SIPAZ Activities (December 2002 – February 2003)
UPDATE: Chiapas, ten years after the armed uprising

SIPAZ Activities (May – August 2003)


  • In May and July we traveled to the Northern zone of Chiapas to talk with different political and social actors of the region.
  • In June, a SIPAZ volunteer visited the Civil Encampment for Peace at Nuevo San Rafael (Montes Azules). The volunteer also visited the community of Nuevo San Isidro, as well as the seven families displaced this past year from the Reserve of the Biosphere at Montes Azules (see our article from June:
  • In August the puppet troupe toured the municipality of Las Margaritas, invited by an independent women’s organization of the area. The puppet troupe presented plays in five communities.
  • We served as International Observers at the celebration of the birth of the Caracoles and the Zapatista Juntas of Good Government, during the 8th to the 10th of August in Oventik

Interreligious Dialogue

  • We have had a number of meetings and interviews with the religious actors of San Cristobal de las Casas and with those from the municipality of Chenalhó in the framework of the Peacebuilding exchange project between religious leaders of Chenalhó and the Peace Commissions from Nicaragua.
  • We have maintained a presence in the municipality of Chenalhó through our puppet shows. These shows have given SIPAZ the opportunity to visit a dozen communities that are participating in the process of the Peace Commissions.
  • In June we participated in a workshop on ecumenism organized by the Institute of Intercultural and Social Studies (INESIN), which used to be the Biblical School of Integral Training in San Cristobal de las Casas.
  • We attended a lecture on “The Challenges of Theology in the New Millennium,” in the CIESAS (Center for sociological and anthropological investigations of the Southeast).
  • We attended the episcopal ordination of the new auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Enrique Diaz Diaz.
  • We participated in the meeting “The Integral Mission of the Church Against Poverty in Mexico” convened by the Presbyterian Church and others (San Cristobal de las Casas, from the 21st to the 25th of July).

Education for Peace

  • We continue to take part in the Peace Network. This is a space for action and reflection that aims at supporting reconciliation and peace processes amongst organizations and communities in Chiapas. In August, the Network organized a forum on the experiences of autonomy in San Cristobal de las Casas with participants from different regions of Chiapas, as well as representatives from autonomous projects from other Mexican states.
  • We presented a new puppet show about women’s rights in the framework of the Meeting of the Diocese Coordination of Women, in which more than 200 women participated from all over the state.
  • We began a new cycle of workshops on Peace Culture and Human Rights with the young people of CEDECOS (Center for Community Development) in San Cristobal de las Casas.
  • We participated in a workshop on conflict transformation facilitated by CORECO in Comitan from the 3rd to the 5th of July.

Contacts and Information

  • We received visits from delegations, students and reporters seeking information on the current situation in Chiapas and on Sipaz work.
  • In June, we participated in the preparation and realization of the visit of the U.N. Special Representative on Indigenous Fundamental Rights and Liberties, Rodolfo Stavenhagen.
  • We attended the first International Meeting on Development and Regional Integration in the south of Mexico and Central America, held on the 4th to the 6th of June in San Cristobal de las Casas.


  • We participated in the preparation, realization and continuation of the Hemispheric Forum against Militarization held in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas from the 6th to the 9th of May (see side article).
  • We shared our experiences of international accompaniment at the workshop “Brotherhood, protection and diplomatic citizenship,” under the auspices of the Thematic Social World Forum, held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, from the 16th to the 20th of June (see side article).
  • We participated in the Conference of Resistance held in Honduras from the 17th to the 23rd of July, where we attended the Second Forum against Dams and the Third Week for Cultural and Biological Diversity, from the 17th to the 20th of July in La Esperanza and from the 22nd to the 24th at the fourth Mesoamerican Forum for Self-determination and Resistance of the Communities, in Tegucigalpa.
  • We participated in the Binational Meeting of the United States and Mexico on Human Rights, from the 7th to the 8th of August in Mexico City.