Chiapas: activities on the International Day against Violence against Women

March on 25 November, San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Foto @SIPAZ

On 24 and 25 November in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, there were held several activities to observe the International Day against Violence against Women.  On Thursday 24 there was held a meeting of indigenous and campesina women in the Indigenous Center for Wholesome Training (CIDECI-UNITIERRA) called for by the Center for the Rights of Women in Chiapas and women’s collectives from the highlands, northern, border mountain, and coastal regions  of the state.  Under the banner “Halt the violence of the neoliberal patriarchal capitalist system” and as part of the campaign “Land is not sold; women and men instead hold it, cultivate, and defend it,” some 100 men and women gathered.  In a plenary there was discussed the struggle for land and against the firms that would displace them from their lands.  As a Tseltal indigenous woman said, “We must care for the land so that we are not left without food.”  Many women pronounced themselves against the introduction of transgenic maize which represents a danger for the survival of existing strains.  The cultivation of transgenic maize implies the need to buy new seeds each year because it does not reproduce, while currently used varieties can be used for many years without the need to buy new seeds.  In work groups there was discussed the reasons why women struggle, which struggles they confront, and how to overcome these.

March 25 November in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

At 10am on 25 November there met some 200 women accompanied by men in the Palace of Justice to undertake a march toward the Cathedral Plaza.  The call was made by the Center for the Rights of Women in Chiapas, together with the Independent Movement of Women.  Prepared with banners and different signs, they denounced violence against women as part of structural violence.  Passing by the military base of zone 31, they demanded the cessation of violence against women on the part of soldiers and police both in communities as at checkpoints.  They continued marching as they sang slogans such as “Chiapas, Chiapas is not a barracks; out the army!” and “For life and for peace, soldiers never again.”

March 25 November, San Cristóbal de Las Casas (@SIPAZ)

Upon arriving to the Cathedral Plaza there was read a communiqué that was signed by several organizations which focuses on the structural violence suffered by women as exercised by the government as part of neoliberal policy.  “We denounce that the government allows for the establishment, without any limit, of transnational firms that foment and support the looting of the land and territory of indigenous peoples, favoring the privatization of natural resources, the cultivation of transgenic seeds, the internal division of our communities, migration, unemployment, exploitation, inflation, scarcity of goods and worsening of poverty, thus annulling our possibilities for survival, making us increasingly dependent on the market.”  The communiqué also denounces the negative impacts for women for example in support programs such as Oportunidades and Seguro Popular, bad practices of multinational companies, and once again the introduction of transgenic maize.  It finds the different forms of violence against women and feminicide as “social, cultural, and political problems that demand the adoption of concrete and urgent measures in all aspects of public behavior.”

Later there was carried out a “political performance” in the Cathedral Plaza, with the participation of several independent women as called for by the Global March of Women, Hemispheric Center for Performance, and the Autonomous Lesbian Feminist Political Collective LESBrujas.  By means of te same they denounced both the extreme violence exercised against women and feminicide.  Part of the performance was a march with flowers through the ecclesiastical walkway, under the banner “Alive they were taken; alive we want them back!”  The credo of the struggle of the women’s group that denounces feminicide is “End feminicide, end impunity, not one more woman, not one more murdered!”

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del CD de la Mujer de Chiapas, MIM, CDHFBC e integrantes de LOC (25 de noviembre)

Convocatoria a Performance Político

Marchan mujeres contra la violencia (Cuarto Poder, 26 November)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Harassment and robbery of offices of Consorcio (14 November 2011)

Demand for end to feminicide in Oaxaca (8 September 2011)

Guerrero – briefs – Tierra Caliente is second-highest national location in number of feminicides; SCJN will analyze recommendations of the Inter-American Court in the case of Radilla (14 September 2010)

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