dorset chiapas solidarity

June 18, 2016

Communique from San Sebastian Bachajon 14th June 2016

Filed under: Bachajon, Indigenous, La Sexta, Tourism — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:02 pm



Communique from San Sebastian Bachajon 14th June 2016





Bachajón Ejidatarios join with 15 other communities to arrest a criminal gang who killed a young man of 22, using their customary practices




To the EZLN

To the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandόn Jungle

To the CNI

To the free media

To the defenders of human rights

To national and international civil society


Compañeros and compañeras, we want to inform you of the situation we are living through in our territory, as this is a clear example of how we have been affected by similar situations in the past.

On the night of Sunday 12th June, on the section of the highway in the municipality of Tumbalá, in the northern zone of Chiapas, a group of around 10 people assaulted and killed a young campesino, 22 years of age, named Medardo Astudillo Arcos, from the community of Cuctiepa.

The Ch’ol and Tseltal communities of the region, knowing that there will be no justice from the state due to the complicity of the police forces with the bad government and organised crime, decided to organize ourselves autonomously and mobilised around 800 men to track and capture the criminal gang, who, thanks to witnesses who were in the area, were identified as Miguel Pérez Cruz, Antonio Pérez Cruz, and Medardo Pérez Cruz, among others, and there were confessions that the group organizer was Mariano Silvano Gómez.

The operation was carried out by fifteen communities from different municipalities, among them the municipality of Bachajón, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandόn Jungle; we saw it necessary to unite against organised crime, to prevent the bad government from utilizing these types of situations, with the help of the mass media, and presenting them to civil society as the result of a prevailing insecurity and division among indigenous peoples, advocating police and military intervention in territories that are the focus of government interests.

Furthermore, we denounce that because of these interests, the bad government, in complicity with police forces in the region, has utilized similar conflicts to incriminate members of the indigenous organization of Bachajón, unjustly detaining them, as is the case of Emilio Jiménez Gómez and Esteban Gómez Jiménez.

The organized intervention of the Ch’ol and Tseltal communities to detain the criminals, using our customs and traditional practices and the ways and modes of community policing, is an example of autonomous justice which not only meets the security needs of the region, but also those of tourism, which daily travels these roads heading to destinations like Agua Azul, Palenque or the Yucatan peninsula.

Compañeros and Compañeras we will keep you informed about the situation.




Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Long live Zapata!

¡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 territory!

State police out of indigenous territory!

Immediate return of the disappeared and murdered compañeros from the Normal School Raúl Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa!

Long live the dignified struggle of the Chol compañeros and compañeras from the ejido Tila!

Long live the dignified struggle of the compañeros and compañeras from San Francisco Xochicuautla!

Long live the communities who struggle for their autonomy and freedom!







April 29, 2016

The journey’s only just begun: The ejido Tila

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:30 am



The journey’s only just begun: The ejido Tila




By Ratarrey

It’s been five months since the ejido Tila (area of common land) gave their local government the boot and declared ejidal autonomy. Five months of self-determination, of organised community restructuring, of thinking about how to create a government where the people are in charge, of making collective decisions about the direction the community is going in. Nearly half a year on the path to autonomy. “Autonomy is a lifelong process. The fight never ends. And the journey’s only just begun”, said a compañero ejidatario (common land shareholder).

Three compañeros ejidatarios tell us about the progress they have made, the accomplishments and the obstacles. When the community realised they couldn’t keep waiting for the local government coup and the police and paramilitary forces that would accompany it, the idea for a new kind of self-governance and territorial take-over began to take shape. The assembly’s first decision was to name security commissioners and coordinate surveillance of the entrances into the town. It’s a surveillance rota in which women and young people also participate; every citizen takes their turn at some point. The community is looking out for itself: “On the 16th of January there was a dance and we commissioned 50 people to act as security, in the end there were 150 of us. People were surprised that the dance was so safe. Before, when the local government was here, anything from mobile phones to children would be stolen, and people were scared. But this time, nothing happened.”

Another decision taken by the assembly, suggested in a proposal put forward by the compañeras, was to close the cantinas and stop the consumption of drugs in the community. “Before, when the [municipal] police were here, they were the ones who sold [drugs] and after a year here they’d already have their brand new car.” Today, if the security commission of the ejido finds anyone taking drugs, they ask them where and who they bought them from, in order to get to the person responsible.




Like so many other decisions taking by the assembly, this way of resolving internal problems comes from one of the community’s fundamental beliefs: that they must educate young people to defend their territory, to be alert and to be focused. For now, state schools and their curricula are respected; the community understands that community training and territorial defence can be learned collectively: on guard duty, doing community work, around the kitchen table. Young people also have an obligation to participate in community work. The ch’ol language and organised defence of the land can be learned and shared outside the school walls, in daily community life.

To administer justice, the assembly designated an ejidal judge (judge of the common lands). Punishment consists not of fines and prison sentences but of community work. Instead of an irrefutable and corrupt legal system, decisions are made according to customs and experience, case by case. “If a man hits his wife, he’ll be sent to work as a cleaner or carry wood; others are sent to clean drains. If somebody steals, he has to repay what he took. The punishment is given according to the crime. For example, drunks are shut away for a night, but in the morning their personal possessions are returned to them. Respect underlies everything. Not like when the local government was here, who would take away their things and even charge them a fine.”

The assembly also created designated cleaning and water committees. Apart from taking care of administrating rubbish collection and looking after the drains and pipes, these committees are responsible for keeping an eye on how rubbish is being dealt with: making sure people don’t produce too much waste and that they don’t leave it outside. Self-governance also means looking after the streets, being aware that space is shared and must be looked after by everyone.




The different commissions and committees alternate, the men and women of the ejido describe themselves as ‘multi-use’. Sometimes someone is a policeman and then he collects rubbish, or sometimes it’s his turn to go and collect wood for cooking. Each family in the community contributed fifty or a hundred pesos towards the purchase of a three-ton truck, for use by the collective workforce.

And the building where the town hall used to be? The assembly gave permission for all the street-sellers who had stalls around the main square to set themselves up in it. “The local government actually wanted to expropriate the ejido casino to turn it into a shopping mall, and, well, we decided that the town hall would become a place where people could sell their products.”

There was an example of the new collective organising last March. Every year, hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to the alter of the Black Christ (Cristo Negro) in Tila. This year, members of the Partido Verde ran a smear campaign about the state of the town. “They said there were fights, that there was no water, no electricity, that it was dirty.” Yet everyone duly came, from Tabasco and all over the northern part of Chiapas. The visitors were surprised to see a Tila that was so safe and so clean; a Tila, furthermore, were there was no police intimidation or corruption, as in previous years. “We wanted to give people a good impression of Tila, so they know that life is better for us in autonomy.” Tila showed the visitors that without the government, life is better.

The gradual building of ejidal autonomy has been achieved, furthermore, in the midst of a constant climate of threats and harassment: on the 8th of February last year, the state government of Chiapas gave orders for the arrest of twenty ejidatarios on the charge of riots and breach of the peace. The assembly decided to increase vigilance across the ejido to make sure, at all cost, that no compañero was taken prisoner. This involved implementing a radio communications system between the different look-out points and installing speakers in different parts of the town to keep the whole community informed.




“Loud speakers are our greatest weapon, not the weapons the paramilitaries have”, says one ejidatario. “And, well, they also say we have sticks with nails in. That’s true too. But that’s just to put punctures in the wheels of any cars used to try to abduct a compañero.” They’ve also dug trenches at the entrances into the town so that military and federal vehicles can’t get out – their tyres withstand nails without puncturing. The guards are on watch all night and people know that we have to be on constant alert, because our enemies don’t sleep either. “As the saying goes, you’ve got to be more of a tiger than the tiger (hay que ser más tigre que el tigre)”, says another ejidatario.

Thus the assembly is vigilant. As one compañero ejidatario says, “the storm is coming”. The paramilitarisation of the area has increased because of a uranium mining project which, rumour has it, is already in construction. The seam is 25km from the town, in the ejido of Tumbalá, inside the official limits of the municipality of Tila. This mine does not appear on maps available to the public because uranium mines come under the remit of ‘National Security’. The mine is in the so-called highlands of Tila, which seriously worries the ejidatarios: it’s highly probable that the land and water will be contaminated, threatening their health and their way of life. Faced with this prospect, the assembly have started talking about what to do and how to respond to it. The compañeros recognise that they’re at the start of a long journey: health, education and an increased involvement of women are some of the key areas to work on. Even so, the ejidatario men and women know that the path to autonomy is long and must be taken step by step. That the struggle never ends.


Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service



January 15, 2016

Ejido Tila denounces “paramilitary cell and government lies”

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Paramilitary — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:23 pm



Ejido Tila denounces “paramilitary cell and government lies”



@La Otra Ejido Tila


In a public statement on January 5, 2016, the Tila ejido, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, reported the names and surnames of those who form “a small cell of paramilitary groups who have been organizing inside” their ejido. They also claimed that, “the political landscape is full of lies” on the part of the “current mayor of Tila, Chiapas Prof. Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez,” and that “on a number of occasions the removal of the town council had been requested and this request had not been heeded.” As a result, on December 16, 2015, they noted that, “the general assembly that makes the agreements has tired of so many problems that the town hall brings us, and decision making was being done by the assembly, which was working peacefully, formed by thousands of ejidatarios (communal landholders). The ejidatarios also publically denounced “Oscar Sánchez Alpuche, government undersecretary […] as being one of those responsible for reorganizing and regrouping the paramilitary groups to attack the social organizations that struggle in defence of land and territory […] jailing and disappearing as a strategy to subdue social campaigners.”

In spite of the difficulties within their ejido, they assured that they will continue to demand respect and we will not tire, because here is an ejido community and head of the non-municipal Ch’ol people of Tila, it [the town hall] does not certify its legal possession so to find a solution it must respect our rights because we have all our documentation. Our highest authority, which is the general assembly of the ejidatarios as a people, expelled the town hall council and it was not the decision of the Commissioner for Communal Lands as the bad government is saying, let that be clear.” They asked that, “the various non-government organizations and defenders of human rights be alert to what is happening in the Tila ejido.”



January 9, 2016

Paramilitaries in Mexico Silencing Indigenous Community

Filed under: Acteal, Indigenous, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:16 pm



Paramilitaries in Mexico Silencing Indigenous Community



Hundreds of Indigenous people demonstrate to mark the anniversary of the 1997 massacre. Experts say the same climate of fear exists in Tila today. | Photo: Reuters


Paramilitary groups have long been used by the state in Chiapas to deal with social conflicts in the region, specialists say.

The Indigenous population near the town of Tila in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas say they will not stop fighting for their land to be returned to them, even when faced with violence and intimidation from paramilitary groups.

teleSUR correspondent Fernando Camacho reported Thursday that tension was mounting in the town of Tila as the Chol Indigenous community continue to fight for their land in the face of the growing presence of paramilitary groups.

“We live in fear because many masked paramilitaries entered here and the population could not go out into the streets because we had to be careful,” one Chol community member told teleSUR.

According to the Chol community, some 130 hectares of land was illegally taken from them three decades ago in order to create the municipality of Tila. They argue this is a violation of their rights.

When the community “started to raise their voices for the return of their land, irregular armed groups began to appear,” reported Camacho, adding that paramilitaries have acted in violent ways to fix problems in the community that local authorities failed to resolve.

“Historically in Chiapas, paramilitary groups have been the means of counterinsurgency used by the state government, with the endorsement of the federal government obviously, to deal with conflicts in the region and to support the argument that they are conflicts between communities,” Magdalena Gomez, a specialist on indigenous issues in the region, told teleSUR.

The latter, added Gomez, was one tactic used by the government to explain the massacre in 1997 in the nearby town of Acteal. Paramilitaries entered the town and killed 45 men, women and children, in what authorities said was a conflict between communities.

The same climate of confrontation and threats exists in Tila today, said the academic.

Mexican authorities have denied the existence of paramilitaries in the region.–20160108-0021.html



January 6, 2016

Ejidatario shot in Tila amid accusations of revival of Peace and Justice paramilitary group

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:27 pm


Ejidatario shot in Tila amid accusations of revival of Peace and Justice paramilitary group



Photo @ La Otra Ejido Tila


Between December 18 and 26, ejidatarios (communal landholders) from Tila, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, released a number of communiqués updating information about the situation in the area after the announcement of the collapse of the municipal presidency. They denied reports from local media that they attacked the homes of residents of Tila, stating that, “It is completely false as they are used to lying and the residents themselves are witnesses that this never happened.” They also denied that the general secretary of the Ch’ol-Tseltal government intervened in a dialogue for social peace “because there was no violence and, even less, confrontation.” They noted that “There is no group of ejidatarios with Molotov cocktails and neither were there threats from any group and it is regrettable to have an authority without legality that wants to confuse the population with lies and deceits.”

 On another note, they complained that on December 20 the current chief of the municipal police of Tila started filming the ejidatarios while they were carrying out cleaning work, provoking unrest “and the people began to gather and this was when he fled by taxi,” but when he was reached “he took out his pistol” and shot a landholder, who is still recovering, in the stomach. The indigenous and peasant farmer Ch’ol women who organized in defence of social property produced their own communiqué in which they implied that the said chief of the municipal police “takes his orders from the town hall, the same that has reactivated masked and armed paramilitaries who patrol at set times of the night intimidating the ejidatario authorities, women and men who struggle and resist.”

Likewise, they accused the lord mayor of reviving the paramilitary group Development, Peace and Justice (Peace and Justice) along with a number of people from the area of Tila, where, between 1995 and 2000, Peace and Justice were responsible for 86 executions (79 men and seven women), 37 forced disappearances (32 men and five women), and the forced displacement of over 4,000 people.




December 30, 2015

Mexico Indigenous Group Accuses Authorities of Land Grab Plot

Filed under: Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:24 am



Mexico Indigenous Group Accuses Authorities of Land Grab Plot



Residents in Tila, a town in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, protest an eviction attempt against their community in 2014. | Photo: Facebook / Tila Ejido Sexta


The communal lands in Chiapas’ community of Tila have long been threatened by authorities’ attempts to arbitrarily expropriate and privatize the land.

Members of the small town of Tila in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have accused municipal authorities of harassing local residents as part of a plan to rob more than 320 acres of the communal land from the community, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported Tuesday.

According to community representatives, Tila residents have suffered attempted land grabs for decades as municipal officials have tried to convert the collectively-owned indigenous territories into private land to be bought and sold, La Jornada reported.

Community activists in the local Tila Ejido Supporters of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, a Zapatista declaration of revolutionary movements’ vision for Mexico, have already slammed municipal officials for abusing their power to repress and control indigenous communities.



“In Chiapas, reports of re-start of Peace and Justice paramilitaries.”


In a recent statement, activists accused Edgar Leopoldo Gomez, president of the Tila municipality, of supporting the resurgence of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group, which was responsible for killing 122 indigenous people and displacing 4,000 between 1995 and 2000.

Tila residents also marched earlier this month to protest municipal officials after many activists received threats and suffered other arbitrary action by authorities.

Agressions against the community have included an incident of security forces opening fire on local residents on Dec. 20, injuring several people.



Police shot at a Ch’ol Indigenous resident (Dec. 20) in Tila, Chiapas after recording him.


Community members say that paramilitary presence that all but disappeared in the area has resurfaced in recent months in the form of roadblocks that harass residents.

In the face of such threats and suspicions that local politicians are deliberately acting against the community, Tila residents have taken action to try to expel municipal officials, including municipal President Gomez, La Jornada reported.

Community members say they simply want to live in peace, free to make their decisions using their own customary methods free of harassment from authorities.



December 29, 2015

Mayor of Tila accused of reactivating the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, La Sexta, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:15 pm



Mayor of Tila accused of reactivating the Paz y Justicia paramilitary group



Members of the Tila ejido set county offices on fire.


From the Correspondents

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas

Tila ejido owners, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, accused municipal president Edgar Leopoldo Gómez Gutiérrez of reactivating the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice) “in his service” and for “his ambition to control” the inhabitants of that Chol town.

In a comunicado, the president of the commission and the vigilance council of the Tila ejido place responsibility on Mateo Rey, from the Cruz Palenque community; Mateo Guzmán, of Agua Fría, and Don Pascual, of El Limar, for incentivizing the armed group’s activities.

The death or disappearance of 122 indigenous in Northern Chiapas and the displacement of more than 4 thousand indigenous Chol and Tsetsal people in that region between 1995 and 2000 is attributed to Paz y Justicia.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba), representative of the families of the victims, asserted that the paramilitary group’s actions responded to the Army’s low-intensity war against the Zapatista insurgency.

In November 1997, members of Paz y Justicia ambushed a pastoral caravan composed of the then Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García; the Bishop coadjutor, Raúl Vera, two catechists and the majordomo of the Señor of Tila Sanctuary, Manuel Pérez. Ruiz García and Vera López were not injured, but three others were.

“As of this date they have remained unpunished and they once again want to impose the (municipal) president by blood and fire; these people live from our taxes, they are aviators that get paid without working, and because of that the public works that the politicians promise are not finished in the communities, because part of the money is used for maintaining these shameful acts,” Tila’s ejido authorities exposed.

They pointed to Regino, from the middle zone of Tila, and to Nicolás, the rural agent of Unión Juárez community in the Tila ejido annex, as being some “spongers and traitors” and placed responsibility on them, together with three cited previously, for what might occur in the ejido.

They denounced that utilizing the Tile municipal government’s communications equipment, these individuals have started to coordinate the paramilitary group (named) Paz y Justicia for the purpose of submitting whoever may be in disagreement with the mayor’s decrees.

The comuneros (who are) adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) expressed their fear of suffering an armed attack, because of which they alerted social and human rights organizations to be on the lookout for what may occur in the Tila ejido, located in the municipal capital.

The ejido owners demand the return of 321 acres that belong to them, according to the 1934 presidential resolution, because 72 years ago the county offices were illegally built on 128 acres of their land.

Last December 16th, hundreds of ejido members, who asserted having suffered harassment and arbitrariness, held a march that culminated in the burning and destruction of some areas of the county building.

They remembered that in 2008 the agrarian tribunal issued a resolution in favour of the ejido owners, but as it was not executed they went to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), which has not resolved the case, allegedly because it would occasion a social problem, because it would be necessary to relocate practically all of the county seat.

In the comunicado the president of the Tila ejido commission and the vigilance council accused that rural agents from other ejidos that support the country council are provoking them.

“If they want the county council so much that they bring it to their communities, we will expel them because of the constant violations of our individual rights, as well as the violation of protective order number 73/2014, which was won so that the casino of the people would not be destroyed, without the permission of the general assembly of ejido owners,” they stated.

The Tila ejido owners agreed not to undertake any dialogue or negotiations with the governments, “because our lands are not negotiable or for sale and we will continue fighting to avoid any dispossession or against any imposition.

“In Mexico, the three levels of government always create violence, hiding behind the paramilitary groups at their service so that they can say afterwards that it is a conflict between communities,” they concluded.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, December 28, 2015

Re-published with English interpretation by



December 27, 2015

Ch’ol indigenous people occupy Tila City Hall after decades of having been ignored

Filed under: Autonomy, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:18 pm



Ch’ol indigenous people occupy Tila City Hall after decades of having been ignored




On 16 December, as they had announced they would do in accordance with communal agreement in assemblies, indigenous Ch’ol people from the Tila ejido recovered the lands on which City Hall is located. Protestors indicated that it had been more than 5 decades during which they had appealed to different governmental institutions without success. “If there is no solution, there will be demolition,” warned the adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle during a march held on 16 December. The campesino members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) made a call for national and international solidarity in terms of the possible repressive responses that could be taken by the three levels of government, which in recent days had carried out military and police operations in the community.

Protestors indicated that in 2008 the ejidal authorities of Tila had won a motion promoted “against one of the several attempts at plundering that we have suffered since 1964, due to the different actions taken by City Hall, the state government, and the local congress.” The motion orders the restitution of 130 hectares of ancestral lands. However, using the argument that the sentence cannot possibly be implemented, City Hall has failed to observe the ruling.

The “Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez” Center for Human Rights, which has for years accompanied the Tila ejido of Ch’ol persons in their actions before the Supreme Court, expressed in an Urgent Action that “we hope that by exercising their constitutional and legal rights, this conflict in the Tila municipality of Chiapas be resolved through mediation, and that the state’s reaction not be through criminalization or repression of any kind.” The Centre requests that civil society send this Urgent Action to the officials who appear in the document, with copies to .



 Tila ejido denounces “military-police” operation in Tila



On 19 November, authorities from the Tila ejido denounced a “military, police, and paramilitary” operation on their lands, “WHICH […] IS STILL CIRCULATING INSIDE THE EJIDO.”

The operation began on 18 November, when the soldiers and police besieged the populace, establishing checkpoints at the entrances to Tila.  According to Radio Zapatista, “this operation takes place within the context of a growing demand for the withdrawal of City Hall, which is illegally settled on ejidal lands and has been clearly linked to paramilitarization in the region.”  The ejidatarios also denounced the false commissars who have been named by the state government by means of illegal processes and documents, “including a paramilitary leader who was incarcerated for five years for having participated with the Paz y Justicia group.” 

In parallel, the ejidatarios denounced that groups of youth were being armed and trained as a “paramilitary force” which in the context of the recent elections clarified that “ALL THOSE WHO ARE WORKING IN CITY HALL ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO MASK UP TO CARRY OUT VIOLENCE DURING ELECTORAL SEASON SO AS TO CONTINUE HOLDING ON TO POWER LIKE THE PARAMILITARIES THEY ARE.”  Radio Zapatista claimed that the operation launched on 18 November “makes evident the complicity among the government, the Army, and different police forces with paramilitarization in the region.”





December 21, 2015

Indigenous National Congress (CNI): Facing the gathering storm

Filed under: Autonomy, CNI, Indigenous, Paramilitary, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:15 pm



Indigenous National Congress (CNI): Facing the gathering storm




To the Peoples, Nations, Tribes And Neighbourhoods that make up the Indigenous National Congress,
To the Sexta National and International
To the peoples of Mexico and the World

Facing the gathering storm

This December 16th our sisters and brothers of the Ch’ol people from the Ejido Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, by agreement of their general assembly decided to regain their ejidal autonomy and expel the Municipal Council of Tila from their territory. The reason is the damage it [the Council] has caused to the ejido in its attempt to dispossess the people of Tila in order to control and privatize it, to take from them what is theirs by lawful, ancestral and ejidal right; the Ch’ol men, women, old people, young people, and children who live there, work there and defend it.

The Ch’ol sisters and brothers of the Ejido Tila have been persistent in denouncing and describing the history of contempt, repression and dispossession which they have faced from the municipality and the state government. They seek to change the collective nature of the land in the town of Tila, which is the heart of the ejidal territory, in order to impose the capitalist and paramilitary way of life, because it is controlled by the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia.

The Tila Municipal Council is controlled by paramilitaries, and in addition the bad state and federal governments have a large outstanding debt of Justice due not only to the ejido, but to the Ch’ol people and to humanity, for the death which they have caused through the paramilitary counterinsurgency in this region, which is to be added to the great debt that these bad governments owe to the people of Mexico.

The Ch’ol people of Ejido Tila, as other peoples are also doing, took their own decision to recover what is theirs by right. Therefore we call on all the compañeros and compañeras to show solidarity with this action carried out by our Ch’ol brothers and sisters to regain their ejidal autonomy.

We ask you to be vigilant as regards the response of the bad governments and their repressive forces who in this region are composed of military, police and paramilitaries, and who have been mobilizing publicly in recent months, as our brothers and sisters from the Ejido Tila have previously denounced.

We demand respect for the autonomy of the Ch’ol people of Tila, as we continue to demand respect for the territory and autonomy of the peoples of Mexico, which the Capitalist Hydra wants to take away from us.







December 20, 2015

Chol pueblo expels municipal hall and council from its territory

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:50 pm



Chol pueblo expels municipal hall and council from its territory




“The Assembly of the ejidatarios of Tila agree to demolish the municipal palace which was constructed without the permission of the General Assembly because it is the source of all the injustice, discrimination and harassment and the steady takeover of the 130 hectares of our ancestral land for the legal fund, seeking to destroy our communality,” said the communiqué posted today by Radio Pozol.

It is a decision that has been well thought out. After 72 years of the “bad government” violating their rights and after 6 years of legal struggle. They recalled the struggles of “our grandparents who walked from Tila to Tuxyla Gutierrez (the state capital), their ancestors who resisted the “slavery of the colonisers and suffered the dispossession of their lands by the foreign Pennsylvania plantation company.”

“The knowledge and the wisdom left to us by our grandparents has taught us to defend our history and our culture, because we belong to Mother Earth”

The indigenous denounce that the authority is trying to buy them so they can reverse the decision taken. “The ownership of the land for common use is inalienable, imprescribable and indefeasible.”

“As indigenous people, the Chol are covered by ILO Convention 169 and Article 21 of the Inter-American Court: “We only acknowledge our own authority and self-determination, and therefore, our autonomy.” They also have the capacity to solve their own internal conflicts and to maintain their own forms of government.

“If they violate our right as an indigenous Chol people, they would be against their own nation because the national territory is multicultural,” they conclude.




January 27, 2014

Provisional Suspension of Governmental Works is Conceded to the Ejido Tila

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:11 am


Provisional Suspension of Governmental Works is Conceded to the Ejido Tila 

 ** They complain about the dispossession of the Casino del Pueblo and the intention to erect a commercial centre

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

Ocosingo, Chiapas, January 25, 2014

TILA CHIAPAS: Determinación judicial impide al Ayuntamiento realizar obras sobre territorio indígena y ejidal.This Friday, January 24th, the fifth district court, seated in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, conceded to the ejido Tila a provisional suspension of the public works planned by the municipal government, under amparo (protection order) 73/2014.

The judicial measure means that the authorities of Tila municipality, in the Northern Zone, cannot carry out any public works on the area that belongs to the ejido, which is also indigenous territory, until the litigation is definitively resolved.

Last January 17th, Tila, which includes the urban centre of the municipal capital, filed a petition for amparo because the municipal authorities were seeking to promote the creation of a commercial centre on the site where the Casino del Pueblo is currently located.

The Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Centre, when notifying of the suspension, remembered that: “the area as well as the construction belong historically and legally to the Tila ejido and to the Chol people.” Nevertheless, since 1991 “the municipal council has dispossessed the ejido of this place and administers it as its own property.”

In the amparo mentioned above, the Chol ejido owners complain of the dispossession of the Casino del Pueblo and the intention of the authorities to erect a commercial centre there, since, the indigenous argue, “this illegal action violates ejidal social property and territorial rights, as well as the right of indigenous peoples to consultation and to the preservation of their institutions, forms of organization and cultural wealth” (see La Jornada, January 16 & 21).

According to the Centro Pro, the government’s action “is part of a systematic dispossession against the Chol people.” Since 1966, different state and municipal authorities have attempted to dispossess the Tila ejido of part of its territory and they (the ejido owners) have obtained favorable resolutions in the lawsuits for amparos 590/77 and 259/1982. This last one is pending before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, since authorities of the municipal council have refused to comply with the decision and restore an area of 130 hectares to the ejido owners.

The fifth district judge’s agreement “concedes the suspension of the plan so that things are maintained in their current state and public works are not executed, nor acts disposing of the Casino del Pueblo, which they argue to be subject to the ejidal regime, in the town of Tila.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, January 26, 2014


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


June 22, 2013

The 17th anniversary of a landmark case in the paramilitary war

Filed under: Human rights, Paramilitary — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:16 pm


The 17th anniversary of a landmark case in the paramilitary war

 ** In Chiapas, crimes against Chols go unpunished

** Minerva, victim of counterinsurgency practices

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, June 20, 2013

Minerva’s disappearance 17 years ago has become emblematic of an entire paramilitary war, officially denied, against the Chol communities in the 1990s. A string of crimes are to this day unpunished. According to available information, the young woman was beaten up and sexually violated by her captors for three days, and her whereabouts remain unknown.

After many years of promoting the case against the Mexican State on the part of the indigenous, it has finally been accepted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH, in its Spanish initials).

The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) recalled that on June 20, 1996, in the Chol community of Miguel Alemán, Tila municipality, Minerva Guadalupe Pérez Torres, 19 years old, was disappeared. “That day, members of the then paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice intercepted her while she was on her way to visit her parents in the Masojá Shucjá community, in the lower zone of Tila.” This occurred within the context of the Zapatista Rebellion and the intense militarization of the communities, which generated community divisions and extremely violent counterinsurgency practices.

Minerva’s disappearance “is framed within the strategy of a counter-insurgency war planned by the government of Mexico in the Northern Zone, particularly in Tila, Sabanilla, Tumbalá and Salto de Agua, and implemented by the paramilitary group Development Peace and Justice, which has demonstrated through the years that it was driven and trained by the government of Mexico, as the CIDH’s report after its visit to Chiapas in 1998 indicates.”

Faced with the lack of justice in Mexico, in 2004 family members of Minerva and of the region’s other victims presented a petition to the CIDH against the Mexican State. With it, Frayba points out, “information was delivered about the forced disappearance of 32 men and 5 women, as well as the execution of seven women and 78 men, as a significant sample of the low-intensity war which was implemented in the Northern Zone between 1995 and 2000, and which to this day continues to have psycho-social effects in that region’s indigenous communities.”

Of the 122 cases documented by Frayba, eight make up the petition to the CIDH. After years of seeking justice, the Centre says, on March 20, 2013 the CIDH emitted the report of admissibility, “indicating that the Mexican State is the one allegedly responsible for human rights violations (case 12,901).”



Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Friday, June 21, 2013

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