dorset chiapas solidarity

September 10, 2016

Oxchuc rejects the restoration of the mayor

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:50 pm



Oxchuc rejects the restoration of the mayor

In Oxchuc, they reject María Gloria and the TEPJF decision ordering her to be restored as mayor


oxchuc-rejects-maricc81a-gloriaIndigenous Tseltal residents of Oxchuc Municipio in Chiapas demonstrate against reinstating María Gloria as mayor.


By: Isaín Mandujano

With a multitudinous mobilization, thousands of indigenous Tseltals of Oxchuc rejected María Gloria Sánchez Gómez’ attempt this Wednesday to be restored to her position as mayor, as ordered by the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF); they supported the substitute mayor, Oscar Gómez López.

Coming from 115 communities, since very early, thousands of indigenous started to arrive in the municipal capital of Oxchuc. The traditional and civil authorities with the staff of command in hand concentrated at the town’s principal entrance from where they marched to the central plaza.

With banners and chants, thousands of indigenous marched, headed by Oscar Gómez López, the current mayor of that municipio, and the president of the permanent peace and conciliation commission, Juan Encinos Gómez.

The Indigenous arrived in the plaza where they held a meeting in which they declared that they would not permit María Gloria Sánchez Gómez to be reinstated in her position as mayor, as the TEPJF ordered last August 31.

The Indigenous denounced that from their writing it seems the magistrates are totally ignorant of the reality that the municipio experiences, for which reason it concerns them not to respect that decision and that, should she take up authority, “María Gloria and all of them” will be thrown out.

Juan Encinos Gómez said that those that mobilized were around 25,000. The plaza was full of indigenous Tseltal men and women who in unison stated their rejection of María Gloria Sánchez, the mayor supported by the PVEM.

Along with María Gloria Sánchez, they expressed their repudiation of her husband, the PRI member Norberto Sántiz, who has also twice been mayor, a former federal deputy. The two of them maintained a political boss [cacique] system for almost 15 years in that indigenous municipio.

The mayor that the people of Oxchuc support, Oscar Gómez López, said that he would serve in the position until the indigenous people of the 115 communities make a determination, because he took office under the principle of “mandar obedeciendo” (govern obeying). [1]

Although it had been speculated that today the indigenous would demolish the houses of María Gloria Sánchez and her closest collaborators who were expelled from the town, that didn’t happen.

But before this huge mobilization, the Network for Effective Parity (Repare, Its Spanish acronym) criticized local authorities for continuing to disrespect the TEPJF’s decision and for not making the least attempt to restore María Gloria Sánchez Gómez to her position. To the contrary, with these marches and mobilizations they have let the hatred continue to increase against the women who were displaced from their positions and from that municipio.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor amendments by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



August 23, 2016

Oxchuc Expels Political Parties and Will Now Elect its Authorities with Uses and Customs

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:37 am



Oxchuc Expels Political Parties and Will Now Elect its Authorities with Uses and Customs


oxchuc-expels-political-partiesOxchuc authorities, elected via uses and customs with their staffs of command.


By: Isaín Mandujano

Leaders of 105 Oxchuc communities agreed on the expulsion of the political parties from that municipio and from now on they will elect their authorities through [Indigenous] uses and customs; therefore they asked Governor Manuel Velasco Coello and deputies in the State Congress, for the recognition of current mayor Oscar Gómez López, because the mayor they removed, Maria Gloria Sánchez Gómez, is attempting to return to the position.

Coming from the 105 communities that make up that municipio in Los Altos of Chiapas, the indigenous authorities arrived in this city with their staff of command to show their rejection of the removed mayor and candidate of the PVEM, Maria Gloría Sánchez Gómez, who recently filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) with which she seeks to be reinstated in the position.

After several months of protest, last February, María Gloria Sánchez Gómez was expelled from the town and obliged to ask for a definitive leave before the State Congress, local residents named as a substitute Oscar Gómez López, a bilingual indigenous teacher who headed the movement to put an end to the 15 years of political bossism of the mayor and her PRI husband, Norberto Santiz Gómez, who controlled political power in the municipality.

“We are here to ask the State Congress and Governor Manuel Velasco to intervene and that the Oxchuc issue be definitively resolved, because María Gloria continues saying that she is the current mayor and that is not true, because starting on February 11 she asked for her abdication and the woman was politically finished there and on February 15 the people on the esplanade of the municipal presidency before some 30,000 residents elected the current substitute Municipal President, who is compañero Oscar Gómez López and precisely here are the compañeros agents and this is the best showing that what María Gloria says is not true,” said Juan Encinos Gómez, President of the Permanent Commission For Indigenous Peace and Justice of Oxchuc Municipio.

All the indigenous raised their staffs of command and chanted slogans against María Gloria Sánchez and others in favour of the new mayor Oscar Gómez López, who they said has the support of all of the people.

Nevertheless, they said, from the state capital the removed mayor has been incited to file an appeal before the Judicial Power of the Federation (PJF) to be reinstated in her position. They pointed out that they would not respect a decision that contradicts the decision of the people and that if necessary they would against take to the streets and the highway in order to be heard.

Juan Gabriel Méndez López, a lawyer and one of the leaders of the Oxchuc protest movement, said that the population agreed to expel all of the political parties from the municipio, and that they no longer want political parties that only divide the communities and provoke confrontation among indigenous brothers.

He explained that from now on the municipal authorities would be elected by uses and customs, which will rescue the ancestral wisdom and knowledge to name their rulers like their ancestors did, because it has become clear to them that the parties only divide them.

He also said that on this occasion the people named Oscar Gómez López as mayor, and therefore the Executive, Judicial and Legislative Power in Chiapas must recognize the investiture that the new mayor represents.

They pointed out that if María Gloria Sánchez Gómez continues returning to Oxchuc to incite the population against the traditional authorities, she could provoke “another San Juan Chamula” and would then blame the authorities for not intervening.

It was the second time that María Gloria sought to serve in the position of mayor; the first time she did it on behalf of the PRI. Her husband Norberto Sántiz, also of PRI affiliation, twice occupied the position of mayor and was on one occasion a federal deputy.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Wednesday, August 17, 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


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