SIPAZ Activities (July – September 2005)


January 1st

On the eve of January 1, the date that the new municipal authorities take power after the elections in October 2004, demonstrations are held, highways blocked, and confrontations take place in Oxchuc, Tila and Sabanilla.

First two weeks of January

During his visit to Chiapas, in the Selva Lacandona, President Vicente Fox claims that the EZLN “essentially remains in the past while everyone else is looking forward.” The COCOPA expresses “bewilderment“, although not on an official level, due to the lack of a quorum at the emergency session called because of these declarations. On another hand, Pablo Salazar Mendiguchía, Governor of Chiapas says: “I share his point of view that Zapatismo as an armed strategy is a thing of the past. We are speaking about the new expressions of Zapatismo, which are civilian in nature, and are efforts within their own territory to create for themselves new forms of coexistence.”

January 23rd

In the municipality of Palenque, 160 Tzeltal families are displaced from the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve to the community of Nuevo Montes Azules.

February 15th

In Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, both the PRI and the Alianza PRD-PT claim victory following the municipal elections of 2004. The Electoral Tribunal of Judicial Power of the Federation finally declares the PRI victorious. Those who oppose this decision hold a sit-in in front of the municipal palace until they are violently evicted on February 15th. 54 people are arrested, according to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Centre. Six houses are burned, three cars destroyed, and highway blockades are set up intermittently. More than 800 armed municipal police officers and State Investigation Agency officials participate in the conflict.

April 7th

The federal Chamber of Deputies decides to remove the immunity of the head of government of the Federal District of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and remove him from his political post, so that he can be tried for alleged contempt of court.

End of April

In the face of popular pressure expressed in large scale demonstrations it is decided not to continue with legal proceedings against Andrés Manuel López Obrador

May 18th

Enlace Civil, an organization in charge of supporting projects in the autonomous Zapatista municipalities, receives notice from the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya- Bancomer that its nine bank accounts will be closed within 31 days, because of accusations of “illegal money laundering.”

June 19th

The EZLN declares a red alert, leading to:

  • the closure of the autonomous civil structures (Caracoles), whose members are placed under protection and asked to continue their work outside the Caracoles;
  • The regrouping of the bases of support and the withdrawal to base of the Zapatista insurgents who are carrying out social labour in the communities;
  • The departure of the national and international civil society observers present at that time in the autonomous municipalities.

June 20th

The Defence Minister states his ministry (SEDENA) has carried out an operation in which it found and destroyed 44 marijuana plantations within Zapatista territory. It soon emerges that the operation took place outside of the so-called “conflict zone,” in municipalities that have no Zapatista presence. As a result, the Ministry has to retract its allegations about the Zapatistas.

June 20-26th

The EZLN publishes a series of communiqués:

  • June 20th: Announcing the restructuring of the internal political and military organization of the EZLN
  • June 20th: Explaining that the red alert was only a “preventative measure” to protect the internal consultation taking place among the high command of the EZLN (in February 2005, the EZLN was holding a consultation with its communities when a military offensive was launched to detain the Zapatista commanders)
  • June 21st: Announcing to national and international civil society that its next step would not be military action
  • June 26th: Announcing that through the consultation with the community assemblies, the EZLN had decided to launch a “new national and international political initiative” which would be explained in the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona (“La Sexta”).

June 29th– July 1st

In three communiqués, the EZLN presents the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Forest (Selva Lacandona). The Sixth Declaration sums up and evaluates the history and struggle of the Zapatistas during the last eleven years: “a new step in the indigenous struggle is only possible… if the indigenous join together with the workers of the city and the countryside.” This document proposes the creation of a “new front” that will construct a “national plan of action, that is clearly leftist, which is to say, anti capitalist” and to move towards the creation of a new Constitution. On the international level, it proposes the organization of an “intergalactic meeting”, like the one held in La Realidad in 1996.

July 11th

The red alert is lifted. The Zapatistas invite national and international civil society to re-initiate contact with civilian Zapatista structures. They announce the creation of Information Commissions within the offices of the Good Government Councils.

August- September

A series of meeting are organized between civil society and the EZLN in various communities of the Selva Lacandona to prepare for the Zapatista delegations’ tour of the nation. In the plenary session in mid September, 2,069 people arrive at the Caracol of La Garrucha.

September 6th

There is a confrontation between members of the Zapatista support bases and the rest of the population in the community of Belisario Domínguez in the municipality of Salto de Agua.

September 16th

The EZLN announces that Subcomandante Marcos will lead the first phase of the Other Campaign, which will begin on January 1st, 2006 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, and end on June 24th.

October 5th

In the first week of October, Hurricane Stan severely affects Chiapas, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In the southern region of Chiapas it is estimated that more than 18,000 houses and 174 schools were destroyed. The hurricane leaves more than 88 communities isolated, destroys more than twenty bridges and damages many highways.

Mid October

It is reported that members of the Organisation for the Defence of Indigenous and Peasant Rights (OPDDIC) are planning to dismantle the autonomous municipality of Olga Isabel, and detain the local officials.

October 28th – November 2nd

An initiative proposed by the EZLN in the plenary sessions for the Other Campaign, the “Week for the Dead, Disappeared, and Imprisoned” is carried out in various parts of Mexico.

November 2nd

In El Limar, in the municipality of Tila in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, over 200 people from eleven communities meet to commemorate the more than 120 individuals who were murdered or disappeared from the region between 1994 and 2000.

November 20th

In a communiqué released by the EZLN, the dissolution of the FZLN (Zapatista Front for National Liberation) is announced.

November 25th

The EZLN announces the creation of the Intergalactic Commission, which will be led by Lieutenant Colonel Moisés.