Monthly report by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center. This report narrates the human rights violations and arbitrary prison committed by the Chiapas state government in the rural city of Nuevo Juan del Grijalva.(Descarga aquí)  

On November 4, 2007, a “natural disaster” took place in Juan del Grijalva. As a result, the survivors were relocated to the new rural city of Nuevo Juan del Grijalva, and the Chiapas government promised to pay for their lands.

After this presumably natural disaster, in the region known as “tapón del Grijalva”, the Federal Electric Commission is building two public works. One of them was concessioned to Grupo México, a transnational corporation and one of the largest copper producers in the world.

On March 17, 2011, during a peaceful demonstration in the ejido of Juan del Grijalva, municipality of Ostuacán, officers of the Ministerial Police of the Northern District’s Attorney’s Office, led by José Luis Gómez Santaella and the Ostuacán District Attorney Esgar Benjamín Estrada Cervantez, together with members of the state police, arbitrarily and deceitfully detained Marcelo Díaz Castellanos, Ceferino Hernández Castro, Fidencio Altunar Cabos, José Francisco López Díaz, and Teodoro Sánchez Morales.

On April 15, as they left the CERESO 10 prison after visiting the five campesinos are held prisoner there, the residents of the rural city Pascacio López Álvarez and Andrés Díaz Bouchot were also detained, as well as the defense lawyer Juan José Narváez Bautista, who was there to provide legal support to the prisoners. On May 25, in the municipality of Ostuacán, Héctor Díaz Castellanos was also detained.

It’s worth noting that the district attorney José Luis Gómez Santaella is related to human rights violations in the cases of the human rights activist Margarita Martínez Martínez and the feminicide of Tatiana Trujillo Rodríguez, both of which have been previously denounced by this human rights center. In addition, he is also involved in obstruction of justice in the case of the Massacre of Viejo Velasco, where he has hindered investigations to determine the fate of the people forcefully disappeared on November 13, 2006.

A few days ago the Chiapas Government arrived at the rural city of Nuevo Juan del Grijalva with the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter. However, the state officers were met there by a group of women with banners demanding the freedom of the political prisoners. Here are some of the demands in the words of the women affected:

The demonstrated in their own lands, and the Federal Electric Commission sues them, and you know what the Commission says, sir?… They haven’t paid us… You know what they say? That they already gave the money to the state government and they no longer have anything to do with the problem. And the government refuses to pay the affected communities, Playa Larga 3, Loma Bonita, Cuauhtémoc, and Juan del Grijalva, where human lives were lost. These are the communities affected by Cota 100, and for this reason they have people prisoner at Cereso, the judicial police is persecuting them here in the rural city and anywhere they go. These are also the lands that will be affected by the rising water level, and these are the lands we demand they pay us for our work of 20 years, we demand that they pay for our work, we lost homes, goods other than the lands, so we want all of that to be paid, sir, if you are the chief of the Rural Cities, do things the right way.

We should mention that the company which supposedly sued has withdrawn the lawsuit, and therefore the prisoners should be released. This has not happened, and therefore government of Chiapas keeps them under arbitrary detention and violates their human rights.

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center is preoccupied by the use of harassment, repression, deceit, fabrication of crimes, provisional confinement, and prison against men and women who exercise their human rights, especially when they demand that the authorities comply with their own commitments.