Zapatista News Summary for November 2015
- Temporary return of displaced Banavil families: From 30 October to 3 November, the four families displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality return temporarily to their homes there. During this time, they visit the grave of Antonia López Méndez, the daughter of one of the families, who died on 21 February 2015, at the age of eleven. After this they have to come back to San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
- Opposition to Chicoasén II dam: On 3rd November, the elderly men and women who have been affected by the construction of the Chicoasén II dam commence a hunger strike to demand the release of their lawyer Arturo Ortega Luna, who was arrested on 21st October. The hunger strike has to be lifted after ten days due to very serious health problems among the participants.
- Simojovel: On 3 November, the Pueblo Creyente from the San Antonio de Pádua parish in Simojovel issue a denouncement in which they express gratitude for the accompaniment of all those who have walked beside them. Their principal demand continues to be “the closure of all bars, legal and clandestine.” They denounce that“the number of bars has actually increased.”
- Adherents to the Sixth in Zinacantán have water, electricity and telephone supplies to their community cut off: Members of the community of Shulvó, in the autonomous municipality Vicente Guerrero, or Zinacantan, are intimidated on November 3, 2015 by a group of PRI members and the Federal Electricity Commission who cut their supplies of water and electricity, as well as the phone so they cannot communicate with other adherents.
- Frayba report: On 5th November, Frayba presents its annual report “The Human-Rights Insurgency,”
- In support of political prisoners: An event is held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on 7th November to call for the release of political prisoners Alejandro Díaz Sántiz in Chiapas and Mumia Abu-Jamal in the US.
- In memory of Manuelito: On the third anniversary of his death, the Civil Society Las Abejas de Acteal commemorates Manuel Vázquez Luna (Manuelito), who died due to medical negligence on 10th November 2012. His parents, sisters, grandmother, and uncle were all killed by paramilitaries on 22nd December 1997.
- The Ninth anniversary of the Viejo Velasco Massacre. On 13th November, members of the organization XINICH, a member of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, begin the first of 13 Sundays of prayer and fasting in their communities in commemoration of the nine years since the Viejo Velasco massacre.
- The Mexican State recognizes its responsibility for the execution of 3 Zapatistas in the Ejido Morelia: On 7th January 1994, shortly after the Zapatista Uprising, the Mexican Army entered ejido Morelia, a Zapatista community that is now a Caracol, selected 3 elderly men, support bases Severiano and Hermelindo Santiz Gómez and Sebastián Santiz López, tortured them, and took them away. Several days later their dead bodies were found on a road near the ejido. A complaint was filed, eventually through the IACHR, and finally, on November 10 2015, after almost 22 years, the state and federal governments make a public apology to their families. However, their lawyer says: “the State has accepted its international responsibility in the human rights violations that the Mexican National Army committed, and in the terms in which the IACHR would point it out. Nevertheless, this admission has not represented punishment of those responsible.”
- Velasco distributes “assistance” to government supporters in Acteal: On 13th November, the governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, visits Acteal and distributes “bullets of sugar,” items such as chemical fertilisers to the members of political parties and paramilitary groups living there. Las Abejas de Acteal denounce the visit as a deceitful trick to gain control of the people. The visit takes place a month before the eighteenth anniversary of the massacre, which “remains unpunished”.
- Troubles in Ejido Tila: Ejido authorities from the Ejido Tila, in the northern zone of Chiapas, report a far-reaching paramilitary, military and police operation in their territory, and repeat their demand for the municipal government headquarters to be re-located outside the ejido.
- Happy 32nd Anniversary EZLN! On 17th November, the EZLN celebrates 32 years, and many reflect on their achievement.
- New book by Luis Villoro: Luis Villoro’s last book, Alternative: Perspectives and Possibilities for Change, which includes correspondence with the then Subcomandante Marcos, is presented on 19th November at Cideci by representatives of Villoro’s family and friends including Comandante David of the EZLN, accompanied by Comandantas Yolanda and Florencia.
- New communiqué from Bachajón: The adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle from the Ejido San Sebastián Bachajón release a communiqué on 20th November in which they remember “the struggle and great example of our General Emiliano Zapata” and declare “we are not afraid of their repression, imprisonment and death.”
- Europa Zapatista Gathering: On the 20th, 21st and 22nd November an Encuentro is held in Barcelona attended by representatives of Zapatista support groups from many parts of Europe. The final declaration can be read in Spanish here.
- In defence of land, territory and the rights of women: On 23rd and 24th November, the first assembly of peoples, organizations and individuals in defence of land, territory and the rights of women takes place, organised by the Women’s Movement in Defence of Land and Territory and the Right of Women to Decide. The following day a march against violence against women takes place in the centre of the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas at which a pronouncement is read by a Tsotsil indigenous woman from the ejido Candelaria, a community in struggle against the San Cristóbal-Palenque highway project.
- Unite against megaprojects: On 25th November, the international day against violence against women, the Movement in Defence of Life and Territory holds a pilgrimage in 11 municipalities in Chiapas to make visible the situation of dispossession and plunder they are experiencing as indigenous peoples; and especially to denounce the violence experienced by women. Following the pilgrimage, a declaration warning of the grave risk to communities in Chiapas from megaprojects such as dams, mines and oil wells is issued by the Movement in Defence of Life and Territory and the Pueblo Creyente of the parishes of Candelaria, Huixtán, Tumbalá, Cancúc, Tenejapa, Oxchuc, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Bachajón-Chilón, Yajalón, and Salto de Agua.
- Another march against megaprojects: The Union of Campesinos and Fishermen, the Autonomous Council of the Coastal Zone, and the Civic Front, march on the 30th November against megaprojects, demanding the cancellation of permits and concessions for mining and hydroelectric companies.
- The absence of systems for the Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents is condemned: Figures show Chiapas has one of the highest rates of mortality in children under 5 years with 22.9 deaths per thousand children; Between 2011-2015 more than 33 children and adolescents were murdered; From 2011 to date, more than 2000 children in the northern and highlands of Chiapas have been displaced from their communities as a result of violence.
- Exhumation of murdered student Julio César Mondragón: On 4th November, the body of Julio César Mondragón, a student from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College who was tortured and executed on 26-27 September in Iguala, Guerrero, is exhumed to perform a new autopsy, with the permission of his family.
- New attack by police on Ayotzinapa students in buses: On 11th November, 8 buses carrying about 150 student-teachers from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Teachers College were stopped by federal, state, and ministerial police as well as the military on the highway between Chilpancingo and Tixtla. According to media, the police attacked the buses three times, leaving 20 students injured and requiring hospitalization, and 13 arrested.
- More attacks on journalists: The homes of Gloria Muñoz Ramírez, director of Desinformémonos, author of ‘Los de Abajo’ in La Jornada, and co-editor of Ojarasca, and of well-known independent journalist Anabel Hernández, are broken in to and threats made. The previous week, Desinformémonos suffered a cyber-attack.
- Deaths of journalists: According to Animal Politico, Mexico is the most dangerous place in the Americas to be a journalist with 50 murders in the last five years. In the rest of the continent in that same period, 100 journalists were killed. In the last 15 years, 107 journalists have been killed in Mexico. There are also 20 journalists disappeared. The southwestern state of Veracruz continues to be the most dangerous place in Mexico to be a journalist, with 16 deaths in 15 years.
- Attacks on women. In an ongoing femicide crisis in Mexico, seven women were killed every day on average across the country in 2013 and 2014, and dozens more faced other forms of gender violence, according to the national statistics institute, Inegi. Their statistics show that 63 percent of Mexican women over 15 years of age have experienced some form of gender violence, which could include physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological violence as well as economic forms of abuse such as discrimination in the workplace.
- The Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico: On November 18, 2015, family members of disappeared people held the first press conference of the Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico. This is a joint effort of more than 35 organizations made up of the families of disappeared persons in Mexico and about 40 civil society organizations which accompany them.
- Migrant numbers go down: A Pew Research Centre report reveals that more Mexicans are now leaving the United States than arriving. More than one million Mexicans and their families left the United States for Mexico from 2009 to 2014, compared with 870,000 Mexicans who came to the United States during that same period — a net loss of some 140,000 people.
- National campaign Breaking the Silence: The militarization of public security in Mexico has promoted cases of sexual violence as a form of torture on the part of armed forces, in addition to those acts committed by federal and state police departments, diverse civil and human rights organizations denounce at a forum held to call for action on these issues.
- Number of murders increases: The number of cases of homicide rose 7 percent in Mexico during the first 10 months of 2015, compared to the same period last year, Mexican officials reveal. According to the official figures, the number of investigations for homicide went from 13,149 to 14,069 this year, which translates to 47 murders a day. The states of Guerrero and Veracruz have the highest murder rates in the country, the figures show, with Acapulco having the highest homicide rate in the world at 107 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- The Committee of Survivors of Torture in the Case of Atenco is set up by 80 villagers who were repressed during the police operation on 3 and 4 May 2006 on the federal highway Texcoco-Lecheria.
- Missing migrant children: Forty-eight mothers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua travel to Mexico on 30th November as part of the XI Caravan of Hope, searching for missing children on the migratory route between Central America and the United States.
- No GM soya in the Yucatan: The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) overturns permits issued to the transnational Monsanto by the General Department of Plant Health at the National Service for Food Health, Safety and Quality, for production of transgenic soya. The Court ordered authorities to hold a “prior, free and informed” consultation with the indigenous communities of Yucatán and Campeche, before granting any new authorization.
- No GM corn in Mexico yet: A court ruled in favour of the appeal filed by the Corn Collective against the August 19 judicial decision which had lifted the moratorium on cultivation of GM corn that has been in effect since 2013. With this ruling, the suspension of issuance of planting permits has been upheld.
Read the latest edition of Boca en Boca here: https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/boca-en-boca-38-english-november-2015/