Intertwining Hope – Frayba’s Stance 35 Years after its Foundation

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México

March 19, 2024

We live in Chiapas with great sorrow and concern, due to the multiplication of attacks on life, due to the violation of the most basic human rights and due to the repression of popular processes. […] we strive to be faithful in our vocation […] contributing values for the humanization of the Earth and preferably serving the poorest. We cannot stay aloof from what is happening among us.

jTatik Samuel Ruiz García.
Pastoral Letter In This Hour of Grace, 1993

Today we commemorate the 35th anniversary of our journey from and with the people, organizations and collectives organized for the construction of a more dignified world where human rights are a reality and not empty speeches used by those who hold political, economic and ideological power

In this journey, which is a blink of an eye in the history of people’s resistance, we constantly learn from their forms of organization, from their perspective of struggle, we get closer to their dreams, many of which are also ours, we grasp hope, to build it despite a bad day and make reference to it in the achievements of the men and women of the people who have woven the defense and experience of their rights.

For this and much more, at Frayba we consider the path taken to be a privilege and a responsibility. Therefore, we reiterate that we will continue searching and building with the organizational processes that we accompany in the construction of justice and truth, from and with those who continue to be victimized by the system of death that seeks to destroy the worthy causes of the people.

The Mexican State is in a stage of reinforcement in accordance with the interests of Capital and against Life. Mexico has become a territory of serious violations of the human rights of citizens and of the migrant population that is expelled by the terror of violence and misery in their countries of origin. In this context of widespread violence and institutional crisis, it fails to fulfill its responsibility to protect, respect and guarantee human rights.

In this electoral period everything becomes more acute and impunity is strengthened. The current government remains determined to maintain its image of a self-proclaimed Fourth Transformation, which, like previous governments, only consolidates impunity pacts and deepens the crisis of human rights and crimes against humanity.

The scenarios for the people, for the marginalized and exploited classes, do not envision structural changes. The perversions of previous governments are placed as a pending agenda of this government, detonating a spiral of violence, in which the majority of the population is abandoned and which impacts in: disappearances of people, forced displacements, extrajudicial executions, torture and deprivation. arbitrary violations of freedom in a framework of repression and a factory of guilt established as a daily practice, violations of the rights to land-territory, attacks, threats and harassment of defenders.

Based on the documentation of serious violations and with support from direct sources, we maintain that in Chiapas there is deep pain and indignation due to the mechanisms of violence that occur daily in the territory of Chiapas: 1) In the Highlands area with a prolonged circumstance of forced displacement, not addressed in its causes, due to the actions of groups which are successors to paramilitarism. 2) In the Center; the disappearance of people, kidnappings and murders. 3) In the Coastal area; corruption, the vulnerability of migrants besieged by organized crime and state repression evident in greater immigration control by the Armed Forces. 4) the Border area; with dispossession of the territory, disappearance of people, forced recruitment, protection rackets, controlled territories and areas silenced by generalized violence and 5) the Jungle zone; with attacks, extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, forced displacements and threats to the territory of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, as well as other organizations and communities.

In this election period the paths are committed to an election for State continuity. Where the rules of criminal governance outline that several of the candidates will be linked to organized crime and in which others are at risk for not responding to factional interests.

It should be noted that the widespread violence in the country is not from today, nor from the current government regime, but rather dates back to at least 2006, with former President Felipe Calderón, and continues to date. Three six-year terms have passed, that is, 18 years in which the pacts of impunity are sustained and have immersed Chiapas and the entire Mexican territory in a crisis of violence and death.

The permissiveness and complicity of the political, economic and ideological powers provide an ideal territory for de facto criminal powers to operate, thus configuring a scenario of macro-criminality, which dismantles the narrative that comes from the upper echelons of state and federal governments with the intention of building a manipulated and distorted reality where everything is fine.

In these times of unrest, in this Intertwining Hope Meeting, the organizational processes and communities with which we walk challenge, encourage and summon us not to give up in the fight, to continue building from the immediate spaces, to strengthen our alliances and commitments to life, with total respect for Mother Earth.

Conscious that it will not be easy, that the struggle is long lasting and requires the unity of everyone, women, men, young people, maintaining the fundamental principles of the good life, where the diversities of forms of spirituality, culture and identity, based on collective memory, truth and justice are expressed, which is part of the evolution of the most human manifestations that the indigenous peoples have left us, as part of the construction of peace in a sense of integrality.

From Frayba at 35 years, we recognize the prophetic imprint of jTatik Samuel and his commitment to walking alongside the communities. We reaffirm the commitment to the fight and defense of the rights of the people, we appreciate the trust and love that has embraced us during these years, we tell you that we are here rooted alongside you with your worthy fight that encourages and infuses hope in us in the walk towards freedom, to tear down systems of oppression.

Original article at
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.

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