dorset chiapas solidarity

July 15, 2015

Chiapas “The other prisoners.”

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:07 pm

Chiapas “The other prisoners.”

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Chiapas, Mexico, 14th July. “They imprisoned me for organising myself and for defending the mother earth,” reiterates the indigenous Tseltal Esteban Gómez Jiménez, far from the limelight now occupied by the escape of the “most wanted” drug trafficker in the world. The imprisonment of Esteban and his compañeros from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón is evidence of the methods that are valued by officials from the three levels, to “boost the tourism-based economy in the jungle area of ​​Chiapas,” at the cost of dispossessing the indigenous peoples, as the ““Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos todos” (GTNET), dedicated to the support of political prisoners, has been denouncing.

“I have been a prisoner since 2012, I am accused of assault and the possession of weapons and murder, I was detained at a village called PAMALÁ, where I was chopping firewood and I was moved to cereso no. 17 in Playas de Catazaja, where I spent one year eight months, then I was moved to cereso no. 14 “EL AMATE” in Cintalapa de Figueroa, Chiapas,” said Gómez Jiménez, in whose ejido, adherent to the Sexta, are situated the touristic Agua Azul Waterfalls, where there are plans to build hotels costing more than 10 thousand pesos a night.

In March 2008, GTNET explains, the companies Norton Consulting Inc. and EDSA Construction, following the Mesoamerican Project (PPP,) presented the proposal to “boost the economy based on tourism in the jungle area of ​​Chiapas.” The study aimed to develop a strategic plan that identifies the areas and projects which can improve what is on offer to tourists, with “More and more visitors spending” in what will be the Integrally Planned Centre – Agua Azul Waterfalls (CIP-CAA).

The first stage of CIP-CAA will be developing a hotel chain to manage the “Lodge/retreat” concept and make the Agua Azul waterfalls one of “the most special resort experiences that exist in the Western Hemisphere,” operating four concepts of hotels/resorts in which the most luxurious chains in global tourism will invest: World Class Boutique Hotel, Lodge/retreat – near the Agua Azul waterfalls, European style five-star hotel, and resort with hotel, conference and Golf centre, adds GTNET.

The operators being considered for investment are: Luxury Collection, Orient Express, and Aman, who all operate a room rate of $300 to $1000 a night (3800-10800 pesos). The outstanding European hotels include Sonesta, Barcelo, Sol Melia, and Kempinsky. For hotel, conference and Golf centre: Camino Real, Posadas, Park, Royal, Marriott, Hyatt and Westin.

“I am innocent, I call on you to help me gain my freedom. I call on national and international solidarity for my release, they imprisoned me for organising myself and for defending the mother earth,” emphasizes Esteban in his latest communiqué on 13th July.

http://www.pozol.org/?p=10970

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April 12, 2015

Zapatista sympathizers chased from land slated for tourism megaproject

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Corporations, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:06 am

 

Zapatista sympathizers chased from land slated for tourism megaproject

A painted banner portrays three Zapatista civilians killed by paramilitaries. It reads "The Struggle in Bachajon Continues!" The banner was hung in CIDECI, an autonomous university for indigenous and rural peoples in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The closing events for the Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism were held at CIDECI with the participation of the families of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

A painted banner portrays three Zapatista civilians killed by paramilitaries. It reads “The Struggle in Bachajon Continues!” The banner was hung in CIDECI, an autonomous university for indigenous and rural peoples in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The closing events for the Global Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism were held at CIDECI with the participation of the families of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa and the National Indigenous Congress (CNI).

April 11, 2015

Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists are attacked

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Journalists — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:12 pm


Chiapas: Regional headquarters of San Sebastián Bachajón burned down; autonomous journalists are attacked

by SIPAZ

Photo @ Pozol Colectivo

Photo @ Pozol Colectivo

 

On 21 March, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounced that more than 600 state security forces burned down the regional headquarters of San Sebastián, with the participation of the ejidal commission and the security council.  They explaiend that “after the violent displacement of 9 January 2015, we founded a regional headquarters for San Sebastián to continue caring for the lands and demand the withdrawal of the bad government.  We will continue, as we are indigenous to these lands, and we will not allow the bad government come to rule over the people.”  They also indicated that the group from the ejidal commission “has blockaded the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque at the Agua Azul crossing in an attempt to blame us for the blockade.  Also, these stooges from the bad government are cutting down trees, and we know that they seek to fabricate crimes of ecocide with which to imprison the autonomous authorities of our organization.”

They demanded “the withdrawal of public forces from our lands, which have been plundered since February 2011, and of the National Commission on Protected Natural Areas,” besides the “release of our political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano, and Roberto Gómez Hernández, and of the unjustly imprisoned comrades Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez, and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

Beyond this, two members of autonomous-media collectives denounced having been attacked by the ejidal commissioner’s group of San Sebastián Bachajón. They reported that they were surrounded, arrested, beaten, and threatened with machetes, so that they would hand over a Canon 70D camera and a tripod on 21 March, when they sought to document the displacement and arson of the regional headquarters.  Beyond this, they indicated that, upon passing the control-point and continuing toward the regional autonomous headquarters of San Sebastián, they found four state police trucks and more than 200 “officialists armed with machetes, some of them inebriated.”

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April 7, 2015

The Agua Azul Dispute

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:30 pm

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The Agua Azul Dispute

By Orsetta Bellani
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From their vehicles, tourists stared in awe at the hooded Tzeltal indigenous people, who were sat on the edge of the road that leads to the Agua Azul waterfalls. Their machetes and facemasks were incongruous with the image of a quiet earthly paradise that is promoted by the state government of Chiapas.

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) sympathizers from San Sebastián Bachajón were charging tolls and distributing flyers to the tourists. In a statement, they explained their Dec. 21, 2014 decision to retake control of the portion of their ejido (communally-owned land) where the toll booth for access to the waterfalls is located.

“The comisariado ejidal (the ejido administrative official) Alejandro Moreno Gómez does not provide information about the money that comes from paying at the entry or the gravel bank. We want to appoint someone else who can manage the resources that are ours,” explained an ejido member to Latinamerica Press.

On Jan. 9, the farmers were evicted by government order and then, while they were blocking the road, they were attacked by agents of the State Police who fired at them for about 20 minutes. Two people were injured.

In a further attempt to intimidate the residents, on Mar. 21, 600 troops of the public forces, which respond to the orders of Moreno Gómez, according to the ejido members, burned the ejido regional headquarters in San Juan Bajachón, built by the adherents to the EZLN Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (2005) — a statement against the capitalism that “turns everything into merchandise, turns people, nature, culture, history, conscience into merchandise” — near the waterfalls.

“Is demonstrated again the policy of death and corruption of a bad government, its contempt for the people and human rights, because of his ambition on our territory to strip the land, water and everything that exists in our country to make money as if these are merchandise,” denounced the residents.

Attacks against common landowners

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Few tourists know that Agua Azul, the location of the beautiful turquoise waterfalls amidst wild vegetation, is one of the most contentious areas of Chiapas. In 2008 the US tourism consulting firms EDSA and Norton Consulting recommended to government authorities to ensure that visitors feel safe and protected in the region.

“The Zapatista movement is still strongly associated with Chiapas,” wrote the consulting firms in a document on the development strategy for the construction of a luxury hotel in the area. “Chiapas is still considered unsafe by many who are not familiar with the region.”

Three years later, on Feb. 2, 2011, 17 tourists who were in Agua Azul had to leave the area by air. That day a pro-government shock troop attacked the Zapatista sympathizers who were managing the toll booth. Subsequently there was a clash that killed a member of the assault troops, Marcos Moreno García, while state and federal police, supported by army troops, arrested 117 sympathizers.

“We have no problems with the owners of the restaurants that are in the area that is part of the Tumbalá Municipality. But here, where the toll booth is, is our territory, and the money belongs to us,” stated Juan Vázquez Guzmán, leader of the supporters of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle (2005) of San Sebastián Bachajón, on June 2012, to Latinamerica Press.

Less than a year later, Vázquez Guzmán, who was 32 years old and had two children, was murdered outside his home with six shots. A similar fate occurred to his friend Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, who was shot 20 times in an ambush on Mar. 21, 2014.

Six months after the death of Gómez Silvano, three Bachajón ejido members were arrested and tortured with the charge of attempted murder of a uniformed officer, a charge based only on police officers’ testimony. “Their detention was revenge for having sought justice for our friend Juan Carlos,” denounced Domingo Pérez, spokesman for the Zapatista sympathizers of San Sebastián Bachajón, at a press conference in Sep. 2014.

What is disputed in Agua Azul is more than the control of the money charged for entering the area. Since 2000, the government has been planning to build a theme park on the banks of the waterfalls, which would be part of the Palenque-Agua Azul Waterfalls Integrally Planned Center (CIP), an infrastructure network planned as part of the Mesoamerica Project — the new name of former Puebla Panama Plan that promotes regional integration and development and coordinates the efforts and actions of the nine states that make up the Southeast region of Mexico, the seven countries of Central America, Colombia and the Dominican Republic — which the government hopes will transform Chiapas to a new Cancun.

Chiapas, the new Cancun?

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According to former State Senator for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) María Elena Orantes López, the CIP would generate revenues of US$6.8 billion per year. 30,000 jobs would be created for the indigenous communities in the area, but they would “not participate in management positions, but with their labor,” as Roberto Albores Gleason, the former Secretary of Tourism of Chiapas, stated in 2008.

The firms EDSA and Norton Consulting recommended the former governor of Chiapas Juan Sabines Guerrero — who ended his term in 2012 — to finalize the acquisition of the land adjacent to the waterfalls before attracting investments. The construction of the new electrical network that will support the project is already finished, foreseen in the 2007-2012 Institutional Program of the Chiapas Secretariat of Tourism. The plan included the relocation of indigenous communities from six municipalities in the area, opposed by the support bases of the EZLN and its sympathizers.

The CIP also plans other projects, such as the construction of a new international airport in the city of Palenque, which opened in February 2014, and a superhighway between this ancient Mayan city and San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The government says that the 105-miles highway will benefit all surrounding communities, although much of the population is against the project because of the environmental damage that it would cause and because the true purpose of the highway is to accelerate the plundering of Chiapas’s resources.

In 2009, the government was forced to suspend the highway construction plan due to popular opposition, particularly from the Mitzitón community, which was victim to the violence of the paramilitary group Army of God. After five years, in 2014, technicians came back to take measurements on land that is in the path of the alleged highway, and the villagers were summoned to meetings with government officials to discuss the highway. However, the superhighway and theme park projects in Agua Azul are an enigma; they appear and disappear from official documents.

“The government does not want to provide adequate information to the communities so they do not know the extent of the damages. It does not give details because it knows that it will have a very strong social opposition,” says Ricardo Lagunes, attorney for the communal landowners of San Sebastian Bachajón, to Latinamerica Press.

Last January the ejido members of Mitzitón, following the example of communal landowners of Los Llanos (Municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas), filed a precautionary measure to prevent the construction of the highway. Subsequently, the authorities denied their intention to build the highway. However, the 2014-2018 National Infrastructure Program estimates an investment of 10 billion pesos ($644 million) for the construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque, and 1.2 billion pesos ($82 million) for “CIP support projects.”

http://www.eurasiareview.com/06042015-mexico-the-agua-azul-dispute/

 



 

March 22, 2015

Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón 21st March 2015

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Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón 21st March 2015

Public Forces burn down regional headquarters

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FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 21st MARCH 2015

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

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Compañeros and compañeras, we denounce that today, March 21, 2015 at around 8 o’clock in the morning more than 600 members of the public forces burned down our San Sebastián regional headquarters with the participation of the ejidal Commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gomez and the Security Adviser Samuel Díaz Guzmán. Once again the politics of death and the corruption of the bad government are demonstrated, and its contempt for the people and human rights because it seeks to achieve its ambition to get hold of our territory through the dispossession of the land, the water and everything that exists in our country, as if it were merchandise, in order to gain money.

We hold the paramilitary chiefs peña nieto and manuel velasco responsible for the violence in San Sebastián Bachajón and for the human rights violations, death and repression of women and men in our organization who do not sell their dignity in exchange for their crumbs.

We reject the tricks of the bad government to malign our struggle and fabricate crimes [and attribute them] to the organization which is defending the mother earth. Together with Alejandro Moreno Gómez the ejidal Commissioner and the Security Adviser Samuel Díaz Guzmán, they set up a roadblock on the road from Ocosingo to Palenque at the high point at the turning to agua azul in order to blame our organization for blocking the road, and also these lackeys of the bad government are cutting down trees and we know that they are fabricating crimes of ecocide so they can arrest the autonomous authorities of our organization.

We disclaim [any link to] these actions organized and supported by the bad government, together with the ejidal commissioner, they are only looking for a way to bend the law so they can put us in prison and dispossess us of our territory for transnational projects which only benefit those from above. After the violent eviction of January 9, 2015, we in our organization established the San Sebastián regional headquarters to continue caring for the land and to demand the withdrawal of bad government, this is where we will continue because we are the original peoples of these lands and we will not allow the bad government to come to command the people.

We remember today with dignified rage that it is a year since the killing of our compañero Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, coordinator of the organization in the community of Virgen de Dolores, and next month will mark two years since the killing of our compañero Juan Vázquez Guzmán, secretary general of our organization, in whose memory the struggle in San Sebastián Bachajón continues.

We demand the withdrawal of public forces and of the national commission for protected natural areas from our lands, dispossessed since February 2011.

We demand freedom for our political prisoners Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández and of the unjustly imprisoned compañeros Santiago Moreno Perez, Emilio Jimenez Gomez and Esteban Gomez Jimenez.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón send our combative greetings.

Never again a Mexico without us

Attentively

Land and Freedom! Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territories!

Immediate presentation of the disappeared compañeros from Ayotzinapa!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

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March 18, 2015

San Sebastián Bachajon disclaims any links with the roadblock on March 17 and denounces attacks

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:48 pm

 

San Sebastián Bachajon disclaims any links with the roadblock on March 17 and denounces attacks

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San Cristobal de las Casas, March 17, 2015

Ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, inform us that today, March 17, political party supporters from the community of Suquil Ulub carried out a roadblock at the turning to the waterfalls of Agua Azul, the compañeros adherents denied having any part in this.

They denounced that in recent days they have been attacked by the party supporters. Today in the morning, two compañeros ejidatarios who were carrying out their guard duties were beaten.

They hold Alejandro Moreno Gomez, Samuel Diaz Guzman and the three levels of government responsible for the attacks and for what may happen.

San Sebastian Bachajón continues to demand the release of their prisoners and continues in resistance in defence of its ancestral territory.

The compañeros asked people to be attentive to the situation in the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón.

 

http://kolectivozero.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/san-sebastian-bachajon-se-deslinda-de.html

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February 22, 2015

URGENT: Ejidatarios from the PRI and police officers enter the liberated ejido lands

Filed under: Autonomy, Bachajon, Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta, Repression — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:10 pm

 

URGENT: Ejidatarios from the PRI and police officers enter the liberated ejido lands

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Ejidatarios from the PRI, guarded by several police cars and trucks of the state police, have entered in recent days the area of Agua Azul where the organized ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón are to be found. According to their affirmation, there are threats of eviction and they are aware that an ambush is being prepared to evict the Regional Headquarters and displace the ejidatarios from the recuperated area which belongs to the ejido of San Sebastián.

The first intrusion took place last February 19 at 9 am, when about 45 officialists (pro-government,) party members, and people from the ejidal commission of Alejandro Moreno Gómez came to Agua Azul guarded by several police cars. They gained access to Agua Azul by the Pinquinteel turning in the municipality of Tumbalá, and by the Saquil.Ulub turning in the ejido of San Sebastián. Once there, they intimidated and threatened the compañer@s who are guarding the San Sebastián Regional Headquarters and those who are charging entrance fees to Agua Azul.

The commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gomez insisted on making arrangements to collect [the toll] together with the independent ejidatarios from Agua Azul in Tumbalá. But they denied that CONANP has again become the administrator of the natural resources and the income they generate.  Having failed to reach any agreement, the party supporters withdrew along with state, municipal and judicial police at 4pm.

On February 20, the party supporters returned, entered again and set up camp on the land which was dispossessed in 2011, guarded by 3 state trucks.

Construction of crimes

DSCN0678-web-200x150Another form of repression and harassment being suffered by the ejidatarios adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle is by the legal and media path through the construction of crimes. The main accusation that they receive is that of being the authors of the assaults that occur on the stretch of road between Ocosingo and Palenque. Already several ejidatarios have been imprisoned on charges of robbery and assault, and it appears that the municipal government plans to charge them again so as to be able to issue arrest warrants as a result of some events which occurred on 17th January.

On 17th January three attackers were arrested on the section of the highway between Ocosingo and Palenque. These offenders have been known to the police who patrol this section for the last four years. In spite of this, in the prosecution district Selva Palenque, Juan Alvaro Moreno from Xanil is negotiating their release. As the organized ejidatarios explain, it is intended to blame the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle for the crimes committed by these criminals, telling the population and the tourists that the “hooded ones” are the attackers.

By referring in this way to the ejidatarios adherents to the Sixth, the police seek to create confusion and fear to divide the population.

The media are also complicit in this strategy of governments and big businesses to criminalize the independent ejidatarios and the adherents to the Sixth. Through various media campaigns in which they emphasize the uncertainty on the highway, making a direct associated between the roadblocks and the attacks, they are justifying a supposed security plan. This plan was coordinated between the General Secretariat of Government, the security and the law enforcement agencies and was introduced on 6th February. Its application means the introduction of more police units in to the area between Ocosingo and Palenque.

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Opinion

It is not valid to incriminate the Zapatistas [supporters] for the crimes committed on this stretch of the highway, because their struggle is against the dispossession of their lands. Some years ago the compañer@s even collaborated in the arrests of these attackers because few people live in this stretch, and the risk they pose to the security of the municipalities is well known. As an organization they should not be held responsible for these criminals because what they seek is justice.

http://komanilel.org/2015/02/21/urgente-ejidatarios-priistastas-y-policias-entran-en-las-tierras-ejidales-liberadas/

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February 8, 2015

Tourist Development Behind State Repression of Non-Violent Indigenous Movement

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:09 pm

 

Tourist Development Behind State Repression of Non-Violent Indigenous Movement

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By Martha Pskowski

“We organized to take this land. Why? Because we know that the government is dispossessing land all over the country. On December 21stwe woke up at 6am to recuperate this land. Four hundred of us compañeros and compañeras from the community arrived.”

The masked representative of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chiapas, describes in a Jan. 1 interview how residents of this Tzeltal indigenous community reclaimed the entrance to the Aguas Azules waterfalls on Dec. 21, 2014. Government officials at the tollbooth handed over the building without resistance to the non-violent indigenous movement led by the residents of San Sebastian Bachajon.

Movement members set up an encampment at the tollbooth, where over one hundred people remained on guard at all hours. However on Jan. 9, 2015, several hundred state and federal police evicted them from the encampment to regain control of the tollbooth. This triggered a new series of confrontations with the movement in Bachajón. Currently the state has control of the tollbooth, but the movement has resolved to continue organizing to defend the tollbooth and their entire territory against state encroachments.

“Cancún in the jungle”

Bachajon’s territory borders the famous Aguas Azules (Blue Waters) waterfalls, a major tourist attraction in Chiapas. The local community has been fighting to maintain their territorial rights as an indigenous community against incursions by the state government, which intends to develop the site as an international tourist attraction.

The Aguas Azules falls lie between the municipalities of Chilón and Tumbalá, Chiapas. They form part of a state-wide tourism development plan that successive governments have tried to implement, going back to Governor Robeto Albores Guillén, who created the “Comitan Declaration” in 2006 promising to, “Build a new Cancún in Northern Chiapas.”

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The declaration lays out a broad plan for the area. “They did it in Quintana Roo and it is possible in Chiapas. The Federal Government should commit to develop a tourism program in the coming years that includes Palenque, Agua Azul, Misol-ha, Toniná, Yaxchilán, Bonampak and Playas de Catazajá.”

This regional strategy coincides closely with the Plan Puebla-Panamá, renamed the Mesoamerica Project, of which Chiapas is a pilot state. The development of Aguas Azules is part of the “Palenque Integral Planned Center”. The Center would include a luxury hotel at the waterfalls, an international airport in Palenque and construction of the Palenque-San Cristóbal highway. The development would bring immense environmental degradation, pollution, and land grabbing to the region.

All of these development projects include language about poverty reduction, protecting nature and fostering economic growth, but the communities that live in the areas destined for mega-tourism are taken into account only as low-level service employees or folklore for the visitors. Chiapas’s state tourism website has a video of the Aguas Azules waterfalls, displaying a virgin landscape devoid of any human presence. It only includes one short note on the “cultural aspects” of the site: “The indigenous Tzeltal people live here and preserve their traditional dress, especially the women.”

TRhe residents of Bachajón know what lies behind the discourse of a development scheme that reduces the complex cultural fabric of the communities of Chilón and Tumbalá to their traditional clothing. Referring to the hotel slated to be built in their territory, a representative says, “It won’t benefit us. They won’t let us work there when they build the hotel. They are going to use us a service people, nothing more, just to wash the bathrooms and pick up trash.”

Popular support grows for the autonomy movement in Bachajon

For two weeks in December and early January, the Zapatista movement of southern Mexico, along with Mexico’s National Indigenous Congress and the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, held the first ever “World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions.” Participants came from around Mexico and around the world. The movement in Bachajon adheres to the Sixth Declaration, a call the Zapatistas issued in 2006 to unite movements worldwide against neoliberalism and for autonomy in local communities. They took part in the Festival, which was inaugurated in Central Mexico the same day the movement in Bachajon reclaimed a part of their territory. They called for Festival participants to support their efforts for autonomy and encouraged alternative media collectives to visit the community.

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The battle for Bachajon did not begin with the latest conflict. Since 2006 community members have organized to reject the tourism development that forges ahead without respecting the basic rights of indigenous peoples to consultation and consent for projects in their territories.

Bachajon is an ejido, the form of communal land ownership founded after the Mexican Revolution, and maintains a local government that is legally required to hold assemblies and include all residents who have land rights. However, the movement’s representatives say that the local government, led by Alejandro Moreno Gómez, “Never holds assemblies, never reports on their activities, there isn’t access to information… …they don’t tell us how much money is being collected at the tollbooth.”

Due to these complaints, in recent months more community members have joined the resistance movement and no longer recognize the legitimacy of the local government, which acts in cahoots with the state officials who have violently attempted to take over the tourist site.

Although a growing number of residents support the movement, another part of the community supports Moreno Gómez and the activities of the state government. This group maintains ties to paramilitaries in the area, and staged a blockade on the highway Dec. 31A representative of the autonomous movement says, “It is a tactic to give the state authorities a pretext to enter and not only remove the blockade, but remove those of us who have re-taken the tollbooth.”

While the government’s discourse insists that the conflict in Bachajon is an intra-community dispute in which the government serves as mediator, in the interview residents explain how the local, state and national governments have acted in collusion with sectors of the community. These actions not only justify the displacement of the community, but also the repression that has reinforced it.

Criminalizing of the struggle for autonomy

After ten days guarding the entrance to the community and the tollbooth, on January 9 at 6.30 am, more than 900 members of the state and federal forces violently evicted the encampment. During the attack, eight residents of San Sebastián Bachajon were apprehended and held without knowledge of their whereabouts for over eight hours before being released. After the eviction, ten police vehicles remained at the site to prevent a recuperation by the autonomous movement.

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The next day, Jan. 11, the opposing group blockaded the Ocosingo-Palenque highway, one of the most important tourist and transit routes in Chiapas. When police arrived, the movement succeeded in driving them off with sticks, machetes, and slingshots. Meanwhile, the police shot back with rubber bullets and firearms. Only three residents of Bachajon were mildly wounded, but bullet casings scattered the highway after the attack.

On Jan. 12, a police helicopter was spotted flying over the near-by community of Xanil. The occupants were taking photographs of houses below, making residents concerned more state or paramilitary attacks against movement leaders could follow.

That afternoon, more than five police vehicles, with 160 officers, approached the blockade but were forced back by trees that the autonomous movement had felled to block the highway. Meanwhile, a paramilitary group under the direction of ejido authorities used an alternative route, effectively surrounding the blockade. While their presence did not lead to direct confrontation, ultimately the movement decided to lift the blockade. Since the blockade has been lifted, the autonomous movement in Bachajon has travelled to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, to provide information on recent events to solidarity organizations, and invited international observers to the community. On February 2, 2015, they announced the opening of a new regional centre for the Sixth Declaration in the community of Bachajon.

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January’s confrontation is not the first act of repression against the movement. State police and paramilitaries have violently repressed the movement for autonomy in San Sebastian Bachajon, in a strategy that has been characterized as low intensity warfare. The repression began in full in February 2011, when police descended on a community meeting, detaining 117 community members, all affiliated with the movement for autonomy. The government took over the toll booth and since then the total number of arrests has continued to grow. Of these 117, some were quickly released, while others spent months or more than a year in jail. The final two prisoners were not released until December 2013. Other former prisoners from the community are Miguel Vázquez and Antonio Estrada, both adherents to the Sixth Declaration, who were released in December 2014.

The most recent unlawful arrests were on September 16, 2014, when Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano (whose brother Juan Carlos was assassinated), Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández were taken into custody. They are still imprisoned and report that they were tortured after being detained.

Two members of the movement for autonomy have been killed, without charges being brought against the perpetrators. Juan Vázquez Guzmán was murdered at the door of his home on Abril 24, 2013 and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano was killed on March 21, 2014. Community members say paramilitaries in the area murdered the campesinos and although a national and international solidarity campaign has called for justice, the cases have not been resolved.

This repression is not a coincidence or collateral damage–it is an integral part of the tourism developers’ strategy. The Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de las Casas (FrayBa) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, leaked documents from the U.S.-based tourism consulting company Norton Consulting and EDSA that recommend that, “The state and local government need to assure that the tourists who visit Chiapas and Palenque feel safe and protected” and that “the state needs to protect the developers and hotel operators from the perception of political instability”.

These documents are reminiscent of the famous memo from Chase Bank in Manhattan, which stated that the Mexican government had to, “Eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory.” The repression of social movements in Chiapas goes part and parcel with the efforts to development mega-tourism in the state.

Fighting for their land and territory

On Jan. 1, the representative of the movement giving the interview keeps his face covered with a ski-mask for fear of violent retaliation for speaking up. The dense rainforest surrounding Bachajon lies in the heart of territory that the Zapatista movement reclaimed in 1994 from large-scale landholders. Their territory is close to the magnificent Mayan archeological site of Palenque and the waves of national and foreign tourism that descend on the region. Mayan culture, memorialized at Palenque, is alive and well in Bachajón. The residents of Bachajón, who speak the Mayan language of Tzeltal, defend their territorial rights so they will be able to maintain their livelihoods practicing subsistence agriculture.

IMG_9536

The representative explains that the people fighting to remain autonomous know as campesinos, or peasants, plans for a luxury hotel in their territory will not benefit them. The tourists who drive by the encampment do not look worried or scared as they pass local residents lining the highway with ski-masks covering their faces. Perhaps in the era of the state disappearance of 43 students fromAyotzinapa, Guerrero and the military execution of 22 in the town of Tlatlaya in June, the camouflaged trucks of the Mexican Army–a common site in Chiapas–provoke more fear than campesinos fighting for their livelihoods.

Mainstream media typically describes the conflict as centering on the tollbooth, but the land recuperation that took place on Dec. 21 and the ongoing resistance reveals a much broader territorial vision.

As one representative says, “We aren’t just concerned with the tollbooth. What we want is the land, because the land provides our food and is where we work to earn a living.” While the government once again controls the Aguas Azules tollbooth, the resolve of the movement for local autonomy has not flagged after more than seven years of struggle.

Martha Pskowski is a researcher and freelance journalist in Mexico and a member of the Americas Program team. This article was originally published in Spanish with the Mexican news collective SubVersiones

Photos: Heriberto Paredes, Yollatl Alvarado

http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/14548

http://subversiones.org/archivos/112379

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January 19, 2015

Palenque and Agua Azul: the dispossession of the indigenous peoples continues

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:28 pm

 

Palenque and Agua Azul: the dispossession of the indigenous peoples continues

bachajon-marcha-mujeres

Since 2007 there has been a serious dispute (with injured, detained and so far two deaths) between the Tseltal indigenous of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón and the authorities, who are especially interested in the tourist potential of the territory that is located at the entrance to the Agua Azul Waterfalls on which they plan to build the Palenque Integrally Planned Centre.

JANUARY 16, 2015

Last Friday (January 9) indigenous Tseltales from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, in the municipality of Chilón, Chiapas, were violently evicted by state and federal police from a piece of land which they had recuperated on 21st December, and which had been seized from them in 2011 and before that in 2009. Two days later the ejidatarios blocked the Palenque-Ocosingo road and again were confronted by the state police, who wounded several with rubber bullets. It is not known if at this point the road is still blocked or whether there have been more confrontations, but what is clear is that the conflict over the ejido lands, which started in 2007, continues.

The ejido of Bachajón is located at the entrance to the famous waterfalls of Agua Azul, a place where it has been planned since 2000 to construct the Palenque Integrally Planned Centre, a tourism project promoted by FONATUR which has been halted since 2004, but last year studies for its implementation were resumed and furthermore the Palenque airport was opened.

In 2007 the ejidatarios put a tollbooth at the entrance to their territory to obtain a payment from the tourists visiting the waterfalls which was allocated, by decision of the assembly, to support the neediest families. In 2009 and 2011 they were evicted from the booth and in the last eviction they were also displaced from a large area of communal land, which they took back again in December.

In short, since 2007 there has been a serious dispute (with injured, detained and two deaths so far) among the ejidatarios -adherents to Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle – and the authorities, who have a special interest in that territory for its tourism potential.

The Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of Mexico (CDPIM), in its paper entitled “Identified conflicts in indigenous peoples and communities,” of June 2014, has registered this problem as: “Violent dispossession of land of Tseltal ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in order to promote the tourist project at the Agua Azul waterfalls, municipality of Tumbalá.”. That is to say, not only are they aware of it, but they know and recognize that it is for the tourism project. It is one more of the 175 conflicts that appear in the above text and one more among hundreds of others that are not registered, which are facing the indigenous peoples of our country through the dispossession of their lands for megaprojects of various kinds.

In the case of Bachajón it is for the Palenque Integrally Planned Centre, which plans to provide thousands of hotel rooms, shopping centres, a golf course, etc. It is integrally planned for a luxury tourism and profits of millions of pesos for domestic and foreign investors, but without much benefit for the indigenous who inhabit the region.

In other cases, the conflicts are over dispossession to build dams, super-highways, or for mining or windpower companies, etc, which far from benefiting the local populations do them harm and evict them from land which belongs to them. The CDPIM so far has not done much more than register the conflicts. We continue to hope for the laws and the “legislative harmonization” that they announced and offered a year ago, which would help to solve these problems now, but have failed to materialise, I believe, because they go against the interests of big business and its partners and allies, the politicians in power.

@yotlacuila
http://www.animalpolitico.com/blogueros-codices-geek/2015/01/16/palenque-y-agua-azul-el-despojo-los-pueblos-indigenas-continua/

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January 12, 2015

More than 50 organisations and individuals denounce dispossession and violence in San Sebastián Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:46 pm

 

 

More than 50 organisations and individuals denounce dispossession and violence in San Sebastián Bachajón

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To the Good Government Juntas and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Zapatista support bases

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the attendees at the World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

To the free and independent media

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world  

 

Sisters, brothers,

Compañeros, Compañeras,

On the morning of 9th January nearly 1,000 members of the Federal and State police evicted the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón from part of their territory. They had recuperated these lands on 21st December 21, 2014, after the bad government had violently expropriated them on 2nd February, 2011. Also during this police operation 8 ejidatarios were detained, luckily they managed to return safely to their compañeros a few hours later.

The recovery of the territory, where the renowned tourist area of the Agua Azul waterfalls is situated, was undertaken peacefully, seeking dialogue with the people themselves. At no time did the compañeros use force. The bad government never wanted to facilitate dialogue between the parties, their only response was to send more agents of the police to evict the compañeros who were guarding their own lands.

The bad government of Mexico steals lands from the campesinos to use them for the implementation of megaprojects. They call this particular megaproject the “Palenque Integrally Planned Centre” (CIPP). The bad government wants to implement in that area luxury hotels, golf courses, a superhighway, and they want to evict the people of Bachajón, with the loss of everything.

There has never been a consultation about this plan with the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón, as laid down in Convention 169 of the ILO and the San Andrés Accords. There has only been repression and dispossession. Since 2011 the government and companies have tried to impose their megaproject, ignoring their own laws and an amparo that was gained by the ejidatarios in favour of their territory.

Who would accept being dispossessed of their land without their consent? Who would give thanks if their land was destroyed and plundered for the benefit of a few millionaires? Not in Chiapas, nor anywhere in the world where dignity still exists, that which cannot be bought, and is not for sale, but is redeemed on behalf of what is called “progress”, another disguise of capitalist accumulation.

The government of Mexico and Chiapas mocks the original peoples, provoking wars and dispossessions, praising actions of repression such as the aforementioned eviction. We saw how the secretary of government was proud to have retaken the tollbooth, but what is he proud of? Of having done another service for the capitalists who live from dispossessing the riches of Mexico.

We denounce the repression from the three levels of bad government, who do not allow the dignified people of Bachajón to live in peace, those who seek autonomous forms of life and alternatives to the capitalist model. We remember and denounce that government harassment led to the murders of two compañeros from the local organization: Juan Vázquez Guzmán, on 24th April, 2013, and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano, on 21st March 2014. The bad government also uses prison to persecute the organized ejidatarios, we remember the unjust arrest of Santiago Moreno Pérez, Emilio Jiménez Gómez and Esteban Gómez Jímenez; and of Juan Antonio Gómez Silvano, Mario Aguilar Silvano and Roberto Gómez Hernández; the last three were tortured by the Municipal Police from Chilón on 16th September, 2014.

Today, 11th January, the situation remains very tense. The ejidatarios remain in struggle with various protest actions, while the bad government shows no mercy in repressing them. We report that police shot at the compañeros with rubber bullets injuring several. Also bullet cases were collected as evidence that the public security forces shot at the ejidatarios who were demonstrating. We strongly denounce this umpteenth assault by the bad government.

We remain aware of the situation; no dispossession will stop the struggle of Bachajón and of all those people in the world who are defending life and nature in the face of death and destruction. There will be no place in the world what is already notorious is not known: the murderous Mexican government represses and usurps.

 

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territories!

Freedom for political prisoners!

If you touch one of us, you touch all of us!

 
Frente Civico Tonalteco y el Consejo Autonomo Regional de la Zona Costa de Chiapas,
Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, Ac, Mexico
Red Latinoamericana de Lille, Francia
Proyecto 20zln, italia
ASSI (Acción Social Sindical Internacionalista)
CGT – Estado español
Comitato Chiapas “Maribel” – Bergamo, italia
Gruppe B.A.S.T.A., Münster, Alemania
Solidaridad directa con Chiapas, Suiza.
Red de Solidaridad con los Zapatistas del Reino Unido:
Colectivo Zapatista, Manchester
Colectivo de Aprendizaje y Enseñanza Zapatista del Reino Unido
Grupo Solidaridad con Chiapas, Dorset
Grupo Solidaridad con Chiapas, Edimburgo
Grupo Solidaridad con México, Londres
Grupo Solidaridad con los Zapatistas – Essex
KIPTIK, Bristol
Servicio de Traducción Zapatista del Reino Unido
Lento Pero Avanzo, Canada
Alternative libertaire, Francia
Ass. Solidaria Cafè Rebeldía-Infoespai,
Assocaciacion Espoir Chiapas / Esperanza Chiapas, Francia
Kolectivo BoCa En BoCa, Chiapas, Mexico
Kolectivo Zero, Chiapas, Mexico
Espacio Social y Cultural la Karakola, Mexico
Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo -CEDOZ-
Associazione Ya Basta! Milano, Italia
Colectivo Azcapotzalco adherente a la Sexta, La Voz del Anáhuac,
Biblioteca Popular, Mexico
Kolectivo Pozol, Chiapas Mexico
Collectif bon pied bon œil, Francia
Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas y Guatemala de Madrid
Union syndicale Solidaires, Francia
Fédération SUD éducation, Francia
Caracol Solidario, Francia

L’Adhesiva Barcelona
Movement For Justice In El Barrio, Nueva York, Estados Unidos

La Pirata:
*Nodo Solidale (Italia y México)
*Colectivo Zapatista de Lugano (Suiza)
*Nomads (Italia y Berlin)
*Adherentes individuales

Mut Vitz 13, Marseille, Francia,

Les 3 passants, Paris, Francia

Grupo de Trabajo No Estamos Todxs

Grains de Sable (Francia-Mexico)
Colectivo Ik’
Beatriz Amor Vicepresidente APDH La Costa Buenos Aires-Argentina

Carole radureau, Francia

Ignacio Perez Perez
Adriana Garcia Ruiz
Héctor Miguel Sánchez Rodríguez, Mexico
Lidiana Moreno Moreno
Juan Velasco Torre
Ernesto Torre Torre
Dionicio Escobedo Escobedo
Martin Ribera Torres.
Ector Mendoza Xochila.
Ernestina Rivera torres.
Alcachofa yano yanos
Antonio lucreci perez
Rogelio torre Rapid
Manuel Vadidio Doret.
Monica. Sfre. Medoza.
Marcos Vazquez Vaxquez.
Juan Gutierez Gutierrez
Eduardo Gutieres Torrez
Patrocino Hemir Torrrez
Alfredo Sanchez Lupillo
Carmela Mened Mened.
Chofis torrrez torrez.
Alberto Ruiz Ruiz
Margarita Ruiz Ruiz.
Eva. Llanos llanos.
Pascual toledo Toledo
Antonio Alvarez Alvarez
Beatris mojante Ruiz.
Xochil. Ruiz Petex
Tebeca Metello Montello
Ernesto Ponse. Ruiz.
Enrique Leon Ponce.
Jacobo Ronis Ruiz .
Octavio Ruiz Oryrga.
Unberto cholik cholik.
Fernando chikay chikay.
Oscar ruiz cikay .
Eucevio ruiz llanos

 

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January 11, 2015

Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastían Bachajón 10th January, 2015

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta, Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:06 pm

 

Communiqué from the Ejido San Sebastían Bachajón 10th January, 2015

FROM EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJÓN, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 10th JANUARY, 2015

 

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To the Good Government Juntas

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

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

To the mass and alternative media

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Compañeros and compañeras, our grandfathers and grandmothers taught us that the struggle for life, dignity and the land lasts our whole life, that the defence of mother earth is never ending, this is why the eviction yesterday, 9th January, by the bad government does not make our heart sad but fills it with more courage to make the movement stronger in the defence of land and territory.

We want to tell the criminal and self-proclaimed governor of Chiapas Manuel Velasco Coello alias Blondie and his faithful lackey the government secretary Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar as well as the puppet Peña Nieto the supreme paramilitary leader that our lands are not for sale, they will not make their great ecotourism businesses and super highways on our territory, we will not allow them to displace communities and increase poverty just so they can become richer at the expense of our suffering. The bad government is doing crap when it robs the indigenous of their lands and territories for international economic projects, but it does not care if it humiliates the poor, the same government does not respect the laws, it mocks the indigenous when it takes away their lands, these bad governments mock the poor because they think that power will last them a lifetime, but someday they will fall and you will see that the people themselves will do justice.

The bad government does business with politics and when people and communities do not do as it wishes it sends its police, kills, imprisons, tortures, disappears, violates and commits massacres, as in Acteal, Atenco, Ayotzinapa and many cases of violations of the rights of the people because this bad government is not there to serve the people, it takes advantage of the people, robs the people, so that the people now have to wake up and rise up to defend their rights.

Increasingly the brothers and sisters of San Sebastián Bachajón are waking up and opening their eyes, they no longer believe in the lies of the ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez and vigilance councillor Samuel Diaz Guzman, who are minions of the bad government. The people have now realized the bad policies of these ejido representatives and how they cheat and betray the communities. We are going to keep fighting and adding more brothers and sisters to our struggle for the defence of the land, the commissioner does not have people walking with him, it is only the ways of the bad government which support him with money, projects, consultants of the misnamed political operators, and mainly with the police and army, this is the only way they can retain power, there is no democracy or respect for the law, the people have no other way to defend themselves.

We are neither beaten nor defeated, on the contrary, since 21st December we have shown the government that the people command and the government obeys, although they do not like it and it gives them bellyache, our people continue in the struggle for the defence of the land, for the release of our unjustly imprisoned compañeros and against any injustice committed against our compañeros and compañeras from the communities in resistance in Mexico and the world.

The bad government may have money, property, luxury goods that we the poor do not have, but what we do have is dignity and love for our history, culture and territory and we are ready to defend it at any cost, for the life and death of our compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzman and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano we will not rest until we see our people free from repression and injustice.

Death to the bad government and life to the dignified people in resistance.

We respectfully request that all the compañeros and compañeras in solidarity with our struggle remain alert, because there are strong rumours that the lackeys of the commissioner and the bad government are pointing out the homes of our compañeros so they can arrest them and apparently they are organizing an eviction of the headquarters of our organization in Nah Choj.

We invite you, in your times and geographies to support us in whatever way you can and we also invite those willing and able to visit us so as to encourage our hearts.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas, the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón send our combative greetings.

Never again a Mexico without us

Attentively

Land and Freedom! Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

No to the dispossession of indigenous territories!

Immediate presentation of the 43 missing of Ayotzinapa!

JUSTICE FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

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Police shoot at indigenous Tseltales from San Sebastián Bachajón when they try to recover their lands near the Agua Azul waterfalls.

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:04 pm

 

 

Police shoot at indigenous Tseltales from San Sebastián Bachajón when they try to recover their lands near the Agua Azul waterfalls.

 3 wounded,

índice1

January 11, 2015

#AlertaBachajón

Alert Latest News – four large lorries full of police have arrived at the Agua Azul crossroads

Adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle blocked the turning to the waterfalls of Agua Azul at 6.30 am on the 11th January, in resistance against the dispossession of their lands which took place on 9th January.

The state police placed barricades of trees five hundred meters from the turning to the waterfalls, while shooting at them with rubber bullets and live ammunition from a van and a truck of the local and state police.

10931341_900188783358896_4907611684628263069_nThe attack lasted about fifteen to twenty minutes. At the moment there are thought to be two who have been injured by rubber bullets, and one by a firearm. Furthermore bullet casings from firearms were found on the ground.

The indigenous, who were unarmed, did not retreat before the attack and drove the police back at half past seven.

10917302_900188773358897_5962872939457640143_nThe demand of the Tseltal adherents to the Sixth is that the police leave the lands of Bachajón. The ejidatarios will not allow them dispossess them again from the lands of which they are the legitimate owners.

Reports say that Juan Pérez Moreno, from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón has a gunshot wound in his left arm. The area remains tense, and the police presence continues.

 

http://komanilel.org/2015/01/11/alertabachajon-policia-dispara-a-indigenas-tseltales-de-san-sebastian-bachajon-cuando-intentaron-recuperar-sus-tierras-frente-a-las-cascadas-de-agua-azul/

 

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December 31, 2014

URGENT!!! Threats and harassment against the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, Paramilitary, Repression, Tourism — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:13 pm

 

URGENT!!! Threats and harassment against the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón

 CASETA-COBRO

URGENT!!!

December 30, 2014

We the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle from San Sebastián Bachajon, are resisting and protecting our territory

The officialist (government-supporting) ejidal commissioner of San Sebastián Bachajón, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, and his vigilance councillor, Samuel Díaz Guzmán, have threatened to displace us and to raise arrest warrants against us.

In an approach that was between the ejidatarios of the Sixth and delegates from the Chiapas state government to seek a dialogue between the ejidatarios of the Sixth and the ruling party, the government people demanded that we withdraw from the recovered land, so as to tell the ejidal commissioner and his people that dialogue was agreed.

This demand was accompanied by threats that if we did not leave the land we would be displaced and arrest warrants issued against us.

For his part, the ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez and the people he has been organizing and paying to create tension, today blocked the roads from San Cristobal-Palenque and San Cristobal-Chilón (Temó).

-However, we, the ejidatarios, women and men, are not afraid because we are not doing anything illegal and we will continue to defend our lands peacefully.

We remain ready to dialogue with the other ejidatarios but not to withdraw from the reclaimed lands.

BACKGROUND

-On 21st December last, we, ejidatarios, men and women from the three centres of San Sebastián Bachajón: Bachajón, Alan Sacjun and Ch’ich, adherents and non-adherents to the Sixth, recovered the lands the bad Mexican government took from us, through CONANP, IPC and SSyPC, without permission and/or authorisation from the ejido, depriving us of our right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent. These lands are of great economic importance to the bad government because they access the ecotourism centre of the Agua Azul waterfalls, a centre that has been enriching them at the expense of our people.

We hold the three levels of government and their accomplices responsible for any physical and/or psychological assault which may take place against our women and men compañeros of the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón who are on the reclaimed land.

We demand that they stop the threats and harassment which their own state government agencies are planning against us.

 

“Tierra y Libertad”

“Juan Vázquez Guzmán LIVES, the Bachajón struggle continues”

San Sebastián Bachajón, adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle of the EZLN

More about the Bachajón struggle: https://vivabachajon.wordpress.com/

 

http://komanilel.org/2014/12/30/urgente-amenazas-y-hostigamientos-contra-ejidataris-de-san-sebastian-bachajon/

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December 22, 2014

Ejidatarios from Bachajón recover their territory which borders the access to the “Agua Azul Waterfalls” Ecotourism Centre

Filed under: Bachajon, Displacement, Indigenous, La Sexta — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:06 pm

 

Ejidatarios from Bachajón recover their territory which borders the access to the “Agua Azul Waterfalls” Ecotourism Centre

 

manta-entrada

San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, Chiapas.

Sunday December 21, 2014

LECTURA-COMUNICADO

Since 6 am today, ejidatarios [communal landholders] of the three regions that make up the ejido Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, along with ejidatarios who are not adherents, peacefully regained their territory located in the area endowed to the ejido, in the official municipality of Chilón which borders the municipality of Tumbalá and the village of Agua Azul. The access road to the “Agua Azul Waterfalls” Ecotourism Centre crosses these lands.

The ejidatarios remind us that on 2nd February, 2011, the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero and Noe Castañón León, in collusion with the then ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzman Jimenez, alias “the goyito,” sent police and military forces to violently displace those who were in the common lands, where there was a hall used for many purposes of the ejido, and a tollbooth, which had been in the hands of ejidatarios continuously since September 2009. After the eviction, which left 117 people in custody, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) installed its own booth and the Institute of Civil Protection (IPC) and the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection (SSyPC) installed a permanent detachment.

In a communiqué they explained that this action arose from an agreement between ejidatarios of the three annexes that make up the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón: Bachajón, Alan Sacjun and Ch’ich; because the federal and state government, through CONANP, IPC and SSyPC appropriated that area without permission from the ejido. “We will not allow the Public Security, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, nor those from above, to continue robbing our people of our territory, to impose the projects of death on the communities”.

Juan Alvaro, an ejidatario who is not an adherent to the Sixth, said that they are upset that the former ejidal commissioner and the current commissioner, Alejandro Moreno, do not take the people into account and furthermore they deceive them. “It’s good that our organized compañeros have not abandoned us and we join this struggle to defend our lands. We do not agree with the Ecotourism Centre or with the superhighway which they want to build. They only steal the land that is ours.”

The recovery of the lands is final. They will not negotiate with the government or any of its agents. “Those we want to dialogue with are the other ejidatarios to see if we can agree on how we can all benefit.” When asked what they would do if someone from the government or a messenger arrived with a proposal or offer, they said they would simply hand over the document they have already prepared which makes their position clear.

“The compañeros Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano gave their lives fighting for this land of their birth and their struggle is remembered by the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón … At the same time we make clear that we are not defending the mother earth and territory just for the organization but for all the ejidatarios of San Sebastián Bachajón.”

In their communiqué, the compañer@s also demand justice for Ayotzinapa, Acteal, the ABC Nursery and San Salvador Atenco.

With information from Free Media adherents to the Sixth.

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Dorset Chiapas Solidarity

http://komanilel.org/2014/12/21/ejidataris-de-bachajon-recuperan-su-territorio-ubicado-en-la-colindancia-del-acceso-al-centro-ecoturistico-cascadas-de-agua-azul/

 

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