Elections on 1 July in San Cristóbal de Las Casas© SIPAZ
ANALYSIS : Mexico – Elections and fear that history may be repeated

SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-February to mid-May 2012)



  • On 22 February, SIPAZ attended the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre, Chenalhó municipality. Toward the end of February, SIPAZ met with members of the social-pastoral team of this municipality and in March with members of the leadership table of the Las Abejas Civil Society. On 16 April, we once again visited Acteal to observe the Pre-audience of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP). The TPP sees the Acteal massacre as one of the emblematic cases of processes manifesting structural, systemic, and state violence in terms of migration, refuge, and forced displacement, in addition to dirty war and impunity.
  • On 11 May, we worked as observers at a march from the Teopisca municipality to Amatenango del Valle carried out by different groups to protest militarization, the high electricity-prices charged by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), and mineral exploitation.
  • In April, SIPAZ met with several civil organizations in Ocosingo to discuss the prevailing situation in the Cascade Jungle.
  • From 29 April to 4 May, SIPAZ participated in a Civil Mission of Observation and Solidarity called for by the Rural Association for Collective Interest (ARIC UU ID), one that visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corrozal, and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (RIBMA). These communities find themselves threatened with possible displacement due to the claim that they are degrading the environment, and that they have no right to the land.
  • Between February and mid-May, SIPAZ visited all the Zapatista caracoles at least once.
  • On 28 and 29 February, SIPAZ attended the “Meeting of Historical Memory: Alternatives to the Violence of the State,” organized by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights that was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • On 14 March, SIPAZ attended a manifestation carried out in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to observe the International Day of Action against Dams and for Rivers, Water, and Life, in which it was reiterated the “total rejection of hydroelectric projects and reservoirs in the state of Chiapas and throughout the country.”
  • In April, SIPAZ was present at the “Seminar on Defense of Territory and Autonomy” called for by the organizations Initiatives for Identity and Inclusion (INICIA) and the Fray Matías de Córdova Center for Human Rights, which is found in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • At the beginning of May, SIPAZ participated in a dialogue regarding the implementation in the state of Chiapas of the recommendations of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture (SPT), organized by the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights and the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT).
  • On 8 March, in observation of International Women’s Day, SIPAZ accompanied a march of more than 500 indigenous women of the Las Abejas Civil Society in the Chenalhó municipality. In this same sense SIPAZ also attended the meeting of the Chiapas chapter of the Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal (TPP), which held its first meeting in San Christóbal on the questions of gender violence and feminicide, and then ended with a march. In mid-May, we accompanied the march held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas that included the participation of more than a thousand persons to observe the Day against feminicide and violence against women.


  • In March, SIPAZ traveled to the state of Guerrero for a week. On 6 March, SIPAZ were present in Ayutla de Los Libres during the public event in which, in the name of the Mexican State, the Secretary of Governance and the Federal Attorney General apologized publicly to Inés Fernández Ortega, a Tlapaneca indigenous woman who was raped by soldiers in 2002. After that, SIPAZ visited the Collective against Torture and Impunity (CCTI) in Acapulco as well as Tita Radilla, the daughter of the social activist Rosendo Radilla Pacheco, who has been disappeared since 1974. Tita is herself vice-president of the Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Mexico (Afadem) in Atoyac de Álvarez. We held interviews with members of the Ecological Organization of Women in the Sierra de Petatlán (OMESP), with headquarters in Petatlán. Finally, SIPAZ attended the Third Meeting of Women in the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC) in the Zitlaltepec community, Metlatónoc municipality, in the Mountain region.


  • At the beginning of May, SIPAZ was present in Oaxaca de Juárez for a week, holding meetings with various counterparts there: the “Bartolomé Carrasco” Regional Center for Human Rights A.C. (BARCA-DH), whose founder is Father R. Francisco Wilfrido Mayrén Peláez, better known as Padre Uvi, who received death-threats in April; Services for an Alternative Education (Educa); the Gobixta Committee for Integral Defense of Human Rights (Código DH), whose member Alba Cruz also received death-threats in April; Consortium for Parliamentary Dialogue and Equity in Oaxaca A.C., whose offices were harassed for the second time in March; the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh); the team of Peace Brigades International (PBI Oaxaca); OIDHO (Indian Organizations for Human Rights in Oaxaca), and Witness for Peace (WFP). Subsequently, SIPAZ also visited the Isthmus where we met with members of the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory, including the human-rights defender Lucila Bettina Cruz Velázquez, who was detained and subsequently released at the end of February.


  • In February, SIPAZ attended a presentation in San Cristóbal de Las Casas of the report “Indigenous Governance and provision of services in indigenous municipalities in the state of Chiapas,” an event that was organized by the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Chiapas.
  • In March SIPAZ met with the officer responsible for gender in the Joint Program for a Culture of Peace at the UN Office in Chiapas, and later with other members of the same program.
  • In March, SIPAZ held interviews in San Cristóbal de Las Casas with members of the virtual consulate of the United States for Chiapas and Tabasco that sought to discuss the question of migration.
  • In March, SIPAZ held several interviews in Mexico City: jointly with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights and Assessment for Peace (Serapaz) and the embassies of the European Union, including those of Belgium, Portugal, Poland, France, and Italy, as well as with the representative of the EU in Mexico. Subsequently, as SIPAZ, we also met with the embassy of Switzerland and the U.S., in addition to with the head of the Unity for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights of the Secretary of Governance and the Director General for Human Rights and Democracy of the Secretary on Foreign Relations. The questions SIPAZ addressed included human-rights defenders, the system of justice and impunity, and land, territory, and natural resources.
  • In April, SIPAZ held a meeting with the councilor for political, cultural, and press affairs of the Dutch embassy in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • On 25 April, SIPAZ attended the event organized by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico in San Cristóbal de Casas to present commentary on the Declaration on Defenders as well as the “Declare yourself” campaign.



  • In March, we participated in an ecumenical space for prayer and reflection called for by the Ecumenical Group for the Analysis of Reality and the Context (GEARC), of which we form a part.
  • In May, SIPAZ attended the activities that were carried out to mark the XV anniversary of the Institute for Intercultural Studies A.C. (INESIN).


  • In February, March, and April, SIPAZ facilitated spaces for sharing regarding different aspects of the positive transformation of conflicts in the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM).
  • After a first visit to the Northern Zone in February to suggest workshops with women in different communities of the region, one of the first was carried out in the zone below Tila in March and April.. The opening of these spaces is related to our project “Tying together gender work and peace work.”



  • SIPAZ received visits by delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition interested in knowing and learning about the situation in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.