Different faces of Dispossession: Banavil
What happened in Banavil
On December 4th , 2011 in the community of Banavil, in the municipality of Tenejapa, Chiapas, members of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) armed with firearms, assaulted families sympathizing with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN). This assault led to the forced displacement of 13 people, who´ve lost everything and, with current threats, they are still being prevented from returning to their community. The attack resulted in the murder of Pedro Méndez López, six people injured, and the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna. In addition, there were two arbitrary detentions: Lorenzo López Girón, who was injured by firearms and accused of aggravated assault; and Francisco Santiz López, member of the Zapatista support base, who was in another location during the incidents. They later regained their freedom; in the case of Francisco, this was achieved thanks to the impulse of a special campaign with actions of international solidarity.
Due to the serious violations of human rights, the demand for justice and penalty for the persons responsible of the assaults continues. It is necessary to know the truth about the forced disappearance of Alonso López Luna and to demand his reappearance alive.
The families demand the repair of the damage of their stolen belongings and dispossession of the land in their community; to return as soon as possible to their homes of the forced displacement, who live in a situation of vulnerability in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, without health services, nor homes, without possibilities to work, and are in a state of unworthy conditions.
After almost three years of this forced displacement and disappearance, justice has not been achieved for the affected families of Banavil. The aggressors are still free and without punishment, while the government refuses to arrest them in spite of 10 existing warrants. In October 2014, the Federal Judge of the Fifth Tribunal in Tuxtla Gutiérrez released Alonso Guzmán López of the PRI, murderer of Alonso López Luna.
Who are the offenders?
The displaced families accuse the state government of Governor Manuel Velasco Coello and federal government of President Enrique Peña Nieto of being accomplices to the offenders, as well as the prosecutor specialized in indigenous justice, Cristóbal Hernández López and proprietary judge, Alonso Méndez Gúzman of direct participation for protecting the offenders. Also including evangelic preacher of the organization Alas de Águila (Eagle Wings), Esdras Alonso Gonsalo, and Alonso Hernandez Lopez who also collaborated in the protection of the murderers.