Launch of the “Faces of Pillage” Campaign, Palenque, November 2014 © SIPAZ
ARTICLE: “Faces of Pillage” – Campaign in Solidarity with the Displaced from Viejo Velasco, Banavil, and San Marcos Avilés, Chiapas
21/02/2015
© Voces mesoamericanas
IN FOCUS: Migration and gender – Women who migrate, women who stay, women in search of their relatives, women who help
02/06/2015

SIPAZ ACTIVITIES (From mid-November 2014 to mid-February 2015)

INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT

CHIAPAS

Highlands
Borderlands
  • In November, we were present in the Las Brisas community, Trinitaria municipality, to accompany the Tseltal campesinos on the tenth anniversary of the recovery of their lands.
Caracoles/EZLN
  • During the time covered by this report, we visited 3 of the 5 Zapatista caracoles at least once each.
  • We attended the activities that were held in Chapas during the Global Festival for Anti-Capitalist Resistance and Rebellion: “Where those from above destroy, we from below rebuild.” This event was organized by the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), and it took place in 4 states of Mexico. On 31 December and 1 January, we were present in the Oventic caracol, where the twenty-first anniversary of the EZLN’s uprising was celebrated. On 2 and 3 January, we attended the concluding sessions at CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
Women
  • After being present at the “Forum of Women, Peoples, and Organizations in Defense of Land and Territory” which took place on 23 and 24 November, we accompanied the march that its participants carried out to observe the International Day against Violence and the Exploitation of Women.
  • On 19 December, we attended the presentation of the national report regarding femicides, which was organized by the COLEM women’s group in San Cristóbal, during the independent and autonomous book fair.
Events
  • On 20 November we acted as observers for the marches that were held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas and Mexico City in solidarity with the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero.
  • In November in Mexico City, we attended the presentation of the book Internal Displacement Induced by Violence: A Global Experience, A Mexican Reality, published by the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, to which we contributed with several photographs.
  • In December, we were present at the press-conference held by the displaced families of Banavil, Tenejapa municipality, during which they denounced the impunity that prevails in the attacks that led to their forcible displacement, as well as the conditions in which they now find themselves. We visited them thereafter in the space in San Cristóbal de Las Casas where they have been given refuge.
  • In January, we carried out a series of interviews in Mexico City with Article 19, CENCOS, and Contralínea that underpinned the “In Focus” article of this report on freedom of expression.

GUERRERO

  • In January, we held interviews in Mexico City with several intermediaries who work in Guerrero state.
  • In February, we acted as observers during the national march in solidarity with Ayotzinapa, organized by the National Popular Assembly, which was held in the Guerrero state capital, Chilpancingo. We were also present at the National Popular Convention that was held this same day and the following one at the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

  • In November, together with other members of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), we met to share a number of concerns with the U.S. Embassy, the European Union representative in Mexico, the Commission for Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples of the Secretary of Governance, and the Secretary for Foreign Relations.
  • Also in November, we held an interview with a political secretary of the Dutch Embassy.
  • In December, we met with the Subsecretary of Governance and Human Rights from the Chiapas state government, taking this opportunity to finalize their diagnostic of the human-rights situation in the state, which should lead to a battery of proposals for action.

PEACE PROMOTION

WORK WITH RELIGIOUS ACTORS

  • In November, we accompanied the pilgrimage of thousands of Catholics who pertain to the Believing People of the San Cristóbal diocese in this same city. The protestors were manifesting their opposition to the planned highway between San Cristóbal and Palenque, to demand justice for the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, and to repudiate violence against women, alcoholism, the Energy Reform, and corruption, among other matters.
  • In January, we were also present at another pilgrimage organized by the Believing People in San San Cristóbal that was held to observe the fourth anniversary since the death of Don Samuel Ruíz García, the former bishop of San Cristóbal.
  • Some days later, we attended the inauguration of the jTatik Samuel Museum in the Caminante Communal Center in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, which deals with the life and work of the former bishop, as well as history and religion in Chiapas (before Spanish colonialism, after the Conquest, the rise of evangelism, and the most recent past, particularly after the EZLN’s insurrection).

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

  • In November, we provided a space for analysis and training of the German volunteers affiliated with the Welthaus exchange program.
  • In January, we facilitated a space as part of a cycle of workshops focusing on gender that took place in Pueblo Nuevo Sitalá, Simojovel municipality.
  • Also in January, we facilitated a workshop for analysis of the prevailing context with the team of Mesoamerican Voices, a Mexican civil group with a transnational focus that promotes organization and connection among migrants, their families, and communities.
  • In February, we participated in a space that followed the Diploma for Positive Transformatin of Conflicts in Comitán de Domínguez, which we organized in 2013 and 2014 with the support of the Commission for Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO) and Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ).

ARTICULATION

  • We attended the bimonthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection that is comprised of 10 organizations that seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.
  • In November, we realized a series of activities with other members of the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), of which we form a part. Beyond holding these aforementioned meetings with embassies and Mexican authorities, a space of analysis with other civil and social organizations was opened. We participated in the “Construction of Peace: a Global Vision” program on Rompeviento TV.
  • In January, after holding a one-and-a-half day Forum entitled “Our signs of hope” with people and groups that have received the Jtatik Samuel Jcanan Lum Award, the organizational call for the 2015 recognition was launched.
  • We participated in the space of follow-up for civil organizations that were present at the Congress for Mother Earth in January 2014.
  • In November, we attended a meeting of the International Peace Mediation Network that was held in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
  • We were present at many meetings and preparatory efforts for the exposition of photos that have won prizes from World Press Photo, as well as activities that will be held to observe this. The exposition will take place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas from 19 March to 10 April.

INFORMATION

  • We received the visit of delegations, students, journalists, and members of our coalition who were interested in learning more about the context in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.

INTERNAL TRAINING

  • In January and February, we opened spaces for training regarding the use of social media. Check out our contact info and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!