The Mexican State has not Complied with IACHR Recommendations in Aldama

Magdalena Aldama, Chiapas
April 23, 2022

An Aldama section of road abandoned in disrepair by state agencies. Photo: Frayba

To the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. 
To Amnesty International for Human Rights. 
To the National Human Rights Commission To Non-Governmental Human Rights Centers. 
To the International, National, State and Independent Media.
To the People and the World. 

Present. 

Once again we make known our words and our feelings as the people of Magdalena Aldama, and as representatives of the 12 affected communities. We are a people living abandonment and oblivion, we are a people who suffer threats from armed groups operating in Santa Martha in the municipality of Chenalho. 

One year after the precautionary measures that were issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights with Precautionary Measure No. 284-18; indigenous Tsotsil families from twelve identified communities of Aldama, Chiapas with respect to Mexico Resolution 35/2021; of which we were beneficiaries of said measures since the adoption of the Resolution 102/2021 (also of precautionary measures).

Since the issuing of said precautionary and protective measures, the Mexican state has not implemented pertinent steps to safeguard the life and physical integrity of the beneficiaries. As a result, on March 25, a minor was injured in the community of Tabac due to the increase in armed aggressions against our people of Magdalenas and our communities. 

To date, there has been no progress on our petitions since June 24, 2021, when a meeting was held with government officials and different organizations. The recommendations of the resolutions issued by the Inter-American Commission have not been complied with. 

The government supposedly sends its projects for the improvement and advancement of solutions to the conflict, but the only thing it has done with its projects in the repair of the road section is to destroy our road, and that [the road] is the only option for entering and leaving our communities, and with the deteriorating condition that the 2 kilometer section is in, it has put our lives at risk and resulted in injuries and deaths of our brothers, following the destruction of the Tabac bridge. Every day we risk our lives to be able to survive and go to our workplaces, these days it is the season for planting corn, we live and subsist all year round by the sweat of our brow. We are not asking the government for handouts — the only thing we are demanding is a true and definitive solution to the conflict, because these armed groups do not let us work our land, nor travel on the roads. If they see us they shoot us, as we have said on several occasions, as if we were animals that they hunt. They watch us from the banks of the rivers and in the different points of attack where they post up to target us, while they plunder the timber trees inside the 60 hectares in dispute.

And the legitimate owners are still unable to work their lands and are without land, and to date, there has been no real solution from the government and the corresponding agencies. It seems that the government is only protecting these armed groups, perhaps because our town of Magdalenas is small—while some suffer from hunger, many live happily.

The only advancement that the Mexican state has made is to fabricate crimes and lock up innocent people who seek true justice for our people and for the government. Also, our brother and comrade Cristobal Santiz Jimenez, who after serving two years imprisoned by the government of Chiapas, the state prosecutor’s office opened another arrest warrant against him. It is very visible that here in our state, justice does not exist, only locking up innocent people who seek true justice. The government is violating human rights, and impunity is permitted, because the government only threatens and intimidates the authorities, in order to be able to appease the situation that we are living every day as indigenous and first peoples. The governments criminalize and threaten the defenders of human rights and life, and lock up innocent people, while these armed groups continue to operate freely, and to attack in the direction of our communities. 

Faced with these injustices, we ask the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to visit our community and our comrade Cristóbal Santiz Jiménez, held as a political prisoner by the Chiapas state government and the state prosecutor’s office — who is still in prison. As first peoples we continue to resist in  defense of human rights, in  defense of territory, water and life — we will not allow them to plunder our lands as is happening in various parts of this republic and the world. “Let us come together and continue with hope, to defend and take care of the blood of the earth and the spirits.” 

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of our comrade Cristóbal Santiz Jiménez. 

We demand compliance with the recommendations of the IACHR. 

We demand the fulfillment of our petitions presented on June 24, 2021.

 Compensation for the victims of this conflict. 

Sincerely, Representatives for the Precautionary Measures from the 12 communities benefited by No. 284-18.

This communiqué was published on the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights. https://frayba.org.mx/no-ha-cumplido-las-recomendaciones-de-la-cidh-en-aldama
English translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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