The Community of Tocuila Continues in Resistance in Defence of the Earth

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2016 by floweroftheword


The Community of Tocuila Continues in Resistance in Defence of the Earth

Communiqué of San Miguel Tocuila, read in a press conference that took place on May 25th, 2016 in the Museum of Mamut.

The communiqué that we present here is meant to denounce the bad governments that continue dispossessing the people from their territories, continue making unjust laws to legalize the looting, destruction, and appropriation of the land and all of the resources it contains. The grand capitalists continue monopolizing the territories of our people creating misery and oppression.

Across the entire country resistances are surging against the unjust grabbing of their natural resources and their territories, like in Xochicuautla and Cherán that defend their forests, Coyotepec that defend their right to water, Tajamar that hold back the destruction of their mangroves, and San Mateo Chipiltepec that defend their hill Tezontlalli, just to mention a few.

The people that are on the edge of the ex-lake Texcoco have continued in resistance since 2001, when we raised our voice and our machetes opposing the megaproject of death and dispossession of our lands.

This resistance has continued despite the events that took place 10 years ago when we were brutally repressed. Furthermore, we have been constantly harassed and intimidated by the government and businesses that purchase the wills of the people, destroying our social fabric because the government works with its dependents: the Agrarian Office, the National Agrarian Registry, CONAGUA, SEMARNAT, the courts, and in complicity with the ejidal commissions, they defend the interests of the oligarchy leaving the people immersed in hunger and misery.

On April 23, our struggle continued against the company CYPSA VISE, when their workers began the construction of the highway PEÑON-ECATEPEC in the ejidos of San Miguel Tocuila and the neighborhoods of Santa Cruz de Abajo and San Felipede. These works were carried out in an illegal manner that violates the protection granted on April 12 of this year by the Ninth District Court of the State of Mexico: 349/ 2016-III. Because of this it was decided that we would install an encampment to block the entry of machines into the territory, organizing committees of surveillance day and night to safeguard the ejidos because the workers of CYPSA VISE had already advanced 1 km filling the ejidos with materials like rock, plastic, and geotextile. Thus, the ejido members and the community decided to flood the ejido with residual water and carry out reforestation in the zone, in order to stop the passage of the company CYPSA VISE.

Once more is has became evident that the laws are only applied to the people who are organized while the companies remain unpunished because they work in complicity with the government while the people are repressed.

Our struggle is not only for the land, but also for the water, our traditions, our culture, our identity, the environment, our history, and the future of our families.

How is it possible that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto assumes that the construction of the new airport will be sustainable, when they have violated the international agreements that protect the habitat that is home to endemic and migratory birds?

How is it possible that Enrique Peña Nieto wants to lower pollution levels, when with this project they will increase toxic emissions?

How is it possible that the government talks of human rights, when in this country they disappear students, kill journalists, beat teachers, and take the right of a dignified life from us, incarcerate people that defend their land and let free rapists, narco-traffickers, and corrupt politicians?

No government in any another country has scrapped its original airport plan only to carry out another and we are convinced that our demand is just and our struggle is necessary. We will not negotiate, not even 5 centimeters of our territory, because we are not willing to sell our dignity. The slogan is clear: the land is not for sale, it is loved and defended. We will not step down. We already know the methods of repression, intimidation and harassment. We cannot be surprised. We are convinced that the organized and united people will never be defeated, and this motto is more than a slogan but is part of our reality.

For this we call on all social organizations and the people in general to join this struggle, to inform and to organize.

Never more the dispossession of our people, never more the barbarism in our territories!

The land is not for sale, it is loved and defended!

Atenco lives, the struggle continues!

Toquila lives, the struggles continues!

Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra

Poorly translated from the original here:


A sad conflict among Las Abejas of Acteal

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2016 by floweroftheword



By Hermann Bellinghausen

Postcards from the Revolt, La Jornada, 21st May 2016

“Friendly fire” has created a conflict in the mountains of Chiapas which can only be viewed as lamentable. The Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas, founded in 1992, and an active proponent of the Catholic Theology of Liberation, has, since the historic exodus of the Tsotsil communities from Chenalho and the Acteal massacre in December 1997, been a point of reference for peace in the turbulent river of insurrection, resistance and autonomy which flowed forth from the mountains of Chiapas in January 1994.

In October 2014, some members of the group, founded 28 years ago with the support of Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, decided to split from Las Abejas and took the name “Consejo Pacifista Sembradores de la Paz” (the Pacifist Council of Sowers of Peace.) The key difference was that the second group wanted to change the strategy in respect of the demands for justice and reparations which Las Abejas have maintained since the terrible massacre they suffered 18 years ago. “Ever since that date they have carried out violent actions against members of our Organization and especially against the Board of Directors,” Las Abejas declared on April 20, 2016.

It is not the first crisis of division the group Las Abejas has suffered. In 2008 a small group approached to negotiate with Juan Sabines, then governor of Chiapas, under cover of the PRD, when that cover already did not mean what it had done a decade before. At that time, the group tried to confuse the media and other organisations, but their own actions soon revealed their position. They kept the name “Las Abejas” but differentiated it.

A while later, around 2011, unidentified plaintiffs, presumed to be victims of the massacre and members of Las Abejas, undertook a noisy lawsuit against ex-president Ernesto Zedillo for his role in the genocide that took place in Chenalho in 1997. They also demanded financial compensation. The ambiguity of the process, which Las Abejas opportunely set itself apart from, culminated in something worse than a defeat: the confirmation of unrestricted impunity for former Mexican rulers at an international level.

The rift with the Consejo Pacifista, with all its peculiarities, has been less clear due to bold acts of identity theft, like stealing Las Abejas’ official seals [stamps] and contending for control of the space known as the “Sacred Ground” in the hollow of Acteal, Chenalho, which is where the massacre took place and where the victims are buried. This land is also the headquarters of [Las Abejas,] an independent and active organisation which has never relented in its resistance, its nonviolent response, nor in its demands for justice and reparations (in this order and not in reverse). It has never proposed that negotiation for economic resources or compensation or “support” should have precedence over its main demands; it is more that the lies and impunity of the state continue to taunt these Tsotsil Pedranos[1] who were massacred by a government which was just as strongly a member of the PRI as the current one.

According to information from the weekly magazine Proceso, members of the current Consejo Pacifista were among those who launched the case against Zedillo in the United States, although Consejo Pacifista deny this.



Frayba also under fire

Another indication of this breakdown in relations between Consejo Pacifista and Las Abejas is a hostility towards those who have provided legal support and disseminated information for Las Abejas since its foundation. The Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Human Rights Centre (Frayba) and its president, Bishop Raul Vera Lopez, were sued in court by Consejo Pacifista and although the previously unheard of case was not substantiated, it left a painful precedent. Frayba considers it “risky” in that it opens a new flank in the incessant siege that centres like Frayba and organisations like Las Abejas suffer as targets of the everyday low intensity war which never ends in the mountains of Chiapas.

From this a war of words has followed aimed at “discrediting” this work. Frayba insists that the Consejo Pacifista “wages a smear campaign that seeks to delegitimatise the process of autonomy of Las Abejas of Acteal” and that none of this is about denial of information or discriminatory treatment.

On the 12th of May, the Centre, with its headquarters in San Cristobal de las Casas, clearly stated this: “Frayba daily confronts defamation campaigns and attacks on the credibility of its work defending human rights in Chiapas. An actor who recently joined those attacking our prestige is the Consejo Pacifista.” Frayba has accompanied the Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas of Acteal since its foundation in 1992, and in its process of seeking and constructing justice after the Acteal massacre in December 1997. During these 23 years of accompaniment, Frayba has respected and recognised the work of Las Abejas, its representative bodies, its decision-making and its authorities, such as the Board of Directors. At the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, Frayba was present as an observer at three meetings for dialogue between members of Las Abejas of Acteal. Also present were the Board of Directors, the only organ of authority and representative body of Las Abejas, representatives and coordinators of different work areas, and “members of Las Abejas who would later form Consejo Pacifista.”

The meetings, Frayba added, “had an end goal that through dialogue the distinct parties would resolve the problems highlighted by the now members of Consejo Pacifista.” The invitation to Frayba was to act as an observer, not a mediator.

The Board of Directors, along with representatives and coordinators of Las Abejas of Acteal, listened to the Consejo Pacifista people. When it was the time for the authorities of Las Abejas of Acteal to speak, the Consejo Pacifista members “refused to listen, suggested they would leave the organisation and declared the dialogue finished”. Nonetheless, Frayba “encouraged all parties to continue the dialogue”, but without success.



Indictments in the Federal Court

“In January 2015, members of Consejo Pacifista and their legal advisor, who previously worked for Frayba, requested a copy of the dossier 12.790 Manuel Santiz Culebra and others (Acteal Massacre), which Las Abejas of Acteal, along with Frayba as co-petitioner, had presented to the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights (IACHR).” Frayba consulted the main petitioner of this case, Las Abejas of Acteal, “who through a general assembly agreed that Consejo Pacifista should obtain the requested information from the IACHR, as they are the appropriate body to safeguard and decide who has access to the documents”. Dissatisfied, members of the Consejo Pacifista asked to speak with Frayba’s Board of Directors, “and a meeting took place on 15th May 2015.” The position of Raul Vera Lopez and the Board of Directors was to “respect the decision made by the civil society organisation Las Abejas of Acteal, as well as that of the survivors in their role as the petitioners to the IACHR.”

The document stresses that “the historic and legitimate spokesperson” that the body accompanies in the Acteal massacre case before the IACHR is the Civil Society Organisation Las Abejas of Acteal “through their only authority, the Board of Directors, the body of legitimate leadership as chosen by the communities of the organization, as well as by the survivors of the Acteal massacre who continue to recognise the Board of Directors as their representatives, as established by their own rules and procedures”.

In June, members of the Consejo Pacifista and their legal representative Arturo Ricardo Lagunes Gasca filed a complaint via federal government agencies against Vera Lopez, in his role as president of the human rights centre. The Second District Court of Chiapas was presented with a suit for amparo “pointing to Frayba as the responsible authority” and insisting that the cited documentation be handed over, “which it affirms is currently with the IACHR”.

As they also made allegations of “discrimination and denial of the right to information,” Vera Lopez, Frayba’s Board and director “were required to answer with a detailed report as if we were a federal agency.” On 25th January 2016 the same request and terms were made to the Board of Directors of Las Abejas of Acteal.

La Abejas made a pronouncement about this on 20th April. Frayba now elaborates on the description of the acts which “turned out to be arbitrary on the part of the federal court because it [Frayba] wasn’t credited as a civilian human rights defence organization, nor was the Board of Directors of Las Abejas of Acteal; they were treated as a responsible private authority, with the risk of setting a precedent for human rights defence organizations in the country and creating one more mechanism for persecuting Defenders.”

The Consejo Pacifista and their legal representative likewise asked the IACHR “to join as co-petitioners the case 12.790, and for a copy of the dossier.” On 10 December 2015 the IACHR announced they were accepting new co-petitioners, and, “in this way the Consejo Pacifista got a copy of the case they had requested from Frayba and as they had at one time done [requested] from Las Abejas of Acteal”.

On March 16, the Pacifist Council’s suit for amparo was thrown out, because Frayba “is not a responsible authority.” Nor was it accepted that it had denied the right to information or committed any discrimination.

Frayba views this situation as “inconsistent”: Consejo Pacifista decided to sue Frayba and another organisation which Consejo Pacifista say “they have split from,” yet during the case, they say they belong to the organisation. This is a “usurpation of the functions of community leadership and authority,” to which is added “the undue use of logos, seals and the figure of the organization’s representatives.”


5665_945910982170305_8737174133696443018_n (1)


Hostility and threats

In April, Las Abejas denounced the Consejo Pacifista as behaving in ways “contrary to the pacifist, autonomous and non-partisan spirit that they profess.” Further “they have a double standard: in public they speak of conciliation and peace and say that they want dialogue, but this is not true because they act threateningly and with hostility,” because “they want to take over the physical and symbolic spaces of our organisation in Acteal, the House of Memory and Hope”.

With respect to all of this, Frayba notes that Consejo Pacifista’s “behaviour is similar to how the Mexican government works against human right defenders, criminalising and persecuting our work nationally”. Additionally, their actions “create confusion, deepen divisions, fragment and weaken the process of building autonomy of Las Abejas of Acteal.”

The situation, Frayba concludes in its argument, “is a result of attrition from the war being waged by the Mexican state,” so that “it is regrettable” that Consejo Pacifista confuse, deceive and misrepresent the "dignified, historical and legitimate struggle" of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas of Acteal, which Frayba “continues to accompany in its radical demand for truth and the construction of the Other Justice."

[1] From San Pedro Chenalho

Triste conflicto en Las Abejas de Acteal

Girls dies in Chenalhó as conflict continues

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2016 by floweroftheword


Mayor’s resignation failed to restore calm in the Chiapas municipality
Mexico News Daily | Friday, May 27, 2016

An official in Chiapas said yesterday that peace had returned to the municipality of Chenalhó following the resignation of its mayor. But things took a turn for the worse just a few hours later when a 14-year-old died from a gunshot wound.

The young girl was shot in the community of Puebla during a confrontation between followers of Rosa Pérez Pérez, who was forced to resign as mayor on Wednesday, and the new mayor, who was sworn in yesterday morning.

For the last two months a faction had been trying to force the mayor, elected last year, out of office. After they kidnapped two state Congressmen on Wednesday, Pérez Pérez relented and handed in her resignation.

Chiapas Government Secretary Juan Carlos Gómez Aranda said yesterday that with her resignation all was calm in Chenalhó, most of whose inhabitants are Tzotzil Maya, and the conflict was over.

But citizens are of a different mind.

The family of the shooting victim are supporters of the former mayor; the two men charged with homicide in her death are supporters of her substitute, Miguel Santíz. According to one report, the latter faction arrived in Puebla, a stronghold of Pérez supporters, firing rifles in the air and mocking residents over the former mayor’s departure.

Later, the Pérez faction set fire to houses belonging to several Santíz supporters.

At least half a dozen people were wounded during the confrontation.

The National Women’s Institute, a federal agency, yesterday called on electoral institutions and authorities in Chiapas to protect the rights of women to participate in the political process.

In a statement it said that of the 34 women elected as mayors last year, four have since resigned and their place taken by men. In at least two of those cases the women had been put forward as candidates at the last minute in order for political parties to meet gender balance requirements.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp)

2 New Zapatista Books

Posted in Uncategorized on May 30, 2016 by floweroftheword



Two new Zapatista books are now in circulation, Volume II and Volume III of "Critical Thinking Against the Capitalist Hydra," forming the texts of the contributions to the seminar of the same name which was held from 2nd to 9th May 2015 in Cideci-Unitierra in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

Volume I, which has 416 pages, has already had its first reprint. It includes the contributions of the Sixth Committee of the EZLN: Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés, spokesman for the EZLN, Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano, Comandanta Miriam, Comandanta Rosalinda, Comandanta Dalia, Support Base Lizbeth and Listener Selena. They are presented in 4 sections: the first three are – Our Gaze Inward, Our Look at the Hydra and What to Do. The fourth and final section represents the participation of artists and cultural workers, including Oscar Chavez, Guillermo Velázquez and images from 32 visual artists. Volume I is now being translated in to French, English, Italian, German and Greek.



Volume II has 352 pages and includes the contributions from 3rd, 4th and 5th May, and the first part of 6th May: Don Mario González Contreras, Doña Hilda Hernández Rivera, Doña Bertha Nava Ramírez, Juan Villoro, Adolfo Gilly, Sergio Rodríguez Lascano, Luis Lozano Arredondo, Roba Albina Garavito Elías, María de Jesús de la Fuente, C. O’Higgins, Efraín Herrera, Eduardo Almeida Acosta, Vilma Almendra, María Eugenia Sánchez Díaz de Rivera, Greg Ruggiero, Alicia Castellanos Guerrero, Jerónimo Díaz Marielle, Rubén Trejo, Catherine Marielle, Álvaro Salgado, Elena Álvarez-Buylla Roces, Pablo Reyna Esteves, Compañía Tamerantong!, Malú Huacuja del Toro, Javier Hernández Alpízar, Ana Lidia Flores, Gilberto López y Rivas, Immanuel Wallerstein, Pablo González Casanova, Salvador Castañeda O´Connor, Michael Löwy, Havin Guneser, Karla Quiñonez, Mariana Favela and Silvia Federici.



Volume III, of 352 pages, includes the participations from the latter part of May 6th and from 7th, 8th and 9th May: Margara Millán, Sylvia Marcos, Juan Wahren, Arturo Anguiano Orozco, Paulina Fernandez Christlieb, Marcos Roitman Rosenmannn, Daniel Inclán, Gustavo Esteva, Manuel Rozental, Sergio Tischler, Diario Modernidad Democrática de Kurdistán, John Holloway, Philippe Corcuff, Donovan Adrián Hernández Castellanos, Jorge Alonso, Raúl Zibechi, Carlos Antonio Aguirre Rojas, Hugo Blanco, Xuno López, Juan Carlos Mijangos Noh, Oscar Olivera, Carlos González García, Jean Roberto, Jérome Baschet, John Berger and Fernanda Navarro.



Communiqué from the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land from Atenco Against the New Illegal Incursions into O ur Communities

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 by floweroftheword

The Earth is not for sale, it is Loved and Defended


We denounce that today, May 23, 2016, around 8 am, workers of the airport group illegally entered the territory of Nexquipayac, escorted by more than 200 members of the federal, marine, state and municipal police. This was carried out with the intention of marking out the perimeter fence of the airport which the government of Enrique Peña Nieto is trying to impose, flagrantly violating the court-ordered injunction (amparos) brought by the communities affected. We express our total rejection of this work of death, as well as the damages to the ecosystem of the Bank of former lake Texcoco.

Also taking part in this new illegal incursion were ejidal representatives of Ixtapan, Nexquipayac, Atenco, La Colonia Francisco I. Madero and Tocuilo who without consulting their assemblies nor their respective peoples, gave consent for this advancement of dispossession being carried out.

We also denounce the presence of the group of thugs made up mostly of people affiliated with the PRI, the same that participated in the destruction of the mural in Atenco, symbol of the struggle and defence of the land, and also in the ejidal assembly of June 1st, 2014 and in the Agrarian Tribunal of Texcoco; all of these were led by Andrés Ruíz Méndez, who serves as municipal president of Atenco and at the same time as de facto commissioner of the ejido of Atenco, and also by Alejandro Santiago López, alias “the Oaxacan.”

These illegal incursions are acts of provocation that the government is mounting to stir up he tempers of the people and justify the repression against the communities and members of the Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land.

With these actions, the lie of Enrique Peña Nieto is reiterated, for since he reactivated the construction of the airport in September of 2014, he gave assurances that our lands would not be taken. nevertheless, the perimeter of lake Texcoco, that today they call federal zone, is also part of our territory which they are already devastating.

The utilization of workers for the airport who come from our own peoples is being used as a tactic to divide the people and make us fight amongst each other, something that we have pointed out and constantly rejected.

In this situation we call firstly on the National Commission of Human Rights, and also on the national and international independent organizations for human rights, both independent and official, to stand up for the respect for life, which we are defending and safeguarding in our territory.

We demand the cancellation of the new international airport of Mexico City and respect for the will of our people to exercise their right to self-determination.

We demand the withdrawal of all types of police bodies, military, federal and marine from our territories.

We hold the three levels of government—federal, state, and municipal—responsible for the wrongdoings that continue against our community life, and the new risk they have imposed on us of being criminalized and repressed, they are the first to trample our human rights.
We call on national and international media to attend tomorrow, Tuesday, 24th May at 10:30 am in the central square of the community of San Cristobal Nexquipayac, to head later to Cerro de Tepetzingo where the press conference will be held.

The earth is not for sale, it is loved and defended!

Zapata lives, the Struggle Continues!

Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land.

Edited version of a translation by Palabras Rebeldes


Teachers and police clash in Chiapas

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 by floweroftheword
The confrontation between teachers and police in Tuxtla. Photo: Chiapas ParaleloThe confrontation between teachers and police in Tuxtla. Photo: Chiapas Paralelo

By: Isaín Mandujano

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TUXTLA GUTIÉRREZ, Chis . – Federal and state police confronted this morning with members of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) who tried to block east and west accesses and exits to and from this capital, with a result of one police agent and several teachers injured.

The police arrived at the point known as La Pochota, at the exit for Oaxaca and Mexico City, and they took up positions. Almost immediately the teachers blocked vehicle movement, while helicopters flew over the zone.

Minutes before, at the eastern exit from this capital, on the stretch known as Parque Chiapasiónate, which connects with the state’s Highlands and Jungle regions, the teachers threw sticks and stones at the police, and they responded with tear gas and threw back the stones.

The incident took place near “Dr. Gilberto Gómez Maza” hospital, where relatives of the patients, who were spending the night outside the hospital, suffered effects from the gas.

Various vehicles that were parked nearby also got damaged, among them one belonging to the Megacable Company.

The following teachers were injured in the brawl: Blanca Nelly Agustín Argueta, of Huehuetan; Verónica Vilches Espinosa, of Tuxtla Gutierrez, and Juana Maria Solís Gómez, of Chiapa de Corzo. It was also reported that one police agent was injured by a firecracker that exploded in his face.

Parallel to that clash, bureaucrat workers who demonstrated in front of the government palace withdrew before the possible arrival of federal and state police to evict the teachers from Sections 7 and 40 of the National Education Workers Union (SNTE) who have been posted there for 11 days to demand the overthrow of the education reform.

Originally Published in Spanish by


Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2016 by floweroftheword

Petitioning Mexican President Peña Nieto

Malú Huacuja del Toro New York, NY


Atenco farmers have been defending their lands for a decade against Enrique Peña Nieto’s attempts to forcefully take their lands and build an airport designed by British architect Norman Foster’s and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s son-in-law, Fernando Romero.

These lands are under a collective rural landholding system established in the early 20th century. Atenco farmers were first offered by former president Vicente Fox (with Peña Nieto being State Governor) a pittance in compensation, and then brutally attacked by militarized police when they refused to sell their lands. During their protests, 2 protesters were killed, 26 women were raped by federal police officers, and their leaders were arrested, then condemned by corrupted judges to unsubstantiated sentences (up to 112 years in prison to one of them). They spent 5 years in prison and were finally freed thanks to public pressure.

As if all such suffering were not enough, now the Atenco people is under Peña Nieto’s attack . . . again. Clash groups have been created (affiliated to the PRI political party) to invade their lands, provoke the farmers and justify police force’s intervention. These are the same clash groups who vandalized Atenco’s iconic mural and provoked the farmers during the undemocratic vote assembly in 2014.

If and when this airport is effectively built pitting the local farmers to justify military police actions we won’t forget Atenco’s history.



Sign the petition here


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