UPDATE: From the Red Alert to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle

SIPAZ Activities (January – March 2005)

Contacts, international presence, and accompainment

  • During February and March, we met at least one time with each of the five Zapatista Councils of Good Government, primarily to do interviews, which nourish the focus of this report.
  • In February, we participated in a reflecton space on the topic of international accompaniment convened by the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas Center for Human Rights, along with several other international organizations that maintain a presence in Chiapas.
  • In March, we went to the lowland area of Tila in the northern region of Chiapas to interview different actors about the regional context, specifically focusing on the post-election conflicts in the municipal seat and on the police operation that removed the protesters from the municipal building in February.
  • In March, we met with Juan Esponda from the Commission for Reconciliation of communities divided from the state government to discuss the situation in the northern zone.
  • We met with and interviewed various Chiapan religious leaders.
  • In March, we participated in a roundtable on peace, in the context of a meeting/workshop sponsored by the Baptist church, along with indigenous Chiapan participants.


  • We received visitors, delegations, students, and journalists, primarily from the United States and Europe, to inform them about the Chiapas context and SIPAZ’s work. We received more delegations than usual. Included among those from the USA were one of African-Americans, the Sustainable Solutions caravan (www.sustainablesolutionscaravan.org), one of attorneys and one of students from a Quaker school. From Canada, we had one of students and another composed of representatives of various native peoples from that country.
  • In March, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, we gave a talk about the northern region (the region of the state where we have maintained our strongest presence since 1998) in the “Thinking Out Loud” space for reflexion and analysis on current events.
  • We were interviewed by the television program “At the bar“, from the Chiapas state channel 10, to speak about the concept of Peace and the work of SIPAZ.
  • During these months, one member of our team has been on a speaking tour of several cities in Germany.
  • We continue to participate in the seminar “The work of Immanuel Wallerstein: a grammar for understanding the contemporary world with a critical perspective” coordinated by the Immanuel Wallerstein Center for Studies, Information, and Documentation, of the University of the Land–Chiapas and by the Indigenous Center for Integral Training (CIDECI).

Connections and articulation

  • From the 26th to the 31st of January, we attended the World Social Forum V in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We participated most directly in the event “Toward a Latin American concept of Peace,” coordinated by the Latin American Network of Peace Builders (REDLAPAZ). We also participated in the seminar sponsored by Service, Peace and Justice (SERPAJ), member group of the SIPAZ coalition, entitled “Building a culture of peace from social movements.”
  • We continue to participate in the Network for Peace, a space for action and reflection composed of 15 organizations that seek to support peace and reconciliation processes in Chiapas. In February, as part of the Network, we met with the group, Peace with Democracy, in which many Mexican intellectuals participate, in the context of that group’s visit to Chiapas to meet with the Councils of Good Government.
  • From the 18th to the 20th of February, we attended the Second Meeting of Communities in Nature Reserves and Campesinas for the Defense of Our Land and its Natural Resources, in the community of Nuevo Francisco León, in Chiapas. More than 350 representatives and around 50 indigenous communities attended.
  • During these months, we trained two foreigners on the aspects and implications of international accompainment to prepare them to work with Raúl Gatica, a member of the Ricardo Flores Magón Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca (CIPO-RFM), in the context of the precautionary measures recommended by the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) in Washington, D.C.
  • From March 16th-18th, we participated in a workshop entitled “Responding to conflicts” organized by PROPAZ (Swiss Platform for Peace in Chiapas) and facilitated by Sue Williams, from Birmingham