Apply to Join

Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities

by Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, A.C. (Frayba)
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities
Protect land rights and lives of Mayan communities

In recent months this human rights center denounced that the lives of members of various indigenous organizations and movement working in the region of Chilón in Chiapas, Mexico are in danger. Close to this region the Mexican government plans to construct a highway and start a tourist project the “Mayan Train”, a train route for tourists. Various organizations fear the environmental impact and social impact the infrastructure and massive tourism will have on their lives. Moreover, they point out there is no Free, Prior and Informed Consent, a specific right that pertains to indigenous peoples and is recognized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It allows them to give or withhold consent to a project that may affect them or their territories and to negotiate the conditions under which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated. This is also embedded within the universal right to self-determination.

The organizations state that municipal authorities of Chilón have provoked the delegitimization of their organizations for questioning the infrastructural and tourist projects. Authorities broadcasted a communal meeting live on social media and have hereby put in danger the physical integrity of these human rights defenders, who have already received death threats on numerous occasions. Moreover, municipal authorities are pressuring the local population of Chilón to agree with the projects, threatening to cancel their social programs if they oppose.

On May 30, 2019, the Inter-American Commission and the Office of the United Nations expressed their concern about the increase in murders of human rights defenders in Mexico during the first four months of this year. The situation in Chiapas is serious for human rights defenders, especially those defending the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, to autonomy, self-determination and territory. Frayba urges the Mexican State to guarantee the security of the human rights defenders of the organizations Mission of Bachajón, Jesuit Mission of Bachajón, the Center for Indigenous Rights (CEDIAC A.C) and the Movement in Defense of Life and Territory (MODEVITE), as well as to respect the collective rights of the Indigenous Peoples in Chiapas.

Since January 30, 2019, human rights observers have been present in Chicomuselo, the southern frontier region of Chiapas. They are here to monitor human rights violations due to the increasing militarization of the region. In this period, they registered different acts of intimidation and harassment against defenders of the Parish of San Pedro and San Pablo, who are organized to defend their territory in the face of the reactivation of mining projects in the region.

Members of the 101st Infantry Battalion, belonging to the Mexican Army, carried out acts of espionage during the meeting of defenders of the territory: "Women's Rights are also Human Rights", last March 23, 2019, in the community of Lázaro Cárdenas, in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, Mexico.

The military espionage of defenders is of special concern because of the risk they face in a context of growing criminalization and militarization in Mexico. Moreover, as United Nations Special Rapporteur about human rights defenders Michel Forst put it during his annual report to the United Nations Human Rights Council: "In the current political climate, in which there is a violent reaction against human rights, women who defend and promote rights are often the first to be attacked”.

Frayba has publicly denounced these acts to remind the Mexican State of its commitment to protect the lives, safety and personal integrity of human rights defenders. That is why we urged the Secretary of National Defence to cease the illegal acts of espionage, intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders in the municipality of Chicomuselo, Chiapas, Mexico.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur has indicated about Humans Rights Defenders (HRD) that "women human rights defenders are at greater risk of certain types of violence and other violations, prejudices and forms of exclusion and rejection than their male counterparts”.

Therefor our human rights center decided to give special attention to the needs of women HRD to counteract the various risks they face in the performance of their work. We have been focusing on the formation and counseling of female human rights defenders in Chiapas, mainly indigenous woman defending their land and territory.

We´ve organized visits to their communities to increase their knowledge on different aspects relevant for their human rights defense. We held workshops on women rights, indigenous collective human rights, agrarian rights in Mexico, and on how to document a human rights violation. We also analyzed gender related violence, the current sociopolitical context, territorial conflicts, and forced displacement; all issues related to the current situation in the region we work, and where the women live. We had trainings related to security and self-care strategies. And for the women to be able to denounce the human rights violations they encounter we looked on how to use social networks to denounce human rights violations.

We invited female representatives from different organizations to meet and exchange experiences and increase contact among them. The women expressed they would like to continue these types of gatherings as they experience these as a safe place where they can gather strength and hope, as well as learn from each other.

In the process their children, families and their local organizations were also involved. This strengthens the social fabric of the communities. Together with the female human rights defenders hereby we increased the visibility of their actions in their communities. That is an advantage for each one of them but also for the entire community because it helps to modify current believes that men are the only ones who produce social transformation and creates space for a broader participation of women in the defense of human rights.

The Mayan indigenous communities in southern Mexico are in the forefront defending their lands, people and culture, natural resources against the violent imposition of projects to extract resources from their territories.
Frayba provides communities with knowledge about territorial rights, increases the impact of their public defense efforts and strengthens their organizational capacities to defend their lands and prevent irreversible socio-environmental impacts and serious violations of human rights.

One of the most cruel consequences of violations are the forced displacement. Two cases as example.

The Tsotsil community of Chavajebal, in the municipality of El Bosque, Los Altos region of Chiapas, Mexico, began to move forcefully, on November 7, 2018, at 7 o'clock in the evening. There were approximately 1764 people in a situation of vulnerability who require humanitarian attention, as well as guaranteeing their integrity and returning to their homes in safe conditions. Testimonials report that while a community assembly was being held, a detonation sounded and shots were later heard. The concentrated people dispersed seeking refuge. On November 11, the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, A.C. [Frayba] documented that in the mountains there were still about 500 forced displaced people, without shelter, shelter, or medicine, mostly women with their children. Among them 4 pregnant, one of them was born a baby on the mountain, also registered 2 children alone and two people of 80 years.
The community of Chavajebal increases the figures for forced displacement in Los Altos de Chiapas, including displaced tsotsile communities in the municipalities of Chalchihuitán and Aldama.
As a result, the humanitarian crisis and the serious violations of human rights in the population of Indigenous Peoples are intensified by the omission of the government of Chiapas.

Other cases of displacement
Armed groups of Santa Martha, Chenalhó, injure two people and prevent coffee harvest in the community of Xuxch'en. "Some people left running and others waited more than seven hours to leave. There was one injured, injured by firearm. A truck was hit by a bullet, this truck left it and also its crops. "

We ask the Mexican State: Implement an effective dismantling strategy,
disarmament, detention and punishment of the armed civilian groups of Santa Martha Manuel Utrilla and thoroughly investigate the authorities responsible for the organization and performance of these groups. We reiterate a ceasefire


Attachments:
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, A.C. (Frayba)

Location: San Cristobal de las Casas - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @CDH Frayba
Project Leader:
Barbara Dolman
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas Mexico
$8,679 raised of $10,000 goal
 
132 donations
$1,321 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, A.C. (Frayba) has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.