Boca en Boca No 16, December 2011
Editorial (“Don’t chuck it, share it”)
Boca en Boca [“by word of mouth”] is an independent news sheet that aims to spread news of what is happening in the organized communities of Chiapas. It aims to oppose the strategy of the government and generate solidarity by providing summaries and extracts from the communities’ news releases. In the long term, the goal is to distribute it among the indigenous communities in their own language.
No to “the Cancun of Chiapas” at the Agua Azul waterfalls
Adherents to the Other Campaign from the Ejido San Sebastian Bachajón deny the official story from the delegate of the Chilón government concerning the clashes which occurred on the 1st November 2011, “due to the dispute about the lands of Rancho El Vergel, in the municipality of Citalá, where three people pretending to be Zapatistas lost their lives; they were badly disguised by C Carmen Aguilar Gomez and his son, the faithful friend of the government delegate and the ejidal commission”.
They repeat that “on several occasions we have publicly denounced C Carmen Aguilar Gomez and his son, who were expelled from the organization of the Other Campaign last year, and also from the organization. At no time have we said that we would take that ranch”.
They reaffirm “that these are the same people who participated in the violence last February at Agua Azul. It is clear that this comes from the government and that these people have nothing to do with the organization and that at no time has the organization had anything to do with the occupation of any ranch”.
On the 26th November, through a second press release, they recalled the actions of these same groups and leaders “with the intention of taking advantage of our natural wonders and turning them into the Cancun of Chiapas”.
Las Abejas (the Bees) defend and care for their hive
“The Civil Society Organization, Las Abejas of Acteal, objects strongly to the interview conducted by Eugenio Bermejillo, director of the organization “Red de Comunicadores Boca de Polen” (Pollen´s Mouth Communicators Network) …, with Sebastian Gomez Perez, who he introduced as “President of the Board of Directors of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas“. In this regard, we wish to explain and to remind you that this is not the first time this group has passed itself off as the organization Las Abejas“.
In 2008, a group of “leaders” of Las Abejas separated from our organization, and as a result we now announce publicly that “this group of people can in no way speak on behalf of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas“. “The community radio project Radio Chanul Pom … no longer belongs to Las Abejas”. The name of Las Abejas has “on various occasions been used in marches, in the development of projects or assistance programmes from the bad government, and as many times we have protested and publicly asked this group to find another name for their organization”.
“The aim of this group in using the name of Las Abejas, is to gain power for electoral motives, economic benefits and a special deal with the government”.
Even though the names sound the same, “in reality our goals, mission, vision, philosophy and aims have nothing in common”.
“It is very clear that Eugenio Bermejillo intends to promote confusion around the organization Las Abejas and to feed the counterinsurgency policy, so that the Acteal massacre may be forgotten, and its material authors and masterminds remain unpunished”.
Poetry: The four walls of the prison
Four walls that enclose four walls that steal four walls that kill four walls that fall
Four walls that obey four walls that are visible four walls that are fearful four walls that do not exist
Looking at you and your owner faint because we are around you we are like the stars and the sun burning at noon
Pedro Lopez Jimenez, Solidarity with “La Voz del Amate”
Main Routes used by Central American migrants crossing Mexico
“Before the pain and suffering of our people and our Mother Earth”
During their march on the 24th of November, el Pueblo Creyente (the Believing People) and the base ecclesiastical communities denounced:
“The lack of strong action by the relevant authorities who control the trade and consumption of alcohol and drugs and the opening of bars, brothels and other places which do so much damage to our communities”
“The potential threat posed by mining concessions” “The use of our national resources to drive the ambitious projects of transnational corporations” “False environmental policies …, the seizure of our lands as a commodity to mitigate the effects of climate change and allow the continuation of a development model that refuses to reduce polluting emissions”
“The noxious effects of projects that lead to cultural change and the abandoning of food production, in order to promote mono-cultivation for industry”
“The risk posed to our native seeds, the acceptance of GM crops and the ambiguous attitude of government officials and agencies towards the big branches of industry”.
“We re-emphasize our solidarity with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, and with the victims of the violence which has erupted in many states of the country in recent years. In particular we urge a change in policy to give justice to our brothers and sisters who are unjustly imprisoned. At the same time we join with other peaceful struggles in defence of Mother Earth, land and life that are being carried out in other states and throughout the world”.
3rd November – Inhabitants of the municipality of Chicomuselo report violations of human rights by the Mexican army.
5th November – The community of believers in St. Peter the Apostle and Martyr of Chenalhó show solidarity with the hunger strike of political prisoners in Chiapas by three days of fasting.
10th November – Chol communities in the north selva zone denounce the strategy of land clearance of the agricultural authorities through the Fanar programme.
13th November – MOCRI-CNPA-MN clarifies a note in the newspaper Cuarto Poder concerning the demand for punishment of the murderers of Martha Gómez Pérez.
18th November – Gunmen attack and imprison adherents to the civil resistance against high electricity rates, Teopisca.
25th November – Women of the communities of Chiapas march, “the Mexican government is required to guarantee our right to live a life without violence”.
Political Prisoners, 40 days on Hunger Strike
Here we report on a series of events which marked, this November, the campaign for the release of political prisoners in Chiapas, beginning with a hunger strike, which was accompanied by their families, who joined them by setting up an encampment in San Cristobal de Las Casas.
In a letter of 2nd November, Alfredo López Jiménez and Rosa López Díaz from ´Solidarity with the Voice of Amate´ report the death of their son Natanael López López, “who was born 4 years ago with cerebral palsy, without movement in his whole body, among other diseases he was suffering. The cause of this was the torture that was done to my wife when we were arbitrarily detained in 2007, and she was 4 months pregnant”. “He died through medical negligence as treatment was denied to my family “.
On the 7th of November, the day the hunger strike of the prisoners ended, along with the encampment of the families, Enrique Gómez Hernández from ´Solidarity with the Voice of Amate´ denounced, “since the 8th of October, our family started a protest, stating that the requests they made to the government exactly 30 days ago … the government has refused to intervene in the matter and completely ignored us, even our families, no matter what our families are suffering and leaving aside the promise that he signed when he made his political campaign and now that he is in power he does not know anyone and yet he is still so proud to announce in the media: “actions, not words”.
“But it seems the government prefers to tell us lightly that we cannot benefit, much less gain our freedom, without considering the state of health of the compañeros in CERSS No. 5, which is very delicate as they are between life and death, due to the action they have undertaken (of the hunger strike) … and the government does not care, it has ignored us completely. ”
At the end of the hunger strike a letter of thanks was sent to individuals and organizations who supported the action in various parts of Mexico and the world, “do not be discouraged, do not weaken, do not be disturbed, but be more courageous, strong, brave and united in all things and with us. From here in Chiapas, southeastern Mexico, in the trenches of our resistance we will persist and resist”.
On the 15th November,”* Andrés Núñez Hernández * and * José Díaz López * were released, both members of the organization ´Solidarity with the Voice of Amate´. Andrés and José, after 9 years and 8 months of wrongful imprisonment, were released under the legal concept of a suspended sentence”.
“Today the following remain hostages of the bad government of Felipe Calderón and Juan Sabines: the compañer@s Alfredo Lopez Jimenez, Alejandro Diaz Sántiz, Pedro López Jiménez, Juan Díaz López, Rosario Díaz Méndez and Rosa López Díaz in CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Enrique Gómez Hernández held in CERSS No. 14 El Amate, Juan Collazo Jimenez held at CERSS No. 6, and compañero Alberto Patishtan Gómez held captive in CEFERESO N°8 in Guasave, Sinaloa, (who was transferred during the strike as a punishment). All have been detained arbitrarily, have suffered torture and violations of their fundamental human rights and therefore have staged a hunger strike and fast of 39 days, which has been ignored and repressed by the authorities”.
On the 14th of November, a member of the ´Voice of Amate´, Rosario Díaz Méndez, denounced “the medical deficiencies that are suffered in state prisons have led to complications in various illnesses that are easy to cure, especially in CERSS No. 5 which suffers much medical malpractice”. “I suffer from an illness called epilepsy, and I have been suffering from nausea for two years”. A similar complaint about the lack of medical attention was made by Alfredo Lopez Jimenez on the 15th November.
Even during the hunger strike it was announced that “the authorities of CERSS No. 5 in San Cristobal de Las Casas, have on several occasions refused entry to health personnel who had come with the intention of visiting” our prisoner compañeros, who were already in a serious state of health.
Tenosique, Tabasco, the forgotten frontier
On the 23rd August last, the people of the Nueva Esperanza community, Zone of El Peten, Guatemala, were displaced through a violent eviction by the army of their country. They are now refugees on the border next to the community of Nuevo Progreso, in the Municipality of Tenosique, Tabasco, “where they have been surviving with great difficulty for more than eighty days, in extremely precarious conditions which endanger their health and integrity”.
They also “are being threatened, and unsupported information is being disseminated about them, such rumours increase the vulnerability of their condition”, generating “acts of exclusion, discrimination and xenophobia against them”.
“The governments of Guatemala and Mexico are not providing the humanitarian assistance which they are obliged to provide for displaced persons and refugees”.
“Various organizations in Mexico, forming a Civil Observation Mission, reported in October with great difficulty the critical situation in which they found nearly three hundred people, of whom 115 are children or adolescents”. “The Mission documented, as well as the inhumane conditions, charges against the displaced population”, which were not supported by the evidence, “but were supported by the authorities in Guatemala”.
“During the first days of November we learned of a letter which the residents of Nuevo Progreso, Tenosique, had sent to the authorities accusing ´the people´ of committing excesses, getting drunk, beating their wives and bearing arms”. “We are concerned that an authority in Mexico or Guatemala may be contributing to the spread of rumours that may cause or lead to discrimination, or violent responses”.
They request “the Mexican government to give effect to the principles of solidarity, hospitality and protection, which should govern immigration policy”, “the Government of Guatemala was asked to facilitate dialogue, guaranteeing that the community of Nueva Esperanza will have appropriate and consistent standards of human rights, and their lands, homes, and in general all conditions for a dignified life restored to them”.
14th November – 5 years after the massacre of Viejo Velasco, Ocosingo, (which was a support base of the EZLN*, in the municipality of Vicente Guerrero) “The material and intellectual authors (the perpetrators and instigators) of the massacre have not been investigated, much less brought to trial; however, survivors of the event and people from surrounding communities who provided humanitarian assistance were identified by the Attorney General of the State of Chiapas as responsible for the slaughter”. *not at the time of the massacre
Acteal denounces the countless cases of impunity in Chiapas. “We must not be afraid to demand respect for human rights, we must speak out. We know that as human beings we are suffering very much, but it is not only us who suffer, but also our mother earth”.
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