery, and what the Public Prosecutor has done is not respectful. Denying these families their legitimate right to the truth is abuse on the part of the Public Prosecutor.

Faced with the neglect and inability of the three levels of government:  Federal, State and Municipal, in 2011 the communities, families and victims succeeded, with the support of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, in having the studies from the remains found in the massacre zone identified as  Pedro Núñez Gonzáles and Miguel Moreno Montejo. We gave them a Christian burial in November 2012. The other two brothers remain missing until now.

Ever since the first days after the massacre, we have gone to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to request precautionary measures to ensure that the Mexican State look for our disappeared brothers and protect all those affected in the attack. From that time until now, in all of 10 years, we have not had any result. In 2010 the IACHR raised the precautionary measures to a formal complaint against the Mexican government, who now must respond about their responsibility.

Owing to all this, we demand:

  1. The return of our disappeared loved ones alive, “You took them alive, we want them back alive.”
  1. The clarification of the massacre which took place in the community Viejo Velasco, in Ocosingo municipality, Chiapas.
  1. Investigation and punishment of the intellectual and material authors of this crime, among them Professor Gabriel Montoya Oceguera (who was serving as a government delegate for the Lacandon Jungle), Engineer Rafael Armando Arellanes (then Sub-secretary of Political Action for the Chiapas state government), the 2006 Special Commissioner of Agrarian Reform Marta Cecilia Díaz Gordillo and the sub-comuneros of the communities Nueva Palestina and Lacandona.
  1. An end to the harassment of families and survivors of this case by the office of the Chiapas Procurator of Justice

Consequently:

  1. We place the blame for the 2006 massacre in Viejo Velasco on the three levels of government.
  1. We ask that national and international civil society remain informed about the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
  1. We invite all Mexicans to open your eyes to the terror and crime which comes from the three levels of government.
  2. We call on the National Indigenous Congress to keep informed about what happened, and to echo our struggle for memory and truth.

Sincerely,

Families of victims and survivors of the Viejo Velasco massacre,
Coordinating team of social organisations  CDLI- Xinich’, Tsoblej Yu’un Jwocoltic, UCISECH and Misión Santísima Trinidad.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://espoirchiapas.blogspot.com.es/2016/11/a-10-anos-de-la-masacre-de-viejo.html

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June 20, 2016

Ocosingo Ejidos Reject the Delimitation of the Lacandon Gap.

Filed under: Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:35 pm

 

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Ocosingo Ejidos Reject the Delimitation of the Lacandon Gap.

 

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Ejido Candelaria, Municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico.

We are gathered here today, Tuesday 17th of May 2016 (Two Thousand and Sixteen), at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, around the Ejidal House of the ejido Candelaria. Among our number the CC ejidal and auxiliary authorities and wider public of the ejido Candelaria and the CC ejidal and auxiliary authorities of the ejido Pichucalco, including representatives from different organizations, meet to discuss agrarian matters (the delimitation of the gap).

We, the ejido Candelaria, member of the organization ARIC, Independent and Democratic A.C., the ejidal and auxiliary authorities of the ejido Pichucalco, make up four organisations, who work together to draw up plans and agreements for the defence of Mother Earth and our territory and the complete rejection of the proposal to delimit the Lacandon Gap, a fight that has gone on for 40 years, through generations,

  • We, as campesinos, are fully aware and prepared to defend Mother Earth and our territory. For this reason, we have reached an agreement to reject in its entirety the delimitation of the Lacandon Gap of the 16th vertex, as well as any developments between point 7.28 and the mirador boundary marker in the ejido Calvario. This is because we know from past experiences that the Lacandon communities and common lands are being used by the government, who tell them the hectares of land they occupy belong to them as a pretext; in fact, 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. Furthermore, we consider the delimitation of the Lacandon Gap a derogatory act.
  • The Federal Government intends not to legalise three villages, Nuevo Sangregorio, Ranchería Corozal and Salvador Allende. Although the Lacandon community has had months of dialogue with the three villages, signing agreements, minutes of proceedings and pacts, the government will never respect said agreements. The ejido San Caralampio and the ejido Calvario are evidence of this; they signed an agreement mediated by the ARIC Independent and Democratic A.C. (directive authorities). These two ejidos had common lands assessed by the teacher Gabriel Montoya, who had engineers measure out ten hectares of land to each beneficiary. But the government is cunning; it found new strategies to tear up these agreements, impeding the people from working on these demarcated plots of land. Now, the campesinos complain because they have ended up without land. For this reason we do not wish to end up suffering the same fate.
  • It is worth mentioning that the three villages and the directive authorities of the ARIC Independent and Democratic A.C. are self-governed for personal gain, and as such do not take into account the decision of the ejido Candelaria and the neighbouring communities to carry out an in-depth analysis of the difficult situation. On the contrary, they are quite convinced that the Lacandon Gap will legitimize the lands of the three villages. But they are being deceived. Although the Lacandon community shows an eagerness to support and engage in dialogue with the indigenous communities, this is nothing more than a political strategy on the part of the self-same government. We know because from the 16th of May this year helicopters began to fly over vertex 16 and the villages of Ranchería Corozal and Nuevo Sangregorio. This signals a threat to the campesinos who belong to different organisations, since those of the common lands in the Lacandon zone and the three villages are pooling funds to pay a private topographical engineer to measure out their lands, on the condition that he mark out the delimitation of the Lacandon Gap, which measures approximately 20km.
  • 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.
  • It is worth mentioning that all the indigenous communities within the Montes Azules biosphere and the Lacandon zone have ancestry in these lands. For this reason we do not accept other proposals or the government’s political strategies to separate us, weaken us and cause infighting between campesinos.
  • The government and the Lacandon community are not strong enough to work against us, and we know our universal rights as individuals.
  • We invite all independent social organizations, NGOs, defenders of human rights, the media, and the general public, to join us in solidarity in the defence of Mother Earth; to stay vigilant as the problematic situation we face in the Lacandon zone and the Montes Azules biosphere develop. In the municipality of Ocosingo, in the state of Chiapas, Enrique Peña Nieto’s government has created numerous programs and transnational projects for the extraction of the natural riches of our land. All three levels of government are being pressured and manipulated into accepting economic resources from transnational businesses, leaving all Mexicans in debt. Wiping out the indigenous class appears to be their main aim. Now, the government’s plans for the land are written by big business.

 

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SINCERELY:

The ejidal and auxiliary authorities of the Ejido Pichucalco and the Ejido Candelaria, municipality of Ocosingo.

 

Translated by Ruby Zajac, for the UK Zapatista Translation Service.

Original: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/ejidos-de-ocosingo-rechazan-trazo-de-la.html

 

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April 11, 2016

Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project

Filed under: Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, sipaz — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:37 am

 

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Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project

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highwayThe San Cristobal-Palenque super-highway has been met with massive rejection, Photo @ Espoir Chiapas

 

On April 3, the inhabitants of the Tsotsil communities of Los Llanos and San Jose El Porvenir in the municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, made known in a statement that on January 18 of this year they were granted legal protection against the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project. In the sentence for legal protection 16/2014, the judge orders the cancellation of the outlines of the construction project or any other programme for the highway on the stretch between the municipalities of San Cristobal-Huixtan, in particular on the lands of the communities, by the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure of the State of Chiapas.

In the statement, the ejido demanded that, “the authorities should respect our community’s right to free consultation, previous and informed, through its representatives and traditional authorities, providing information in good faith, including the possible environmental and health risks resulting from the construction of operation of the highway project.” They also underlined that their “land is not for sale, now or in the future, and we completely reject the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project because it dispossesses the indigenous communities of the most sacred thing in this life which is land.” It should be mentioned that since its beginning, many communities and those possibly affected expressed their concern about the construction of the highway, whose cost would be around ten billion pesos and would reduce the journey from San Cristobal to Palenque, two of the zones most visited by overseas and domestic tourists, from five to less than two hours.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/chiapas-legal-protection-granted-against-the-san-cristobal-palenque-highway-project/

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November 22, 2015

Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, sipaz, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:21 pm

 

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Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco massacre

 

viejovelasco

 

Beginning at dawn on 13 November, members of the XINICH organization, which belongs to the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and adheres to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in their own communities began a day of prayer and fasting that will last for 13 Sundays in commemoration of the nine years since the Viejo Velasco massacre. Relatives of victims and survivors of the massacre called on “all brothers and sisters from civil society to join this action so that, with your families, organization, and communities, you carry out symbolic actions to accompany us.”

Nine years after the massacre, they manifested that they have not “found justice. The government has not punished those responsible, and there has been no effective or efficient investigation of those intellectually and materially responsible for these human-rights violations.” Beyond this, they denounced that the “bad government has not sought out and thus does not know the whereabouts of our brothers Antonio Peñate López and Mariano Pérez Guzmán, who continue to be forcibly disappeared.”

On 13 November 2006, at 6am, in the community of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, Chiapas, adjacent to the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve in the Lacandon Jungle, a group of 40 persons from the New Palestine community, accompanied by 300 units from the sectorial police, invaded the community and attacked its indigenous Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Ch’ol residents, leaving four dead, four others disappeared, and 20 men, 8 women, and 8 children forcibly displaced, being survivors of the assault.

 

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/chiapas-ninth-anniversary-of-the-viejo-velasco-massacre/

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December 24, 2014

The Zapatistas and Hope

Filed under: Indigenous, Journalists, Lacandon/ montes azules, Marcos, Zapatista — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:50 pm

 

 

The Zapatistas and Hope

December 18, 2014

*We think that it is necessary for one of us to die so that Galeano lives. 

 

Marcos becomes Galeano

Marcos becomes Galeano

To satisfy the impertinence that is death, in place of Galeano we put another name, so that Galeano lives and death takes not a life but just a name – a few letters empty of any meaning, without their own history or life. That is why we have decided that Marcos ceases to exist today.

And death will go away, fooled by an indigenous man whose nom de guerre was Galeano, and those rocks that have been placed on his tomb will once again walk and teach whoever will listen the most basic tenet of Zapatismo: that is, don’t sell out, don’t give in and don’t give up.

Given the above, at 2:08am on May 25, 2014, from the southeast combat front of the EZLN, I hereby declare that he who is known as Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, self-proclaimed “Subcomandante of stainless steel,” ceases to exist.

Passages from Between Light and Shadow, Subcomandante Galeano, May 2014

Dear Friends & Supporters of the Chiapas Support Committee:

2014 has been a turning point year for Mexico and the U.S.

We are asking you to join us in building grassroots support and solidarity with the Zapatista communities. Please make a generous donation to directly support the Zapatista efforts in constructing autonomy. Why?

2014 was the 20th anniversary of the EZLN-led indigenous uprising in Chiapas. The Zapatistas began marking this momentous anniversary launching “La Escuelita Zapatista,” the Little Schools of Freedom according to the Zapatistas, in 2013, where they invited community leaders, youth, elders, women, children and even world-class intellectuals to learn from them how they organized their revolution.

In 2014, the Zapatistas also shared the deep changes they have accomplished, making historic transitions consolidating the Zapatistas communities’ power from below. This includes:

  • Indigenous leadership of the EZLN
  • Building community-based autonomy and self-determination
  • Indigenous women’s and girl’s power and direct participation; and
  • At the centre of these changes, “from revolutionary vanguardism to ‘rule by obeying;’ from taking Power Above to the creation of power from below; from professional politics to everyday politics, from the leaders to the people….”

To us, the Zapatistas are synonymous with hope. How do we persist and build our own resistances in the long struggle for justice across borders? The Zapatista communities have shared their own experiences and consistently organized spaces for international dialogue to build connections and movements against neoliberalism, war and racism and for humanity and a different way of being together.

Compañero Galeano Lives!

With love, pain and rage the Zapatistas laid the body of Compañero Galeano to rest while at the same time ensuring that his name and spirit would live on. The person we had known as Subcomandante Marcos for a little more than 20 years died symbolically and resurrected as Subcomandante Galeano so that the memory of the brutally murdered compañero would live on. Although it had been coming gradually, the May 2 murder of Compañero Galeano in La Realidad provided the stepping stone for a transition to Indigenous leadership of the EZLN in the person of Subcomandante Moisés, a natural and foreseen transition despite what the corporate press may have said.

The Zapatistas consider that transition and symbolism to be of such importance that they questioned two members of the Chiapas Support Committee (CSC) about our understanding of it during our visit in September and were pleased that we paid no attention to the interpretations of the corporate (“for pay”) media, but rather the direct word of the EZLN.

Originally intended to be a brief visit to clarify an education project in the region of La Garrucha, the purpose of our visit expanded when we received the news about the attacks and forced displacements in San Manuel municipio (county), with which the CSC has had a close relationship since 2002. After clarifying the education project with regional education coordinators, attention turned to the more than 70 Zapatistas displaced from their homes in 3 San Manuel communities. The Good Government Junta gave us permission to visit San Manuel.

We travelled to San Manuel and met with the autonomous municipal council, the health care promoters, warehouse workers and education promoters (teachers). We learned that the displaced families lost everything when they fled to save their lives and avoid a massacre. The autonomous council stated that the government paid the paramilitaries to attack and displace the three communities, just as the EZLN’s investigation revealed regarding the murder of Galeano. According to Subcomandante Moisés, San Manuel was attacked in retaliation for the Exchange (Sharing) between the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the EZLN, just like Compañero Galeano was murdered in retaliation for the very successful Little Zapatista Schools during 2013 and at the start of 2014. The government’s message: You’re going to pay a price for organizing!

Build Grassroots Solidarity! Support Zapatista Autonomy & Schools

Despite the Mexican government’s counterinsurgency and severe repression, we also have some good news to report from San Manuel. The municipio and its more than 40 communities remain together, well managed and in resistance. Autonomous authorities specifically stated that the projects the CSC constructed with them continue to thrive, thereby enabling the municipio to function and succeed.

This year we completed a three-year autonomous primary education project in the region of La Garrucha, which included the construction and or re-modelling of schools, continuing education for the teachers and teaching materials for both the education promoters and the students. We also provided emergency financial support to those displaced from the three Zapatista communities in San Manuel.

While in La Garrucha the Junta told us about an education project that is currently being developed for the region: one or more secondary (middle) schools.

In contrast to the other Caracoles, the La Garrucha region has no secondary school. The debate is whether to have one secondary school for the entire region or one in each autonomous municipio. Whatever the region’s decision may be the Chiapas Support Committee is committed to supporting the secondary school project. We need your help to do that.

Please join us and give a generous donation that will go in its entirety to help the Zapatistas build schools and autonomy!

Los 43: They were taken alive! We want them back alive!

Compañero Galeano’s murder marked the opening of a new wave of political repression and killings carried out in collusion between Mexican government forces and narco-drug cartels and paramilitaries.

Mexican youth bore the brunt of the carnage left by organized crime and drug trafficking gangs in various states of Mexico. Local police and politicians with organized crime have been responsible for the extrajudicial executions of 22 arrested and disarmed youths by Mexican Army soldiers in Tlatlaya (June) and, finally, the unspeakable crime committed against students of the Ayotzinapa Teachers College that resulted in six dead and 43 forcibly disappeared –a crime against humanity– still not clarified (since September).

The Chiapas Support Committee continues to translate and publish educational information about Mexico and the Zapatistas through our various social media outlets.

This year we met with students that attended the Little Zapatista Schools (Escuelitas Zapatistas). We worked with other collectives to organize a successful demonstration at the Mexican Consulate following Compañero Galeano’s murder.

Afterwards, we participated in forming a Zapatista urgent response network in order to have a larger and more coordinated response to any future attacks against the Zapatistas.

Our challenge in the coming year is to extend that coordination beyond emergency response.

Help Us Keep Zapatista Hope Alive

As the Chiapas Support Committee enters its 16th year and the EZLN turns 21, we are asking you to make a generous donation so that we can continue strengthening our work in support of the Zapatista communities and their construction of autonomy, as well as to support our local organizing efforts.

For your convenience, you can make your contribution online. Just go to our main website www.chiapas-support.org and click on the Donate button to make your contribution via PayPal.

Alternatively, you can send a check payable to the Chiapas Support Committee to our Post Office Box: Chiapas Support Committee, P.O. Box 3421, Oakland, CA 94609

And, we are registered with Amazon Smile and The Network for Good.

We thank you for your continued interest in and support for the peoples of Chiapas and assure you that your support makes a critical difference in the lives of many and that we and the Zapatista communities will thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

For peace & justice without borders,

Chiapas Support Committee

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June 8, 2014

ARIC-ID and the Lacandóns “paralyze” Ocosingo

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:25 am

 

ARIC-ID and the Lacandóns “paralyze” Ocosingo

by Chiapas Support Committee

gabriel-montoya

During the month of May, much attention was focused on Chiapas because of the La Realidad paramilitary attack in which Compañero Galeano was brutally murdered, as well as the subsequent homage to Galeano, the disappearance of Marcos as the EZLN’s spokesperson and his reappearance as Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano. There was, however, another big story in Chiapas that took place in May. Thousands of indigenous and campesinos blocked key highways, usually filled with double decker tourist buses and giant Coca Cola trucks, shut down all government offices and hung “CLOSED” signs on the doors of big national chain stores… and, no, they weren’t Zapatistas. They were members of ARIC-ID [1] and the Lacandón Community Zone (LCZ).

In April, a report appeared about an agreement between the Lacandón Community and the ARIC-ID to legalize three of ARIC-ID’s communities situated inside the Montes Azules: San Gregorio, Ranchería Corozal and San Salvador Allende. Two other related events took place at the end of April: a Tzeltal was elected president of the Communal Wealth of the LCZ; and, a biologist, Julia Carabias, working in the Lacandón Jungle and inside the Montes Azules, reported her own two-day kidnapping by masked men she could not identify.

Apparently, all of this transpired in late April and early May. On May 15, state government authorities detained and arrested Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, an advisor to the Lacandón Community Zone. Just a couple of days before, the state government had announced that it intended to evict and “relocate” the three ARIC-ID communities, despite the historic agreement between ARIC-ID and the Lacandóns. Four days after Montoya Oseguera’s arrest, on May 19, roadblocks appeared on all the major highways leading to and from the municipal capital (county seat) of Ocosingo; only intermittent passage was permitted. ARIC-ID members and Lacandón Community members also shut down all municipal, state and federal government offices, as well as large national chain stores and the Telcel office in the city of Ocosingo, leading the city’s mayor to declare that Ocosingo was “paralyzed.”

In a statement issued following a May 19 meeting in Ocosingo, the majority opinion of the Lacandón Community Zone made the following demands (among several others):

1. Regularization (legalization or titling) of San Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal and San Gregorio;

2. Vacating the Tzendales and Chajul Biological Stations, currently occupied by Julia Carabias Lillo and “environmentalist” NGOs; and,

3. The release of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera.

The roadblocks and closures lasted about a week before state officials invited the two organizations to appear in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the state capital, for dialogue. When representatives of ARIC-ID and the LCZ arrived at the Government Palace for “dialogue,” 22 were arrested and placed in the El Amate State Prison. To no one’s surprise, they were released the next evening after the organizations agreed to “suspend” the roadblocks and mobilizations that were paralyzing Ocosingo. A table for dialogue will also take place in Mexico City with Montoya Oseguera’s defence team, as well as a discussion table where organizations from the LCZ will have the opportunity to fully express their frustrations with what’s taking place inside the zone.

That should be an interesting discussion. According to statements issued to local Chiapas media from both ARIC-ID and the LCZ, they believe that the alleged kidnapping of Julia Carabias is a simulation; in other words, they don’t think it actually happened. They believe that it is connected to the opposition of the group of “environmentalists” around Carabias to the election of a Tzeltal president, rather than a more docile Lacandón, to the LCZ’s governing body, which is called the Communal Wealth (Bienes Comunales). They assert that there was a disturbance during the election, when an outside group erupted into their assembly, and they blame the environmental interests.

[Click here to read the history of the Lacandón Community Zone]

When it created the Lacandón Community Zone, the government offered the Chols and Tzeltals settled within the Zone a choice of relocating to certain towns within what it called the “Lacandón Community.” The Tzeltals were offered land in Nueva Palestina and the Choles in Frontera Corozal. Some accepted and some didn’t. However, the Chols and Tzeltals that relocated to those two communities did not have the same rights as the Lacandóns. The government granted them the right to the land as members of the Communal Wealth of the Lacandón Community (the legal governing body), but in order to maintain control in only one group -the most docile, the Lacandóns- it was established in the communal statutes that the president of Communal Wealth would ALWAYS be a representative of the 66 Lacandón families.

As time passed, population growth resulted in the following imbalance: a 2010 census indicates that 40% of the comuneros are Chols, another 40% are Tzeltals, and only 20% belong to the 66 Lacandón families and their descendants. [2] Consequently, for approximately the last 10 years, in the assemblies of the Lacandón Community Zone, these two groups have been demanding more land and want to make decisions inside the assembly.

The Lacandón Community apparently changed its statutes regarding leadership of the Communal Wealth (Bienes Comunales) and, in May, elected a Tzeltal man. They also reached agreement on accepting the legalization of the three ARIC-ID communities within the Montes Azules. And, according to reports from Chiapas, the majority view of the Lacandón Community assembly is that they want Julia Carabias and the environmentalists working with her to leave the Tzendales and Chajul biological stations inside the LCZ. [3]

The “environmentalists”

The Chiapas government has not accepted the result of the recent election of a Tzeltal president to guide the LCZ, its interests apparently linked to various groupings and interests lumped into the term “environmentalists.” According to documents published in the Chiapas press, the environmentalists include: the Natura Mexicana, the NGO founded by Julia Carabias, the Ford Foundation, the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and the state and federal governments, which, as ARIC-ID points out, receive some of their funding from US-AID. [4] The majority report from the LCZ is in agreement. There is dissent from some members of the traditional Lacandón families that live in Nahá, Metzabok and Lacanjá Chansayab.    According to the report from Angeles Mariscal in Chiapas Paralelo, it is only members of those 66 Lacandón families that have benefitted from the money paid to them from funds controlled by the environmentalists.

The blockage of Ocosingo highways and shut down of government offices for days became a huge story in Chiapas. The highways that were intermittently blocked brought all travel in eastern Chiapas to a frustrating crawl. Some of the actors in this drama (both the Lacandóns and the residents of Nueva Palestina) have played the role of villains vis a vis the Zapatista and other indigenous communities in the Jungle. Nonetheless, it would appear that they are entering a new stage, and assuming it is sincere, the position of wanting the “environmentalist” NGOs to vacate the bio-prospecting stations would probably be welcomed by the Zapatista communities. And, finally, among the roads blocked were those giving access to La Garrucha and San Manuel. Therefore, we’ll follow the story and see how it unfolds.

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By: Mary Ann Tenuto-Sánchez. Chiapas Support Committee

[1] Rural Association of Collective Interest-Independent and Democratic (Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo Independiente y Democrático), a campesino (peasant) organization in the Lacandón Jungle of Chiapas

[2] http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/opinion/2014/05/el-fin-de-la-hegemonia-lacandona-en-la-selva-de-chiapas/

[3] Attachment in Voces Mesoamericanos:

http://vocesmesoamericanas.org/2014/05/23/zona-lacandona-la-movilisazion-sigue/

[4] Attachment in Voces Mesoamericanos: http://vocesmesoamericanas.org/2014/05/23/zona-lacandona-la-movilisazion-sigue/

 

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Xi’Nich distances itself from the conflict in the Lacandón Community Zone

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:13 am

 

Xi’Nich distances itself from the conflict in the Lacandón Community Zone

 ** It classifies them as a violent organization and differs with their methods

** It says their leader, Gabriel Montoya, is responsible for the massacre in Viejo Velasco

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

CXhiapas_selva_Lacandona_44

The Xi’Nich organization, made up of indigenous communities in the northern Lacandón Jungle of Chiapas, distanced itself from the protests of the Jungle’s different organizations because of the agrarian conflict in the Lacandón Community Zone (CZL, its initials in Spanish) and the incarceration of the CZL advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oceguera, who Xi’Nich considers the intellectual author of the Viejo Velasco Massacre in 2006, while placing responsibility for the material execution of that violent attack, which left eight dead and two disappeared, on the Lacandón comuneros and the sub-comuneros of Nueva Palestina.

Before what recently occurred in that region of Chiapas, Xi ‘Nich points out, “a dozen organizations and human rights defenders, including the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, have issued statements in favor of peace and reconciliation of the parties in the conflict.” In that regard, the indigenous are in agreement; but not with the following part: “they sign and vouch for the movement directed by Montoya Oceguera, a leader who defends the political and economic interests of the Lacandóns and his own personal interests.”

Eight years ago –Xi’Nich adds to its interlocutors of the Diocese– “you condemned the massacre; it surprises us, it angers us that you ask with shouts for the liberation of Montoya Oceguera, principal orchestrator of the Viejo Velasco Massacre, as well as the liberation of the comuneros of Nueva Palestina incarcerated for violent acts” like the 2006 massacre and “kidnappings” like that of Julia Carabias this year.

Xi’Nich defines itself as an organization in resistance and part of the National Indigenous Congress (Congreso Nacional Indígena, CNI), composed of Chols, Tzeltals and Zoques. “We have been very respectful and in solidarity –the Network for Peace expresses, to the independent organizations and the authorities of the diocese– in the defense of the rights of the indigenous peoples.” It distinguishes the differences between the different actors in the current conflict. “We know the long history of crimes and outrages against our peoples on the part of the Lacandóns and the sub-comuneros of Nueva Palestina, with the approval of the governments.” And it asks: “What interest is there in reviving an agrarian conflict which is supposedly resolved?”

Such conflict dates from 38 years ago, and was falsely “resolved” in March of 2006 when Governor Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía and the Secretary of Agrarian Reform (SRA), represented in Chiapas by Martha Cecilia Díaz Gordillo, “with drum and cymbal” announced “the end” of the problem, and delivered 10 cheques to the CZL for a total of 172 million pesos, for the benefit of 25 communities, including those that are now to be evicted, which belong to the ARIC Union of Unions Democratic. On that occasion Flor de Cacao, Ojo de Agua Tzotzil, San Jacinto Lacanjá and Viejo Velasco were “strangely” left out. On November 13 of that year, the latter (Viejo Velasco) “was massacred.”

The comuneros and sub-comuneros of the CZL “did not act alone” in the “criminal and savage acts,” because “they have been protected by the State, and it has responsibility, as the state Prosecutor testified at the time.” Besides, Xi’Nich points to the residents of the Tzeltal community of Nueva Palestina as “the region’s most violent group,” which “has burned dozens of people alive,” among other cases in Flor de Cacao in 1976, and they have participated in the eviction and relocation of more than 20 communities before 2005. This, “with the intervention of Montoya Oceguera, then the Government delegate (2000-2006) in Benemérito de las Américas (Marqués de Comillas).” “Now he has been rewarded by being an advisor of the Lacandóns,” “for having massacred the Viejo Velasco community.”

Xi’Nich sets itself apart from the CZL. “We do not share nor do we support their struggle, nor are we part of their movement. They have used our name in their struggle; they have used blackmail, violence, force and roadblocks. We roundly condemn their violent method.”

The organization expresses support for the three communities threatened with relocation and is in solidarity with the Zapatistas, condemning the death of professor Galeano in La Realidad one month ago.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, June 7, 2014

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/06/07/politica/015n1pol

 

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

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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June 3, 2014

Statement by the Peace Network and its sister organizations concerning the climate of violence, tension and conflict suffered in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:38 pm

 

Statement by the Peace Network and its sister organizations concerning the climate of violence, tension and conflict suffered in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve

To free, alternative, independent, autonomous media
To Civil Society
To the national and international press

The Peace Network and its sister organizations have made a statement concerning the situation in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve; they stand in solidarity with the Zapatista communities

We share their word, and thank you for disseminating it.

San Cristóbal de las Casas, 27th May, 2014.

Statement by the Peace Network and its sister organizations concerning the climate of violence, tension and conflict suffered in the Lacandon Jungle and the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve:

p1040224In 1972 a decision by the presidency, in a legally-questionable manner, handed 614,000 hectares of Chiapanecan jungle to 66 Lacandon families, without taking into account hundreds of families from other indigenous communities and groups that also inhabited this territory and whom, from that point on, were in constant risk of being displaced from their land. Six years later, when this territory became part of the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve, the pressure against the registration of these excluded peoples’ land titles increased, and their relocation or forced displacement has been the government’s response to the problem.

In April 2014, an agreement between the Lacandon Zone Community and the ARIC Independent and Democratic Union of Unions was ratified, in which the land rights of three established populations in the region was recognised. This agreement was the fruit of a process of dialogue between the parties directly involved, and was made without the participation of the government (due to a “lack of will” on its part to resolve the conflict, representatives of ARIC affirmed in a press conference on the 1st of May).

Since the 28th of April of this year, various events have escalated the climate of violence, tension and conflict concerning the delimitation of the so-called “Lacandon Divide” and the Montes Azules Reserve. It is important to recognise that the indigenous communities and peoples that inhabit this region have been constructing a variety of projects and initiatives, some for over 30 years, with the aim of achieving legitimate recognition of their struggle, land rights, and rights to autonomy.

Nonetheless, these projects appear to be affected and threatened by the presence of private financial interests, by environmentalists whose presence is alien to the communities involved, and by a climate of confusion, impunity and violence suffered in the original and principal base of the still-unresolved armed conflict. The murder of José Luis Solis López, a Zapatista support base, on the 2nd of May of this year, in the Good Government Council of La Realidad, has especially concerned us. Running in parallel with this act, we recognise other occurrences which, collectively, amount to a climate of tension and complex conflict in this setting.

On the 29th of April, 2014, in the community of San Javier, in the Municipality of Ocosingo, the Assembly of Communal Goods of the Lacandon Zone was suspended when a group of people violently interrupted the meeting. During the last days of the same month, news of the kidnapping of Julia Carabias, ex-environment secretary, academic and founding member of the NGO Nature and Mexican Ecosystems AC dedicated to the conservation of natural resources, reached the press; she was accused by members of the Lacandon community and by other sectors of civil society of being responsible for fomenting division between their members and of introducing projects oriented towards the privatization of the Zone.

In this strained environment, the detention was ordered of Fernando Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, the adviser of the Lacandon Zone Community, whom the state attorney indicated to be the intellectual author of the kidnapping of Julia Carabias and later remanded as “probably guilty of the crime of attacks against the peace and against the corporal and asset integrity of the public and the State”, a trap into which he had fallen on assuming the mayorship of Altamirano in January 2001. This is considered by many to be a means of contention and criminalization of the process by which the Lacandon community seeks to make decisions concerning the territory which was given to them decades prior.

Laguna_Miramar_en_la_Selva_Lacandona-660x330It would be worthwhile to mention at this point that organizations of the Network for Peace participated in the Civil Observation and Solidarity Mission that was carried out from the 29th of April to the 4th of May 2012, which aimed to build knowledge of the situation of the inhabitants of San Gregorio, Salvador Allende, and Ranchería Corozal, communities that form part of the Independent and Democratic ARIC A.C., with whom the Lacandon Community sustained and strengthened the agreement to which we refer above, in which these three communities, and the legitimacy of their claims to ownership of the land they have inhabited for more than 30 years, are recognised. This agreement was made known in a press conference on the 1st of May, 2014, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, as well as years prior, in the facilities of the Miguel Agustín ProDH Human Rights Centre, in Mexico City, on the 3rd of August 2011.

For our organizations, it is important to recognise that these three communities reached this agreement with the Lacandon Zone Community (CZL) through dialogue, the same route by which they have peacefully requested since 2010, faced with various petitions and inter-institutional discussions with federal and state governments, as well as with government environmental institutions, that the necessary proceedings for the legal recognition of their claims to land be initiated.

Nonetheless, we confirm that various interests have impeded, going back many years, this process, generating a climate of insecurity and escalation of conflict.

It worries us that, in response to the public dissatisfaction displayed at this time by the CZL and the Independent Democratic ARIC, the governmental response should use strategies that violate the rights of these peoples, such as the forced displacement of families and communities carried out between 2003 and 2012, and the detention of local authorities and leaders of this movement.

Finally, with great concern, we want to note that at this juncture, on the 14th of May, the Second Phase of the Southern Frontier Operation began in five municipalities of the state of Chiapas that are located in the conflict zone, in which elements of the National Defence Secretary, the Mexican Navy, PGR, PF, INM and the state and municipal police.

In light of this situation, we declare:

1. We support processes and mechanisms that respect the human rights of the actors involved in these conflicts – in particular, the collective rights of the indigenous peoples – as well as using all of those peaceful initiatives that promote the dignity of the territories, peoples, and individuals. We reject the privatization of indigenous territories, of their natural resources, and the intervention of external actors (state or non-state) that interrupt and break the processes of dialogue and construction of agreements amongst peoples, communities and organizations.

2. We reject the policies and strategies of militarization and of criminalization of social protest in the states of the southern border of Mexico, and in particular in zones of conflict, which harm indigenous communities, particularly women and children.

3. We declare ourselves in favour of inclusive processes in the management, conservation and administration of the Montes Azules Ecological Reserve, and of the other six federal Protected Natural Areas in the Lacandon region, whose preservation is fundamental for the wellbeing, the present and future life of humanity, of our country and of the indigenous communities that inhabit them. For this reason, these communities must be thoroughly involved in the diagnosis, territorial distribution, management strategies, and the design and implementation of holistic strategies for the sustainability of the living community.

4. Finally, we want to express our solidarity with the Zapatista peoples and, in particular, send an embrace to the Good Government Council located in La Realidad; and we join in the tribute to the Maestro Galeano. In this way, we salute the arrival of a new era.

Attentively,

The Members of the Network for Peace:


Comité de Derechos Humanos Fray Pedro Lorenzo de La Nada (CDHFP)
Centro de Derechos Indígenas A.C. (CEDIAC)
Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz A.C. (SERAPAZ)
Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación Comunitaria, A.C. (CORECO)
Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (DESMI)
Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba)
Educación para la Paz, A.C. (EDUPAZ)
ENLACE, Comunicación y Capacitación, A.C. (ENLACE CC)
Servicio Internacional para la Paz (Sipaz)
Centro de Derechos de la Mujer Chiapas, A.C. (CDMCH)

and other organizations:

Voces Mesoamericanas, AC.,

Casa de Apoyo a la Mujer Ixin Antsetik AC.

Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste AC.

Translated by Andrew Green

 

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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May 30, 2014

28 rural leaders are arrested en route to dialogue in Chiapas

Filed under: Lacandon/ montes azules — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:23 pm

 

28 rural leaders are arrested en route to dialogue in Chiapas

 ** They arrest them in the government palace in Tuxtla Gutiérrez

** It is a betrayal; companies are behind it, accuses the leader of the Cocyp

By: Elio Henríquez, Correspondent

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, May 29, 2014

On Thursday afternoon, at the government palace located in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, state police 10256245_549482491827750_1658391987224623672_narrested 28 members of a commission of leaders of the Rural Association of Collective Interest – Independent and Democratic (ARIC-ID, its initials in Spanish) and of authorities of the Communal Property of the Lacandón Community Zone, who had been given an appointment to dialogue about the roadblocks being maintained in Ocosingo and the Jungle to demand the liberation of Gabriel Montoya Oseguera, advisor of the second organization, denounced José Jacobo Femat, national leader of the Central of Campesino and Popular Organizations (Central de Organizaciones Campesinas y Populares, Cocyp).

“It is a betrayal by the government which called us to dialogue and then arrested the members of the negotiating commission at a time when there are demonstrations about the unjust arrest of Montoya Oseguera,” he accused. He claimed that: “several companies and private parties are behind all this, like the ex federal secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Julia Carabias.”

He explained that on Wednesday evening they met in the state capital with state officials to present different requests, among them the liberation of Montoya Oseguera, detained on May 15 as probably responsible for the crime of attacks against the peace and the and bodily integrity and property of the community and the State, as a result of the takeover of the Altamirano municipal palace in 2001. He added that they were also dealing with the roadblocks that have been carried out in Ocosingo.

He said that at 7 pm this Thursday, they went to continue the meeting, but five minutes after having arrived at the government palace, groups of police arrived who with pushes and shoves took away 30 members of the commission.

He indicated that he and Montoya Osegura’s wife were set free, while the other 28 were transported to El Amate Prison. A state official, who asked for anonymity, said that those arrested “have besieged Ocosingo, broken into the shops and (on Sunday) kidnapped Beatriz Mijangos,” an employee of the Na Bolom Cultural Centre, whose headquarters are in San Cristóbal.

For its part, the organization Services and Advisory for Peace (Serapaz) sent a communiqué in which it announced that the mediator Mario Ruiz was released last night; nevertheless, more than 20 people from the commission of community representatives remain detained, about which they “urgently” demanded their immediate freedom.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, May 30, 2014

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/05/30/politica/019n1pol

Based on a translation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

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