SIPAZ Report (August-October 2007)

October 30, 2007



  • Chiapas: a reactivation of a
    state of social conflict
  • Oaxaca, an unresolved
  • SIPAZ Activities
    (August to mid-October 2007)

Elections that resulted expensive….

October 11, 2007


On October 7 local elections were held in Chiapas for the election of 118 municipal presidents and 40 local deputes in 24 State Districts. From October 1 to 8 SIPAZ was present in communities and municipalities in the lowlands surrounding Tila, in the northern parts of Chiapas.

We were present during the days before and during the elections. We were able to verify the high amount of money that was circulating in the region for the buying of votes and the delivery of gifts such as corn-mills, machetes, soft drinks among others.

“The elections require a lot of money and work” a representative of one of the parties told us the day of the elections after having had to visit various communities the night before in order to offer even more money for votes. All in all, the elections seemed to be more of an auction than a democratic process based on the confrontation between concrete proposals for governing.

We also received denunciations of a number of threats and intimidations against parties, organizations, movements and private persons. This is not resolved though electoral results: in Chilón, for example, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won the city council presidency with the promise that it would evict a nearby zapatista autonomous municipality: Olga Isabel. These elections reinforce the increasing fragmentation of social community fabric in the zone.

After a year, viewing Oaxaca

October 11, 2007


After a year, viewing Oaxaca

Saturday October 6, 8:30 pm in La Pera

Photo exposition
After a year, viewing Oaxaca

Perspectives from Oaxaca
Exposition by the Photographic Center Manuel Álvarez Bravo

The table:
Liberty of free speech and repression in Oaxaca

With the participation of:
– Sergio Beltran Arruti, general coordinator of the alternative education project at the University of Land (Unitierra), through which he has been collaborating in the Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly (APPO). He was a member of Radio Plantón, one of the most important community transmitters of the recent Oaxacan movement.
– Silvia Hernández, member of the organization VOCAL (Oaxacan Voices constructing Autonomy and Freedom).

Marina Pages, SIPAZ coordinator
Leonardo Toledo, Independent Photographers

For more information:

Sergio Beltran
Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Fotografos Independientes

Inauguration of the autonomous market in San Andrés

October 11, 2007

On Saturday, September 29, the autonomous public market “1º de enero” was inaugurated in the municipal center of San Andrés Sakamch’en de los Pobres, the Chiapas Highlands. In spite of the denunciation of threats against the autonomous council a few days before the event (see the Good Governance communiqué), thousands of people from the Highlands gathered and participated in the celebration. It was announced that the new market will not be there just for the zapatista population but also for the other political and religious groups in the region.

6 prisoners from Montes Azules liberated

October 11, 2007

On the evening of September 24th the six men who had been detained in the forced eviction in Montes Azules were liberated from imprisonment according to the Chiapas state bulletin. The penal case was annulled in relation to the crimes they were accused of (looting and environmental damages “ecocide”).

They were arrested on August 18 in the eviction operation against “El Buen Samaritano” and “Nuevo Salvador Allende”. Their family-members, 33 women and children currently in the storeroom belonging to ARIC (Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo – Rural Association of Collective Interest) in the municipality of Ocosingo.