SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-August to mid-November 2014)


31 December 2013 and 1 January 2014: the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) celebrates its twenty-year anniversary of resistance since its insurrection on January 1, 1994 demanding land, food, work, health, education, housing, justice, and equality for indigenous peoples.

January 10: the National System to Prevent, Sanction, and Eradicate Violence against Women (SNPASEVM) refuses to undertake an investigation into the violent context suffered by women in Chiapas, which would lead most likely to the declaration of a gender alert in the state.

January 15: The adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle from the Tila ejido publicly denounce mayor Limberg Gregorio Gutiérrez Gómez and a group of ambulating sellers for attempting to loot part of the ejidal territory of Tila to establish a supermarket.

January 17: 14 of the 17 displaced families the Puebla ejido, Chenalhó municipality, return to their community of origin to harvest their coffee plants. They are accompanied by federal and state public servants, as well as by national and international observers.

January 19: civil organizations denounce the reactivation of mining operations in the Chicomuselo municipality.

January 22 to 24: In observance of the commemoration of the 40 years since the founding of the Indigenous Congress in 1974, the Pastoral Diocene Mother Earth Congress is held in San Cristóbal de las Casas. It is decided to block mining operations and governmental policies which negatively affect the interests of communities.

January 29: Juan Óscar Trinidad Palacios is designated as head of the State Commission on Human Rights (CEDH). He is the ex-leader of the State Committee of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and he has served as a local and federal deputy for this party. Newspapers and NGO point out his lack of experience as a human-rights defender.

January 30: some 300 members of the Democratic Independent Center of Agricultural and Campesino Workers (CIOAC) severely assault Zapatista support bases in the 10 April ejido, pertaining to the 17 November autonomous municipality, official municipality of Ocosingo. The Zapatistas request aid at the San Carlos hospital in Altamirano, but the aggressors block the passage of the ambulance, strip and assault the nuns in the vehicle, and appropriate themselves the ambulance and a truck.

February 7: the 17 families displaced from the Puebla Ejido, Chenalhó municipality, return to the Acteal community, given their conclusion that the necessary conditions which would allow for their stay in their community of origin do not exist.

February 7: representatives from the Los Llanos ejido, San Cristóbal de Las Casas municipality, and the San José El Porvenir community, Huixtán municipality, report their opposition to the passage of the planned highway. Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar, secretary of governance of Chiapas, notes that there will be “no retreat” for the project of constructing the highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque.

12 February: jointly with Governor Manuel Velasco Coello, President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) inaugurates the international airport in Palenque.

February 17: three municipal police from San Cristóbal de las Casas arrest and subject two indigenous persons in the Tlaxcala neighborhood to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.

February 18: the lifeless body of the regional leader of the National Organization for Popular Power (ONPP) is found near Teopisca, Chiapas. The corpse showed signs of torture.

February 26: there is held the Forum “Indigenous Rights and Legislative Harmonization”. Jaime Martínez Veloz, head of the Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples (CDPI) from the Secretary of Governance affirms that “(t)oday, given the protection of new national and international laws regarding indigenous rights, there exists no valid argument to impede the observance of the San Andrés Accords.” On February 16, 18 years had passed since their signing.

March 1: a denunciation of homicide holding the local police responsible is released due to the death of José Rolando Pérez de la Cruz (21 years of age) after his arrest by municipal police in Acala.

March 10: the office that Leonel Rivero Rodríguez (ex lawyer of Alberto Patishtán) has in his home in Tuxtla Gutiérrez is raided.

March 12: the house of one of the 17 families that have been forcibly displaced from the Puebla Ejido since August 2013 is burned to the ground. This new aggression postpones the possibility of a prompt return.

March 21: Carlos Gómez Silvano, of 22 years of age and an adherent to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, is ambushed and murdered on a dirt road in the Chilón municipality.

April 4: approximately 200 members of the Table of Coordination for the Defense of Human Rights which is comprised of 10 organizations from different municipalities in Chiapas march in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand justice in the cases of the displaced from Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, and Aurora Ermita, Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan municipality.

April 14: the displaced from the Puebla ejido return to their homes after spending nearly nine months outside of their community, in what they consider a “return without justice“.

April 14: The indigenous prisoners Audentino García Villafuerte (Hiber) and Andrés and Josué López Hernández are released. According to national and international human-rights organizations, the charges against them were fabricated, and their basic rights were violated, given that they were subjected to torture during their imprisonment.

April 23: a “historic” agreement is made between the Lacandona Zone Community and the ARIC UU-ID (Rural Association for Collective Interest-Union of Independent and Democratic Unions) that would permit the recognition of three communities located in the Lacandona Zone.

May 2: members of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), the National Action Party (PAN), and the Historical Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) attack support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) in the La Realidad ejido, Las Margaritas municipality. One Zapatista support-base is killed: José Luis Solís López.

May 15: the state congress of Chiapas approves the initiative presented by governor Manuel Velasco regarding the Code for the legitimate use of public force. It is considered by human-rights defenders and legislators in opposition as “yet another regression in terms of human rights” in the state.

Second half of May: around 1,500 indigenous people organize demonstrations to demand the release of the Lacandon community advisor, Gabriel Montoya Oseguera (arrested last May 14); the regularization of three villages (Rancheria Corozal, Salvador Allende and San Gregorio); and the expulsion of the environmental researcher Julia Carabias from the reserve where she currently works. Besides intermittent roadblocks, they also close public buildings in the city of Ocosingo.

May 24: An homage to José Luis Solis Lopez, alias Galeano, a BAEZLN killed on May 2 is held in La Realidad.

May 29: leaders and representatives of the Council of Communal Properties of the Lacandon Community Zone, members of the Independent ARIC organization, and a member of the civil organization “Services and Advices for Peace” (SERAPAZ), Mario Marcelino Ruiz Mendoza, who accompanied the commission as a mediator, are arrested by agents of the State Attorney General of Chiapas. The arrest occurs near the House of Government in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where the commission was going to start a negotiation table with the Secretary of Government, Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar. Around midnight, the SERAPAZ mediator is released, while the other members of the commission remain detained until the following day.

June 4: the ejidatarios of Tila publicly denounces that the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) is carrying out projects in their territory with the help of personnel from Amaref Company SA de C.V. without the consent of the ejidal assembly.

June 10: the ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón denounces the “officialist” Ejidal Commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, for trying to “hand over [the land] to the bad government,” by organizing an “illegal” assembly.

June 16: the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Centre (CDHFBC) denounces a series of acts of surveillance and harassment of its members and members of other civil society organizations.

June 26: on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Human Rights Center (CDHFBC) presented the Special Report on Torture in Chiapas: Torture, mechanism of Terror.

June 27: the Primero de Agosto community (Las Margaritas municipality) denounces provocations, attacks, death-threats, and attempted murders on the part of members of the Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos (CIOAC-H) and the Alliance of Social Organizations and Left Unions (ASSI) from the Miguel Hidalgo ejido.

July 12: the Believing People of Simojovel carries out a fourth “Pilgrimage for peace” in this municipality and denounces the death-threats received by the priest Marcelo Pérez and other members of the Council of Parishes of San Antonio de Padua.

July 18: in El Limonar, Ocosingo municipality, there is held the pre-audience for the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), “With Justice and Peace We Shall Find Truth.” It addresses the Viejo Velasco massacre.

July 24 to 26: there is held the “South-Southeast Forum for analysis and construction of alternatives: Land tenancy, use, and usufruct of land for women in Chiapas”. Participants express their opposition to policies that seek to deprive them of their natural resources by means of oil, mining, eco-tourist, wind-energy, hydroelectric, highway, and airport-seaport construction projects and by denying their traditional knowledges.

July 30: due to the critics, the Permanent Commission of the Chiapas state Congress overhauls the Code on the Legitimate Use of Force, otherwise known as the Chiapas Bullet Law or the Garrote Law.

August 1: 32 people from the community Egipto, belonging to the Caracol of La Garrucha, were forcibly displaced due to the aggressions of members of Ejido Pojcol, Chilón municipality.

August 4 to 9: the “First Meeting of the Zapatista Peoples with the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico” is held in La Realidad, Las Margaritas Municipality. A Declaration on the plundering of indigenous peoples is signed by the EZLN and 28 groups of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) that participated in the meeting.

August 18: the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounces in a bulletin entitled “Counterinsurgency continues to operate in Chiapas” that “in recent months, the unresolved armed internal conflict in Chiapas has been characterized by a continuous aggression against Support-Bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN), with the action of some social and regional organizations being used for State purposes, given their years-long disputes regarding tenure of lands recuperated [by the EZLN]”.

August 19: organizations from southeastern Mexico decide to “launch coordinated actions for monitoring, so as to demand the observance of responsibilities amidst the possible increase in human-rights violations” due to the “Southern Border Program” which was announced by the federal government on July 7.

August 30: a special meeting is held in the community of Guadalupe Paxilá which belongs to the ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, municipality of Chilón. About 1,800 members of this Tzeltal ejido reject the construction of the San Cristobal-Palenque highway.

September 16: three indigenous persons from the Virgen de Dolores community located within the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido are arrested by municipal police of Chilón. Adherents to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle, they denounce having suffered torture.

September 16 and 17: new mobilizations against the planned construction of a highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque are held both in the Tseltal ejido San Jerónimo Bachajón, Chilón municipality, as in the Tsotsil ejido of La Candelaria, San Cristóbal municipality. The Movement in Defense of Life and Territory is created through the mobilizations organized against this project.

October 6: the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rejects an appeal that had been submitted by 10 individuals against the former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (1994-2000) for his responsibility in the Acteal massacre.

October 8: Mobilization day to demand the appearance with life of the 43 disappeared normalist students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrerro. In Chiapas, more than 60,000 mobilized in seven regions of the state. Approximately 20,000 members of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) march in rigorous silence in San Cristóbal de Las Casas

October 16: 1500 ejidatarios from Tila (northern zone of Chiapas) march to commemorate the creation of their ejido 80 years ago. They denunciate threats and aggressions during and after the event.

24 October: the “Heart of memory, sown on our lands” event is held in the Masojá Shucjá community, Tila municipality, in the northern zone of Chiapas, to remember the victims of execution, forcible disappearance, and forced displacement in this region between the years 1995 and 1999.

October 29: members of the Believing People from in Simojovel denounce that after the pilgrimage they held on 18 October to demand greater security in the region, they were repeatedly warned with death-threats and threats of kidnapping on the part of the authorities and arms- and drug-traffickers who operate in the city.

November 13: a pilgrimage is held in Palenque to commemorate the victims of the Viejo Velasco massacre, Ocosingo municipality, and to demand justice amidst the impunity that prevails.

November 14 and 15: The “Daniel Solís Gallardo” Brigade arrives from Guerrero to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, being named for one of the normalist students who was killed on 26 September. The following day, relatives of the disappeared students and the students from Ayotzinapa also visit the Zapatista caracol of Oventik.

November 20: in observance of the Day for Global Action for Ayotzinapa, protests are held in solidarity with the relatives of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa in many cities throughout Chiapas. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, after a group of presumed infiltrators burned down shops and looted them, a strong police presence is deployed, leading to the arrest of several protesters. The protesters distance themselves from the violence and accuse the government of sending agents provocateurs.

November 22: The Las Abejas Civil Society condemns the release of three of the remaining five Tsotsil indigenous individuals imprisoned for their participation in the Acteal massacre.

November 25: in observance of the International Day against Violence and Exploitation of Women, thousands of Catholics pertaining to the Believing People from the San Cristóbal diocese engage in simultaneous pilgrimages in 12 municipalities of Chiapas to demonstrate their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque; to demand justice for the disappeared of Ayotzinapa; to oppose violence against women, alcoholism, energy reform, and corruption, among other issues. Beyond this, after the end of the “Forum for Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of the Land and Territory”, close to 250 women and men also march in this city.

December 6: Florentino Gómez Girón, leader of the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Front (FPRFM) from Ixtapa, is released from prison after his nephew immolated himself before the state congress in Tuxtla Gutiérrez the previous day.

December 17: 17 Tojolabal families that sympathize with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) who had taken a piece of land in the Las Margaritas municipality are attacked and face threats of displacement on the part of members of the Historical Agricultural and Worker Independent Center (CIOAC-H).

December 21: more than 300 persons from the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido peacefully recover the lands which belong to the ejido within the Chilón municipality on which are located the access-point to the Agua Azul waterfalls eco-tourist center.

December 21: the First World Festival of Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion “Where those from above destroy, those from below rebuild” opens in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community, Lerma municipality, Mexico state. At the invitation of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) which left them their place, the parents of the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa lead the event.

December 22 : 17 years after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society organizes a series of activities held in this same community. It denounces the impunity and affirms “they couldn’t kill our roots”.