Amparo against San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque motorway granted to Ejido Los Llanos and San José El Por venir
The cancellation of the section of the Palenque-San Cristobal highway between San Cris and Huixtan is ordered
While the state government of Chiapas seeks to promote the motorway from Palenque to San Cristobal, as a tool for economic development and a source of employment, the people of Chiapas in resistance against this megaproject achieve a big step, winning a protective order (amparo) against the project.
3rd April, 2016
To the media
To national and international civil society
To all indigenous peoples and communities
To the general public
We would like to make public that on the 18th of January 2016, Los Llanos, our Tsotsil community in the municipality of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, was awarded a protective order (amparo) against the project to build a motorway from San Cristóbal de las Casas to Palenque. This is a project that the government, through the municipal council and the general secretariat of the government of Chiapas, has tried to force upon us, using threats and intimidation, since November 2013.
In the 16/2014 protective order, the judge orders the Chiapas State Secretariat of Communications and Transport and the Secretariat of Infrastructure to cancel the demarcation of the route and any other preparations for the construction of the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Palenque motorway falling within the San Cristóbal de las Casas-Huixtán municipalities, particularly on land belonging to our community.
The protective order also indicates that, in compliance with the international and constitutional norms identified in it, the authorities must respect our community’s right to freely consult external bodies, through our representatives and the established authorities, to ensure we are fully informed and prepared. They, in turn, are expected to provide the information in good faith, including the possible health hazards and environmental risks presented by the construction or operation of the motorway.
Our community celebrates the announcement of the order to protect our land and we would like to send a message to all three tiers of government that our land is not for sale; not now, not ever. We wholeheartedly reject the project to build a motorway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque because it would strip the indigenous communities of that which is most sacred in this life: the earth.
As an indigenous community we demand total respect for our rights, which are recognised in the Federal Constitution, international treaties and the San Andrés Accords.
This land has been home to our community for generations; we are its rightful inheritors. That is why we demand respect for the life of our community and that of all indigenous peoples who live under threat of private and state interests, eager to strip them of their land in order to exploit the area’s natural resources. We know that the government has always looked for ways to strip us of our land and that is why we urge all indigenous peoples and communities to defend their territory as one and shy away from divisionism.
We would like to thank you for reading and send you our best wishes from the men, women, children and elders of the Los Llanos and San José El Porvenir community, we who have walked and fought together, in defence of the earth.
Los Llanos, San Crístobal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Andrés Gómez Díaz, President
Javier Gómez López, Secretary
Pedro Jiménez Díaz, Treasurer
Los Llanos, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Guadalupe Díaz López, President
Domingo Marcelino Jiménez Pérez, First Secretary
Rogelio Jiménez Pérez, Second Secretary
Authorities of the Community, San José El Porvenir, Huixtan, Chiapas
Domingo de la Cruz Gómez, Community Representative
Salvador de la Cruz Gómez, Auxiliary Agent
Translated by the UK Zapatista Translation Service