SIPAZ Activities (Mid-January to mid-April 2008)30/05/2008
IN FOCUS : Mining in Chiapas – A New threat for the survival of indigenous peoples29/12/2008
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENT
- At the end of July, SIPAZ met with Second Secretary of the Political Section of the US Embassy, to discuss the Merida Initiative.
- SIPAZ visited Acteal and other communities of the municipality of Chenalhó, in April, May June and July.
- In June and July SIPAZ visited the Zapatista Community Ecological Reserve, located near San Cristóbal de Las Casas occupying the same stretch of land as the Protected Natural Area Huitepec-Los Alcanfores subsequently created by the Chiapas state government. According to reports, the local population wasn’t consulted on the creation of the state reserve and was threatened with eviction.
- In May SIPAZ participated to an observation mission to San Jerónimo Tulijá (within the official municipality of Chilón and the autonomous municipality of Ricardo Flores Magon), a day after a military operation took place in the community.
- At the beginning and end of July, SIPAZ conducted interviews with various counterparts and social organizations in Ocosingo.
- In May and July, SIPAZ interviewed members of the OCEZ-Carranza Region who denounced the military incursions and harassment their communities had recently experienced.
- In July, SIPAZ participated in an observation mission to Cruzton, municipality of Venustiano Carranza, after the community denounced aggressions on the part of the state police against community members, international observers and members of the Other Campaign.
- At the end of April, SIPAZ accompanied a family member to visit Angel Concepción Perez Gutierrez and his father Francisco Perez Vazquez, both declaring themselves Zapatistas prisoners, after they were moved from a prison in Tabasco to one in Yajalón, Chiapas. SIPAZ members were present when the detainees arrived and interviewed them the following day.
- On June 26, SIPAZ visited six detainees in the prison of San Cristobal de las Casas (State Center for the Social Reinsertion of Sentenced Prisoners, CERSS, n.5), all of them members of an organization of inmates “Voz de los Llanos”, adherent to the Other Campaign. On June 28, SIPAZ also interviewed eight other detainees in the prison of Cintalapa (State Center for the Social Reinsertion of Sentenced Prisoners, CERSS, n.14) belonging to another organization of inmates ” Voz del Amate”, also adherent to the Other Campaign.
- -Between July 24 and July 26, SIPAZ participated to the First Meeting of Human Rights Defenders and Family Members of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience organized by the Human Rights Center Agustin Pro Juarez, in Mexico City. The goal of the meeting was to create a space for analysis and reflection in designing new strategies against the criminalization of social protest as well as to support the work of human rights defenders working with political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.
- From May 5 to May 12, SIPAZ accompanied members of the Encuentro de Jóvenes en el Movimiento Social Oaxaqueño during their visit to various communities in the isthmus region of Oaxaca. The tour, known as “Path of the Jaguar; For the Regeneration of Our Memory and for the Defence of our Territory”, visited: Jalapa del Marqués, Juchitán, San Blas Atempa, Zanatepec y Benito Juárez Chimalapas. SIPAZ members also had various meeting with counterpart organizations in Oaxaca City.
- From June 18 to June 21, SIPAZ conducted a visit to the state of Guerrero to follow-up on its previous observation mission carried out in March 2008, which saw the participation of 11 members of non-governmental organizations from 6 different countries. In Ayutla de los Libres, SIPAZ visited the local office of the Human Rights Center of the Mountain Tlachinollan, spoke with members of the Organization of the Me’phaa People (OPIM) and visited 5 members of the same organization currently under detention. In Chilpancingo, the team interviewed the president of the State Commission for the Defence of Human Rights as well as the state government Secretary General. SIPAZ members also participated in the forum “Guerrero: Where Poverty is Punished and Protest is Criminalized”, organized by Tlachinollan, as part of its 14th anniversary celebration.
- On May 29-30, SIPAZ presented a lecture at the symposium “Interculturalilty: Market and War, Solidarity and Peace” organized by the Intercultural Mayan Seminary (Seminario Intercultural Mayense, SIM), in San Cristobal de Las Casas.
- In May, SIPAZ facilitated 3 courses in “Conflict Transformation and Human Rights” which make up part of a degree program at the SIM.
- SIPAZ participated in the monthly meetings of the Chiapas Peace Network (Red por la Paz), a space for action and reflection made up of 16 organizations seeking to support peace processes and reconciliation in Chiapas.
- In mid-april, SIPAZ participated in a series of meetings of the International Directorate of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) that took place in San José, Costa Rica.
- SIPAZ participated in a meeting organized by the Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ – Costa Rica) titled “Challenges for Reconciliation in the World Today” that also touched on other sub-topics such as the environment, ecumenism, migrations and militarization.
- On May 13, SIPAZ participated in the meeting of the Mexican Network of Peace-Builders in Mexico City.
- In mid-July, SIPAZ presented a lecture titled: “Peace Processes and Unresolved Conflicts in Chiapas” at the “Geo-politics and Geo-economics: Chiapas within the World Global Context” meeting, that took place in San Cristobal de Las Casas and which saw the participation of activists and social organizations from Mexico and Central America.
- SIPAZ received individual visits and delegations (including students and journalists) to inform them on the current situation in Chiapas and the work conducted by SIPAZ.
- During the entire month of April, a member of SIPAZ conducted a speaking tour in the United States, speaking on the current situation in Mexico and the work of SIPAZ (in Illinois and California).