Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
The Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group is one of many groups across the world which support the Zapatistas in their struggleand is part of the 'UK Zapatista Network'. Our main purpose is to raise awareness of the Zapatista struggle and to give practical help wherever possible.
We do this by organising talks, film showings, benefit gigs, street stalls and direct actions as well as publishing articles. We import Zapatista produce such as coffee, clothing and jewellery for sale with the money going directly back to the communities.
In Spring 2004 the Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group twinned with the '16 de Febrero' Zapatista autonomous municipality. The municipality is in a poor, rural community which lacked access to basic medical care and education. We have raised funding that enabled the community to build a health clinic in their area and further help is now needed to purchase medical equipment and supplies.
We welcome new people getting involved in the group, for info on our upcoming organising meetings please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On 22 March, 14 years and 3 months after the Acteal massacre, the Las Abejas Civil Society once again published a public communiqué in which it recalled the responsibility of the Mexican government in the case of the Acteal massacre, given that “it seeks to cover up the material and intellectual authors [of the crime], as is logical since they planned and organized the killings.”
On 16 March, the Good-Government Council (JGB) of Oventic denounced the unjust incarceration of Francisco Sántiz López, EZLN support base, as well as of Lorenzo López Girón, who lacks any political affiliations. Both are from the Tenejapa official municipality and are unjustly accused of a crime that occurred in December 2011. They were arrested on 4 December 2011. Sántiz López was "falsely accused of directing a provocation in which died Pedro Méndez López, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the Banavil ejido." Francisco was held for 2 hours in the municipal headquarters and later handed over to the Ministerial Police of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. They were both offered their liberty if they would pay 32,000 pesos for the murder and 40,000 for carrying arms, but they refused to pay, "because their incarceration is unjust."
The JBG denounced as "unsupportable, unacceptable, and inhumane the attitudes of the judges, ministry, and bad state and federal governments, which are so corrupt and accustomed to inventing crimes and condemning innocent peoples." The JBG considers these attacks to be attacks on the autonomy of Zapatista communities, toward the end of impeding "the exercise of our rights to autonomy and self-determination as indigenous peoples."
In a 19 March 2012 communiqué, residents of the community of Candelaria el Alto, Venustiano Carranza municipality, who are adherents to the Other Campaign denounced that on 15 March members of the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Carranza Region (OCEZ-RC) from the San José La Grandeza neighborhood began to burn the crops and trees located on their lands.
A ZAPATISTA FILM SCREENING
"CHRONICLE OF A REBELLION"
7PM THURS 16TH FEB 2012
@ ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA
(at junction with Brunswick Road) Tel 0131 557 6242
FREE ADMISSION - DONATIONS WELCOME
Q & A SESSION AFTER FILM... PLUS FIESTA
**BRING YOUR OWN BEER!
EDINBURGH-CHIAPAS SOLIDARITY GROUP PRESENTS A FILM NIGHT AND FIESTA CELEBRATING THE FORMATION OF 'DIECI-SEIS DE FEBRERO' (16th FEBRUARY) THE ZAPATISTA AUTONOMOUS MUNICIPALITY OF CHIAPAS, MEXICO, WITH WHICH EDINBURGH-CHIAPAS SOLIDARITY GROUP IS TWINNED.
** Adherents to the Other Campaign denounce that they are trying to make a new Cancun in Chiapas
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, January 21, 2012
A dozen Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Chol communities, adherents to the Other Campaign, declared this Friday that in Chiapas “the strategies of plunder implemented by Procede/Fanar against communal and ejidal property represent the fundamental goal of Juan Sabines and Felipe Calderón for the last six years.”
The indigenous maintained: “With the megaprojects for supposedly sustainable development, rural cities, ecotourism, Prodesis, the Development Strategy for the Southern States (EDES, its initials in Spanish), agreed on in the Chamber of Deputies for implementing the biological, tourist and eco-archaeological corridor, they want to de-populate and re-populate indigenous territories, until they create a new Cancun in Chiapas, consolidating the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor to put all the natural wealth of our lands and territories in transnational hands.”
** They close access to beer and alcohol distributers, and to Canadian mining and logging companies
** They close 18 cantinas and question behavior of the mayor, the police and the Public Ministry
By: Hermann Bellinghausen,
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, January 13, 2012
Organized residents of Siltepec Municipality, in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, closed off access to the municipality to beer companies and distributers of alcohol and drugs, as well as Canadian mining and logging companies that exploit their territory. They also closed 18 cantinas (bars) and seriously questioned the police, the mayor and the state’s agent from the Public Ministry (MP, its initials in Spanish), who protect the criminals. Starting this Thursday they decided to organize “as a municipal headquarters [country seat], in coordination with the ejidos, rancherías,barrios and colonias, to exercise control of our territory without the intervention of the political parties and the government.”
The Voice of El Amate denounces the grave situation of Indigenous Prisoners who are considered “Political”
** Dozens of prisoners in Cintalapa carry out a protest for better conditions in Prison 14
** On the sixth anniversary of the organization they especially emphasize the case of Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez
By: Herman Bellinghausen
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, January 12, 2012
English translation by the Chiapas Support Committee
Former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (1994-2000) filed papers in US district court in Hartford, Connecticut, on Jan. 6 claiming that his presidential status gives him immunity from a legal action stemming from a December 1997 massacre in the southeastern state of Chiapas. Ten unnamed survivors of the massacre of 45 indigenous campesinos in the community of Acteal are demanding $50 million in damages in a suit they filed against Zedillo in Hartford on Sept. 19. The former president is currently teaching at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Since he is in the US, he is subject to two US laws--the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 andthe 1789 Alien Tort Claims Act--which permit foreigners to bring suits in US courts for violence that occurred in other countries.
The Acteal killings were carried out by indigenous paramilitaries against members of the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas (“The Bees”). The Mexican government has always contended that the killings arose from long-standing conflicts between indigenous communities. Dozens of men from neighboring villages were convicted of participating in the massacre, although the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) overturned 22 of the convictions in August 2009.
Zedillo’s 122-page court filing called charges that the former president “was somehow complicit” in the killings “baseless and outrageous.” But the massacre occurred during conflicts between the government and the rebel Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), and the Acteal community was sympathetic to the EZLN. A number of Mexican analysts feel that Zedillo’s government may have trained and backed the paramilitaries, or at the very least aggravated tensions between EZLN supporters and opponents in Chiapas.
“Without doubt, in Zedillo there was complicity or [guilt by] omission for the tragic events in Acteal,” former legislator Jaime Martínez Veloz told the left-leaning Mexican daily La Jornada. Martínez Veloz had been a member of the Concord and Peacemaking Commission (COCOPA), a multi-party congressional commission sent by the federal government to negotiate with the EZLN starting in 1994. “Ultimately, Acteal is the most brutal expression of the failure to comply with the San Andrés Accords,” he said, referring to an agreement COCOPA worked out providing more autonomy for indigenous communities in Chiapas. Zedillo’s government rejected the accords, leaving the conflicts unresolved.
On 24 December, Rafael Rodríguez Vicente, ex-director of Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (1995-8), was murdered in the municipality of Santa Lucía del Camino, Oaxaca. The directorship of Section 22 released a communiqué that called on governor Gabino Cué quickly to clarify the crime and demanded better security conditions for the members of the popular movement. The authorities are not dismissing any lines of inquiry. Regardless, there are two hypotheses: one due to political conflicts resulting from his charge of assessor of the indigenous community of Santa María Zoquitlán and another related with his work as a docent.
Rodríguez Enriquez was an activist with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca and presently had acted as director of the Broad Front of Marginalized Indigenous Communities. He had been arrested in June 2002 presumably for having belonged to the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) and participating in the kidnapping of the relative of the director of merchants Gonzalo Rodríguez.
A Happy New Year
Happy 18th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising
Re: Mexico – Shooting of human rights defender Ms Norma Andrade
On 2 December 2011, human rights defender Ms Norma Andrade was shot five times in Ciudad Juárez in the State of Chihuahua. She was hospitalised as a result of injuries sustained, and she is reportedly in a stable condition. Norma Andrade is the founder of Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa – NHRC (May Our Daughters Return Home). Her human rights work focuses on fighting for justice for the victims of femicide and their families in the State of Chihuahua.