The twentieth anniversary of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) in Mexico marked a great moment to reflect on and compile lessons learned after two decades of accompaniment to organized groups and peoples in the struggle for land and territory, justice, truth, and peace. Conscious of the fact that the most visible roles in organizational processes tend to be occupied by men, we believe it pertinent to elaborate material specifically about the situation of women and their participation in social struggles, avoiding the risk that the part they have played becomes watered down or relegated to second place as it has often happened. "Fighting With the Heart of a Woman " - The situation and participation of women in Chiapas (1995-2015)", arose from this, a diagnostic of the main changes of the last twenty years.
At the end of November of 2015, the team and Board of Directors of the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), together with more than 30 participants from different parts of Mexico and overseas, celebrated our 20th anniversary of presence in the south of Mexico. Although the permanence of SIPAZ for 20 years, despite the challenges that had to be faced can be seen as an achievement, it is still alarming that an international presence for peace is still necessary after this length of time. Even though, from this perspective there isn't much to celebrate, with two decades of existence of SIPAZ, we thought that we have great capital to share about what we have learned along the path. As Ana Maria Garcia of Services for an Alternative Education (Servicios para una Educación Alternativa - EDUCA), Oaxaca, who gave a presentation at the event, "we are not celebrating that [fact that] the reality is the same but that we continue struggling with hope and dignity."
In March of 2015, the report of the United Nations Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the High Commission noted the generalized character of torture and impunity had been seriously questioned by Mexican diplomacy. The second semester of 2015 was equally marked by reports and declarations which were critical of the different high level instances regarding the human rights situation in the country.