Lake Chapala, Coca de Mezcala community is still waiting for justice


Comuneros de Mezcala have been waiting for over 20 years for the authorities to decide in their favor before the invasion of 10 hectares of their lands by a private party.

The authorities in charge of imparting justice in Mexico do not guarantee that citizens have access to it, on the contrary, they violate their rights. Such is the case of the Coca de Mezcala indigenous community, located in Poncitlán, which has been waiting for 20 years for the authorities to give the resolution in favor of the community members before the invasion of 10 hectares of their lands by a private party.

The Second Collegiate Court for Administrative Matters of the Third Circuit has evaded the case, arguing that it is incompetent.

“The defendants are violated their human right to access to justice because imagine waiting a year three months to find out if you are right or not, it is too long, and in this case, the serious thing is that after a year and three months, the matter was not even resolved ”, emphasized the lawyer for the inhabitants of Mezcala, Rubén Ávila Tema.

Now it will be the Third Collegiate Court in Administrative Matters of the Third Circuit who must finally resolve the matter of Amparo 121/2019.

Ávila Tema argued that the case could last for more than three years if there is no political will from the authorities, and given the saturation of the justice system to relieve all cases, despite the fact that the inhabitants of Mezcala have it to win.

The litigant added that businessman Guillermo Moreno Ibarra has taken advantage of the delay in the administration of justice to build and even do business raising fish at the cost of cutting down trees in the area, which is a crime.

“The place that is in controversy is at the top of a hill known as ‘El paraje del Pandillo’, and from there you can see the Laguna de Chapala, that place has a privileged view,” explained the lawyer.

The businessman argues that one of the members of the community sold the land to him, however, as he is governed by communal customs, the decision must be made by all the members of the assembly.

Currently, a paramilitary group of the businessman stands guard in the invaded lands. There are around 16 people with their faces covered with a bandana or ski mask and heavily armed that prevent anyone from approaching. “They seek to intimidate the community, but we have decided not to fall for their provocation. It has been many years of being in the fight. Many people may have lost hope of recovering that land, because they say that the rich cannot be won and that the government is on their side. After 20 years, some have been exhausted, but the assembly of community members and many young people who have joined from the history workshops, the walks and the camps, are relieving those who get tired, ”explains Moreno. What is at stake, he insists, is not only the land, but also “community life and the ties that have been built for many years. There is no other way to be autonomous than to preserve the territory ”.


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