ARTICLE : Alberto Patishtán – The prisoner to whom the most Chiapas state-governors have promised liberation
Parallels with 1997? Movement of the displaced from Colonia Puebla, Chenalhó, August 2013 © SIPAZ
ANALYSIS : Mexico – Between structural reform and “humanitarian crisis” over violence

SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-February to mid-May 2013)



Northern Zone
  • At the end of February and end of April, we carried out prolonged visits to different municipalities of the northern Zone of the state (Sabanilla, Salto de Agua, Tila, Tumbalá, Palenque, and Yajalón) in order to hold interviews with different actors in the region: leaders of different political groups, government officials, Church members, and campesino and social organizations.
  • On 22 March, we were present at the monthly commemoration of the Acteal massacre with a delegation from the United States. We also visited the women’s cooperative from this same community with a different delegation in April.
  • In April, we visited the nearly abandoned Rural Sustainable City of Santiago El Pinar.
  • On 14 and 15 May, we carried out a visit with several counterparts in the Chilón municipality to share analysis and reflections regarding the prevailing context in the municipality.
  • Between mid-February and mid-May, we visited all 5 Zapatista caracoles at least once.
  • On 20 March we were present at the press-conference at which was presented the new campaign Forward for the release of Alberto Patishtán.
  • In April, we visited the prisoners from the Voz del Amate and those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, which are organizational processes promoted by adherents to the Other Campaign who are imprisoned in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas prison. This month we were present during the anniversary of Alberto Patishtán’s transfer to this same prison.
  • On 19 April, we accompanied the pilgrimage of some 8,000 persons for the release of Alberto Patishtán in the Chiapas state-capital of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. It was organized by the Believing People, a Tsotsil team from the San Cristóbal diocese, together with members of the Movement of El Bosque for the Liberty of Alberto Patishtán, and accompanied by teachers from the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) of Chiapas).
  • At the end of February, we attended the assembly of the Diocene Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ) which was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • On 8 March, in observance of International Women’s Day, we were present during the march that was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand respect for the rights of women. This same day, we also accompanied hundreds of women from the Las Abejas Civil Society, who marched from Yabteclum to Acteal, with the same demands.
  • On 14 March, we attended the roundtable on “Feminism and Decolonization,” as organized by the Center for Investigation and Action for Latin American Women (CIAM).


  • On 4 May, we participated in San Cristóbal de Las Casas in a meeting with a political counselor to the German embassy in Mexico, as well as with Dr. Jüttner, deputy of the German Parliament and member of the Commission on Human Rights and of the Commission for Economic Cooperation.
  • From 7 to 9 May, we carried out a series of meetings in Mexico City during which we held interviews with the counselor for Political Affairs of the delegation of the European Union in Mexico, members of the Political Section of the U.S. embassy and USAID; the political Secretary of the Swiss embassy, members of the Canadian embassy, and with a representative of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.



  • At the end of February, we participated in a space of analysis for more than 200 members of the Believing People in the Estrella region, Ocosingo municipality.
  • In March, we facilitated a space for analysis with parish groups of the “lower Tseltal zone” of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese which includes 7 parishes: Tenejapa, Ocosingo, Yajalón, Oxchuc, Cancuc, Marqués de Comillas, and Huixtan.


  • Between February and May, we facilitated spaces for training regarding “Violence and Peace Ministries” in the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM). In April, we also held an intensive week-long course on the same subject with undergraduate students from the same seminar.


  • We attended the bi-monthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection comprised of 10 organizations which seek to support peace and reconciliation processes in Chiapas. On 21 and 22 April, we organized jointly with others a Civil Observation Mission to San Marcos Avilés in the Chilón municipality.
  • From 13 to 15 March, we participated in a Meeting of Organizations for International Accompaniment held in Guatemala City, which drew the participation of projects from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico.
  • On 6 May, we participated in an Assembly of members in Mexico of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC, which we form a part of) which was held in Mexico City.


  • We received the visit of delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition who were interested in deepening their knowledge about the context in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.
  • We coordinated a delegation with Global Exchange (U.S.) which visited Chiapas at the end of March.