ANALYSIS : National mobilization against violence29/04/2011
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- In January, we accompanied an ex- SIPAZ team member who put on puppet shows regarding the theme of reconciliation in several schools of the communities in the zone below Tila. In February, we also visited several towns and communities of the same region to interview a number of different actors in the region: leaders of different public groups, governmental offices, members of churches as well as social and campesino organizations. We also carried out interviews in Yajalón, Chilón, Bachajón, and Palenque.
- On 18 and 19 November, we attended a Forum of women from the Rural Association of Collective Interest-Independent and Democratic (ARIC-ID) held in Ocosingo.
- At the beginning of December, we met with several civil organizations in Comitán to discuss the prevailing situation in the frontier jungle zone.
- Between December and February, we visited all the Zapatista caracoles at least once.
- On 22 November, we presented a talk regarding “Impunity” in the event “Oaxaca: report on human rights, 2006-2010,” organized by the Committee 25 November whose objective was to “reflect collectively on the situation of human rights in Oaxaca, especially during the period 2006 to 2010, as well as to indicate which are the subjects of urgent action for civil society and government.”
- At the beginning of February we visited the state of Guerrero for 10 days to assess the political context immediately following the gubernatorial elections. We were in the Sierra de Petatlán (Organization of Women Ecologists of the Sierra de Petatlán, OMESP), Atoyac de Álvarez (Association of Family-Members of the Detained, Disppeared, and Victims of Human-Rights Violations in Mexico, AFADEM), Tlapa de Comonfort (Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights), Chilpacingo (where we interviewed the Guerrero Network of Organizations of Human Rights, the Workshop of Communal Development [TADECO], and the team of Peace Brigades International [PBI]), the sit-in at Parotillas (carried out by the Council of Ejidos and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam [CECOP]), and an assembly in Colombia de Guadalupe, part of a series of communal assemblies organized by the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities (CRAC), the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and the Regional Coordination of the Indigenous Peoples of the Mountain to define actions to be taken in light of the threats to explore and exploit mineral resources in their territories as well as in light of high electricity-prices.
- In November, we had an interview with the representative in Chiapas of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico.
- In December, we held a series of appointments in Mexico City together with SweFOR (Swedish Movement for Reconciliation, part of our coalition). We had meetings with representatives of political affairs in the U.S., Swedish, Belgian, Polish, and British embassies in Mexico as well of the European union in Mexico. In addition, we met with the director of the Program of Assaults on Journalists and Civil Defenders of Human Rights in the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH). In Chiapas, we interviewed Pedro Raúl López Hernández, Special Prosecutor in the Protection of Non-Governmental organizations. All these appointments had the same objective: to discuss our worries for rights-defenders in Chiapas and to inform these agencies of our personal accompaniment of the members of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights.
- In January, we interviewed the representative for Political Affairs, Culture, and Press from the Dutch embassy with the same agenda.
- At the beginning of February, we had a meeting with members of the PNUD in Mexico and Panama (a regional center for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Practice of Prevention of Crisis and Recuperation) to discuss the situation of forced displacement in Chiapas.
PROMOTION OF PEACE
WORK WITH RELIGIOUS ACTORS
- In December, we participated in an ecumenical space of prayer and reflection organized by the Ecumenical Group for the Analysis of Prevailing Reality (GEACR) of which we are a part.
- We attended the events held in observation of the burial of Don Samuel Ruiz García, bishop emeritus of Cristóbal de Las Casas and a key actor in the peace dialogues between the EZLN and the federal government following the armed insurrection of 1994. We presented a testimony regarding his international and inter-religious work during the novena held after his burial.
EDUCATION FOR PEACE
- In November and February we held workshops with the members of the Commission of Support for Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO).
- In November and December, continuing with the intensive course entitled “Ministers of Peace within violent contexts” organized by the Intercultural Mayense Seminar in April, we facilitated spaces of discussion regarding different aspects of the positive transformation of conflicts..
- In January, during our visit to the zone below Tila (Northern Zone), we opened spaces of reflection regarding active non-violence in the communities that we visited.
- We participated in the bi-monthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection comprised of 11 member-organizations that seek to support peace-processes and reconciliation in Chiapas.
- From 16 to 19 November, we participated in the Sixth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation, held in the community of San Salvador, autonomous municipality Francisco Villa. The event was organized and facilitated by residents of the Zapata Zone, Estrella region, with the support of the Commission of Support for Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO). The meeting was attended by 268 persons (220 men and 48 women) from 74 communities and 17 municipalities of Chiapas.
- At the beginning of December, we participated in a panel entitled “Reconciliation: hope or utopia” held during the event “Utopian construction and social struggle: the logic of hope,” organized among others by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
- On 26 January was presented the “Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum” Award to six organizations and social processes from Chiapas in recognition of their work in and commitment to the defense of human rights and reconciliation. We were a joint organizer of this prize together with other local and national organizations.
- We received visits by delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition who were interested in familiarizing themselves with the realities of Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.
- In November we published an Urgent regarding the case of harassment and death-threats directed against Margarita Martínez and personnel from the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights.
- We continued our process of broad investigation regarding the theme “Tying together gender and peace work,” which has led us to hold interviews with various groups and organizations of women in Chiapas and Guerrero.
- In January, we held public presentations regarding the sociopolitical situation in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca in Berlin and Münster (Germany) as well as in Amsterdam (Holland).