The ‘Believing People’ of Chiapas demand respect for peoples’ rights
On the 19th November, in Jovel, the ‘Believing People’ stated “we must organize ourselves to raise awareness about the progress of projects of death, such as mines, dams, rural cities, etc”.
They commented on the importance of the bond they have with their land and territory, accusing transnational corporations of robbery. They opposed the exploitation of minerals, expressing solidarity with the brothers “of St Peter and St Paul, and the parish priest Eleazar Juarez Flores, who has spoken out demanding justice and respect for population of Chicomuselo”.
They accused the hydroelectric projects of affecting the people of “Huitiupan, Simojovel, el Bosque, Chalchihuites, Amata, Pantelhó and san Andrés Larrainzar”, also “the projects of Chinin and Itzantun ” and the threat to the stability of those communities that have these projects. “We cannot accept one more project that will bring more oppression, slavery, disease, starvation and death to our people”. “We also denounce the rural cities project, (…) a plan imposed by the government to control people and destroy their culture”, they insisted that lies are spread when presenting these projects, which impoverish people and put them at risk, and rejected the construction of the rural city in the community of Majumpepentik, near to Polhó. “The rural cities in Chiapas are part of the neoliberal system’s plans and projects and the business of transnational corporations”.
Finally, they supported the community of Acteal against the injustice they have now been living with for 13 years, accusing the Supreme Court of Justice of wanting to cover up the massacre of 1997. “We will continue to denounce them for as long as they try to cover up the truth with assistance projects”.
MOCRI-CNPA-MN denounces direct and indirect attacks on freedom of expression in Chiapas
On the 21st of November, the MOCRI-CNPA-MN in its communiqué denounced: “the state government has been covering up violent and/or paramilitary groups (MOCRI-CNPA-EZ, Army of God) with the aim of curbing the democratic movement”, “has criminalised the defence of human rights (Frayba)”, and “has attacked people active in community development”. They also denounced “the state police have killed migrants”; “we strongly condemn the government of Chiapas for the use of indirect methods for restricting freedom of expression and information, and for the harassment of journalists. With this practice the government shows its authoritarianism and its obsession with total control of the media, so that only their voice will be heard and only the ‘good works of the government’ will be publicised.” http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com
FNLS condemns attacks on journalists by the PGJE of the government of Chiapas
On 22nd November, the FNLS denounced: “The government of Juan Sabines Guerrero criminalizes
the media while continuing to harass journalists, in a systematic campaign to discredit and intimidate the many critical voices that have dared to denounce the irregularities of the state government and the repression unleashed against the people”. “This demonstrates the criminalization of dissent, and the de facto cancellation of the freedom of expression which is enshrined in Article 6 of the Constitution”.
“The illegal detention and criminalization of Hector Bautista joins the acts of harassment and
intimidation against the journalist Hugo Robles Guillen on 15 August, and the harassment of journalists
Isaín Mandujano, Ángeles Mariscal and Anthony Flores Merida. We demand the immediate release of Hector Bautista and an end to the harassment of journalists”.
Federal forces detain and torture a young Tzeltal from Bachajón
The ejidatarios of San Sebastian Bachajon, adherents to the Other Campaign, denounced “the government of Juan Sabines for the arbitrary detention of a compañero”.
“On the 7th July, after finishing his work as a bricklayer, he went to Ocosingo to buy some things, and was arrested…he is a Tzeltal Indian from the Chilon community who can barely speak Spanish…he was violently siezed by a group of federal agents, tortured to force him to confess whether he belonged to the EZLN, or whether he knew of their leader, violating his physical and mental rights”. “Then he was transferred to Tuxtla Gutierrez, and then transferred to the infamous ‘la quinta pitiquito’ and deprived of his liberty without any arrest warrant”.
The statement ends thus: “you can see for yourself that injustice is not a word but an action
for this bad corrupt government, where the government are the real criminals; for this reason we hold the state government responsible for the health and integrity of our prisoner compañero, along with other organizations we can affirm that he is not a criminal, as the government is trying to make him say, and that he is completely innocent of any crime that the government is manufacturing; we demand the immediate and unconditional release of our arrested compañero”.
Abejas of Acteal sympathize with the struggle against the Zapotillo dam:
Reported abuse of authority in the prison of Tonala, Chiapas: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2010/11/13/denuncian-abuso-de-autoridaden-la-carcel-de-tonala-chiapas/
Works intended to divert indigenous communities in Chilón: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2010/11/desvian-obras-destinadas-comunidades.html
Protesters removed from outside the UN in San Cristobal: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2010/11/desalojan-manifestantes-frente-laonu.html
Acteal Abejas land under litigation:
On the centenary of the revolution, marches and road blocks in Chiapas:
The indigenous people of the new town of Chiapas denounce repression and deny they are criminals
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
On the 25th of December, in Tuxtla, the women’s gathering and march denounced the reduction in wages, along with the out of control rise in the price of basic products. They stated: “Because we are not land owners we could not prevent land sales”. They denounced the unfair competition from genetically modified plant-based products, and the sale and rental of land to generate profits from crops grown to produce fuel, which has led to the “emigration of their husbands and children which leads to a reduction in production”. They also complained that ‘rural cities’ represent “the institutionalization of a process of dispossession and proletarianisation.” They further denounced the inequality in wages and other forms of income for women, because it “has affected the dynamics of (their) families and the care of (their) children”.
They “protested against the militarization and paramilitarization which are causing terror, worry, and the recruitment of men who become integrated into these forces (military, paramilitary and narco-military)
as a means of obtaining an income”. They stated that “the public political handouts that we accept in our poverty have increased dependence and have resulted in the disruption of communities, conformism
and the depoliticisation of the population”. Therefore they demanded an end to rising commodity prices and to programmes of land privatization. They insisted on “the elimination of all provisions that prevent women from having land, discriminate against them in assemblies and limit their rights”.
They demanded “an end to the discrimination, deprivation and exclusion of which we are victims”. “We demand that the government respect trade union freedom and workers’ rights” and “that wages increase in proportion with the rise in basic food prices”. Faced with a demand to raise the taxes on basic services (electricity, water …), they clarified “we pay our taxes, and in exchange the state has an obligation to provide public services to the whole population”. “We demand the demilitarization of our territory and justice for the victims of femicide, rape and harassment (…), we specifically ask for justice for women prisoners and political prisoners”.
26.11 Denunciation of the eviction from her home of Doña Rosa Santiz Lopez:
Communiqué on the fourth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco Massacre.
“Four years after the massacre of ‘Viejo Velasco’, the State has not clarified the facts or punished the perpetrators and masterminds of 13/11/2006, the day of the brutal assault on the indigenous Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Ch’ol community, in the municipality of Ocosingo, Chiapas, perpetrated by a group of 40 people from the neighbouring community of Nueva Palestina, accompanied by 300 officers of the Policía Sectorial. As a result, four indigenous were killed and four more were missing, and 20 men, 8 women and 8 children were forcibly evicted”.
“This has created social tension, resulting from uncertainty over the legal holding of land, in more than 40 communities, caused by the state, in an area rich in biodiversity, water, forest cover and a strong scenic and tourist attraction, which is located within the limits of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve”.
“The organizations signing the document have not forgotten, despite the impunity allowed by the federal and state governments, and publicly reaffirm our commitment and our demands for justice, truth, respect for Human Rights, full compensation for damages and the immediate adoption of measures to prevent repetition of these incidents, which constitute crimes against humanity for which the Mexican government is responsible”.
Meeting of CNI (Indigenous National Congress) in Vicam
On the 20th and 21st November there was a meeting “in the house of the Yaqui, of the Purépecha, Nahua, Wixarika, Coca, Odham, Mayo-Yoreme, Mixteco, Triqui, Tzotzil and Otomi peoples, tribes and nations, along with members of civil society from Mexico and various countries of the Americas, Asia and Europe”, to celebrate the First Forum in Defence of Water. Emphasis was placed above all on the importance of Water, “it is not something you can buy and sell as brutal capitalism claims”, the importance of saving the land from plunder and commodification, and denouncing large companies that create laws and capitalist policies.
In the 2007 Forum in Vicam it was agreed to reject “the imposed war of conquest and extermination”.
“We further agree to reject the destruction and plunder of mother earth”. They opposed “the construction of the aqueduct at the Novillo Dam” denouncing those involved and the destruction that this project would generate, as well as the extermination which would result for the people and for the Yaqui Valley. They rejected “the dispossession and appropriation of water” in all its forms. “We oppose laws, regulations and government policies aimed at the privatization of water”. They rejected “the dispossession and appropriation of water” in all its forms. “We oppose laws, regulations and government policies aimed at the privatization of water “.” We express our historical right to self-determination as peoples, nations and native tribes”.
They also spoke of the centenary of the Mexican Revolution, accusing successive governments of not respecting or recognising indigenous peoples, “we got nothing in return for our sacrifice”. They called for the strengthening of all the peoples and of their systems “Under the principle of governing by obeying”.
They rejected all paramilitary repression, citing Copala (Oaxaca), Santa Maria de Ostula (Michoacan)
and Mitziton (Chiapas), all caused by external interests. They demanded freedom for all political prisoners, sending greetings to the community of San Salvador Atenco, State of Mexico.
At the end of the meeting, they invited all indigenous peoples to “continue building and strengthening the National Indigenous Congress as the house of our peoples”.
Follow-up information from the previous edition
New acts of aggression by the army of God in Mitzition:
Complaint from Jotola ejido about the arrest of a member of the Other Campaign:
Complaint from Bachajon: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2010/11/denuncia-de-ejidatarios-
Complaint from ejidatarios of Jotola: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2010/11/denunciaejidatarios-
Community of Candelaria el Alto, complaint about agrarian problem with OCEZ -RC: http://chiapas.
Complaint about negative intervention by city officials into agricultural conflict in Tila: