On 25 January the Believing People, an organizational process associated with the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, carried out a pilgrimage in this city in Chiapas to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of bishop Samuel Ruiz García, the twenty-fifth anniversary of bishophood for Raúl Vera López, and the fifteenth anniversary of the Acteal massacre. The pilgrimage of some 10,000 people demonstrated their concern regarding “the launching of the National Crusade against Hunger, precisely in the municipality of Las Margaritas, given that with this action the federal government’s strategy of not attending to the structural necessities of the people is shown clearly,” as they declared in a public communique.
In their message, the Catholics demanded “the release of many unjustly imprisoned persons, including our brother Alberto Patishtán Gómez, a prisoner of conscience and an inspiration to all those who have suffered in the jails where he has been held,” beyond welcoming “the peaceful mobilization of the EZLN on 21 December, which unequivocably shows their desire for peace.” Similarly, they denounced “the concessions for mineral exploitation that the federal government has awarded, particularly to foreign firms, thus totally violating the peoples’ fundamental right to prior informed consent,” among other demands.
For more information (in Spanish):
Comunicado del Pueblo Creyente 25 Enero 2013 (Koman Ilel, 25 de enero de 2013)
Desconfían indígenas católicos en Chiapas de cruzada contra el hambre (La Jornada, 26 de enero de 2013)
Agrupación católica de Chiapas critica la cruzada de Peña Nieto contra el hambre (La Jornada, 27 de enero de 2013)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (27 November 2011)
Chiapas: pilgrimage against “death projects” (3 December 2010)