The Shulvó displaced begin an indefinite sit-in demanding justice and return
Sit-in in Cathedral Square (@ Centro de medios libres)
Since February 4, nine Tsotsil indigenous families from the community of Shulvó, Zinacantan, adherents of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, have staged a sit-in in Cathedral Square in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Since December 9, 2015, they have been displaced by “PRI paramilitary-style groups”, and they demand their return. On the night of February 5, they initiated a negotiating table at the diocesan seat, under the mediation of Friar Gonzalo Ituarte, with the participation of the Shulvó displaced, the PRI supporters who have been identified as the material authors of the displacement, the mayor of Zinacantan, and a representative of the Chiapas state government. As a result, they are going to look at the possibility of the return of the nine families for February 24. “The municipal and state authorities did not question the mechanism or the date, although violent forced displacement is illegal in the light of international agreements signed by Mexico concerning human rights in general and forced displacement in particular,” the displaced commented.
Two days before they gave a press conference, in which they aired their concerns “in the face of the intense vigilance directed at the sit-in, which is becoming harassment by uniformed and plain-clothes policemen, and also people in jackets and vests that identify them as municipal employees.” After a march in the city, they read a statement in which they announced that they would stage “an indefinite sit-in until the return of the displaced families, the punishment of those responsible and payment of damages. We come to denounce the harassment, intimidation and aggression since November 3, which resulted in the forced displacement on December 9, 2015,” the displaced families recalled.
It is noteworthy that currently there are also other organisations staging sit-ins in Cathedral Square, including the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization form the Carranza Region (Organización Campesina Emiliano Zapata Región Carranza – OCEZ RC), who have been demanding a response from the state authorities to a series of agrarian, social and productive projects for a number of decades “that haven’t been met.” Six ex-prisoners and their families, supporters of The Voice of Amate (La Voz del Amate), ended their sit-in, which had been in place since last Thursday, after signing an agreement with the state authorities for damages caused by their “unjust imprisonment”, as well as the facilitation of the release of Alejandro Diaz Santiz and Roberto Paciencia Cruz.
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