German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President of Mexico Felipe Calderon © Esmas.com
ANALYSIS: Serious challenges to Mexico regarding human rights

SIPAZ Activities (From November 2009 to mid-February 2010)



Northern Zone
  • In December, we met with a number of counterparts that work in and around Palenque.
  • In January, we visited several communities and cities in the Northern Zone of Chiapas to interview a number of different regional actors: leaders of different political groups, authorities, public officials, church-members, and Zapatista support-bases.
  • In December, we held meetings with several social actors from the municipality of Ocosingo (mountain-jungle) that included NGOs and churches, to assess goings-on in the area.
  • In January, we visited a number of counterparts in Comitán (border jungle).
  • Between November and February, we visited each Zapatista caracol at least once.
  • On 6 January, we visited the San Cristóbal prison in commemoration of the anniversary of the “Voice of Amate,” an organizational process initiated by prisoners in 2006. On 26 January, we returned to the prison to attend the event at which Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, member of the Voice of Amate and adherent to the Other Campaign, received the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum award, as presented by bishop emeritus Samuel Ruíz García and several different civil organizations.


  • In December we held meetings with counterparts in Oaxaca City.


  • In January we attended a meeting with members of several organizations associated with the United Nations and other civil-society organizations that was held to present a future project regarding the internally displaced in Chiapas.
  • In December, we attended an event put on by the Federal Electoral Institute at which was presented a proposed “Educational Model for Participatory Democracy.”


  • We were present at the assembly organized by the State Network of Civil Resistance “La Voz de Nuestro Corazón” (“The Voice of Our Heart”) on 18 and 19 December, at which we presented our latest bulletin, which in part focused on the network’s organizational process.
  • On 25 November in San Cristóbal de las Casas, we attended various activities related to the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”
  • From 30 December to 2 January, we participated in the International Seminar for Reflection and Analysis, which took place in CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de las Casas.



  • In February, we started a series of workshops entitled “Mexican realities and their priestly implications” with the Intercultural Mayense Seminar.


  • In December, we participated in an ecumenical meeting for prayer and reflection that was organized by the Ecumenical Group for the Analysis of Reality and the Present Situation (GEACR) of which we are members.
  • In January, a series of activities took place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Don Samuel Ruíz, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. We also attended the Pastoral-Theological Congress, which took place from 20 to 23 January in San Cristóbal de las Casas as well as the celebration of the Eucharist on 25 January.


  • On 24 January, Don Samuel Ruíz García, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal, presented the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” award to the Diocesian Coordinator for Women (Codimuj), Las Abejas of Acteal, Ecumenical Mayense-Indian Theology, and Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a prisoner in the San Cristóbal prison and member of the Voice of Amate, to mark his 50th episcopal anniversary. SIPAZ presided over the presentation of this award with other local and national organizations.
  • We participated in the monthly meetings of the Peace Network, a space for reflection and action made up of 16 organizations that seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.


  • We were visited by delegations, students, and journalists who were interested in learning about the situation in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.
  • In January we published an Urgent Action on the harassment directed at Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, a human-rights defender and member of the civil organization Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, AC.
  • On 9 February, the Peace Newtork in Chiapas released a communiqué on the recent evictions in Montes Azules.
  • A member of the SIPAZ team engaged in activities in Germany in January and February, including meetings and presentations in Berlin, Münster, and Marburg; an address for the symposium “Weltwärts-Towards the World” regarding organized members of the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico; remarks at the conference “México: Quo vadis?” organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico; as well as advocacy meetings with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.