Acteal Massacre (Las Abejas) – 22 December 1997

Posted on 2013/12/23

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<what massacres=”Acteal Massacre” when=”19971222″ where=”Acteal in the municipality of Chenalhó, in the Mexican state of Chiapas” victims=”Las Abejas” offenders=”paramilitary group Mascara Roja, or Red Mask” map=”http://www.tagzania.com/pt/acteal-massacre-chiapas/“>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Acteal Massacre” atWikipedia=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acteal_Massacre“>
<quote markup=”wikipedia”>
The ”’Acteal Massacre”’ was a [[massacre]] of 45 people attending a [[prayer meeting]] of [[Roman Catholic]] [[Indigenous peoples of the Americas|indigenous]] townspeople, including a number of children and pregnant women, who were members of the [[pacifism|pacifist]] group [[Las Abejas]] (“The Bees”), in the small village of [[Acteal]] in the [[Chenalhó|municipality of Chenalhó]], in the [[Mexico|Mexican]] [[Mexican state|state]] of [[Chiapas]].  It was carried out on December 22, 1997 by the paramilitary group Mascara Roja, or Red Mask.
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<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”1997 Acteal Massacre” web=”http://acteal97.com/“> On December 22, 1997, members of paramilitary groups funded and supported by the Mexican military carried out an attack in the village of Acteal that resulted in the mass execution of forty-five innocent villagers. On September 16th, 2011, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of some of the survivors against Ernesto Zedillo, the President of Mexico at the time of the killing. This web site is intended to become the central clearinghouse of information regarding this case, and to allow individuals in Mexico a safe forum through which to provide us with information.</ref>

<ref topic=”Las Abejas” title=”Acteal, Mexico: Building Autonomy in the Shadow of Repression” by=”Andalusia Knoll” web=”http://acteal.blogspot.gr/p/english.html” atFacebook=”https://www.facebook.com/pages/Las-Abejas-de-Acteal/170569689632465“/><img>

Acteal, Mexico: Building Autonomy in the Shadow of Repression

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<ref topic=”Las Abejas” atWikipedia=”Las Abejas” web=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Abejas“>
<quote markup=”wikipedia”>”’Las Abejas”’, or “The Bees,” is a [[Christian]] [[pacifist]] [[civil society]] group of [[Tzotzil people|Tzotzil]] [[Maya peoples|Maya]] formed in [[Chenalho]], [[Chiapas]] in 1992 following a familial property dispute that left one person killed. When members of the community took the injured man to the nearest town for medical attention, they were accused of attacking him themselves and jailed. When family members realized what had happened, they began a pilgrimage on foot to [[San Cristóbal de Las Casas]]. Along the way, Christian pacifists in other villages joined the group, which is dedicated to peace, justice, and [[anti-neoliberalism]].  Las Abejas freed their companions and grew as an organization.

When the [[Zapatista Army of National Liberation]] uprising took place in 1994, Las Abejas stood in solidarity with the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional’s (EZLN) ends and principles, but not their violent means. They paid a high price for their support however, when on December 22, 1997, forty-five of their members were massacred while praying in a church, in what has come to be known as the [[Acteal Massacre]].</quote>
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<refs format=”text”>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”The Politics of Massacre: Acteal, Low Intensity Warfare and NGOs” by=”George Caffentzis” web=”http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/mexico/reports/acteal_liw.html” date=”19980106″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”A-Infos (en) Acteal massacre : One month on” web=”http://ainfos.ca/98/feb/ainfos00183.html” date=”19980211″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”White Paper on Acteal, Chiapas” atWebArchive=”http://web.archive.org/web/20000902162919/http://www.pgr.gob.mx/cmsocial/coms98/acteal/lbacteai.htm” by=”Procuraduría General de la República” date=”199811″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”The First Anniversary of the Acteal Massacre in Chiapas” web=”http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/mexico/first-anniversary-acteal-massacre-chiapas” date=”1999″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Justice unfinished – remembering the Acteal massacre” by=”Amnesty International” web=”http://www.amnesty.ie/our-work/justice-unfinished-remembering-acteal-massacre” date=”20071219″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”10 Years Later, Chiapas Massacre Still Haunts Mexico” web=”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/world/americas/23acteal.html” published=”20071223″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Ten Years Later, It’s Time to Recognize the U.S. Government’s Responsibility for Acteal” web=”http://www.narconews.com/Issue48/article2948.html” by=”Andrew Kennis” date=”20071230″>
For Survivors, Bitter Memories Worsened by Lingering Impunity and Continued Oversight of U.S. Role in Massacre</ref>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”A Massacre Foretold (review)” by=”Stephen E. Lewis” web=”http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tam/summary/v065/65.3.lewis.html” date=”20090103″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”COMMUNIQUES – Acteal: Statement from Las Abejas Community on the release of paramilitaries” web=”http://www.lasabejas.org/communiques” date=”20090809″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Breaking the Silence: The Mexican Army and the 1997 Acteal Massacre” web=”http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB283/” date=”20090820″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”The Acteal Massacre – December 22, 1997 | Acteal, Chiapas State, Mexico” web=”http://www.libertadlatina.org/crisis_mexico_chiapas_acteal_massacre.htm” lastUpdated=”20090828″>

<quote>
45 Mayan Children, Women and Men Were Ruthlessly Murdered While Attending Church, for Supporting the Goals of the Mayan Freedom Movement</quote>

<quote>
A Crime Against Humanity in Modern Mexico

This section of LibertadLatina.org contains information regarding the intentional use of murder by pro-government forces to suppress the legitimate demands for self determination presented by the Mayan indigenous peoples of Chiapas, Mexico to the national government.
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<quote>On December 22, 1997 paramilitary (state-trained and state-funded pro-governing party civil defense) forces surrounded a Catholic chapel in the pacifist Tsotsil Mayan community of Acteal, Chiapas state, Mexico. During a period of several hours, this armed force, with the apparent consent of local Mexican Army units stationed not far away, proceeded to surround Acteal’s chapel, and shot to death those inside, and as many of those who escaped as they could find. A number of residents survived the massacre. Those murdered on that day included 15 children, 21 women (four of them pregnant) and 9 men.</quote>
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<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Remembering The Acteal Massacre” web=”http://victorjara42.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/remembering-the-acteal-massacre/” date=”20101222″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”The 14 Year Anniversary of the Acteal Massacre” web=”http://thinkmexican.tumblr.com/post/14622046569/the-14-year-anniversary-of-the-acteal-massacre” image=”http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw48rrZuV61ql59r2o1_1280.jpg” date=”20111222″>

The Acteal Massacre was a massacre of 45 people attending a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic Indigenous townspeople, including a number of children and pregnant women, who were members of the pacifist group Las Abejas (“The Bees”), in the small village of Acteal in the municipality of Chenalhó, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It was carried out on December 22, 1997 by the paramilitary group Mascara Roja, or Red Mask.

The EZLN and many Chiapas residents accused the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of complicity, and following the change of government in 2000, survivors alleged that the investigation was being stalled, with authorities refusing to question or arrest suspects in the attacks. <img>

Acteal Massacre

Acteal Massacre

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<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Diplomatic immunity for Mexican Ex-President Ernesto Zedillo” web=”http://www.examiner.com/article/diplomatic-immunity-for-mexican-ex-president-ernesto-zedillo” by=”@BeaSchiava” date=”20120821″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Thousands of Zapatistas mark anniversary of Acteal massacre” web=”http://www.marxsite.org/2012/12/thousands-of-zapatistas-mark.html” date=”20121222″>

Thousands of followers of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) marched, masked but unarmed, on the towns of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Palenque, Altamirano, in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, marking the 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre when 45 indigenous people were slain by right-wing death squads . EZLN supporters symbolically occupied the self-same buildings they took during their 1994 uprising.

The largest march was in Ocosingo, on the edge of the Lacandon Selva, the rebels’ jungle stronghold, with 6,000 arriving at dawn for a silent procession through the town’s centre. <img>

Thousands of Zapatistas mark anniversary of Acteal massacre (22 December 2012)

Thousands of Zapatistas mark anniversary of Acteal massacre (22 December 2012)

Thousands of Zapatistas mark anniversary of Acteal massacre (22 December 2012)

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<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Acteal Massacre: ‘We Have Not Forgiven, Nor Forgotten’” web=”http://thinkmexican.tumblr.com/post/38586386837/15-years-acteal-massacre-chiapas-mexico” image=”http://24.media.tumblr.com/6bebb3269ef1083038850575a4936dea/tumblr_mfgi9pAJqL1qaz9lto1_1280.jpg” date=”20121222″>
On December 22, 1997, 45 unarmed people, including 21 women and 15 children, were attending a church service in the small town of Acteal, Chiapas, when they were attacked and killed by a paramilitary group linked to the PRI.

The victims belonged to a pacifist group affiliated with the EZLN called ‘Las Abejas.’ The massacre was seen as an attempt to silence support for the Zapatistas.

“We have not forgotten, nor forgiven those responsible for this massacre,” say those who 15 years later are still fighting for justice for the victims and their families. <img>

Acteal Massacre: ‘Ni perdón, Ni olvido.’ / ‘We Have Not Forgiven, Nor Forgotten.’

Acteal Massacre: ‘Ni perdón, Ni olvido.’ / ‘We Have Not Forgiven, Nor Forgotten.’

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<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Another 15 perpetrators of the Acteal massacre are released” web=”http://www.europazapatista.org/index.php?post_id=2122” date=”20130411″/>

<ref for=”Acteal Massacre” title=”The Acteal Massacre – still unpunished after 16 years” web=”http://www.europazapatista.org/#post3441” by=”Hermann Bellinghausen – La Jornada” date=”20131222″>
<quote>In a picture from 2012 (http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2013/12/22/aun-impune-masacre-de-acteal-tras-16-anos-8076.html/22-acteal-01.jpg-2302.html/@@images/14f1700a-2cad-48de-8dd4-fc463c07d248.jpeg), hundreds of people and social organizations commemorated with a Mass the 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre.

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In a picture from 2012, hundreds of people and social organizations commemorated with a Mass the 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre. / Photo: Pedro Anza/Cuartoscuro

In a picture from 2012, hundreds of people and social organizations commemorated with a Mass the 15th anniversary of the Acteal massacre. / Photo: Pedro Anza/Cuartoscuro

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Photo: Pedro Anza/Cuartoscuro

16 years after the massacre took place in a camp for displaced people in Acteal, in the Highlands of Chiapas, where 45 people and three unborn (children) were murdered in cold blood by militant paramilitaries from the PRI, justice is still far off. As a cruel “memento”, there are now more than a hundred displaced indigenous from the same municipality of Chenalhó, pursued by the same offender group as in 1997 (with generational renewal of the case), who violently expelled them from Ejido Puebla last August and has prevented them from returning, also with violence.

The interior minister (secretario de Gobernación) at the time, Emilio Chuayffet Chemor, who resigned following the massacre, now has sufficient authority to raise his voice to the teachers from his post as head of Public Education. And the majority of the paramilitaries who were imprisoned have now walked free, through a process of legal correction, of undoubted academic interest – but alien to the spirit of justice,- which began in 2009. The masterminds were never investigated.

@http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2013/12/22/aun-impune-masacre-de-acteal-tras-16-anos-8076.html</quote>
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<refs format=”video”>
<what topic=”Acteal Massacre” title=”Nunca más: Acteal” atYoutube=”http://youtu.be/CiE9R_JgubQ” date=”20101222″>22 de diciembre de 1997, una fecha que no debemos olvidar, 45 indígenas Tzotziles fueron asesinados por paramilitares. El documental: “Nunca Más: Acteal” recoge los testimonio de familiares, sobrevivientes y médicos que estuvieron inmersos en este indignante suceso. Quien omite la historia puede repetirla: ¡Nunca más otro Acteal!<video>

</video></what>

<what topic=”Acteal Massacre” trailers=”A Massacre Foretold / Camino a una masacre” atYoutube=”http://youtu.be/2yt3y97e5pc” atWikipedia=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Massacre_Foretold” date=”20070819″><video>

</video></what>

<what topic=”Acteal Massacre” documentaries=”Acteal; Ten years of impunity ” atYoutube=”http://youtu.be/9XjlT7ja20M” date=”20110802″>A documentary that tells the truth about the crime of state that occured in December 22, 1997 in the tsotsil community of Acteal, as part of the strategy followed by the mexican government against the organized communities of Chiapas.<video>

</video></what>

<what topic=”Acteal Massacre” documentaries=”Massacre at Acteal” atYoutube=”http://youtu.be/bmWEIO63Qfk” date=”20120405″>December 22, 1997. 45 indigenous Mayans, mostly women and children who were pacifist supporters of the Zapatista movement for indigenous rights, were massacred in Acteal, Chiapas, Mexico, while conducting a prayer meeting. The US military had been training the Mexican army in the tactics of low-intensity conflict and the development of paramilitary groups to commit acts of terrorism against the civilian population. This massacre was a direct result of these US and Mexican policies. I was buying coffee from these same people and arrived just after the massacre. kerry@caferebelion.com<video>

</video></what>

<what topic=”Acteal Massacre” documentaries=”Acteal, 10 años de impunidad. ¿Cuántos más?” atVimeo=”https://vimeo.com/11023392” date=”20100418″ lang=”es”>
<lang id=”en”>Documentary dedicated to the memory of the 45 victims of Acteal murdered by a paramilitary group in the highlands of Chiapas on 22 December 1997.

Its intention is to know the causes that led to the slaughter: what roles played by the Mexican state and federal authorities, politicians, church, social organizations, etc.. And with that information we can reflect and draw conclusions on this episode in the recent history of Mexico.

Let justice be done, that never happens again something similar, to end the rule of impunity.</lang>

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<see_also>zapatistas @diigo.com/user/rotenotes/zapatistas</see_also>

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