Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities in Chiapas

December 27, 2012

Movilización zapatista, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 21 de diciembre de 201 (@SIPAZ)

During the morning of 21 December, in observance of the change in Baktún, or the beginning of the new Mayan era, thousands of indigenous support-bases affiliated with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) concentrated themselves at the entrances of 5 cities in Chiapas (San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Ocosingo, Altamirano, Palenque, and Las Margaritas) before carrying out silent marches through each one.  This was understood as a symbolic act, given that some of these cities were taken by the EZLN during its insurrection of 1994.  On this occasion, covered with ski-masks but lacking firearms, carrying the national flag and the Zapatista one together, the Zapatistas directed themselves to the principal plazas of these cities, where they erected kiosks which were raised by all.  After this, they left as rapidly and orderly as they entered.  Preliminary reports spoke of 6 to 10,000 Zapatistas in each location.


Zapatista march in Palenque, 21 December 2012 (photo @SIPAZ)

The “silent” message presented by these marches could hardly be more convincing, demonstrating the continued life and relevance of the movement, as well as showing that it is not principally based on its leadership.  The communique released by the General Command (announced for a month beforehand on the Enlace Zapatista webpage) makes reference to the rigorous silence that was maintained during the day, noting: “Have you heard?  It is the sound of their world collapsing.  It is the sound of ours resurging.”The EZLN support-bases had not mobilized themselves publicly since May 2011, when they expressed their solidarity with the victims of the war launched by Felipe Calderón against drug trafficking and with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, led by the poet Javier Sicilia.

For more information (in Spanish):

Comunicado del Comité Clandestino Revolucionario Indígena-Comandancia General del Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (21 de diciembre de 2012)

Marchan zapatistas en Ocosingo, Las Margaritas y San Cristóbal (Proceso, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Movilización silenciosa de zapatistas en Chiapas (La Jornada, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Zapatistas se movilizan en Chiapas en el inicio de la nueva era maya (CNN México, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Zapatistas muestran su presencia en Chiapas (El Universal, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Marcha zapatista en Palenque en el fin del Baktun 13 (El Independiente, 21 de diciembre de 2012)

Hubo orden en las marchas del EZLN, informa gobierno estatal (La Jornada, 23 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Mexico: Marches for Peace with Justice and Dignity (12 May 2011)

Chiapas: Communiqué by the EZLN: For reflective criticism, individuals and collectives (15 April 2011)

Mexico: National march “We are fed up” (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: the Peace Network presents report on Chiapas’ border zone

October 13, 2010

In light of the deterioration of the human-rights situation lived in Chiapas, the civil organizations that comprise the Peace Network agreed in early 2010 to carry out documentation-visits in distinct regions of the state of Chiapas from which have originated testimony regarding problems that disrupt the international protection and guarantee of human rights, thus putting at risk conditions of social peace.

The organizations that constitute the Peace Network organized a “Civil Mission of Observation of Human Rights and Social Conflictivity,” which began its work of observation and documentation in four municipalities of the border zone of Chiapas: Comitán, Trinitaria, Comalapa, and Chicomuselo.

The Civil Mission visited these municipalities during the days 16, 17, and 18 March 2010.  In each of the municipalities were held interviews with actors who agreed to share their testimony on various issues regarding human rights.  The questions that received the most emphasis during the interviews were organized around the following themes: migration; militarization; land and territory; economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights; rights of women; and criminalization of social protest.  The results of these interviews can be found in a published report that was presented during the 7 October press-conference.

On 6 August, there was held a space among interviewed individuals and organizations during the March civil mission to assess the information that went into the report, which allowed for the report that was presented at the press-conference to be finalized.  This report presents an evaluation of the tendencies and principal problems documented during the mission as well as possible moves toward the construction of peace that, despite everything, were seen as present in the visited municipalities.

For more information (in Spanish):

Peace Network press-release (7 October 2010)

Report of the Peace Network’s Civil Mission of Observation-Border Zone (October 2010)

Chiapas: Wife of Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, Member of Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, Margarita Martínez: Beaten, Kidnapped and Threatened with Death

February 26, 2010

The International Service for Peace repeats its deep concern for the physical safety of members of the civil organization and SIPAZ counterpart Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación A.C. and their family members.

On the afternoon of February 25, in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mrs. Margarita Martínez, wife of Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz (Enlace member) left to pick up her son from his elementary school. On her way, at approximately 1:30pm, Martínez was kidnapped by unidentified individuals who placed a plastic bag over her face in order to obscure her vision and forced her to enter a fleeing vehicle. Inside the vehicle, Martínez heard voices one of which she identified as the individual who had held her. The individual proceeded to beat her face with a solid object producing lacerations of the lips and swellings on her forehead and neck. They also engaged in psychological torture by poking an unidentified object on the sides of her body, however it might have been that a knife-like object or a gun was used. They also placed a cold object in her hands and told her that “you will not be able to work anymore,” and insisted that she drop the criminal charges made months earlier against Chiapas government officials.

In addition, the unidentified attackers stated that the kidnapping was “a gift from the municipal president of Comitán.” They eventually released Martínez in a street near her home. These events took place less than 35 hours before the reconstruction of the unlawful entry of her home in Comitán which originally took place on November 8, 2009.

For More Information (Spanish):

Accion Urgente del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (February 26, 2010)

More Information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: new harrassmants of a member of the civil organization Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, AC (January 13, 2010)

Chiapas: new harrassmants of a member of the civil organization Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, AC

January 13, 2010

The International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) would like to express its concern regarding acts that since November have threatened the physical security of Mr. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, member of Enlace Capacitación y Comunicación in Comitán, Chiapas, as well as that of his family. Enlace, Capacitación y Comunicación is a counterpart of SIPAZ and a member of the Peace Network in Chiapas. The series of acts of harassment that is here denounced seems to find its impetus in the marked tendency toward the criminalization of the work of human-rights defenders.

We invite you to answer to the most recent Urgent Action from Enlace, Capacitación y Comunicación and the Human Rights Center Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (CDHFBC) that you can find below:

For more Information:

Urgent Action: The harassment of Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, human-rights defender and member of the civil organization Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación, AC, continues

More Information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz Receives Death Threats (December 12nd, 2009)

Chiapas: Human Rights Defender Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz Receives Death Threats

December 26, 2009

On Dec. 14, 2009, Mr. Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz, who works with the organization Enlace, Comunicación y Capacitación in the city of Comitán de Dominguez, received a death threat at his home that read: “stop or you are going to die.” In the early morning of Nov. 8, 2009 his house was raided by state police wearing civilian clothing and balaclavas and carrying fire arms. A complaint was filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office in regards to the events. Interestingly, Guzmán received the death threat two days before he was scheduled to attend the hearing held at the Public Prosector’s Office for the criminal investigation into the raid that took place, abuse of authority and torture. Due to the threat, Adolfo and his wife did not attend the proceedings on Dec. 16.

This is yet one more family that has been affected, one more human rights defender that has been criminalized and intimidated in Chiapas. The list continues to grow.

Read the Complete Denunciation (Spanish):

Amenazan de muerte a defensor de derechos humanos (Boletín 40 del Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, 17/12/09)

For More Information in Spanish:

Pronunciamiento de la sociedad civil ante una nueva ofensiva gubernamental contra las organizaciones sociales y civiles en Chiapas (30/11/09)

Chiapas: Denuncia pública de Enlace, Capacitación y Comunicación (blog de SIPAZ, 11/11/09)

For More Information in English:

Mexico – Death threats against human rights defender Mr Adolfo Guzmán Ordaz (Front Line, 23/12/09)


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