ARTICLE: Serious Damage due to Storms in Guerrero – Two Months on, the Mountain Region is far from returning to Normality

SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-August to mid-November 2013)



Northern Zone
  • In September, we carried out a one-week visit to the Northern Zone. We attended an assembly organized by the Xinich organization held in the Tseltal community of Ojo de Agua, and we visited several communities in the lower Tila region, where we met with several actors.
  • On 26 August, we accompanied the transfer from Acteal of 95 persons from the Puebla Colony, Chenalhó municipality, who find themselves displaced due to the death threats and attacks to which they have been subjected.
  • At the end of October, we met with the board of directors of the Las Abejas of Acteal to discuss the situation of those displaced from the Puebla Colony, as well as the prevailing situation in the rest of the Chenalhó municipality.
  • At the close of September, we facilitated an analysis session organized by Services and Advising for Peace (SERAPAZ) held in Ocosingo; the meeting was attended by members of local civil and social organizations.
  • Between mid-August and mid-November, we visited all 5 of the Zapatista Caracoles at least once.
  • On 17 and 18 August, we attended the “Tata Juan Chavez Traveling Lecture Series,” an initiative launched by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • On 21 August, we accompanied a pilgrimage of around 1,500 people, mostly members of the Movement of El Bosque for the Release of Alberto Patishtán and the Tsotsil Team of the Believing People (Pueblo Creyente); the march took place in Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand that the justices of the First Collegiate Tribunal order the immediate release of Alberto Patishtán Gómez. On 12 September, we accompanied another similar pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. However, on that day, the First Collegiate Tribunal based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez declared the indigenous prisoner’s request for the recognition of his innocence to be unfounded.
  • On 12 November, we visited Alejandro Díaz Santis, a prisoner who is a member of those in Solidarity with the Voz del Amate and an adherent of the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, who is being held in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas prison. He is the only member of this grouping who has not been released this year.
  • At the end of August and in October, we attended the assembly of the Diocene Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ) held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • In November, we met with a member of the Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide to discuss the problem more in depth and to learn of actions being taken.


  • In mid-October, we visited Guerrero for a week, shortly after tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel devastated the state. We interviewed members of the Organization of Me’phaa Indigenous People (OPIM), the Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO), the Guerrero Network of Civil Human Rights Organizations, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, the Collective against Torture and Impunity, the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam (CECOP), as well as the Regional Coordination of Community Authorities-Community Police (CRAC-PC).



  • In October, we participated in the pre-Congress for Mother Earth in the Ch’ol region (northern zone) organized by the San Cristóbal diocese in Playas de Catazaja. In January 2014, the diocese will organize a Congress for Mother Earth in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Indigenous Congress (1974), and this will be held in that year in each of the diocene regions.
  • In October, we were present at the Meeting which was organized for the fiftieth anniversary of the sisters of the Divine Pastor in the state of Chiapas, an opportunity for them to renew their presence in this region.


  • In September, we facilitated a workshop on Active Non-Violence in the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM).
  • In September, we facilitated workshops in communities residing in the lower Tila region as part of our project to “Link gender and peace work.”
  • In October, we participated in the ninth “Meeting of Peace and Reconciliation Builders” which was held in San José La Nueva, Huixtán municipality, with the participation of more than 200 people. SIPAZ facilitated a session on the subject of “unity.”
  • At the beginning of November, we facilitated a space on the subject of security with a civil organization that works in Chiapas.
  • In November, we facilitated workshops on Active Non-Violence (NOVA) with members of the Peace School coordinated by SERAPAZ in the community of Pichucalco, Amador Hernández region, in the Lacandon Jungle.


  • We attended the bimonthly meetings of the Peace Network (Red por la Paz), a space of action and reflection comprised of 10 organizations that seek to support peace and reconciliation processes in Chiapas.
  • In August, we participated in a meeting with our counterparts from Mensen met een missie (MM) Netherlands in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • At the end of September, we held a session for training and exchange of experiences among members of GPPAC (the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  •  We held meetings with organizers for the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award to prepare the next recognition, which will be announced in January 2014.


  • We received visits from delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition who were interested in learning and expanding their knowledge about the context in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.