SIPAZ Activities (August – October 2000)


20th of February

Six members of the alleged paramilitary group Los Chinchulines, based in Bachajón, are set free.

24th of February

The Chiapas State Congress approves the Amnesty Law for the Disarming of Civil Groups in Chiapas, presented by Governor Albores Guillen. It excludes from amnesty any person or member of a civil organization whose structure, training, or discipline is similar to those of the army; and members of the EZLN.

12-14th of March

Five thousand Zapatista delegates leave the five Aguascalientes in Chiapas to visit municipalities of Mexico’s 32 states to promote the National Zapatista Consultation planned for the 21st of March.

21st of March

More than 2.8 million people living in Mexico and 48,000 Mexicans living outside the country participate in the National Consultation for the Recognition of Indigenous Peoples and the End of the War of Extermination.

April, May & June

Handing over of weapons of supposed Zapatistas in return for government economic aid. The EZLN describes these acts as “farce and theatre.”

8-9th of May

Second encounter between representatives of civil society and the EZLN in La Realidad in the municipality of Las Margaritas, with the aim of analysing the results of the National Consultation.

The first two weeks of June

Significant increase in military and police incursions in Zapatista communities; arbitrary detentions of presumed Zapatistas; harassment by military personnel at the military checkpoints; and increased deployment of troops. Each of the incursions involves between 100 and 1,000 military and police personnel. State authorities cite the application of the Law of Firearms and Explosives, the fight against drug trafficking, the detention of delinquents, and the protection of inhabitants that have asked for help as the pretext for the operations.

20th of June

77 social organizations participate in the second state-wide forum which takes place as part of the Zapatista’s Consultation process and is held in San Cristóbal.

15th of July

The State Congress of Chiapas approves the creation of seven new municipalities in Chiapas, in spite of strong opposition protest.

17th of July

The UN Human Rights Committee states that ongoing issues in Chiapas including the administration of justice, violence against women, increasing militarization, and impunity continue to cause “worry” and “deep concern.”

30th of July

The Chiapas State Congress approves the law of Governor Albores regarding Indigenous Culture and Rights. The opposition protests that the law does not respond to the demands of the EZLN, nor does it comply with the San Andres Accords.

12th of August

Approximately 500 military troops arrive by ground and parachute into the community of Amador Hernández (Selva). Official sources argue that the objective of their presence is the protection of surveyors who will be making measurements for a road. The inhabitants of the community are opposed to the construction of the road.

26th of August

Confrontation between the army and Zapatista support bases in the community of San José la Esperanza, municipality of Las Margaritas. Three indigenous people are detained and seven military personnel receive machete wounds.

8th of September

Interior Minister, Diódoro Carrasco Altamirano, presents the new government proposal for dialogue in Chiapas, in which the immediate resumption of negotiations with the EZLN is proposed. Carrasco says he is prepared to head the negotiating committee, whenever and wherever it might be. The new government proposal consists of the following six points:

  1. It proposes that the Senate of the Republic reopens the issue of constitutional changes regarding indigenous rights and culture, and that it receive proposals from the EZLN, from the government itself, and from other groups involved in the conflict.
  2. It asks the EZLN to propose dates for which the government can measure its progress in achieving what was agreed upon in San Andres regarding social development in the indigenous communities of Chiapas.
  3. It requests that courts free Zapatista prisoners who are not implicated in cases of murder or rape.
  4. It commits itself to analyse the charges of human rights organizations regarding the harassment of indigenous communities in Chiapas.
  5. It accepts the creation of a new civil and non-partisan commission of intermediation.
  6. It commits to sending a special government commission with decision-making capacity to negotiate.

6th of October

The federal Attorney General installs a special office in Chiapas in order to investigate the armed groups that operate in the state.

24th to 27th of November

During her visit to Mexico, Mary Robinson, High Commissioner of Human Rights for the UN, says that she finds cause for concern in impunity, militarization, and the poor administration of justice in Chiapas. She mentions that among the factors that have contributed to the creation of a climate of impunity is the growing militarization of the police.

30th of December

The Papal Nuncio, Justo Mullor, announces the transferral of Don Raúl Vera, the Coadjutant Bishop of San Cristóbal, to the diocese of Saltillo in northern Mexico.