SIPAZ Activities (August – October 2000)


Beginning of January

Francisco Labastida replaces Emilio Chuayffet as Secretary of the Interior. Governor of Chiapas Julio César Ruiz Ferro is replaced by Roberto Albores Guillen who becomes interim Governor. The latter requests the resignation of 15 state officials implicated in the Acteal Massacre.

11th of January

CONAI publishes a document entitled “For a Strategy of Peace with Democracy,” in which it denounces the ongoing low intensity war in Chiapas, as well as attacks on the Diocese of San Cristóbal and its role as mediator in the conflict. The Interior Minister, Franscisco Labastida Ochoa, announces the creation of a coordination body, Dialogues for Negotiation in Chiapas, chaired by Emilio Rabasa Gamboa in place of the previous commissioner for peace, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

22nd of February

COCOPA and CONAI propose 10 “indispensable conditions” for the resumption of dialogues, including:

  • fulfilment of the San Andres Accords
  • respect for the Law for Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace
  • reduction of the military’s presence
  • disarmament of paramilitary groups
  • punishment of the authors of the Acteal massacre


The PRI and the PAN present a legislative initiative on indigenous rights and culture. President Zedillo finally adopts a project similar to the initiative of the PRI.

11th of April

The autonomous municipality Ricardo Flores Magón in the community of Taniperlas, Ocosingo municipality is dismantled in a police and military operation. Nine Mexicans are detained and twelve foreigners are expelled from the country.

1st of May

In a police and military operation, the autonomous municipality of Tierra y Libertad, with its municipal seat in Amparo Agua Tinta, is dismantled. 53 people are detained.

25th of May

The Coordinator for Dialogue and Negotiation in Chiapas, Emilio Rabasa Gamboa, presents the strategy of the federal government for taking forward the peace process in Chiapas:

  1. meet the social demands of the people of Chiapas
  2. set aside more social spending for the most marginalised municipalities
  3. take measures to uphold the rule of law
  4. establish a policy of inter-community reconciliation
  5. reinforce this policy in Chenalhó and in other municipalities where there are displaced families
  6. take forward legislation on indigenous peoples and communities
  7. reiterate the position of President Zedillo for a peaceful end to the conflict

28th of May

The Mexican government releases new regulations to which foreign organizations undertaking international observation activities must comply. Among the new conditions: observation groups must have a maximum of ten members and can remain in the country for only ten days. Moreover, the organizations must present an application thirty days beforehand and must have been recognised by the UN for at least five years.

3rd of June

In a joint police and military operation, more than a thousand members of the security forces enter the community of Nicolás Ruiz. The police detain more than 100 community members.

7th of June

Bishop Samuel Ruiz announces the dismantling of the CONAI in the face of the government attacks against his person, the Dioceses of San Cristóbal and the CONAI. He demands that the federal and state governments end their current strategy of pursuing war and demonstrate with actions their willingness to resolve the conflict.

10th of June

In a military and police operation to dismantle the autonomous municipality of San Juan de la Libertad, located in El Bosque, 8 civilians and 2 police are killed.

8th of July

The Secretary of the Interior, Francisco Labastida, and the government representative for the dialogue, Emilio Rabasa, present before the COCOPA the government’s proposals to ease tensions. These consist of 5 points:

  • integration of the autonomous municipalities into existing legal and constitutional structures
  • greater aid for displaced persons
  • handing over to the COCOPA all of the reports regarding the investigations of Acteal and El Bosque
  • actions and intensive measures for social and productive development projects
  • reduce the presence of the Mexican Army and at the same time the search for a dialogue with the EZLN.

17th of July

The EZLN release the Fifth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, in which it announces a National Consultation for the Recognition of Indigenous Peoples and for the End of the War of Extermination.

3rd of August

The Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Centre for Human Rights releases a report that says that in the last six months in Chiapas it recorded fifty-seven summary executions, six political assassinations and more than 185 expulsions of foreigners. It denounces the occurrence in Chiapas during the same period a number of cases of grave torture, dozens of attempts on the lives of human rights defenders and other civil organizations and social leaders; and hundreds of military and police actions in the conflict zone.

20th of August

The UN Human Rights Commission’s Sub Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities asks the Mexican Government to end human rights violations against indigenous peoples and to take all necessary measures to re-initiate the peace dialogue in Chiapas.

28th of September

The Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recognizes that there have been a number of democratic advances in Mexico, but denounces the militarization in various states of the country and holds the government responsible for the violation of the human rights of indigenous people.

4th of October

The PRI wins the municipal presidential and local congressional elections in spite of a voter abstention rate of 54%. Observers and opposition parties accuse the PRI of election fraud and point out many irregularities.

20-22nd of November

Three thousand citizens participate in the encounter between the EZLN and civil society, in which the preparation of the National Consultation is discussed. The Zapatista delegation, composed of 29 people, also meets on two occasions with the COCOPA.