Scene from Mexico City in times of epidemia © Noé Pineda Arredondo
ANALYSIS: Mexico – Of the influenza and other problems

SIPAZ Activities (From December 2008 to March 2009)



  • In December, we visited Acteal and Nuevo Paraiso, two communities in the municipality of Chenalhó. At the end of February, we interviewed the autonomous Committee of Polhó, in the same municipality, to discuss the situation of the displaced persons and the movement of paramilitary groups which was denounced months earlier.
  • In February, we visited the Zapatista Community Ecological Reserve of Huitepec, located close to San Cristóbal de las Casas in the same region as the Protected Natural Area Huitepec- Los Alcanfores. This Natural Area was created by the state government. According to the community’s denunciation, it was done without consulting the population while additionally threatening them with displacement.
  • In March, we interviewed members of the autonomous Committee of Magdalena de la Paz (in the official municipality of Aldama) in order to discuss the agrarian problems they have in the municipality and the recent movement of the military.
Central Region
  • In January, we visited the community of Cruztón and the municipal capital of Venustiano Carranza in order to interview groups which have suffered aggression.
  • We attended a number of the activities which took place in Chiapas from December 30, 2008 to January 5, 2009 as part of the First Global Festival of the Justified Rage. The festival began in the caracol (Zapatista municipal center) of Oventik where the 15th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising was celebrated. In the next few days, in CIDECI- University of the Earth in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a series of activities and discussions took place around the theme of “Another World, Another Politics”.
  • Between January and February, we visited all of the Zapatista Caracoles.
  • On March 7 and 8, we attended the Meeting of Zapatista Women as part of the International Women’s Day, dedicated to the Doña Concepción García de Coral, “Mama Corral”
  • We attended the arrival of the caravan-march “for the Lives and Security of Women”, coordinated by the Mexican part of the International Women’s March, on December 1 in San Cristóbal de las Casas.


  • In the middle of February, we attended a number of activities which took place as part of the First Cultural Week of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) in the city of Oaxaca. We also attended the Second Ordinary State Congress of the APPO. In addition, we interviewed various counterparts who work in the state.


  • In January, we visited Chilpancingo and Ayutla de los Libres where we met with various counterparts; we also interviewed various members of the Human Rights Center of the Montaña Tlachinollan (CDHM Tlachinollan) and the Indigenous Me’phaa People’s Organization (OPIM).


  • At the beginning of December, we met with the Embassy of the Czech Republic (which holds the Presidency of the European Union for the first semester of 2009), as well as the Swedish Embassy (which will hold the Presidency in the second semester) in Mexico City. We discussed our concerns with respect to the socio-political situation and human rights in Chiapas.
  • At the beginning of January we interviewed various members of USAID, the Political Section, and the Narco-Affairs Section of the US Embassy in order to discuss the Merida Initiative. Previously, we met with various actors of the civil society who are monitoring the issue (Mexican Network of Action against Free Trade- RMALC, Centro ProDH, Americas Policy Program).
  • In March we interviewed members of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR) who are searching for information in order to write a report about the situation of human rights defenders in Mexico.
  • In March, we participated in a workshop about the Strategic Partnership between the European Union and Mexico, coordinated by the Delegation of the European Commission in Mexico.


  • In February, we were present at the liberation of the prisoners Antonio and Héctor Cerezo Contreras who had been accused of belonging to the People’s Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARP) and then jailed for organized crime. According to various human rights organizations, their detentions had presented various irregularities.
  • On February 17, we attended the Press Conference which marked the beginning of the National and International Campaign for “Freedom and Justice for Atenco” which is attempting to mobilize the civil society in order to demand the freedom of 13 prisoners who were jailed after the repression in May 2006 in Atenco.



  • On February 26, along with SERPAJ-Mexico, we organized a space for reflection for organizations along with Ramesh Sharma, a representative of the Ekta Parishad movement from India.


  • We participated in the monthly meeting of the Network for Peace (Red por la Paz), a space for action and reflection made up of 16 organization who support peace processes and reconciliation in Chiapas.
  • We held meetings with members of the coalition of SIPAZ and close counterparts such as SweFOR (Swedish Movement for Reconciliation), Permanent Action for Peace, and Peace Brigades International (PBI).
  • On March 21 and 22, we attended the Second Bi-national Meeting Chiapas- Guatemala in Defense of Territory, which took place in San Antonio Huista, Guatemala.


  • We received visits, delegations, students, and journalists looking to learn about the situation in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ. From December 27 to January 3, we co-coordinated a delegation from Global Exchange (US) in Chiapas.
  • In January, a member of SIPAZ met with the organizations CMC and IFOR (International Fellowship of Reconciliation) in Holland.