ARTICLE: Seedlings within the Storm: The EZLN organizes the Seminar on “Critical Thought versus the Capitalist Hydra”02/06/2015
URGENT RELEASE : A TRESPASS IN THE OFFICE OF SIPAZ, LEAVING INTIMIDATORY NOTE17/08/2015
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- After a preparatory visit in February, we traveled through the lower zone of Tila for a week, conducting a series of interviews with the local audio-visual collective, Koman Ilel: we spoke primarily with survivors and victims of the violence in northern Zone from 1995 to 2000 and with different social actors. We hope to integrate these words and experiences into a documentary that is being prepared for SIPAZ’s twentieth anniversary.
- Together with other civil and human rights organizations, we accompanied the family of Antonia López Méndez, 11 years of age, during her burial in the community of Banavil, municipality of Tenejapa. This family has been displaced from its community for over three years, following violent acts that remain unpunished.
- From March 23 to 26, we accompanied a part of the pilgrimage/Way of the Cross organized by the Believing People from Simojovel to denounce violence in their region, an action that culminated with the participation of thousands in the capital city of Tuxtla Gutierrez. We were also present at the press-conference in San Cristóbal de Las Casas that first announced this event.
- On 22 April, we attended the monthly commemoration of the massacre of Acteal of December 1997, in which 45 indigenous people were murdered.
- During the time-period covered by this report, we visited 4 of the 5 Zapatista caracoles at least once.
- On May 2, we were present at the caracol of Oventik during the homage rendered by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation to the philosopher Luis Villoro Toranzo, who died in March 2014, and to José Luis Solís López, “Galeano,” a Zapatista support-base who was murdered in May 2014 in La Realidad, municipality of Las Margaritas.
From May 3 to 9, we attended the Seminar entitled “Critical Thoughts amidst the Capitalist Hydra,” organized by the EZLN, held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
- In February, March, and May, we visited the jail in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to meet Alejandro Díaz Sántiz, a solidarity member with the Voz del Amate, an organizational process of prisoners that adhere to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
- In February and May, we were present at the Assembly of the Diocene Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ). During the session in February, we supported by facilitating the analysis of reality.
- In March, we were present at the meeting where the Movement in Defense of the Land, Territory, and For the Participation and Recognition of Women in Decision-Making Processes was founded, as well as at the press-conference that presented the Campaign for the Land,
Territory, and Participation of Women
- In observance of International Women’s Day, March 8, we accompanied a march held for the equality of rights with close to 200 women and some men in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
- In May we also attended a public event accompanying the hunger-strike carried out by Luisa Margareth Castillo Mora in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to demand that state authorities attend her demands for justice, given that in 2013 she was “taken,” tortured, and subsequently abandoned for defending labor rights. These acts against her remain in impunity.
- On March 9, we attended the presentation of the report “We are all female defenders,” which established a national diagnostic regarding the situation of attacks on human-rights defenders and the types of violence they have suffered, the majority of which have come from the State.
- In April, we were present during the public presentation of the documentary covering the work of women from the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese.
- In April, we initiated a series of interviews with women to prepare material that examines how the situation, thought, and collective action of women has changed during the past 20 years. We wish to present our findings in a public event, in observance of twenty years of SIPAZ at the end of this year.
Civil Observation Missions
- In May, together with other human rights and peacebuilding organizations that work in Chiapas, we participated in a civil observation mission of the forcibly displaced families from the Poblado of Primero de Agosto, municipality of Las Margaritas and held a series of meetings with municipal and state authorities, urging them to adequately attend to the case.
- In February and May, we attended the Assemblies of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
- In March, we attended the press and teachers´ conference held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas in observance of the “National Tour: Forcible Disappearance in Mexico. The Cases of Gabriel Alberto Cruz Sánchez and Edmundo Reyes Amaya, a Crime against Humanity,” organized by the National Front for the Struggle for Socialism (FNLS) and the Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared “Until We Find Them.”
- In May, we were present when the National Caravan in Defense of Water, Territory, Work, and Life stopped in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. This initiative was organized by the Yaqui people of Sonora, Mexico, to promote the struggle against megaprojects.
- In February, we were present at the annual reunion regarding the human-rights situation in Mexico, organized by the German Embassy, with the presence of the ambassador and the delegate from the German federal government for Human-Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance.
- In February, together with members of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC, of which we form a part), we met with Javier Hernández Valencia, representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico.
EDUCATION FOR PEACE
- In May, we facilitated a space for the analysis of reality in the Comalapa border-region with members of the work-group from the parish. This event was attended by more than 80 persons.
- In May, we presented a week of intensive undergraduate courses at the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM) on questions of “Violence, Peace Education, and Media.”
- We attended the bimonthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection, comprised of 10 organizations that seek to support peace and reconciliation processes in Chiapas.
- Together with organizations that form a part of the Network for Freedom of Expression, we prepared and coordinated the events held during three weeks in observance of the presentation of the exhibition of photos organized by World Press Photo.
- In April, we participated in the Third Meeting of the Network of Organizations for International Accompaniment and Observation in Latin America held in Guatemala.
INFORMATION FOR ACTION
- We received visits from delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition interested in knowing more about the context in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.
- From March 25 to 31, we organized a week-long delegation with people from the U.S. in coordination with Global Exchange.
- In March, we participated in a workshop on digital security organized by Frontline Defenders.
- In April, we attended a workshop with MM (“People with a Mission,” from Holland, our counterpart) regarding fundraising.