SIPAZ Activities (Mid-April to end of July 2008)29/08/2008
ANALYSIS : Mexico, A Bleak Picture30/12/2008
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- In early September, SIPAZ met with the Ambassador and the Secretary of the Political Section of the Swedish Embassy, as well as the Secretary of the Political Section of the Finish Embassy, in Mexico City.
- On October 10, we attended the inauguration ceremony of the newly established United Nations office in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
- At the beginning of August and in mid October, we visited various communities and cities in the northern zone of Chiapas in order to interview various actors in the region, including members of various political groups, government officials, church members, civil authorities, and Zapatista support bases.
- We visited Acteal and other communities in the municipality of Chenalhó in October. On November 13, we attended the Latin American Meeting for Truth and Justice which took place in the community of Acteal.
- In October, together with a delegation from El Paso, Texas, we met with catequists as well as members of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres, CODIMUJ) in the community of Zinacantán.
- In early August, we interviewed various counterparts and social organizations in Ocosingo. We also attended a meeting organized in October to inform the German Coordination for Human Rights about the situation in the region.
- In mid August, we visited the ejido of San Sebastián Bachajón, in the municipality of Chilón, where there is a continuing conflict between members of the Organization for the Defense of Indigenous and Campesino Rights (OPDDIC) and ejido members who belong to the Other Campaign over control of the kiosk at the entrance to the waterfalls at Agua Azul.
- In August, we interviewed members of the OCEZ- Carranza Region who have denounced military incursions and hostility in their communities.
- During this period, we visited 4 of the 5 Zapatista Caracoles at least once.
- In September, we visited the La Parota region (where the construction of a hydro-electric dam is planned), Ayutla de Los Libres (the office of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Montaña, the Indigenous Me’phaa People’s Organization –OPIM and the municipal jail in which 5 members of the organization are being detained) and the municipality of Xochistlahuaca (where a community radio is operating in the indigenous language amuzgo).
- On September 24, we participated in a “Workshop about the Merida Initiative and Public Security” in which various human rights organizations from Mexico and the US participated.
- On September 26 and 27, we attended the Meeting of Human Rights Defenders of Migrants which was organized by the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center.
- In August, we participated in an ecumenical space of prayer and reflection organized by the Ecumenical Group for Analysis of the Situation and of the Reality (GEACR), of which we form a part.
- In November, the SIPAZ team participated an introductory workshop on the theme of “Building Peace and Gender Perspective”.
- We participated in the monthly meetings of the Chiapas Peace Network (Red por la Paz), which is a space for reflection and action made up of 16 organizations seeking to support peace processes and reconciliation in Chiapas.
- We held meetings with members of the SIPAZ coalition and various close counterparts such as SweFOR (The Swedish Movement for Reconciliation), Witness for Peace, Peace Brigades International (PBI), and Pax Christi- Germany.
- Between October 3 and 6, we attended the II Hemispheric Meeting against Militarization which took place in La Esperanza, Honduras.
- On October 7 through 12, we attended the III Social Forum of the Americas which took place in Guatemala City. The Chiapas Peace Network, of which SIPAZ is a part, participated in a workshop titled “Social Conflict, Land, and Territory”.
- We attended activities which were part of the IX International Congress of the Psychology of Liberation which took place in San Cristobal de las Casas in November.
- On November 24 and 25, we participated in a meeting with CMC- Holland and their counterparts who make up the Program for Peace and Reconciliation in Chiapas and in Mexico.
- We received visits, delegations, students, and journalists in order to inform them about the situation in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.
- During the entire month of September, a member of the team conducted a tour of Sweden and England in order to inform people about the situation in Mexico and the work of SIPAZ. Between September 17 and 24, we attended the European Social Forum. SIPAZ participated in a workshop titled “Chiapas: 14 years after the Zapatista uprising” and a discussion about social movements in the south of Mexico.