Tila Ejido Owners Will Have to Wait Their Turn for the Court to Resolve Their Claim
** The case occupies 46th place of the issues that the full court will attend to during the rest of the year
** The indigenous Chols struggle against the “illegal expropriation” of 130 hectares from their lands
[Campesinos from Tila, Chiapas,
demonstrate in front of the SCJN’s building, to demand that their ejidos are
respected Photo: Cristina Rodríguez]
By: Hermann Bellinghausen, Envoy
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, August 3, 2012
Tila ejido owners that mobilized in their municipal headquarters and in the Republic’s capital this week will now have to wait their turn for their petition to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) for the restitution of their lands in the urban center of Tila. “We hope that the SCJN does not bypass justice of the Unión,” the demonstrators that didn’t travel to the Federal District –the majority– and were located in front of the Judicial Power maintained yesterday from their own village.
Their ejido authorities explained: “The amparo had to reach this instance because they don’t want to execute it. The Court is going to dictate a resolution that is in favor of respect for our ejido or against it, guarantying against the four people responsible for committing injustices and illegalities against us, the Constitution and our human rights as indigenous peoples.” Domingo Parcero López and Lorenzo Jiménez Ramírez said that the indigenous ejido owners struggle against “the illegal expropriation of 130 hectares of our ejido lands.”
In 1980, the local Congress legitimized an expropriation, published in the Official Journal of the Juan Sabines Gutiérrez government, “because of which we filed an appeal in 1982, case number 259/82. We had to wait 26 years to win it. But those responsible don’t want to obey the judicial order that was emitted since October 2008.”
The expectation that the resolution to the failure to execute the decision in the lawsuit for a court order promoted by the Tila ejido would be issued on August 2, depended on the fact that the case is in 46th place on the full tribunal’s list, and that the SCJN’s second period of public sessions, started this week, will last for the rest of the year. Before, there are protective orders on review, thesis contradictions, actions for unconstitutionality and constitutional controversies; 28 resolutions alone prior to Tila’s are related to military immunity, for sure.
A lawyer for Centro Pro considered that the SCJN’s delay “is a very clear message from the instances that administer justice that it does not have the sensitivity of attending to the content of the petition nor the social group that hoists it. This case is a protective order by a community that many generations have struggled for to vindicate their land and territory.”
Parcero López and Jiménez Ramírez, in the name of the ejido owners, adherents to the Other Campaign, pointed out that from the beginning the government “did not consult us to deprive us of ancestral rights guarded in the Carta Magna, Articles 14 and 16.” They point out having received threats, persecution, intimidation, fabrication of crimes and kidnappings: “There has already been death inside of the town, which municipal presidency itself has committed.” Meanwhile, municipal and state authorities have attempted to incarcerate ejido members in 2008, 2010 and 2012, accusing them “as agitators and of destruction of roadways, when we haven’t done anything.”
Upon maintaining their demand to the SCJN “that respects our rights in our nucleus of indigenous ejido population,” the representatives pointed out: “In our state estado bad politics continues being manifested in the inheritance of political positions among families. The people that are there only change position.” They illustrate it with what happens in the Northern Zone of Chiapas: “They are people from the paramilitary group Paz y Justicia (Peace and Justice), which in 1996 and 1997 committed big massacres, displacements of compañeros and a lot of intimidation in the town. Principally they want to attack the compañeros of the Zapatista organization, but also civil society in general.” In other words, they have changed name of their organizations, maybe changed party, but they are the same..
The ejido owners’ mobilization has received support from the Other Campaign, from human rights organisms, intellectuals and from the student movement. The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity appealed “to that part of the human being that lives in each one of the members of the SCJN so that they are aware that they have in their hands the historic opportunity to assure the Chol people the right to life, to the preservation of their culture and of their territory.”
The Frayba and Pro human rights centers jointly pointed out that the issuance of a protective order (amparo) “protects the ejido against unconstitutional acts carried out by the government and the State Congress, with respect to the 130-39-53 hectares of urban zone (caserío) that was illegally considered as a legal fund. In the same way, against acts of dominion promoted by the municipal council and the Public Registry of Property and Commerce, by illegally endorsing the purchase and sale of ejido land. The federal judge required the state government and the city council of Tila to restore full rights to the property of the plundered lands and repair the damage caused. Nevertheless, the authorities mentioned have refused to comply with the federal judicial order, because of which they are responsible for the violation of the ejido’s rights.”