SIPAZ Activities (From December 2008 to March 2009)30/04/2009
ANALYSIS: A Serious deterioration of the human rights situation in Chiapas and Mexico30/11/2009
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- In May, we visited various communities and cities in the northern zone of Chiapas in order to interview a number of actors in the region: members of different political groups, government functionaries, church members, civil authorities, and Zapatista support bases.
- In May, we interviewed members of the Autonomous Committee of Magdalena de la Paz (official municipality of Aldama) in order to discuss the agrarian problems happening in the municipality. This month, we also met with the Autonomous Committee of Polhó (official municipality of Chenalhó) in order to discuss the situation in the municipality.
- On May 25 and 26, we attended a meeting of indigenous and social organizations of the Jungle and of the region of Bachajón, which tool place in Patate de Chilón. The meeting was held in order to deal with shared problems in the area, which have to do with the defense of land and territory.
- In May and June, we visited various communities in the Autonomous Municipality of Comandanta Ramona where the presence of eco-tourism projects has generated conflicts.
- At the end of May, as observers we accompanied a protest march held by members of the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón as part of a national and international campaign of protests, meetings, and cultural events demanding the release of the seven incarcerated indigenous tseltales of Bachajón, 5 of whom were freed in July.
- On May 4 and 5, we were present at the 2nd anniversary of the re-occupation of the land of the members of the community of Cruztón.
- Between April and June, we visited 4 of the 5 Zapatista Caracoles.
- On June 20 and 21 of 2009, we attended the First Continental Meeting Against Impunity which took place in the Zapatista Caracol of Morelia. More than 300 people arrived from different Mexican states as well as various countries in Latin America and the world.
- On April 17 and 18, we attended the “Forum Building Resistance in Defense of Our Territory” in the municipality of San Pedro Apóstol, Ocotlán, at which more than 400 people gathered. Indigenous communities from Oaxaca and other states, as well as statewide, national, and international organizations met to discuss the large projects of “development, inversions, and public politics which threaten their land and natural resources”. On April 17 in the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, we were also present at a press conference at which more than 20 organizations protested the killing of women and the pressed for an end to feminicide in Oaxaca. In earlier days, we interviewed a number of different counterparts in the city of Oaxaca.
- At the end of April, we attended the “International Forum on Criminalization of Human Rights Defenders and Social Protest” in the city of Chilpancingo, organized by various human rights organizations of Guerrero and the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF, of the US). The objective was to analyze the serious situation which challenges human rights defenders in Mexico, and Guerrero in particular, as well as discuss possible solutions.
- On June 26 and 27, we participated in the Forum “Defenders: between pain and hope” which took place as part of the fifteenth anniversary of the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan, where 250 people gathered from organizations and communities of Guerrero, Mexico, and the world.
PUBLIC RELATIONS- LOBBYING
- In April, we interviewed a member of the US Embassy in Mexico City to discuss the issue of indigenous rights in Mexico.
- In June, we met with the head of Political Affairs and Human Rights of the German Embassy in Mexico City. We discussed our concerns regarding the socio-political situation and human rights issues in Chiapas.
- On May 16 and 17, we attended a meeting of various organizations from 7 Mexican states which led to formation of the National Network of Civil Resistance to High Electricity Prices.
- On June 5, we attended the forum Graffiti, Youth, and Re-defining Public Spaces which took place in San Cristóbal de las Casas in order to deal with, in addition the issue of graffiti, the exercise of youth rights and forms of co-existence in San Cristóbal; an urban space which seems to be more interested in satisfying the demands of the tourism industry.
- In April and July, we visited Alberto Patishtán who is incarcerated in the prison of San Cristóbal (see the article in this report)
- On April 9 and 10, we visited communities affected by the mining projects in the municipality of Chicomuselo.
- On May 14 and 15, we participated in a workshop in San Cristóbal on gender and peace with counterparts of the project of Peace and Reconciliation organized by CMC-Holland.
- In May, a member of SIPAZ attended a module of the School for Peace organized by Services and Consulting for Peace (SERAPAZ) in Mexico City.
- At the beginning of June, we participated in an ecumenical space for prayer and reflection organized by the Ecumenical Group of Analysis of the Context and Reality (GEACR) of which we are a part.
- In June, we facilitated two workshops on human rights and peace for people organized from neighborhoods in San Cristóbal.
- On May 18, the Commission of Support for Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO), the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, SERAPAZ, and SIPAZ organized a Wide Space of Reflection and Analysis on the issue of “Threats to indigenous and campesino land and territory in Southeast Mexico“ which took place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, with the participation of almost 200 people.
- We participated in monthly meeting of the Network for Peace, a space of action and reflection made up of 16 organizations which are attempting to promote peace and reconciliation projects in Chiapas.
- July 1 through 3, we attended the XVIII Assembly of the Pueblo Creyente (see the Focus).
- We received visits from delegations, students, and journalists, interested in getting to know the reality of Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.
- In the middle of July, we presented an address on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as part of the first Campaign for the Economic, Social, Cultural, Environmental, and Indigenous Rights, which took place in San Cristóbal.
- On May 19, we attended the forum “Military Co-operation, the Democratic Process, and Human Rights” held by the Human Rights Center Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro ProDH).