SIPAZ Activities (From November 2009 to mid-February 2010)
26/02/2010
© El piñero de la cuenca (elpinerodelacuenca.com.mx)
ANALYSIS: Current Events – Of changes and continuities
30/07/2010

SIPAZ Activities (From mid-February to mid-May, 2010)

INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT

CHIAPAS

Northern Zone
  • In May, we visited several communities and towns of Chiapas’ Northern Zone to interview various actors in the region: leaders of different political groups, governmental officials, church-members, civil authorities, and Zapatista support-bases.
Highlands
  • On 22 February and 22 April, we attended the celebrations that took place in commemoration of the 22 December 1997 massacre in Acteal.
  • On 8 March, we accompanied the march/pilgrimage of the Abejas in mark of International Women’s Day.
  • At the beginning of May, we met with representatives from the Directive Table of the Abejas in Acteal to discuss more profoundly their processes and the context that prevails in Chenalhó.
Border Jungle
  • On 26 February, we accompanied Margarita Martínez and Adolfo Gúzman Ordaz, member of Enlace Capacitación and Communication, both victims of harrassment, during the review of the events that took place during the harassment in their home in Comitán de Domínguez on 8 November 2009.
  • On 5-6 March, we attended theMontes Azules Social Forum,” in the ejido of Candelaria, municipality of Ocosingo, in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. The forum was attended by about 200 people, including indigenous individuals from communities threatened with expulsion as well as members of social-civil organizations from other parts of the country.
Caracoles
  • Between March and April, we visited all the Zapatista caracoles at least once.
Prisoners
  • In April, we visited Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voice of Amate and adherent to the Other Campaign, who is being held in a hospital in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Observation mission
  • From 16 to 18 March, we participated in a civil mission of observation organized by the Peace Network with the intent of producing a diagnostic analysis of the situation in the Border Jungle zone.

OAXACA

GUERRERO

  • In April, we traveled to Guerrero for a week. We visited Tlapa de Comonfort (the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights and MOCIPOL, Civil Monitor of the Police and of the Public-Security Forces); Chilpancingo (where we interviewed the president of the State Commission for the Defense of Human Rights, the Guerrero Network of Human-Rights Organizations, the Workshop for Community Development [TADECO], and the Peace Brigades International [PBI] team); San Luis Acatlán (Community Police) and Xochistlahuaca (Ñomdaa Radio). Although we did not visit the La Parota zone this time, we were present at a long meeting that was held in Mexico City before a civil mission of observation. In Mexico City, we also met with counterparts who have indirect work in Guerrero.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

  • In March, we met with representatives from the embassy of Holland where we emphasized the question, among others, of dialogue-mechanisms regarding human rights between the European Union and the Mexican government.
  • In May, we visited members of several United Nations organizations to discuss a project intended to address the situation of the internally displaced in Chiapas.

OTHERS

  • On 8 March, to mark International Women’s Day, SIPAZ as observers attended a protest comprised of some 500 women and men, adherents to the Other Campaign, that occurred in the cathedral plaza of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
  • In March, a SIPAZ associate accompanied a delegation of Canadian NGOs that were investigating the destruction caused by the barite mine operated by the Canadian company Blackfire Exploration Ltd in the Chiapas Sierra.

PEACE PROMOTION

WORK WITH RELIGIOUS ACTORS

  • In March, we participated in an ecumenical space for reflection organized by the Ecumenical Group of Analysis of Reality (GEACR), of which we are a part.
  • From 17 to 25 April, SIPAZ together with the Mayan Intercultural Seminar (SIM), the Institute for Intercultural Studies (INESIN), the Baptist Seminar of Mexico, and the Theological Community of Mexico a space entitled “Ministers of peace in violent contexts.” On 22 March, a number of the participants attended the commemoration of the Acteal massacre.

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

  • In February, we finished a cycle of weekly workshops entitled “Mexican realities and pastoral implications” with the Mayan Intercultural Seminar.
  • During the intensive week of thought afforded “Ministers of peace in violent contexts,” SIPAZ facilitated several days of work emphasizing different aspects of the positive transformation of conflicts.

ARTICULATION

  • We participated in monthly meetings with the Peace Network, a space for reflection and action comprised of 16 organizations that seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.

INFORMATION

  • We received visits from delegations, students, and journalists interested in learning more about the realities in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.
  • In February, a member of the SIPAZ team gave a presentation on the situation in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work before 60 people in Rouen, France.
  • In April, we participated in the presentation of the book Rethinking politics from Latin America, coordinated by Raphael Hoetmer, in the CIDECI-Earth University in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
  • On 30 April, the Peace Network, of which SIPAZ is a member, released a communiqué regarding an armed attacked suffered by members of an observation-mission in San Juan Copalá, Oaxaca. SIPAZ also released a special bulletin on the question.