SIPAZ Activities (January – March 2005)
31/03/2005
President Vicente Fox © Mexico Presidency
ANALYSIS: Mexico, Between Electoral Pre-campaigns and the “Other Campaign” of the Zapatistas
31/10/2005

SIPAZ Activities (April – June 2005)

INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT

  • During these months, we met at least once with each of the Good Government Councils of the 5 Zapatista Caracoles, in order to return to them the results of our previous interviews with them about autonomy.
  • In May, we spent 10 days in various communities and cities in the Northern region of Chiapas in order to talk with various actors about the current political context and propose a new project for systematizing our work in the region (which we’ve visited every three months since 1998).
  • We continued to participate in meetings and hold interviews with various religious actors in Chiapas.
  • At the end of May, we travelled through the state of Guerrero, as part of our objective to begin accompanying other processes in Mexico. We met with the team of Peace Brigades International. We attended the 11th anniversary celebration of the the Tlachinollan Center for Human Rights and their forum “Our word made path.” We were also present at the commemoration of the anniversary of the massacre of “El Charco.” We met with Felipe Arreaga, campesino ecologist who has been unjustly incarcerated as well as with the Organization of Women Ecologists of the Sierra of Petatlan.
  • We participated in an observation brigade in the Canyons of the Lacandon Jungle following the announcement of the Zapatista “red alert,” in coordination with the Center of Political Analysis and Social and Economic Research (CAPISE).

INFORMATION

  • We received visitors, delegations, students and journalists, principally from the United States and Europe. We provided information to help them understand the current political and social context of Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ. Of these visitors, we can specify the following: from the United States, members of the United Church of Christ; students from Colorado College, De Paul University and from the bi-national “Global Education” program; a delegation from Witness for Peace (part of our coalition); and from Europe, the representative from the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development (CCFD).
  • On May 16th, we gave a lecture at the conference about “Peace and Militarization,” which was a part of the International Festival of Cultures in Resistance Ollin Kan 2005, organized by the Tlalpan Delegation in Mexico City.
  • On May 19th, we gave a talk in the forum “War, the Current Phase of Imperialism” in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), an event organized by the organization, Youth in Resistance.
  • In May and June, we met with a member of the Swiss Embassy in Mexico and the Secretary of External Relations of Switzerland.
  • Also during these months, a team member has continued to travel through Germany, visiting many of its cities.
  • We continue to participate in the study series “The works of Immanuel Wallerstein: a grammar for understanding the current world from a critical perspective,” coordinated by the Immanuel Wallerstein Center for Study, Information and Documentation. On June 23rd and 24th, Professor Wallerstein was in Chiapas. We attended the conference which he gave regarding “The World We’re In: 2005-2050.”

NETWORKING AND COLLABORATION

  • From March 28 to April 2, we participated in the forum “Justice, Truth and Peace,” called together by the Central American University Institute of Human Rights (IDHUCA), an event celebrated in the context of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Monsignor Romero in San Salvador, El Salvador. At the same time, the Latin American Peace Builders Network, of which we are a part, held a meeting. The Network launched the “Romero Call”.
  • We continue to participate in the Network for Peace, a space for action and reflection comprised of 15 organizations who seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas. In May, we also attended a meeting of the Mexican Peace Builders Network in Mexico City.
  • In May, several international organizations from the Coordination of International Accompaniment in Guatemala invited us there to share experiences of different methods of international accompaniment based on our diverse concrete experiences.
  • At the beginning of June, we participated in a open space of analysis regarding the context and the pending peace agenda called together by the Services and Consultation for Peace (Serapaz) and the Swiss Platform for Peace in Chiapas (PROPAZ), attended by more than 50 people.

PEACE EDUCATION

  • On April 7 and 8, we attended a workshop regarding the Transformation of Conflicts, organized by the Friedrich Eber Foundation (from Germany) and facilitated by Johan Galtung, Norwegian professor considered worldwide to be the founder of Peace Studies. We then met with him personally in order to share with him about SIPAZ and learn about his vision of the Chiapanecan conflict.
  • In May, we started a series of workshops “Introduction to the Transformation of Conflicts” with the organization GRAMIN/ALSOL (who provides micro-credits to indigenous women).
  • From June 20 to 24, we participated in a Restorative Justice course in Guatemala, organized by REDPAZ, the Network of Central America and the Caribbean, who has been working on developing the topic of conflict transformation for some years.