Archive for the Uncategorized Category

IACHR finds the State responsible for death of Tzeltal

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2017 by floweroftheword

By: José Antonio Román

flag-map_of_zapatista_chiapasThe Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concluded that the Mexican State is responsible for violating the right to life of the Tzeltal Gilberto Jiménez Hernández, executed at the hands of members of the Army in Altamirano, Chiapas, on February 20, 1995, inside the so- called Chiapas 94 Campaign Plan, with which it [the army] sought to retake the territory in which the Zapatista National Liberation Army (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, EZLN) had operated.

The IACHR points out that after 22 years the Mexican State has not complied with any of the recommendations issued to repair the damage and to guarantee that the acts are not repeated. They also committed offences and crimes against relatives of the victim and the villagers.

The acts occurred in the La Grandeza ejido in Altamirano municipality, when Army officials extra-judicially executed Jiménez Hernández while he was fleeing with his family and some 70 other residents. There were allegedly investigations in ordinary federal and state agencies, as well as military, but impunity prevailed.

The State’s version is that his death resulted from a confrontation between members of the EZLN, the group to which the victim belonged, and members of the Army.

These acts occurred after February 9, 1995, when then President Ernesto Zedillo launched the Army against the EZLN, betraying his offer of dialogue. That same day, the Attorney General of the Republic announced that members of the Zapatista leadership had been accused of the use of weapons for the Army’s exclusive use and also terrorism.

According to the testimonies of villagers, the soldiers “opened continuous fire” against the people that had taken shelter in an improvised encampment on the hill after being warned that the soldiers were coming. They also said that the Army destroyed the interior of the houses in the empty community.

The villagers fled after the shooting on February 20. Gilberto Jiménez attempted to hide, but he couldn’t because he was carrying his 2-year old daughter “tied to his back with a shawl.” Abner García Torres, a soldier, found him and in Spanish ordered him to stop.

Gilberto obeyed and was extended on the ground, but the soldier, “without any warning or motive, shot him without considering that he was carrying his daughter on his back.” One of the bullets penetrated his right eye and caused his immediate death. His wife and several of his ten children with whom he was fleeing were witnesses to the execution.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/03/21/politica/005n3pol

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Indigenous Women: an expanding view

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2017 by floweroftheword

chiapas-women-marchChiapas Women march in San Cristóbal and Tuxtla Gutiérrez on International Women’s Day. Photo from proceso.com

By: Magdalena Gómez

March 8 is International Women’s Day. In the case of Indigenous women, as of today, the complexity is not fully realized that their belonging to a people and the dimension of gender involve. In the last 20 years, indigenous women, immersed in the dynamic of the indigenous peoples’ political movement, have constructed new spaces favourable to the vindication of their own demands as women. Many of them are similar to the generic demands of all women, but others question, from inside of their peoples, certain conceptions and practices endorsed by so-called custom.
A good example of this process is the document that was presented to the National Indigenous Congress for the purpose of its creation, in October 1996. In the first place, they again took up the spaces won during the discussion at the dialogue table between the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN, its initials in Spanish) and the federal government, because of that it was noted that the women’s law and the need for parity among men and women were recognized at the negotiating table for the San Andrés Accords; however, the mechanisms for implementing them and for making that law effective were not agreed upon.

It emphasized that there is no doubt that the indigenous woman fulfils a productive and symbolic role equally important to the man’s. Nevertheless, women are generally excluded from public decisions and have fewer rights than men. At the same time, it clarified that indigenous women set forth their demands and vindicate their rights, not to go against their culture or their group, but rather to think about the customs from a perspective that includes them and does not do violence to them. With respect to that, they concluded: “therefore we say together with other organized indigenous sisters that insistently advocate for changing the customs that we want to open a new path for thinking about customs from another view, which does not do violence to our rights as persons and that gives dignity and respect to indigenous women. We always want to change the customs that don’t affect our dignity.” They insisted on denouncing the triple oppression that indigenous women experience, because of being poor, being indigenous and being women.
The perspective of their political rights was already glimpsed when they supported the recognition of autonomy for Indian peoples, with the guarantee of parity to women in all representative bodies. They added themselves to the questioning the counter-reform to Constitutional Article 27 demanding it be modified so that women have the right to land, together with the right of all indigenous peoples. In this 1996 document we are able to appreciate that the demands are formulated directly, even if an image of embroidering is profiled about the inter-relation between their belonging to the indigenous peoples and in some way their vindication of participation in the political process with the situation that they live inside of those collectivities as women.

Today the indigenous women’s movement has expanded and diversified its agendas. In relation to their political rights some, very few, have participated in local and federal deputations or in the municipios through the political parties or in the case of de Oaxaca through election by uses and customs. Those individual trajectories are added to the generic agenda of the political parties and they seek to introduce some similar demand. We find an example of this tendency in the case of a Zapotec woman Eufrosina Cruz, who expressed: “let’s go grabbing more; what I have understood in my experience is that if you don’t grab for something, then you’re not going to get it; sensitivity is needed in public spaces in every rubric of decision-making, backwardness is in all sectors.” (Milenio, 5/3/17)

The National Indigenous Congress (CNI, its initials in Spanish) with the EZLN’s support set this profile of electoral political participation with the postulation of an indigenous woman as an independent candidate to the Presidency of the Republic, and without a doubt it will mark a significant turn. We’re talking about a radical change that an indigenous woman will head; it is in and of itself an affirmative action, which entails a rupture with the patriarchal hegemony of the political elites. The other element that constitutes an authentic parting of waters is that this indigenous woman will bring with her an anti-capitalist program, which marks a rupture with the profile of the electoral agendas underway.

From this perspective, what the CNI pointed out last January 1 makes sense: “we want to shake the conscience of the nation, which in effect means that we seek that indignation, resistance and rebellion figure on the 2018 electoral ballots, but it’s not our intention to compete in any way with the parties and all the political class that still owes us a lot… Don’t let us confuse you, we don’t seek to compete with them, because we are not the same.”

Such is the challenge.
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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/03/07/opinion/017a2pol
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Chiapas Support Committee News

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2017 by floweroftheword

CHIAPAS SUPPORT COMMITTEE

Home of the Compañero Manuel blog on the Zapatistas & Mexico

2 EZLN Comunicados

1. The first of several– Sups Moisés and Galeano announce Café Zapatista Coffee and have a few words for the right-wing rulers of the world plus a video and photos.

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/03/16/la-primera-de-varias/

2. The Cat-Dog and the Apocalypse– This is a talk that Subcomandante Galeano gave at ConSciences. Among other things, he talks about science fiction in film and TV.

En español: http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2016/12/29/el-gato-perro-y-el-apocalipsis/
News and Analysis

1. Absalón Castellanos dies; the EZLN put him on trial in 1994– Isaín Mandujano tells the story of the military general and ex governor of Chiapas, who the Zapatistas captured and then put on trial. He was later turned over to Bishop Ruiz and Manuel Camacho Solis in a gesture of peace. This is a slice of Zapatista history.

En español: http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2017/03/fallece-el-exgobernador-absalon-castellanos-fue-enjuiciado-por-el-ezln-en-1994/

2. The transition blossoms, although we may not see it– Raúl Zibechi discusses transitioning to a post-capitalist world and the formation of entire towns that have developed enough cooperative production to become economically self-sufficient. He uses the example of unemployed workers in Argentina.

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2017/03/03/opinion/020a1pol

3. Tarahumaras Faced with violence – Faced with violence from organized crime, they seek asylum in the United States.

En español: http://www.proceso.com.mx/475704/tarahumaras-piden-asilo-en-eu-ante-la-violencia-crimen-organizado

CNI Denounces that “The War against its Peoples” Continues

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2017 by floweroftheword

CNI.pngPhoto @ SipazOn

March 9, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) published a communiqué denouncing that while they continue to organize themselves towards “the formation of an Indigenous Council of Government (…) the dispossession and repression from the bad governments on its three levels continues to act against our Mother Earth, our peoples and our autonomous organizations. “

The CNI again gives various examples of repression being suffered by indigenous peoples, among others, the acts of violence that occurred in the state of Oaxaca against the community of San Francisco del Mar, Tehuantepec Isthmus region “to impose the approval of wind projects involving the dispossession of an important part of common land of this community and would seriously affect its rich and delicate ecosystem.” This region is a vital place for thousands of fishermen and fishing is the source of food for the entire population. “If the project was approved, it would mean taking away their right to their source of life and livelihood.” The CNI stated that, “this is an integral plan of dispossession of the territories of the communities of the Isthmus to fulfill the megaprojects they intend to impose in the region with the so-called Tehuantepec Isthmus Special Economic Zone (SEZ).”

It also lashed out against the armed forces of “bad government that have acted in unison with the criminal gangs and particularly against the indigenous community of Santa María Ostula” in the state of Michoacan, where 34 comuneros have been killed and at least 5 are disappeared. It again demanded “the punishment of the responsible military and politicians, the cancellation of arrest warrants against Ostula commanders and the Sierra Costa region, the presentation of the disappeared alive, and absolute respect for the communal territory of Ostula.”

Finally, the CNI demanded the immediate release of the unjustly imprisoned indigenous ñhañhú Raymundo Pascual Garcia, originally from San Ildefonso, Amealco, in the state of Queretaro, who was arrested for participating with his community in the mobilizations against the “gasolinazo“.

https://sipazen.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/national-cni-denounces-that-the-war-against-its-peoples-continues/

Members of La Sexta in Bachajon block highways, demand government free their comrades

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2017 by floweroftheword

6 March 2017

Declaration by adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Forest, Chiapas, Mexico, 6 March 2017

Latest News:Emilio Jiménez Gómez is free!!!

bach

To the Councils of Good Government

To the National Indigenous Congress

To adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Forest, in Mexico and beyond

To the mass media and alternative media

To the Network against Repression and for Solidarity

To the Movement for Justice in El Barrio, in New York

To defenders of human rights, at national and international levels

To the people of Mexico and the world

Comrades, we greet you, your organisations and all peoples in resistance, on behalf of members of the Sexta from the ejido of San Sebastian Bachajon in Chiapas.

Through this bulletin we raise our voice to demand justice, and the immediate freeing of three of our comrades who are being held prisoner in separate prisons.

Today we are camped out at Nahilte on the Palenque-Ocosingo highway, blocking the road, in order to carry out a peaceful protest to demand the immediate freeing of our comrades who have been unjustly detained: Esteban Gómez Jiménez, held in gaol in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Santiago Moreno Pérez, and Emilio Jiménez Gómez, who are being held at the Playas de Catazaja prison, also in Chiapas. All three were detained in an arbitrary way, for crimes that were never committed, and on the basis of false accusations. The have been arrested solely because of their commitment to defend mother earth, and for raising their voices to defend natural resources, their territory, and their life.

We also denounce efforts to implement the government’s PROCEDE and FANAR programmes, by the Ejidal Commissioner Manuel Guzman Alvaro and the Agrarian Procurate. These programmes are promoting the parcelling up of our land into lots, so that it can be privatised and stolen from us in order to implement mega development projects. We reject the work that the Ejidal Commision is doing for the bad government, and we ask all the people of San Sebastian Bachajon not to fall for their deceits. We don’t need PROCEDE or FANAR, because as a people we already know how to defend our lands, and to solve internal disputes within the community.

From the northern zone of Chiapas state, the women and men of San Sebastian Bachajon salute all of our comrades, the communities and peoples of Mexico, and all those in the wider world who are struggling against bad rulers.

Never again a Mexico without us

Land and freedom

Zapata lives!

Onward to victory, always!

Freedom for political prisoners!

Juan Vazquez Guzman lives, the struggle in Bachajon goes on!

Juan Carlos Gomez Silvano lives, the struggle in Bachajon goes on!

No to the theft of indigenous lands!

All state police must leave our indigenous territory!

Reveal the whereabouts of the disappeared and assassinated comrades from the Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa!

JUSTICE FOR OUR COMRADE JUAN VAZQUEZ GUZMAN, FOR AYOTZINAPA, ACTEAL, ABC, ATENCO!

EZLN: The First of Many

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2017 by floweroftheword

Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Mexico

March, 2017

To the Sixth all over the world:

Compas:

thumbs_cafe1thumbs_cafe2

We had told you we wanted to find a way to support you so that you in turn could support the resistance and rebellion of those who are persecuted and separated by walls. Well, we have some small progress to report in that regard.

The first ton of Zapatista coffee is ready for the campaign “In the Face of Capital’s Walls: Resistance, Rebellion, Solidarity, and the Support of those Below and to the Left.”

The coffee is 100% Zapatista. It was cultivated in Zapatista lands by Zapatista hands; harvested by Zapatistas, dried under the Zapatista sun; ground in Zapatista machines; paused when the Zapatista machine was broken by Zapatistas and later repaired by Zapatistas (with a non-Zapatista ball bearing); then packaged by Zapatistas, labelled by Zapatistas, and transported by Zapatistas.

This first ton was collected through participation from all 5 caracoles, with their Juntas de Buen Gobierno [Good
Government Councils], their MAREZ [Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities
in Rebellion], and their community collectives, and is now at the CIDECI-UniTierra in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, rebellious Mexico.

This Zapatistas coffee is even more delicious if you drink it in the struggle. We’re including here below a short video that the Tercios Compas [Zapatista media] made where you can see the whole process, from the coffee field to the warehouse.

We are also categorizing and packaging the art works made by Zapatistas for the last CompArte, which we will also send to you to support your activities.

We hope we can give these things to you during the April event so that you can transport them to the different corners of the world where the Sixth exists, that is, where there is resistance and rebellion.

We hope that with this first bit of support you can begin or continue your work in support of all those who are persecuted and discriminated against throughout the world.

Perhaps you are asking yourselves how you’re going to get this stuff to your corners of the earth. Well, via the same method it was produced—through organization.

That is, we are asking you not only to organize yourselves on this matter, but also and above all to carry out activities in support of all those people who are today pursued and persecuted simply because of the colour of their skin, their culture, their faith, their origin, their history, their life.

And that’s not all: remember that we must resist, we must rebel, we must struggle, we must organize.

Oh, and we asked how to say this message we wanted to communicate, in a way it will be understood:

Fuck Trump!

(and while we’re at it, all the rest of them too—that is, the Peña Nietos, the Macris, the Temers, the Rajoys, the Putins, the Merkels, the Mays, the Le Pens, the Berlusconis, the Jinpings, the Netanyahus, the al-Ásads, and go ahead and add whatever name they give that wall that will have to be knocked down, and knocked down in such a way that all the walls get the message).

(In other words, this is the first of many tons to come and the first of multiple curses to be made.)

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Mexico, March of 2017

Here is the video by the Tercios Compas that accompanies the communique. The soundtrack is “Somos sur,” lyrics and music by Ana Tijoux, accompanied by Shadia Mansour.

La Primera de Varias. Cafe Zapatista

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http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/2017/03/16/la-primera-de-varias/

Absalón Castellanos dies; EZLN put him on trial in 1994

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2017 by floweroftheword

ezln-oldieEZLN hands over ex-governor Absalón Castellanos in 1994.

By: Isaín Mandujano

The former Chiapas governor, Absalón Castellanos Domínguez, who the Zapatista National Liberation Army put on trial in 1994, died this afternoon at the age of 93.

His grandson with the same name, Absalón Castellanos Rodríguez, announced the death of the general, born in Comitán de Domínguez, in social networks: “May you rest, Grandfather! You are now with God… October 2, 1923 – March 10m 2017 (93 years) A great man in every sense and a proud Mexican, descendent of Belisario Domínguez, Proudly Chiapaneco!”

After graduating from the Heroic Military College in June 1942, the-ex governor served as the commander of the body of cadets of the First Mixed Weapons Support Group of the Corps of Presidential Guards.

He was the director of the Military School of “Mariano Escobedo” Classes, commander of the 18th. Military Zone and the 2nd Infantry Zone, as well as of Military Camp No. 1, and also director of the Heroic Military College, inspector general of the Army and commander of the 31st and 13th Military Zones.

He governed the state of Chiapas (1982-1988) with a heavy hand, which was also distinguished by land invasion and the constant repression of the protests of campesino and indigenous groups.

In response, on January 1, 1994, behind the EZLN’s armed uprising, the masked ones surprised him at his Momón ranch in the municipio of Las Margaritas. A group with the now Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés in command took him prisoner and led him to the heart of the Lacandón Jungle to be tried. [1]

He was delivered to Bishop Samuel Ruiz García with whom he always had political friction.

After the gestures of peace negotiator Manuel Camacho Solís and then Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, the EZLN’s Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command (CCRI-CG) ordered the retired general’s release.

“For the purpose of favouring the prompt start of the dialogue for peace with dignity that all Mexicans desire and as a signal of our EZLN’s sincere disposition, we communicate to you that on Wednesday, February 16, 1994 division general Absalón Castellanos Domínguez will be set free,” the Zapatistas said at that time.

Division General Absalón Castellanos Domínguez was delivered to Peace and Mediation commissioners Manuel Camacho Solís and Samuel Ruiz García, in Guadalupe Tepeyac, municipio of Las Margaritas. After his liberation, medical personnel from the International Committee of the Red Cross checked his health condition.

The Zapatistas argued that they had decided to set him free “for the purpose of favouring the easing of tension in the conflict zone during the realization of the dialogue for peace with dignity; ”During that delivery, the EZLN announced the general was a “prisoner of war,” accused of different crimes against the indigenous population of Chiapas and a “popular trial” for what happened.

Castellanos Domínguez was accused of edging the indigenous population of Chiapas towards rising up in arms against injustices because he closed off every legal and peaceful path for their just demands during the time in which he was governor of Chiapas.

“Division General Absalón Castellanos Domínguez was found guilty of, in complicity with the federal government during the time of his state mandate, having obliged indigenous Chiapanecos to rise up in arms by closing off every possibility to them of a peaceful solution to their problems. Patrocinio González Blanco Garrido and Elmar Setzer Marseille, who succeeded him as governors of Chiapas and who continued edging our peoples towards this path, with the complicity of the respective federal governments, are accomplices of division general Absalón Castellanos Domínguez in the commission of this crime,” the Zapatistas pointed out.

Before, during and after the time in which he discharged his duties as governor of Chiapas, he was accused of repressing, kidnapping, incarcerating and torturing, and raping and murdering members of the Chiapas indigenous populations who fought legally and peacefully for their just rights.

He was also accused of dispossessing indigenous Chiapas campesinos of their lands, in complicity with the federal government, “and in this way having become one of the most powerful landholders in the state of Chiapas,” the Zapatista Justice Tribunal emphasized at that time.

After deliberating and analyzing all the accusations against the ex governor and his guilt having been demonstrated, his verdict was issued and his sentence decided:

“Division General Absalón Castellanos Domínguez was condemned to life sentence doing manual labour in an indigenous community of Chiapas and in this way earning the bread and means necessary for his subsistence.”

Afterwards it resolved: “As a message to the people of Mexico and to the peoples and governments of the world, the Zapatista Justice Tribunal of the EZLN commutes the life sentence of division general Absalón Castellanos Domínguez, it sets him physically free and, instead, condemns him to living the rest of his days with the sentence and shame of having received forgiveness and kindness from those who he humiliated, kidnapped, dispossessed, robbed and murdered for so long.”

The Zapatista Justice Tribunal turned that resolution over to the EZLN’s Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee-General Command, so that they would take the necessary and pertinent measures for the fulfilment of the resolution.

At the same time, it recommended that the federal government should propose the exchange of division general Absalón Castellanos Domínguez for all the Zapatista combatants and civilians that federal troops unjustly took as prisoners during the 12 days that the fighting lasted in 1994.

It was also suggested exchanging the military man for food supplies and other means that would alleviate the grave situation of the civilian population in the territories under control of the EZLN.

After his release, the general lived for 23 years on a ranch near Tuxtla Gutiérrez. He never accepted talking to the media and journalists to give his version of that trial.

Translator’s Note:

[1] In 2001, when the Zapatistas arrived in Mexico City at the end of the March of the Colour of the Earth, journalists noticed Comandante Tacho wearing a Cartier watch, and speculated that it was the watch the former governor said was taken from him while he was held as a prisoner of war. The Zapatistas have never commented about this!

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Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

Friday, March 10, 2017

http://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2017/03/fallece-el-exgobernador-absalon-castellanos-fue-enjuiciado-por-el-ezln-en-1994/

Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committe