“Not submissive, nor devout, free woman, beautiful, mad,” graffiti in San Cristobal de Las Casas© SIPAZ
IN FOCUS : Mexico in terms of gender
SIPAZ: Special bulletin regarding the situation in Nuevo Poblado Comandante Abel, Sabanilla, northern zone of Chiapas

SIPAZ Activities (From mid-May to mid-August 2012)

International presence and accompaniment


Human rights defenders
  • At the end of July we visited Margarita Martínez and Adolfo Guzmán, human rights defenders who have been the targets of several death threats and assaults since 2009. They received a new death threat in early July, which was the reason they felt compelled to leave the state.
  • On 12 August, we accompanied as observers the march organized by the Las Abejas civil society of Acteal, Chenalhó municipality, in observance of the call for a Day against impunity,three years after the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered the release from prison of 30 persons accused of participating in the Acteal massacre.
  • On 1 August, we accompanied as observers a march by residents of Tila that was held in this city to demand that the SCJN rule in favor of their demand that the 130 hectares which state authorities expropriated from them for private purposes more than 30 years ago be returned to them.
  • In mid-July, we met with members of the parish of San Bartolomé Apóstol, in Venustiano Carranza.
  • On 21 June, we attended the press conference where the report was presented of the Civil Mission for Observation and Solidarity, which visited the communities of Salvador Allende, Ranchería Corozal and San Gregorio in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas, in May. We participated both in the Mission and in the drafting of the report.
  • Between mid-May and mid-August, we visited all the Zapatista Caracoles at least once.
  • On 13 June, we attended the National Forum on Human Rights and Citizen Security, organized by the PRODH Center in Mexico City.
  • On 15 June, we attended a panel on the “Practice of journalism and popular communication under threat,” part of the Days of reflection on freedom of expression, organized by Promedios and the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights.
  • On 23 June, we attended the Forum organized to create “a Chiapas platform of communication and mutual aid to find paths of unity, organization, and action from the perspective of non-violence, in defense of victims, and for the construction of peace in light of the generalized increase in various types of violence.” In July, we were also present at the meeting for analysis and reflection organized by this platform in to the context of the national situation after the elections.
  • On 1 July, the day of the presidential elections and gubernatorial elections in Chiapas, we observed some voting precincts in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • From 9 to 11 August, we participated in theMeeting for Alternatives to Environmental Impacts and Climate Changeorganized by the Mexican Movement of Alternatives to Environmental Impacts and Climate Change (MOVIAC-Chiapas) which was held in the community of Acteal in the highlands of Chiapas.
  • On 19 June, we were present in El Bosque, where, along with other other places inside and outside of Mexico, there were actions in solidarity for the release of Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, who at that time was being held in the Federal Center for Social Reinsertion (CEFERESO) No. 8, in Guasave, Sinaloa, 12 years after the beginning of his imprisonment.
  • We attended the assembly of the Diocesan Coordination of Women (CODIMUJ) which was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas from 17 to 19 May.
  • In May, we attended part of a session of a school for female communal promoters conducted by the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas, at CIDECI-Unitierra.
  • In mid-May, we accompanied the march from San Cristóbal de Las Casas in observance of the day against feminicide and violence against women.
  • In August, we attended the press conference organized by the Center for Women’s Rights Chiapas (CDMCh) and the Group of Women of San Cristóbal (COLEM), where the report entitled The situation of discrimination and lack of access to justice for women in Chiapas and Mexico was made public. This report was presented to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in July.

Public relations

  • On 14 June, we were present during the event organized for the presentation in San Cristóbal de Las Casas of the Report of the Mission to Mexico from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
  • In June, we held a meeting with the First Secretary for Political Affairs and Human Rights of the German embassy in Mexico City.

Promotion of peace

Work with religious actors

  • In June, 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.
  • At the end of July, at the invitation of the Believing People, we participated in a space of “servants of the word” from the Estrella Region of the eastern canyons of Chiapas.

Education for peace

  • In May and June, we facilitated training sessions on different aspects of the positive transformation of conflicts in the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM). In July, we participated in a panel on “The challenges of youth for cultivating peace” during a camp for youth from Mexico and Puerto Rico, coordinated by the SIM.
  • In July, we conducted workshops with women and men and women in several communities in the zone below Tila. The opening of these spaces forms part of our project on “linking gender and peace work.”
  • In June, we held a workshop with the team of the Commission of Support for Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO).
  • In August, we organized, jointly with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights and Pax Christi International, a workshop on “Active non-violence from the perspective of the positive transformation of conflicts.”


  • We attended bimonthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection comprised of 9 organizations that seek to support peace and reconciliation processes in Chiapas. On 18 and 19 May, we participated in the ForumExclusion… Neoliberal inclusion: Examinations of the Rural Sustainable Citiesheld in San Cristóbal de Las Casas and organized by several organizations and universities. Also representing the Network, we were on a panel that presented the report “From land to asphalt: Report of the Civil Mission of Observation of the Peace Network and CAIK on the Sustainable Rural Cities Program.
  • On 16 May, we participated in a panel for the presentation of the book “‘Very other’ struggles: Zapatismo and autonomy in the indigenous communities of Chiapas,” held at the Social Sciences Department of the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH).
  • In June and July, we particiapted in meetings with members of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC, of which we are a part) to prepare a forum on human security to be held in Chiapas in November of this year.


  • We 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.
  • On 18 July, we were present at a meeting with local organizations on the occasion of a visit of a PROPAZ delegation comprised by parliamentarians and non-governmental organizations from Switzerland.