By: Elio Henríquez
San Cristóbal De Las Casas, Chiapas
Upon concluding a three-day tour through communities of the North, Highlands and Coast of Chiapas, members of the Civil Observation Mission, composed of organizations belonging to the All Rights for Everyone National Network of Civilian Human Rights Organisms (Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y Todos, Red TDT), reported that they witnessed: “critical situations that violate fundamental rights, with a worrisome lack of will and empathy of the authorities.”
At a press conference in the offices of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center (Frayba), in the context of the commemoration of International Human Rights Day, they showed their concern “for the circumstances of systematic and structural violations of civil rights that we have been able to document in the three regions.”
They explained that the 38 members of the mission visited communities in Chalchihuitán, Acteal, Aldama, Nuevo San Gregorio, Moisés Gandhi, Chilón and Tonalá from December 7-10, where they listened to stories of people affected by forced displacement, dispossession of land, arbitrary arrest, torture, harassment, threats and criminalization, among other aggressions.
They also met with authorities from the three levels of government to find out about the follow-up. The Frayba’s director, Pedro Faro, emphasized that: “the situation of terror and hell that inhabitants of 13 Aldama communities experience nonstop; they are attacked by paramilitary-style armed groups” in Santa Martha, Chenalhó. “We still received reports of new attacks on Wednesday.”
He considered that the agreement signed on November 27 by both towns: “is hilarious and a mockery because the attacks continue,” while at the same time ensuring that the authorities at all three levels “know from which parts (of Santa Martha) the gunshots are coming, but they have not disarticulated the hostile groups so that the violence ends completely.”
He maintained that: “the absence of State presence has caused an increase in the criminal acts of members of the Regional Organization of Ocosingo Coffee Growers (Orcao) against Zapatista support bases in the autonomous localities of Moisés Gandhi and San Gregorio, located in the official municipality of Ocosingo.
“We are indignant, outraged and angry because, despite the calls of international organizations, the Mexican State is acting at half gas. The fourth transformation is one of high simulation, with a discourse that doesn’t correspond to the facts.” In addition to the TDT Network (made up of 86 organizations from 23 states), 14 national groupings participated. Members of Doctors of the World, International Service for Peace and the Swedish Movement for Reconciliation accompanied them.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Friday, December 11, 2020
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee