News from Sipaz 28/07/2014

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

July 28, 2014

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Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés (@SIPAZ)

In a new communique published on 25 July, Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés reported that the support-bases from the La Realidad caracol have decided to share 59,000 pesos that have been collected for the reconstruction of the autonomous clinic and school that were destroyed in May to support the transportation of members of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) which is soon to be held in Chiapas. It should be recalled that from 4 to 9 August, this meeting between Zapatistas and other indigenous peoples belonging to the CNI will take place in La Realidad.

Subcomandante Moisés explained that this decision has been made public “because we cannot be like the bad governments, which say that money is dedicated to one thing but ends up being moved elsewhere.” He expressed furthermore that “the construction of the accommodations for our indigenous brothers and sisters has now been completed, and we are finishing the last details so that everything will be ready with joy in our hearts to receive our guests. The construction of the new school and clinic continues, also with joy. Because while those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.”

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National: thousands march in Mexico City to demand agrarian reform

July 28, 2014

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On 23 July, between 25,000 (according to the government of Mexico City) and 35,000 campesinos (according to organizers of the action) marched in Mexico City to demand a comprehensive agrarian reform, in repudiation of the reform laws on energy, and in favour of respect for the rights of peoples and communities.

Protestors presented a document with their proposals for agrarian reform, to be taken into account at the national Congress, which is about to address the matter in response to a proposal made in March by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The slogans that were uttered at the protest spoke to the principal grievances: for example, “Hunger is not combated with handouts but rather through food production in communities,” or “Mexico demands food and energy sovereignty.”

Organizations that covered the whole spectrum of politics in Mexico, including some groupings allied to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which is at present in power.

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Chiapas: denunciation of threats of possible attack on Migrant Home in Arriaga

July 28, 2014

Migrant home “All for All” in Tapachula (@Centro PRODH)

Migrant home “All for All” in Tapachula (@Centro PRODH)

On 21 July, Carlos Bartolo Solís, director of the Migrant Home “House of Compassion” in Arriaga on the coast of Chiapas denounced that he had received a threat from organized crime groups dedicated to the trafficking in migrants against the centre. That same day, a migrant warned him that an attack was being prepared, as led by someone known as Simón N.

Bartolo Solís mentioned that police surveillance of the trains has diminished over the past several months, and that fewer and fewer patrols are seen. He announced that he would contact federal authorities and the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) so that they intervene to guarantee the protection and security for the migrant home. At present, the local authorities do nothing more than “provide promises and speeches.”

Some weeks ago, Father Ramón Verdugo, from the Migrant Home “All for All” in Tapachula, also denounced death-threats and persecution for his work as a defender of the rights of migrants.

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Indigenous organizations and peoples challenge federal reforms, considering them to be “a legalized land grab”

July 27, 2014

(@Other Worlds Chiapas)

(@Other Worlds Chiapas)

On 14 July, upon the close of the “Water and Energy” seminar held in Oaxaca de Juárez, civil organizations and communities pertaining to the Mixteco, Chatino, Zapotec, and Mixe peoples of the state of Oaxaca as well as organizations from Chiapas and Mexico City issued a communiqué denouncing the reforms being implemented in the country. They indicated that said reforms betray a lack of respect for humanity rights and represent “a legalized land grab,” given that they were approved to favour national and international firms.

The authors of the communiqué explained that the laws on Hydrocarbons, National Waters, Mining, Public Service of Electricity, Geothermal Energy, Housing, Foreign Investment, Expropriation, National Goods, Labour, Regulation of Energy, Public and Private Associations, the National Agency on Industrial Security, Protection of the Environment, Education, and Telecommunications “have been presented and approved without the participation of the communities and citizenry in general who live in the country.”

They denounced that “they have found the three levels of government to lie, trick, threaten with death, repress, arbitrarily arrest, forcibly disappear, and even execute communal human-rights defenders,” and they affirmed that they will continue defending their lands and territories amidst this new attempt at looting.

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Chiapas: new communiqué from the Las Abejas Civil Society

July 27, 2014

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

Las Abejas Civil Society (@acteal.blogspot.com)

On 22 July, during the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre of 1997, the Las Abejas Civil Society released a new communique positioning itself on several prevailing realities, “because it is our responsibility to say the truth and condemn lies, violence, and war.” Las Abejas denounced that the “bad government of Mexico has coordinated with large neoliberal-capitalist interests to create plans to extract the riches of our Mother Earth. These plans criminalize social movements; they imprison women and men who criticize the rotten system in Mexico.” They gave as examples of such tendencies the murders of Juan Vázquez Guzmán and Juan Carlos Gómez Silvano from the San Sebastián Bachajon ejido, who adhered to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, in addition to the Zapatista support-base (BAEZLN) Galeano in La Realidad.

Las Abejas indicated that “we are saddened that still many of our brothers and sisters who do the dirty work of the government see us as enemies, insulting us and claiming us to be provocateurs. All these thoughts that they have are the result of the crumbs given in the ‘Procampo,’ ‘Opportunities,’ and other welfare programs.” They stressed the role of the “so-called leaders of a community or an organization”: “the bad government seeks to create divisions in a community or organization in resistance by offering a bit of money or a public office in exchange for providing information on what the organizations are doing.” To illustrate this point, Las Abejas made reference to the “present conflict between the neighbouring communities of Ch’enalvo’ and Chalchihuitan regarding the land dispute that has gone on for 40 years.” They reiterated the call to dialogue “both to the peoples of Ch’enalvo’ and of Chalchihuitan and not to take up arms.”

Lastly, they shared a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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Chiapas: TPP pre-audience judges Mexican State for crimes against humanity

July 27, 2014

On 18 July in El Limonar, Ocosingo municipality, there was held the pre-audience for the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), “With Justice and Peace We Shall Find Truth.” As part of the work on “Dirty War as violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice” covered by the Mexican chapter of the TPP, the Viejo Velasco massacre was addressed. This atrocity, which took place on 13 November 2006, resulted in the execution of four persons and the disappearance of four others. Two of the disappeared were found dead some months later. Furthermore, 37 residents of the community were forcibly displaced, seeking refuge in the neighbouring community of Nuevo Tila.

After having reviewed the relevant documents and the declarations of victims and witnesses, the judges declared that the “The fact that these acts of violence from the State did not solely target combatants but also the civilian, non-combatant population–including boys and girls–shows that the only common factor among the victims was that they pertained to certain ethnic groups and social organizations. It also shows that said acts were committed ‘with the intention of destroying’ these groups ‘totally or in part,’ thus qualifying these as crimes against humanity.” For this reason, they judged the Mexican State to be culpable of having violated the rights to life and personal integrity as well as the right not to experience forced disappearance in the cases of Viejo Velasco and Acteal in the Northern Zone of Chiapas.

In conclusion, the tribunal declared that “the State must use the appropriate means to observe its obligation to investigate the acts that have been denounced, as well as to identify, judge, and sanction those responsible and the beneficiaries of these crimes.” It stressed that “the Mexican State is obliged to comprehensively compensate the damages caused by these crimes against humanity.” Lastly, it recalled that the cycle of the Mexican chapter of the TPP will end in November 2014, a time in which the “grave human-rights violations committed by the Mexican State that to date enjoy impunity” will be denounced and made visible before the national and international public.

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Chiapas: Believing People organize fourth pilgrimage in Simojovel

July 20, 2014

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

Photo (@Chiapas Denuncia Pública)

On Saturday 12 July, the Believing People of Simojovel carried out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace.” Thousands of persons marched to highlight the increase in violence in the municipality due to alcoholism, drug-trafficking, prostitution, and arms trading, and to denounce the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua. On the same occasion, they accused municipal authorities of being corrupt and of favouring this situation which undermines peace and security for the people of Simojovel. In a communiqué, the Believing People declared that “Amidst these death-threats, we cannot be silent or be indifferent; we cannot simply cross our arms while seeing so much suffering caused by the corruption of the authorities.”

Furthermore, they publicly demanded that the corresponding authorities re-establish peace and tranquillity for the people by closing places for drug and alcohol sales, prostitution centres, and repressing the traffic in weapons. In this way, they specified that “We demand security for our people; enough of violating our rights. We demand liberty and justice.” They added: “This is our action so that peace be restored in this community. We will not tire; if we see that there is no result, we will take other measures in the coming days and months. The people must continue raising their voice.”

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