March 24, 2017 Bulletins/ Notes for Frayba Communications
On Thursday March 23, the Acteal: Roots, Memory and Hope campaign was launched in the offices of the Center for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba), in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, on the 20th anniversary of impunity regarding the Acteal massacre that was perpetrated by paramilitary groups trained by the Mexican army in counterinsurgency tactics designed by the Mexican State and that are reflected in the Plan de Campaña Chiapas 94, and 25 years since the birth of La Organización Civil Las Abejas de Acteal in the municipality of Chenalhó.
During the debut, the first to speak were Las Abejas de Acteal, calling all organizations, groups and people of good heart to endorse the campaign to break the walls of impunity and to stand against oblivion. In addition they celebrated their growth as an organization and their resistance despite the adversities they have faced: “the massacre of Acteal was a message of terror from the Mexican State to the population that was against the bad government policies, but above all to the communities and towns demanding the fulfillment of the San Andrés Accords signed between the Mexican federal Government and the zapatista army for national liberation (EZLN) “, because the San Andrés Accords were a way towards the self-determination and self-governance of the people“.
Additionally, Pedro Faro, the Director of the Frayba, emphasized the direct responsibility of the Mexican State in the Acteal massacre, through the “existence of a genocidal policy in the internal armed conflict in Chiapas where the actions of paramilitary groups, linked to municipal, State and federal authorities including the Mexican army, have been the instrument which is intended to eliminate entire organizational process that generates several alternatives to Governments that today they are no longer serving the people”.
Gonzalo Ituarte, Secretary of the Executive Council of Frayba, and Vicar of Justice and Peace of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, did not fail to point out that the Acteal Massacre is a war crime, adding that “the atmosphere before the massacre was already one of premature death, violence, and displacement, a plan for the creation of autonomous municipality was already initiated, and the municipality of Polhó was already operational… it was an environment that afterwards would manifest itself in the massacre, despite the fact that from Frayba, Gonzalo Ituarte warned the Government of the tense situation that was playing out in Acteal, the Mexican Government in turn mocked and ignored their calls for peace.
This campaign began its activities in the framework of the International Day for the Right to the Truth regarding the serious violations to human rights and the dignity ofthe victims, an open wound that brings to the memory and the acts of the execution of 45 victims, plus four that were unborn, a massacre that left such an imbalance in the community of Acteal.