dorset chiapas solidarity

April 5, 2017

Violent Eviction of Road Block Protest by Chenalho Displaced

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:43 am


Violent Eviction of Road Block Protest by Chenalho Displaced

Chenalho.pngProtest by displaced families Colonia Puebla (@Kuuntik)

On the morning of March 28, a hundred state police evicted more than 200 displaced indigenous people from the municipality of Chenalho when they blocked the toll road between San Cristobal and Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand that the government guarantee the return of some 80 families. The operation left 14 civilians injured and, according to the authorities, 13 policemen.

 Javier Lopez Santiz, representative of the 241 people from Puebla Ejido who have been displaced since May 27, 2016 due to the post-electoral conflict in Chenalho, reported that “we were the 241 displaced, among men, children and women, some pregnant, and they launche tear gas at us; we have four injured: Pedro Lopez Mendez, Alberto Hernandez Mendez, Uvencio Arias Gomez and a girl, plus ten others beaten.”

After the eviction, the displaced people went to the offices of the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH in its Spanish acronym), based in San Cristobal de Las Casas. After the last violent events in main town of Chenalho at the beginning of the month, the families moved to this city until they obtained the necessary conditions for their return.



Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

Filed under: Corporations, Displacement, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:28 am



Conflict between Parties Unleashes Violence in Chenalho

Chenalho.pngFamilies displaced due to violence in Chenalho Photo@:Quorum Informativo

In March, faced with the context of violence stemming from the post-electoral conflict in the municipality of Chenalho, several organizations and the Coordination of the Parish of San Pedro Apostol of this municipality issued statements to express their concerns, demand that the State to disarm armed groups and ensure the integrity and personal safety and life of the villagers of the municipality.

The parish of San Pedro Apostol recalled in its pronouncement how the Massacre of Acteal came about almost twenty years ago and declared with great concern “how history seems to repeat itself: acts of violence, threats, dead and wounded, displaced people, burnt houses, actions by armed groups, arms trafficking.” What most distresses the parish is that “the authorities do nothing to solve the problem (…) they abandon their responsibility to enforce justice and the law, which is the only reason for their existence as authorities.” It points out that the two sides of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM) are armed with weapons considered “for exclusive use by the army.” So far, the conflict has resulted in over 200 displaced persons and four deaths: “It is public and notorious that in the municipality the armed groups have bee reactivated and are acting with total freedom and impunity.” The parish called on the inhabitants of Chenalho so that “as Christians they refrain from engaging in acts of violence against their own brothers.”

In a joint statement, civil organizations blamed the State for “action and omission, in a context of violence that could continue to escalate.” They also alleged that they had been insisting on the disarmament of the paramilitary groups that perpetrated the Acteal Massacre in 1997 and that “not only have they not listened to us in terms of disarmament, but also the armed groups have been reactivated under the current administration of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello.” They stated that, “the authorities cannot continue to evade their responsibility in the face of the evident and obvious consequences of the unpunished actions of armed groups and arms trafficking in the region.”

They asked if “this mode of action is a prolongation of the counterinsurgency in which the paramilitaries are the material executors of the plan drawn up by the Army? Is it connivance and active complicity of the authorities with criminal groups? Or is it simple and crass inability to govern? Or perhaps it is a question of creating a sense of ungovernability to justify the Internal Security Law that seeks to institutionalize the action of the Mexican Army in tasks that correspond by their nature to civil authority?”



July 25, 2016

Velasco’s Disregard for the Lives of Indigenous People

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:11 pm



Velasco’s Disregard for the Lives of Indigenous People



Chiapas, Mexico. July 23, 2016

With the violent death of five people after a dispute between members of the Green and PRI political parties, affiliated with the government, in the county seat of San Juan Chamula, once again the state administration of Velasco Coello has demonstrated its disregard for the lives of members of the indigenous communities in Chiapas, whether or not they are their allies. Since the government assumed power, the administration has continually stimulated and incentivised conflicts for the political benefit of itself and its “green Ecology” party.

In the municipality of Chenalhó they also have had deaths in consequence of the party political disputes between the Greens and PRIistas. Last May, a child died from injuries received as the result of a fight between sympathizers and groups opposed to the ex-mayor Rosa Pérez.

And, as a result of the climate of fear present in the region, on June 23, 2015, a member of the civil society organization Las Abejas de Acteal was assassinated. The organization said that Manuel went to the municipal head of Pantelhó. Upon returning and accompanied by his 11 year old son Juan López Guzmán, in the height of the Sibaluk´um bridge about a kilometre from the municipal head of Pantelhó, seven people dressed in military clothing with firearms ambushed the public transport vehicle in which he was travelling, killing him with three shots.

The events in San Juan Chamula also bring to mind the death of Zapatista teacher Galeano, on May 2nd, 2014, after a series of manipulations by the governments of Velasco and Peña Nieto to create tension between other indigenous communities and the Zapatistas.

Another issue is the displaced indigenous families in the region, like the cases of the community Primero de Agosto in Las Margaritas, and Banavil in the municipality of Tenejapa, and the colonia Puebla, in Chenalhó; the government does not see or hear their demands for justice and return to their communities.

Photo: Isain Mandujano.

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity


From a translation by Palabras Rebeldes



June 17, 2016

Las Abejas de Acteal Request Collection for Displaced Families

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Indigenous, sipaz — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:59 am



Las Abejas de Acteal Request Collection for Displaced Families


acopioCollection during the displacement of Colonia Puebla in 2013. Photo: @Koman Ilel.


On May 26, a group of 14 families from Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society, residents of Colonia Puebla, Chenalho municipality, Chiapas, were displaced fleeing the violence caused by the conflict after the elections in that municipality. The displacement happened after violent incidents between sympathizers of the recently dismissed mayor, Rosa Perez Perez of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), and supporters of the new mayor, Miguel Santiz Alvarez, causing the death of two people, one of them a minor, who died from a bullet wound. The Chenalho Pedrano Movement, opponents of Perez Perez, said in a statement that they were attacked with“firearms, sticks, stones and machetes, in an ambush that was orchestrated by sympathizers of the ex-mayor.” Furthermore, there were“two houses burned, two destroyed, three vehicles destroyed and six people wounded”, according to the statement from Las Abejas.

Las Abejas noted that “until now, there are no conditions to return”, so that the displaced are currently in the headquarters of the organization. In another letter they outlined that, “the displaced from the colony are living through suffering. Therefore we ask you the favour of helping with supplies.”To this end, they have opened two collection centers for clothes in San Cristobal de Las Casas and they ask for financial support to be deposited in a bank account. According to La Jornada, the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) “requested the government of Chiapas to apply cautionary measures and guarantee the rights of the people who have been displaced.” The measures are aimed at guaranteeing rights to food, health, a home, physical integrity and the lives of the displaced.

It is worth noting that the disagreement following the result of the municipal elections in Chenalho, with the victory of PVEM, gave rise to the Chenalho Pedrano Movement in rejection of the elected mayor, accusing her of “corruption, abuse of power and diverting resources.” This group organized a takeover of the town hall and a number of government offices, it took over the State Congress for some hours, and it kidnapped three civil servants who were negotiating a solution to the disagreement, among them the President of the State Congress and a deputy. Having put them on public show, one dressed as a woman, Congress accepted the resignation of the mayor.

It is also worth mentioning that 17 families of Colonia Puebla were displaced by in August 2013 in the conflict between Catholics and Evangelicals in dispute over the land where Catholic hermitage was located. Almost 100 displaced people returned after eight months off their lands, denouncing the lack of law enforcement for their aggressors.




June 11, 2016

Beyond Chenalhó

Filed under: Acteal, Indigenous, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:16 am



 Beyond Chenalhó


acteal221214mzs4-copia-600x400                                           Members of Las Abejas of Acteal, 22nd December 2014


By Rafael Landerreche*

What is happening in Chenalhó (I use the present because the fire has not been put out) must be examined beyond the obvious dimension of post-electoral conflicts or of the undeniable but partial component of gender. To get to the bottom of the issue it is necessary to go back in history to something that is not about this moment nor exclusive to Chiapas, but that, nevertheless, is the deep root of what happens here and now.

The big lesson of the last century for the Mexican political class was that in order to maintain themselves in power it was necessary to make concessions to the people; not isolated and circumstantial, but rather, so to speak, of a permanent and structural character. That was the social policy of the “governments that emanated from the revolution,” which permitted the PRI to stay in power for 70 uninterrupted years of relative social stability. We all know of course the vices that accompanied and corrupted this social policy: a lack of democracy, paternalism, corporatism, electoral patronage, application of an economic model that was incompatible with those demands, corruption, etcetera. The system had its clear limits and anyone who would attempt to exceed them would have to put up with the worst consequences (Tlatelolco is not forgotten). However, that social dimension was real and one of the proofs of that is the void that appears now that it is dismantling.

The new generations of the political class formed in the rarified heights of neoliberalism, didn’t know or didn’t want to see the difference between social policy and the vices that were parasitic to it. They placed everything without distinction into the same bag, put the ambiguous label of “populism” on it and threw it in the rubbish. It is like the saying that they threw the baby out with the bathwater, but we could modify the image saying that in this case they threw out the baby and were left with the dirty water, because the social and nationalist policies have gone away, but the corruption, vote buying and lack of democracy continue. For example, the button of the SNTE: what has been combatted is every attempt at political independence –including its independence from the teacher Elba Esther– what has been maintained is the absolute political, bureaucratic and electoral manipulation.

Upon disavowing the great lesson of the 20th Century, to which it owed its stay in power, the new political class was sustained by just three props, rigid but not solid: media manipulation, colossal vote buying but in drips (in the end, vote buying on scales that reduce to insignificance the old practice of a sandwich and a soft drink) and brute force, with, as a last resort, the Army. In places like Chiapas, with high social marginalization and very incipient political awareness (lights that point in the opposite direction, like the work of the Diocese of San Cristóbal and the lightning of Zapatismo, should not prevent from seeing this sad generalized reality), the media manipulation assumes the tragic-comical characteristics of the daily exaltation of a governor in a permanent campaign, the vote buying with government supports and programmes has the subtle efficiency of a steamroller, and the Army and other forms of repression are always around the corner.

One must add to this a fact that is more specific to Chiapas. It turns out that the governor and a sector of the political class that accompanies him, with an incredible blindness which is the product of excessive ambition for power (that hubris about which Javier Sicilia speaks so much, which inevitably brings about its nemesis) decided to jettison not only the social policies of the old PRI, but even the very cover and party name, ignoring the fact that, if there was anywhere it had taken root, and anywhere they had to thank for their stay in power, it was among the indigenous communities of Chiapas. They shook the hand of the Green Party, which was born to be on the stage with others, and they converted it into the centre of their political project. So, nothing more than their pistols imposed the Green candidates on communities with old PRI roots.

Chenalhó is no more than the last in a long list: Chamula, San Andrés, Oxchuc, Chanal, Altamirano and many more. Practically all the post-electoral conflicts that have devastated Chiapas since last year’s elections are like this, the creation and exclusive responsibility of those who now suffer their consequences. In the case of Chenalhó it is complicated by a combination with the survival of the paramilitaries responsible for the Acteal Massacre, but that merits a separate analysis.

Division in the communities and destruction of the social fabric is now, unfortunately, an old and sad story in Chiapas, the fruit in good measure (although not exclusively) of the counterinsurgency plans for confronting the Zapatista insurgency. But with these actions, the political class has taken the division in to the heart of its own support bases and has given a new twist to the destruction of the social fabric. The confrontation in Chenalhó has nothing to do with the independent forces in the municipality, the Zapatistas, Las Abejas, not even with the relative opposition of the of so-called political parties. It is simply a matter of the old governing sectors, arbitrarily divided by their own state bosses into PRIístas and Greens, who are disputing the municipal budget booty, and that is all. But they are taking the whole municipality between the legs (not to speak of the old Secretary of Government and now leader of the Congress). Members of Las Abejas from Colonia Puebla are now displaced from their community again (for the third time since 1997) and two people, including a female minor, died there in the crossfire between PRIístas and Greens (for sure, neither the deaths nor the displaced angered the authorities as much as the teachers’ haircuts). Even the Zapatista communities, clearly outside and apart from all the party fights, feel worried by a violence that could be directed against them at any moment.

At first sight this situation looks like a product of the blindness and incredible political insensitivity of the ruling class, rather than a deliberate plan to create greater destabilization; the fate of the leader of the (Chiapas) Congress, would seem to corroborate this: they have not even been able to protect themselves. But, who knows? Chiapas is the site and destination of important megaprojects and we know about the increasing pressures throughout Latin America to bring about transnational projects, whatever the cost. Fishermen gain from troubled waters. And what about the third prop? Will it be the Army like they claimed in Ayotzinapa, right there, watching?



* Rafael Landerreche is adviser to alternative education projects in Chenalhó.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



June 9, 2016

“14 families were displaced, a total of 81 people” reported Las Abejas of Acteal.

Filed under: Acteal, Displacement, Frayba — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:43 am



“14 families were displaced, a total of 81 people” reported Las Abejas of Acteal.




Chiapas, Mexico. June 4. On 26th May, 81 people from 14 families from the Civil Society organization Las Abejas of Acteal, from the colonia Puebla, became displaced because “in this colonia great violence and shooting arose again at 1:45 pm,” the indigenous Tsotsiles from the municipality of Chenaló denounced in a communiqué.

This latest displacement of families from colonia Puebla, is “by the political parties, through the dispute about power, in which 2 people died, 3 houses were burned, 2 destroyed, 3 vehicles wrecked and 6 people wounded,” Las Abejas communicate. “So far there are no suitable conditions for their return, because no final solution has been given,” they add.

The violence in the community in Los Altos de Chiapas arose after the resignation of the mayor of Chenaló, Rosa Pérez, and the presentation of the new administration, headed by Miguel Sántiz Álvarez. The attacks have been made on the part of the followers of Pérez Pérez, the ex-mayor, who allegedly attacked supporters of Sántiz Alvarez, the new mayor, after his return from the inauguration, local media reported.

The people of the colonia Puebla already went through a similar situation in August 2013, when they took refuge in the community of Acteal. At that time the displacement was also due to the climate of violence in the area. “As a result of the assaults, threats and harassment, 12 families (70 people), were forcibly displaced” the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Centre reports.



Translation by UK Zapatista Translation Service



June 4, 2016

2 Dead and 250 displaced after Chiapas mayor is ousted

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:50 am



2 Dead and 250 displaced after Chiapas mayor is ousted


Eduardo Ramírez dressed as a Tsotsil woman listens to residents' demands in Chenalhó, Chiapas.

Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, president of the State Congress of Chiapas, dressed as a Tsotsil woman, listens to residents’ demands in the municipio of Chenalhó, Chiapas.


In the midst of a militant Chiapas teachers strike, part of a national teachers strike over the education reform, some other Chiapas news tends take a back seat. The story that follows seems, however, to merit telling; first, because it reflects the violence that lies just beneath the surface in many parts of the state, and also because of the recent history of violence in Los Altos (the Highlands) of Chiapas.

On April 27, a Chiapas blog reported that 7 police were injured while in the process of evicting indigenous Tsotsils from Chenalhó who held members of the State Congress and its workers (some 300 people) hostage for eight hours on April 25. It turned out that this was the third time the commission from Chenalhó had visited the Congress to ask that it accept the resignation of Mayor Rosa Pérez Pérez of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM). And, for the third time the president of the State Congress, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, refused to approve the resignation, claiming that it was signed under duress. It was after this third refusal that the Chenalhó residents closed off the doors of Congress and held all those inside hostage.

This may not have made the news were it not for the fact that in the hour-long process of removing the Tsotsils from the Congress, some of the police were beaten up and then used tear gas. The tear gas drew the attention of people in the area near the Congress and soon there were groups looting nearby merchants, which resulted in the arrest of more than 20 people.

On May 2, the group from Chenalhó held a press conference in front of the San Cristóbal de las Casas Cathedral. They talked about what they termed the “violent” April 25 eviction and again demanded that the State Congress accept the mayor’s resignation. They accused Rosa Pérez of not completing the public works she promised during her campaign and of claiming 70 million pesos in personal expenses.

The group’s spokesperson, Tomás Pérez, stated that Chenalhó residents were determined to remove the mayor and held a plebiscite in which they voted to replace her with a current member of the municipal council, Miguel Sántiz Álvarez. He warned that if the Congress doesn’t accept her resignation on May 3, there would be thousands of Chenalhó residents from 100 towns going to the State Congress on May 5.

The next news reported was not about thousands of Chenalhó residents that marched to the State Congress on May 5. They apparently changed their minds and resorted to another and more drastic tactic: kidnapping.

La Jornada reported that on May 25, some 30 or so masked Chenalhó residents burst into the installations of the San Cristóbal Diocese and forcibly removed the president of the State Congress, Eduardo Ramírez, and the Deputy Carlos Penagos. They were meeting with Father Gonzalo Ituarte, the Vicar for Justice and Peace for the Diocese. Ituarte said that he, in the name of the San Cristóbal Diocese, members of the Peace and Transparency Commission of Chenalhó and a representation from the Legislature, headed by Ramírez, met to find a resolution to the conflict.

The following day, Chiapas Paralelo reported that Ramírez and Penagos were taken to Chenalhó, where Ramirez was dressed in the traditional skirt and blouse of an indigenous Tsotsil woman of Chenalhó (to represent the absent mayor) and taken to the town square where they both had to listen to the residents’ demands. They accused the mayor of diverting 50 million pesos (to her personal use) during her seven months in office and demanded not only her resignation, but also the return of the public funds. By now, we had learned the name of the dissident group: Movimiento Pedrano Chenalhó (Chenalhó Pedrano Movement). They have a Facebook page too!

It was somehow resolved overnight; the mayor submitted a request for permanent leave, her resignation was accepted and the new mayor was officially installed. Ramírez and Penagos were released and whisked back to the state capital by plane, while the Chenalhó Pedrano Movement celebrated its victory in the municipal capital. But, that’s not the end of this rather unusual Chiapas story.

When members of the Chenalhó Pedrano Movement were returning to their homes in the Colonia Puebla from celebrations in the municipal capital, supporters of the now ex mayor, Rosa Pérez, violently attacked them in the Puebla Ejido, also known as the Colonia Puebla. The attack left 2 people dead, 2 disappeared, several injured and 250 members of that movement displaced to an auditorium in the municipal capital of Chenalhó. Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission issued precautionary measures on behalf of the displaced.

As if this political tale were not already sufficiently intriguing, former mayor Rosa Pérez filed a court action on June 1 asking to be reinstated to her position as mayor, essentially claiming duress. She also asked the National Human Rights Commission to issue precautionary safety measures for herself and for all the residents of Chenalhó!

As of this writing, we have seen no reports that any Zapatistas or adherents to the Sixth Declaration were attacked, injured or displaced. The conflict appears to be another municipal political conflict involving allegations of corruption. However, this is not the first time in recent memory that the Colonia Puebla has been involved in violence, and in 2013 violence in the Colonia Puebla was directed specifically at Zapatista support bases. In an article about the 2013 death threats and displacements, La Jornada quoted members of Las Abejas as saying in reference to the Colonia Puebla: “it is where the first paramilitaries emerged, those who spread the conflict and incited paramilitarism in various Chenalhó communities in 1997.” [1]


[1] For background on the paramilitary violence in Colonia Puebla see: Paramilitaries Re-Emerge Near Site of Acteal Massacre


2 Dead and 250 displaced after Chiapas mayor is ousted



May 29, 2016

Girls dies in Chenalhó as conflict continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:13 am



Girls dies in Chenalhó as conflict continues



Mayor’s resignation failed to restore calm in the Chiapas municipality

An official in Chiapas said yesterday that peace had returned to the municipality of Chenalhó following the resignation of its mayor. But things took a turn for the worse just a few hours later when a 14-year-old died from a gunshot wound.

The young girl was shot in the community of Puebla during a confrontation between followers of Rosa Pérez Pérez, who was forced to resign as mayor on Wednesday, and the new mayor, who was sworn in yesterday morning.

For the last two months a faction had been trying to force the mayor, elected last year, out of office. After they kidnapped two state Congressmen on Wednesday, Pérez Pérez relented and handed in her resignation.

Chiapas Government Secretary Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda said yesterday that with her resignation all was calm in Chenalhó, most of whose inhabitants are Tzotzil Maya, and the conflict was over.

But citizens are of a different mind.

The family of the shooting victim are supporters of the former mayor; the two men charged with homicide in her death are supporters of her substitute, Miguel Santíz. According to one report, the latter faction arrived in Puebla, a stronghold of Pérez supporters, firing rifles in the air and mocking residents over the former mayor’s departure.

Later, the Pérez faction set fire to houses belonging to several Santíz supporters.

At least half a dozen people were wounded during the confrontation.

The National Women’s Institute, a federal agency, yesterday called on electoral institutions and authorities in Chiapas to protect the rights of women to participate in the political process.

In a statement it said that of the 34 women elected as mayors last year, four have since resigned and their place taken by men. In at least two of those cases the women had been put forward as candidates at the last minute in order for political parties to meet gender balance requirements.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp)

Girls dies in Chenalhó as conflict continues


May 19, 2016

Chiapas: Post-election Protests in Chenalho Municipality

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:59 am



Chiapas: Post-election Protests in Chenalho Municipality


chenalhoPeace and Transparency Commission press conference @sie7edechiapas


On May 2, members of the Peace and Transparency Commission, a group of Tsotsil from Chenalho, Chiapas, held a press conference in front of the cathedral in San Cristobal de Las Casas, calling for the resignation of the mayor Rosa Perez Perez. Representatives of the nonconformist group acccused the mayor of Chenalho of “not keeping her campaign promises, not holding council meetings, not involving the municipal union or council members in government decisions and firing trusted workers.” During her campaign, she promised to carry out public works, and give monthly dispensations of 5,000 pesos to all women in the municipality for craft production. It should be noted that this group has had a series of protests against the mayor since the beginning of April.

The opponents took over the town hall, the System of Integral Family Development headquarters (DIF in its Spanish acronym) and the Indigenous Peace and Conciliation Court in Chenalho; they closed roads to the municipal capital and took over the Tuxtla Gutierrez-San Cristobal de Las Casas highway tollbooth to demand her removal. The mayor handed in her resignation on April 13 in the face of these protests. Nevertheless, the deputies of the State Congress did not approve her request, ruling that her resignation was presented against her will. Given that Rosa Perez Perez remains in office, the nonconformists took over the State Congress on April 27 and chained its doors. Tomas Perez, spokesperson for the opposition stated in the press conference that they hope “the Congress accepts the resignation of the mayor this Tuesday 3, or on the contrary, on Thursday 5 some 15,000 indigenous from more than 100 communities will leave Chenalho and come to Tuxtla to present themselves at the doors of the State Congress.”




July 5, 2015

Armed commando murders a member of Las Abejas

Filed under: Acteal, Paramilitary — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:52 am


Armed commando murders a member of Las Abejas

by Chiapas Support Committee


Last week, the Civil Society organization Las Abejas de Acteal (hereafter, Las Abejas) issued two public denunciations. The first described the murder of their compañero Manuel López Pérez, a member of Las Abejas, as well as fear for the lives of his wife and 11-year old son. The second denunciation expressed concern for the life of Antonio López Jiménez and his family, also members of Las Abejas. [1] Both families are residents of Pantelhó municipality, which is adjacent to Ch’enalvo’ (Chenalhó) municipality where Acteal is located. Included below each denunciation was a description of the problems both men have had with the Pantelhó municipal authorities.

Several facts stand out: the families of both men were displaced from their native San Joaquin community in Pantelhó municipality; the current municipal president and municipal judge are also from San Joaquin community; and some of the paramilitaries who participated in the Acteal Massacre and were released by Supreme Court decisions live in Pantelhó, described as a violent municipality.



The denunciations follow:

Armed commando murders Manuel López Pérez, a member of the organization Las Abejas de Acteal

June 25, 2015

On June 23, 2015, they murdered Manuel López Pérez, a member of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas de Acteal. The organization reports that Manuel went to the municipal capital of Pantelhó and on the way back, in the company of his son Juan López Guzmán, 11, at the Sibaluk’um Bridge, almost one kilometre from the municipal capital of Pantelhó, 7 masked individuals dressed in military type clothing and with firearms, ambushed the public transport vehicle in which he was traveling, killing him with three shots, two in the head and one through the back.

The information that the organization of Los Altos of Chiapas has collected, is that the Pantelhó judge, Pedro Girón López, who displaced and threatened Manuel on previous dates, and the comandante of the municipal police, ordered his 11-year old son to state that his father was traveling in another car ahead of the one in which he was going, and that if he told the truth, it wasn’t just the killers that were going to prison, but also him. “This act evidences the complicity of the official authorities facing this assassination,” the Acteal Organization assures.

The Las Abejas authorities communicate that for security reasons they will not be able to go to Manuel’s burial in San Joaquin community, which will take place [today] June 25. “Various paramilitaries that participated in acts prior to the Acteal Massacre live in that zone, as well as some of the material authors of said massacre,” the Board of Directors shares and adds: “tomorrow we will publish another denunciation, about how the life of another family of the same community as Manuel is also at risk.”

The indigenous Tsotsiles assert that: “17 years from the Acteal Massacre and the impunity that the Mexican State has perpetuated, the bad government of the president of Pantelhó, of Manuel Velasco and of Peña Nieto, kills us again, attempting to destroy us. The bad government knows that, happen what may, we will not stop struggling against the neoliberal capitalist system…”


Civil Society Organization Las Abejas

Sacred Land of the los Martyrs of Acteal

Acteal, Ch’enalvo’, Chiapas, Mexico


We denounce more death threats against members of the Civil Society Las Abejas of Acteal in Pantelhó

June 26, 2015

Today we announce other death threats, vigilance, harassment, against Antonio López Jiménez and his family (hereafter Antonio and his family), members of the Civil Society Las Abejas, natives of the San Joaquin community, municipio of Pantelhó, Chiapas. They currently live in the municipal capital of Pantelhó and have lived there since 2007 when authorities of PRD affiliation, now Green Ecologist (PVEM) displaced them from San Joaquin. Their crime was and is not accepting projects from the bad government and being in resistance and constructing autonomy.

Antonio and his family just like our compañero Manuel, assassinated on June 23, entered our organization together. They are members of the Civil Society Las Abejas of Acteal organization. After the crime against our compañero, we fear for the lives of Antonio and his family, since the Pantelhó municipal authorities as well as the [municipal] president and the Judge instead of respecting, guaranteeing and protecting the physical and psychological integrity of our compañeros and compañeras, are accomplices in a series of threats against Antonio and his family, besides the fact that the mentioned judge threatened Manuel with death and according to testimonies, told his son that he should prepare his weapon for killing him.

We are worried about the physical and psychological integrity, as well as the life of Antonio and his family, since Pantelhó is known as a very violent municipio where the authorities permit murders and let them go unpunished. If they did not respect the life of our compañero Manuel, despite the fact that he was a member of our organization, with greater reason we fear that Antonio and his family can be attacked the same way, we place responsibility on state and federal authorities, as well as on the municipal authorities of Pantelhó.

We want to place in evidence before national and international civil society that the authorities mentioned know what’s happening against the two families. Whatever happens to our compañero Antonio and his family, those responsible will be the authorities of Pantelhó: Miguel Entzín Cruz, municipal president, Pedro Girón López, Municipal Judge, [Governor] Manuel Velasco Coello and [President] Enríque Peña Nieto. The latter two have the obligation to respect, protect and guarantee life and human rights. And afterwards they are not going to say that they don’t know what happened, because that is the custom of the bad governments.

[1] Las Abejas is an adherent to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle

Sources in Spanish:



July 1, 2015

Believing People of Chenalhó pronounces itself in favour of the closure of cantinas in the municipality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:51 pm


Believing People of Chenalhó pronounces itself in favour of the closure of cantinas in the municipality


In a communique published on 23 June, Catholics from the Chenalhó parish who make up part of the Believing People pronounced themselves in favour of the closure of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries in their municipality. They stressed that “the consequences of the consumption of alcohol are disastrous, such as suicides, deaths, motor-vehicle accidents, and divorce.” There exist some 21 cantinas, three restaurants, and two grocery stores in the municipal seat.

The Catholics demanded that the agreement which previously had been organized by the 94 communities of the municipality be observed, as the owners of cantinas and alcohol dispensaries have not respected this. It must be recalled that on 13 June, an organized women’s group requested the authorities to produce a document that would demand the departure of those selling alcohol. In this way, “on 20 June, the judges went to see whether the alcohol-vendors respected the document, but they did not. Instead, they merely returned to selling.”

They claim as well that “if something bad happens, whether to the organized women, or to our priest or the believers of this parish, the immediately responsible parties will be the authorities of the Chenalhó municipality, the state government, and the federal government, and we will not remain silent, but rather we will denounce the situation before national and international civil society, and before Mexican and global human-rights defenders.”



April 18, 2014

17 displaced families have returned to their homes in Ejido Puebla, Municipality of Chenalho, Chiapas

Filed under: Displacement — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:02 pm


17 displaced families have returned to their homes in Ejido Puebla, Municipality of Chenalho, Chiapas


Return of the displaced to Ejido Puebla

On 14 April, 104 persons belonging to the Catholic community of Ejido Puebla, returned home to work their land and return to the social dynamics of the community.

This return has taken place as a result of the unbearable suffering being experienced by the Tsotsil ejidatarios of the municipality of Chenalho. It has taken place without justice,  for the perpetrators still remain unpunished by the three levels of government: The ejidal commissioner Agustín Cruz Gómez and his other compañeros remain unpunished despite being identified as the main perpetrators.

The displaced were accompanied by the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre, by Bishop Arizmendi Esquivel, by the pastor of Chenalhó, Manuel Perez, and by government representatives headed by Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, secretary of government.



April 12, 2014

Return of the Displaced People from Ejido Puebla

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:21 pm


Return of the Displaced People from Ejido Puebla

CHIAPAS: Familias desplazadas del Ejido Puebla, del municipio de Chenalhó anuncian retorno para el lunes 14 de abril.


The 17 families displaced from Ejido (also known as Colonia) Puebla, in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas, have announced at a press conference that they will be returning to their homes on Monday, 14th April. They have called on the media and members of civil society to accompany their return, which will leave from Yabteclum, Chenalhó, at 9am on Monday. Don Felipe Arizmendi, Bishop of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, will be present.

The families, who have been taking refuge in Acteal, say the problems in their community started a year ago with the seizure of the land where the Catholic chapel was situated. The problems in their community have not been resolved, they say, but they need to return in order to work in their corn and coffee fields so they can feed their families. However, “it is a return without justice,” and they fear that “the attacks may happen again.”



March 14, 2014

Violence persists against the people forcibly displaced from ejido Puebla

Filed under: Displacement, Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:03 pm

25 años Frayba caminando con los Pueblos Centro de Derechos Humanos  Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, A.C


San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

12 de marzo de 2014

Boletín No. 08

Violence persists against the people forcibly displaced from ejido Puebla

They burn the home of a displaced family

According to information documented by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), today, in the ejido Puebla, Chenalhó, at approximately 01:30 hours, the house of the family of Normelina Hernández López and Macario Arias Gómez – forcibly displaced since August 23, 2013, along with 17 other families, totalling 100 people, who are now in the community of Acteal, Chenalhó – was totally burned down. A few days earlier, on March 7, 2014, at 06:30 hrs, José Gómez Cruz, found the door of the catechists’ room burned. It is noteworthy that these events occurred despite the presence of about 30 members of the State Preventive Police who did not realize what had happened.

Following these events, the Centre for Human Rights expresses its concern about the persistent climate of violence and the risky situation in which the forcibly displaced families find themselves. Given the seriousness of recent events, their return will be more difficult.

We hold responsible for this situation, through failure to act, the government officials who, instead of seeking justice, maintain and allow the impunity which creates tension and violence1.

To mention a few examples of impunity: on July 20, 2013 , the same authorities of ejido Puebla arbitrarily arrested two support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation: Mariano Méndez Méndez and Luciano Méndez Hernández, and another person from the ejido: Juan Lopez Méndez, with the false accusation of having poisoned the water of the community2; on August 21, 2013 , Manuel Pérez Gómez, pastor of Chenalhó, was arbitrarily deprived of his liberty for seven and a half hours3, and on 21 August, 2013, due to the level of violence reached, 17 families were forcibly displaced4.

Frayba has expressed, repeatedly, our concern about the lack of access to justice which causes increased violence and the status of forced displacement of the 100 people. This signifies a continuing violation of the rights: to personal integrity, freedom of movement, residence and housing, established under universal instruments promoted, signed and ratified by the Mexican government, including: the American Convention on Human Rights articles 5 ° and 22 °, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights article 11, first paragraph, as well as the non-implementation of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.


On February 26, 2014, in the ejido Puebla, Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, General Secretary of Government and Victor Hugo Sánchez Zebadúa, Secretary for Religious Affairs, officially handed over the estate of the Catholic chapel to the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in this act Agustín Cruz Gómez, ejidal Commissioner, was present as the legal representative of the ejido Puebla.

Beginning of the events:

On April 7, 2013, in the ejido Puebla, Chenalhó, 32 believing families of the Catholic religion made an agreement to start the refurbishment and reconstruction of the new chapel, because the former was deteriorating, resulting in a risk to the population. From that day there have been a series of acts of physical aggression, arbitrary detentions, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, destruction, theft and forced displacement against 17 families.

1 Impunidad ante desplazamiento forzado de 98 personas del ejido Puebla, available at:

2 Escala la violencia en el ejido Puebla, available at:;

3 Liberan bajo presión al párroco de Chenalhó Manuel Pérez Gómez, available at:

4 Desplazamiento forzado de 70 personas del ejido Puebla, available at:


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