SIPAZ Activities (October 2005 – January 15, 2006)
31/01/2006
North Zone - Election 2006 © SIPAZ
ANALYSIS: Mexico – Post-Election Uncertainties
31/07/2006

SIPAZ Activities (January 15 – March 2006)

INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE & ACCOMPANIMENT

CHIAPAS
  • In March, we spent one week in various communities and cities of the Northern Zone of Chiapas to interview various actors from the region: displaced, leaders of various political groups, government agencies, church members, zapatista base support, as well as social and campesino organizations.
  • In January, we visited the municipality of Chenalhó with a delegation from the USA. In February, we met with members of the board of directors of Las Abejas, an indigenous group in the same municipality.
  • On March 14, we attended, as observers, the events related to the Forum Against Police Repression, an activity organized within the framework of the Otra Campaña in San Cristóbal.
  • On March 24, we attended the pilgrimage of the Pueblo Creyente (People of Faith) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. At least 5,000 people were present.
  • In the past months, we met with 4 of the Juntas of Good Government of the 5 Zapatista Caracoles.
GUERRERO
  • In March, we held meetings in Chiapas with members of the Peace Brigades International team from Guerrero and with representatives from theTlachinollán Human Rights Center of the Mountain. Both groups participated in the celebrations we held for our tenth anniversary.
OAXACA
  • From February 5-10, we accompanied, as observers, the “Delegado Zero’s” tour of Oaxaca.
  • At the end of March, we met with various social and human rights organizations in the city of Oaxaca.

INFORMATION

  • We received visitors, delegations (12 in this period), students and journalists, primarily form the USA and Europe, with whom we shared information about the current situation in Chiapas and the work of SIPAZ.
  • In February, in collaboration with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, Alianza Cívica, PROPAZ (Swiss Program of Observation and Promotion of Peace in Chiapas) and Peace Watch (Switzerland), we initiated a program of observation and monitoring in Chiapas with regard to popular political and civil rights during the electoral process and the Otra Campaña, expected to continue through December 2006.
  • In February, we published a pronouncement regarding the acts of intimidation against members of the SIPAZ team.
  • In February, we met with Jaime Prieto (Colombia) sent by Amnesty International to create a current publication about the situation for Human Rights Defenders in Mexico.
  • From March 27- 31, members of SIPAZ and PROPAZ met with various embassies, the Mexico Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and government agencies to present a document about recent incidents of harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders.
  • We continue to participate in the seminar series “The Works of Immanuel Wallerstein: A Grammar for Understanding the Current World From a Critical Perspective,” coordinated by the Immanuel Wallerstein Center for Study, Information and Documentation.

PROMOTION OF PEACE

PEACE EDUCATION
  • In the second half of January, the puppet group “Diversity” presented their shows in about 20 schools in San Cristóbal.
  • In February, we held a workshop titled “Power and Leadership” organized with artisan cooperatives of women in the Highlands and the Selva region.
NETWORKING
  • The last week of January, we attended the Social Forum of the Americas in Caracas, Venezuela. We participated as presenters in three panels on Mexico, peace processes, and negotiation. A meeting was held with the Latin American Network of Peace Builders.
  • We continue to participate in the Network for Peace, a space for reflection and action that includes 16 organizations that support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.
  • On March 4, we celebrated out tenth anniversary and organized a space for reflection on the current challenges in International Accompaniment. A number of our local partner organizations participated, including Peace Brigades International Guatemala and Guerrero, Witness for Peace (USA), the Chiapas Peace House Project (USA), CAREA (Germany), SWEFOR (Sweden), the Coordinator for Accompaniment in Guatemala (CAIG) and Peace Watch (Switzerland). We edited a video about the event and are in the process of compiling a memoir that we hope to publish soon. The following week we met with the SIPAZ international Board of Directors for our yearly planning.