dorset chiapas solidarity

December 28, 2015

Frayba denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN

Filed under: Frayba, Human rights, Indigenous, Uncategorized, Zapatistas — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 10:24 am

 

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CDHFBC denounces arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process for BAEZLN

 

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In a bulletin published on 18 December, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights (CDHFBC) reported on the arbitrary kidnapping and lack of due process during the arrest of José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a support-base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN). Since December 2012, the Good-Government Council “The Path of the Future”at La Garrucha (Caracol III, “Resistance for a New Dawn”), which administers the region to which Cruz Espinosa belongs, denounced the fabrication of charges against his person.

According to the CDHFBC, the BAEZLN was arrested on 10 November 2015 in Ocosingo by “police dressed in civilian clothes who did not identify themselves, specify the reason for arrest, or even show an arrest-order. They simply put him on a truck and transferred him to the command centre of the specialized police in the centre of the municipality.” After being incarcerated in the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 16, El Encino (CERSS no. 16), he was transferred via helicopter the next day to the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced no. 14, El Amate.

The CDHFBC reported moreover that “at all times we were denied access to the detainee and our credentials as his counsel were also rejected. The State argued that he had already been transferred, which was untrue.” The CDHFBC added that “the charges placed against him are ecocide and looting due to the events that took place on 16 November 2012 […]. However, José Alfonso was not at the place of the incidents that took place that day.” The Centre stressed as well that Cruz Espinoza was placed at the disposition of those judged for serious crimes, this despite the fact that none of the charges against him are serious. Bail was set for him at 136,122.96 pesos for both charges, being “an excessive amount that prevents bail from being posted,” as the CDHFBC noted. On 20 November, he was released with caution after bail was posted, such that the process in his case will continue.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/chiapas-cdhfbc-denounces-arbitrary-kidnapping-and-lack-of-due-process-for-baezln/

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December 21, 2015

Bail of 136.122 pesos is imposed on Zapatista political prisoner from Toniná

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Political prisoners, Tourism, Uncategorized, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 1:05 pm

 

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Bail of 136.122 pesos is imposed on Zapatista political prisoner from Toniná

 

 

Tonina-zapatista-300x400

 

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, December 18, 2015.- 136,122 pesos was the fine paid by the families of Zapatista support base José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, owner of the land in San Antonio Toniná where the Toniná Archaeological Zone is located, to get him out on bail after 10 days of arbitrary imprisonment in the prison of El Encino. On the 1st January, 1994, this property was within the territory recuperated by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation after the insurrection. Since then the counter-offensive by the Mexican government began, and they set up a military camp in the area; after its installation the archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History came -shouting through their actions “Death to the living Indians and life to the dead ones”, in this way revindicating that first national cultural policy promoted by the government of Porfirio Diaz.

The most recent counterinsurgency offensive against the Zapatistas began in Tonina on 13th April, 2008; the archaeologist Juan Yadeum Angulo, an official from the archaeological site, who in fact behaved as if he was the feudal lord and master, in complicity with the director of the Museum Julisa Camacho Ramirez Camacho, began the pressure to demand that the Zapatista José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa sell his property in San Antonio Toniná. Since then, the judicial proceedings against him have not stopped.

On 20th December, 2012, at the start of his tenure as governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello announced the cancellation of the arrest warrant against the Zapatista support base Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, in a public communication which stated “With these actions, the State Government reiterates its commitment to respect and make a decisive contribution towards detente, in order to promote a climate of tolerance and peace.” We see that these statements from the governor are all talk, since not only was the arrest warrant not cancelled, but it was executed on 10th November 2015, violating his rights to due process rights by keeping him incommunicado and without the right to a legal defence.

We also observe how the archaeological investigations are used as part of the counterinsurgency process against the Zapatista communities in Chiapas.

http://www.centrodemedioslibres.org/2015/12/20/136122-pesos-imponen-de-fianza-a-preso-politico-zapatista-de-tonina/

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December 20, 2015

The arbitrary deprivation of liberty of an EZLN support base is denounced.

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Frayba, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:02 pm

 

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The arbitrary deprivation of liberty of an EZLN support base is denounced.

 

zapatistas-bandera

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San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

December 18, 2015
Bulletin No.33

Arbitrary deprivation of liberty and violation of judicial guarantees of an EZLN support base.

The Human Rights Centre Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba), has documented the arbitrary deprivation of liberty and lack of due process in the arrest of José Jose Alfonso Cruz Espinosa (José Alfonso) Support Base of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN).

According to information documented by Frayba, José Alfonso was arrested on 10th November, 2015, at approximately 14:00 hours, in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. People in civilian clothes, who did not identify themselves, and who did not present an arrest warrant or indicate the reason for the arrest, put him in a van and took him to the commander of the Special Police in the headwaters of the same municipality.

As stated in the criminal case 559/2015, he was admitted to the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No 16, El Encino (CERSS No. 16 El Encino); when he got there he was neither told the reason for his arrest nor was he allowed to make a phone call. At 15:57 hours he was made ​​available to Omar Heleria Reyes, Joint Judge of the First Instance in Ocosingo, without the judge doing an adequate job on the case.

On 11th November at 12:00 he was transferred by helicopter to the State Centre for the Social Reinsertion of the Sentenced No 14, El Amate, where he arrived at 15:00 hours, twenty-four hours after his arrest; only after an amparo against his situation of having no communication, promoted by the Centre for Human Rights, was he allowed to make a telephone call to advise on where he was. The transfer of José Alfonso was arbitrarily ordered by the Joint Judge of Ocosingo.

It is important to stress that lawyers from Frayba presented themselves to the Joint Court of Ocosingo and CERSS No 16, El Encino, on 11th November at 10:00 in order to document the situation of José Alfonso and start the process of legal defence. At all times they denied us access to him and accreditation as his lawyers, saying that he had already been transferred, which turned out to be untrue as the transfer took place at 12:00, as mentioned above.

The crimes alleged against him are ecocide and plunder, following events on 16th November 2012. For the crime of ecocide he was made available to the Second Court of Criminal Matters for the Attention of Serious Crimes, and for the crime of plunder, he was made available to the Third Court of Criminal Matters for the Attention of Serious Crimes; however under the criminal code of Chiapas none of the alleged offences are serious. On 18th November an order for his formal arrest was issued; practically, he had spent more than 144 hours without his legal status being determined.

These actions in violation of human rights were intended to hamper a proper defence; because every time José Alonso insisted on his innocence, he asked to speak with his lawyers and family and was denied this along with the information that he is a BAEZLN. In both offences the defence requested the extension of the constitutional term and the imposition of bail for his release, which was set at the amount of 136,122.96 pesos for both offences, an excessive amount to prevent bail being paid. On 20th November, 2015, at approximately 19:00, José Alfonso obtained his release on bail under caution, after paying the bail set, so the process can run its course.

Given the human rights violations that occurred during the detention and investigation of the actions of which José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa is accused, on 9th and 10th December, amparos were presented before the district courts in Tuxtia Gutierrez, Chiapas, against the two formal charges dictated. The amparos fell to the fifth and sixth district courts.

Background.

It is important to mention that, according to court records, the alleged offences were committed on 16th November, 2012; however José Alfonso was not at the scene of the crime on the day the acts were allegedly committed. In December 2012 the Good Government Junta Towards a New Dawn publicly denounced the judicial harassment towards a BAEZLN, specifically José Alfonso. On 8th November, 2013, the Good Government Junta Path to the Future publicly denounced the fabrication of crimes against José Alonso.

 

http://www.frayba.org.mx/archivo/boletines/151218_boletin_33_alfonso_baezln.pdf

BACKGROUND:

JBG El Camino del Futuro exige cancelación de orden de aprehensión contra José Cruz Espinoza, compañero base de apoyo del EZLN

Denuncia de la JBG Hacia un Nuevo Amanecer: los tres niveles del mal gobierno siguen haciendo su estrategia de perseguir y encarcelar a las bases de apoyo del EZLN.

 

http://www.pozol.org/?p=11701

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November 22, 2013

The attacks on the Zapatista compas continue

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Displacement, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 2:55 pm

The attacks on the Zapatista compas continue

toninc3a1-1In recent days, we have learned of new denouncements from the Zapatista Good Government Juntas. One, dated November 8, reports that yet again the support base compañero Cruz Espinosa, rightful owner of a piece of land which is situated at the foot of the pyramid of Tonina in this archaeological site in Chiapas, is once more being persecuted and harassed by the authorities of the bad government; the compañero has been suffering various attacks for many years, as evidenced by previous denouncements from the Good government Junta of La Garrucha, the first of which dates back to 2008; on this occasion he is accused of having cut down a small tree, which was cut with the authorisation of the Good Government Junta and the Autonomous Municipalities in the area, and whose wood was used in the craft shop which the Junta operates at the entrance to the archaeological site .

Shortly after, on the 12th, we learned of a new attempt at the dispossession of lands recuperated in 1994, this time on lands belonging to the ejido 10th of April which have been worked by the compañeros and compañeras support bases ever since its recuperation, and even before, since they worked there as paeons, before January 1, 1994, when they recuperated the land to work, now as free men and women and in community.

Those who seek to take away their land now are campesinos who did not  receive land when the ejido to which they belong, 20th of November, divided up their ejidal lands following the dictates of the bad government; and now, supported by the organization CIOAC historical, they are trying to take by force the land the Zapatista compañeros recuperated from the hands of the landlords almost twenty years ago, part of which is now used for producing coffee, corn, beans and bananas and the rest, mountainous and rich in the plants and animals of the mountain, has been declared an Ecological Reserve .

We want to raise our voices, along with those of the Zapatista compañeros and compañeras to denounce these acts and declare that we will not remain silent about any form of aggression.

Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas
Grupo Iru
Centro de Documentación sobre Zapatismo
Adhesiva, espai de trobada y acció
Caracol Zaragoza
Plataforma Vasca de Solidaridad con Chiapas // Txiapasekiko Elkartasun Plataforma
CGT Estado Español
ASSI (Acción Social Sindical Internacionalista)
Plataforma de Solidaridad con Chiapas de Aragón
Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group
Les trois passants, Paris, Francia.
Gruppe B.A.S.T.A., Münster, Alemania
Asociacion Espoir Chiapas / Esperanza Chiapas, Francia
Asociaciòn Ya basta! Milano
Comitato Chiapas “Maribel” – Bergamo, Italia
UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

Manchester Zapatista Solidarity Group

Caracol mundo-eco de latido en solidaridad

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November 10, 2013

Judicial harassment of a Zapatista for cutting “a small tree” is denounced

Filed under: Repression, Zapatista — Tags: , , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 6:21 pm

 

 

 Judicial harassment of a Zapatista for cutting “a small tree” is denounced 

**The JBG Path of the Future Demands that the Real Illegal Loggers are Pursued

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, November 9, 2013

JBG El Camino del Futuro exige cancelación de orden de aprehensión contra compañero base de apoyoThe Good Government Junta Path of the Future, in the Caracol of La Garrucha, has denounced judicial persecution against Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a Zapatista support base, under the pretext of cutting down “a small tree” on his property, while the real illegal loggers enjoy official protection.

On September 23, María Socorro Trujillo and her daughters (the mother and sisters of Cruz Espinosa), who live in the city of Ocosingo and who the state government has already previously used to judicially harass Alfonso, “fabricated accusations against our compañero” who lives in San Antonio Toniná.

The tree in question was used to construct the artesanía house of Francisco Gómez rebel municipality, on the outskirts of the Toniná archaeological site. “Zapatista support bases were the ones who cut down that tree, with the authorization of the Junta and the four autonomous municipalities.”

The Junta demands the immediate cancellation of the arrest warrant for their compañero “because he is innocent,” and asks: “Why are the assholes that take away, steal and destroy the natural resources in the ejidos of San Miguel, Nuevo Pataté, Tierra Negra, Pamalá and other communities in Zapatista territory not in jail?” It points out that: “the three levels of bad government have given permission to cut down wood to Señor Mauricio, of Comitán,” and now he extracts “thousands of pine every day in chunks and slabs.”

The autonomous authorities point out that: “every day the federal government transmits on radio and television that one must care for the environment,” but it is “its lie,” because in reality “they are killing and destroying the forests and fine woods.” They demand that those who take wood away from the communities be incarcerated. “As Zapatista peoples we will defend what is ours,” they warn.

 

Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, November 10, 2013

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2013/11/10/politica/013n1po

 

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

 

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December 21, 2012

Two López Monzón brothers, support bases of the EZLN, are freed in Chiapas

Filed under: Political prisoners, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:52 pm

 

Two López Monzón brothers, support bases of the EZLN, are freed in Chiapas 

According to the JBG Towards Hope, they were imprisoned “for the sole crime of being Zapatistas”

The state government has cancelled an arrest warrant against Alfonso Cruz, from San Antonio Toniná

Elio Henríquez, Correspondent 

La Jornada

Friday December 21, 2012, p. 15

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas., December 20.

Governor Manuel Velasco Coello reported that he has released four brothers, two of them Zapatista support bases, who have been imprisoned since last June in the prison in the municipality of Motozintla, in the Sierra of Chiapas, accused of stealing a gold chain, injury, burglary, damage to a house and stealing 10 thousand pesos.

The four released are Juan, Jacobo, Aníbal and Carlos López Monzón, the last two support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

In a press release,the state governor said he has also cancelled the arrest warrant for Alfonso Cruz Espinoza, a native of San Antonio Tonina, Ocosingo, also an EZLN support base.

“With these actions, the state government reiterates its commitment to respect and make a decisive contribution to demilitarisation, in order to promote a climate of tolerance and peace”, Velasco Coello said.

He insisted on “the desirability of a minimum mechanism of communication with the Good Government Juntas (JBG), allowing us to prevent and resolve any conflict”, while at the same time he underlined: “Goodwill, value and détente will be the lines of my government”.

On 8 December, to make a statement as governor, Velasco Coello greeted members of the Zapatista movement and the JBG and reiterated his respect and “my appreciation for their great political and cultural contributions which enrich the destinies of Mexico and Chiapas”.

Concerning the case of the López Monzón brothers, the JBG Towards Hope, based in the community of La Realidad, autonomous municipality San Pedro de Michoacán, reported last November that they were imprisoned for “the sole crime of being Zapatistas”.

They explained that on May 15, 2011, Aníbal, Jacobo and Carlos López Monzón, “were returning from their work aboard a truck bound for their homes, which are located in the San Ramon section (Motozintla municipality), but on the way Élfego Díaz Velásquez, César López de León and his son César, Argelio Díaz López, Javier Díaz López, Julio Díaz López, Alba López de León, Alida López de León, Bulmaro Santiso López and Vidal López Velásquez were lying in wait for them, they took them [the brothers] down from the truck and beat them severely with sticks and stones, trying to kill them”.

After the “assault”, they said, six of their compañeros gave them help, and “at midnight a patrol came to pick up the aggressors, but not to punish them, but rather to protect them, and with the complicity of the lawyers Juan Antonio Gomes Coello and Antonio López de León, and the prosecutor of Motozintla and the bad governments, crimes were invented against” the López Monzón brothers and the six people who helped them.

“Hannibal also was accused of stealing a gold chain; Carlos of injury, burglary and damage to a house, James (not a support base), of injury and burglary, John, of theft of 10,000 pesos, while the six others were accused of trespassing and damage to a house.”

 

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December 11, 2012

Junta Denounces Damage to Toniná Archaeological Zone; asks for director’s resignation

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Tourism, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:16 pm

Junta Denounces Damage to Toniná Archaeological Zone; asks for director’s resignation

 ** A collective artesanía store, the pretext for issuing an arrest warrant for Alfonso Cruz

** Octavio Albores, municipal president, accused of destroying Maya tombs to construct a bridge

HB Tonina wood

“Julissa Camacho Ramírez, director of the Toniná site, transports wood for constructing her house in Ocosingo in official INAH vehicles”

Photo: Hermann Bellinghausen

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

The Good Government Junta Path of the Future, based in the caracol  Resistance Toward a New Dawn, in La Garrucha, Chiapas, denounced the “strategy of persecuting and imprisoning our innocent compañeros, support bases of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN).” On this occasion the one persecuted is Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, of San Antonio Toniná, a pueblo adjacent to the Toniná archaeological zone and next to the municipal headquarters of Ocosingo.

The authorities of the Junta denounce the acts that occurred in Francisco Gómez autonomous municipality; “in our territory,” they specify. “According to reports, the compañero Cruz Espinosa has an arrest warrant against him.” This warrant would have been issued “on the simple pretext that the autonomous municipality constructed a collective artesanía store in that place, on our recuperated land, for the benefit of our compañeros in resistance.”

The Junta demands that: “the three levels of the bad government respect the agreements signed January 28, 2006 in the office of the Francisco Gómez autonomous council, because we do know how to respect the agreements.” It points out that the Zapatistas “are respecting the land that” Sra. Socorro Espinosa Trujillo and her daughters Berenice and Dalia Maribel Cruz Espinosa “are working.” Since years ago, the former state government of Juan Sabines Guerrero and (PAN) municipal government of Arturo Zúñiga manouevered to turn the Cruz Espinosa family against Alfonso, the legitimate owner of the lands that surround the archaeological site, for the purpose of removing them from autonomous Zapatista territory and using them for commercial advantage.

The Junta also denounces that the current municipal president of Ocosingo, Octavio Albores Cruz (PRI) “is destroying Maya mounds and tombs for the construction of a bridge for the benefit of ex Mayor Zúñiga and other ranchers of that zone,” and it asks: “Is it not a crime to destroy the nation’s patrimony?”

They demand the resignation of the resident archaeologist Juan Yadeum

The Junta and the Francisco Gómez autonomous municipality are demanding the resignation of the resident archaeologist Juan Yadeum and the director of the Toniná site, Julissa Camacho Ramírez, “as had been agreed and signed by the three levels of the bad government on February 28, 2009, because they are the ones that continue provoking and continue generating more problems.” Both have been pointed out as accomplices, at least by omission, of the illegal works that affect and damage the archaeological heritage.

Director Camacho Ramírez has also been denounced for multiple irregularities, like using official vehicles of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH) for transporting wood –illegally cut on the Campo Alegre plot– which she uses in the construction of her house in Ocosingo, without the intervention of the INAH, which Emilio Gallaga Murrieta is in charge of in Chiapas. Those same vehicles are used to transport the children of the military personnel who reside at the base at Toniná.

The rebel authorities demand that: “the three levels of the bad government immediately cancel the arrest warrant against our compañero Alfonso, because he has committed no crime. We say very clearly: we are not going to permit more injustice against the support bases of our EZLN, although the three levels of the bad government look for ways and strategies to harm us and weaken our struggle and resistance. We continue and we are firm in defending ourselves from any provocation against our bases.”

The Junta warns: “We will continue to watch for what may happen and place responsibility directly on the three levels of the bad governments, Julissa Camacho Ramírez, Juan Yadeum,” as well as María del Socorro Espinosa Trujillo and her daughters.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/12/11/politica/018n1pol

 

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December 10, 2012

New Communique from the JBG of Caracol III La Garrucha

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Human rights, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 7:43 pm

CARACOL III OF RESISTANCE TOWARDS A NEW DAWN

GOOD GOVERNMENT JUNTA THE PATH OF THE FUTURE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO

DECEMBER 8, 2012

To national and international civil society.

To compañeros (as) adherents to the national Other Campaign

To the Zexta International

To the honest brothers of national and international human rights

To the alternative media

Brothers and sisters

We publicly denounce what is happening in our territory.

The authorities of the Good Government Junta denounce in front of public opinion the events occurring in this autonomous municipality of Francisco Gomez, Chiapas, Mexico.

The federal, state and municipal governments continue to pursue their strategy of persecuting and imprisoning our innocent EZLN support base compañeros, because, according to versions from our support bases, our compañero Alfonso Cruz Espinosa from the community of San Antonio Tonina, Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipality of Francisco Gomez, has an order of apprehension against him.

First – Now the bad government issues an arrest warrant against compañero Alfonso Cruz Espinosa on the mere pretext that the autonomous municipality of Francisco Gómez built a collective craft store there on our reclaimed land for the benefit of our compañeros, support bases of the EZLN in resistance.

Second – The Good Government Junta also demands that the three levels of the bad government respect the agreements made and signed on January 28, 2006 in the offices of the independent council of Francisco Gómez; because we the Zapatistas, we know how to respect agreements, because we are respecting the land that Senora Socorro and her daughters are continuing to work.

Third – The Good Government Junta also denounce that the current municipal president of Ocosingo, Chiapas, is destroying Mayan mounds and tombs for the construction of a bridge for the benefit of former Mayor Arturo Suñiga and other ranchers in that area. We wonder, is it not a crime to destroy the national heritage?

Fourth – We also demand that Juan Yadeum and the director Juliza Camacho Ramirez  resign from their posts as was agreed and signed by all three levels of bad government on the date February 28, 2009, because they are the ones who continue to provoke and continue to cause more problems and provocations.

Fifth – The Good Government Junta demands that the three levels of bad government  immediately cancel the arrest warrant against our support base compañero Alfonzo Cruz Espinosa, because he has committed no crime.

For all of the above:

The Good Government Junta says very clearly that we are not going to allow more injustice against our compañeros support bases of our Zapatista National Liberation Army, although the three levels of the bad government seek ways and strategies to harm us and weaken our struggle and resistance. WE SAY VERY CLEARLY that we will continue and we will stand  firm to defend ourselves against any provocation against our bases.

We will continue, we will watch what may happen and we hold directly responsible the three levels of bad government and Julissa Camacho Ramirez, Juan Yadeum, Maria del Socorro Espinosa Trukillo, Berenice Cruz Espinosa and Dalia Maribel Cruz Espinosa

SINCERELY

The authorities of the Good Government Junta

THIS DOCUMENT IS STAMPED ON THE FIRST PAGE BY THE GOOD GOVERNMENT JUNTA PATH OF THE FUTURE AND AT THE END OF THE DOCUMENT THE NAMES AND SIGNATURES OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JUNTA APPEAR IN TURN

Mauricio Garcia González, Luis Gomez Sanchez, Raul Cruz Sanchez and Antonio Santiz Gomez

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November 27, 2012

Zapatista Craft Shop at Toniná provokes the anger of the Chiapas Government

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Zapatista — Tags: , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:58 pm

Zapatista Craft Shop at Toniná provokes the anger of the Chiapas Government

** There is an arrest warrant against me and I have committed no crimes: José Alfonso Cruz

** They don’t want anything saying ‘EZLN’ during the tourist events for the ‘end of the world’, accuses the property owner

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

On the outskirts of the City of Ocosingo, Chiapas, near the Toniná archaeological site, Zapatistas from Francisco Gómez autonomous municipality recently set up a shop selling artesanía (crafts) on an area of recuperated land. This has unleashed a government rejection from the official municipality as much as from the state, which issued an arrest warrant against the owner of the next door property, who is also a support base of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish).

The core of the conflict is the attractive hand painted sign that the Zapatistas put up on their land, located at the entrance to Toniná, a famous archaeological site where tourist activities will be held next month, taking advantage of the “end of the Maya world” fashion and the end of the year holidays. There is talk of an investment of 5 to 8 million pesos by the municipal government of Octavio Elías Albores Cruz, a PRI member.

According to statements made to La Jornada by José Alfonso Cruz Espinosa, a Zapatista support base who legally owns the Toniná lands up to the foot of the pyramid, who lives near the archaeological zone and who has repeatedly suffered harassment and attempted dispossession by the authorities, they have made it known that they have no objections to the shop, only to the sign which advertises it; this only states that it is an autonomous shop with artesanía from indigenous Zapatistas and that it belongs to the rebel municipality of Francisco Gómez.

“The state attorney is already looking for me,” Cruz Espinosa declared by telephone. “Judicial police dressed as civilians want to search my house, and I had to take shelter in an autonomous community.” He insists that he has not committed any crime, and that his compañeros from the autonomous municipality are within their rights to establish their business and to advertise it.

“The government doesn’t want anything that says ‘EZLN’ [to be visible] during the end of the world tourist events,” he added. These events will be celebrated from December 21 to 23, with the participation of the resident archaeologist, and “almost owner” of Toniná, Juan Yadeum.

Weeks ago, the same Cruz Espinosa denounced the construction of a bridge and a path inside the site, utilizing valuable archaeological material and “destroying a patrimony of humanity.” He placed responsibility on Yadeum, the current mayor Albores Cruz and principally on the former (mayor), Arturo Zúñiga Urbina, who with other associates wants to take advantage of the “end of the world” (events) and the expected influx of tourists from such an exciting event. All this, without the endorsement of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, which while it penalised the archaeologist, did not stop the work.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Monday, November 26, 2012

En Español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/11/26/politica/018n1pol

 

English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee for the:

International Zapatista Translation Service, a collaboration of the:

Chiapas Support Committee, California

Wellington Zapatista Support Group

UK Zapatista Solidarity Network

 

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October 23, 2012

Illegal Works in the Archaeological Zone of Toniná, Chiapas, are denounced

Filed under: Archaeology / Maya, Tourism, Zapatista — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 5:20 pm

 

 

Illegal Works in the Archaeological Zone of Toniná, Chiapas, are denounced

** “For the personal benefit” of the former PAN mayor

Foto

** The authorities have not stopped the construction works
Residents of the Toniná area ask authorities to take more interest and not to permit the destruction of the national patrimony Foto: La Jornada** The authorities have not stopped the construction works

 

By: Hermann Bellinghausen

“The patrimony of humanity” is being destroyed in the archaeological zone of Toniná, Chiapas, for the benefit of private parties “because a tourist walkway is being constructed using heavy machinery, almost at the very bottom of the site, and on lands where many priceless remains have been found,” residents of the zone denounced, and pointed to the former municipal president and PAN member Arturo Zúñiga Urbina as the constructor, who “benefited himself”, while being mayor, by doing the work on his own land and on land owned by his associates Ciro Espinosa and Armando Cruz Mena. He did all this without the support of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH) or the Archaeology Council, who have however not stopped the work.

In recent days, following an anonymous complaint, presumably from a tourist, “a commission from the Archaeology Council visited the place to evaluate the damage”. Nevertheless, “it has not been observed that the work that Albores Constructions, owned by the engineer Manuel Albores Cruz, is carrying out has been suspended,” adds a testimony delivered to La Jornada.

The zone’s residents demand that: “the competent authorities take more interest and do not permit the destruction of the national patrimony.” The new mayor of Ocosingo, Octavio Albores Cruz, a PVEM member, has not intervened in the issue either and it is feared that he may have private interests in the matter, which occurs on the eve of the profitable and imminent Maya “end of the world.”

 

“What is most serious is that all this is happening with the full knowledge of the archaeologist in charge of the zone’s excavations, Juan Yadeum Angulo”, continue the accusers. “The project in question is financed by the ex-municipal president Zúñiga Urbina, who, supported by a tourist lodge project on his land, is currently completing an access road, in coordination with other property owners bordering the archaeological zone, to its detriment.”

Alfonso Cruz, one of the neighbours in opposition, and an EZLN support base, when consulted emphasizes that “the remains of mounds that are being affected by the work” are visible, and he affirms that a bridge is being constructed “using material from the archaeological monument” of Toniná. The other pieces of land where they are attempting to construct tourist infrastructure, with damage to the archaeological patrimony, are the El Cayab ecotourist center, and the property of Espinosa and Cruz Meza, mentioned earlier.

Alfonso Cruz, who lives on the outskirts of the archaeological site, comments that the Archaeological Council withdrew an official vehicle from Yadeum Angulo, apparently as a punishment for allowing these works [to take place], “but the construction work did not stop”. Meanwhile, the INAH delegate in Chiapas, Emiliano Gallaga, has not intervened either in this extremely unclear case which is affecting pre-Hispanic burials inside one of the state’s most important Maya sites.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, October 21, 2012

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/10/21/politica/017n1pol

 

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