Chiapas News November 2010

BoCa en BoCa 9 : English Version – November 2010


After remembering “the repression against our forbears” since 1560, and after remembering  Zapata and Villa’s fight a hundred years ago,  the ejidatarios (common land holders) of Tila point out that  “still today the bad government doesn’t respect our right to this land.  We continue suffering looting, discrimination, menaces, bullying and threats saying that our land will be privatized.

“The general committee refuses to pay or indemnify” for the invasion of the 130 hectares that the bad government claims. “We demand the acknowledgement of the common landholders’ agreement, and the breach of this agreement must be pointed out, they must respect our sovereignty over this ejidal town”.

“We demand our 130 hectares of land back,  taken over in flagrant  violation of our rights. We suffer the corruption carried out by the agrarian system in conjunction with the government; they are trying to get rid of the common lands and the communitarian wealth; these are priorities for the indigenous people and for the future of our sons and daughters; nevertheless, the constant threat of privatizing our land and our territory is present”.

“They want to transform Tila town into a tourist town, because of political and economical interests; they want to isolate the peasants’ presence because we don’t have money to build luxurious houses, therefore we give a bad impression to the outsiders, but those are mistaken words. We know their plans for Chiapas, they want to privatize our common lands.

  1. Similar events have happened in places such as Bolom Ajaw, where they exploit their waterfalls; in San Sebastian they exploit the waterfalls of Agua Azul; in Monte Azules the exploitation of its touristic routes surrounding the blue hills and natural resources; in Mitziton the construction of a motorway for tourists.

Compañeros we need to keep informed so they don’t deceive us.

Remembering the bicentenary of the Mexican independence is not to remain under the yoke of corruption, but to love freedom.”

*The Abejas of Chenalho support  the Triquis under siege in Copala*

“In 1997 the municipal of Chenalho was covered by a grey cloud of mixed harmful matter, and the night came with it. Forty-five innocent people died in the slaughter of Acteal, plus another four that had not been born yet, many people were left in total darkness […]

However, now not only is this remembered in the highlands of Chiapas where this happened, not only in Chenalhó in particular in the Acteal community, where the biggest and crudest mass murder has happened in the last 30 years in the history of Mexico, but also in Oaxaca state; the grey cloud fell on the Triqui land, but we don´t want the same darkness and night to fall on them as the one we saw nearly 13 years ago.

That’s why as surviving members of the Acteal massacre, and members of the pacifist civil society Organization  “Las Abejas” we show our concern for the situation that is happening in the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala, we can see that what happened  in Acteal  is on its way here […]

We are holding the local and federal authorities responsible for the situation and for any violence, because they cannot say they weren’t warned.”           

Oventik’s  Zapatista Good Goverment Junta (JBG) denounces the displacement of 170 Zapatistas.

“At this moment the lands of our base of support compañeros and compañeras are being occupied by people belonging to the political parties PRI, PRD, PVEM, who are working on the coffee and corn fields that belong to our compañeras and compañeros […]

The political parties say that the first step against our compañeros is taking their properties mentioned above, and then the next step is to displace all the male compañeros from the fields, but the women will remain for the people of those parties, and then they will burn every single house of our compañeros.

Given this situation of aggression and threats, the Good Government Junta of this area Altos de Chiapas, are sending a letter addressed to the authorities and the inhabitants of this ejido to advise them, in good terms, that they must not intimidate nor attack our base of support compañeros , they must respect their belongings, because our compañeros are also inhabitants of the same ejido and have the same rights as everyone else.

However, on 9th September at 2 am […] 30 armed people of those political parties [..] arrived to our compañeros houses with machetes, sticks, some of them had guns and shot some of our compañeros y compañeras, other invaders went into two houses and tried to rape two women.

In order to avoid the violence and provocation of the aggressors, our compañeros y compañeras fled and left their houses and belongings abandoned. There are 170 of them, women, men and children, they have found refuge in the hills, suffering hunger, cold, no sleep, and fear of attack”.    


Parish of the Diocese of Tapachula declares against the mines

Common land holders (ejidatarios) of Bachajon denounce the displacement of the camp

The CDH Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada and  SERAPAZ  denounce  aggression against a human rights defender in Ocosingo                                                     

Las Margaritas: denuncia from the new Frente Popular Campesina Lucio Cabañas

Human Rights committee denounces the violence and displacement in Palenque

Privatization of the National University of Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas

Violence against the Ch’ol people                         

Follow-up Links

Monthly communication from Las Abejas of Acteal, nearly 12 years and 9 months since the massacre

Compañeros denounce attacks from the CFE                                

Rural transport drivers Stonil Naj complain of repression in Ocosingo

Civil Manifesto of SCLC in defence of the natural and cultural patrimony

More Links:

Chicomuselo, Chiapas: Demand for an end to mining exploration and exploitation:

Community members fear possible eviction and threats from OPDDIC in Agua Azul:

Digna Ochoa Human Rights Centre reports detention and disappearance of indigenous activist in Tila:

State government dismantles Radio Proletariat in Tuxtla Gutierrez and detains minor:ƒn

Students from the Social Sciences Faculty of UNACH remember 2 October:

People’s organisation in Mitziton reports attacks, criminal actions and provocation:

Links continued:

Reports of deterioration in education and repression at UNACH.

Chol indigenous people in Tila demand 130 hectares of land seized from them.

Members of the Other Campaign in Mitziton denounce aggression and torture

In San Cristóbal de Las Casas defence of sports area and wetlands


Morelia good government board (JBG) denounce impunity for new aggressions

24 October 2010…

“We denounce the events of Friday 22 October 2010, when a group of Zapatista supporters from Agua Clara, in the Autonomous Municipality Comandanta Ramona, were attacked and threatened with bullets, while carrying out communal cleaning work”

“These dangerous delinquents […], have attacked our people various times.  [Besides] they are advised by an ex-soldier”.

“On Friday, 17 April 2009, […] the government of Juan Sabines Guerrero sent 800 police to unjustly repress our comrades, members of the Other Campaign, when exercising their right to demonstrate at the road junction in Agua Azul…… They detained compa Miguel Vásquez Moreno […],  and 6 compas who are members of the Other Campaign, taking them to the centre for social rehabilitation of convicts N° 14 in El Amate”.

“It is clear that the 3 levels of bad government […] are doing nothing about these events which are intimidating the population; the delinquents are at large and free, doing whatever they like, while brothers and sisters who are social activists are behind bars for demanding justice and freedom for all”.

“The lying governments […] themselves cover, protect and organise ex-soldiers, involving young people in the communities in order to destroy our roots and sowing discord as we organise ourselves as indigenous people”

Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) harass Cideci-Unitierra Chiapas 15 October 2010…

On 14 October three people turned up outside Cideci-Unitierra Chiapas in a CFE van demanding entry to the premises to hand over a legal document .  Obtaining no reply, the made this threat “what we can do if you don’t open up is shoot our way in like in Mexico City, enter with the police and drag the coordinator out by the hair”.  One of them carried ID from the federal court number 4 in the district of Tuxtla, “the CFE requested representation because it is a legal matter (…) as they were going to deliver a summons” for a debt, but “they have not been connected to the electricity grid for several years”
On 15 October, another person from the CFE “wanted to enter to read the metres but was told there are none”.

Background: “The CIDECI was refusing to pay for electricity since 1995.”  In 1999 an employee of Public Security came to disconnect the electricity.  In 2006 “there was an attempt to remove the cables and transformers acquired by Cideci-Unitierra” since when they decided to set up their own generator”. “Since July 2010, Cideci has been under constant surveillance by CFE vans” observing  “the activity taking place inside.(…) taking photos of the premises”.
They consider that “the actions of harassment of CIDECI are yet another expression of the context of criminalisation, by the government, against organisations which are on the way to building projects of autonomy”.   They call on people “to be on the alert and show their opposition to the acts of harassment against this indigenous space of knowledge and learning.”

Recent release of those responsible for the Acteal massacre

22 October 2010…

Since the release of 15 more paramilitaries, responsible for the Acteal massacre of 22 December 1997, Las Abejas declared: “it is very clear that they are in a hurry to release those who physically carried out the massacre, because those who planned it are worried and fear that paramilitary prisoners might confess that the order they received to attack and terrorise communities of Abejas and zapatistas, came from the bad government”.  They say that the Supreme Court wants to release more people in December, which would amount to excusing more than 80 paramilitary detainees.
In their communiqué of 22 October, they give some examples to show the truth of their accusations against the paramilitaries.

To the declaration published in the media “where they ask us not to go on demanding the attribution of blame for the Acteal massacre and that we should leave the prisoners in peace” their reply is “we will never forget it, nor will we stop pointing out those physically and intellectually responsible for the massacre”.

They are worried that “The majority of the 15 released are from Acteal, where the families of the people massacred live.  The survivors are also very anxious because they have to go to work on their plots of land, and the paramilitaries have their plots right next to ours.  Although the bad government says (…) that those released are not going to return to Chenalho, that is a lie, because the 29 released last year are walking around freely near Acteal”

They add “that the weapons they used in the massacre are buried there in the communities, because the government never carried out the disarming that we demanded so strongly.”
They state “that many are afraid to talk and others would like to speak out but are afraid that the bad government would take away benefits like PROCAMPO, OPORTUNIDADES, housing, drinking water, etc.”

“We invite you to struggle together against impunity so that our hope never dies that by joining forces we can discover the truth about the Acteal massacre (…) With our voices united we say that Acteal is a state crime, Acteal is a crime against humanity.”                                                 


The Zapatista Good Government Council of Oventic issues a statement about the situation of the Zapatista villagers of Ejido San Marcos Aviles, who were forced to flee their homes, and denounces the repression by the bad government:

“We wish to inform everyone that on 12th October of this year, our comrades returned to their community.” They add that the comrades “are already back in their simple houses, even though their homes have been sacked and some half-destroyed by the attackers.”  They explain “that in Chiapas and in Mexico it is a crime to exercise the rights to education, health and to autonomy as peoples.  Because the only crimes that our comrades have committed, and for which they have been threatened, attacked and persecuted, is the crime of wanting to have their own autonomous education.”

A Neighbourhood of San Cristobal declares it is in resistance to payment for electricity

October, 2010

The group  “Comadreja”, based in the neighbourhood of “24th May” in the city of Jovel / San Cristobal de Las Casas, is resisting the payment of electricity bills.   On 26th October the group issued a statement denouncing that:

“In our neighbourhood the cost of electricity is becoming very high.”  Before, they had paid annually, as a group, “But the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) does not recognise our organisation and thus they are coming here to harass us.”

“On 21st October we went to the CFE offices to put forward our proposal, to try and sort out the problem, thus the families involved have now agreed to organise ‘civil resistance’ “.  Now the group and families are hoping for support for their struggle.

Struggles beyond Chiapas

Other resistances: Guatemala : Respect the right to hold the community consultation in Uspantan

On 28th October, the National Mayan Co-ordination and Convergence “Waqib´Kej” denounced that in the communities in the municipality of Uspantan, in the Department of Quiche, planes and helicopters had been doing overflights, with “the aim of creating a climate of terror in the communities so that people would not take part in the planned consultation,” on 29th October, “to reject the presence of dams and mines in this zone.”

The Co-ordination holds the Mayor responsible; for months he has been boycotting the consultation, threatening the communities that if they support the consultation he will cut the projects that the communities are managing, and at the same time attacking the indigenous organisations which are supporting this process.

There are two reasons why the Mayor is adopting this policy.  Firstly, the consultation breaks with the repression which has been operating for years, now the communities are in the process of “recovering our individual and collective rights which are intimately linked to respect for the rights of Mother Earth.”  And, secondly “this consultation affects the agreements that the Mayor has already contracted with the three powers of government (executive, legislative and judical)…especially his support for the neoliberal project of the Guatemalan state, which is working to change the organisation of the national energy grid, and this project is based on our great rivers….and this is why we are recovering our traditional ways and promoting this consultation.”

On 29th October a strong contingent of riot police from the National Civil Police (PNC) began to arrive in San Miguel Uspantán where on this date the 186 communities were celebrating a community consultation, to reject mining, hydro-electric and oil/petroleum projects.  The police presence is considered to be a “provocation to block democratic activity and eventually to suppress the population.”  “Despite these provocations the communities decided to celebrate the community consultation …. as they are entitled to do under the provisions of Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation, the political constitution of the Republic of Guatemala,  the Municipal Code  and the Law of the Councils of Development.”

Photos and reports in Spanish

Prisoners section

Prisons “for a better life”

* Juan Collazo Jiménez, imprisoned in the jail CERSS n° 6 in Motozintla, has denounced unjustified prison transfers, bad treatment and violence against the prisoners and their visitors and demands that the government provide dignified conditions in the prisons.

* Prisoners in CERSS N.6 denounce violations of human rights by the prison director who is responsible for them being beaten, threatened, imprisoned unjustly, and who has banned visits and prohibited bringing in food and items from outside the jail.

* The political prisoners of “The Voice of Amate”, adherents to The Other Campaign, imprisoned in CERSS n°5, demand a halt to arbitrary transfers, which are supposedly “voluntary”, and which particularly affect indigenous prisoners.

* On 9th October it was the 20th anniversary of the imprisonment of the political prisoner C. Rosario Díaz Méndez, framed for a fabricated crime of kidnapping. The Voice of Amate demands real justice and freedom for all political prisoners.

* Prisoners involved in The Voice of Amate denounce violations of prisoners’ human rights, particularly the arbitrary prison transfers of Juan Collazo Jiménez and Ramón de Jesús Ruíz Rodas from CERSS n°5.

* Comrades from San Antonio Chijilté were detained by a group of persons in civilian clothes wearing hoods, and taken to the jail CERSS n°5. The other members of the community were threatened that they would be put in prison as well, if they didn’t abandon their land.


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