SIPAZ Activities (April – June 2005)29/07/2005
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- During these three months, we met with 3 Councils of Good Government(Juntas de Buen Gobierno) from the 5 Zapatista Caracoles following their reopening.
- In August, we spent ten days in a number of communities and cities in the Northern Zone of Chiapas, interviewing some of the actors in the region.
- We held meetings and interviews with several religious actors from Chiapas, particularly during the visit of the head of the Mexican division of the Catholic Cooperation Delegation of France.
- On July 30, we attended the anniversary of the “Abejas” cooperative, “Maya Winik,” in the Chenalhó municipality of the Altos region.
- In August, we attended the International Forum “Promoting Strategic Alliances in Chiapas: Indigenous Communities and Partnerships,” organized by various state government agencies and with the support of PRODESIS (Project for Integrated and Sustainable Social Development in the Lacandon Jungle, in collaboration with the European Union).
- In August and September, we attended, as observers, 3 of the 6 planning meetings of the “Otra Campaña” (“Other Campaign”) organized by the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN), which took place in a number of communities in the Lacandon Jungle. We also attended the First Plenary Session of the “Other Campaign” at the Caracol of La Garrucha September 16-18.
- At the end of September, we completed a tour through the state of Oaxaca. We met with various social organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gain more information on the context of this state.
- We met with visitors, delegations (5), students, and journalists, primarily from the USA and Europe, helping them to understand the situation in Chiapas and SIPAZ’s work.
- In July and September, we met with members of the Swiss Embassy in Mexico.
- In September, we published an “informative bulletin” following the release of Felipe Arreaga, a campesino ecologist from Guerrero. We are developing a new section on the state of Guerrero on our website.
- Over these three months, one member of our team is continuing a tour of various cities in Germany. Since the beginning of this tour in January, she has done 70 presentations about Chiapas and SIPAZ, 150 puppet shows about the reality of the indigenous communities of Chiapas (primarily at schools and public events), and two informative workshops on the transformation of conflicts. She has also done interviews with two representatives of the German government. She has participated in 20 events sharing information and experiences among pacifist and solidarity NGOs (such as CAREA and Peace Brigades- PBI Germany, both members of the SIPAZ coalition).
- 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.
- Twice a month, we continue to attend “En Voz Alta,” an open forum for reflection and analysis related to current events and topics of social interest.
NETWORKING AND COLLABORATION
- We continue to participate in the Network for Peace, a space for action and reflection comprised of 15 organizations who seek to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas.
- In August, we co-facilitated a two-day meeting of the Mexican Peace Builders Network, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
- We have held meetings in Chiapas with a number of organizations within our coalition: CAREA (Germany), Witness for Peace (USA), and SWEFOR (Sweden).
- We attended the celebration of the 16th anniversary of CIDECI (Center for Indigenous Training) at their new facilities in San Cristóbal.
- In July, we concluded a cycle of workshops “Introduction to the Transformation of Conflicts” with the organization GRAMIN/ALSOL, which provides micro-credits to indigenous women.
- At the beginning of August, we participated in a round table discussion within the event “Building Unity” at the INESIN (Institute for Cross-Cultural Research and Study, the former Bible School) aong with a delegation of pastors from the United Church of Christ, from Wisconsin, USA.
- In September, in collaboration with the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center, we co-facilitated workshops with groups of displaced peoples in the lower region of Tila, in the Northern Zone of Chiapas.