SIPAZ Activities (April to the middle of July, 2009)31/08/2009
INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE AND SUPPORT
- On August 29 and 30, SIPAZ was present for the commemoration of the victims of Peace and Justice in Masoja Xucja community. This was an event that honored more than a hundred victims who were killed or abducted in the Northern Region between 1995 and 2000.
- On July 30, SIPAZ was present at a blockade of the highway as observers. It was organized by the members of the Other Campaign of the ejido (communal lands) of Mitzitón in order to raise various demands such as the refusal of the highway from San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque. SIPAZ returned to visit Mizitón in August and October where a climate of high tension prevailed.
- On August 10, SIPAZ was present for the press conference, which marked the initiation of the “Day of Action for Justice and Truth,” as well as the march of Las Abejas which took place in San Cristóbal de Las Casas on August 11. SIPAZ visited the communities of Actual and Nuevo Paraíso in the municipality of Chenalhó in August and October.
- Towards the end of October, SIPAZ was present for the “March for Peace and Justice with Truth” in solidarity with Las Abejas of Acteal and the mass convoked by the Community of Faith (Pueblo Creyente) of the Tzotzil region.
- In Bachajón, SIPAZ attended a gathering of indigenous and social organizations from the Lacandona Jungle and the Bachajón region on July 30 and 31. It looked at the communal problems in those regions in respect to the defense of the land and territory.
- In August, SIPAZ visited Agua Clara, a community in which two groups are in conflict over the control of the hot springs.
- In August, we attended the press conference in which adherents of the Other Campaign from three communities (Mitzitón, Jotolá and the ejido San Sebastián) affected by the construction of the highway between San Cristóbal de Las Casas – Palenque and the Centro Integral Proyecto Palenque (CIPP) denounced the harassment and aggressions.
- As observers, SIPAZ was present at the march of the OCEZ-RC (Emiliano Zapata Campesina Organization, Carranza Region) which marked the beginning of a sit-in in San Cristóbal de Las Casas to denounce the intimidation of the military police in the region and to demand liberation of their leaders.
- From August until the end of October, SIPAZ visited all the Caracoles Zapatistas at least once.
- In August, September and October, SIPAZ visited Alberto Patishtán, a prisoner in the San Cristóbal jail.
- At the end of August and September, SIPAZ visited the city of Oaxaca where we interviewed counterparts and relatives of those who were assassinated during the social political conflict of 2006-2007. SIPAZ also went to communities of Paso de la Reina, region Istmo, where a hydroelectric dam project exists in a cooperative area of land. Those who are affected are opposed to the project. Lastly, SIPAZ visited various prisoners in the Tehuantepec penitentiary.
- In September, SIPAZ met with the United States, Germany and Sweden embassies to express its concerns in relation to the aggravation of the social-political situation and human rights in Chiapas.
- In August and October, SIPAZ interviewed Pedro Raúl López Hernández, the public prosecutor specialized in the Protection of Non-Governmental Organisms for the Defense of Human Rights in Chiapas. We met with him to present our concerns in respect to the aggravation of the social-political situation and towards human rights defenders.
- On August 29 and 30, a collaborator of SIPAZ was present for the second encounter of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA), which was held in Chicomuselo, Chiapas. and discussed topics such as legal means of resistance as well as the impacts of mining on people’s health and the environment.
- SIPAZ was present for the press conference which was held by the State Network for the Civil Resistance “The Voice of Our Heart” (Red Estatal de la Resistencia Civil “La Voz de Nuestro Corazón”) in mid-July as well as for their assembly held on October 23 and 24.
- SIPAZ attended two activities organized by the commission of the People for the Defense of the Land (FPDT) of Atenco, during their visit in Chiapas. They also launched the second phase of the “Freedom and Justice for Atenco” campaign.
PROMOTION OF PEACE
EDUCATION FOR PEACE
- In July and September, a member of SIPAZ attended two modules of the School of Peace, which was convoked by Service and Consultants for Peace (Serapaz) in Mexico DF.
- In October, two members of the team participated in a workshop Against Active Violence, convened by the Support of Community Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO).
WORK WITH RELIGIOUS FIGURES
- In September, SIPAZ participated in an ecumenical gathering of prayer and reflection convened by the Ecumenical Group of Analysis of Conjunction and Reality (GEACR) of which we are a part.
- In August, SIPAZ had a meeting with members of the parochial team of Chenalhó as well as with Bishop Enrique Díaz, to discuss the prevalent issue in the municipality which is based on the release of 20 prisoners accused of having participated in the Acteal massacre in December 1997.
- SIPAZ participated in the monthly meetings of the Network for Peace, a place for action and reflection integrated by 16 organizations which are seeking support for peace processes and reconciliation in Chiapas.
- On October 2 and 3, various organizations, including SIPAZ, convened a forum on Women’s Perspectives on Militarization which was held in San Cristóbal de las Casas with the participation of approximately 160 women.
- SIPAZ assisted the Assembly of the Peublo Creyente on Spetember 11 and 12.
- SIPAZ received a visit from the delegates, students and journalists who were interested in learning about SIPAZ’s work in conjunction with Chiapas.
- SIPAZ published a special informational bulletin on the circumstances of Acteal in August and an Urgent Action in the case of the armed attack on Defenders of Human Rights in Jotolá in September.
- A member of the SIPAZ team organized activities in Sweden and Finland including appointments with the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Sweden and Finland as well as with nearby groups such as SweFOR and Amnesty International.