Oaxaca: David Venegas still jailed, SIPAZ conducts interview

January 31, 2008

Telephone interview with David Venegas Reyes who, after winning his third appeal, remains jailed in the Ixcotel Jail in Oaxaca (1/28/08)

On December 27th, 2007 David Venegas won a third appeal against the September 18th 2007 sentence to prison made by the Mixed Court of the First District of Tlacolula of Matamoros.

Winning this appeal should have ensured the release of David Venegas. However, due to irregularities in the judicial process, legal proceedings in his case have slowed, leading to a delay in his release and his freedom.

In the interview, David talks about his case and situation. He also speaks to the new accusations (recently published in the newspaper, ADIARIO) about his supposed involvement with VOCAL (Oaxacan Voices Creating Autonomy and Liberty), and the EPR (the Army of Popular Revolution)

For more information about David Venegas:

BOLETÍN URGENTE: David Venegas Reyes gana otro Amparo. El Ministerio Público Federal interpone Recurso de Revisión (NODHO, 30/01/2008)

David’s letter from jail (in Spanish)

Nuevos cargos imputados a David Venegas Reyes (audio entrevista con SIPAZ, 24/10/2007)

Seguimiento de Acción Urgente (NODHO, 25/09/2007)

Testimonio de David Venegas sobre su detención (informe de SIPAZ sobre Oaxaca, abril 2007)


San Cristobal: 48th anniversary of Samuel Ruiz´s ascendancy to Bishop

January 29, 2008

The 48th anniversary of Samuel Ruiz´s ascendancy to the office of bishop was held January 25th in the cathedral of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.

During his term as bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas (1959-1999), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reports that some 40,000 indigenous people received relief through Bishop Ruiz´s initiatives. As a result, he was the recipient of the UNESCO Simon Bolivar International Prize in 2000.

In 1996 Bishop Ruiz was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award, an award established by a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations. Bishop Ruiz received this award for his work with the National Intermediary Commission (CONAI), which acted as intermediary between the government and the EZLN during the early days of the Zapatista uprising

The anniversary mass was held in Spanish, Tzotzil, and Tzeltal, and was attended by a diverse group of people. The service also incorporated elements of traditional indigenous ritual such as the dance of the Quetzal feathers.

During the mass, it was announced that a new community center will be built in order to house the many awards that Bishop Ruiz has received during his career.

In a show of the support that Bishop Ruiz still in holds the area, the mass ended with a cry of “Que viva Tatic Ruiz!” (Long live priest Ruiz).

For more information:

A diez años del levantamiento, hay una nueva conciencia sobre los pueblos indígenas, dice

Jorge Santiago entrevista a Samuel Ruiz

Chiapas Bishop Emeritus Brings Hope to Central Valley’s Indigenous Community

UNESCO Culture Sector

Oaxaca: Mining in Capulálpan

January 27, 2008

[Source: Mining site near Ixlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Dawn Paley, Upside Down World ]

With gold prices skyrocketing, Vancouver based Continuum Resources mining company has opted to reopen the semi-abandoned mine of La Natividad, historically Oaxaca’s richest gold and silver field.

However, this move has not come without resistance from the surrounding communities of Ixlán, and especially Capulálpan, which lie 60km north of Oaxaca’s capital city.

“For 230 years, gold and silver mining companies have been exploiting tunnels in the mountains,” explains Francisco Garcia López, member of Capulálpan’s Commission of Communal Goods. “The whole territory of Capulálpan is communally owned.”

In contradiction to Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ratified by Mexico), the community of Capulálpan has seen its water supply diminish and deteriorate as a result of mining activity, has seen its lands eaten up by Continuum (54,000 hectares at La Natividad alone), but has seen no action by the government to protect its rights.

As a result, members of the community took measures into their own hands, blocking the main highway out of Oaxaca City for five hours to force the government into negotiations.

Consequent to these negotiations, Continuum had several environmental complaints logged against it, which led to a temporary closure of La Natividad. However, Continuum states that it is determined to carry its project forward, violence or no.

For more information:

Canada’s Mining Continuum: Resources, Community Resistance and “Development” in Oaxaca, Mexico (upsidedownworld.org 23/1/2008)

The reputational imperative of ILO 169

Made in Canada Violence: Mining in Mexico

Oaxaca, México: La mineria y la defensa de los recursos naturales en la sierra norte

Operación de minera en Oaxaca acaba con manantiales de la zona

Chiapas: Third Encounter between the zapatistas and the peoples of the world

January 9, 2008

From December 28th through 31, 2007, the Third Encounter between the Zapatistas and the peoples of the world “La Comandanta Ramona y las Zapatistas” was celebrated in the Caracol of La Garrucha.

During the encounter women members of the base of support, authorities from Good Government Councils, and female commanders and insurgents from all the Caracoles spoke on the following topics: 1.-Women, and women within the Other Campaign; 2.-How female Zapatistas used to live and how they live today; 3.-What they did and how they organized themselves to successfully win their rights; 4.-What their responsibilities in the present ; 5.-How they maintain the spirit of struggle struggle; 6.-How things are changing ; and 7.-How they continue their struggle through education of their Zapatista children.

There were also speeches given by women from different organizations in Africa, the United States Asia and Europe. Among them there were numerous participants from Vía Campesina.

The question and answer period for the all-female audience ( men were not admitted inside the auditorium) was restricted to five minutes after each speech.

After the final event, the 14th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising was commemorated.

Audio recordings from the Encounter (from the Zezta Internacional home page)






Photo gallery from the Encounter (click on the photo)

More information about the Encountero

EZLN/ZeztaInternazional home page

Enlace Zapatista home page

Centro de Medios Independientes Chiapas home page(Indymedia Chiapas)


El encuentro zapatista permitió globalizar la lucha de las mujeres: participantes (La Jornada, 03/01/2008)

Chiapas: Acteal, National Encounter Against Impunity

January 4, 2008

Acteal: More than 200 individuals from 50 organizations throughout Mexico and other countries participated in the National Encounter Against Impunity in Acteal organized by the indigenous Tzotzil organization “Las Abejas” on December 20 and 21 2007.

Las Abejas stated that the main objective of the encounter was to strengthen the links between different national and international organizations in order to speak out more forcefully against the impunity of state officials in Mexico, to put pressure on authorities to bring offenders to justice and to recognize their responsibility for such legal proceedings, to guarantee that what happened would never happen again, and to call for the respect human rights.

Sipaz was present and participated in workshops during the encounter as well as in the celebration of December 22, which was the day of the commemoration of the massacre. In the near future, various documents from the encounter will be published on this blog (see in particular the last report from the Human Rights Centre Frayba concerning the case of Acteal ) along with other informational and multimedia materials.

Links to documents and home pages:

·The Las Abejas blog

·Report in Spanish: Acteal a 10 años, recordar para no olvidar (CDH Frayba, 22/12/2007)

Multimedia material (in Spanish):

VIDEO: “National Encounter Against Impunity” (Produced by the Civil Society Organization Las Abejas, 23/12/2007)

VIDEO: Advances in the Acteal case (Itzel Monroy Silva, Frayba – 20/12/2007)

VIDEO: Song by Paco Urrutia in conmemoration to the 10 years of Acteal (from the Las Abejas blog)

PHOTOS: Photo gallery from the Encuentro (click on photo)