SIPAZ Activities (September – November 2002)


27th of January

Twenty social, political, and religious organizations of El Limar in the municipality of Tila sign a reconciliation agreement, with the exception of the presumed paramilitary group Peace and Justice.

2nd of February

More than 60,000 people from some 150 countries participate in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. They show solidarity with the Zapatistas making “a call to the Mexican government and Congress to comply with the three conditions that will make possible the re-initiation of dialogue and to suspend all types of intimidating and harassing actions towards the Zapatista communities.”

15th of February

One of the principal leaders of Peace and Justice, Diego Vázquez Pérez, is detained in Chiapas for crimes committed in 1997. He is accused of bodily harm and illegal privation of liberty. Police vigilance over his sympathizers is increased.

18th of February

168 deputies bring the COCOPA initiative back to floor of the Federal Congress “in order to repair the error of having last year approved a reform that did not respond to the demands of the indigenous peoples.”

6th of March

The Executive Office presents the Official Plan for the Development of Indigenous Peoples.

  • Objective 1:“contribute to the construction of a new relationship between the State, indigenous peoples, and the whole of society.”
  • Objective 2: improve the quality of life of indigenous peoples.
  • Objective 3: guarantee effective access for indigenous peoples to the state justice system. It calls for the reforms approved by Congress.

19th of March

The ILO allows the denunciation of unions against the indigenous reform for not observing Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.


According to the Sub-Secretary of Agrarian Development of Chiapas, Arturo Luna, there are 342 critical areas in which disputes have been registered between Zapatistas and members of social organizations.

3rd of April

The Network of Community Defenders of Human Rights asks that the Inter-American Court on Human Rights take measures in favour of the indigenous communities located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve.

22nd of April

Mexico signs with the UN Office of the High Commission of Human Rights the second phase of the technical cooperation program, that will include the opening of an office of this organisation in Mexico and a diagnosis of the human rights situation in the country.

26th of June

Second Week for Biodiversity and against the imposition of the Plan Puebla Panama in Guatemala. 40 organizations agree to stop the actions of bio-prospecting and bio-piracy in indigenous territories, as well as the introduction of transgenic corn.

5-7th of July

National Encounter for Peace with Justice and Dignity in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, with more than one thousand participants.

31st of July

The autonomous municipality Ricardo Flores Magón denounces the attack by a group of forty armed paramilitaries from the PRI community San Antonio Escobar against Zapatista support bases in the La Culebra Ejido.

7th of August

José López Santiz, a Tzeltal campesino and EZLN supporter, is murdered on the outskirts of the community 6 de Agosto, part of the autonomous municipality 17 de Noviembre.

16th of August

18,000 indigenous protest against the Plan Puebla Panama. In a pilgrimage through the streets of San Cristóbal they also ask that the Vatican permit the local ordination of deacons.

23rd of August

The Representative of the Secretary General of the UN for Internally Displaced Persons, Francis Deng, on a visit to Chiapas, affirms that the Mexican government should reinforce its actions to achieve peace in the state.

25th of August

At the Amaytic Ranch, armed PRI supporters kill two Zapatista officials of the autonomous municipality Ricardo Flores Magón (Ocosingo). Another Zapatista is assassinated in the autonomous municipality of Olga Isabel (Chilón).

2nd of September

Declarations from the Attorney General of Chiapas, Mariano Herrán Salvati on the death of four Zapatistas in August: the conflict related to “traditions and customs or bands of delinquents… There were no undertones of an ideological conflict [in these killings].”

6th of September

In a session of the Supreme Court, the constitutional controversies presented against the indigenous reforms are declared inadmissible. It recognizes that it does not have the power to review constitutional reforms.

12th of September

In Chilpancingo, Guerrero, the National Encounter of Indigenous Peoples begins. It condemns the “judicial offensive” of the Supreme Court.

6th of October

Interview with Rodolfo Stavenhagen, reporter to the UN for the rights of indigenous peoples: ” The Court’s judgement was correct in a strict judicial sense but was not justice.” With respect to the claims of the Fox government that there is peace in Chiapas: “The technocrats and secretaries of state that manage the finances see it as such, but for the people who live in fear, facing repression, discrimination and violence on a daily basis, it is different.”

9th of October

Beginning of the 1st Chiapas Meeting on Neoliberalism in San Cristóbal.

11th of October

The reflective workshop of the National Indigenous Congress agrees to continue with the “policy of silence” and return to its communities “not defeated, but rather to reinforce the defence of our territories and identity” and to work towards autonomy in opposition to the “cascade” of reforms behind the constitutional reform that prevents autonomy.

16th of October

27 members of Peace and Justice are sentenced to serve terms in the Cerro Hueco prison, accused of robbery, illegal privation of liberty, carrying of arms restricted solely for use by the Mexican army, bodily harm and injury, and criminal association.

15th of November

275 Italian parliamentarians from all of the political parties make public a letter directed to Mexican legislators in which they demand the approval of the COCOPA law proposal. They state that the approved law “has been a source of disillusionment for indigenous peoples,” as well as a motive for reviving violence.

17th of November

On the 19th anniversary of the EZLN, the Zapatista magazine, “Rebeldía,” is launched in Casa Lamm.

19th of November

Inauguration of a Zapatista Aguascalientes in Madrid. The objective is to fortify the connections between international civil society and the Mexican indigenous movement.

24th of November

In Cuba, the Second Hemispheric Encounter for Struggle Against the Free Trade Area of the Americas begins.

26th of November

The International Forum for Building Peace and Social Development in Chiapas, organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Government of Chiapas. It looks to enrich knowledge of and visions of how to achieve reconciliation in Chiapas.

3rd of December

Commander Emiliano, of the ERPI, announces the formation of a national coordination between guerilla groups throughout the country. The EZLN will not be included.

17th of December

Twelve NGOs demand that the federal government puts an end to the violent evictions of many communities located with the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve because “it runs the risk of reactivating the armed conflict” in Chiapas.


A Zapatista communiqué “An opportunity for words” referring to the Basque problem, unleashes a controversy.