SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-August to mid-November 2013)


1 January: in the framework of the 19th anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), governor Manuel Velasco Coello makes a call for the observance of the San Andrés Accords regarding indigenous rights and culture.  He announces his position regarding two questions having to do with local community conflict: “We will respect the possessions of Zapatista lands that now are being used with social benefit, as regards the respect for all forms of property in land (…) all state development programs in communities with Zapatista presence will be careful in their propositions and implementation.  It is not our aim to divide communities, but rather to benefit them, to develop them and promote unity among all indigenous peoples of Chiapas.”

14 January: Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, secretary of Governance, announces the decision to transform the Commission for Dialogue and Negotiation in Chiapas into the Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous. Jaime Martínez Veloz is designated responsible for this new commission.

25 January: Francisco Sántiz López, a support-base for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), is released from jail after having been incarcerated since 4 December 2011.

January: several parts of a long communique written by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) entitled “Them and Us” are periodically released. In chapter V, the EZLN reports that it will begin a new phase of action towards civil society.

7 February: protests and blockades are carried out in several states of Mexico to protest high-electricity prices. In Chiapas, Nataniel Hernandez, director of the Digna Ochoa Center for Human Rights, is arrested while he was in a meeting with government officers.  He is released this same day without any sort of explanation regarding the grounds for his arrest.

22 February: The Las Abejas Civil Society reports that gunfires have been experienced in full daylight in various communities of the Chenalhó municipality j in recent weeks.

26 February: campesinos and indigenous persons from 11 municipalities of the Sierra and Coast of Chiapas create “Civil Guards for Self-Defense” toward the end of putting a halt to the looting undertaken by mining firms in the state.

Throughout February: the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) continues publishing a series of communiques united under a common title of “Them and Us”.

6 March: the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) decides not to review its competence regarding the case of professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

7 April: the lawyer Horacio Culebro Borrayas, who opened a legal demand before the PGR against former governor Juan Sabines Guerrero (2006-2012) and 50 members of his cabinet, denounces that he has received anonymous phone-calls threatening him with death.

10 April: 15 Tsotsil individuals who had been imprisoned for participating in the massacre of Acteal are liberated. A total of 73 indigenous persons have been released where previously they had been incarcerated for the massacre–not because they are innocent, but because there were violations to due process.  Only six people remain in prison for this crime.

11 April: the front page of the Heraldo de Chiapas runs the headline “Chiapas, at the edge of collapse because of Manuel Velasco’s lack of experience.” Once the newspaper begins its rounds, it is denounced that in Tuxtla Gutiérrez presumed governmental officials censored a large number of the edition.

19 April: on the birthday of Alberto Patishtán Gómez, some 8,000 people participate in a pilgrimage for his release in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

19 April: in Navenchauc in the Zinacantán municipality, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto launches actions for the National Crusade against Hunger.  In January of this year, the Las Margaritas municipality in Chiapas had also been selected for the inauguration site of this campaign.

24 April: Juan Vázquez Gómez, former Secretary General of the adherents to the other Campaign in the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido, is murdered by unidentified persons.

25 April: the Chiapas Peace Network, comprised of 10 civil organizations, publicly reports on its findings regarding the situation in San Marcos Avilés, Chilón municipality, following the carrying out of a Civil Mission of Observation in this community.

5 May: in Venustiano Carranza, confrontations between members of the campesino organizations Casa del Pueblo and the Emiliano Zapata Campesino Organization-Chiapas (OCEZ-Chiapas), result in several injured and two dead.

5 May: The Tila City Hall, located in northern Chiapas, reports that one person died from gunshot wounds, with six others injured, in the Petalcingo ejido following a confrontation.

7 May: The residents of the Navenchauc community (Zinacantán municipality), where President Enrique Peña Nieto led an act of the so-called Crusade Against Hunger in April, destitute the municipal agent Antonio Pérez Gómez by means of popular assembly, with his having been accused of not having reported on the destination of the economic resources received for the transport of persons and works.

10 June: Catholics from Colonia Puebla, San Pedro Chenalhó, denounce the looting of land on which is located their construction materials to build a new church. This act is carried out by neighborhood officials, “in light of the silence or complicity” of the municipal, agrarian, and human-rights authorities.

26 June: Miguel Vázquez Deara, adherent to the a la Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle from the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, is released, having been arrested since September 2011.

29 June: more than a thousand police officers invade the Extraordinary Congress of Section 7 of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.  More than 200 teachers are left injured, some of them seriously, with 29 arrested, all of whom are released later that day.

3 July: the state governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello, announces that Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar would be his new General Secretary of Governance. Ramírez Aguilar will replace Noé Castañón León in this charge, who had served in this role during the majority of the tenure of the previous governor.

4 July: 9 prisoners who adhere to the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration are released from the San Cristóbal prison

11 July: the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (CDHFBC) denounces the harassment of its workers by security personnel on two separate occasions which took place in the first week of July.

18 July: a judge from the Connecticut state court decides to dismiss the case against former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo for his presumed responsibility in the Acteal massacre of 1997.

20 July: in Colonia Puebla, two persons, Mariano Méndez Méndez and Luciano Méndez Hernández, are arrested by part of the population of this community, accused of having poisoned the community water, “a pretext” according to the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center. Both are support-bases for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). A third person, Juan López Méndez, a Baptist, Is also arrested for having expressed his disagreement with these kidnappings.

23 July: the three indigenous of Colonia Puebla who had been arrested on 20 July, are liberated.

6 August: civil organizations published the reportGeneralized violence in Venustiano Carranza indicating that that these acts derived from the “lack of interest on the part of the state government in resolving these demands from both sides.  The government’s actions before, during, and after 5 May have generated polarization and a wave of violence in the municipality.”

12 August: residents of the Monte Sinaí ejido, Chicomuselo municipality, denounce the offers of social projects from workers of the Montecristo mining firm.

8 to 10 August: the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) celebrates 10 years since the founding of their autonomous governments, corresponding to their form of implementing the San Andrés Accords.

12 August: 4 years after the beginning of the release of indigenous people who had been charged and convicted of having participated in the Acteal massacre due to a decision by the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN), the Las Abejas Civil Society affirms that “in light of the lack of justice and truthful investigation by the Mexican government in the Acteal case, the released paramilitaries and above all those who never went to jail in the first place today attack and harass with impunity, because they have seen that to massacre women, men, and children, they will receive prizes from the Mexican government rather than be punished.”

12 to 16 August: more than 2000 students from several Mexican states and other countries attend the Zapatista “little school” (Escuelita) which is held behind closed doors in the five caracoles and CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

14 August: the EZLN reports that “on 12 and 13 August during the night, military planes were flying over the five Zapatista caracoles, where the course ‘Freedom according to the Zapatistas’ is taking place.”

17 and 18 August: more than 200 delegates pertaining to different indigenous peoples and tribes of Mexico meet in San Cristóbal de las Casas to attend the “Trailblazing Lectures Tata Juan Chávez,” an initiative launched by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN).

20 August: there is a failed attempt to return to Colonia Puebla of Chenalhó on the part of some of the members of the same ejido after they had spent 30 days displaced in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. This return could not be carried out because the displaced were attacked with stones and insults, together with the civil caravan that had been accompanying them.

21 August: around 1500 persons, most of them pertaining to the Believing People (Pueblo Creyente) as well as national and international organizations, engage in a pilgrimage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand to the First Collegiate Tribunal of the Twentieth Circuit to immediately release Alberto Patishtán Gómez.

21 August: in Colonia Puebla, Manuel Pérez Gómez, parishioner of San Pedro Chenalhó is arrested by a group of persons, beaten, and taken to a school where he is bound and tied for 5 hours and threatened with being burned with gasoline.

23 August: nearly all the Catholic families–and some of other religions–leave from Colonia Puebla for San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

26 August: a total of 95 displaced persons, 12 Catholic families, and 2 Baptist families move from Yabteclum to Acteal, near Chenalhó.

11 September: in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, approximately 1,500 teachers from Sections 7 and 40 march, against educational reform. 15 days after having begun their mobilizations, social and campesino organizations join the protest against the whole package of structural reforms.

12 September: the Primary Collegiate Tribunal based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez declares Alberto Patishtán Gómez’s motion for the recognition of his innocence to be unfounded,

23 September: around 20 civil and women’s groups in San Cristóbal de las Casas present the Campaign against violence towards women and femicide in Chiapas.”

12 October: more than a 10 thousand persons hold protest activities in different cities of Chiapas to oppose to oppose the structural reforms promoted by the federal government.

28 October: the La Realidad Good-Government Council denounced aggressions targeting Zapatista support-bases in the Che Guevara territory.

31 October: after 13 years of unjust imprisonment, Alberto Patishtán is released, after having received an official pardon from President Enrique Peña Nieto.

3 November: in a communique published entitled Bad and not so bad news,” the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) takes count–both figuratively and literally–of the first generation of the “Escuelita” (Little School) and announces the new sessions planned for December and January.

8 November: The Good-Government Council (JBG) of the La Garrucha Caracol releases two denunciations regarding acts of harassment targeting Zapatista support-bases.

13 November: The Good-Government Council (JBG) of the Morelia caracol, publishes a denunciation explaining the problems that have been worsening for a month with the CIOAC organization (Independent Center of Agricultural Workers and Campesinos).

17 November: Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) publishes a new communique for the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the EZLN, entitled “Rebobine 3“.

25 November: in observance of the International Day of Non-Violence toward Women, non-governmental organizations in Chiapas demand that the state government declare a Gender Violence Alert.

27 November: maize producers are intercepted by hundreds of state police when they attempted to move the protest they had been sustaining for a week in Venustiano Carranza to the capital of Chiapas. The campesinos confront the police, resulting in the burning of several patrol-vehicles, 10 injured police, and 2 arrested campesinos.

6 and 7 December: a pre-audience for the Mexico chapter of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (TPP), part of the “Focus on Dirty War – violence, impunity, and lack of access to justice.” is held in the community of Susuclumil, Tila, Chiapas,

10 December: 56 communities, ejidos, and organizations from the Tapachula, Motozintla, Huehuetán, Cacahoatán, Mazapa, Comalapa, Chicomuselo, and Tuzantán municipalities march in Tapachula to declare their lands free of mining and dam megaprojects.

19 December: Manuel Velasco Coello, governor of Chiapas, presents his first government report before the state congress.  He recognizes that the debts owed by the Chiapas state governments to indigenous communities has yet to be resolved.  “I here repeat that my administration will retain its commitment to respecting Zapatismo and to resolving conflicts peacefully.”

21 and 24 December: Miguel Demeza Jiménez and Antonio Estrada Estrada, adherents to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandona Jungle and residents of the Tseltal ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, Chilón municipality are released

22 December: an event is organized to commemorate 16 years of the Acteal Massacre.

22 December: a new communique from Subcomandante Marcos, spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), entitled Rebobine 2: On Death and other excusesappears. It criticizes the recently approved structural changes in Mexico, particularly with regards to energy and education. In a PS, he criticizes the wastefulness of promotional media campaigns spent by the present Chiapas state governor (more than $10 millions). Marcos sees it as an attempt to hide “misery, the paramilitaries, and the crime rates in the main Chiapas cities” from tourists

26 December: The Human Rights Center Fray Bartolome de Las Casas denounces “the continued harassment, assaults, threats of death and forced displacement against support bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (BAEZLN) community in San Marcos Avilés, municipality of Chilón.

28 December: mere days before the anniversary of the insurrection undertaken by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos releases a new communique entitled Rebobine 1: when the dead cry aloud (Rebobinar 1).”