dorset chiapas solidarity

September 25, 2016

Discovery of a system of channels underneath the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:45 am



Discovery of a system of channels underneath the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque


foto_home-768x558Temple of the Inscriptions. Photo by INAH


The funerary goods with which Pakal “the great” was buried 1,333 years ago included a pair of ear ornaments. These bore a script which explained how the deceased would need to be immersed in the waters of the god Chaac, in order to be received by the god of the underworld. With the recent discovery of a system of channels which run under both the Temple of Inscriptions and the ruler’s funerary chamber, it seems that what appeared to be a metaphor may have a more complex explanation.

Revealing this noteworthy discovery at a press conference at the National Museum of Archaeology, Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz, archaeologist and director of archaeology at Palenque said that due to its closeness to the funerary chamber (1.7 metres under the edge of the north wall), this water system might be a symbolic representation of the twisting path that would lead Pakal to the waters of the underworld.

Anthropologist Diego Prieto and archaeologist Dr. Pedro Sanchez Nava of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said that even though the Temple of Inscriptions and its funerary chamber have been studied by archaeologists since the middle of the twentieth century, the discovery of the subterranean channels shows that the study of the most evocative building at the Palenque site is now breaking new ground.

Arnoldo González said that the discovery changes the original interpretation of the funerary chamber made by Alberto Ruz Lhullier, the archaeologist who discovered it in 1952. Gonzalez added that the new evidence shows that the building had been centred on a pre-existing spring.

The complex network of canals at different levels and heading in different directions must have been designed long before it was envisaged that a pyramid would be erected on the site in the first decades of the seventh century. The spring, from which water still flows through the central channel to this day, was the starting point from which the rest of the building was conceived. Gonzalez added that the aim of this was to associate Pakal II, Lord of Palenque, with this water source.

For Gonzalez, there is no doubt that it was the Mayan king Pakal who realised this architectural plan, because it was during his reign (685 – 683 AD) when the Temple of Inscriptions was begun. The construction of this funerary monument was concluded by his son, B’ahlam, during a period that lasted from 683 to 702 AD in the kingdom of Lakamha’, that is, “Place of the Great Waters” – the original name for the Mayan city.

The INAH researcher who in 1994 discovered the sarcophagus of the Red Queen, explained that the discovery underneath the Temple of Inscriptions emerged by happy accident during conservation work on the building. This happened when a series of shafts were sunk into the base of the main facade of the structure, with the aim of finding the first step of its huge staircase.

This work revealed that the staircase had been constructed on the underlying bedrock. However, on widening the holes, it was observed that there was a channel in the central construction, and a series of filled spaces, nearly four metres wide. In the first of these, at the foot of the staircase, a number of large rocks had been set in clay, giving the appearance of a floor. On top of these was another level of thick stones, also set in place with clay. The third and fourth layers were similar to the previous ones; and under these was a channel.

The fact that these stones are levelled and carefully placed, extending below the first step of the temple, and also the fact that the width of the court coincides with the north wall of the funerary chamber is considered significant. Gonzalez notes that the channel is built of horizontal rows of cut stones and then filled in with clay. The water flows within it on a north-south axis, allowing it to drain the temple. In the south-eastern side of the building lies the opening of a second channel, 20 cm by 40 cm, which runs parallel but at a higher level (20 centimetres above). Its waters run into the main channel.

The exploration of the drainage system was made with video cameras adapted to be carried on small carriages, allowing them to enter several metres into the temple structure.

For the moment, the lack of a technology that would allow a more detailed investigation of the interior means that source of water for the system of channels is unknown. However, it is possible that water comes in from the north side of the building, where the set of buildings known as Group J are found, and that the water comes from the same source that contributes to the Bernasconi stream.

The Director of the Palenque Archaeological Project thinks that the design of the channels could have derived from a system to drain rainwater from the terraces that form Temple 24, which is located on the south of the Temple of Inscriptions.

However, the most likely explanation seems to be that which relates the existence of the channels to the spring on which Pakal’s tomb was constructed. This theory fits with other archaeological evidence, in particular the references in Mayan writing and iconography at Palenque and other sites, where the burial of dignitaries is associated with bodies of water.

For Gonzalez, these discoveries generate more questions than answers. He therefore hopes that exploration of the site can continue with other technologies such as geo-radar, which may confirm the existence of other channels, as well as their sources and bearings.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service



September 22, 2016

The Governor of Chiapas gives the Grito at an alternative site; the EZLN goes ahead of the mayor and gives it in Palenque

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:35 am


The Grito in Chiapas

The Governor of Chiapas gives the Grito at an alternative site; the EZLN goes ahead of the mayor and gives it in Palenque


ezln-702x468EZLN Sympathizers arrived in Palenque’s principal plaza. Photo: Isaín Mandujano


By: Isaín Mandujano

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chiapas. (apro)

While Governor Manuel Velasco Coello had to give the Cry of Independence (Grito de Independencia) in Tapachula as an alternate site, since the plaza of the state capital is occupied by striking teachers, in Palenque hundreds of men and women sympathizers of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) took over the plaza and gave the Grito, storming the balcony of the municipal presidency where the mayor of Palenque would [normally] be to give it.

In Tapachula, hundreds of citizens who sought to interrupt the Cry of Independence, were repressed with clubs and tear gas, prior to the event that Governor Manuel Velasco Coello headed.

Municipal and state police held back residents who since the morning through the social networks had started to call for a boycott of the Cry of Independence. So, in the midst of a strong security circle, the governor came out on the balcony waving the flag and intoning the names of each one of the country’s heroes at the same time that the bell was ringing.

Meanwhile in Palenque, men and women came from different communities, many of them with balaclavas. After the march, people who were identified as teachers, campesinos, parents and adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration arrived in the central plaza.

There, the contingent gave honours to the flag and the masked escort marched. Later, they put up a ladder and climbed up to the balcony where everything was ready for the mayor to come out to give the Cry of Independence. But the masked ones advanced and intoned slogans against “the bad government,” read the names of the heroes of Independence and made a pronouncement against the structural reforms, among them the education reform.

In Tuxtla the teachers celebrated a popular evening festival in the central plaza where the striking teachers continue their encampment. They gave the “Anti-grito” there by intoning slogans against the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and rendered honours to the flag.

In Tila, ejido authorities celebrated the expulsion of the municipal authorities and they celebrated the Cry of Independence (Grito de Independencia).

“We had to recognize that it isn’t easy to carry out our ejido autonomy, but conscious of that we must continue although stumbling blocks may exist, but always with our head held high in our conscience of struggle; since during the stay of the municipal council in our ejido, besides the dispossession and paramilitary violence, the municipal council illegally increased expenditures for alcoholic beverages by authorizing licenses to liquor stores, bars and cantinas; as well as the increase of prostitution, drug addiction, local drug dealing and burglary. Bars and cantinas can be observed a few metres from the schools and one has to be working little by little to avoid our people continuing to be poisoned and now we are doing different tests as the general assembly agreed,” says the letter read by the ejido owners.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Friday, September 16, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted with minor edits by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



April 11, 2016

More than 60 Mexican and Guatemalan communities reject hydroelectric project

Filed under: Corporations, Dams, water — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:16 pm



More than 60 Mexican and Guatemalan communities reject hydroelectric project



dams usumacinta


Almost 300 people from 60 communities in Chiapas and from the Peten Front Against Dams of Guatemala rejected the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Usumacinta River, which would represent an invasion and therefore an eviction from their lands.

During the Forum of resistances and alternatives of the peoples of the north of Chiapas, attendees reported that work on the binational hydroelectric dam Boca del Cerro has already started with the construction of embankments on both sides of the river.

Boca del Cerro is one of five planned dams in the watershed that divides Mexico from Guatemala. The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) said that the works are planned to last for four years and will have a limit of 55.5 metres maximum height.

Of the 1,799 hectares which will make up the total area of ​​the reservoir, 707 belong to the municipality of Tenosique, Tabasco, and 1,092 to Palenque.

The work will lead to “the disappearance of the community of San Carlos Boca del Cerro, Tenosique, which will become the offices and camp of the company building the dam,” said the representatives.

They are also sure that “the government will not compensate us for our lands, the cost of living will increase and we, the Chol and Tzeltal indigenous peoples of the region, will disappear.”

The representatives of the communities know that the imposition of the dam by the government violates Article 2 of the Constitution and Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which deals with the autonomy of indigenous peoples and their right to consultation.

Given this, they pledged to implement a work plan to stop the construction of the hydroelectric project which will pollute their land and river, besides the effect of the weight, and expressed their solidarity “with the actions of sister organizations struggling to stop mining projects, highways, hydroelectric schemes and to expel from our lands the large companies who want to deprive us of our lands “.

Finally, they demanded justice for the murder of the coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), Berta Caceres, “and respect for the human rights and the lives of those who fight against megaprojects and against dams in Mexico, Central America and other parts of the world.”

With information from La Jornada


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service





Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project

Filed under: Indigenous, Lacandon/ montes azules, sipaz — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:37 am



Legal Protection Granted Against the San Cristobal-Palenque Highway Project


highwayThe San Cristobal-Palenque super-highway has been met with massive rejection, Photo @ Espoir Chiapas


On April 3, the inhabitants of the Tsotsil communities of Los Llanos and San Jose El Porvenir in the municipality of San Cristobal de Las Casas, made known in a statement that on January 18 of this year they were granted legal protection against the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project. In the sentence for legal protection 16/2014, the judge orders the cancellation of the outlines of the construction project or any other programme for the highway on the stretch between the municipalities of San Cristobal-Huixtan, in particular on the lands of the communities, by the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure of the State of Chiapas.

In the statement, the ejido demanded that, “the authorities should respect our community’s right to free consultation, previous and informed, through its representatives and traditional authorities, providing information in good faith, including the possible environmental and health risks resulting from the construction of operation of the highway project.” They also underlined that their “land is not for sale, now or in the future, and we completely reject the San Cristobal-Palenque highway project because it dispossesses the indigenous communities of the most sacred thing in this life which is land.” It should be mentioned that since its beginning, many communities and those possibly affected expressed their concern about the construction of the highway, whose cost would be around ten billion pesos and would reduce the journey from San Cristobal to Palenque, two of the zones most visited by overseas and domestic tourists, from five to less than two hours.




April 10, 2016

An amparo is granted against the Project to build a motorway from SanCristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:30 am



An amparo is granted to the Ejido Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir against the Project to build a motorway from San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque

The cancellation of the section of the Palenque-San Cristobal highway between San Cris and Huixtan is ordered

While the state government of Chiapas seeks to promote the motorway from Palenque to San Cristobal, as a tool for economic development and a source of employment, the people of Chiapas in resistance against this megaproject achieve a big step, winning a protective order (amparo) against the project.




3rd April, 2016

To the media

To national and international civil society

To all indigenous peoples and communities

To the general public

We would like to make public that on the 18th of January 2016, Los Llanos, our Tsotsil community in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, was awarded a protective order (amparo) against the project to build a motorway from San Cristóbal de las Casas to Palenque. This is a project that the government, through the municipal council and the general secretariat of the government of Chiapas, has tried to force upon us, using threats and intimidation, since November 2013.

In the 16/2014 protective order, the judge orders the Chiapas State Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure to cancel the demarcation of the route and any other preparations for the construction of the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque motorway falling within the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Huixtán municipalities, particularly on land belonging to our community.

The protective order also indicates that, in compliance with the international and constitutional norms identified in it, the authorities must respect our community’s right to freely consult external bodies, through our representatives and the established authorities, to ensure we are fully informed and prepared. They, in turn, are expected to provide the information in good faith, including the possible health hazards and environmental risks presented by the construction or operation of the motorway.

Our community celebrates the announcement of the order to protect our land and we would like to send a message to all three tiers of government that our land is not for sale; not now, not ever. We wholeheartedly reject the project to build a motorway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque because it would strip the indigenous communities of that which is most sacred in this life: the earth.

As an indigenous community we demand total respect for our rights, which are recognised in the Federal Constitution, international treaties and the San Andrés Accords.

This land has been home to our community for generations; we are its rightful inheritors. That is why we demand respect for the life of our community and that of all indigenous peoples who live under threat of private and state interests, eager to strip them of their land in order to exploit the area’s natural resources. We know that the government has always looked for ways to strip us of our land and that is why we urge all indigenous peoples and communities to defend their territory as one and shy away from divisionism.

We would like to thank you for reading and send you our best wishes from the men, women, children and elders of the Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir community, we who have walked and fought together, in defence of the earth.


Comisario Ejidal,

Los Llanos, San Crístobal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Andrés Gómez Díaz, President

Javier Gómez López, Secretary

Pedro Jiménez Díaz, Treasurer

Surveillance Council

Los Llanos, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas 

Guadalupe Díaz López, President

Domingo Marcelino Jiménez Pérez, First Secretary

Rogelio Jiménez Pérez, Second Secretary

Authorities of the Community, San José El Porvenir, Huixtan, Chiapas 

Domingo de la Cruz Gómez, Community Representative

Salvador de la Cruz Gómez, Auxiliary Agent

Translated by Ruby Zajac for the UK Zapatista Translation Service



December 27, 2015

Denunciation of police violence against trans* individuals in Palenque

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:13 pm



Denunciation of police violence against trans* individuals in Palenque.



Protest carried out by the Network for the Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas to denounce impunity in cases against LGBTQI persons. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas released a pronouncement denouncing the violence exercised by municipal police during the arrest of two trans* women in Palenque. In this document, those undersigned express their solidarity “amidst the violence that municipal police of Palenque exercised on 19 November against trans* women and that has continued now for several days.”

According to the communique, five trans* youth were taking photos in front of a club in Palenque when they were surrounded by five patrol-cars from the municipal police who arrested them arbitrarily, “treating them cruelly, inhumanely, and in a degrading fashion.” These acts gave evidence to the violation of their “right to non-discrimination, recognition of their juridical person, and to their personal integrity.” The denunciation includes testimony from one of those arrested, explaining how in the police offices she was disrobed and had her genitals examined, an experience that was reproduced for all the others, she said.

Since that night, the women have denounced police persecution against them on the charge of prostitution. As they note, “this happens every year; it is nothing new. There are times when they terrorize and mock us more; this year it was the same.” In this sense, the Campaign denounces the human-rights violations experienced daily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersexual communities (LGBTQI). “As a campaign we stress the fact that those who are obliged to protect the integrity of persons such as the municipal police of Palenque are in reality the ones who violate the rights of the people and put their lives most at risk.”

In this sense, the Inter-American Commission on Human rights (IACHR) published in November 2015 a report on violence that expresses concern for police abuse against LGBTQI individuals, “given that this leads others to think that they can hurt others without punishment if they have different sexual orientations or gender identities.” In this way, the Network for Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas denounced that in the last two years, there have been 24 murders of gays in the state, all of which continue in impunity. It is worth mentioning the recent arrest of trans* persons in Comitán, who according to Chiapas Paralelo were arrested, bound for 18 hours, and threatened with lynching and being burned alive with gasoline after having been unjustly accused of robbery.





September 12, 2015

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido from Palenque denounces police invasion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:08 pm


 Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ejido from Palenque denounces police invasion

Photo of northern zone of Chiapas @ SIPAZ archive

Photo of northern zone of Chiapas @ SIPAZ archive

The ejidatarios from Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community, Palenque municipality, denounced that on 2 August two municipal police trucks arrived to the community.  “Of these patrols, 6 municipal police came out and approached the Ejidal House, where an extraordinary communal assembly was being celebrated with the three organization SERPAJ (Services for Peace and Justice-Morelos), the Ixim Antsetic Women’s House, and two coordinators from the Xi’nich organization.  These police did not identify themselves or provide any documentation even though we requested this of them,” noted the public denunciation.  The police expressed that they had received an emergency call from the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, affirming the existence of injured and burned persons due to a confrontation between Catholics and Evangelicals in the Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas community.

The ejidatarios indicated that “this is not the first time that police have arrived without identifying themselves in our community.  On other occasions they have arrived on the pretext that there were confrontations in the community.  In April they arrived saying that they came to protect 4 families, and that they would be conducting patrols due to a supposed threat of displacement.”  “We grow weary of these lies.  The police come to intimidate and provoke due to the internal conflict that has existed for the past 5 years, of which all the governmental institutions are well-aware.  They use the lie that it is a religious conflict as a pretext to continue manipulating and terrorizing the organized community in defence of our Mother Earth, whom we will continue to defend,” they added in the document.

For their part, the organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s House of Palenque, SERPAJ-Morelos, Xi’nich, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), the Centre for Women’s Rights in Chiapas, and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights demonstrated their concern for “this type of intimidation on the part of the government.  We know that it is a means of provocation that seeks to terrorize the community and lead it to give up its struggle for Mother Earth and life.  It is for this reason that we will continue to accompany this process that demands justice and respect for the rights to autonomy of indigenous peoples.”



July 22, 2015

CAM, SADEC, and X’inich demand a home for residents of their communities who are ill

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:52 pm

CAM, SADEC, and X’inich demand a home for residents of their communities who are ill

Palenque City Hall @ Revista Poderes

Palenque City Hall @ Revista Poderes

The organizations Ixim Antsetic Women’s Home, Communal Health and Development (SADEC), and X’inich published an open letter to the Palenque mayor, Marcos Mayo, calling on him to “observe his electoral-campaign commitment that is of great importance to the people: the construction of a home for the relatives of  residents of our communities when they are ill (we know it is very late, but the idea is that a budget will be assigned, and construction begun).”

The document recalls the primacy of the right to health, emphasizing the “problems that women face in pregnancy, labour, and the post-partum period, as many have nowhere to go after their children are born. They are told that it isn’t yet time for the child to be born, and so they are returned to their communities, and this has been the reason for major complications in labour or perinatal deaths.” Beyond this, they added that the Palenque hospital must attend to 400,000 residents from 9 neighboring municipalities, including Tila, Sabanilla, Salto de Agua, and Tumbalá, all of which have more than 90% indigenous populations with few resources. Additionally, Palenque itself has a 50% indigenous population.



June 30, 2015

Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour communities of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI)

Filed under: Bachajon, La Sexta — Tags: , , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:40 pm


Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour communities of the Indigenous National Congress (CNI)

Delegation from Ayotzinapa in Palenque @OmarEl44

Delegation from Ayotzinapa in Palenque @OmarEl44

On 16 June, a caravan of relatives and comrades of the disappeared and murdered students from Ayotzinapa arrived in Chiapas to meet with indigenous communities organized within the Indigenous National Congress (CNI) who adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the  Lacandona Jungle. Doña Bertha Nava and Don Tomás Ramírez, the parents of Julio César Ramírez Nava, who was murdered on 26 September 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Doña Cristina Bautista Salvador, mother of Benjamín Ascencio Bautista (disappeared), and Omar García, a student, comprised the caravan. The caravan began its first day in the community of San Francisco, Teopisca municipality, with the participation of the Dignified Seed, a collective from the Chiapas highlands, the Network in Defence of Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Chiapas, and the Las Abejas Civil Society. Omar García noted that “Ayotzinapa has united many of us, and if we are not all against the system, still we work together, because we do not count ourselves by number, but rather by strength of relationships that are woven in this struggle.” Regarding the pain of Acteal, he said, “what you have suffered we also have suffered. Now we must confront that pain together with you.”

On 17 June, the caravan continued on to San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality, with the presence and participation of members organized in the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido who represent communities that make up the People United in Defence of Electricity (PUDEE) and the Tila ejido. In Cumbre Nachoj, the headquarters of the ejido where the meeting took place, Doña Berta expressed that “in Tixtla Guerrero, we thought it was just us, but all of us have been beaten down by the government in one way or another.” The conclusion of the caravan took place in Palenque with the XINICH organization that is comprised of indigenous communities of the northern Lacandona jungle, ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón, the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone, human-rights defenders, and the civil society in solidarity, demanding justice for Ayotzinapa and also for the case of the massacre in the Viejo Velasco community in the Ocosingo municipality, which took place in 2006, that continues in impunity.



June 27, 2015

Bachajón communiqué from Palenque, with the parents of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa

Filed under: Bachajon — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:58 am


Bachajón communiqué from Palenque, with the parents of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa



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

To the mass and alternative media

To the Good Government Juntas

To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

To the Indigenous National Congress

To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression

To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York

To the collectives and committees of solidarity at a national and international level

To national and international human rights defenders

To the people of Mexico and the world

Compañeros and compañeras, today we walk in Palenque, Chiapas alongside the brave and dignified mothers and fathers of the compañeros forcibly disappeared from Ayotzinapa by this narco government which has hijacked the country and with its military and police only wants to govern the country to trample over us as if our lives were worth nothing.

The institutions of the bad government are rotten to their roots and there is no way to defend our right through the law of bad government, so we work for the autonomy of our peoples and obey the people so they can have a decent life, we organize ourselves so we can address the needs of the peoples; even though the government wants to see us without money and in poverty we continue to build our autonomy, we denouncing the machinations of the bad government and the crimes they have committed such as murder when they killed our compañeros who were authorities like Juan Vazquez Guzmán on 24th April 2013 and Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano on 21st March 2014.

There is no other way, compañeros and compañeras, we must organize and struggle to build another country where there is respect for the life of the peoples and respect for our rights.


We want to remember our compañeros y compañeras who were killed in the massacre at Viejo Velasco in November 13, 2006, where grave human rights violations were committed, and where also there are compañeros displaced for fighting for land as in Acteal where after many years there is still no justice. This is happening in Guerrero which fills us with pain and rage, knowing that there also there is no respect for life and the autonomy of the peoples. So the best justice is not to forget, to remember the compañeros and compañeras who have fought for a world where many worlds fit.

We demand the liberation of our prisoners in Yajalón JUAN ANTONIO GOMEZ SILVANO, MARIO AGUILAR SILVANO and ROBERTO GOMEZ HERNANDEZ, prisoners in Playas de Catazajá SANTIAGO MORNEO PERES, EMILIO JIMENES GOMEZ, prisoner in Amate ESTEBAN GOMEZ JIMENEZ.

From the northern zone of the state of Chiapas, Mexico, we send an embrace and combative greetings from the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and Freedom

Zapata Vive!

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vázquez Guzmán Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!

Antonio Vivar Diaz lives

NO dispossession of indigenous territories!

Immediate presentation of the disappeared compañeros from Ayotzinapa!

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




June 22, 2015

Visit from the relatives and colleagues of the disappeared and assassinated students from Ayotzinapa to the communities of the CNI in Chiapas: Palenque

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:47 pm


Visit from the relatives and colleagues of the disappeared and assassinated students from Ayotzinapa to the communities of the CNI in Chiapas: Palenque



On 18th June the delegation from the caravan of parents, relations and compañeros of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa came to Palenque to meet with the organised peoples of the Indigenous National Congress in the northern part of the state of Chiapas.

Members of the organization Xi’nich, ejidatarios from the ejido San Sebastián Bachajón, students, organizations and civil society walked with the parents through the streets of Palenque demanding justice for Ayotzinapa and for the case of the community of Viejo Velasco. Later in a rally in the central square of Palenque, organizations were able to express their solidarity with the families and fellow students from the Rural Normal School of Isidro Burgos from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.



April 21, 2015

Inhabitants of Los Llanos Obtain Investigation into Effects of Motorway

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:36 pm


Inhabitants of Los Llanos Obtain Investigation into Effects of Motorway

Federal Court Orders Investigation into the Effect of the San Cristóbal to Palenque Motorway on the Tzotzil Ejido of Los Llanos in Chiapas

On January 6, 2014, inhabitants of the indigenous Tzotzil Ejido of Los Llanos (in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas municipality of Chiapas) filed a petition of relief against all permits and licences issued by federal, state, and municipal authorities for the construction of the San Cristóbal to Palenque Motorway (which had been given without previous, free, and informed consultation with locals). According to the citizens, the megaproject would put their food sovereignty at risk, while violating their rights to territory, autonomy, freedom from discrimination, and protection of the environment and natural resources (all of which are provided for in the Mexican Constitution and the ILO’s Convention 169, concerning “Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries”).[1]

The aforementioned community specified in their complaint that, on November 16, 2013, San Cristóbal councillor Fidencio Pérez Jiménez had come to Los Llanos to assert (in a threatening manner) that the motorway would pass through the citizens’ common lands whether they liked it or not. If they resisted the project, he had told them, the communal authorities would go to jail and the army would be brought in to facilitate the start of the construction process.[2]

Furthermore, the citizens indicated that, on November 26, 2013, the Secretary General of Government in Chiapas had affirmed in public statements to the local and national media that there would be “no turning back” in the construction of the motorway, in spite of the opposition of local indigenous communities (including that of Los Llanos). With these words, the senior official had sent out a clear message that the indigenous Tzotzil people’s right to consultation had not been (and would not be) guaranteed by his regime.

On January 13, 2014, the petition of relief filed by the inhabitants of Los Llanos was accepted by the Sixth District Court of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, under the case number 16/2014. In turn, the suspension of trade to the community was granted, under the argument that all permits and licences issued by the three levels of government regarding the motorway in question had aimed to dispossess an indigenous community of its common lands. This postponement of business would only be ended upon the resolution of the case.

On August 5, 2014, however, the Sixth District Judge dismissed the case when government authorities suddenly claimed that the motorway’s construction would not affect the Los Llanos Ejido. Effectively, then, the federal judge found the government’s statements valid and claimed that the plaintiffs’ legal interests were not under threat. At the same time, though, this decision came in spite of the fact that reports submitted by the Department of Communication and Transportation had shown that Los Llanos could indeed be affected by the construction of the motorway. And, for precisely this reason, the plaintiffs launched an appeal against the sentence on August 19.

Now, the case was referred to the Fourth Court of Appeals in Tuxtla Gutiérrez under the case number 292/2014. Subsequently, on March 12, 2015, a new sentence was passed, which revoked the judgment of the federal court for having violated procedural laws whilst leaving Los Llanos inhabitants defenceless. Additionally, the court ordered a topographical investigation to determine whether the claims made by the plaintiffs (and the reports of the Department of Communication and Transportation) about the effects of the motorway megaproject on Los Llanos were correct or not.

Finally, on April 7, 2015, the Sixth District Judge complied with the aforementioned decision by ordering a land survey and asking both the plaintiffs and defendants to come to an agreement about which expert they wished to appoint to carry out the investigation. [As of April 20, 2015, the case remains unresolved.[3]]

Translated and adapted by Oso Sabio from a text written by Ricardo Lagunes (“attorney for the communal landowners of San Sebastian Bachajón”[4])



[2] See

[3] For information on similar cases in Chiapas, see




January 19, 2015

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

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


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


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

JANUARY 16, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





December 28, 2014

Mobilizations against the project of the Mega-Highway from San Cristóbal-Palenque

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:42 pm


Mobilizations against the project of the Mega-Highway from San Cristóbal-Palenque

(Meeting in ejido Los Llanos, San Cristobal de Las Casas, October 2014)

In November 2013, the Secretary of Government of Chiapas, Eduardo Aguilar Ramirez, affirmed that there would be“no going back” in the project to build a mega-highway that would go from San Cristobal de Las Casas to Palenque, two of the most important tourist centers in the state. In the time since this declaration, communities opposing the project decided to form the Movement for the Defence of Life and Territory. The project is part of the National Infrastructure Plan and was already part of the Plan Puebla Panama (2001-2007). There has been little official information so far. In November 2013, Ramirez Aguilar added that “the affected parties will be compensated, there is no other way. Some of them can get social benefits, improved housing, productive projects”. He also stressed that“when public utility works are constructed, as in this case, the government may expropriate and compensate, but we are favoring the route of politics and dialogue.”

Assembly in the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón against the construction of the highway. Municipality of Chilón, August 2014  © SIPAZ

Assembly in the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón against the construction of the highway. Municipality of Chilón, August 2014

Although the final route has not yet been published, municipalities such as Huixtán, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, San Juan Cancuc, Ocosingo, Chilón, San Cristóbal and Palenque would be affected. According to Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, ratified by Mexico, indigenous peoples potentially affected by a project have the right to a free, prior and informed consultation. In this case, the indigenous population has not been integrated into the development of the project.

The definition of development for the peoples can be very different from the governmental or business concept. The peoples have specific needs, which in many cases, are far from the idea of entering the market for tourism or ecotourist projects. Furthermore, the construction of the highway will involve damage to the environment, crops and homes which line the road from San Cristóbal-Palenque.

We must appreciate that a state so rich in natural resources is of great interest to the business sector, which has had serious difficulties in accessing these resources due to the opposition and distrust of the peoples. In January 2014, the Secretary of the Government of Chiapas said that “we cannot bring investment if we do not have the highway infrastructure; the first thing the private sector asks, whether it is foreign or domestic, is whether there are good roads and highways, and in Chiapas we have very few roads and highways.”

So far in 2014, from gatherings and community assemblies, several facts have emerged which violate the peace of the peoples and have led to a growing opposition to the project. In January 2014, the ejidatarios of Los Llanos, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, filed an “amparo” (request for legal protection) against the project, and they stated that, in November 2013, a representative of the city council of San Cristóbal came to their community “to threaten that the highway would cross the common lands, and if the community objected, the authorities of the community would go to prison and they would bring the army to start the construction works.” Los Llanos and the community of San José El Porvenir, Huixtán reported that “we are (not necessarily) against the highway, but we will be if they take away our lands, which are of fundamental value for the life of our community”. At the same time, they denounced that the government “has not come to ask if we give permission or not, they are simply saying that the highway will pass through”. “They have offered us other lands in Rancho Nuevo, supposedly for us to relocate to, yet these lands are in dispute because they belong to Mitzitón. We do not accept them, because to do so would involve conflict with our indigenous brothers who own them,” the ejidatarios explained. “They have told us that the road will go ahead by force, whether or not we want it to. They are looking to buy the community leaders, they refuse them infrastructure projects, such as pavements,” they said.

Sign against the construction of the mega-highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque  © SIPAZ

Sign against the construction of the mega-highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque


In July 2014, more than 15,000 people marched in 10 municipalities in Chiapas against the highway project. In August, an extraordinary assembly was held in the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, municipality of Chilón, where some 1,800 ejidatarios rejected the construction of the highway. They denounced that the ejidal commissioner had been harassed and pressurized to sign the authorization for the mega-highway, and that his son was fired from his job at a state government office on the grounds that he could only return to his post once his father had accepted the project.

In Candelaria, in the municipality of San Cristóbal, the ejidal authorities explained that the city council summoned them to inform them of their intention that the road should run across their land and to ask them to sign a document approving the project. The delegate of the Government of Chiapas assured them that neighboring communities had already accepted. After the meeting, the ejidatarios went to visit several communities and found that “the other communities do not agree (with the project).” “We were not given information, they just tried to force us to sign, but we did not want to,” they declared.

In subsequent months, days of mobilization were held. In many communities signs and banners were placed. On September 17, there took place in Laguna Suyul, a sacred place in the Highlands of Chiapas, a ceremony and joint declaration from more than 2,000 people from 14 municipalities in opposition to the mega-highway. The final declaration stated that “we will defend the environment, the web and the veins of mother earth; rivers, lakes, springs, mountains, trees, caves, hills. We will defend the lives of animals, sacred places, the ecosystem of mother nature and human life.” It was agreed: total rejection of the construction of the mega-highway; to make a plan of resistance (including pilgrimages, occupations and mobilizations); to send letters to embassies, organizations that care for the environment and to the authorities.

The mega-highway is one more example in Mexico and Latin America, of where business interests collide with indigenous peoples who understand “development” as respect for “life”.

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