Boca en Boca No. 12 February 2011

Editorial (“Don’t chuck it, share it”)

Boca en Boca [“by word of mouth”] is an independent news sheet that aims to spread news of what is happening in the organised communities of Chiapas. It aims to oppose the strategy of the government and generate solidarity by providing summaries and extracts from the communities’ news releases. In the long term, the goal is to distribute it among the indigenous communities in their own language.

Report of violation of Human Rights (DDHH in Spanish) by the National Electricity Company (CFE) in the northern area.

The human rights’ committee “Digna Ochoa” informs that on 21st January, they received a copy of the official letter of Ejido Nueva Esperanza, addressed to the head of the distribution department of the CFE in San Cristobal de Las Casas, in which they ask CFE to intervene, and repair or change an electricity transformer in the Ejido Nueva Esperanza. Inhabitants of Ejido Nueva Esperanza claim that since 7th February supply of electricity deteriorated, affecting nearly 400 users. Since then, they don’t have electricity, affecting students, security and the cultivation of coffee.
A representative of CFE responded that, in order to change the transformer, firstly the 535 debtors have to pay an amount over 2 million pesos, claiming that inhabitants of the Ejido have been resisting payments for the last 15 years: “Our fight is legitimated because Chiapas is the state that produces the majority amount of electricity, and they would pay electricity, as long as the fees are based on the social conditions and poverty in which they live”.
They pointed out that CFE is not a private company, therefore, “should be in the service of Mexican people as established in the article ONE in the Public Electricity Service book, They also mention the constitutional right: “None can be deprived of their freedom, their properties, possessions or rights, unless prior to this they are taking into court”.
They are asking the authorities to guarantee the rights of the community under the services of the electricity company.
Escrutinio Publico

Action of accompaniment for migrants

A peaceful demonstration was conducted because of “the constant threat from criminal groups against the shelters for migrants and human rights defenders” and “the ineffectiveness of…..institutions that should ensure order.” It began on 3rd January, with demonstrators boarding the train from Arriaga on its way to Chahuites. The aim of the project, called Step by step towards peace: Peace is the fruit of justice, “is to restate that peace, as a social project, results from the correct implementation of justice, with the participation of civil society in general. Thus, the new thinking on the concept of peace has legislative effect, which requires responsibility on the part of the authorities, not failure.”
Chahuites was chosen as a “symbol of any place where they attack the human rights of migrants.” “The aim of this type of abuse is the dismantling of criminal gangs and all sorts of violations of migrants’ human rights.”
“We express our condemnation of acts of persecution, undertaken by the authorities of the 3 levels of government towards undocumented migrants passing through Mexico.
We demand a halt to the operations conducted at night and in dangerous conditions, which have led to constant violations of human rights of men and women migrants…..
We hold the authorities of the 3 levels of government responsible by omission and complicity in the 20,000 plus cases of kidnappings per year recorded by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), for the massacre of 72 migrants which occurred in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, and the kidnappings perpetrated at the end of the year in the state of Oaxaca.”
Centro de Medias Libres

Police harass journalists in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Media workers reported that on 27 January, San Cristóbal de Las Casas municipal police arrested 4 fellow journalists, “while traveling in a private vehicle in the center of the town to conclude the coverage they gave the funeral of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García”.
“Without identifying themselves as law enforcement officials, the assailants began to question reporters regarding their origin, destination and work, among other questions”.
“Since Mexico is among the countries where the work of journalists is considered the most risky because of the number of killings, detentions and kidnappings against them, the suspicion of premeditated aggression is not unfounded”.
“We are aware of the dire situation in various parts of Mexico where insecurity has restricted de facto, or even officially, the freedoms of transit, expression and work”.
“Therefore we ask you to intervene in the matter and inform us of the results or, failing that, tell us if there are measures of emergency, curfews or territories in Chiapas where we should exercise our profession at our own risk”.
Radio Huaraches

Information Links

Invasion of a school site in Chilón: http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com/2011/01/advierten-de-enfrentamientos-en-chilon.html
Denuncia concerning land dispossession in Chilón: http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com/2011/01/denuncia-desde-chilon-chiapas.html
Denuncia from Molino Los Arcos, on the 29 of January: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/article_177317
Denuncia from the Community of San Francisco:
http://chiapas.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=177142&keyword=enero&phrase=
Armed attack on the community of Candelaria El Alto: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/display.php3?article_id=177134&keyword=enero&phrase=
In memory of Don Samuel Ruiz García: http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com/2011/01/en-memoria-de-don-samuel-ruiz-garcia.html
5th Anniversary of la Voz del Amate: http://chiapasdenuncia.blogspot.com/2011/01/5-aniversario-de-la-voz-del-amate.html
Denuncia from San Sebastian Bachajón, about the occupation of a ranch:
http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2011/01/13/denuncian-mentirasdel-mal-gobierno-los-adherentes-del-ejido-san-sebastian-bachajon/

Prisoners denounce corrupt practices and violation of their human rights in Motozintla Prison
In a letter to the Governor of Chiapas on 17th January, three prisoners in Motozintla Prison (CERSS No. 6) declared that they had had enough of the repression and punishments meted out by the prison authorities and staff. They have decided “to demonstrate peacefully, by sewing up their lips and refusing all food and liquids”. They demand that the authorities “address the grave problems… we are prepared to pay with our lives in order not to be victims of the prison authority’s abuse and their violation of our rights”…“we live in an inhuman place; the cells lack electric lights or drinking water. We lack food, nor do we have any of the medical, psychological, technical or training support required to make a humane and dignified return to society.” They also insist on their right to be transferred to prisons closer to their families, noting that the authorities “flagrantly violate Article 18 of the Constitution, which states that all prisoners can ask to be transferred to a prison where it is easier for their family to visit them, in order to contribute to the well-being and mental health of each individual.”
Chacatorex

Not a Single One More…

On 17th January in the centre of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in the context of a demonstration against femicide in Mexico, a number of organisations commemorated “Marisela Escobedo, a mother who was looking for justice for the unpunished murder of her daughter Rubi Marisol. Marisela was killed in front of the seat of the Chihuahua state government, while placing a protest banner”. They also remembered “Susana Chavez, a poet and defender of human rights who openly denounced the killing of women in Ciudad Juarez. Susan coined the slogan “Not a single death more”. She was found murdered in terrible circumstances on 6th January. The protestors did not forget to mention the female martyrs of the Acteal massacre, the migrant victims of organised crime, and women suffering violence from their partners and families. “In this way discrimination turns into femicide, that is, the killing of women for the simple fact of being women.”
Indymedia Chiapas

The General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army expresses sadness and regret at the death of the JTatic Samuel Ruiz García.
“The human stature of this man (and of those who, like him, are walking alongside the oppressed, the dispossessed, the forgotten and the despised), calls for our word……He was not only concerned about the condition of poverty and marginalization of the indigenous peoples of Chiapas, he also worked, along with a heroic pastoral team, to improve their inhumane conditions of living and dying.
…..they not only insisted on peace with justice and dignity for the indigenous people of Chiapas, they also risked, and are still risking, their lives, liberty and property on this path made hazardous by the arrogance of political power…….
Since 1994, while working at the National Mediation Commission (CONAI)……Don Samuel came under pressure, harassment and threats, including attempts on his life…..he also suffered the threat of imprisonment…..The PRI-PAN alliance (which was later joined by the PRD and the PT in Chiapas) against the progressive Catholic Church did not stop there. Since then federal and state governments have fathered attacks, slanders and attacks against members of the Diocese…..And this activity reaches as far as the Vatican, who are manoeuvring to split the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in two, so as to dilute the alternative option, that of, for, by and with the poor, in an agreement where money washes consciences…… The grotesque parade of figures from local and national politics beside the coffin of Don Samuel is not to honour him, but to check, with relief, that he is dead; and the local media simulate sorrow when they are actually celebrating.
Now that it is fashionable to condemn the entire Catholic church for the crimes, excesses, commissions and omissions of some of their superiors…..Now that the so-called “progressive” sector delights in making fun of and deriding the whole of the Catholic church…..Now that everyone is encouraged to see in every priest a potential or active paedophile…..Now it would be good to turn around and to look towards those from below and find there those who, as they did before Don Samuel, challenge and defy Power. Because these Christians believe strongly that justice should reign also in this world.
Among the EZLN, Catholics and non-Catholics, believers and nonbelievers, today we not only honour the memory of Don Samuel Ruiz García. Also, and above all, we salute the commitment of Christians and believers in Chiapas, Mexico and the World, who do not remain silent against injustice, nor remain inactive against war”.
Enlace Zapatista

Declaration from Acteal: http://acteal.blogspot.com
Declaration from Tila: http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com
NGOs remember the Jtatik: http://escrutiniopublico.blogspot.com

Tunis: the people against the dictatorship

For several weeks, rebellion has been brewing in various Arab countries. In Tunis, the uprising was driven in particular by anger at the death of Mohamed Bouazizi, who immolated himself to protest against police repression and the country’s corrupt government. In these countries even young graduates are condemned to survive with petty jobs, living between corruption and police violence. The youth, and with it the rest of the population, came out into the streets to express their rage. The government responded only with more repression, leaving hundreds dead and injured. The mobilisation was on such a scale however that the president, in power for the last 23 years, fled the country and the protests, taking more than a tonne of gold with him to Saudi Arabia. A new government was quickly installed and the ex-president’s political party shut down. The new government has members from the party however, and the people of Tunis are still struggling and protesting against the government. Now the contagion is spreading to Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Yemen!

Follow-up links from previous issue

Arrest of ejidatarios from the Other Campaign at Bachajón denounced: http://escrutiniopublico.
blogspot.com/2011/01/denuncian-detencion-ejidatarios-de.html
Press release from Las Abejas 13 years and one month after the massacre: http://acteal.blogspot.
com/2011/01/nuevo-ciclo-ha-comenzado-la-lucha.html
Lack of medical attention in Cereso n°5: http://noestamostodxs.noblogs.org/?p=191
Statement of prisoners in solidarity with la Voz del Amate: http://noestamostodxs.
noblogs.org/?p=187
“Not one more….” against femicide: http://chiapas.indymedia.org/display.
php3?article_id=177205&keyword=enero&phrase=

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