SIPAZ Activities (August – October 2000)


30th of January

In Europe, President Zedillo affirms that the Zapatistas do not have “one gram of good faith,” although he adds that whether or not the Zapatistas decide to re-start negotiations “it is a very minor part of the solution” of the conflict in Chiapas, where the most important issue to resolve is the problem of development and poverty in the state.

4th of February

The Reporting President of the Working Group on Indigenous People of the UN, Erika Irene Daes, upon concluding her visit to Mexico, asks the Mexican government to respect the San Andres Accords.

1st of May

The new bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas: Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, successor to Monsignor Samuel Ruiz, takes office.

1st of July

The free trade agreement with the European Union takes effect.

2nd of July

Vicente Fox, the National Action Party (PAN) and Mexican Green Ecologist Party (PVEM) candidate, wins the presidential elections with 43.3% of the votes.

20th of August

Pablo Salazar, of Alliance for Chiapas, wins the governorship of Chiapas with 535,860 votes (51.5%).

17th of October

More than 96 families of displaced people, members of the Las Abejas community, relocate near the community of Naranjatik Bajo in the municipality of Chenalhó. They are displaced persons from the community of Yibeljoj, who since November of 1997, have lived in the Xoyep encampment.

18th of October

President Zedillo expropriates 3.5 hectares of the Amador Hernández Ejido, a Zapatista community in the municipality of Ocosingo, to build new military installations.

28th of October

The federal Attorney General’s Office detains 11 members of the alleged paramilitary groups Peace and Justice and Campesino and Indigenous Farming, Livestock, and Forestry Union (UCIAF, a splinter group from Peace and Justice) in the Northern Zone, accusing them of terrorism, possession of arms exclusively used by the Army, criminal association, injury, harm, and plundering.

13th of November

The community of Miguel Utrilla, municipality of Chenalhó, violently prevents the Attorney General of the Republic from carrying out an operation composed of 150 federal judicial police and 20 agents of the Public Security Ministry aiming to find paramilitary groups’ firearms.

28th of November

President elect Vicente Fox announces his cabinet. Luis H. Alvarez is named Commissioner for Peace in Chiapas. The EZLN will later define him as a “valid interlocutor.”

1st of December

President Elect Vicente Fox is sworn into office. He affirms that he will combat corruption and impunity, and commits himself to resolving the conflict in Chiapas. Fox orders the withdrawal of 53 military bases in the conflict zone and an end to army patrols and fly-overs.

2nd of December

The EZLN asks for three conditions from the President’s Office to re-start peace talks: fulfilment of the San Andres Accords through approval of the COCOPA law, freeing of all Zapatista political prisoners, the closing of seven military encampments “of the 259 presently maintained in the conflict zone.” It announces the Zapatista Caravan to Mexico City to demand of Congress compliance with the San Andres Accords.

5th of December

President Fox sends the draft COCOPA law to the federal Congress.

20th of December

The recently elected governor, Pablo Salazar, disbands the State Commission for Re-municipalization, created by ex-Governor Albores Guillen, which founded seven new municipalities primarily in Zapatista zones.

22nd of December

The army withdraws from the Amador Hernandez (Selva) military base. The federal government returns the land expropriated by ex-president Zedillo in October 2000 to the community.

23rd of December

President Fox annuls the restrictive regulations on human rights observers in Mexico.

31st of December

The Mexican army withdraws from the second military encampment of Jolnachoj, in the San Andres Larrainzar municipality.