Ejidal Commissioner of Bachajón deceives Tzeltales in order to dispossess them of their lands
They denounce that with false promises he is collecting signatures to simulate an assembly
Thursday March 6, 2014
Tzeltal ejidatarios from San Sebastián Bachajón in Chilón, Chiapas, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, denounced the illegal manoeuvres by the ejidal commissioner to formalize the dispossession of communal territory for tourist purposes, something which the ejidatarios have struggled against for several years.
The indigenous said that this officialist commissioner, Alejandro Moreno Gómez, “continues to deceive with false promises the people of the community of San Sebastián Bachajón, because he asked for their signature and a copy of the certificate of land rights in exchange for crumbs, saying he is going to get a government coffee project, but this is a lie because he is only gathering the list of signatures and the land documents in order to fabricate minutes of the ejidal assembly and ask the Seventh District Court in Tuxtla Gutierrez to cancel our amparo 274/2011, which yesterday, 3 March, completed 3 years in operation and the bad government could not bring it down due to the organization of our people.”
Moreno Gómez and his Chairman of the Vigilance Commission, Samuel Diaz Guzman, “tried to simulate that an act of the general assembly of ejidatarios had been made, but this is not true, because they are doing it in secret, out of sight of the people, like true criminals,” added the ejidatarios of the Sixth.
“Our organization will not allow the ejidal authorities to continue, along with the bad government, dispossessing our people. Since 2007 the bad government has intervened in the internal life of our community to impose ejidal representatives as they please, who serve them as if they were their minions to defend the interests of the capitalists and not those of the indigenous people.” They note that Moreno Gómez “does not know his people, because he has lived for a long time outside [the community], he is only interested in filling his bags of money for himself, this is why it suits the bad government to have him as Commissioner, because they can manipulate him as they like, and this is why they imposed him.”
The ejidatarios disclosed that, last February 5, they challenged the minutes of the assembly held on April 18, 2013 to elect the organs of representation of the ejido, in which Alejandro Moreno Gómez “was imposed” by representatives of the government of the State of Chiapas and the Agrarian Prosecutor from Ocosingo. “There are irregularities such as the forging of the signatures of the ejidatarios, and non-compliance with the requirements of agrarian law,” as well as the “lack of accountability” of the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzmán Jiménez (aka the Goyito).
The indigenous of the Sixth concluded: “These false representatives are accomplices of the bad government, they dispossess their people and seek to repress our organization through imprisonment and death.” They do not say this figuratively. Several of them have been imprisoned (the last two were released less than three months ago). Last April, Juan Vázquez Guzmán, leader of the resistance, was executed on the doorstep of his home in Bachajón; the crime remains unpunished, and the judicial authorities do not even pretend to investigate the case.
Communiqué from San Sebastián Bachajón, 4 March 2014
FROM THE EJIDO SAN SEBASTIAN BACHAJON, ADHERENTS TO THE SIXTH DECLARATION OF THE LACANDON JUNGLE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO, 4 MARCH 2014
To the compañer@s adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle
To the mass and alternative media
To the Good Government Juntas
To the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
To the Indigenous National Congress
To the Network for Solidarity and against Repression
To Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York
To national and international human rights defenders
To public opinion
Compañeros and compañeras who struggle for a world where many worlds fit, we share our word of the true women and men of the community of San Sebastián Bachajón who are organized as adherents to the sixth declaration of the lacandón jungle in defence of our territory.
We denounce that the officialist ejidal commissioner Alejandro Moreno Gómez is continuing to deceive the people of the community of San Sebastián Bachajón with false promises because he asked for their signature and a copy of the certificate of land rights in exchange for crumbs saying he is going to get a government coffee project, but this is a lie because he is only gathering the list of signatures and the land documents in order to fabricate minutes of the ejidal assembly and ask the Seventh District Court in Tuxtla Gutierrez to cancel our amparo 274/2011, which yesterday, 3 March, completed 3 years in operation and the bad government could not bring it down due to the organization of our people.
This Alejandro Moreno Gómez and his Chairman of the Vigilance Commission, Samuel Diaz Guzman, tried to simulate that an act of the general assembly of ejidatarios had been made, but we make clear that this is not true, because they are doing it in secret, out of sight of the people, like true criminals.
Our organization will not allow the ejidal authorities to continue, along with the bad government, dispossessing our people. Since 2007 the bad government has intervened in the internal life of our community to impose ejidal representatives as they please, who serve them as if they were their minions to defend the interests of the capitalists and not those of the indigenous people. Alejandro Moreno Gómez does not know his people, because he has lived for a long time outside the community, he does not know the needs of San Sebastián Bachajón, he is only interested in filling his bags of money for himself, this is why it suits the bad government to have him as Commissioner, because they can manipulate him as they like, and this is why they imposed him.
We inform you that on February 5 2014 our organization challenged the minutes of the assembly held on April 18, 2013 to elect the organs of representation of the ejido, in which Alejandro Moreno Gómez was imposed by representatives of the government of the State of Chiapas and the Agrarian Prosecutor from Ocosingo, because there are irregularities such as the forging of the signatures of the ejidatarios, and non-compliance with the requirements of agrarian law, also the lack of accountability of the former ejidal commissioner Francisco Guzman Jimenez (aka the Goyito). These false representatives are accomplices of the bad government, they dispossess their people and seek to suppress our organization through imprisonment and death.
We greet the organizations in struggle and resistance against the projects of dispossession of the bad governments and businesses. We ask all the compañeros and compañeras and national and international solidarity organisations to remain alert as to what is happening in our community.
Never again a Mexico without us.
From the north of Chiapas, receive an embrace from the women and men of San Sebastián Bachajón.
Land and Freedom!
Hasta la victoria siempre!
Freedom for political prisoners!
Juan Vazquez Guzman Lives, the Bachajón struggle continues!
No dispossession of indigenous territories!
Don Luis Villoro has died
Compañeras and compañeros:
Today Don Luis Villoro died. Don Luis has contributed great reflections to human thinking on philosophy, society, history, cultural diversity, equality, justice and critical thought.
Don Luis was convinced of the need to trust one’s own analytical capabilities and that this skill develops like any other ability: with consistency and patience, not forgetting that he maintained a continual battle against dogmatism. He made us question, for example, how human beings through history repeat situations of domination and above all, how they have freed themselves from many of these situations.
Never discouraged, he never stopped believing in the formation of a just world. While so many are were losing hope and many others were faltering in their struggles, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Don Luis did something very sensible: he asked himself what went wrong and found the answer, how to regain confidence to continue the construction of another society.
The enthusiasm of Don Luis for the Zapatista uprising of 1994 was clear. In a multicultural country, it was obvious there would be talk of the presence of indigenous cultures, breaking the prevailing ideology of a homogeneous Mexico, learning that there are other ways to experience the world, to understand it. With the 1994 Zapatista uprising, Don Luis understood immediately that the indigenous autonomous consciousness was not only a reality revealed, but something more beautiful, it was a revealing reality, here it was Zapatismo which spoke for itself and of itself and from that consciousness it called us to build new foundations for the country and world.
Don Luis Villoro, beyond his important academic work, was also our compañero because of what he was, what he did; he walked, he walks his thoughts on the aspirations of the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle, because he was consistent, because he never stopped being in solidarity with our Zapatista compañeros and compañeras; his participation in that great exchange of thoughts which was the Festival of Dignified Rage is in our memory. Also unforgettable are the epistolary exchanges of Don Luis with Subcomandante Marcos. His great enthusiasm, his applause, his listening, the laughs and smiles of a compañero listening to another compañero or compañera will also be in our memory.
Finally, we end this very brief and rough sketch, we finish giving this news which saddens us, with words from the Fourth Letter to Don Luis Villoro sent by Subcomandante Marcos:
“With these texts, neither they, nor you, nor we, seek votes, followers, worshippers.
We seek (and I believe we find) critical minds, alert and open. [ ... ]
Farewell Don Luis. Health, and may it be lives that the dead leave us.”
Against dispossession and repression…
Network for Solidarity and against Repression
( RvsR )
Organización de la Sociedad Civil Las Abejas
Mexico’s Indigenous Communities Turn to Conciliation to Resolve Legal Conflicts
With the Mexican Judicial System in crisis, diverse indigenous peoples in Mexico have returned to putting into practice models of conflict resolution in the heart of their communities. Above all they seek conciliation between the two parties in a conflict rather than throwing people in jail, imposing fines, and finding someone at fault.
This is illustrated in the documentary Raíces de nuestra justicia [Roots of Our Justice], produced by the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Center of Human Rights. The documentary shows different models of the pursuit of justice by original peoples that is based on the “reeducation” of the offenders.
One of these systems that are illustrated in the film is that of the Tzeltales villages in Chiapas. The tribunal or judge analyzes the disagreement with the help of the “xuhts” (generally young men from the community), a court clerk, and a referee whose job is to verify that the judge acts in an impartial manner.
With this figure, the “conflict fixers” resolve regional problems that range from alcoholism and drug addiction to domestic violence and prostitution, by visiting the accused and talks with both parties until they arrive at an agreement apart from money, fines, or punishment.
In the case of the Mixes or Ayuuk groups who live in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca, the general assembly of the community appoints those responsible for imparting justice within the community. With the help of a council of elders or chiefs, they are the ones responsible for finding the conciliation “with a way that is much faster and more humane and in accordance with our reality”.
The Wirrarika people (they are settled in Durango, Jalisco, and Nayarit) have also developed their own form of justice by means of a tribunal system, in which the traditional civilian and agrarian authorities (tatwanis and jicareros) participate. They are also advised by a council of elders.
Lastly, the documentary shows how the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC) carries out their work among the various Me’phaa, Ñuu Savi, and mixed race populations in the Montaña region of Guerrero, intervening as much in minor misdemeanors as in others that are more serious.
In all of these models of local security, all of the indigenous groups agree that they favor conciliation over physical punishment and the imposition of economic fines. This helps to resolve conflicts without appealing to the Public Prosecutor’s Office which “is very expensive, does not solve problems and they don’t translate well” the judicial process into the language of the accused.
This documentary can be seen on YouTube.
Government Officials Concur: San Andrés Accords with Indigenous Should Be Implemented
The head of the Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples (CDPI) of the Secretariat of Government Relations, Jaime Martínez Veloz, said, “Today, under the protection of the new national and international frameworks regarding indigenous rights, no valid argument exists that prevents the implementation of the San Andrés Accords.”
He was summing up the consensus among legislators and officials who opened the forum, ”Indigenous Rights and Legisaltive Harmonization”, convened precisely in the context of the eighteenth anniversary of the signing of these agreements between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Mexican Government (which it failed to fulfill).
They agreed in pointing out that, with legislative harmonization between the Constitution and national laws and the treaties and international agreements signed by Mexico, it is recognized that the indigenous people are subject to public rights; that there should be a general law for prior, free and informed consultation so that they are consulted about decisions and projects that concern their territories and natural resources; that the cited harmonization should be a democratic and pluralistic exercise with decisive indigenous participation.
The CDPI and the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion (Cesop) of the Chamber of Deputies organized the event, carried out in the Museum of the City of Mexico, with the presence of about 150 people, of which 70 were members of Mexican indigenous groups.
Participating in the innaugural event were the Secretary of Culture, Eduardo Vázquez Martín, and the Undersecretary of Government Relations of the Federal District [Mexico City], Juan José García Ochoa, the deputies, Carlos de Jesús, representative of the Commission for Dialogue and Negotiation in Chiapas, and Sebastián de la Rosa Peláez, president of the Commision of Cesop, and senator Eviel Pérez Magaña, president of the Commission of Ingigenous Issues in the Senate.
Pérez Magaña expressed his “total willingness” to bring the document of recommendations that comes from this forum to the commission that he presides over and later to the full Senate. De la Rosa stressed that the country requires a single legislative framework with the constitutional recognition of the indigenous peoples’ rights.
The former special reporter for Indigenous Rights for the United Nations, Rodolfo Stavenhagen, in a speech read by Sedena Chuc, criticized that a secondary law, the Mining Law of 1992, has greater standing in practice than the Constitution itself, since it gives preference to the mining companies over the natural resources of the indigenous people. This contradicts the second article of the Constitution, reformed in 2001, that recognizes and guarantees to these people the use and preferential enjoyment of the natural resources in the areas that they inhabit.
He stressed that the little that has been achieved in regards to indigenous rights is due to the indigenous movements and organizations that made their appearance on the national scene starting in the 1970s and 1980s, including EZLN in 1994.
He indicated that today new routes for the defense of individual and collective human rights of the indigenous people have been half-opened, ”but the gaps are narrow and behind closed doors historic institutional blocks are kept, supported by the powers that be that have taken over the political power in our country.” Martha Sánchez, activist for the rights of indigenous women, warned that the right to consultation included in Agreement 169 of the International Labour Organization covers the right of the indigenous people to say no to development projects contrary to what they want.
Pablo Yanes, leader of the Social Development Unit of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, pointed out that the indigenous people should have access to the country’s resources, with redistributive policies, because there are legislative advances, but inequality and structural discrimination [persist].
Lastly, the participants were divided up into work sessions in order to discuss different aspects of legislative harmonization and make proposals, from which a final document will be made that, upon the agreement of forum participants, will be distributed among the indigenous people of the country for their discussion.