UPDATE: Mexico-Chiapas, Reports on the Governments30/09/2004
Human Rights Observation
- During the last month the Puppet group “Diversity“, in which SIPAZ participates, preformed its pieces about the value of diversity and reconciliation in the municipalities of Tila (Northern Zone) and Las Margaritas (Frontier Zone) as well as, in some neighborhoods in the city of San Cristóbal.
- In April, we participated in a Human Rights Observation caravan after violence erupted in Zinacantán (Altos). We also accompanied those displaced families when it was safe to returned to their communities. We participated in meetings to analyze this situation organized by various groups. We had a meeting with Juan Esponda of the State Commission of Reconciliation for the divided communities to discuss Zinacantan and the situation in the in the Northern Zone.
- In May and June, we had meetings with representatives of the Frontier Zone to get to know more about the zone and what is happening there.
- In June, we went for one week to Montes Azules and the Lacandona Jungle to interview people and gather information.
CONTACTS AND INFORMATION
- We received visitors and delegations of students and reporters that came to Chiapas to learn more about the political situation here as well as the work of SIPAZ.
- We interviewed people in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Mexico City from communities, social movements, NGO´s and Government (see also National Work).
- We circulated two urgent actions: one about the violent situation in Zinacantán and the other about the assassination of Noel Pavel (a student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and an activist with connections with the Zapatista communities in Chiapas). (see: www.sipaz.org)
- We are participating in follow-up meetings after the Third Meeting against Neoliberalism held in Huitiupán.
- We are participating in the Chiapas Peace Network, a place for action and reflection, that looks for a way to support the peace process and reconciliation at an organizational and community level in Chiapas. On May the 5th, the Peace Network organized a workshop open to other organizations to redefine our strategies. We also made a booklet and posters in Spanish and English about the key events of the 10 years of conflict in Chiapas.
- We continue to give workshops in Peace, Culture and Human Rights to young people of the Community Development Center in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
- One person from the team is taking a course in “Conflict transformation” sponsored by CORECO and the University of the Earth in Chiapas.
- In June, we attended a workshop about “negotiations” given by the Cambridge Technical Institute of Massachusetts (USA).
- In June, we shared with other NGO´s concerning the workshops on “Conflict Transformation” SIPAZ has been giving since 1998, seeking shared experiences, methods and strategies. This meeting took place in Mexico City.
- We had a meeting about negotiation and reconciliation with the participants of the Peace-Building Exchange Project, religious leaders of Chenalhó and the Peace Commissions from Nicaragua. They decided to write a letter to invite other religious groups in Chenalhó to be part of the project. The letter was sent out in Chenalhó and in San Cristóbal. We also interviewed religious leaders from Chenalhó and San Cristóbal de Las Casas connected to the project.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL WORK
- On the 29-30 of April, we participated in a workshop on “Peace Concepts and Strategies” in Oaxaca.
- We participated in the second Nonviolent Action workshop organized by Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Serpaj and “Pensar en voz alta” (Think Outloud) in Cuernavaca.
- One member of the team participated in meetings about “The peace process in Chiapas and International Cooperation” in Vienna, Austria. Those meetings included participation from organizations that work in or with Chiapas from Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland.
- As part of the human rights observation delegation in Chiapas we also attended the “Network Alternatives” meeting held during the Third Summit of the European Union with Latin America and the Caribbean that took place in Guadalajara (Mexico).
- In June, we participated in the meeting with the core group of the Latin American Network of Peacemakers in Mexico.