dorset chiapas solidarity

February 8, 2017

Believing People Pilgrimage

Filed under: Displacement, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:44 pm


Believing People Pilgrimage

believing-popleBelieving People Pilgrimage in San Cristóbal, 2016 Photo: El Heraldo de Chiapas

On January 25, members of Believing Peoples of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas held a pilgrimage on the fifth anniversary of the death of Jtatik Samuel Ruíz and also for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ).

About 4,000 people came from the municipalities of Comitan, Frontera Comalapa, Chicomuselo, Altamirano, Tila, Las Margaritas, Ocosingo, Chilon, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, San Cristóbal, Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, among others. They met in the Cathedral Square of San Cristobal de las Casas to remember Jtatik Samuel in prayer.

As Believing Peoples, they proposed building autonomy in the communities, recovering the structure of government, resisting the projects and recovering the autonomous and community governments, facing the 2018 elections, as the political parties are already controlling and organizing their people in communities.

Believing Peoples denounce “the poverty that is increasing through the rise of [the price of] gasoline, gas, electricity, tortilla, transportation and everything. We denounce the nationalist egotism of the new government in the United States, which excludes emigrants and who only look out for their economic interests, without solidarity with less developed countries.



February 6, 2017

25th Anniversary of the Pueblo Creyente in Chiapas: “We intend to build autonomy in our communities”

Filed under: Acteal, Frayba, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:15 am



25th Anniversary of the Pueblo Creyente in Chiapas:  “We intend to build autonomy in our communities”



Published by: POZOL COLECTIVO  25 January 2017


Communiqué from the Pueblo Creyente on the sixth anniversary of Jtatik(*) Samuel’s death

“We denounce the projects of death”

Popol Vuh: Dawn came upon all the tribes together. The face of the earth was immediately cleansed by the sun (33). Dawn came to all the peoples who again and again have walked through different periods of history’s darkness and ignorance.

To the general public

To people of different religious beliefs

To the State and Federal Governments

To the mass media

To men and women who build peace


We greet and congratulate our sisters of CODIMUJ(**) who celebrate 25 years of their journey.

Aware of our reality, we, the Pueblo Creyente, are builders of alternatives, we are role models and we organise and demonstrate this by defending Mother Earth.

We, the Publo Creyenete, are in motion in many places and in many ways. There is agreement that Pueblo Creyente is for people of faith. Our greatest desire is to fight for the freedom and an economy that will benefit our communities and we are united together in a shared struggle. For 25 years we have been putting our prophetic voice into action.

We are encouraged by Father Francisco’s words in San Cristobal:

“The law of the Lord is perfect and comforting to the soul, it is a law that would help God’s people to live in the freedom to which they had been called. A law that wanted to be the light for their footsteps and to accompany the pilgrimage of His people. People who had lived through slavery and the Pharaoh’s despotism, people who had lived suffering and abuse, until God said enough, until God said:  No more! We have seen sorrow, I have heard the cry, I have known their anguish (cf. Ex 3, 9).


We denounce the projects of death:

The violence, the dispossession of our land, the territory and the natural resources. Cutting down trees. Mega-projects:  super highways, eco-tourism projects, mining, dams, wind turbines, gas, petroleum, destruction of the ecosystem. Privatisation of natural resources. The cost of electricity and petrol. Agro-chemicals. Pollution, particularly of the water. Genetically modified seeds. Agricultural reform. Single-crop farming.

In the political realm we denounce:  The trickery of the political parties. The disease of power. The government’s projects. Structural reforms. Corruption and impunity. The government’s failure to listen to social demands. The authorities’ oppression and repression. We are not consulted when they make laws. “Public servants”, not servants of their own interests. Structural reforms, the free trade agreement, legalisation of dispossession, violence and impunity. We are opposed to the “PROCEDE” programme which will be the end of our ejidos.

In the social realm: The divisions. Machismo. Violence against and exploitation of women. Improper use of the Internet. The use of pharmaceutical medicines, rather than the use of traditional medicine. The sale and consumption of alcohol and drugs. We denounce the government’s strategy which has used young people for drug trafficking and the consumption of drugs. Junk food. The water shortages caused by the privatisation of water. The projects and reactivation of hydroelectric dams. Infiltration and creation of groups to disrupt the people’s struggle. The oil wells. Physical illness.


Social ills, violence in the family, prostitution. Organised crime. Hunger. The violation of migrants’ human rights, and the abuse and extortion carried out by migration officials, and the police and army because they have links to organised crime. Religious divisions. Militarisation of the territory, infiltration by powerful groups, organised crime. Lack of employment and public services, the dismantling of the health services and the shortage of medicine in hospitals. We also denounce those who use our sisters and brothers as cheap labour in their companies in the north of the country, working as they do in slave-like conditions.

As Pueblo Creyente we intend:

To build autonomy in our communities, recovering our structures of governance. As Pueblo Creyente, we are not a specific organisation, as Mexican citizens, we have the experience and legal space to build our alternative political and economic systems. We need to keep up our resistance to these projects of death and recover our autonomous governments, our communities.

Already in the run up to the 2018 elections, political parties are already controlling and organizing their people in communities, and we urge people not to sell out. Let us fight for our dignity and for the truth, let’s not be sell-outs. Oxchuc is an example of a community undergoing this process of recovery.


As Pueblo Creyente we are defending Mother Earth and the territory through our way of life and pilgrimages and prayers. We are self-organised, and we keep ourselves informed through the alternative media. These are processes of becoming aware of reality.

The projects in favour of life that we are building are:

Unity, Conscious raising, Dignified Lives, Autonomy, Self-government, Fraternity, Self-expression, Alternative social structures, Native Seeds, Autonomous food security. A government for the community, Freedom, Resistance, our Ancestors´ Wisdom, True Life, People Power, Community halls, Care for all the plants, animals and other species, and Justice.

We express our solidarity with:

collectives and organisations that defend life. Those who defend the rights of women, like CODIMUJ. We share the CNI’s objective of the desire to strengthen the voices of our communities and create our autonomy. We express our solidarity with the families of the thousands of disappeared people.

We urge other communities to unite because it is necessary to unite our people and our territory, do not be afraid to join us. Fear is a tool Big Money uses to paralyse us. We are encouraged by the words of Pope Francisco: “now is the time to mobilise”.

May the Heart of Heaven and the Heart of the Earth, owner and creator of man, woman and nature, enlighten us and strengthen us in our walk.

Pueblo Creyente from the Dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

25 January 2017

Photos: Frayba and the Abejas of Acteal Communication Team.

(*) “Jtatik” is a Tzeltal word of respect and means “our father”

(**) CODIMUJ is the Spanish acronym for “Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres” or the Women’s Organisation of the Diocese


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service h





November 28, 2016

Threats to Simojovel Parishioners

Filed under: Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:53 am


Threats to Simojovel Parishioners


puebloMarcelo Perez (Photo@ Red TdT)


On November 4, Simojovel Believing Peoples released a statement announcing the renewal of threats and attacks against the priest Marcelo Perez Perez.

“As community human rights defenders, we also affirm, if anything happens to any member of the Believing Peoples, especially the threatened women and their children or our parish priest Marcelo Perez, those immediately responsible will be Ramiro Gomez Dominguez, Juan Gomez Dominguez and Cleopatra Flores del Carpio, in complicity with the State for protecting the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they argue.

In the statement they say that on November 9, Gilberto Martinez Lara, 52, was kidnapped and found dead before midday.

They point out that on when Juan Gomez was released from prison on January 19 last, gunshots in the neighbourhoods increased and “on November 4 and 5 Juan Gomez Dominguez was in Simojovel and five days after Juan Gómez’s visit, the kidnapping and murder of Gilberto Martínez Lara occurred.”

Furthermore, they specify that on November 2, around 12:30 pm, in the middle of the celebration of the mass in the municipal cemetery of Simojovel de Allende, members of the Believing Peoples who were there realized that three people were photographing and recording the priest and his companions.

“Based on this fact and feeling harassed, a member of Believing Peoples approached and questioned one of them saying why do they follow us and take pictures of us? (sic). This person responding nervously: ‘We provide protection on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office and the photographs are to verify our work.’”

“We do not know if these people really are from the government or are from organized crime; in view of the risk situation in which we live, we don’t trust suspicious actions and if these people were from the Attorney General’s Office, as we have said, they are responsible for the impunity, violence and the freedom of the Gomez Dominguez brothers,” they conclude.


Posted by Dorset Chipas Solidarity



November 19, 2016

Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.



Indigenous begin a 12-day pilgrimage against mega-projects in Chiapas.





By: Isaín Mandujano

More than a thousand indigenous Choles, Tseltales and Tsotsiles left this Tuesday morning from Salto de Agua, in a pilgrimage that will tour 11 municipalities (municipios) to denounce and protest against the mega-projects that threaten their lands and the life of their communities.

Throughout 12 days, the indigenous will be added to in each one of the municipios through which the march will travel until arriving in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Today, they left Salto de Agua for Tumbalá where a traditional celebration will be held. They will spend Wednesday night in Yajalón, where they will hold the forum “The Original Peoples’ Fight” from the experience of Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel.

 On Thursday they will be in Chilón, where they will participate in the forum “The fight for the defence of water.” On Friday, the caravan will depart for Ocosingo, where the forum “Care of Mother Earth” will be held. On Saturday, they will be in Altamirano where they will hold the forum “Alcoholism in the indigenous communities.” On Sunday, November 20, the marchers will spend the night in Oxchuc where they will hold the forum “Community Governments.”

On Monday the 21st, they will be in Cancuc, where a traditional indigenous ceremony will be celebrated. On Tuesday the 22nd they will arrive in Tenejapa, where the auxiliary bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas Diocese, Enrique Díaz Díaz, will head a traditional religious ceremony. On Wednesday the 23rd they will be in Huixtán to celebrate the forum “Government projects in the indigenous communities.”

On November the 24th, they will arrive in La Candelaria, a rural community within the municipio of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where they will celebrate another traditional indigenous ceremony and dialogue about the situations that threaten their community life. On Friday the 25th, they will finally arrive in the central plaza of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, where the gathering of thousands of marchers that have added themselves to movement is expected.

The Movement in Defence of Life and Territory (Modevite) called for this march and pilgrimage, composed of 10 parishes of 11 municipios. For the las four years, the Pueblo Creyente of the Diocese of San Cristóbal have organized in defence of their territory. They have achieved the stopping of the construction of the Palenque-San Cristóbal superhighway, which would have crossed through their territory. Their objective now is to decide the use and destiny of their territory, principally in the face of threats from the extractive industry and the mega-projects.

“We know our rights as original peoples. We seek to unify our voices and our efforts against the ambition of the impresarios and the government that covet our natural resources,” says Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez.

“We are in a strategic place for the mega-projects. This territory is one the objectives of extractivism,” he added.

For example, Father Marcelo says, in the Tulijá (River) Valley they plan to construct an artificial lake that will flood 396 square kilometres of forests and indigenous lands. The lake would have the capacity of 24 billion 540 million cubic meters, which contemplates the construction of “modern industrial, small farming and aquifer population centres” on the sides of the dam.”

“We don’t want projects that only benefit some, we don’t want projects without consulting us, we don’t want improvements for the rich while the poor continue in the same condition,” another indigenous Ch’ol speaker said today before departing for Tumbalá.

“We seek to organize the peoples to construct our autonomy; that our right as original peoples to the life that we want is recognized. We need to join our voices in defence of our forests, our rivers. We demand the governments stop the extractive industry and the mega-projects that are being imposed without consulting us,” Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez stated.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




July 26, 2016

Chiapas: “The people’s patience has run out”, Pueblo Creyente express solidarity with the teachers

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:30 am




Chiapas: “The people’s patience has run out”, Pueblo Creyente express solidarity with the teachers




published by the Pozol Collective, 18 July 2016

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. Pozol, 18 July. Thousands of parishioners from 52 parishes of the dioceses of San Cristobal de las Casas pilgrimaged in solidarity with the teachers and to commemorate the 25 years since the establishment of the Pueblo Creyente movement, which began in 1991 “to seek justice and respect for the most basic rights of being human” stated the pilgrimage organisers after a long walk.

Among the participants in this massive pilgrimage were members from the groups in the Highlands, Lowlands, Cho’l, Southeast, South, Tsotsil, Tzetzal and the Centre. They delivered food supplies to the teachers’ picket in Tuxtla, who have been there since 15 May, protesting the self-styled “education reform”. “We demand an alternative education project”, stated the protesters, among whom are teachers from the trade union sections 7 and 40, which belong to the “Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE – or National Coordinator of Education Workers).

The parishioners from Chiapas expressed via a communique their disdain of the political class in Mexico, its corruption, and the fact that they use laws and the police and military forces to their advantage. “It’s necessary to reorient politics to benefit the most vulnerable,” they emphasised, and to this “it’s necessary to look for alternative and autonomous routes.”

“The people’s patience has run out,” said the indigenous communities and campesino pilgrims categorically. “Enough! We’ve had it with so many lies and tricks; with the exploitation of the poor, and with the manipulation of laws and use of violece,” they stated.

The spokesperson for the Pueblo Creyente Joel Padron asked that the CNTE teachers “don’t get up from the table of dialogue with the Government until we have achieved a Mexico that we want.” This pilgrimage will not finish until we have achieved justice,” added the priest who had been imprisoned in 1991 and for whom the indigenous communities went on pilgrimage to demand his freedom.

Father Marcelo from the parish of Simojovel said that if the government continues to insist on imposing this education reform, we don’t discard the possibility of walking from Chiapas to Mexico City. “A pilgrimage is to liberate people through walking, yelling, and telling the truth,” said the pastor. “If the government imposes these reforms by force, it will do so only by making our blood run,” warned the priest from Chiapas.


Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service

Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




July 21, 2016

In Chiapas, thousands march in support of the CNTE

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:33 am



In Chiapas, thousands march in support of the CNTE




believing-people-with-bannerThe banner reads: We, Believing People of Simojovel, demand that the government does not betray the dialogue with the CNTE like it betrayed the agreements signed in San Andrés with the EZLN.


By: Isaín Mandujano


Thousands of Indigenous faithful from almost 50 parishes of the San Cristóbal de las Casas Diocese marched today (Monday) in the Chiapas capital in support of the teachers’ movement.

During the mobilization they demanded that the federal government “not betray” the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE), like it betrayed the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) in the San Andrés dialogues.

For the fifth time, the Catholics of Pueblo Creyente marched for several kilometres from the state capital’s eastern exit until reaching the central plaza, where after issuing a pronouncement in favour of the teachers in the occupation, they held a mass, an act in which there were prayers, songs and chants in favour of the teachers’ fight.

During the march Father Gustavo Andrade, from the parish of Venustiano Carranza, and the priest Marcelo Pérez Pérez, from the Simojovel temple, celebrated the realization of this approach between the CNTE and the Secretariat of Governance (Segob) to achieve agreements that permit satisfying the teachers’ demands against the education reform.

Nevertheless, it was Pérez Pérez who stated his concern that the federal government “would betray” its word as it already did with the EZLN, after the agreements from the dialogues in San Andrés in 1996.

“We are worried, we must be attentive and alert so that the government does not betray its word, because it would not be the first time in which the government failed to fulfil the agreements that it signed,” said the parish priest that marched with the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

With drum music, and accompanied by the sound of the conch shell, the faithful arrived in the capital escorted by thousands of teachers who protected their walk for several kilometres until they reached the central plaza.

There on the platform the parish priest of Tila, Heriberto Cruz Vera, asked the teachers not to stop their fight against unjust laws, and if for this fifth time they left their communities, it is because they consider it a peaceful struggle to which they have the need to add themselves.

He asked the priests that don’t leave their parishes to tour the Chiapas communities and observe the misery, poverty and marginalization, the places in which the teachers work in the most undignified conditions.

“We want a reform that really benefits the teachers and the boys and girls of Chiapas, a reform that really puts an end to those destitute conditions in which classes are imparted in Chiapas, not a reform that attacks the teachers’ labour rights,” Cruz Vera said.

Also on the platform was Father Joel Padrón, who along with Cruz Vera is considered a disciple or follower of the work that the late Bishop Emeritus Samuel Ruiz García constructed and left as a legacy.

Joel Padrón is a parish priest who was persecuted and imprisoned in the 1990s, and who the state government of Patrocinio González Garrido accused of promoting the invasion of ranches.

It was during his incarceration 25 years ago that what is called Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) was born as a Catholic organization that defends the rights among the indigenous peoples and communities of Los Altos of Chiapas.

Today, Pueblo Creyente alerted the teachers in a missive not to cede in their fight, because in they have great social support in the state from those who believe and trust in them to achieve that the government retracts the unjust laws, like it did with the so-called 3×3 Law after minimal protest of a group of business owners.


Originally Published in Spanish by

Monday, July 18, 2016

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor amendments for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity



Believing Peoples [Pueblo Creyente] Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 8:19 am



Believing Peoples [Pueblo Creyente] Hold Pilgrimage in Tuxtla in Support of Teachers


believing-peopleBelieving Peoples pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez


On July 18, about 30 thousand members of Believing Peoples representing 52 parishes throughout the state as well as thousands of teachers, members of the CNTE, held a pilgrimage together on Monday in Tuxtla Gutierrez demanding that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, discuss in “public dialogue” not only education reform, but also the so-called structural reforms that the government has been promoting. “We came to demand that the government act honestly, because even when there is a negotiating table with the CNTE, we remember what happened to the San Andres Accords (signed in 1996 between the Federal Government and the EZLN). The government betrayed them, and that can also happen now”, the indigenous pastor of Simojovel parish, Marcelo Perez Perez said, during the demonstration on Monday in the central square of the state capital, where teachers installed in a camp two months ago as part of protests against education reform.

Apart from Believing Peoples, several organizations, communities and groups expressed their objection to the reforms and their support for the teachers in recent weeks.


Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 21/07/2016



July 8, 2016

Thousands of Faithful Hold Pilgrimages in Support of Teachers’ Movement

Filed under: sipaz — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:13 pm



Thousands of Faithful Hold Pilgrimages in Support of Teachers’ Movement


 profesDuring the pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo:@SIPAZ


On July 1, people from more than 15 parishes from the south-eastern region of the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas marched with their parish priests to show their support for the teachers’ movement which has been on strike since May 15 to demand the repeal of the educational reform bill and for the Government Secretary, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, to open a negotiating table with the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE).

It was called by pastoral agents and the south-eastern team of Believing People and parish priests and faithful from Tuxtla, Tapachula, San Cristobal, Chicomuselo, La Trinitaria, La Independencia, Comitan, Las Margaritas, Simojovel, Pueblo Nuevo, San Fernando and others took part, amounting to more than 15 parishes. The pilgrimage took place in Tuxtla Gutierrez, beginning at the eastern entrance of the state capital and marched several kilometres to the central square where a rally was held. The Catholics were met with applause by hundreds of teachers, thanking them for their solidarity with the movement. Several parishes and civil organizations spoke at the rally. One of them, Father Marcelo Perez Perez, said that “they will take to the streets as often as it is necessary to demand that the government withdraws the educational reform and all those reforms that attack the rights of Mexican workers.” Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society Organization also expressed their solidarity with the teachers and said in a statement that, “we cannot stay on the sidelines of this system, we cannot remain with our arms folded. […] Brutal death, repression and violence have been the daily bread for us as Mexicans. Because of all the initiatives and structural reforms that the Federal Government has proposed. It is a project of death that does not benefit Mexican society (sic).”

At the same time, the acting general secretary of Section Seven of the National Union of Education Workers, Manuel de Jesus Mendoza Vazquez, stated that, “by agreement of the permanent state assembly, the highway blockades at various points of the state will be maintained to prevent the passage of delivery trucks of transnational companies.” He sustained that the blockades will be permanent until the Federal Government responds to their demand for the repeal of the educational reform bill.


Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




June 11, 2016

If the Repression Continues, “All the People of God Will Rise Up,” warns the Pueblo Creyente

Filed under: Ethics, Human rights, Indigenous, Repression — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 11:11 am



If the Repression Continues, “All the People of God Will Rise Up,” warns the Pueblo Creyente

The Pueblo Creyente in Chiapas march in support of the teachers


13423745_1198543093498528_8668701279695012466_n-600x450Religious leaders from the region of Los Bosques, at the front of the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People)

By Isaín Mandujano

Chiapas Parallelo, 9th June 2016

Thousands of indigenous Tsotsiles from the different communities in the municipalities of Simojovel, El Bosque, Huitiupán, Amatán and Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán took part in a procession on Wednesday (8th June) in the state capital of Chiapas to demonstrate their support for the teachers’ movement in against the education reform.

Led by the parish priest of the Church of Simojovel, Marcelo Pérez Pérez, the men, women and children left their communities, came down from the Highlands of Chiapas and started a pilgrimage from the east side of Tuxtla; they walked for several kilometres to the central plaza where the teachers of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) have their encampments.

With the music of drums and whistles, with the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the hands of Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez and with the Mexican flag carried by an indigenous woman at his side, the indigenous left their communities to come to this city and take part in the procession in the midst of a human wall of teachers who welcomed them with applause and placards on which they gave thanks for their support.

13335844_1198544346831736_5863102005207382834_n-300x225All along the route, the teachers, like the neighbours from houses in the city centre, were giving fresh water and sandwiches to the indigenous. Some teachers wept with emotion as the march passed by.

When they reached the central square, the Pueblo Creyente (Believing People) were received by the CNTE leaders Alberto Mirón and Pedro Gómez Bámaca who thanked the over 4,000 indigenous, who come from the region also called Los Bosques, for this gesture of support.

Father Blas Alvarado from the parish of Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacán and Father Gustavo Andrade from the Venustiano Carranza parish were beside Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez.

In the message read to the teachers, Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez asked the federal government, President Enrique Peña Nieto and Aurelio Nuño for: “no more repression, because that generates revolution.”

“If you continue to send the police to repress the people, not only will the representatives of the church communities come on pilgrimage again, but we will inspire all the people of God to rise up,” he said in the letter which was read out.

He demanded that a proper, dignified dialogue be set up between the teachers and the federal government, with the mediation of some of the groups in society who have moral authority.

As a church they came here not to generate violence, but they rather came peacefully to demand peace, but a peace founded on truth, justice, freedom and love as Pope John XXIII described it.

“We say “No” to the mass dismissal of the teachers, because this is would violate the labour rights they have spent so many years fighting for. We demand that the deputies do not pass laws which create institutionalized violence. Today, the deputies have a crisis of credibility and of being representatives of the people, because they are not passing laws in response to the true principles and needs of the people, but rather in response to the stimulus of the money which the President of the Republic gives them to approve what he wants, and the legal initiatives that he sends to the Congress which are in the interests of foreign investors, making them treason to the Homeland,” he said.

The priest sent a message to the police forces: “You come from simple families, you are also poor, you are human, every teacher who you hit with your clubs, with your rubber bullets, who you hurt with your tear gas, you are injuring your brothers and sisters, because we are all children of God; if you receive an order to repress your brothers from your bosses, you are not obliged to obey that order.”

“The teachers are not criminals, they are not kidnappers, they are not drug traffickers, or murderers or traitors to their country; we see that the government sends police to repress the innocents, but the real criminals are those who traffic arms and drugs, and they don’t say anything to them, even though they find them with drugs and arms; the government responds to them with stopping any criminal action, as with the Gómez Family of Simojovel, who have stolen so much from the people,” he added.

“Brother police officers, you have relatives in the teaching profession, you have been to classes thanks to the teachers, you got your job because of the studies that you received from the teachers. Brothers, you are protectors not repressors” he emphasized.

“And if the repression doesn’t stop, Pope Francisco tells us: “A Christian, if he or she is not a revolutionary at this time, is not a Christian! We must be revolutionary for grace!” he concluded.


Based on an English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee



May 10, 2016

Armed groups attack the Pueblo Creyente from Simojovel, Chiapas

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 12:51 pm



Armed groups attack the Pueblo Creyente from Simojovel, Chiapas





Desinformémonos, May 7, 2016

Around 10 am on Wednesday 4th May, between 100 and 150 people from the PRI political party and the National Campesino Confederation entered the town of Simojovel in Chiapas with much violence, firing rockets, and throwing Molotov cocktails, stones and tear gas into the streets crowded with people. They went to the Central Park where the flea market (tianguis) was set up, where people sell their amber and pozol.

“As Pueblo Creyente (people of faith) we express our outrage because this was a direct attack on the population. As on so many occasions, the material damage can be seen, but the human damage remains anonymous, and this event was clearly no exception since it is mentioned that more than 5 people were hit.”

The denouncement was made through the Parish of San Antonio de Padua, in a release issued on Friday 6th May. The community’s view is that they sought to spread terror among the people of the town through these acts, since the attack caused panic, screams, closure of shops, parents running to schools for their children.


They detail that there were two episodes with similar modus operandi and violence in the previous week:

– in the early hours of 1st April, a group of armed and masked men with machetes, guns, stones and Molotov cocktails were escorted by 5 trucks of municipal police to evict a group of parents who are demanding education for their children, leaving four people injured.

– On Saturday 2nd April, around half past ten at night, Marcelo, the parish priest of that congregation was followed to a family reunion in the “Tabamex Room” in the barrio of San Sebastian; on arrival, the light was cut so that immediately afterwards, an explosive could be thrown into the room where they were celebrating 15 years. At that time, the parish facilities were raided.

The town of Simojovel was one of the communities visited by Pope Francis during his visit to Mexico this year. For a long time ago they have been denouncing, as they did before the Pontiff, the institutionalized violence afflicting the people, “expressed through the trafficking of arms, drugs and corruption on the part of the Gómez family.”

The people denounce that violence is starting to reign again in Simojovel, that the life of Father Marcelo Pérez Pérez is in danger, as well as the lives of several members of the Parish Council and the Pueblo Creyente. They also denounce the reactivation of armed groups by the aforementioned Gómez family.


They demand that the Mexican government takes urgent measures which are necessary to restore peace in Simojovel.  They hold Ramiro Gómez Domínguez and Juan Gómez Domínguez directly responsible for any action committed against Father Marcelo.
“The root of the violence is in that impunity and corruption have been imposed as a rule of action by the authorities and politicians.”



April 23, 2016

Human Rights Defenders in Simojovel continue to be at risk

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Repression, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:22 pm




Human Rights Defenders in Simojovel continue to be at risk


-Federal and local Deputies are protecting Juan Ramiro Gómez Domínguez 

-The protective measures implemented by the Mexican State have not been efficient, effective or dissuasive



This Human Rights Centre wants to make clear its concern regarding the imminent risk experienced daily by the members of the Parish council and the Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel, specifically Marcelo Pérez Pérez (hereafter Marcelo Pérez) the parish priest of the area.

Despite the precautionary legal measures file number MC-506-14 (hereafter MC) granted to Marcelo Pérez and ten other people by the Inter-American commission of Human Rights (hereafter CIDH), these measures have not been effective, efficient, or dissuasive.


According to information in the possession of Frayba, both institutions: the Attorney General’s office of the Mexican Republic (PGR) and the Attorney General’s Justice office of the State of Chiapas (PGJE), failed to act with due diligence in the actions of investigation, in fact to the contrary, they have acted by not investigating the crimes and activities of Juan Gómez.

Last January Mr. Juan Gomez Dominguez, who has been accused of being one of the perpetrators of [the attacks on] Marcelo Pérez, was released by the PGR.  He had been charged with the crime of carrying firearms which are for the exclusive use of the army and the air force, and was released through the revocation of the charge, due to the fact that the PGR did not carry out the actions necessary for the investigation, even though it is considered a serious charge, and one that is prosecuted ex officio. For their part, the PGJE though the Ministry of Public Affairs abandoned the prosecution for the crime of drug dealing (Crime against Health). All this allowed the perpetrator Juan Gomez to walk free.

It is important to mention that the recipients have reliable information that both Juan Gómez (previous mayor of Simojovel) and his brother Ramiro Gómez, who are both powerful political caciques (chiefs) in the region, had ties of friendship with the upper echelons of the Green Ecological Party of Mexico in Chiapas, as well as with the congressional representative Juan Romero Tenorio of the parliamentary group of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) who pushed before the congress[i] the point of agreement demanding the liberation of Juan Gómez. This is a demonstration of the power of the political friendships that the brothers Gómez Dominguez brothers have as political caciques.

Since the release of Juan Gómez, the information that we have is that the life of father Marcelo is in grave danger, as there are rumours that the “execution of the parish priest of Simojovel is worth one million pesos

The protection measures implemented by the Mexican government have not been dissuasive, since, on two different occasions, the Gómez Dominguez brothers have both written asking for a dialogue with Marcelo Pérez in the presence of politicians who protect them and promote impunity. The recipients of precautionary measures confirm that the release of Juan Gómez has revived and reactivated the acts of violence in the Simojovel with the protection of the authorities, putting the community defenders in even greater danger.

Last March, a member of the Pueblo Creyente was “lifted” in one of Simojovel’s Streets. Inside the vehicle which took him there were four hooded men with high powered firearms who interrogates him about the activities of Marcelo Pérez, his security measurements as well as the names of the members of his security team. After interrogating him and stealing his money and personal documents, they let him free with the warning that “all the people that come to the parish will be closely observed.”

The recipients of precautionary measures have informed of a sudden increase in unknown people watching the Parish house. They have also informed that Marcelo Pérez is being followed and is under constant surveillance.


The night of 30th March, in the headquarters of the municipality of Simojovel, an unidentified person tried to break in to the house of Mrs. Cielo Asunción Mendoza Blanco, a beneficiary of the precautionary measures. This is in addition to the constant surveillance that she and her family face.

This Human Rights Centre expresses its concern regarding the release of Mr. Juan Gomez, who we identify as a source of risk for the community defenders of Simojovel. We regret the lack of appropriate actions by the Mexican State to provide protection to the beneficiaries of the precautionary measures granted by CIDH

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, AC

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

7th April 2016

Bulletin No. 08


[i] information available in:



Click to access 070416_boletin_08_consejo_parroquial_simojovel.pdf




March 24, 2016

Pueblo Creyente in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers

Filed under: Displacement, Indigenous, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:34 pm



Pueblo Creyente in Simojovel reject dialogue with Gomez brothers



The Pueblo Creyente (Community of Faith) in Simojovel, Chiapas, held a march for the first anniversary of “the magna via crucis pilgrimage” of Lent, which they held in March 2015. Through a statement, they described the struggle they are carrying out since October 2013 following the murder of one of their members, as “to continue to live in peace.”

They publicly rejected the invitation for dialogue from the Gomez brothers (Juan and Ramiro Gomez Dominguez), who are identified as political caciques in Simojovel, as well as being involved in the illegal sale of alcohol and weapons. The Gomez brothers oppose Father Marcelo, the parish priest of Simojovel, who has endured harassment, threats and attempted ambushes. It should be noted that Juan Gomez was mayor of Simojovel and was imprisoned in 2015 for carrying firearms for exclusive army use by the army and movement of drugs. His brother Ramiro had an arrest order and in January 2016 both cases were dismissed by the Attorney General of the State’s Office, which, according to Chiapas Paralelo “could only have happened through a process of political negotiation.” According to the statement, the Gomez brothers are campaigning for the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (Partido Verde Ecologista de México – PVEM). Furthermore, they mentioned that a member of Community of Faith was kidnapped and interrogated to obtain information about the people who support Marcelo. Another member who was blamed for Juan Gomez’s imprisonment received threats and high calibre firearm shots have started again in the neighbourhoods.

They also denounced the existence of an armed group known as Los Diablos [The Devils] in Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, who have killed three members of the same family and caused the displacement of a further 14 people “because they fear for their lives.” The Community of Faith highlighted that “it isn’t Father Marcelo who has denounced the Gomez, we ratify that it is Community of Faith who have raised their voices against all that is happening, we are Community of Faith who pointed out that the Gomez brothers have done a lot of damage in Simojovel.” For this reason, they decided to reject the proposed dialogue “because we have nothing to talk about, they have resorted to this because they have no other way to clean up their image, they ask for dialogue so that when they carry out their perverse intentions against our parish priest and members of Community of Faith, they can say: ‘It wasn’t us.’”



March 20, 2016

Multiple events in Chiapas for International Women’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized, Women — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:25 am



 Multiple events in Chiapas for International Women’s Day


womenPilgrimage of the women of Las Abejas de Acteal. Photo @SIPAZ

Multiple events were organized in Chiapas within the framework of International Women’s Day. In a state which ranks in the top ten as regards violence against women, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas – CDHFBC, also known as Frayba) published that “the right to life, personal integrity and safety, access to justice, to a life free from violence, among other fundamental rights is an outstanding subject in Chiapas, where women are the booty of war in the wide panorama of human rights violations that the Mexican State tolerates, perpetrates and reproduces, using terror as a strategy to detain multiple resistances.”

The Movement for Defence of Land and Territory and for the participation and recognition of women in decision making held an assembly, closing the encounter with a march and meeting. They published their agreements in a statement demanding the recognition and modification of Ejidal Rules and Statutes (Reglamentos Ejidales y Estatutos) to recognize women as co-owners of land and that their territories be declared free of megaprojects. Likewise, they rejected machismo and government programmes “in the form of aid” aimed at women, they demanded that their right to health be met, the cancellation of the San Cristobal-Palenque and San Cristobal-Frontera Comalapa highways, recognition of the autonomy of Tila ejido and of Chimalapas, the declaration of Gender Violence Alert (Alerta de Violencia de Género – AVG) in Chiapas, and the removal of the armed forces from their territories.

There was a pilgrimage called for by the women of the Civil Society of Las Abejas de Acteal, who have maintained their opposition to the militarization of their territory since the massacre of 45 people in 1997. In their statement they recalled the murder of “21 women, 15 children, and nine men; as well as 26 wounded and four pregnant women who had their wombs opened, their babies taken out and cut up” and made a call “to resist but not to take on [the path of] violence” because “it is time to open the ears, it is time to awaken all those who have been in a deep sleep.”

On their part, the women of Simojovel, who through People of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) have been struggling against alcohol, for the closure of cantinas, and against drug trafficking in the region, protested “for so many injustices, ambition, delinquency, prostitution, etc., that we are living through.”

It should be noted that in the majority of the events the recent murder of Berta Caceres, Lenca indigenous defender of human rights, land and territory in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Honduras, was condemned, and they expressed solidarity with Gustavo Castro and demanded that his safety be guaranteed and his immediate return to Mexico.



March 14, 2016

Organizations of Chiapas Denounce the Criminalization and Death of Indigenous Compañeros and Environmental Activists

Filed under: Human rights, Indigenous — Tags: , , , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:16 pm



Organizations of Chiapas Denounce the Criminalization and Death of Indigenous Compañeros and Environmental Activists




Original peoples of the northern region of Chiapas demand justice and liberty for Gustavo Castro detained in Honduras

March 12, 2016

To Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of Honduras

To the Consulates of Honduras in Tapachula and Comitan, Chiapas

To Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico

To the national and international press

To the organization of the United Nations

To the national and international defenders of human rights

To all of the solidarity of the world


Communities of indigeous Tsostil, Tseltal, and Ch’ol peoples of the northern region of Chiapas, Mexico, in a regional assembly in the Ejido of La Illusión, Municipality of Simojovel de Allende, Chiapas, organized by the Pueblo Creyente of Simojovel, analyzed the critical situation of our environmentalist and patriotic compañero Gustavo Castro Soto, in this situation we protest the criminalization and death of indigenous compañeros and environmental activists. The cowardly assassination of the indigenous Lenca compañera Berta Cáceres and the attempted assassination of our environmentalist Mexican brother Gustavo Castro Soto is not a coincidence and much less an isolated act; this cowardly act is the practice of extermination that has been imposed by international capital with the complacency of national governments.

The justice system of the country of Honduras should continue the line of investigation into the company from China that has pressured the indigenous compañerxs of COPINH in order to take their land and flood it with the hydroelectric dam, which is the motive for the assassination of Berta Cáceres and of the attempted assassination of compañero Gustavo Castro.

We solicit and demand the immediate transfer to Mexico of environmental compañero Gustavo Castro Soto. The compañero is one of the victims of the cowardly assassination of the indigenous compañera Berta Cáceres that occurred on Thursday, 3rd March in the early morning, in the town of La Esperanza in Honduras. It is arbitrary to keep Gustavo Castro Soto for 30 more days in that country on the order of the Attorney General of Honduras.

We ask for the security of Gustavo Castro during the entire process of expanding his witness statement and during his stay in the embassy of Mexico in Tegucigalpa. We demand the government of Honduras comply with the promise to lift the migratory alert that they put on Gustavo Castro, so that he can immediately leave Honduras ending this last judicial process required without any other action that would prevent his exit.

We hold the two governments of Mexico and Honduras responsible for his security, physical and psychological integrity. We demand the intervention at the highest level of the two governments so he can immediately leave Honduras.



Pueblos originarios de la región norte de Chiapas México
Organización sociedad Civil de las Abejas de Acteal
Pueblo Creyente de Simojovel
Parroquia San Juan Bautista El Bosque
Parroquia San Juan Dieguito de San Cristóbal
Parroquia Santa Catarina Pantelho
Consejo Estatal de Nuevo Constituyente de Chiapas
Luz y Fuerza del Pueblo de Huitiupán
Centro de Derechos Humanos Oralia Morales de Frontera Comalapa
Luz y Fuerza de Chiapas

Signed in the presence of:

Observadores Nacionales e Internacionales del Movimiento Sueco por la Reconciliación (Swefor), Integrantes del Reconocimiento Jtatik Samuel Jk’anan Lum: Centro de Derechos humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas A.C (Frayba), Servicio Internacional para la Paz (Sipaz), Comisión de Apoyo a la Unidad y Reconciliación comunitaria A.C.(Coreco), Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas A.C (Desmi), Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz A.C. (Serapaz), Instituto de Estudios e Investigación Intercultural A.C. (Inesin), Coordinación de mujeres (Codimuj) y Vicaria de Justicia y Paz de la Diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas


Translated by Palabras Rebeldes



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