ARTICLE : Caretakers of the people and the land in light of barriers to effective participation of women and youth
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ANALYSIS : Mexico – under international scrutiny regarding human rights

SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-November 2012 to mid-February 2013)



  • Between mid-November and mid-February, we visited 4 of the 5 Zapatista caracoles at least once.
  • On 21 December, SIPAZ as observers accompanied the silent march as of thousands of indigenous support-bases of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) who had concentrated themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas. We were present in San Cristóbal de Las Casas and Palenque.
  • On 30 and 31 December 2012 and 1 and 2 January 2013, we attended several sessions of the International Seminar for Reflection and Analysis Planet Earth, anti-systemic movements, carried out in CIDECI-Unitierra, San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • On 25 January, SIPAZ was present during the pilgrimage and mass organized by the Believing People, an organizational process of the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. These events were carried out in this city to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Bishop Smauel Ruiz García, the 25 years since the beginning of the bishophood of Raúl Vera López, and the 15 years since the Acteal massacre.
  • In November, January, and February, SIPAZ visited the prisoners of the Voz del Amate and those in solidarity with the Voz del Amate, which are organizational processes comprised of prisoners who are held in the San Cristóbal de Las Casas prison and who adhere to the Other Campaign.
  • In December, SIPAZ met with Leonel Rivero, a lawyer who has interposed a brief before the Supreme Court for Justice in the Nation (SCJN) to take on the case of Alberto Patishtán and so recognize his innocence, given the numerous irregularities with which this Tsotsil indigenous man was imprisoned 12 years ago.
  • On 25 November, SIPAZ accompanied the march of women in San Cristóbal de Las Casas in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
  • On 20 December, SIPAZ attended the press conference organized by the Network in Solidarity Decade against Impunity A.C. and the Group of Women of San Cristóbal de Las Casas-Colem at which participants recalled that “the obligations of the Mexican and Chiapas states with regard to the human rights of women are of no importance or observance, especially in the case of women unjustly imprisoned, living in inhuman conditions, as well as other cases of violence which remain in impunity.”


  • In mid-February, SIPAZ carried out a visit of one-week to Guerrero. We met with several civil organizations, such as the Workshop for Communal Development (TADECO), the José María Morelos y Pavón Center for Human Rights, the women’s organization Camino con Alas and the Guerrero Network of Civil Human-Rights Organization. We had a meeting with Hipólito Lugo Cortés, visiting general of the Commission for Defense of Human Rights in the State of Guerrero (Coddehum-GRO). We were present in the forum “Advances of the first constitutional article in obligations of the Mexican State with regard to human rights and analysis of the effects of reforms in labor, education, and article 73 of the constitution,” as organized by the Front of Popular Masses of Ayotzinapa. Finally, we attended a “State Meeting for the Defense of Security and Justice of the People” organized by the Regional Coordination of Communal Authorities-Communal Police (CRAC-PC), an event held in San Luis Acatlan.


  • From 19 to 21 November, SIPAZ participated in an observation mission in the community of San José del Progreso toward the end of making-visible the human-rights violations of members of the Coordination of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley (CPUVO), who since 2007 have opposed the activities of the mining firm Cuzcatlán (a subsidiary of the Canadian firm Fortune Silver Mines).
  • From 17 to 20 January, SIPAZ attended the Meeting of Peoples of Mesoamerica, Yes to life, no to mining which was held in Capulálpam de Méndez, which was attended by 400 persons.


  • On 23 November, SIPAZ received a visit to our offices by the primary secretary of the embassy of Norway. This same day, in terms of the close of the observation mission in San José del Progreso, we met with members of the Canadian embassy in Mexico City.
  • In November, SIPAZ also held interviews with members of the Dutch and U.S. embassies in Mexico City. On 30 November, SIPAZ participated in a meeting of national and international non-governmental organizations with the German ambassador and several members of this embassy.



  • In December, SIPAZ participated in a ecumenical space for prayer and reflection organized by the Ecumenical Group for Analysis of Reality and Context (GEARC), of which we form a part.
  • In January, SIPAZ co-facilitated together with other civil organizations a ecumenical space in observance of the two-year anniversary of the death of the bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruíz García.


  • In November and December, SIPAZ facilitated spaces of training regarding human rights from the perspective of the positive transformation of conflicts in the Mayense Intercultural Seminar (SIM). In November, SIPAZ also held a week of intensive courses regarding the same questions with the baccalaureate students from this same seminar. In January, SIPAZ began a new cycle of monthly workshops regarding the question of “Violence and Peace Ministries.”


  • SIPAZ attended bimonthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection comprised of 9 organizations that seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.
  • SIPAZ also participated in the preparation and realization of the Popular Forum for the Defense of the Land, Territory, and Food Sovereignty, which was held on the CIDECI-Unitierra campus in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The objective of this event was to “present evidence and judge” governments and transnational firms that are responsible for looting of the land and territory as well as environmental degradation.
  • On 22 and 23 January, the annual meeting of the persons, organizations, and processes that received the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award in previous years was held, (SIPAZ is one of the co-organizers of this recognition). Additionally, there was launched the 2014 call for this recognition.


  • SIPAZ received the visits of delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition who are interested in learning or deepening their knowledge about the context in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.
  • From 30 November until 2 December, we attended the International Conference “Mexico: State of Right?” organized by the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico, as held in Berlin, Germany. SIPAZ participated in a panel on the question of militarization.


  • On 24 and 25 January, SIPAZ participated in a workshop entitled “Design of strategies of communication for influence in social organizations,” as organized by the Network of Mayan Radios (RRM).