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?”



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.



April 13, 2014

Religious character to the conflict in the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido, Palenque is denied

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:35 pm


Religious character to the conflict in the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido, Palenque is denied 

 ** Four residents are demanding one third of the land, say representatives

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

1ccardenasRepresentatives of the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido, in Palenque Municipality, Chiapas, maintained that the conflict that exists in their community is not of a religious nature, but rather about land. And contradicting reports in the local press, they reiterated that the problem with the four residents who demand one third of the ejido’s lands continues unresolved. The ejido has been made up of a total of 40 families (La Jornada 2/2/2014) for the last 28 years.

Arturo Pérez Oleta, new ejido commissioner of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, a Chol locality very close to the Palenque archaeological zone, contradicted the versions that the problem in the community “has already ended,” and insisted that the reason for the conflict is not religious. While the people with whom they have the difference “are of a different religion than the majority, it was not the motive for the difference that they took on a new religion and would freely exercise their cult.”

The differences are exclusively agrarian, Pérez Oleta and Bartolo Gutiérrez, of the vigilance council added: “Those four individuals have been supported in their religious organization (whose legal advisor is Sergio Natarén Gutiérrez, involved in the defence of the material authors of the Acteal Massacre) in attempting to take possession of a wide area of ejido lands, as the agrarian demand #1318/2012, promoted by them before the Unitary Agrarian Tribunal District 54 in Comitán de Domínguez, demonstrates.”

They warn of latent tension 

The defender of the Presbyterian group is Fernando García Martínez, a lawyer from the Agrarian Prosecutor’s office in Palenque. “They are demanding that one third of the total ejido area be awarded just to them,” the ejido representatives pointed out. In 2012, they attempted to murder the ejido secretary and to introduce people from their church alien to the community.

For his part, the lawyer for the ejido owners, Ricardo Lagunes Gasca, explained that: “the agrarian lawsuit is in the final phase of allegations and soon the agrarian tribunal will issue a decision.”

Nevertheless, “the tension remains latent.” On March 30, Juan Álvaro López, one of those who filed both criminal and agrarian complaints against the community, attacked Felipe de Jesús Cruz Damas, son of the former ejido commissioner Leonarda Damas Cruz. “Despite the fact that Felipe was the victim of the attack, Álvaro López went to the Selva District prosecutor’s office in Palenque to present a complaint as the victim.”

Given the constant harassment and violence of the four people who seek to appropriate land from the community, the ejido authorities decided to “denounce these acts and alert public opinion and the competent authorities that a quick and effective intervention is necessary for an in depth and lasting solution to the conflict, which is of agrarian origin and not religious.”

On March 8, 2013, the ejido owners had signed a document in which it is admitted that the problem, which has gone on for three years, “is not of a religious but agrarian character, but the only ones that did not sign were the Álvaro López group.” And last January 8: “we met in the ejidal house with the assistant secretary and the delegate from the state’s Government office, officials for religious issues from the municipio and the state, and the conflictive people: Rubén Martínez Álvarez, Pascual Álvaro López, Juan Álvaro López and Micaela López Vázquez.” The ejido representatives added that “once again,” the officials “explained to these people that the problem is not as they say it is, it has nothing to do with religion; that it is agrarian and as such has to be settled. It was there that they signed the same document that they did not sign a year ago.”

Commissioner Pérez Oleta concluded: “Although the Palenque press published that the problem in our ejido has ended and that there is now peace, that is a lie, because the conflict continues and the provocations and threats from those individuals have increased.”


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Saturday, April 12, 2014

En español:


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




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